Saturday, November 3, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal: In Which We Have Family Time

I skipped last week - just too much going on here!  So this HMJ covers two weeks.

In our homeschool... we did keep up with History lessons (Landon and Kennady) by just reading our text each day and working through the additional maps and other materials.  After two weeks of a very relaxed school schedule, we were only two days behind in History, so I think that's pretty good.  We skipped Classical Astronomy almost entirely, since we had just finished a chapter two weeks ago.  The boys did try a few times to get out to make observations of the sunrise, sunset, and nighttime stars, but with sketchy weather and lots of distractions it didn't work out that well.  Each of the kids worked on a little bit of their other individual schoolwork, but for the most part I let them have a break to just enjoy time with their Gramma and Papa.

We did go on a couple of field trips that related to recent History lessons - we visited the C&O Canal National Park which tied into our discussion of the Erie Canal and how canal systems were used during the 1800s before the railways took over.  And we visited Luray Caverns, which was sort of related to a discussion we had about Mammoth Cave several weeks ago. 
locks and tavern at C&O Canal in Potomac, MD
huge column inside Luray Caverns in VA
We also had a "plantation dinner" one evening, as suggested in our study.  Our book, America the Beautiful told us that a typical menu at a southern plantation manor in the Natchez, Mississippi area in the early 1800s would include: a baked ham, a large roast turkey, boiled mutton, roast beef, boiled turkey stuffed with oysters, raw celery, cranberry molds, pickles, four to six vegetable dishes, scalloped oysters; and then for dessert, plum pudding, stewed apples, gelatin, syllabub and cheesecake puddings.  All this to serve ten to twelve people!  We followed the scaled-down version and served: baked ham, fresh baked bread, raw celery, cranberry jelly and sauce, pickles, corn, mashed potatoes, green beans, and baked squash.  And we served it on our china as well.  A school dinner is a special occasion, after all!
They look thrilled, don't they? LOL

In other news... you may have heard about another visitor to our area this past week - Hurricane Sandy.  We were prepared for high winds, lots of rain, flooding, and lengthy power outages.  What we got was a lot of wind and rain, and some flooding, but thankfully no power outages locally!  We were very blessed.  The wind made an awful racket and made it hard to sleep on Monday night, and the rain beat down pretty hard for a couple days, but moved on before doing any real damage.  Lots of branches down and some trees - the neighbor had a fairly large tree down - and we lost some siding and likely a few shingles.  But we usually lose a piece or two of siding in a windstorm, so that's no big deal.  It stayed on our property so we picked it up and will nail it back on again in a few days.  Many of the local roads and bridges were closed due to flooding, so we enjoyed our enforced days at home playing games and having family time.  When we did go out, on Thursday, we found that only a couple miles from our place, there were some very large trees down, but thankfully all had fallen away from the nearby houses.

On October 31st, our church held a Trunk or Treat event that was very well-attended, despite the weather concerns.  It didn't rain that evening, to our delight, so we were able to have the event in the parking lot as planned, complete with a bonfire!

This morning was another big event - Landon got to go on his first orientation flight with Civil Air Patrol.

Helpful homeschooling tips/advice... remember that many games that aren't necessarily educational have educational value.  Landon and Kennady didn't do much workbook math or language arts these past two weeks, but they worked crossword puzzles (and expanded their vocabulary), played speed Scrabble (and worked on spelling skills), and played lots of Mexican train dominoes (where they practiced logic and strategy, and worked on math facts when they had to add up their scores).

What's working/not working for us... the electricity has been working! Yay!! Knowing how many are still without power after Hurricane Sandy reminds me to be very grateful that we were spared the worst of the storm this time around.

Thoughts/questions I have... wondering how much effort it will take to get us back to our school routines now that my parents aren't here any more...

One of my favorite things this week (or these past two weeks)... family time! We all had a wonderful time with Gramma and Papa - many games of dominoes and Scrabble, good food, walks, 'field trips', crossword puzzles, and going out for coffee.

A photo/video/quote or link to share... check this out... the C&O Canal has about a half dozen lockhouses along the canal route where you can stay overnight! Some are not much more than camping in the old house, but a couple have electricity and working kitchens.  I am really hoping to do this during this school year, and I'm sorry I didn't find out about it earlier in the fall.  Now it's getting a little chilly to even consider the more primitive ones.  
Source: via Kym on Pinterest

Visit the C&O Canal Trust website for more info.  Wouldn't that be a great family school outing? (Help me convince my kids how great it would be! LOL)

On the bookshelf...
  • Midsummer's Eve by Philippa Carr
Finished The Return of the Gypsy by Philippa Carr.  As you can see, I haven't done much reading the past couple weeks!

A parting shot...

This post is linked up at iHomeschoolNetwork - see what tune other homeschoolers are singing this week!


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