Brave Writer - Tuesday Teatime

Monday, August 25, 2014

This year we added a new element to our plans: Brave Writer! I totally wish Julie would adopt me, and show me her homeschool ways. Fortunately, because she has a writing program, she is a fabulous writer that often shares her wisdom on her blog and via Facebook. We are not using all Brave Writer Elements this year, but are testing the waters. Silas is using Partnership Writing for his writing program, but will not be using the Arrow books just yet. Our MFW book basket has plenty of books I don't want to miss this year. Next year we will definitely be implementing the Arrow book lists. Aedan is not using the writing portion of Brave Writer yet. I've been waiting patiently for Faltering Ownership to come out. Until then he will be reading Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang books instead of HOD Dithor this year. So far he loves his first book My Side of the Mountain!

It took me a while to understand what they meant by the "Brave Writer Lifestyle." I read through The Writer's Jungle, but it took a while to soak in. I purchased Partnership Writing this year for Silas. Reading how to implement the elements of Brave Writer suddenly clicked. Truly, Julie understands how to make language arts fun. I so wish I had been able to learn in this way!

One of the elements of the Brave Writer Lifestyle is Tuesday Teatime. We didn't get out our finest china this time, but I may have to dig it out.

I already know my boys love being read to. I didn't know how they would like reading poetry to each other. They both actually had a lot of fun!

Aedan really enjoyed reading the poetry from this book!

I collected some of the poetry books Julie had recommended. The boys really enjoyed these. I hope to collect a few more along the way.

I made Lemon Cream Scones as our snack because what proper tea wouldn't have a proper scone?

These are very simple, but every time I make them someone asks for the recipe. They're not dense like typical scones, but rather more biscuit-like.

We had honored guests, and of course the famous Brit Tin Tin! Mooch the monkey is our school cheerleader. He often cheers kids on when they're doing math because of course a monkey's favorite subject is math!

My boys love chai lattes :) I heated 2 bags of  chai in water on the stove, and then added some sugar and soy milk. Yum!

These are my scones after I mixed the dough. I usually just stir them with a spoon. They're so easy!

Here they are with their lemony and sugary goodness before I put them in the oven. Perhaps you would like the recipe too?

Monarch Room Lemon Scones
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt with a whisk (to sift) in large bowl. Next, stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently together. Form dough into 10 inch round and about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 12 wedges.

Transfer scones to large greased baking sheet. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake scones until light golden brown for about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.YUM!

May I buy you a cup of coffee?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

 So you're probably wondering what all the fuss is about essential oils is right? Trust me. I was skeptical too. Sure oils smell great, but can they really transform your health? The answer is a resounding yes! I can't sing their praises enough, and I would love you to know a little more. Since I  can't invite all of you into my home, and let's face it...most of you don't have time for that anyway! I love talking oils over a cup of coffee with friends, and I'd love to do the same with you.

You are invited to listen to a Young Living Essential Oil class from the comfort of your own home. It will take 30 minutes to listen, and you will learn all the wonderful ways oils can be used. Please comment below with the 3 things you learned about the oils or found most interesting, and I will send you a $5 Starbucks gift card. Don't forget to email me your contact info, so I can send you your gift card :) Bonus: The best answer will get a sample of their choosing from the Everyday Oil set.
 The call begins at around 40 seconds, so be patient until it begins.
Listen to the call here.  

Don't forget we are offering $20 cash back for new members signing up with a Premium Starter Kit. The offer ends 8/31/14.

My Father's World - MFW ECC Week 1 in Review

Friday, August 22, 2014

Welcome to our first weekly update in My Father's World ECC! Ok, so I have to admit. I never thought I could love a program as much as I love HOD, but we had such a sweet time in MFW this week. I'm so glad I chose to take a detour off our course through HOD for this one year. It was really fear of the unknown, or fear of the unfamiliar probably. Anyway, this week was so fun! Silas really loved having the book basket books to read. I may have complained about how much time it took to organize those books in my library lists for the year, but I'm seeing it was so worth the time and effort! The next round of books are even more fun. We will add a wonderful read-aloud next week, but this was a gentle nice start for the year.

I can't believe my baby is in 3rd grade. Silas was my first kid home for homeschool in Pre-K. Teaching him that first year made me realize how much fun homeschool could be. So thankful for this kid, and man does he give good hugs!

Our memory verse this week was John 3:16. Our first day of school I cracked open my Beth Moore John study, and wouldn't you guess it? The verses I was supposed to read were John 3:16-21. She implored the readers to read it with fresh eyes and an open heart. While Silas has heard this verse before, it was precious being able to tell him how important this verse was to the whole world. God sent his precious son that he loved so much to the great BIG world. I got so excited that we would get to learn about all those people that God loved so much. What an honor to be able to teach my kids these wonderful truths. 

Our art project was to make a John 3:16 poster. I found these great children of all the beautiful colors of the world at Lakeshore Learning. Silas made the American carry a cell phone. How sad, but true!

Silas did a beautiful job copying our verse of the week for his poster.

We learned about how difficult it is to make a map with the right scale. Silas did his best to draw the continents on a plastic ball.

We then cut it up to show how mapmakers have to do the same if they want to get the scale right.

We learned a lot about map vocablary. Silas showed me the N, S, E & W directional arrows.

We learned how globes are much truer representations of scale. Greenland is the right size on a globe...

...but is HUGE on a flat map.

Silas has really enjoyed his science readings out of Properties of Ecosystems, and The Complete Book of Animals. Our science activity of the week was to make a worm niche.

I guess we could have dug them up, but buying them was much easier! Ewwwwww.....squishy-ishy worms! We got all our materials together.....

...and then this happened! So apparently dry dirt doesn't come out of the bag in nice portions. The WHOLE thing poured out everywhere. Silas looked at me. I looked at him. And then we both died laughing. I think he expected me to be so mad. This was such a great reminder that even adults can make big messes. This is the biggest mess anyone has made in the house in as long as I can remember, for the record. The next day Silas accidentally knocked coffee out of my hand (well because I always have coffee in my hand.) He was very sorry, but I reminded him of my giant mess from the day before and told him we allll do it!

I decided to be smart and let him do the rest. First we added dirt and water. Then we added a layer of sand. I wish I had added a little more, but it was fine.

Then, we added some oats to the top layer.

Last, we added the worms to the top.

Silas was worried I was going to drop his precious worms (after the dirt incident.)

This is what it looked like after we added all the layers.

Then I added parchment paper, poked holes in the top, and attached it with a rubber band.

We then wrapped it with black construction paper because our worm friends like the dark.

This is what it looked like after 1 day. We only had one worm casualty so far. I was a little afraid Silas would get attached to the worms, and they would turn into a mushy moldy mess. I had seen that way too many times on the MFW ECC group. A friend of mine's worms died just this week. We must have accidentally gotten the ratio of water to soil right. No mold yet!

They already made their way down by day 2. Hopefully they survive our little experiment by the end of the week so we can release them to the worm paradise that is our backyard!

For nature study we made a square that was a yard on each side. We got our magnifying glass out to take a closer look.

We discovered an animal home. We're not sure what actually lives in it, but it was cool to see actual evidence of animal activity.

We turned over a leaf, and look what we discovered! A wolf spider with an egg sac. This nature study stuff is not for the faint of heart. Worms and BIG spiders oh my! One suggestion I would make. Don't forget the bug spray. We were bending down looking closely for a little too long apparently. We all got chigger bites. Sigh. At one point a hornet landed on my foot. I screamed, and we all ran for cover. Ha! Homeschoolers have allll the fun! See you all next week!

Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 1 in Review

Welcome to our very first weekly update for the new year! This week we began our Unit 1 journey in Heart of Dakota Resurrection to Reformation! I always get super nervous before the new year begins. I've been known to carry my books around with me to the pool just so I can get a grip on what our weeks will look like with combining the 2 guides I'm running this year. I was really happy about the way our first week went. 

At first I was a little nervous because we were wrapping up our days a little earlier than I expected, but by the end of the week our days were about what I thought they should be for this level. I thought I might add something, but decided to wait. One of my wise friends told me that she was going to do 3 weeks of work in RtR and re-evaluate before she added anything. I thought that was a good plan. I'm going to wait and see how the next few weeks goes. Aedan worked hard and cheerfully I might add. We're hitting those tween years, and by the end of the summer I was starting to see our desperate need to be back in a routine. I think my family does so much better when we know what is planned for the day. I'm thankful we are off to a good start! 

Here's my handsome boy on the first day of school. Isn't he getting so big?

This year we will cover the time period from Christ's Resurrection to the Reformation of the church. I so look forward to learning along side Aedan this year. I pre-read many of the books this year, so that I would know what direction we were going as Aedan will be reading his history books independently. Our first history reader is Peril and Peace. This week we covered the lives of Paul the apostle, Polycarp, Justin the Martyr and Constantine.

Last year in CtC we did watercolor paintings each week. I looooved the end product each week, but I'm glad to have a break from them this year. RtR has plenty of hands on projects, and we will also do art appreciation each week. It was fun discussing  and appreciating our art piece this week. We will have an art class at Co-Op this year, so that will be great for my artist.

Our history project of the week was to make a Roman arch. This year I bought a bunch of air dry clay. I don't normally mind making it, but sometimes it's nice just having it on hand. We chose to use store bought for this project.

Aedan had to paint the arch and draw a scene behind it.

This was his finished product. I always love seeing this kid's work :)

HOD makes beautiful history notebooking pages. These are even prettier than last year's. I love the art pages in the back of the notebook that we get to look at for art appreciation. Aedan's written narration was a little rusty this week, but at least they made me laugh. I will continue to let him draw for his narration as was required last year just because he enjoys it. I was worried he might struggle with the research postcard, but I thought he did a great job for his first try!

I'm so excited about being able to study Shakespeare this year. I love that it is being introduced in an age appropriate way, so when it's studied later it won't be so intimidating. Aedan will copy a portion of each play in his Shakespeare notebook.

Our first science book of the year is Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy. I thought the readings were a little too short, so I added some reading out of our Usborne Science Encyclopedia. I also checked out library books for each planet that I will add. Aedan adores Apologia books, so he was excited to be able to read one this year too.

Our first science question we asked was: How do planets compare to one another in size? There were 2 options for this activity. The first was to use balloons and make them scale models that way. I chose the paper route. Much easier! We used everyday items around the house to show how the planets compare in size.

Aedan made a poster to show the size differences of the planets. I thought he did a nice job coloring each one.

Each week in science there will be written narrations, vocabulary and science experiment sheets. His first science page assignment was to make a mnemonic phrase to help him remember the order of the planets....of course it's silly because that's how Aedan rolls. I give him credit for laughs :) See you next week!
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