<![CDATA[Backyard Schooling - Blog]]>Sat, 13 Feb 2016 03:24:35 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Monthly Update]]>Tue, 26 Jan 2016 22:08:35 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/monthly-updateMy the months seem to be flying by quickly!  We have finished up Ancient Egypt before Christmas which has been a fun review and Goosey was able to delve into it a little deeper than the last time when we covered this time period.  We did a quick stop of Mesopotamia and then have been studying the Israelites, and Indus Valley.  Goosey did a brief overview of the Indus Valley through this BBC site.  She made a soap stone sculpture.
When she read about Mesopotamia she learned they were fishermen so she decided to weave her own fishing net out of yarn which has since been a nice decoration in our bathroom!
We spent a few weeks on Israel and have enjoyed learning about that.  Goosey made a model of the tabernacle.  We used this free model but CBD has several wonderful models to make!!  She also made a life size model of a tent after she read about the many dwellings of the Israelites.
We took some time off in December to enjoy the holidays and started back up again a few weeks ago.  We will be beginning Ancient Greece here shortly.  
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<![CDATA[Back to School!]]>Sun, 04 Oct 2015 19:32:36 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/back-to-school2We eased into our new school year over the past few weeks and added more subjects until we are now at a full swing.  Rosey began with her Psychology (then added in the rest of Sonlight) and we began with Astronomy (this was something we were supposed to have completed during the summer but the summer seemed to have slipped away from us). Goosey began by creating a compass in our yard to see how our home is aligned.  She charted the sunrises and sunsets and we began to see if we can identify constellations.  We will continue on with other exercises from the Astronomy journal.  This has many activities that I think will be fun! The kids were given a telescope a few years back so I am hoping to utilize that along with this curriculum.   
For history we have embarked to Ancient Egypt!  Although we have covered this time period in the past, it was nice to revisit it with some new activities and books.  Goosey made a reed boat out of newspaper (she rolled sheets of newspaper into thin rods and glued the ends and tied both ends of the boat together).  The product ended up being a scratching area for one of our cats that seemed to really enjoy scratching his nails on there!
We also made homemade papyrus paper which we completed through the Project Passport.  We haven't quite gotten around to writing hieroglyphics on there as of yet but need to do that soon! 
We attempted dirt/clay bricks but did not succeed in getting them to bind together! We think it didn't work because we used dirt from our garden which has quite a bit of compost in there as opposed to actual dirt (at least that is what we are attributing it too)!  :oP  Some books that Goosey has read related to Ancient Egypt are Unwrapping the Pharaohs, Pyramid, and Who Was King Tut.  
We also played some board games that we had on hand.  We played the Royal Game of Ur (a paper version that was in a workbook we had on our shelf.  You can see what the game looks like here and the rules are here.  The game itself reminds me a little of the game Sorry.  Goosey said she wants to try and make one by either wood burning one or making one out of balsa wood---that may be one of her next projects), we also played the Lego Ramses Pyramid Game and an Egyptians Game I found at a used book store.  We are almost done wrapping up Ancient Egypt minus a few projects that we haven't gotten to yet so we will hopefully finish that up in the next week or so.

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<![CDATA[July 17th, 2015]]>Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:53:41 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/july-17th-2015It's been so long since I updated the blog.  June, and now July, seem to have just flown by (almost seems like we have completely skipped June and July)!!   We have had such a busy past few months with life in general!  Speedy has graduated so we have been through scholarship applications, college applications, transcripts, and anything else that had to do with graduating!  It has been a whirlwind!  I have to say I have learned a lot though in a short amount of time!   

I have been busy prepping for school that, eeekk, we will begin in a few weeks already! Our school plans for the up coming year will be fun I think!  I will have 2 kids in high school now so I have de-cluttered my shelves of most of my primary resources except for a select few that I just can't part with quite yet because of all the fun memories that they impart (hey, I did part with a lot of other things)!!  

Our school plan for the upcoming year are...

Rosey 12th grade
Sonlight British Literature 
Psychology through Sonlight
Math U See Algebra II
Sign Language

Goosey 9th grade
Tapestry of Grace Year 1
Math U See Geometry
Physical Science that I will be putting together from various sources
Bible Road Trip Year 2 
Easy Grammar
Map Travelers

As always, I love to supplement so I plan on supplementing a lot over the course of the year!  Some of the material that I plan on using are...
Project Passport Ancient Egypt
History Portfolio Ancient History
Physical Education
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<![CDATA[Seeing the Finish Line]]>Sat, 16 May 2015 20:30:17 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/seeing-the-finish-lineWe are drawing near the end of school for the year and we can see the finish line up ahead!  Speedy is graduating this year and as he is my first homeschool graduate, we have been completing tasks leading to graduation such as transcripts, applying for colleges, etc.  He is wrapping up the last of his school work for the year.  

Rosey and Goosey have been finishing up their school for the year as well.  Usually as this time of the year approaches, it seems to get harder to get through the finish line! The weather is warmer and the activities are winding down with parties, ceremonies, competitions, etc.  

I am also on the look out for what our next school year will bring in terms of curriculum (which is my favorite part)!!   This is when I begin researching and scouting out what things I would like to cover for the new year.   As she will be a high school freshman in the fall, I have most of the items on hand from the older two but I'm still researching and looking for different items that might suit her learning style.  ]]>
<![CDATA[Odds and Ends]]>Fri, 03 Apr 2015 19:58:01 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/odds-and-ends1Here we are in April and it is becoming a little harder to continue school as the weather begins to get warmer and activities begin to wind down.  We are however, much to the kids dismay, continuing onward with our history studies.  The kids learned about Martin Luther King Junior, JFK, and the Vietnam War.  Most of the work that they have done has been reading.  Next week in celebration of the 1960's, we plan to do some tie-dying!

We are also gearing up for Easter celebrations!  We had our traditional egg coloring day!  This year we did the crayon technique (as soon as the eggs are done boiling, the kids decorated them with crayons-the wax from them melts onto the egg and creates a really neat coloring aspect).  We also did the egg dye as well with just vinegar and food coloring (a teaspoon of vinegar mixed in with a 1/2 cup of boiling water and then add 10-15 drops of food coloring).


In the next couple of days we'll do the Resurrection eggs (another one of our Easter traditions)!  When the kids were younger I would space it out over the course of a week or so but now that they are older we go through them in a day or two.  We'll also be doing Resurrection rolls this year with a home made dough recipe as opposed to the refrigerated crescent rolls.

In celebration of Easter, Goosey decided to make a bunny out of our Keva blocks!  Hope everyone has a blessed celebration!
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<![CDATA[World War II]]>Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:04:58 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/world-war-iiWe have finished World War II era in school and have enjoyed it as best we could given the topic in general.  We didn't do too many hands on with the topic but we did watch quite a bit of movies and the kids did read quite a bit of books!  The movies we enjoyed are...

Molly An American Girl (NR)-based on the American Girl Doll series.  Follows the life of Molly at home in the US while WWII is going on.
Paper Clips (G)-documentary of a middle school's journey in learning about the holocaust.
The Hiding Place (NR)-story of Corrie Ten Boom
Mrs Miniver (NR)-an older classic movie about WWII
The Sound of Music (NR)-another classic movie 
The Wave (NR)-an older movie about a classroom experiment in 1969
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (PG)-the beginning of the movie shows that WWII is happening
The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas (PG-13)-moving DVD about concentration camps and the holocaust 
Miracle at Midnight (NR)-Disney movie about a Danish family helping Jews escape 

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<![CDATA[2015]]>Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:06:25 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/2015The above post contains affiliate links.  See my discloser policy for more info
And another new year has arrived and half of January is already gone!  We finally have all the decorations put away and new planners ready to go!  We started school a couple of weeks ago and it has been going well!  We just finished up World War II and are now venturing into India and learning about Gandhi.  

As we start the New Year, we are trying to create some new habits, one being using a planner (including me!) to better time management.  I find that I am actually better able to stay on task and gets done, imagine that!?!   We have a planning day on Sunday where we get together, go through our weekly commitments and pencil in our to-do lists in our planner around the commitments.  We started the first week of January.

I'm also trying to create a morning routine for myself and I have to say some days it has been really hard to get out of bed and get started but the days that I do stick to it, I feel the days going much smoother!  Part of my morning routine is my quiet time with God and working on a Bible study.  I am working on the same study as my kids, The Bible Road Trip.  This is something that I placed in my planner (morning routine) and have been trying to stick with!

The last habit I am working on are finances with Dave Ramsey, I am going on my 2nd year of that and working my way through the baby steps!  The older two are working on the high school, Foundations in Personal Finance (we just have the older version of the curriculum).

As the months go on I hope to still be working on these healthy habits even though there may be days where it would be easier not to.


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<![CDATA[Board Games]]>Sat, 03 Jan 2015 21:15:24 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/board-games1Our family loves board games so this year they received more games for Christmas to add to our collection!!  

Pit-FUN fast game and easy to learn!!  Speedy received this as a birthday gift.  You try and collect all of the same cards by trading with other players all at the same time.  It gets more crazy the more people that are playing ***the bell is a BIG hit too***  :oP (we bought the edition with the bell)
Tsuro of the Sea-this was a surprise one for me!  I thought it was going to be very complicated to learn and play but it is very easy and the kids love it!  Essentially, you need to stay on the board and survive the sea by laying tiles with corresponding water wakes (water lines) that keep you on the board.
Word on the Street-this is a fun game!!  We play in teams and it's a tug of war to keep the letters on your side and capture the letters!

Aggravation-a classic marble game that is like Trouble or Sorry.  The kids have never played Trouble but we do have Sorry and they said Aggravation had a little more variety to it.

Hedbanz-the kids liked this one too!  I have to say this is much harder than what I thought it would be because the topics are all over the place (animals, objects, food, etc)!!  We used to play a similar game at the dinner table but with just animals (one person thinks of an animal and every else asks a yes or no question until the animal is discovered).  
Now to see if there are any other board games that we no longer play that we can give away to make room for the new ones!!  :oP
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<![CDATA[Oh where did December go??]]>Sat, 03 Jan 2015 16:41:12 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/oh-where-did-december-go
December has flown by so fast!  We did a lighter load of school throughout the month concentrating on readings and the kids finished up assignments that they started.  It has been nice!  We concentrated on wrapping up activities for the year with some Christmas parties and a visit to the nursing home with the 4H group.  We also did our annual advent calendar with activities and readings every day.  We added some newer activities this year...gingerbread houses....

Breakfast pancakes and tea...
We also did our traditional ones...Christmas movies, looking at Christmas lights, Wii nights, baking cookies, and a couple of crafts!  
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<![CDATA[Great Depression]]>Wed, 26 Nov 2014 21:16:59 GMThttp://backyard-schooling.weebly.com/blog/great-depression
We've been learning a lot about the Great Depression and have just finished up that time period!  We have been enjoying Clara's Depression cooking!  Her youtube videos are here.  We've also been using her cookbook, Clara's Kitchen as a reference.  Goosey has been reading through it as she gives tid-bits of what her life was like during the Great Depression and she's been making some recipes from it as well (so far she has made biscotti, bread, and custard). I love how Clara gives insight on what it was like growing up in the Great Depression! We've also watched a movie about the Great Depression...Kit Kitteridge.   The kids have been reading a lot of books to go along with the topic! 

We ended our study with a camp fire and roasted hot dogs on it!  I had planned for Goosey to build a tent as a hooverville but we did not get to that.  Maybe an indoor one!
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