Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That the weather is getting lovely. It is supposed to hit the 90's this favorite time of the year. And I am being serious.

What I'm listening to: My niece and Nutsy, wrestling behind me. Laundry still going on upstairs. Little Big Town playing.....

What we're learning: This week the older ones are finishing up our year in Ancient History, with the fall of the Roman Empire. They are also writing five paragraph essays on it in writing. I am starting to explore curriculum for next economics course for the older ones, a world geography for Dasher, and math for Nutsy.

What I'm watching: My garden growing....I have my tomatoes in my Earth Boxes and the lettuce and strawberry beds are producing. I am planning to start some cucumbers, more tomatoes, and maybe an eggplant.

What's cooking: This week I am making Lemon Chicken, Hot and Sour Noodle Soup, and our Homemade Pizza on Friday night.

What I'm buying: Well today the older two bought their state fair goats. They named them Ender (Mr. Lego) and Riley (Bookworm). They are at my friend's house now, settling into their new home.

What I'm creating: I am creating Kombucha! My friend gave me a SCOBY, (which I found out stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) and so I am starting my brew tonight.

What I'm planning: I need to start going through our county fair lists and making sure we have all the necessary things to take. It is coming up fast....

What we did this last weekend: On Saturday the three older kids went to a showmanship workshop with my goat friend. They learned lots of good stuff. That evening we had our Supper For Six...we are with two other neat families and have enjoyed getting to know them better. Sunday we heard a missionary speak and share about his mission in Uganda; I love it that we can visit with the missionaries that we pray for and support. Then Sunday afternoon we came home and relaxed.

What I'm looking forward to: We have co-op this week, and I have some fun science experiments to do with the kids. And I think our neighborhood pool is being heated this week so we might have to pay it a visit.

A picture to share:

~Training the goats....what we are doing lots of lately.

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Week In Images

 This pasta.....

 because it was a new recipe and was delicious.

This child......

 because I love her sweetness.

 This refrigerator,

because it felt so good to deep clean it.

Our co-op.....

because I couldn't imagine homeschooling without it.

These daffodils.....

because they make me smile.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meet Our Goats

Today we are 27 days to the fair. We have been busy the last few months, training the goats, cleaning up after them, and practicing showmanship.

Would you like to meet our four-legged friends?

Mr. Lego's goat is Katniss. (Guess which book he loved reading this last year.)

Katniss is pretty easy going, and loves to be bribed with walnut leaves.

Right now she is tied for first as being the heaviest goat in our project at 84 pounds.

Bookworm's goat is Stewart. (In our Goat Notebook I wrote it as Stuart, but was promptly corrected.)

Stewart is a whether, and is 76 pounds.

Stewart is a good at walking and is usually a very docile goat.

Dasher's goat is Oscar. (She just likes the name.)

Oscar is also a whether and was one of the smallest goats when we got him, at right around 38 pounds. And at our weekly weigh in yesterday....he was 82 pounds!

Oscar braces pretty well but hates walking. Training him has been a lesson in patience for Dasher.

And what does Nutsy do while we work with the goats?

Visit the farm animals!

A wittle fuzzy wascally wabbit.

And baby Nigerian goats too....

The next 27 days will be busy but fun, as we prepare for the county fair!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: We now at T-minus 30 days until fair. Time has flown, and it is right around the corner. Our goats are looking great too....They are all between 70 and 82 pounds and will be great weights for the auction.

What I'm listening to: A lawn mower going outside, chattering behind me, and Let It Go playing in the kitchen. Seriously, I have that dumb song memorized and am on the verge of banning it for a few weeks.....

What we're learning: This week Nutsy is reviewing her math subtraction facts, and Dasher is learning new blends in her Logic of English. The older two are starting a literature study on The Last of the Mohicans from Progeny Press.

What I'm watching: Some unsettled weather coming this week....I have loved having the temps in the 80's lately, but we are headed to cooler weather and a bit of rain.

What's cooking: This week I am making Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a Chipotle Chicken Salad, and Cavatappi with Vodka Sauce (cooked down, of course).

What I'm thankful for: I am very thankful for our church family. Our kids best friends are there, my dear friends, and so many other precious families.

What I'm creating: Lists for county fair. Since I am the project leader I need to make sure we have everything. Things like masking tape, a first aid kit, and someway to hang up our project sign....

What I'm planning: To get cracking with some lesson planning for co-op. I hope, in the next couple of days, to sit down and plan out my science and writing teaching schedule for the rest of the year (I teach through the end of June.) That way, I won't have to think about it and it will all be figured out.

What we did this last weekend: We did a goat showmanship clinic on Saturday morning; the kids did a great job practicing with their goats. Then home for a relaxing afternoon where we all made Tempura. Sunday was church where we heard a very encouraging sermon on sanctification, then over to a friends house for sweet fellowship.

What I'm looking forward to: We have co-op this week, plus at least three trips out to work with our goats.

A picture to share:

~I snapped this of Nutsy this morning....this is where you will find her, every morning, watching Dad drive away to work. And each time she says, "Bye Daddy, bye Daddy, bye Daddy...." the whole time until he turns the corner, and then she yells at the top of her lungs, "BYE, DADDY!!!"  {Love this child}

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Week In Images

 This Blood Moon....

because it made me learn how to take good moon shots with my camera.

These carrots....

because even though they were smallish, they were very sweet.

This little piggy.....

because he always wiggles his little tail when we come to visit our goats.

 This fun treat....

 because it was the perfect way to spend our Saturday afternoon.

This delicious dinner.....

because cooking with My Sweetie makes for a lovely end to the day.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That this is my dry season with our schooling. Everyone else is on spring break, so it feels like I need a break too, but because we take time off in May for our county fair we have to keep pushing through. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.....

What I'm reading: I started reading a book that a friend of a friend wrote, titled My Journey With Justin. Through the pages, Sheila K Campbell describes her struggle as her young son was left in a coma with severe brain damage after heart surgery, and how her faith in God is tested, but stood strong. An amazing story.

What I'm listening to: A quiet house. Which is lovely.

What we're learning: This week the older two are writing an essay on the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. They are using the essay principles that they have learned in their IEW class. The younger two are just plugging along in their schoolwork....

What I'm watching: Over the weekend we watched Ender's Game. Bookworm (of course) and I had read the book and we all enjoyed the movie.

What's cooking: This week I am making Thai Spiced Braised Chicken, Eggplant Parmesan, and this weekend, yummy Tempura.

What I'm praying: One of my friends posted this quote by Anthony Robbins on Facebook today..."Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow." So true. And just what I needed to hear today. Lord give me grace as I use the problems and conflicts in daily life to glorify you.

What I'm planning: This week we are planning to start passing out our auction buyer letters. And we are trying something new....our project needs some bigger equipment, like a goat stand and new clippers, so we are asking for business sponsors. Those that support us will get their names on the back of our fair T-shirts....

What we did this last weekend: We had a very nice weekend. Saturday morning was spent doing little things around the house, then in the afternoon we all went for a bike ride. Sunday we were at church, then home for yummy Tostadas.

What I'm looking forward to: We are working more with our goats now since fair is about a month away...we'll be over at the farm where they are a few times this week. Plus we have a goat showmanship clinic this Saturday so the kids are getting lots of practice in. Practice, practice, practice.....

A picture to share:

 ~Yes, this little piggy, at the farm where our goats are, loves being scratched on his tummy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Week In Images

 My week....

This view......

 because in the next few weeks, I'll be seeing it a lot.

This friendship bracelet......

because it was made for me, with love, by my youngest.

These roses.....

 because the first blooms of the season are the prettiest.

This photobomb......

because I have no words.

These precious girls......

because they make me smile.

Supercharged Science {Crew Review}

Science can be a boring; you read the textbook, do the worksheets, and take the test. Or Science can come alive with videos and fun experiments.

This is where Supercharged Science and their e-Science Premium Membership make teaching science so much more fun and productive.

Supercharged eScience Review

What It Is:

This online learning program is meant for grades K-12. The founder of Supercharged Science, Aurora Lipper, has been an instructor at the university level and was also a rocket scientist for NASA.

On the website there are currently 20 different topics you can choose from. These include:

  • Motion
  • Energy
  • Sound
  • Light
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Life Science
  • Biology

...and many more.

When you click into any of the topics you will find the lessons. Within each lesson there is the Lesson Reading, Experiments & Videos, and Exercises.

The Lesson Reading is a approximately a two page text of the subject. The text can easily be read aloud to all ages, and defines words, gives explanation, and helps the student to understand the concepts they will be learning. Each page is printer friendly; there is additional downloads for high school students.

The Experiments & Videos section is as varied as it sounds. Some of the videos are as short as a minute, and others run longer. Most of the videos are of experiments being done, but others are short clips that help to further teach the concept.

The Exercise section are lists of questions that you can ask your child on the topic. There is one set of questions for elementary and middle school students, and a separate set of questions for high school learners. The answer key is conveniently provided on the same page. The website encourages your child to keep a science journal; this is place where they can record what they have learned, what experiments they have done, and the questions and answers to the Exercises.

Supercharged eScience Review

What You Get:

You can purchase a monthly subscription to this e-science learning program membership for $57. This includes access to the entire site, for grades K-12. If you have younger children, you also have the option to have access to the material for grades K-8, which is only $37 a month.

This includes all the answer keys to the exercises, videos, and even shopping lists, so you can plan in advance for the materials you will need. But most of the materials for the experiments can be found around hte house.

You can also download a free copy of the Science Activity Video Series and Guidebook. This is an excellent way to check out Supercharged Science and see if it would be a good fit for your family.

How We Used This:

Our family does science on our little homeschooling co-op, and Supercharged Science was the perfect fit for us. We chose to focus on the unit on motion, since we are learning about physics in co-op. We had the kids all watch a 12 minute video, where Ms. Lipper talked about Newton's Three Laws of Motion. She had all sorts of objects in front of her, and would use them as examples while she spoke.

The velocity reading section was all about Isaac Newton, and went into detail describing his three laws. The text for high school students was more advanced, and talked about types of motion, distance and time, inertia, and even went into applications of calculus. The questions for high school students were word problem style, and gave every day problems that the student needed to solve using the information they had just learned.

But the part that we were all looking forward to were the experiments.

The first one we did was a velocity experiment: The kids took turns dropping things from our second story window, that looks out into the living room. (This window is strictly off limits, except for science experiments.)

We used a stopwatch and kept track of how long things took to hit the ground.

Through the experiment the kids learned about acceleration and how quickly objects reach terminal velocity. The older ones did another activity and, using the formula on the website, figured out the actual velocity speed our objects traveled.

What We Thought:

My kids learn best when they get to do something. I do believe that reading a text, especially for the older students, is important, but for those dry section in science learning, Supercharged Science fits into our schooling nicely. Looking ahead to our next co-op science year, I see many places where we can insert lessons, videos, and experiments for Supercharged Science, and am thankful that this resource is available to me.

I did wish that the website was organized better; it did take me some time in the beginning to navigate and figure out what we should do. Ms Lipper though, is a very engaging teacher and I really appreciated how she described things to the students. She has a way of explaining topics that make them easier to understand. This did really help the younger ones in our co-op with science.

So check out Supercharged Science, and see if it would be a good fit for your family. You can see a pdf User Guide here, which shows how the units are arranged.

And do click below to read what other Crew members thought of this fun science resource!

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That we only have 6 weeks or so until our county fair. It is coming up fast, and it feels like we have lots to do to still prepare. The kids work with their goats 2-3 times a week, plus we still have fundraising, auction letters to pass out, and fair things to prepare. It is all a good learning experience, but a busy time.

What we're learning: This week in history the kids are learning about Paul's Journeys and Nero's persecutions. I am loving Logic of English's Foundations for for a review in a few weeks.

What I'm watching: Over the weekend we watched Gravity. The special effects were impressive but I wasn't thrilled with the overall movie.

What's cooking: This week I am making Split Pea Soup, Shepherd's Pie, and Tostadas. We also have a fundraising bake sale for 4H this weekend, so Kaitlyn and I are making Apple Cinnamon Bread, Banana Bread, and Whole Wheat Bread.

What I'm thankful for: I am so thankful for my camera. I love being able to take photos of the world around me.

What I'm creating: An organized closet. I am planning, this whole week, to go through the closet in our bedroom. You know how it is....the closet is the place where you stuff those things that you are not quite sure what to do with....

What I'm praying: I am praying for my dad, who is in Zimbabwe on a missions trip. Which reminds me that I need to be more consistent in praying for the missionaries that our church supports. Prayers for wisdom, health, and safety.

What we did this last weekend: We did a few things around the house on Saturday. Then on Sunday we had church, our fellowship meal, and then the service at the assisted living center. Then over to a friends for dinner and Catch Phrase.

What I'm looking forward to: We have our Fun 4H meeting tomorrow night at Sky High, where the kids will bounce to their hearts content. And we are planning to head out for our weekly goat weighing day on Wednesday.

A picture to share:

~The little girlies, on our bike ride.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Week In Images

 This burger.....

because eating it with a fried egg within the layers was so delicious.

This Chameleon.....

because God's creation is amazing.

These roses.....

because they remind me that Spring is here.

This homemade kite....

because it was meant to be chased on a windy day.

These hard-working kids....

because I am so proud of how they did at Sectional Presentation Day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Goat Manicure

Goats, like humans, need pampering.

Just kidding.

But we do need to take care of the goat's hooves, and trim them at least once during the time we will own them.

First, we start by getting the goat on the stanchion.

While they are being distracted with some tasty alfalfa, my friend showed all the kids how to trim.

The first step is to clean out all the dirt that might have collected in there. This makes it easier to see what you are doing.

 (Check out the next goat in line....he is so curious about what is going on. That is one reason why I love goats.)

Nice and clean.

And, if you know that you are looking for, you'll see these are overgrown.

With long cuts, you begin to trim down the outside or the wall of the hoof.

It is super important to always keep the blade flat against the hoof.

The two 'toes' don't really separate, so getting the inside walls is a little harder. One trick is to shift the toes in opposite only shifts an inch or two, but will make enough room for your cutters.

You clip a bit off the tip or the toe, making it even with the walls.

Next you clip the heel. This is the part where you really think you are going to hurt the little guy, but this is just like clipping human nails.

The main thing is to make everything level.

One way to test this is to put the goat's hoof on a flat surface and see how he stands.

The center of the hoof is called the sole, and you never need to cut anything there.

You can cut too close....if you see any of the white part getting even slightly pink, then you have gone far enough.

Here you can see a trimmed hoof and an untrimmed hoof.

Now it was time for the kids to try.....

We had to help the younger ones a little, but they all spent quite a while trimming their hooves.

4H is learning, being responsible for animals, and hard work (even in the rain).