Thursday, April 3, 2014

Box day! My Father's World - Exploring Countries & Cultures

Look what we got! We've been getting a trickle of boxes in for the past month. I didn't get a picture of Aedan's box day. Silas was a little bummed when he saw Aedan's big box arrive, and there were few of his books in the box. I had purchased some of Aedan's materials last year, and bought the rest of it this year. We got a big box from Rainbow Resource, but had yet to receive Silas's main books.

This year we will be taking a year off of Heart of Dakota. It will be hard to walk away from our very loved HOD, but I am excited about our little detour into My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures.

I went back and forth on what to use for the coming year. As you know I moved Silas back a year in HOD because I didn't feel he was yet ready for Preparing. I plan to hold off one more year. There is a ton of writing in Preparing, and this little guy could use another year of fun. As I began to look through this program, I started to see how it worked and how much fun and learning we will get to do. I think it will be the perfect guide to go through before we enter world history in Preparing. I love the heart of MFW ECC. We will be exploring the world with a heart of prayer for the people of God's world. I love that this will open up my kid's view of how people live in different parts of the world. Aedan always sits in on storytime, so I'm looking forward to reading the missionary biographies with them both.

At first I thought the guide looked light, but then I decided to check out a week or two of the book basket books. I love that we get to check out a ton of books each week to augment our studies. I have a great library system, and many of the books are available. Hopefully they will be by next fall when everyone starts school. I did buy a few of them to have on hand, but I will mostly rely on the library. We took our trip to the library to pick up and preview the book basket books for the first few weeks. My husband went with me and was horrified at how many books I had checked out. Whatchoo lookin' at librarian?! Wanna piece of me? You don't like that you have to check out a Leaning Tower of Pisa stack of books? Ha! Just kidding people. I'm actually really nice to my librarians. I mostly frequent the self-check out at the library because I do have a (little) book problem. I can stop at anytime. Really. I'm not ashamed of my book hoarder tendencies. We tend to have at least 50+ library books checked out at any given moment. Don't judge.

 Silas was so excited to get a box all his own!

He dug right in to see what books he would be reading this year.

I only bought the basic set from MFW because I had already located all of the Deluxe items for a good price.

 Here they are...all shiny and new!

A closer look :)

 Is there anyone else out there who loves a shiny new guide? I know it's book vanity, but I have to look at this bad boy all.year.long. I hate it when I get something used that is described as "like new" only to get it in the mail with grub on it and underlining. I should really get a life right? I used to buy only used, but I love being able to resell my books in good condition. I find that I always get a really fair price. I normally buy a mix of used and new, but I really wanted the new guide for this. They had updated it to include a new atlas that I really wanted.

 A new addition to the MFW ECC set was the currency set. When you start a new country unit you pretend to travel to a new country. You get your passport stamped and you exchange your money for the new country's currency. In the old guide it said to make your own. I really doubt I would have done it. Well actually, I might have obsessed about it. This was so much easier!

This really was a labor of love. I didn't get a completed picture of all the money and coins I cut out for each country. It took me several hours. Yes...hours. This will be a fun activity though, so hopefully my efforts were worth it.

This is the new atlas. I really like this new one. I had the old one, but sold it. This one is written from a Christian perspective, and covers all the countries we will study. I look forward to sharing our full curriculum for next year. For now I'm just swimming in piles of books and trying to put together in my head how our days will work. I won't start working on our schedule until the summer. I will share both boy's curriculum choices then, and how I organize each guide just like I have always done. MFW will be a totally new thing for me, so I will have to come up with some new systems. Hopefully they will help some of you. Thanks for stopping by and seeing what we've been up to!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Young Living Everyday Oils - Stress Away

Welcome again to my Everyday Oils series. I've already talked about Thieves, Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense, Panaway, Lemon, Peace & Calming, Joy and Purification. Today I'm going to introduce Stress Away which is one of our very favorite blends. I don't meet many people who don't fall immediately in love with the scent of Stress Away.

Just like the name, Stress Away keeps the stress away. I really love this oil. It's one of my favorites for sure. It is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender. Cedarwood is my favorite sleepy-time oil, so that is probably why I love this one so much. I often wear this one as a perfume just because I like the scent, but also because who couldn't use a little help in the anti-stress department?

One day my neighbor came over. She had a new baby at the time. I was diffusing Stress Away, and she said, "I'm really sleepy." I said it was just that she had a new baby. She said, "No I mean like I'm really, really sleepy. What did you put in that thing?" Stress Away is super calming. It doesn't put me asleep in the day, but it definitely relaxes me. This is also great one to put on kids before bedtime, or yourself for that matter. This is a great one to diffuse in a stressful office meeting. By the end you'll all be singing Kumbaya and holding hands. All we need is love (and a lack of stress) right?

This was the first oil my little guy Silas fell completely in love with. While he was cutting out some of his school work he got so frustrated. I heard from the other room, "UGH! Where is the Stress Away?!" I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and a Stress Away Roll-On was on his list. He got one in his stocking. The other day I saw him put it on, and I asked why. He said his brother was annoying him. Ha! I guess even little people have to find ways to deal with stress too. This guy is my introverted one, while his brother is the life of the party. They're great buddies, but sometimes my Silas needs space. It's so cool to see how open the kids are to the oils. Often times they will grab what they need because they already know the drill.

So how do you get these amazing oils, you ask? There are several ways to get your own oils. You can sign up as a customer, but you would pay full price. I don't know many people who like paying full price when you can get a discount, do you? I opted to sign up as a wholesale member because I'm a girl who likes a deal, and never pay full price for anything if I can help it. I highly encourage you to get a wholesale membership. By the time you buy a bottle of lavender at full price, and pay tax and shipping it would cost you one-third of the cost of the kit for one oil. Why do that? I usually tell people I would much rather them save up for the kit just because you really never get a better deal than this. The above kit retails at over 300 bucks! The $150 includes your lifetime membership, so you can buy at wholesale prices for life. Sweet right?! Above you can see the options for signing up for a wholesale membership. The best value is to get the Premium Starter Kit, but you can sign up for a Basic or Basic Plus starter kit. If you sign up for your account with me and order a Premium Starter kit I will send you a free Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils(A $15.95 value.) If you want more information, please shoot me an email :) Questions? Let me have 'em!

Please check out my Become a Member tab up top. It will explain to you the sign up process, and will hopefully answer your questions.

If you're interested in signing up the following link will take you to the sign up page with my distributor number. I would highly recommend the Premium Starter kit because it is the best value. Until you are able to get a good sampling of oil you will not see just how amazing they are. The oils in the Everyday Oil kit can replace many of your current solutions, but will do so in a natural way.

Click here to sign up for your own YL oils. 

Since I can't invite you personally to a class here is a great 30 minute Everyday Oil class that you can listen to. There is ton more information on oil and about each oil in the Everyday Oil kit, but this gives you a great intro.  

Click here to listen to the class.

I'm obviously not a doctor. I'm just a mom trying to live as naturally as possible. I can't diagnose or treat. I am sharing only what has worked for my family.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

HOD Creation to Christ - CtC Week 27 in Review

Welcome to our Unit 27 week in review! This week our studies focused on Julius Caesar. Aedan continues to have a lot of really interesting views on Ancient Rome. He cracks me up with his perspectives sometimes. We wrapped up our reading in Streams of History: Ancient Rome. For the final 8 weeks of school we will read the book of John and Acts as our history readings.

Aedan learned what Roman soldiers wore. For our history project we cut out a paper Roman soldier with his gear. He sketched a background for his Roman soldier.

Our history notebook pages had an explanation for each piece of gear.

The directions on our history project was to draw our own soldier. I found this one on the CtC Facebook group in the files section instead.

We glued each piece of armor on the soldier, and placed him on our landscape.

Aedan added his timeline entries: Civil War in Rome, Spartacus leads slave revolt, and Julius Caesar is slain. Aedan usually draws his own timeline entries. If you see up top he wrote, "See how boring it is if I draw what they tell me to?" Maybe he'll be back to his own work next week. This kid!

Aedan's copywork was about Julius Caesar.

Aedan's narration was about the fall of the Roman Empire.

Aedan added things he learned about Saudi Arabia in geography to his travel log.

This was another off week from our watercolor projects. He had two weeks to memorize a poem. He chose "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." He memorized this very quickly. He never could understand why the last line is repeated, and thought this was very funny. He would recite it and say the last line 5 times and then say, "Error, error, error, error" like he was a broken record. I just sigh heavily and move on. Boys....

Aedan has been reading through Exploring the History of Medicine for science. This week his science experiment was to learn about how quickly bacteria multiply.

We took 8 ramekins. In the first one we added one bacteria, the next 2, the next 4, the next 8 and so on until the final one was almost full. Silas jumped in on this one and loved showing off his math skills :)

Here is Aedan's illustration for the above activity. Crazy kid :) See you next week!

Heart of Dakota Beyond - BLHFHG - Week 27 in Review

Welcome to our week in review! This week we completed Unit 27. Only 7 units to go. Our studies this week focused on how George Washington toured the south after his inauguration. We read about this from the perspective of a southern girl named Betsy. I love how all our subjects tie together so beautifully. From our history reading, to our art and Bible study. HOD does such a great job of making connections across the board.

We read about how Betsy was going to be a flower girl in the parade for the President. She was over the moon excited to wear a beautiful dress with flowers on it for the special day. She sadly had to miss the festivities because her mother wanted her to stay home and care for her grandmother. She was very disappointed but obeyed her mother.

In art we made a tissue flower because Betsy wanted to wear her floral dress.

While Betsy was home caring for her grandmother, she had a visitor who came to the door while everyone was headed to the parade. She showed great hospitality and kindness to her guest.

She served him cornbread and milk. The kids love when our history projects are one they can eat.

We warmed up some maple syrup to pour over our treat.

Betsy treated her guest with kindness, and as he turned to go she asked his name. He told her that his name was George Washington. Betsy was so surprised! This was way better than seeing the President in a parade! She got even more because she was faithful with the little that she had been given to care for.

We read about how George Washington took great care of Mount Vernon.

Silas filled out his history notebooking page. The book above helped him to see what Mount Vernon looks like.

In geography we made a map of all 5 farms on Mount Vernon. Silas listened as I gave him directions on where to place the farms and river.

We read about how George Washington took great care in taking care of the land and animals on his farms. We made signs to represent the sheep, cows, pigs, horses, and trees. We didn't have all the animals in the lesson, but we improvised :)

Next we cut straw, and fed the horses. We gave the cows water and straw. We poured grain into the pig trough, and took care of the land and trees.

Next we walked all the animals back to their stalls.

Silas wrote about our activity on his notebooking page.

We also read how George Washington used what he had to meet the needs of the poor. He saved corn, so that he could give it to the needy. He also set up fishing stations, so the poor could fish for free on one of his best docks. We drew a picture of an Atlantic Herring to represent the kind of fish that might have been caught.

Even Silas's big brother wanted to to draw one. Often Aedan will sit in on our readings, and will sometimes take part in our activities.

Silas wrote what we learned about fish on his notebook page.

We both enjoyed the poem of the week. It reminded us to enjoy the coming spring!

Our scripture memory was Luke 16:10.

Silas is in the marker section of I Can Do All Things Art. He enjoys this simple drawing exercises.

We completed level 3 in All About Spelling! We did level 1 and 2 in Kindergarten, and never got around to getting much of it done last year because we moved 3 times. We did about a lesson a week. I may hold off on starting level 4 until next year. We already own it, but I think it might be nice to just do HOD dictation for a while. That wraps it up! On to Aedan's post for this week. Hope you're enjoying the warming weather wherever you are :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

HOD Creation to Christ - CtC Week 26 in Review

Welcome to our Unit 26 week in review! As I said in Silas's post, we are rounding the final bend of our school year. I am so thrilled with how this school year has gone. While we have separated the kids into their own separate programs, you can see how many things they are still able to learn together. Both boys always take part in each other's activities. Aedan especially doesn't want to miss out on his little brother's experiments or read-alouds. I've been reading A Bear Called Paddington to Silas for his Beyond read aloud, but Aedan won't let me do it without him. While he's getting older he still has such an innocent heart. I'm so proud of all the ways he's matured. Bringing him home from school was the best thing I could have done. He is beginning to be a leader at church in ways that show he is growing. So proud of this growing young man.

This is an off week for our watercolor projects. Instead we had a Roman Feast. I told the kids to go upstairs and put on their robes. Aedan and I worked together on planning our feast. The were so excited to come downstairs and see all of this waiting for them.

When Aedan was in school he ate a LOT of PB&J sandwiches. His first comment was, "This is so much better than the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I used to have for lunch in school!" Sometimes I'm tempted to skip activities like this, but every time we make the effort I find it was so worth it. These shared experiences are the ice cream of our school days.

Our little Roman Spread. I wish I had bought some grape juice to go with it all.

Aedan made a beautiful menu to accompany our meal.

We couldn't decide which desert to try, so we made both! The recipes in the guide were for Roman Custard and Roman Cheesecake.

While these were fun to make, I have to say they were not good. At all. Ha! I am a lover of cooking and baking, so maybe other people would find these are good. The cheesecakes were more like a really dense bread. These were better than the Roman Custard.

The Roman Custard. Sigh. Ha! I'm known around here for my Creme Brulee (which sounds fancy and hard to make, but it's so simple!) I should have known from reading the recipe that this wouldn't turn out, but I wanted to give it a chance. It said to cook at 300 for 25-35 minutes. It should have set in the middle by 35, but by 45-55 it wasn't done. This recipe was like a really, really bad flan. The kids thought this was baaaad ha! Skip it. Trust me. You could find a simple custard recipe in any cookbook.

Aedan added Rome Conquers Corinth and Greece, Rome conquers Spain, and Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus are tribunes in Rome.

Aedan's copywork was about how Romans enjoyed luxury. Sorry for the bad photo.

Aedan was supposed to write about how Rome Conquered the World, but Destroyed Herself. I think this was over his head. We did discuss the reasons why Rome eventually fell, but I gave him a break and asked him what he remembered or would like to write about. Of course because he's a boy he decided to write about how the Romans liked to bathe together. One of the guys in the picture is saying "In 2500 years this will be really awkward." This kid. I love how he censored their bodies!

Aedan drew a picture of a Roman chariot out of Draw and Write Through History.

I always keep an eye out at Half Price books for things that would be fun to add to our studies each year. I found this fold out history of Rome on the clearance shelf.

We opened it up for the first time, and it was way cooler than I expected. It had a fold out scene of the Gladiators at the Colosseum.
It had a scene of Roman entertainers.

There was a Roman Chariot, and other scenes from Roman life. Both boys had fun having their Star Wars and Mario guys interact with the people in these scenes! When their dad came home they opened it up to show him too.

In Exploring the History of Medicine we learned about ancient medicine and the practice of blood letting to cure people of diseases. Our science activity was to learn about what our body's natural response to getting a cut and bleeding. We made plasma by adding yellow food coloring, and salt and sugar to represent the sugar, salt and hormones our body needs. We also mixed red food coloring with vegetable oil to represent the other half of our blood that is made of white and red blood cells.

The kids thought this was all super awesome!

Next we mixed the plasma and white and red blood mixture.

It is so fun to see how kids have so much wonder about the world we live in.

Next we added pieces of cotton to our blood mixture to represent platelets. We poured the mixture through a funnel. The open in the funnel represented what happens when we get a cut.

The experiment showed how our blood is supposed to clot when we receive an open wound to stop the bleeding. The blood did eventually stop flowing and was blocked by the cotton platelets. As boys will be boys they thought this was all really gross and amazing. They were pretending it was like picking a scab. Sigh. #Boymom.

This was a picture from a bird's eye view. How's that for some messy fun!? See you all next week!