Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Festivities

Well, the first holiday weekend of the summer is over already. The best thing about a holiday weekend is that my husband is home for a few extra days and we all enjoy that. This past weekend we celebrated Sweet Baby's 5th birthday. It is amazing to me that she is 5 already!

For Memorial Day we took the girls to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. It is about an hour away from us but we really love Greenfield Village and do not mind the drive at all. As a matter a fact, this year we took advantage of a sale they were having and purchased a family pass for this year. The pass includes unlimited access to the village as well as to Henry Ford Museum. I'm sure we'll get some use out of it this year.

For the Memorial Day weekend they have Civil War Re-enactment Days at Greenfield Village. I was thrilled to be able to take the girls since we spent 6 weeks discussing the Civil War and slavery. The kids each received an American flag when we entered the park and thoroughly enjoyed waving their flags as the troops marched past us a couple times.

Peanut was excited to learn that both Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman were going to be visiting - we read several picture books about their bravery and compared how each one bravely fought against slavery, but each in a different way. The issue of slavery and civil rights has always been something that I enjoyed studying and reading about. In college, one of my favorite courses was African American History so I am not surprised that my girls were horrified to learn of the way that African Americans were treated in country. Fredrick Douglas showed the girls raw cotton and Harriet Tubman showed them some Underground Railroad maps.

Sissy was most excited to visit anything having to do with Thomas Edison. After studying the Civil War period, we studied the early 1900's and spent about 3 weeks working on a Thomas Edison lapbook. We were able to visit his childhood home, several workshops/laboratories, and a reproduction of his first power station. Apparently Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were very good friends so there was a lot to see relating to Thomas Edison.

Edison's Melno Park laboratory has always been one of my favorite places to visit at the Village. However, my favorite place to visit isn't always open and hasn't been the last few times we visited. Thankfully it was open yesterday...and what a treat. This is the upstairs of the laboratory:
It is an amazing collection of jars filled with different chemicals, wires, worktables and chairs (even a chair that Edison himself sat in). It always amazed me as a kid, but it hit me yesterday what an amazing mind this man had. As a wife and mother it also hit me...the man spent so much time with his inventions that he spent very little time being a husband and father. It made me appreciate the husband I have, who would rather spend his time with his family than working any day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lovin' Spring

I am SO happy that winter is over and spring is finally here. A couple weeks ago we were studying instects, crustaceans, etc. and specifically talked about roly poly bugs. The girls were thrilled when they went out for one of the first nice days of the year and found a roly poly bug. So thrilled as a matter a fact that they were caught building a "house" for it. Did you know that roly poly bugs eat concrete? Seriously, they really do.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Art Show

Our final day of our co-op was earlier this week. I'm excited as this first year of homeschooling is winding down. I'm burned out. HOWEVER, that said, I'm excited to attend my first INCH conference next weekend. My girlfriend and I are planning to head over to Lansing Friday afternoon (GOD BLESS her husband who is watching all three of my girls so we can get out of Dodge early and enjoy our day!) to attend for the 2 day event. There are so many seminars related to homeschooling and parenting that I can't decide which to attend. Some of those days there are 3 or 4 I'd like to attend during one time slot! In addition there is LOADS of shopping from what I understand. We aren't talking the shoes and purse type shopping, but curriculum shopping. Sadly, that sounds fun to me. Luckily, I've been able to find much of what I need used in various places, so I'm not really NEEDING much - but shopping can be fun even when you don't need something new.

The evening of our last day of co-op meant that we went back up to the church building for a program from the jr. high kids and highschoolers. They performed various activities from their drama improv class. Following the performance we entered the gym and all the art projects the kids had created were hanging on the walls for an art show. It was fun to see the various projects. We were also able to set up a table to display the work that our children had done throughout the year. I assumed that several families would do it - after all we have near 50 families if I remember correctly. However, we were the only family with a table. The girls had fun having their daddy at the place where they attend co-op and even my mother was able to attend.
We are nearly done with school for this year. We have completed history and only have 2 or 3 lessons left in Science. Over the summer Sissy will be working on reading and comprehension work since that is the one subject that she has stated she wishes she was better at. Peanut is going to be working on her math facts. I haven't been very diligent in making her do flashcards, so I'm sad to say that she knows very little addition and subtraction facts from memory. I began teaching Sweet Baby phonics last week. She also catches on quickly to sight words so her word wall is building. I'm sure the kids would be most thrilled if we didn't do ANY school this summer.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"I'm Not Even 5 Yet!"

I have to share this funny story if for no other reason than to have it forever to remember our dear Sweet Baby. Let me preface this by saying that she has a sweet face, smile and beautiful eyes, but she can be a terrible stinker. She has attitude that is like a 13 year old, doesn't take well to being treated like the little sister and can drive her mother crazy (raises my blood pressure often!).

Peanut has a stuffed animal that she sleeps with and takes everywhere with her, it's name is Polly. She came running in to me saying, "MOM! Sweet Baby was going to cut Polly with scissors!" So I asked her, "Were you going to cut Polly with scissors?" She had a huge grin on her face and said, "Yep, I was." We talk ALL THE TIME about the only places we use scissors and stickers are on paper, so she knows the rules. I told her, "You know what, you can go to your second time out for the day and this time you are sitting for 5 minutes." In our house when you get a time out, you sit in a chair facing the wall for as many minutes as you are old. Her reaction to hearing about her time out? "NO! Not another time out. Not for 5 minutes! I'm not even 5 yet!" and she kept chanting through her screams, "I'm not even 5 yet!" She turns 5 in just over 3 weeks!