Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moving blog...... And exciting news!

Well, if everyone actually found this place, it is a small miracle! After Homeschool Blogger moved servers, I decided to do what I have been thinking about for awhile anyway- move blog. For several reasons I have been frustrated with the lack of features, etc. over at homeschool blogger. I also have a hubby who has been wanting to start a blog, and here we can have several blogs under the same account.

Hopefully this will be easier for my readers to navigate as well. If you are interested in following, you can use the link up above, or leave a comment with your e-mail and I will send you updates.

I would like to apologize for the lack of updates in the last two weeks. With Homeschool Blogger down, and later trying to figure out the new server, I haven't had much time to spend actually BLOGGING, which is, after all the whole point.

Now, for the exciting news.....

Now, we aren't having baby #4. Yet.

Actually, I made it to The Old Schoolhouse's Review Crew!! I am so excited, and this truly is a gift from God. We will be receiving different school programs and items throughout the next year to use with our children, and then review for you.

It is not a small undertaking, and not one that I made without consideration, but after talking to other moms who have done it, I think it will end up being a huge blessing. We will have to remain very flexible in our curriculum choices and be diligent in blogging and keeping in contact with all of YOU.

I want to give a huge thank-you to everyone who read and commented on my blog, and gave me advice on my try-out reviews. I am sure, without all of you, they would have just laughed at my review attempt. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Learning Happens- Even in Summer

I just wanted to add a quick post here today to let everyone know what we have been doing around here. We officially started out summer break on May 1st, but nothing is TOO official here. I was planning to adjust our breaks around garden planting and harvesting, with a little easy school in between. We will be doing 2 units a month for now, to coincide with our brand-new homeschool co-op! :)

Even when we aren't "doing" school, a lot of learning still goes on around here. Check it out!

When it's too cold to play outside, bring the dirt in! (NOT my idea!)

Picnic time!

Spider egg sacs in a jar.... eew I know. After reading Charlotte's web, do you really think we could throw away an egg sac??

Garage sale find: Pterodactyl floor puzzle

The first Roots n' Shoots meeting. We are planning our Unit-Study based Co-op, and they are playing in the water. :)

First harvest of the year!! Horray!

Tearing out our 'boardwalk' sidewalk, to find new bugs.... Also NOT my idea.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Redeeming The Time

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7

Sometimes, when I look ahead through the pages of my children's growing-up years, I feel such an urgency to teach them NOW. I feel desperate to instill some things in them, and when I look at all there is to know and become, 12 years seems like a very short time.

I believe that children can and will teach themselves given time, but how much time do we have? There is so much knowledge that great men and women of the past gave us, but it is slipping away before our eyes in politically correct textbooks and watered down social studies lessons.

I want to study the lives and teachings of each of our countries Presidents.... in depth. At a week each, that study alone will take over one whole school year, and how can you study the life of George Washington in-depth in a week? They could easily be complete unit studies, including science, literature, history and geography... a month each would not be too much. But that is not all...

It is also important to learn about the history of America's wars- each one has so much to teach us, about the character of man, the nature of politics and the resiliancy of humanity. We have to study the history of govenment, and how the different kinds of governments develop and function.

I would like to study each state, its government, founders, agriculture, and history. That, again will take over a year at one state a week.

I want to study ancient history, especially the societies that influenced our western culture most, the Greeks and Romans. I would love to incorporate study of other countries and cultures, and their history. We can only learn how blessed we are by seeing how other people live everyday.

I want my children to know all of the local flora and fauna, how to identify them, and what is edible. I Want them to know how to start a fire without matches and how to tell direction without a compass. I want them to know nature, animals and plants, and what they say to us. This will be a lifelong study, as you can never stop learning about God's world.

I want to study great art, particularly classical literature- which takes a lot of time. I want them to have at least a working knowledge of music, art and poetry. I think every child should learn how to play at least one instrument, music theory used to be part of every child's education. And then there is language- Greek and Latin should be taught, at least rudimently. So much of our own language comes from theirs.

And these are just the things that require specific studying- many things go without saying. logic, reasoning, the ability to tell the Truth from a lie. Character, courage, the willingness to be different and strong. The desire to think outside of the box and figure things out, and the knowledge of their own gifts, interests and abilities. Science- knowledge of how the earth works, laws of nature, how to experiment and learn from the world around us.

And then there is math- I think physics, calculus and statistics are important thinking skills to develop, and also important to developing character. :) You need a high quality math education to get along in this world.

And, of course, most important of all, learning about our Christian faith and heritage. Developing and nurturing young hearts into a relationship with their Creator. I want them to memorize many passages of Scripture, and to KNOW it in their hearts, what it says and means. I want them to be able to us the Bible apologetically, and find the TRUTH it contains.

I get to the end of this list, and there are many other things I would like to teach but do not find vitally important. This list contains only those things I see as most important, the things that, if left out, would cause me to feel like I failed them. And I realize it is extremely important to let them chase their own interests and dreams, and learn about the things they are delighted in.

See why I said 12 years is short? Redeem the time, for the days are evil.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Make a Sweater Dress

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7

We were given a bag of clothes, and in this bag there were a few adult sweaters. I was going to give them to charity.... but then I remembered I had seen somewhere, an adorable dress made out of a sweater.

Hailey in her new dress

1. Start by laying out the sweater on the floor or a table. You need to have the child around, or a dress that they fit well. It works best if you use the child for fitting. Make sure the sweater is long enough. Mine wasn't so it will be worn with leggings.

2. For this simple sweater dress, you want to cut the dress about the width of your child's shoulders (plus a half inch or so on each side for seams! ) all the way down, or wider at the bottom and taper up. The bottom should be no more then a couple inches wider then the top, or it will stick out on the sides.

3. Cut the sleeves off and trip the leftover sleeve seam off the dress and sleeve. You should now have a tunic piece, and two sleeve pieces. (Throw the cut-off side pieces away.)

4. Decide how long you want the sleeves to be, and cut them off at the lower end. Be sure to leave room for a 1/2 to 1 inch hem! You can throw away the bottom sleeve piece.

My sweater, showing where I cut it

5. Ok, now you need to cut curves in the top of the dress, where you will set the sleeves in. Just make a nice easy curve, not to deep. It should be about an inch in at the top for a dress this size. Put the tunic on your child to mark how big low they should go. Don't make them too small, they will be uncomfortable. You can compare to a dress you already have to see how this should look.

Sizing the Dress

6. Go ahead and sew up the dress now, stopping at the armhole. When you are done you can turn it back right-side out, and lay it flat again. Now you need your arm pieces.

7. Lay your arm pieces in place on each side of the dress. Lay the top even with the top of the dress, and cut the underarm side off to fit, leaving a half inch or so for a seam. (You don't have to be too specific, sweaters are stretchy.) Hem up the bottom for a cuff, and sew up the underarm seam.

Here is about where you would cut the sleeve

8. When you are done with both sleeves, you can set them into the dress. Now you can add any ribbons, lace or bows if you want to decorate the dress.

And you have this!!

I cut my dress a little wide, so I added a pleat in the front, and I also added decorative pleats in the sleeves. Just follow these directions for a dress without pleats.
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