Friday, August 31, 2012

Our Weekly Adventures - Week 13

In my life this week.....

Keeping 4 kids amused and quiet in a hotel room.....nearly impossible!!!  We are still on our trip.  I have a ton of blog posts that I am trying to catch up on.  We spent last Wednesday to Saturday in Philadelphia, Saturday we were in Washington DC and then arrived in Brentwood, TN for daddy's work on Sunday.  We are currently in Tennessee until Saturday, and then we will drive up to St. Louis for 6 days.  We had lots of adventures, but been chilling more this week.  Tomorrow, not sure what we will be doing.  I am in the process of planning.....we'll wait and see.

Mainly just working on sorting through the tons of photos that I have been taking.  I even took some portrait pictures of the kids for this year.  We were in a beautiful Botanical Garden yesterday and took advantage of it.  Also planning next week that we are in St. Louis.  So much to see there and not enough time to cram it all!

In our homeschool this week....

Been working on Math, Reading, Language Arts.  The boys haven't been doing much in Spelling.  Upset in routine and lack of computers here in the hotel, I didn't force the issue.  Lydia though has been working on her Reading Kingdom (watch for the review).  She kept up on all her studies, including starting our new American Girl study for American Girl Club.  We have almost finished Book 2 of the Marie-Grace & Cecile series.  We have also continued our study of the American Revolution in History.  Joey has been working in his chemistry book and Lydia & Caty have started section in their science book on sun,shadows and weather.

Places we have been going....

Well last week we took the week off from school.  We just read about the Revolutionary War.  We visited Independence Hall, Betsy Ross' house, the Liberty Bell, took a carriage ride around the historic area of downtown Philly, visited the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, drove past the White House and visited the Smithsonian American History Museum.  This week we visited a Treehouse exhibit at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, got frozen yogurt at this really awesome yogurt place and swam at the hotel alot!  A busy

What I am reading....

Nothing....except books on the Revolutionary War and American Girl

What I am cooking.....

Well our hotel has a kitchenette, so lots.  We have made Beef Stew, Red Gravy New Orleans Spaghetti, chicken w/ mushrooms and croutons (a creation to make me feel like I can eat's a work in progress), french toast, pancakes, hm sausage gravy.  We even made microwave brownies (since we don't have an oven) for while we were watching Liberty Kids.

I am grateful for.....

The opportunity we have to travel with Joe.  The kids have gotten to see so much this last week.

What's not working for us this week.....

Changes are not working well.  For some reason Joey had a very rough time this trip.  And Brayden was more open.  But they still were resistant to some things.  Not sure why this time was different, who knows.

Our week in pictures......

Chilling by the got hot here in Middle Tennessee

We had school in our room.  Caty is working on some busy activities while I moved between kids.  Here she is putting together dinosaur eggs.  I took them apart and gave her the pile to assemble.  She really liked doing this!!

Lydia and I did a History Walk in downtown Nashville.  We thought they would include a ton more info....but there wasn't much in facts or info we didn't already know from our study of Tennessee or from visiting all the area plantations.

This is the Historical and Nashville's only Diamond Graded hotel....The Hermitage....

Look at the detail!!!

The outside of the building

Another memorial downtown...the entire plaza around the capital was war memorials.  This one was for the women that supported the troops.

Downtown Nashville Library!!  It's huge!!!!
A beautiful park in downtown Nashville.....huge and cool wall mural.
It looks like someone putting together a puzzle.

Doing her ABC sort
More math.....this is her most boring subject!!!!
The Letter S now.........We use these sheets to glue our Letter words on to make a poster we usually hang in our "classroom".  But this next week, we'll just pull it out.
I have a glue and trace ebook I found a while ago on Curriclick.  It's called the Glue and Trace workbook for Preschoolers.   And since we have such a sensory issue with liquid glue......I thought I would give it a try and give her a controlled setting for

We continued doing reading on the American Revolution.  We are going to watch American Girl Felicity movie this weekend.  Yesterday we talked about life in the colonies and what a colony actually was.  I found a couple of great books to go along with our study.

While I was reading, they got out their Revolutionary War soldiers.  I bought the Toob Soldiers from Amazon.  Amazon sells a set for the Continental Army and British solider tube also.  They also got another set at the Betsy Ross house in the gift shop so that they could recreate as we read.
After we did our reading, we enjoyed microwave brownies.  No oven in the hotel.  So we used Bob Mills brownie mix and added Enjoy Life chocolate chips.  They were actually not too bad.
The kids played UNO (and of course not without fighting), enjoyed brownies and watch Liberty Kids! Brayden loves this show!!!

The kids have been chilling by playing their Wii.
This is our curriculum suitcase spilling out on the floor.
Lydia and I have been reading the Marie-Grace/Cecile American Girl series.  We are almost finished with Book 2.  We ordered the Just for Fun book that goes with it.  Some of the activities are too old for her...but others she is having fun with.  Here she is learning to draw Cochon (Cecile's pet parrot) and Argos (Marie-Grace's dog).
With just a small amount of help on each one, and then she colored them.
Joey played Roblox.
One night Lydia made dinner.  Since her American Girl Books are based in New Orleans this time, we found a recipe for Red Gravy spaghetti sauce.  We changed it a bit for food allergies (no garlic and onion...and no tabasco because the kids DO NOT like spicy).  But it was super yummy.

She browned the ground sirloin.
Browned the tomato paste with the ground beef until it was a darker color.
Added small amounts of water and let it simmer.
There were no leftovers....everyone loved it (except Brayden...won't touch sauce)
Here's another shot of Brayden enjoying his downtime.....

We had a great week and got our work I am grateful for that!  We leave for St. Louis tomorrow.  And will be there a week.  Lots to explore and only half the amount of schoolwork to complete so that we can explore more in a new area!!!

Hope everyone had a great week!!!  Linking up with other homeschool families at the Homeschool Mother's Journal.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Heroines of the Past - Bible Study ---- Tales of Virtues and Courage!


We are really getting into reading for our lessons.  We have turned a couple subjects into learning through literature.  One of our favorite subjects to "read" is history.  So we were pretty excited to get a chance to try out Heroines of the Past Bible Study by Amy Puetz.


This 13 week study encourages the noble and courageous acts of women through daily stories and scripture.  Some stories build on to each other over a few days and other days are a story in itself.  They are meant to be a book about feminine, virtuous, and courageous heroines.  Each daily lesson could be adjusted to your child's attention span and abilities very easily.

Lydia and I would read our daily story or part of a story, and then I would verbally ask her questions about what I had read to her.  But you can have your child either answer the questions on paper (if they are older) and include some writing skills into this study also.  Included also is a weekly bible verse to memorize that encourages virtuous behaviors for your child and even yourself to remember.

The lessons are really laid out in an easy to use format.  There was very little "work" for me to do ahead of time, except to quickly "skim" over the material to see if I needed to reword any of the Old English style language in some of the stories.

From the Amy Puetz site:

Two Books in One!
This book is both a Bible study and a collection of stories about historical women and girls. Each chapter has a story about a righteous lady from the past, and then a study that digs into God’s Word concerning the virtues demonstrated in the story. In this book, girls ages eight and up will meet servant-minded women like Mary Slessor, who worked for Christ as a missionary in Africa. Kindhearted women like Florence Nightingale, who served the sick. And truth-seeking women like Katherine von Bora Luther, who boldly left a convent to follow Christ. Well-known historical women are accompanied by the stories of some lesser-known virtuous women who also impacted history. This thirteen-week study features five daily lessons that could be used as a home study or for a Sunday school class. It would also be a great study for moms and daughters to do together!

This is meant to be a Bible study, but you can easily use this without the bible text to learn the same virtuous and courage acts of these heroines.  If you are a Christian and study the Bible, the scriptures are a plus and give plenty of extra areas to speak with your children.  You can view sample pages from Heroines of the Past Bible Study here.

I was taking a chance that Lydia would be able to grasp this material.  She just turned 7 and reading comprehension she is barely meeting a 1st grade level.  Some of the stories, the way they are written in the style that could be considered Old English, were a bit confusing to her.  If she didn't understand, she would ask me to re-read a paragraph.  Or I would rephrase a section that I was reading to make it more understandable for her.

In the end, she shocked me with how much she really understood.  I have to admit though, due to the complexity with Lydia, we did not do a daily lesson.  We spaced them out every couple days.  Caty was unable to understand.  The age recommendation is late elementary to middle school.  This is a good range.  Although, like I said, Lydia shocked me.  She is at a Grade 1-Grade 2 level and she was answering the questions at the end of each reading.  She did enjoy the princess feel to the stories that we read, and I also loved that we could take those "princess" stories and apply them to scriptures and how to apply all the information into our daily life.

I really have enjoyed using this product.  In fact, I am looking at purchasing another historical title from Amy Puetz to go with our study of the American Revolution.  We are going to study heros and heroines of the Revolutionary War, and their title Heroines of the Past - Patriot seems like a perfect book to highlight the women's contribution to the War.

You can purchase the title Heroines of the Past Bible Study for only $27.00 for the ebook.  This is the version that we were given to review, and I was easily able to print materials to take with us to read at the doctor...park....or where ever we were going to be schooling that day.  A printed version is available also for $27.00, plus shipping costs.

I would highly recommend this addition to any household, especially those who are big fans of a Charlotte Mason style of learning.  There are wonderful examples for your children and inspirational stories for them.....and for you also.  This is definitely one of those titles that can inspire both parents and children and reminds us as adults that we still have plenty to learn and we have forgotten a lot too.  And as I mentioned earlier, we will be including more of these titles along with our history studies.

Check out what other Crew Mates thought of Amy Puetz books.


*****Disclaimer......I received Heroines of the Past Bible Study free of charge for the sole purpose of this review for Schoolhouse Review. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Treehouses anyone......

We are visiting Tennessee right now.  Yes again....Daddy is down here for work, and we are visiting a few places around the area again.  We visited the coolest display today at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Art.

When we were here last September, we saw the coolest train display....but this's TREEHOUSES!!!  And the kids could climb and play in them!!!!

Cheekwood chose seven designers for this annual event.  These are what were chosen:

Rainbow Fish.....
"The Rainbow Fish shared his scales left and right, and the more he gave away, the more delighted he became. When the water around him filled with glimmering scales, he at last felt at home among the other fish." – Marcus Pfister, The Rainbow Fish, 1992 

Inspired by a simple, beloved children’s story about sharing, this treehouse creates a friendly space for children and adults to play. Guests can peer out of the fish’s mouth see their own reflection at the water’s edge.

 Yes the scales are recycled dvds and cds

The creation based on : The Giver by Lois Lowry

"Things could change... Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors.”  – Lois Lowry, The Giver, 1993

The entrance of the structure starts out plain and unadorned. As the visitor journeys further through the house, the space fills with color and life, ending with a joyful slide through a colorful wall.

Walden Treehouse...This was very cool inside.  But smiles were getting lower as I was snapping pics of the kids along the way (trying to get some portraits) and it got HOT....Fast!

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau,Walden, 1854 

This back-to-nature treehouse takes its visitors high up into the tree canopy to a fairytale retreat where they will find the perfect setting for daydreaming. 

Conch House.....

"His ordinary voice sounded like a whisper after the harsh note of the conch. He laid the conch against his lips, took a deep breath and blew once more. The note boomed again: and then at his firmer pressure, the note, fluking up an octave, became a strident blare more penetrating than before." -- William Golding, Lord of the Flies, 1954 

This structure encourages children to assemble before entering to create rules for their own “tribe”. Once inside, the first child to reach the top platform will blow the horn and become “chief.” 

The Jolly Roger.....
“One green light squinting over Kidd's Creek, which is near the mouth of the pirate river, marked where the brig, the Jolly Roger, lay, low in the water; a rakish-looking craft foul to the hull…She was the cannibal of the seas, and scarce needed that watchful eye, for she floated immune in the horror of her name.”  – J.M. Barrie, Peter and Wendy, 1911

Visitors of all ages will be invited on a high seas adventure through Neverland on board the infamous ship of Captain Hook. As children assume the roles of Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell, the century-old story of Peter Pan and Wendy, this treehouse invites hours of imaginative play.

Up and Down Again, A Hobbit's Tale....
"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something." 
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, 1937   

A true feast for the senses, guests will delight in climbing, sliding, and discovering a secret passage as they experience both the underground world of the Hobbit’s hole and the beautiful view from the top of the treehouse. 

Ocean of Notions......
“He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale.” -- Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, 1991 

As visitors explore this structure, they will find a giant, twisted ball of vibrantly colored ropes, representing stories flowing together in different streams. 

Cheekwood is a wonderful place to visit if you are in the Nashville area!!!  There is an extensive gardens to explore, which we didn't get to do since the kids were exhausted.  But we have been there before and loved them!  We didn't get to visit the home with the artwork though our last visit, so we took advantage of the air conditioning and explored the halls of art.  We were mesmerized by the size of this home!!!
There were many wonderful works of art, which we could not you will have to visit the Cheekwood Gardens website to see

There was lots of fun and whining from the heat....but everyone gave 5 thumbs up for the Treehouse exhibit!!!  The kids even enjoyed seeing the various materials used in the paintings on exhibit.

 They were also amazed that the art museum was actually someone's home for about 40 years.  I could handle this view from my breakfast area.

I took this picture, and took a few steps and heard Caty scream....she fell into the creek in her picture  So we had to was a bit comical because I warned her.
It was a 5 thumbs up field trip for us!!!