Friday, July 6, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal - July 6th

In my life this past week…it was my birthday, Sophia's 11 1/2 year old birthday, and the Fourth of July.

In our homeschool this week…we have been concentrating on finishing 4-H projects for the county fair that begins next week. Sophia has been doing projects about cost comparisons at four stores of 18 different frequently-purchased items. It's been interesting to see the price differences between the same product at different stores.

She also is working on other projects: geocaching, hedgehog (for the pet project), cats, and equine vaulting (for the horse project).

Olivia has two projects left this week - finishing her quilt; and making six more recipes and taking pictures of the completed food for her food scrapbook.

Olivia is putting the squares in order 
for each row of her quilt.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…Sophia, Olivia, and I have been enjoying the naturalist-led programs at the state parks that are near us. Yesterday (July 5th), we learned about Minnesota geology and the glacial potholes that were left during the last ice age.

These programs are free and such a valuable resource to homeschooling. It seems like they are a hidden treasure that few people know about. They're definitely worth checking out!

I am inspired by…nature. During June, we raised a couple monarch caterpillars that we found on the milkweed in the backyard. The caterpillars transformed themselves into butterflies and hatched on June 28th and 29th.

This was the first butterfly that hatched. 
The caterpillar is one that Olivia found. 
This one stayed around for a bit, sunning itself 
on the leaves of a tree by the driveway.

Seeing butterflies, birds, and other wildlife up close always is inspiring to me.

This is the second butterfly that was born and released 
on my birthday. Olivia is holding it.
It stayed around for a while and crawled from 
Olivia's hand to Sophia's hand, and 
then my hand before flying away.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…during the upcoming week, there's piano lessons, percussion lessons, the county fair where the girls bring in their projects, equine vaulting, Sophia's audition at the county fair with her harp ensemble, and a naturalist-led program at a nearby state park.

My favorite thing this week was…adopting a hedgehog. The breeder, who lives in South Dakota, was driving through the Twin Cities. We met her at a location about 45 minutes from home at 9:00 p.m. This is the time that hedgehogs wake up since they are nocturnal animals. 

Sophia holding 8-week old Phoenix.

He's bigger than we thought he'd be, so we're not quite sure of his final adult size. Phoenix is inquisitive, active (at night), and friendly. He likes eating his food and trying treats - his favorite treat so far are apple pieces. He doesn't like mealworms or celery. 

Right now Phoenix has all his baby quills. Within the next month, he'll be growing in adult quills, which is like teething in children - except all over one's body. It's not a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination.

What’s working/not working for us…I still have not ordered the Sonlight curriculum for the upcoming year. I'm using two components: the science curriculum and the history/geography/literature component that is focused on the eastern hemisphere. 

Until I receive that, I am waiting to do planning for the upcoming school year. With only a couple months left until the 2012-13 school year, this has to become a priority during the upcoming week. 

Things I’m working on…cleaning and de-cluttering the home. My goal is to get everything done by September when I begin a nine-month spiritual-growth program. There's going to be a lot of reading, reflection, writing, activities, and meetings - so I want the home as organized as possible.

I’m reading…a couple of books now: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Prairie Wisdom by Yvonne Pope; and The Good Among the Great - 19 Traits of the Most Admirable, Creative, and Joyous People by Donald Van de Mark.

I’m cooking…with Olivia who needs to do a few more recipes in her Five in a Row Cookbook before entering it in the county fair as a 4-H project. She's made many recipes in the book this year, and certainly has gained a lot of skill in the kitchen. It's been fun to be able to cook with her one-on-one.

Olivia is learning how to make a grilled cheese and ham sandwich.
It is one of the recipes that's in the Five in a Row Cookbook.

I’m grateful for…getting two free flats of tomatoes from Fare for All to can. The Fare for All program is a great resource for stretching one's food budget. I took my mom to the warehouse where there is a wide selection of affordable food and an ever-changing selection of free food. 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…This is a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote for a Mansfield, Missouri, regional newspaper about twenty years before she wrote the Little House series. 

"The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and 
surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies."


Shelly @ Homeschooling Without Labels said...

Love you Monarch pics! We have raised 3 this summer as well!

Stefanie said...

Happy Birthday to your little lady. The hedgies are sooo cute. We always like to take a peek at them when we're at the pet shot. So Adorable!

Popping in from THMJ

What Remains Now said...

I love to read your lists. They help me to be mindful. Of course, all I can really think about is your adorable new hedgehog. Many updates, please.

Emmalee I. Hoggatt said...

We are working on 4-H projects here also. We have our 1st fair next week. The butterfly picture is great! Hum, a hedgehog. I never heard of having one for a pet but it is super cute!! We might have to research adding one to our animal "collection"!

See Jamie blog said...

Oh my goodness, if I show my girls this post they are going to want a hedgehog! Actually, I'm not sure it's legal to own them here in Georgia; seems like I've heard that but haven't verified it.

The monarchs are beautiful! We have raised butterflies but never monarchs.

Mama Bird said...

oooh I so so love that little Hedgehog.

We are working on state fair projects as well and only have 1 out of 9 finished that need to be done by next Friday. That Monarch picture is great aswell. We are doing a project on monarchs for our state fair this year. Last year we grew maggots and did the fly life cycle! We won Grand Prize for that project!

Amber said...

Beautiful butterflies! And what an adorable little hedgehog. (We have a bird which grows pin feathers when molting and it's terribly uncomfortable -- you can tell when you accidentally bump one. =S I can imagine it would be uncomfortable for the little hedgehog, too. But he's still cute. =)