Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ant Farm Update

It appears that I did not goof when putting the ants in the habitat.  Yay!  I can breathe now.  Except for the fact that I have ants in my house, voluntarily.  Well at least they are in a place where they won’t bite me.  I hope.  I have been asked where I got our farm.  My particular one I got when I bought the curriculum “My Father’s World”.  We also got a butterfly garden (which I am  looking forward to).  However, I knew that one can get the ant hill farm on it’s own.  So I did some searching (not much) and found the direct source.  You can also buy it from amazon if you so choose to do so. 
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The company is Insect Lore and you can find them at http://www.insectlore.com/ .  They have the ant farm, the butterfly garden and a Lady Bug Land.  The lady bug land is something that we just might have to do.  I like lady bugs a lot more than ants!  Oh and they also have an earthworm nursery.  I might just skip that one… but who knows when it comes to my girl. 

Pet Ants

We made an ant farm for our homeschool unit on Insects. I have to tell you it was a test of a mother’s love to deal with those ants.  They really creep me out.  All day I kept feeling the ants all over my body.  Sometimes as a mom you do things that normally you wouldn’t do because you know how excited your child is going to be.  My girl is loving her ant farm even though I think mom messed up a step or two. The ants are not on the sand part like should be and I am not sure if they will get there or not. 
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Looking at the ants. We put them in the fridge for about 5 min to make sure that they would not climb out and bite us. Mickey is not sure at this point whether she likes the ants or not.
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After putting sand in we had to make a hole with the stick. Of course Mickey had to have Sparky help her out. :)
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My proud girl. And the verdict is that she likes the ants. She has named them and is convinced that she can tell one ant from the other. Who am I, to say that she can't tell the difference. Right now, the ants are on the wrong side and I am not sure if there is a way to salvage the project without starting over from scratch, but right now my girl loves her pet ants. I didn't know they are pet ants but that is what Mickey is telling me they are.

Flexibility

I was reminded yesterday that as a homeschooling family, flexibility is a must.  I am a person who thrives when there is a plan.  I don’t like flying by the seat of my pants.  I hate “winging” it.  I like knowing what is up ahead.  Then life throws me a curve ball.  Most of the time those curve balls are not a big deal. But I can make them into a BIGGER deal that they need to be because I stress about it not being in the plan.  Being a mom means that there is so much you do with your children that is not part of the plan. 
I had a choice to make yesterday.  We had planned to do an ant farm in our homeschool schedule.  Just NOT this week.  This week was supposed to be sea creatures.  Last time I checked ants don’t live in the sea.  However, my ants arrived in the mail late Monday.  So that meant that I had to get those pesky and oh so creepy ants in their farm before I killed them. Which also meant that we needed to change our course this week.  After I had already planned the week.  Is it a big deal?  Nope.  But it can cause me stress when I think about things not going according to ‘my” plan. 
After a few stressful moments, I realized that I just needed to change.  It wasn’t a big deal and flying by the seat of my pants was going to have to be ok.  Now if I can just remember to do that when the Bigger things in life require that I change my plans and listen to the Lord telling me.  “It is okay if you life plans change, because I am right here with you.  Even if you can’t see me, I AM here.” 
The Lord has reassured me time and time again that even though homeschooling was never in my plan and truthfully very far from what I ever thought I be in my plan.  I now can’t imagine doing things any differently.  I am exactly where I need to be.  But this would have never had happened if I didn’t listen and realize that I needed to bend and be flexible and to think differently that I ever had before. 
What areas in life do you need a little flexibility?  Are you like me and need that plan?  What happens when life doesn’t happen according to your plan?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time at the Fair

Fair time is always a highlight of our year. We have been going to the fair since Mickey was 9 months. My daughter is very comfortable around animals.  This year before we headed out to the fair we read “Andi’s Fair Surprise” by Susan K. Marlow.  This a book series about a little girl named Andi who is 6 years old.  This book was a book about going to the Fair.  Everyone in the family participated and entered things in the fair.  All except Andi because she was still too little.  While we were at the fair my girl starts telling me when she gets older she is going to enter different animals in the fair.  As we looked at the different animals she was weighing the options and whether this would be the animal she would raise.  I don’t know what I am going to do when she decides that this is the year that she is going to raise animals.  Jeff and I are not FFA or 4-H people and have no idea on even where to begin with that journey!
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Goats are my girl’s favorite animal at the fair. 
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Nate is wondering what all the fuss over a goat is.  Will he be a animal lover like his sister?
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Taking time out to enjoy a lollipop
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Llamas are another fav.  Her and this little guy seemed have a love fest going on. 
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The petting zoo where she can feed any animal she wants is our highlight and where we spend most of our time.
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More goats….
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and more laughs
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Nate decides to take a snooze
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Nate wakes up and will he like the animals??
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I think he is liking his time.
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Yes, he is an animal lover like his sister.
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What a silly guy
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She had to find another one to love
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But she thinks that she wants to raise and show bunnies….Her momma, is not as sure as she is.  Winking smile

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Science Makes My Brain Feel Smart

My girl loves her science days.  Yesterday was a fun one.  The science experiment was what happens to raisins when they are put into soda.  The answer is that the dance in the bubbles.  The carbon dioxide in the soda makes the fizz and the bubbles that we see in the soda.  Those bubbles carry the raisins up and as the bubbles pop the raisins fall and get caught up in another bubble.  How fun this was to watch.  We will do this one again when Daddy comes home and let him see the fun we had! 
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This is a project to do if you have little ones in your house. It was easy and fun to watch.  Also my girl loves eating raisins.  Her quotes from today
“Science makes my brain feel smart” and “science was yummy today.” 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 40

We are in the beginning of October and we just completed day 40!  Wow!  I have to say that this has been a great experience for both my daughter and I and most of all our family. 
I thought I would share a couple of pictures of Mickey’s accomplishment in reading.  I am so proud of her. 

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Here is my girl holding up the books she has read and made in the past 40 days of school!   So exciting!!
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13 Books!
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Words that are not in a family group!
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I forgot to count them.  But I think that there are 15-20 words in there. 
This has been an exciting process for both of us. It has been fun to watch her learn and grasp new abilities that are going to open a whole new world for her! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How Do You Get Everything Done?

I think that every mom and especially every homeschooling mom wants to know how you can possibly get everything done that needs to get done, done.  I am here to answer that question.  YOU DON’T!  Unless you have a genie in a bottle or maybe a live in maid, I don’t know how to get everything done.  I don’t have a genie or a live in maid.  There are some days that I can do the things that are on my list and I am excited.  There are other days when I look at my list and realize that I didn’t even come close that day.  I have to realign my priorities and make sure that the important things get done and the other things can wait.  I don’t know if I ever have everything done. I can tell you that when my hubby is home more things get done than when he is on the road. 
I guess what I am trying to say that if you are beating yourself up for not getting everything on your list done, don’t.  If you need to enlist help, and you if you are human you need help.  That help may come from your spouse or your children if they are old enough.  You need to take a look at your priorities and see what is really important and what can wait a day or two. 
Also you need time to recharge and take time for yourself, even if your house is a mess.  You have a lot of responsibilities but they will slowly feel like a unmanageable mountain if you don’t take regular time to recharge those batteries.  It is amazing how much more I get accomplished when I take time to get out without my kiddos and just recharge. 

Change of Math Curriculum

imageI have be willing to change when things are not working.  Just because I have bought something does not mean that it will be the best thing for us to use.  In my research on what reading program I should use after we ended the Ready2Read program, I stumbled onto a math program.  The workbook we were using was good but left out some hands on tools to really bring home the concepts better.  The program I found was McRuffy Math.  I ordered and started using it the day after it arrived to our home.  WE LOVE IT!!!!  The best review was when my girl said “Momma, I like Math now, it is NOT BORING anymore.”  She looks forward to doing math everyday.  It is hands on and fun. 
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There is a teacher’s manual, a workbook for the student, a resource kit and lots of hands on manipulatives.  It is taking things at a pace that my girl can handle and she looks forward to it.  She often wants to continue to work on it long after the lessons are over.  Darn a kid that wants to continue learning.  Smile  I love it because it has taken away the fear of “Doing it wrong” and just the plain ol’ fun of learning.  It also gives me, the teacher great guidelines on how to teach a lesson.  It even tells me what to say!  So if you are looking for a good hands on math curriculum, this one is a great one to look into.