Girls Weekend

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This last weekend I took a much needed breaking from being mom, wife, and teacher. I went with my three best friends from high school to the Lake of the Ozarks. Two of us live in St. Louis and the other lives in Springfield, this is a good middle ground for all of us.

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I didn’t take a drop of schoolwork with me, I went and I enjoyed myself. After being with my Monster Child as much as I am, I thinking it is important for us moms and dads that homeschool to get away and take a break. I am not saying take a two day break, like I did. But I think a few hours for yourself every few weeks is a much needed requirement.

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Taking the break allowed me to shut down, let my very taxed system rest, and then reboot all fresh. I am glad I did it and we are already planing next years getaway!

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We did shopping and a winery. This is Shawnee Bluffs Winery, I highly recommend it.!

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I got Tommy Hilfiger bag for $5.99 each! I also got a dress for $5!

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Sunrise over the lake is amazing!

I am going to be working this week to moving my blog to a self hosted site. So bare with me!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

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Rainy Voting Day

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It is raining here in Missouri today and it is cold. Does that crack not remind you of Dr. Who? Letting my geek flag fly here, but really it freaks me out a bit!

Usually, I love this sort of weather and it perks my mood up. I know I am getting burnt out and the tears in math don’t help! I have a Girls Weekend get away planned for this weekend with my two best friends from high school and yes that silly song from the hangover is playing in my head.

We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have
We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have

When you think about it, we are a speck of nothing in a big big world. Neil Armstrong said it best!

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Today. I am having a very defeatist type of day. Nothing, I do seems to make a difference. Standing there in the voting both as I marked my choices in with a black ink pen, I had this sudden sinking feeling that I am just one person and in the big scheme of things my opinion and vote don’t really make a difference. As I went through the voting process and I noticed that year after year we have the same judges running and no one running against them. Why is that? Would it make a difference? Do I make a difference by writing in Santa Claus instead of voting for them. Does the choice I make matter?

I went a voted this morning and there are a few important issues on our ballet. First is a local school district proposition. It basically ask for a $0.35 tax levy increase. Why? The school district is the fastest growing school district in the state. They are adding close to 500 new students a year. Almost all schools are currently at or over capacity, one of the reasons we decided to homeschool the youngest child this year. What happens if this doesn’t pass? As student enrollment continues to grow (and if the number of schools and classrooms remains the same) alternatives would include larger class sizes and bringing in more trailers to use as classrooms. The Board has also discussed a year-round attendance model, which would divide the student body into four groups. Each group would have a staggered schedule with nine weeks on and three weeks off, with no set summer break. The last option would be a split day schedule where half of the students would attend an early session, for example 6:00 a.m. until noon, and the other half would attend a late session, 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The split schedule option was actually adopted by the WSD for a short time in 1970.

This issue does matter to me! I have a child in this school district and monster child could go back to public school in a year or two. So, this does matter to me and my family.

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Kind of like this blog, I see that people are reading it but does it really make a difference? I am really a nobody, just a mom doing what I need to for my children. Do the things I put out here on this blog effect others? I don’t know! I do know it effect me, my family, and my circle of people. I can’t have this attitude and expect to make a difference in the important lives in my small circle. I have to have a positive outlook, the minds I have an effect on today could change tomorrow and our world.

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So, Today I choose to be happy and not worry about things I can’t control.

Love, Peace, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Lost & Found

Lost ~ We have been so busy last week with homeschooling I lost track of time and didn’t have time to blog to you all!

I will have several posts coming this week to show you what we are working on.

We finished the wands, built a candy corn catapult, and made Turkish Delight to go with our Lion, Witch & Wardrobe.

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Found ~ I have found this great blog that list all sorts of freebies out there. I think this is wonderful, especially if you are piecing your curriculum together like we are! Here is the link!!

I have also found time to blog to you wonderful people this week before my Girls Weekend this weekend.

Love, Peace, & Cupcakes

Shannon

Art Museum

We planned on going to the Art Museum when we studied Renaissance. It just so happened that this happened to fall on a weekend that the art museum and my mom’s company had a partner weekend and we got to do lot of cool stuff.

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I live just outside St. Louis and we have a lot of free attractions available, we are blessed. One of them happens to be the St. Louis Art Museum. Admission to the Museum is free every day. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.  They even have Family Sundays. Drop in every Sunday afternoon anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 pm for hands-on art activities and a lively 30-minute family tour through the galleries. Each month’s activities focus on a different, family-friendly theme. Family Tour leaves at 2:30 pm.

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This a great museum and it fun to go to. The do not allow photographs in exhibitions and non-flash photographs for non-commercial purposes in the collection galleries. We opted to just enjoy ourselves.

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Monster child had a Scavenger Hunt to go on.

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On the back he had to draw what the clues were leading him too. This was a challenge for him but a good challenge.

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We went on a tour and learned more about Mummys and Knights. That was exciting to learn about.

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After some lunch we headed upstairs and checked out the featured exhibit, Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia.

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This exhibit was a bit too much visual for Monster Child to handle. He doesn’t do nudity well and had a hard time with some of the pieces of art work.

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After this we headed to the make it and take it craft area. We got to make and learn about stained glass. This went perfect with our Renaissance study.

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Here is Monster Child’s hanging in his window.

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Mine has not made it up yet and hangs on the fridge.

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All in all we had a great day! He even made it away with 6 Feng Shui mini cats.

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BTW ~ This is Art Hill that is basically the front lawn of the Art Museum. The art museum sits inside Forest Park, which was the site for the 1904 World’s Fair.

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Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

 

 

The Giver

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Last week we finished up The Giver by Lois Lowry. If you have never read this book, you should think about it. Here is Lois Lowry’s website for more information.

A novel in which a boy inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.

 

Sounds like a parents dream! But it is not as sparkly with rainbows and unicorns as it sounds.

My older two children had read the book and loved it. My youngest son loved it He would talk to me each day about what he read and what he thought about the book so far. He was a little concerned with certain parts of the book and I kept having to remind him it was a book set in a different type of society.

We noticed that apple played a large part of the book. We now know that Lois Lowry used part of her life and the memories of apples and incorporated it into the book.

We decided that we would make a Giver Apple Pie!

Here is the pie crust recipes, you need two a mealy and a flaky. Mealy will do better with the juices on the bottom and the flaky is nice for the top.

Flaky Pie Dough

  • 10 oz pastry flour
  • 7 oz butter
  • 3 oz cold water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 oz sugar

Mealy Pie Dough

  • 10 oz pastry flour
  • 6.5 oz butter
  • 2.5 oz cold water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 oz sugar

Use hands and mix flour, salt, sugar

Butter needs to be cut into cubes, toss butter into flour mix. Make butter into flakes by pinching butter between thumb and finger. Make pea size for Flaky and hazelnut size for Mealy.

Add water and mix well.

It has to rest in fridge for 30 minutes, wrapped tightly in plastic.

Roll out to fit pie plate.

Apple Pie Filling

  • 2# apples
  • 1 oz butter
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 2 oz cold water
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3.5 oz sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz butter

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We use green apples when baking and the are a great baking apple.

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We cored, peeled, and sliced the apples. We than put them in the lemon juice to help with browning.

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We grated our cinnamon and nutmeg with a micro-planer.  We like doing it this way but you don’ have to.

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This is out nutmeg half way through grading. Kind of cool looking!

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We brought the fruit, first sugar, and water to a boil. We dissolve the starch in cold water and stir into the fruit. Return to a boil and cook until clear and thickened. Stir while cooking.

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Add second sugar, salt, and spices. Stir until dissolved. Cool.

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Have your pie crust ready!

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Add your filling and the last dabs of butter.

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Put the top on and pinch the side seams together.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Remove and eat or let cool!

Peace, Love, and Pie

Shannon

Chores of Life

I am the family historian for both sides of the family. I found this book written by one of my great uncles. We looked through and my son and I decided that these were life lessons that he should know. It is now a weekly study. It talks about daily chores and how they go back to a much slower time. It has bible references.1016714_10152262613381710_4484099900437415568_n

Here is section on the fall harvest.

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There are a couple on Amazon if anyone is interested. Hope you can find a copy if you want one.

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

We have to have order…….

I see all the time of homeschoolers that have a very free schedule and do homeschool whenever.

We tried this! It didn’t work with us. We learned back when Monster Child was 3 years old that he need structure and rules to function. Without this we are in the fetal position in the corner, rocking back and forth, and banging our head against the wall.

We do our differently notebook first thing, usually in the 8am hour. This includes our writing prompt, weather journal, current event, and reading log.

Next we move onto math, now math can take us up to 2 or more hours. We are playing a huge game of relearning and catch up. We move onto Language Arts and spelling followed by Science, Social Studies, Art and finally Reading.  We got in this order everyday, it makes for a peaceful day. If we go out of order he just can’t handle it.

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I finally got my act together and made a control command center on my fridge for my very visual children. The left side of the fridge is for my public school high school daughter and the right side is for my home schooled son.

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A few years ago I found this weekday sticker. I didn’t really use it until a few weeks ago. Now I write everything down that we are covering that week. This way he can see our week and doesn’t get freaked out over  things. We have our flashcards of weekly concepts on the fridge, his chores, and chicken info.

I know a couple of people posted asking how you keep the house clean and homeschool. Here is our system, we break it up into manageable chunks. I give each kid a list too. These sheets are laminated, so we use them again and again. I also learned that if I waxed my bathroom sink every other week with car wax, the sink stays cleaner longer.

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This is his chore chart, I found it at Hello, Cuteness. They have tons of great things there.

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Mine is from Happy Money Saver. I do one area a day, I have tried all sorts of things and this works the best for me. I had to learn to let the kids do things and know that they would not be mom perfect. I let them clean their rooms and only go into mom clean if people are coming over.

He does his chores after schoolwork and before he is allowed on the Xbox. I do my chores here and there during the day.

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Wind Walking

A few weeks back I had to be with my high school daughter while she was in the hospital being treated for MRSA.

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I give my dad one job, watch the boy. Understand my dad is a pilot and flies for a living, he also has a small private plane. This is the photo I received while in the hospital with my daughter.

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Now he is training to be a wind walker. How do I fit this into my homeschooling?

Science – aerodynamics, wind speed, how to properly fall from 10,000 feet up

Health – first aid, how to properly bandage broken limbs

no more ER visits 101

Psychology – how to drive your mom crazy and into a home in 1 easy step.

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I guess we look at this as a unique learning experience for two days!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Catch up………

I wish I could keep this blog updated better. I am making a return after a few bumpy weeks.

Let’s see if I can catch you up.

In Reading we finished The Little Prince & Romeo & Juliet. We watched a movie about both. This week  we started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He really like The Little Prince, but the movie was a musical and he suffered through it. Romeo and Juliet  was a bit tough but we suffered through it and the movie. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is turning out to be a real page turner for him. He really relates to the characters and likes reading. Listening to a recap of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer……. I never knew that Mark Twain wrote about “this one dude”. We need to break that habit!

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In Language Arts we learned about Onomatopoeia, Alliteration, Symbols, Personification, Dramas, Comedies, Tragedies, Shakespeare, Subjects and Verbs. That is a whole lot going on there. Subjects really need to be taught with verbs for the connection to be made. We also learned what it meant to “have a chip on your shoulder”. We read two poems From Opposites & The Arrow and the Song.

In Math we are covering a lot of ground. We learned all about integers and how to add them. We tried to subtract them but that ended in tears and we said we would revisit it later. We worked on rounding and estimating but we were having trouble with how we would use that in “real life” until we went to the store today. I gave him the shopping list, told him how much money we had, and had him keep track of how much we were spending as we put things into the cart.

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We also learned about square numbers, square roots, and exponents this week.

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While working on exponents today I learned that the school never taught him how to multiple double digits like 24 x 12 =. I guess this is something we will have to go back and work on next week, along with our other work.

In Science we finished up learning about weather, weather patterns, and different types of weather. We moved onto clouds and the different types. This last week we learned all about  the deserts of the world, why they are so dry, what can survive in a desert, and how they form. We even made a desert biome.

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In Social Studies we learned about seasons, salty lakes, rivers, tropical, temperate, and frigid climates. Last we we started a year long process to learn about each of the 50 states. We started with Delaware, since it was first to enter the union. For each state we have a three page worksheet that we fill out to learn all about the state. We have also learned about Pennsylvania and New Jersey (or the cow state as he calls it).

We are also working with our chickens daily. We say this is part of our home economics since it is part of how we live.

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We recently decided to hatch chickens. We built our own incubator and placed our 12 eggs in there are now we are waiting the 18-21 days it takes to hatch.

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Yes this requires fertile eggs and we have no rooster, we went and bought fertile eggs to hatch. We have lost one egg do to a crack. We have candled the eggs and maybe half will hatch.

All in all homeschooling is good and we are settling in to a nice routine. We get along well and I think that helps. Besides it is always a good thing when school includes making BROWNIES!!

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Love, Peace, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

Our First Day

Well, we are off and running. So, far no tears….. one argument over how long this was going to take but that has been it.

Today: we worked on weather in science and started up our daily weather log.

In Social Studies we are working on flat map, round earth and how we get the round globe onto a flat map and why Greenland and Alaska look bigger than they are on a map.

We have our spelling words and half focus on the suffix of -ant.

In Math we are going back and reviewing multiplication number sense such as place values.

For reading we are going to start the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. We will also be doing an art project where we making a paper mache globe and little prince out of clay.

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