Posts tagged ‘homeschooling’

Butterflies on a rainy day

I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything.  It could be my husband joking about how I’ve gotten myself sucked into the blogosphere, or maybe it was the stress of planning and executing my daughter’s 5th birthday party.  Perhaps the fact that I’ve been the ultimate slacker where our chickens are concerned, falling victim to perfection’s evil brother “good enough”.  We installed our gravity feeder, only to have to reach in and manually pull food out each morning and evening.  The watering system exists, but only in my mind.  It doesn’t do the chickens much good there.

We’ve been making slow progress on the downstairs bathroom remodel, tile is laid, grout is down, and now it’s just a few more hours of picking specks of grout out of the tiles with a tiny screw driver so it doesn’t drive me crazy for the next 30 years and we can seal it!

Instead of hitting any of these issues, I looked out the window into the rain and decided to brighten up our house with an art project.  I found this cute site for making coffee filter butterflies and the kids were more than happy to join my painting party.

Materials Needed:

Coffee Filters

Water Color Paint kit (and water)

Pipe Cleaners

Paper Towels

optional: Paper plates

The first step isn’t essential, but Bubba insisted that the cars get all lined up to watch the project.

Next flatten the paper coffee filters and paint them with water-color paints. I flattened them onto plates for easier clean-up.

Be sure to use lots of water to blend your colors, and take care to get all the way to the edges. Painting faces is also an option if you’re 2 1/2.

Lay them out on paper towels to dry. I let them dry overnight just to draw the project out for another day but it wasn’t necessary (neither was blowing on them…but I wasn’t about to tell Bubba).

After they’re dry fold them back and forth accordian style about 1/2 in.
Take a pipe cleaner, fold it in half and place the center of the folded filter into the crook of the pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner several times and shape the ends of the antenna.

Beanie showing off her finished butterflies.

Bubba gives us a “one-eyed only” smile and shows off his new haircut.

When you’re finished hang your summer butterflies around the house. We used thread to hang them in the windows. The sun shining through the colorful wings really brightens up the room.

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Beanie recites another poem.

Homeschooling has been winding down. We’re not going to stop for the summer, but will slow down and cut back hours.  The unit on poetry has been great for Beanie. We’re working on memorization as well as public speaking skills, speaking clearly and slowly (this one is tough, especially when she gets excited, but she’s doing pretty great). She picks a poem from Random House’s Treasury of Best-Loved Children’s Poems to memorize and then gets very excited to video-tape and post it to facebook for her grandparents to see.  This week she chose Daddy Fell into the Pond, by Alfred Noyes.  Be sure to check out Beanie’s poem on youtube.

For math we’ve made it through the Orange and Red books with Miquon Math as well as 101 things every first grader should know about math.  I like the Miquon system.  It gives good pages for review and self-guided work.  However, if you’re considering buying it keep in mind that it isn’t a stand alone as far as I’m concerned.  I am able, quite easily, to focus more attention on items she struggles with before moving on.  So for us it works well.

Miquon Math Red book, photo from Christianbook.com We bought the full set of miquon books 1-3rd grade and math rods on amazon after price checking.

This week Beanie wanted to work on money again so we took out the coins and played shop for a while.  She also visited a great game for counting coins on abcya!  There are a bunch of fun (mostly educational) games on that site.  Another favorite of mine is the synonyms/antonyms game.  This site breaks the games into grade levels, and is a fun reward for her when she gets other work done.

Wed and Fri my husband is off work and they’re excited to talk about bees then go on a bee hunt and sample some honey (from our kitchen most likely but still delicious).  Silent reading is almost over, and Baby is awake so I should sign off.  Beanie and I hope you enjoy the poem!

Beanie’s Poetry Assignment

We have been doing a focus on poetry this month.  We started with a simple haiku and now we’re doing poetry appreciation and memorization.  Beanie worked hard to memorize two poems last week and we took a video to share with friends and family.  She asked if I would put the video up on the blog.  Why not, there are other homeschoolers out there who might enjoy it.  I’m not sure how to post the video directly without upgrading my wordpress so here is a link to the youtube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S-xDI9fyv0&feature=g-upl

 

Beanie (4 1/2) giving Bubba (2 1/2) his first chess lesson with the chess board she got from her Grandparents.

We start learning early in this family…get reading baby!

 

So we named her dinner.

Another week has passed and our little chickies are 3 weeks old.  My husband is so ready to reclaim his garage and get the birds outside, but we’re only halfway there.  He’s been beside himself without the use of his home gym.  We’ve made big strides in the coop department, well in the fencing department anyway.  All we have left to do are build and install the gates, and line the bottom section with chicken wire.  We should have time to get this done over the weekend, as my hubby is off Friday-Monday.

3 week old chicks chowing down

 

 

Most of the Chickens are doing well.  Teeny Weennie is still…well…teeny weenie, just look at her next to the Rhode Island Red and across from our SLW.  I don’t think she’s getting picked on, I often see the other chickens picking pieces of sawdust out of her feathers, but they don’t seem to be pecking HER and she doesn’t seem to mind so no need to intervene just yet, but the size difference is so pronounced, that I am keeping a close eye on things.

Dinner

 

 

The only other development in the chick department is the attitude problem of our Silver Laced Wyandotte.  She is rude.  She flys at the other chickens, and she bit me yesterday.  Not just the poke poke with the beak that some of them do, but she hauled off and open beak bit my thumb.  Let’s just say we picked the perfect name for her: Dinner.  Beanie hopes that Dinner turns out to be a boy, but she also said Dinner should eat a lot so will be nice and fat for when we eat her.  My daughter cracks me up.  I don’t know if I would have been as laissez-faire about eating a chicken out of my garage when I was 4yrs old.

Beanie took a picture of Polly and me.

 

Polly is still my favorite girl, she climbs up onto my hand when I visit them, and is so sweet.

Our little Easter Egger is covered in crazy fluff, but is still the softest chick we have. She enjoyed the sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took our little Ameraucana outside for a little bit of sunshine, but couldn’t let her down.  I know she hasn’t gotten enough feathers yet to stay warm in our sunny 50 deg weather.  (And our cat was winding around my ankles when I took this picture.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news Beanie has been doing well with her homeschooling.  She just finished the systems of the body (it helps that Dad is a Nurse Practitioner) and we’re starting a series on poetry and music.  She has written a few haikus and typed them up on the computer, then we print them out and water-color paint over top of the poem. So far it has been a blast, I’m going to start with other types of poems next week, and we will compile them all into a poetry notebook.  Here is one of them.

Rainbows

they make me smile

orange yellow purple red

shining in the sky

She has also been working on a photo scavenger hunt. Here are a few of the photos that she took.

Something Green

Something shorter than she is.

something alive.

Something that is a circle.

Something red.

Welcome baby chicks!

So I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what I’m doing.  No, I guess that isn’t entirely true.  I don’t know how this whole blogging thing is going to work out.  I am probably like the majority of bloggers out there.  I have 3 kids, 3,000 chores (that are not getting done at the moment b/c on top of everything else going on in my life I have decided, on a whim, to start a blog).  I’m also homeschooling my daughter, and embarking on the journey of raising chickens as well as children.  Considering the child raising is going so well, maybe I have a shot at a successful flock…then again I have already dealt with pee and poop on the carpet, and a biting, kicking toddler and it isn’t even 10am…so maybe it isn’t going as smoothly as I would have hoped.

But lets talk chickens.  Because, let’s be honest, baby chicks are freaking adorable!

day one of our side yard flock

We screened for docile birds who will be good layers, and plan on eating any of them that start to crow.  (By “we” I mean my husband, who knows I have zero desire to assist in the killing but will be more than happy to cook them once they’re cleaned.)

We have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Plymouth Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 3 Silkies (2 partridge and one blue) of which we are keeping one hen and returning the other 2 to my uncle.  I am also headed to the feed store to pick up a Welsummer, and an Ameraucana (Easter Egger) for my husband.

Of course now that we have our chicks we should finish their house…

nest boxes? check.

Window? Check.
Walls? Check.

kids help.

Chicken doors? Check.

We used an old play structure from my uncle as the skeleton for our coop.  Bella and Wesley and been very excited about the process, and yesterday they both helped me sweep out the coop so we could add a laminate floor (before it started to rain).  We got half of it done before baby’s nap was over, so I call that a good day!

And this is where we’re at so far. Yes, I used the old cabinet doors from the downstairs bath.  I am a genius.

Well.  I suppose I should send this inaugural post out into the sea of internet…though i’m sure my readers will be limited to close friends, parents, in-laws and other family that’s okay with me.

Welcome to our side yard flock.