Friday, December 19, 2014

Meme Friday - A Day of Laughter

I haven't done this for a few weeks.  So I am trying to this highlight at the end of my week.  Here's some of this week's memes I enjoyed.

Lydia is a HUGE grumpy cat fan.  I thought this was funny.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Homeschool Travels - Claude Moore Colonial Farm

Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a period farm from 1771.  You step back into time.
And walk the paths that show how spread out a farm could be.  But I know it could be spread out further.
Tobacco Barn

The whole area around the tobacco barn was covered with turkey vultures.  We saw probably 50-75 turkey vultures.  They were everywhere.  A very weird sight.

 We wandered around a bit more before we started coming upon the house.

The day we visited, they did not have many on staff.  They were pining the wood or treating it.  It was a mixture of pine sap and turpentine mixed together.  The smell was horrendous!!!  They explained that it had to be done yearly to protect the wood.  
Inside the house...they were cooking beans for dinner.
The kids were abel to see sparse furnishings and cramped living conditions.
Use of every bit of space.

And the sleeping loft
The chicken coup

We were the only ones there at that time.  So the kids were able to ask lots of questions.  But they were also busy with the turpentine mixture and the smell was getting to us all, so we actually toured this fairly quickly.
Checking out the pigs napping
Lydia thought the duck and goose were going to let her touch them....yeah right!

They had a measurement poster to see who you measured up too....both the boys stand about as tall as James Madison.

If you would like to visit this Colonial History gem, make sure to check the schedule.  If there is nothing going on event wise, well you won't see much.  I am sure when they have the market open or even in the summer this is a very busy place.  We went on a Wednesday when school was in session, and there was not anything extra out.

Even though we didn't get to do a bunch of extra colonial activities, I think it was neat to see how basic life was in this time period.  Our kids have seen mid-to-late 1800s farms, and there was so much more on those as compared to life on a poor working form in the 1700s.  I would recommend a visit if you are in the area.  Very neat look at life so long ago.  Check ahead to see if the market is open so you can see even more about life pre-American Revolution.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Homeschooling with Sensory issues - Dealing with Glue

Caty has sensory issues.  Some are not bad, and we live with them.  Others I feel like they can drive me batty.  I know she is little and doesn't understand why things bother her to the extreme they do.  For years Caty has drawn on herself to the extreme.  I mean we used to hide the markers, not because she would write on the walls but because she would color her body.  She would have so much ink on her skin I was afraid they would make her sick.

As she started her special needs pre-school, she started with a glue issue.  She couldn't stand for it to be on her hands.  So liquid glue because an issue.  So we used glue sticks.  That change seemed to help her, but then she got some on her fingers and BAM....the problem was back.  She couldn't wash it off her hands enough.

Some days the issue is worse than others.  I just got to the point when we would do worksheets that needed glue, She would tell me where to put pieces and I would do the gluing for her.  It was a peaceful solution that limited meltdowns.  But I needed to come up with something so she could not think that I was going to do her work for her for the rest of her life.

One day while using some scrapbook tape for a project, it dawned on me.  Why can't we use this tape "glue" for Caty?   I know it does cost more than liquid glue and glue sticks, but we could at least try.  So a few weeks ago, I started introducing Caty to our glue runner.

This tape is great because you roll it on what you want to stick down, and it's instantaneous. There is no waiting for it to dry.  There's no dirty glue prints on the papers.  So her interactive notebook pages are not sticking together.

It has taken a few tries to make sure she is using the dispenser ok, but now that she has the hang of it, she is fine.  There is no glue sticking to her fingers.

The pages are not sticking together and I am able to put together her interactive notebooks and do not have to worry about glue drying.

The dispenser is not too big for her hands to use.

It has been easy for her to Permanent Dot Runner 4/Pkg-.31"X315"
and best of all .... No more Sticky Fingers!!!

You can purchase the Ad Tech Permanent Dot Runner 4/Pkg-.31"X315"
in the scrapbook section of your local hobby/craft stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby.  You can also buy them on Amazon:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homeschool Travels - The White House and National Zoo

We try to do as much as we can as a family when on trips.  Poor Daddy doesn't get to explore with us as much as we would like.  One day we visited the National Archives, (Sorry no pictures allowed inside.) to see important American documents.

 We kept exploring all the way to the White House....

 And we had to take some time to chase the squirrels.
 This has to be one of the best zoos we have ever visited!!!  The highlight though was seeing the pandas.

 How Panda poop tells a story.
Panda research area.
 Checking out bamboo

 Lydia was so excited to see these unique horses.  Przewalski's Horses are a rare breed of horses we learned about in Mongolia.  

 Caty was working on her hiking badge.  She helped pack the snack bag for us before we left the hotel and now she was supposed to be using landmarks to find our way through the zoo.
 Giant Sloth
 Lydia teaching the bird to read
 Checking out a naked mole rat colony.

 There was a whole building dedicated to the brain!

 Checking out the tiger
 We have to ride the carousel!

 Prairie dog maze to play in
 And it's Lunchtime

 Giant pizza to play on in the "Where does your food come from" exhibit.

 The kids were jealous of the goats play area.

 We were loving the leaves.
 Display on how long items take to decompose.  Great learning lesson.

 Brayden loved this.
 Sun bears playing

 Staring down the fish

 Poop was a scientific theme at the National Zoo....this was on elephant poop
We have been to some nice zoos.  This ranked as our favorite.  (Sorry Bronx Zoo you have been dethroned.)

If you pack snacks and lunch, the only cost is parking.  That can be pretty high depending on your lot.  So be prepared, it is not totally free.  Also if you want a map, you pay for those also.  But this zoo was well worth it and we LOVED it!  We plan on cycling it through again.

If you are in DC, make sure to take some time to visit the National Zoo!