Welcome! I am using this blog to share our family's homeschooling thoughts and experiences.
THIS SCHOOL YEAR (2016-2017): We will be using a variety of different curriculum this year, with Notgrass' Uncle Sam and You as our main History, Bible and Literature focus. Our oldest, EL, is in 12th grade this year, but has special learning needs due to autism. JJ is our youngest, an active boy with Tourette Syndrome. He is in the 8th grade.
Maybe it’s the time of year - weather getting cooler, skies getting grayer, no more pretty leaves on the trees - but I found this past week to be especially difficult for all of us to stay on track with our tasks at hand, both physically and mentally. Both kids were having a hard time paying attention during our studies this week and, even when they did seem to be listening, I think their comprehension took a flying leap out the window. My patience ran thin more than it should have and we had more than our share of raised voices, grumpy faces, and tears to contend with. I’ve decided, as Thanksgiving approaches, we will be taking a break from our normal routine and doing things a bit differently around here. We all need the change of pace and, hopefully, the following week will produce better attitudes for all of us.
This week, as we have concentrated on South America in our studies, we learned about the Yanomamo tribe living in the rainforests of southern Venzuela. They have been known as a fierce tribe, often having battles with neighboring tribes and capturing their women. They also have a strong connection with evil spirits and will train a young man to become a Shaman, so he can listen to the spirits and tell the rest of the tribe how to appease them.
As we researched online for more info about the Yanomami, we came across the testimony of a Shaman Chief from who battled with many evil spirits. It was only the one, true, living God (known as The Great Spirit to this man) who was finally able to deliver him. This is an amzing testimony and I encourage you to take the time to listen to it when you get a chance. It comes in two parts....
We also had a couple of homeschool activities this week. On Thursday, our community met on the courthouse lawn for a Veteran's Day ceremony to recognize all of our veterans. Coyote took part in the ceremony with his Cub Scout pack. They led us all in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. It was neat to see him being a part of that.
Even more neat was the fact that Coyote was wearing the same Cub Scout shirt and hat his daddy wore when he was that age!
Then, after the ceremony, our homeschool group met to draw pictures and write letters of encouragement to our veterans, as well as collect items to go into care packages for the veterans overseas. I am "proud" of our homeschool group and for their willingness to participate in community projects such as this.
On Friday, we went to a Hodgson Mill factory to see how they make and package different products, such as flours, yeast, pancake mix, pastas, etc. It was a neat learning experience for all in attendance. Our Road Runner thought the factory was a bit too loud for her ears, however, she really did enjoy seeing how all the machines worked. I'm glad we had the chance to go.
The past couple weeks, in between illnesses and other distractions, we concentrated on the study of Canada and Greenland, along with learning about forests and the arctic regions. This concluded our study of North America and now, this week, we begin learning about South America.
Someone on the My Father's World Yahoo Group sent a link from UPM for a virtual field trip to the forest. So, we spent one morning going through this site and it was the neatest thing! Even if you are NOT learning about the forest right now, I recommend this site. It is very educational and informative. If you can't visit a forest in person, this is the next best thing. (NOTE: You do need to have a pretty good internet connection in order to view this and, even then, it may take a couple minutes to load in.)...
We also spent some time on You Tube, viewing a paper mill and watching how they make paper out of wood. I love You Tube! So many neat educational things to find on there. We even watched videos from National Geographic that showed more about the animals we have been learning about. (NOTE: Parents do need to watch WITH the kids, as You Tube can sometimes show things that may not be acceptable, especially to young viewers.)
As we finished up Canada, Coyote helped me make a desert that is regularly made in that country, and we shared it with grandparents who came for a visit over the weekend. Instead of using the traditional blueberries, I used a can of cherry pie filling. We all enjoyed it....