More or Less Homeschooling & Home-making Adventure

I am a work in progress. I am striving to be an encouraging wife, a fun and loving homeschool mother, to learn to homestead, organize, and adapt. I desire to see life more like Jesus and less like the world's view of what's important. I praise God that I am saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone! Cuz' I CAN'T DO IT ON MY OWN!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Online seminars

I joined an online seminar that Cindy Rushton put on 2 weekends ago on her site: I had never participated in an online seminar before and I was very much surprised. It was a great time! I love to listen to seminars. I hate going to them during homeschool conferences because I like to window shop and I know everyone is in a seminar and I can get some good window shopping done at the booths. So, I like to buy the seminars to listen to on my own time at home. Talk-a-latte was very fun. There were no booths to visit and take me away from some great talks. I highly recommend these to everyone!! There's a new one this week called: Preparing Hearts for Christmas with Molly Evert. This looks like a good one. See you there!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

King Tut Field Trip

We made the long drive to Dallas this week to visit the King Tut exhibit. We studied the Egyptian time period last year and we've been waiting a year to go see the exhibit. We all enjoyed it but the children did get a little bored with seeing the same type of vases and figurines over and over again. They really enjoyed seeing King Tut's chair that he may have used as a child. The liked looking for hidden hieroglyphics on all the items and trying to learn or remember what they mean. The exhibit was beautiful and very well organized. There was a dagger that was buried with him that is gold and covered in the tiniest gold beads we've ever seen. The details were just amazing! I was glad that the actual mummy wasn't there but everyone in our group was hoping to see the caskets and they were not there. There is a drawing on the floor of where each box was laid out and the size to really give a good representation of what it was like. We all kept saying how we couldn't believe that people could make items with that much detail by hand. Then we were completely amazed that wood from chairs, boxes, and many other items could possibly be in that good of shape after all these years. To see how much my little students got out of there I'm going to have them draw their favorite items that they saw. They wanted to know if it was right to dig up the grave of a man and display it. It's so hard to answer this as I don't agree with it but I was excited to see it all. The world we live in.......

If you'd like to see it go to: It was crowded and we bought our tickets ahead of time. There is a group rate. It's not much but every little bit helps.

Our most amazing item that we saw and all wanted to learn about was: faience. Many of the items on display were a beautiful turquoise blue. We couldn't figure out how they could make this and the color still be so vibrant after all these years. Well, I've looked it up. Here is a link to learn what faience is. It is very interesting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Art Study

Last year we studied Claude Monet. I've enjoyed looking at paintings but after spending a year really studying Monet, I've come to appreciate his paintings in a wonderful way. Rather than following AO's rotation, I had found a book filled with 10x14 replicas of Monet's paintings for $7.88 at Halfprice bookstore. I didn't think I'd be dedicated enough to download the new paintings, research, and study a new artist each rotation. A year of Monet was perfect for us. Each month, we would gather our tea, snack, and our Monet book. We'd take turns picking a new painting to study. We bought a nice frame and hung it in the dining room (our school room). It would hang there until a new painting was chosen. Each child couldn't wait to have their turn to choose a painting. We would spend some time looking at the painting. We would discuss what we thought Monet was hoping to capture, what he was thinking, how he used his brushes to get the effect he painted, where the painting was painted (adding geography there!) We discuss how it made us feel, etc. It was simple, didn't take too much time, and then for the next month the painting hung on the wall to be enjoyed. Our favorite was the Japenese Bridge:

(Thanks to: for this picture)

Sometimes I would research lesson plans for elementary study of Monet. I found this one: We really had a ball painting our own Japanese Bridge. We hung the children's paintings under the real Monet's picture for the rest of the year. I finally took them down and put them in their school binders. I also learned of a book and video called Linnea in Monet's Garden. What a sweet way to introduce my children to the love of his paintings.

We saw where a traveling Monet exhibit went to Houston, so off we went. I didn't know if the children would enjoy it or not as they were so young. They loved it!!!

This year, I've decided to do the same type study. Some day I may get organized to join the rotation, but for now I'm happy with this type of study. This year we'll study Van Gogh. I've already found 2 great books to use for our study. We read a page or 2 every 2-3 weeks to get an understading of who he was. We've started rotating his paintings in our frame. My dd has even asked if I'd add this study more often into our schedule. What fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How to switch into "school mode"

I've been homeschooling for 3 years now. The hardest part of schooling that I've found is to change modes from home life, emails, researching, cleaning, preparing for school or dinner, home business, etc. to "time for school". I get busy and I'll look up & it's 2:00. Ugh! Another day without school. So, this year I've added morning walks. At 8:00, the kids don their knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets. The grab their bikes, scooters, skate boards, or whatever they want and we go for a 30-45 minute walk. I turn off the computer and close the door. It's wonderful!!! We get some fresh air, exercise, time to talk or sing to the Lord, and just time to talk. We've been doing it for a month and each day a different child will now choose to walk with me rather than ride. It's a great time to talk and connect.

When we get home from the walk, our minds are clear (especially Mom's), the wiggles are gone, they know to go straight to the table with their books & pencils, and we are ready for school. It's a great feeling!! It helps me keep control of our schedule. We are able to focus and we get more done. Thank you Diana and Katrina for sharing this idea with me. This is my favorite part of the day now!

Let's go for a walk!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hard to handle

I am looking through the net at other AO Mom's sites to get some ideas on American History. I came upon Missey Gray's site. I've read a lot about her on yahoogroups and blogs but I'd never seen her site. I can't describe the feeling as I looking through her blog. I almost feel like I'm intruding on her personal life. I know she posted it all out there to help us newer AO Mom's but it's still hard to handle. I want to thank Missey's family for sharing her with us. Even 2 years after her death she is still giving help and advice to Moms. What a legacy! I've been using a book chart for over a year that I found on the net and couldn't find who created it. Then I saw it on Missy's blog. She made it. Now I know who to give the credit to. Thank you Missy!