Welcome! I am using this blog to share our family's homeschooling thoughts and experiences.

THIS SCHOOL YEAR (2018-2019): Our oldest child, EL, finished her formal education in May 2017. She remains at home due to her special needs, and continues to learn with us when she is able. JJ is in 10th grade this year. We intend to homeschool him through High School, and are using a variety of different curriculum choices to complete this goal.

Please feel free to follow along....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saudi Arabia, Vet visits, Hummus, etc...

We've had an interesting week taking numerous "field trips" to the Veterinarian's office. Our cat, Aggie, got really sick with pancreatitis and needed to be injected with fluids several times, due to her being dehydrated. She seems to be getting better now, thankfully. The kids and I sure would miss our Aggie Cat. She is always near us during the day while we are doing school. We love her very much.

In between the trips to the Vet, we finished learning about Saudi Arabia this past week. One thing the kids learned is what the Arabic words mean on their flag.

"There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet."

The kids colored a worksheet that had this flag on it and, underneath, they wrote in big letters:  NOT TRUE! 

We found out that Hummus is actually a Saudi Arabian recipe. We didn't make it, because no one in my family likes bean dip except me. I might eventually give it a try, just for myself. Here's the recipe:

15 oz. can garbanzo beans (save the liquid)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, cut into halves
3 TB lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
pita bread, cut into wedges

Put the saved liquid, sesame seeds, and garlic in a blender. Blend on high until well mixed. Add beans, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth. Serve as a dip with pita bread.

We also learned about camel's feet, and how they are specifically made to walk on sand without sinking too much. We did an experiment with a pencil and a quarter to show how the pencil eraser sinks into salt (i.e. sand). But, if you tape a quarter to the end of the pencil, it is much harder for it to sink in. Here you see a picture of Road Runner doing the experiment.

Other Science topics included: Pollution, Acid Rain, and Global Warming. Here, Coyote was drawing pictures of some of the things that cause pollution.

On Thursday night our family attended a Blue & Gold banquet for the Cub Scouts. We enjoyed a nice meal, and Coyote received his Wolf Badge and several other awards. This isn't really related to our school work, but I guess it could be considered "community involvement," or an extra-curricular activity. In any case, we are proud of the work Coyote did in order to earn his awards.

On a closing note, just wanted to mention that I recently made a couple small changes to this blog. One is the addition of TABS near the top of the blog page. One tab says HOME, the other MEET THE CLASS. What you are reading right now is considered the HOME page. Click on the other tab to read more about our family.

Also, if you would like to receive an automatic e-mail whenever new content has been added to this blog, please be sure to enter your e-mail address in the box towards the upper right.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thankful for Our Family, and Thankful for Our Freedom

Valentine's Day was this past Monday. In the past, our family has not really done anything to celebrate this holiday - except for the kids maybe making a card for me and their Daddy. However, this year, I wanted to do something different. So, for "Home Economics" class, the kids helped me make a large cookie in the shape of a heart.

After we made the heart, I realized my husband could not eat it, due to the chocolate chips in it. I didn't want him to be left out, so I made him a separate batch of heart cookies without the chips. When it came time for supper, I set the table nicely for us all, including lit candles. We had Tortellini Soup and bowls of fruit - and, of course, cookies for dessert!

My husband also surprised me with a bouquet of flowers that night, so those also went well with our nicely decorated table. :-)

After supper, we had a family game night and played a couple rounds of Wii Bowling. We really enjoyed spending time together, and I think I can foresee these types of activities becoming a favorite family tradition for future Valentine's Days. 

As for our studies with ECC, we began studying about Asia this week, and are currently focusing on Saudi Arabia. Another mother who is also using My Father's World for her homeschool, gave this neat idea to help us supplement our studies. She said to get onto the site for Voice of the Martyrs and use their children's site called "Kids of Courage". There, you can find an activity book download about Saudi Arabia. We used part of that activity book this week and it was interesting for the kids to learn about the types of clothes they wear in that country. It was surprising for them to learn about all the rules the Muslims have and how badly they are treated if they go against those rules, especially the women. It was also saddening to learn about how its against the law for Christians to talk to others about Jesus.   

We are thankful for our family, and thankful for the freedoms we have here in America!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Studies of Africa & Opportunities to Serve

Over these past few weeks, our Geography & Science lessons “sent” us to Africa (ECC weeks 18, 19 & 20). While there, we learned about an African safari and the animals that roam there, and learned about the different types of grasslands and how plants and animals survive on them. We also learned how to make and play a new game that is popular in Africa, called Mancala. It is a simple game that anyone can make with the use of an empty egg carton and some dried beans. The kids and I enjoyed learning this new game.

We also decided to try a recipe made with yams (sweet potatotes), since many people in Africa grow them. Road Runner and I liked the new dish, but Coyote and Daddy did not care for it. At least they gave it a try, and that’s all I ask. Here’s the recipe I used:

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 can (29 oz) sweet potatoes
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup milk
Brown sugar

Mash the potatoes with the butter and milk. Spread into a microwaveable dish. Sprinkle brown sugar all over the top. Cover and cook on high in the microwave for 5 minutes. 

 As we studied Africa, we also learned about various people who served as missionaries there, such as Samuel Morris, David Livingstone, and Mary Slessor. It was interesting to read their stories and how they all stepped out of their comfortable lives to minister to others. 

Aside from our usual school work, it was neat to see how various opportunities of service come up for us this past week as well. Most of the things we did were not intentionally planned, but it was great to have opportunities arise that allowed us to bless others. It is so important for us to be teaching our kids how to serve while they are young. Here are just a few things that came up for us:
  • Awhile back, I came across a genetic research study conducted by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital, who are trying to learn more about Tourettes Syndrome and its causes. The study involved anonymous questionnaires, phone interviews, and they asked Coyote to agree to have a blood draw for use in the study. At first, he was totally against the idea. But, after he thought about it for awhile, he agreed that it would be a good thing to do. So, recently, he had two tubes of blood removed from his arm. He was so brave and we hope that his participation in this study will help bring some needed answers.
  • This past Friday, as I was taking Road Runner to her speech class, I noticed a sign for a blood drive taking place that day. So, I followed Coyote’s lead and also gave blood for a good cause.
  • With Valentine’s Day approaching, we joined a couple other homeschool families at a local nursing home to pass out valentines to the residents. The kids enjoyed passing them out and seeing how it made the elderly smile. It was a blessing to be involved in that. 
  • We also attended a homeschooling event at a library this past week and made valentines to give to those who are being treated for cancer.  

  • My husband and son even took some time to fill our bird feeder so the birds could have an easier time of finding something to eat after all the snow and ice we recently had.

Eph 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)