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Friday, January 31, 2014

Geodes, Knives and the Medieval Fair

Today, was school day at the Hoggetown Medieval Fair in Gainesville, FL. We had never been before so we decided to go since DJ has been learning about the Middle Ages. I have to admit I was a little disappointed. It was too cold to sit still on steel bleachers to watch the Joust, and most of it was just food and goods vendors. We did learn some stuff, and the kids really did have an awesome time. I was the only one to complain, lol. DJ got a knife, well sort of. He is almost 14, but legally can not carry or own such a knife as this. So, for now it is mine, and it will be released to him when he is of age. It is secured in a safe place. He is so proud of the knife he doesn't even own yet, lol. Caitlin and I both got a rock geode, which the man opened up for us, at the fair. You can see the results below. Caitlin also got a wolf necklace, she loves wolves, and DJ some small rocks. We love rocks here at our house. Next week should go back to a full and normal school week. We do have a hiking trip on Wed, but all lessons should be able to be completed. I will share pictures from that. We are going to Poe Springs and we have never been there before. Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Earth Kids Meeting: Make Bird Seed Dough

We finally got our Earth Kids meeting done. It has been cold, and with kids having colds, we just have not been able to do it. We did do it at the house, rather than the park, this one time because it was raining and I did not want to cancel again. We only have four active kids in the group right now. So, if you live in the Gilchrist County, FL area and you want something fun to do drop me a message and I will let you know when our Feb meeting is. We are on Facebook too at Tri County Earths Kids Club. For this meeting DJ practiced his 4H demonstration, for this weekend, on the Leatherback Sea Turtle. Then we made these very interesting bird feeders. This was an extremely messy craft, but it did work and we have them outside to see if they birds will love them. I followed all her directions for making the bird feeders, and you can too by clicking the link.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2nd Chrysalis Hatched and A New Week

The second Monarch chrysalis has hatched and will be ready for release tomorrow.  The first one didn't want to leave.  We took it outside and it just sat there.  So, we put it on a flower, and it just sat there, for hours.  It was gonna get cold again that night, so we brought it back in the house.  Three days later and it was ready to go.  Our Milkweed plants suffered great damage from the freezing temps, so I hope they can come back when it warms up. 

Last week, due to some illness and events of life, we did not do a ton of school, but we will get back on track this week.  Actually this week, is a week of more life learning, than textbook learning.  We need to prepare for County Events, which is next Sat, for 4H.  Then on Tues we have our Earth Kids meeting that had to be delayed twice in Jan, grocery shopping, and the Medieval Fair is on Friday.  It is finally supposed to warm up just in time for the Fair.  So, this week won't be a lot of textbook work.  We are planning a vacation later in the year, so the Medieval Fair will be the last field trip probably for this year.  We need to save a lot of money, plus much needed house repairs have to be done this year.  So, field trips, and paid trips will be rare.  We will be doing a monthly trail walk and picnic to local springs, but they are cheap to get into.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Chrysalis Has Hatched and Busch Gardens Again

Well my pictures did not post in order, but you get the idea. Caitlin's Monarch Chrysalis was two weeks old on Sunday. But nothing had happened yet. Yesterday, we were gone all day, and tired when we got home so we didn't think to check. This morning, we went back to regular school days, and I asked her to check it. She said it hadn't hatched yet, but that it was black and she thought it was close. A few hours later, poof there it was all hatched. We released it later this afternoon. What a wonderful thing to get to experience! Plant milkweed and you can get some Monarch caterpillars too. I don't have any pictures of the boys feeding the birds, at Busch Gardens, they were taken on the cell and uploaded to Facebook, but what a wonderful experience that was. We wanted to do the Safari, Caitlin and me, but it was so expensive I almost choked on my soda. I am sorry Busch Gardens but if you somehow get to read this, season pass owners, should not have to pay for the extra stuff. It should be a benefit as a pass holder to see Christmas Town, and the Safari tour, without having to pay extra. I am really annoyed about this. It was very busy yesterday, even though this is their slow time of year. You can assume it is because it was a holiday. The boys, DJ took his friend, and Craig just wanted to ride the rides, and they did. Caitlin and I had a blast all by ourselves. Every time we have gone we have experienced something new and different. I really recommend the season passes if you go, so you can get to see it all. Feeding the birds was $5.25 for a little cup of nectar, 3 something with the pass, and it was so much fun. It really was worth it, and we got some awesome pictures to share and have forever.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Getting Ready for Highschool Homeschool

DJ will be in 9th grade next year, and it has been on my mind forever now.  Below are the links I will be using, and some saving for further high school studies. Since I don't want to mess up his high school years, I will for the first time be buying some expensive curriculum to be sure he meets the proper requirements to get his credits.  He has done awesome with CK12 pre-algebra this year, but for Algebra, and higher I want him to have Math U See.  It is a bit expensive, but it is worth it, because I can use it for Caitlin as well.  We will use CK12 for American History, at least part of it that they offer, and possibly for Physics later on.  I have saved a Physical Education course, but have not found an appropriate Health or Foreign Language yet.  I will add those when I find what I want.|433175|102656;jsessionid=DFB97ABDC0AFBB2BEC527FE5C55B9FBC

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Separate Peace, Romeo and Juliet, Martin Luther King Jr, and the Winter Olympics

Our school week was shortened, due to one of the kids feeling ill yesterday.  Today, DJ and I will be watching, A Separate Peace, then Math and Spelling.  Caitlin will finish her next friendly letter, Math, Science, Reading and Spelling.  Our Earth Kids meeting was postponed, for today, due to a scheduling conflict. 

Next week, we are switching things up a bit.  Monday we are taking a field trip, our final visit to Bush Gardens.  Then we start a Martin Luther King Jr, unit study, and our new Geography game, which we only got in once this week.  Learning via games is especially fun, and a nice way to learn.  If you missed the states Geography game post, you can find it in my archives.  I will have the virtual states up soon.  I am about halfway through with that.  We won't start that, until the kids have mastered the Geography part of the game.  DJ, and I, will also begin reading Romeo and Juliet next week.  We will read, and also listen to the book.  I chose this method, because sometimes Shakespeare is hard to understand.  I read Romeo and Juliet in high school, but that was a real long time ago.  Over the weekend I will share all the links to all these, and some Winter Olympics lessons too.  Feb will be a different month for us.  We will get in as much as we can, plus do Olympics studies as well. 

The end of this second grading period is Jan 31st which is also the date of the Medieval Fair.  Boy, that is a busy weekend, but more on that later.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Painting and Drawing Penguins

Today was the kids first day back to Art class, with me. I continued to paint over the last couple of months, but they wanted a break. Caitlin picked the penguin, as her bird of choice. Caitlin and DJ opted to draw their penguins, and I painted mine onto a gift bag. You can see the results below. It was finally nice enough outside, to restart our Run Club as well. The kids are at the end of their mileage sheet, and are ready for the 5 Points of Life Kid's Marathon on February 15th. Tomorrow is a regular full day of school, with no outside activities. Tuesday is the only day we have no outside activities, lol.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter Break is Over

Our Winter Break, or Christmas Recess, is over.  Tomorrow we are back to a full and normal schedule.  I enjoyed the three weeks off, and got a lot done.  Caitlin finished another letter to a friend, and DJ finished reading A Separate Peace, over the break.  He is not set to start reading Romeo and Juliet until the beginning of Feb.  Our 2nd semester ends at the end of January.  So, he will be doing Grammar activities, and catching up on Science and History in that time period.

Caitlin starts what makes a bird a bird, and continues with Ancient Greece.  Tomorrow she starts Greek Myths and Legends.  She is still working her way through our collection of Magic Tree House Books, with activities. 

DJ will continue to learn about the church in the Middle Ages, Weather in Earth Sciences, and his Math of course. 

We start our weekly painting classes back up tomorrow as well.  We will be continuing to paint birds.  Caitlin picked the Penguin this time.  Both kids are also working on their 4H County Events projects, which is the first weekend in February.  Caitlin does not have enough time to finish sewing her bear, so she has come up with an interesting clothing idea for the Fashion Show and DJ will continue working on his Sea Turtle demonstration, which he will practice at our Earth Kids meeting on Friday. 

I will be glad to get back to our normal routine.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Monarch Chrysalis

Ábout a week ago, I talked about how it was cold and we brought into the house two Monarch Caterpillars. A couple days later and they both had made a Chrysalis. Actually it was Sunday, the 5th, and Monday the 6th. In about two weeks they will hatch into a beautiful Monarch butterfly, at which time we will release them to the wild. Yesterday, we found one more caterpillar on the Milkweed plant, and we brought that one in too, since it was going to be so cold last night, and tonight. So far it is munching away at the milkweed plant supplied to it, and will make a Chrysalis soon, too.

Now, we have tried this before, but without success. Not with Monarchs though. We have a Milkweed plant out back, it is a huge plant, but it does not attract Monarch caterpillars. Some kind of moth lies its eggs on it over the summer. We have never seen it make its cocoon though. At the end of May, of last year, we visited the Greathouse Butterfly Farm, on a field trip. They gave each of the kids a Milkweed plant, and they assured me it was the kind that would attract Monarchs. So we planted them, and while not huge, they have grown nicely.

So, that brings us to the past few days. I really did not expect to find caterpillars this time of year, but am glad we noticed them. I don't think they would have survived the cold, but I could be wrong. We have noticed lots of tiny orange eggs, on the plant, but they must not be eggs, because they never hatch. I am not sure what they are, but they are on both plants.

So, in a couple of weeks, I will be sharing our newly born butterflies. We did have one of those expensive fancy butterfly houses, and nothing ever grew in there. I think it was too cold. These babies are in a large plastic container with a lid. It stays nice and warm in there.

This is how we like to learn about Science.  Note, in the picture only one caterpillar has made a Chrysalis, the other one did it over night into the next day.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Homeschool Olympic Writing Idea

The other day, at the dinner table, I was talking to the kids, and my husband, about watching the Olympics in Feb for school.  Now we will not watch all the Olympics, and most will probably be tivoed and watched the next day.  But, my husband had a brilliant idea to go along with the Olympics.  He said to have each child choose the Winter Olympic sport that they have the most interest in.  Then, they watch those events, and write a report about what happens.  Plus, research the sport to do a report on that as well. I think this is a brilliant idea, and the kids seem to think it was an OK idea.  So, that is what we will be doing for our Winter Olympic homeschool activities this year.  Now, if you want to give it a try, you can find a list of all the Olympic sports, by clicking right here. 

Le t me know if you choose to do it too, and we can share what our kids decide to do, and how they do it. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cold, Cold and more Cold!

Ugh, I hate the cold!  We are still on Winter Break, and I get so much done during this time.  After all the holidays, and activities are over, I can clean the house, declutter and organize stuff.  I got all of the school papers corrected and ready for review with the kids.  DJ has almost completed, A Separate Peace.  He does not care for it all that much, but I am finding it quite interesting.  I actually think I read it in high school, but that was a very long time ago.  After he finishes it, he will have some review work, and then watch the movie which might help bring it all together for him.

Next week, we are doing half days of school all week.  We were supposed to be off, but I have decided on half days instead.  Caitlin will be reviewing her papers that were graded today, and writing her next friendly letter, to her friend Samantha.  DJ will finish reading, A Separate Peace, and he needs to start working on his 4H Demonstration.  He will be doing a practice run at our next Earth Kids meeting on the 17th.  County Events is on Feb 1st,  We are taking his good friend to Bush Gardens with us, on Jan 20th, for his friend's Christmas gift.  Caitlin and I will do the Safari while the boys are riding the rollercoasters.

We have one warmish day tomorrow and Sunday, then bitter cold again next week.  We are supposed to hike on Tues, but I hate exercising in the cold.  My old muscles just don't like it and I hate pain.  So, we will have to wait and see how the other moms feel about it.

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