Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in the Saddle...First Day of School

Well, it is that time again...can it be that summer is nearly over? Here in Michigan we have had such a mild summer (completely unusual) so it does not seem like we have even had summer yet! Mom decided it was time to get back to school, so today was the day. This year the girls are in 5th grade, 2nd grade and Kindergarten. Here they all are at the table in our school room, ready to start the day. (Notice the bathrobes? Sissy LOVED that last year we spent most of the day in our p.j.'s. Even though she was dressed, she insisted on putting her robe on!)

For the first day, things went really well today. The kids were getting used to the "workbox system" that I am trying to use to keep us organized, and they did really well with that. Let me tell you, trying to add a 3rd child to the school day really can throw you for a loop! As this is just our 2nd year home schooling, I still struggle with how much work is to much/little work. Well, throw a kindergartener into the mix who can't read directions and needs to learn SO much and the pressure is huge! It is especially huge when you have a child who delights in fighting you on everything! Here is a perfect shot of Sweet Baby trying to write the letter "A". She was really unhappy when I explained that we need to try our best to bring the legs of the "A" all the way to the bottom. She stuck out her lip, hung her head and said, "I can't do this."

BUT, because I know that she "can", she just "did not want to", this is the face that made my day when she finally accomplished her writing task.

As I have mentioned before, we are using My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures and we began our study today by discussing the fact that even in ancient times people used maps. We discussed that it used to be that people believed that the earth was flat as a pancake and they would sail right off the edge of the earth if they sailed to far. Peanut was amazed at this and truly enjoyed looking at the globe and contemplating how silly that was!

The one thing that worked out really well today was that Sissy was able to help Sweet Baby with the 2nd piece of handwriting that I had for her. Later in the day (after the "A" incident) I had her write her name and while I was working on spelling with Peanut, Sissy was able to help. I don't know who liked the fact that Sissy could help more - me or her!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Checking Out the Bees

You may or may not know that my dear husband is a bee keeper. He has been keeping bees for approximately 4 years. We have about 5 hives in our backyard and then another 4 or 5 at a friend's house down the road. He is nearly completely self taught (his dad was a bee keeper for a short time in the 80's) and really enjoys it. In addition to harvesting honey he also will go out and retrieve swarms of bees that may be in a tree in someones yard. This past week his father called and said he had a swarm of bees in a pine tree in the yard - so off he went. Typically swarms will stick around for a day or 2. Maybe 3 days, but that isn't typical. The swarm that was in his father's tree had been around for a week! It was amazing to see that they had built comb right in the tree and were prepared to stick around and call it home. He was examining the comb that they had built when he noticed the youngest "bee" he has ever seen. He found larva that was only a day or two old. The kids had much fun checking it out.