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Sunday, January 24, 2016

4H County Events

Yesterday, was our yearly 4H County Events. Both kids got 1st place in their class, and will be able to move on to Districts, which will be on Caitlin's birthday this year. But, I did discuss it with her, and we will it on another day. She also has two friends with birthdays that same weekend, so it might get interesting this year. It will also be in Taylor County this year, which is a bit of a drive. DJ played Fix You, by Coldplay, on the electric guitar, and sang of course. Caitlin did Fashion Revue with her embellished clam digger pants. I thought I took a picture of them, but apparently I did not. I think I will have her make a matching shirt for Districts. This will be Caitlin's first year at Districts. Not because she didn't qualify before, but because she didn't want to. I am pushing her a little bit more this year. She also started Gymnastics last week, and she really loved it. She was sore the next day, saying I used a lot of different muscles. I hope she sticks with it, and has found something she can really love and get into. I would load the video of DJ playing, but I am not sure how, lol. Next up for 4H will be the Suwannee River Youth Fair, in March.  We usually do photography, but maybe they will both want to enter a wood burning project too.  Caitlin can also enter her pants in that fair too.



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Using OpenEd for Math Lessons and Turning Some of Our Favorite Nature Photos Into Awesome Gifts

Well, it has only been a week since my last post, lol.  I just don't have as much time, it seems, to blog.  I have been using OpenEd, the Math lessons, with my 6th grader, and right now it is going well.  She does the lesson, then plays a game, and watches videos.  Then we do Math flash cards, on an app, and she is finally getting division down.  I would still like her to be a little faster with her multiplication facts, but I wont quibble that.  With more practice she will get it. 

Since it was a little bit warmer today, I went out and got a lot of gardening done.  We are putting up a privacy fence, in the back yard, long story, so I had to dig up several plants.  They were successfully relocated, and I got to pick a spot for Caitlin and me to plant our 3 Sisters garden, in the Spring.  I got it dug, and added some good soil to it, and I will start composting it as well.  If you ever decide you want a privacy fence, do one panel a paycheck.  We didn't do it that way, but I wish we had.  Buying it all at once is extremely expensive. 

If you have been reading this blog, for any length of time, then you know we love to be outside.  We love nature, animals, visiting all our local parks and zoos.  Though, we have by no means visited them all, it takes a while, lol.  We also love to take pictures of all the beautiful, and fun things we see, and find.  Some of you might even recognize this picture.  The male lion, who let us take his picture several times.  Now, you can purchase some of our favorite, and best photographs, by shopping at my new Society6 Art store.  You will also find my paintings.  You can buy prints, canvas, or lovely gifts.  So far, along with this lion, I have uploaded flowers, manatees, deer, dolphins, springs, and other beautiful pictures from our travels around Florida.  I do not have all of them loaded, yet.  It takes quite a long time to edit and load them.  Plus, I have to find them in all my storage places.  We have been doing this for 9 years after all.  These make great, quality gifts.  You can also just click the Society6 banner, at the top corner of this blog.



Saturday, January 9, 2016

County Events and Three Sisters for Gardening

Our 4H County Events, is coming up at the end of this month.  This year we have a new 4H director, so it will be interesting to see how she sets it up.  County Events is where the kids get to showcase their talents, and skills.  Since 4H is not just for Agriculture anymore, it opens up 4H to a whole new world to children who have no place to do Agriculture.  We have used 4H project books, as part of our homeschool curriculum, in years past.  We don't have time to fit them in anymore, they are really in depth.  We do a project book with our group each year, so we still get to do them.  Caitlin will be doing Fashion Revue again.  This year she is going to embellish a piece of clothing.  I will share the results when they are finished.  Hopefully she will go to Districts, and then she can save the item for the N Florida fair entry as well.  DJ will be doing a demonstration, and Share the Fun.  Share the Fun, is where they get to showcase various talents.  He will be singing and playing the guitar, this year. 

We studied Native Americans, a few years back, but we were watching a National Geographic special on the Pilgrims and Native Americans.  They mentioned the 3 Sisters planting method that the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims.  I actually do not recall ever hearing that term before, so I looked it up.  The 3 Sisters is planting corn, beans and squash all together.  You actually plant the corn first, and when it is about 4-6 inches tall, you plant the other two right in the same basic spot.  The beans will grow up the corn stalk, and the squash will shade the roots of all the plants keeping the soil moist.  Brilliant!  So, even though it has been a mild winter here in FL, Caitlin and I will be testing this 3 Sisters method come say end of March.  We have been learning gardening for years, and we get a little bit better each year.  I wouldn't say we are good at it yet, lol.  I do well with flowers, and my tomatoes and peppers were awesome last year.  Anything else I have tried has been pretty much a flop.  There are two websites below that will talk about this method of planting.  The one adds a fourth, the Sunflower.  My little sunflowers do quite well, and the pollinators love them.  So, I would say they are very beneficial, and mine come back each year with no replanting. 

http://rodaleinstitute.org/the-three-sistersand-that-fourth-sister-no-one-really-talks-about/

http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/get-activities/signature-projects/the-three-sisters-exploring-an-iroquois-garden/how-to-plant-the-three-sisters/

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

We are still on Christmas Break.  Our first day back to homeschooling, will be Jan 6th.  I need to start blogging more, because it looks like all I am blogging about is time off, and changes I want to make, lol.  I used to blog, on this blog, at least three times a week.  What happened?  Not sure, but I think as they get older, there just isn't as much stuff to share.  They don't like their pictures taken anymore, unless they take it of themselves, or their friends do.  Good grief! 

I will be making some changes in my daughter's Math curriculum.  I had mentioned previously we used Life of Fred last year, and she pretty much loved it.  However, this year we didn't have time to squeeze it in, and I feel it is a good curriculum, but not where I want her to be, so I didn't use it.  I also mentioned, since my mom's car accident, almost one year ago now, I thought it was best if I started incorporating Common Core into our curriculum, in case I ever had to return to work full time.  For my daughter, Math and Writing, would be her biggest issues as far as Common Core goes.  Her writing has improved immensely, and I am not so worried about that one, but her Math still needs much work.  We have been using CK12, and though that is going fine for most of the Math lessons, some of their lessons just are not clicking with her.  They don't seem to explain it well enough, or on a child's level of understanding.  So, I will be moving off of CK12, only for her Math, the Biology for my son is excellent, and going to Homeschool Math, Teachnology, and OpenEd.  With these three resources I am sure I can find what I need to get her where I want her to be.  I still say that on all online format, for learning, is not the way to go.  For some subjects it is fine, but not for all.  Both of mine struggle with an all online Math curriculum.  If none of these options prove successful, I will move to Math U See. 

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