We met with the home school group Friday for our first study of the fall. We are doing a 7 week geography study on the continents. This week was North America. The group is broken down into two age groups, K-3 and 4-up. Moms take turns teaching and helping. I will be teaching the Africa study for Sam’s group in a few weeks.
Cora, Eli, and I played with the other little ones and visited with the moms. It is such a great encouragement to meet with these other families. Yesterday there were over 60 people there counting moms and babies, which is a big jump from last year. Also coming up this fall is a field trip to caves, fall cook-out, and moms’ night out.
We also had show and tell for any of the kids who wanted to bring something. Of course, Sam always has lots to tell. He brought a rock and a little boat he made of reeds like a Native American toy. He got up in front of all those people, said “Hello my name is Sam…” He spoke loud and clear and didn’t seem a bit nervous. I was so proud of him. Maybe God is planning for him to be a preacher…or politician!
Dandy went to the Farm Fair last week. Farm Fair is a day sponsored by local agriculture groups when all county fourth graders come and rotate through different stations to learn how agriculture affects them. Some of the other stations were on goats, dairy, beekeeping, poultry, 4-wheeler safety, 4-H, the food pyramid, and more.
(The boy in the white shirt was a preschool student of mine. I got to see 4 of my former students.)
Sam and I taught the kids a bit about the hard work of raising beef cattle, beef products they eat, and byproducts of beef. And of course, they got to pet and brush Dandy. Many fed him grain also, and I know he has never eaten that much in one day! Dandy was so good, but Sam was worried about us talking about his demise right in front of him:)
I researched on the internet to find out some beef byproducts and was surprised to learn what some of them are. They include pet food, candles, make-up, soap, shave cream, nail files, band aides, butter, gum, mayo, marshmallows, cellophane, crayons, glue, paint, paint brushes, shoes, footballs/basketballs/baseballs, medicines, and more. Some of the kids were confused on this, but I explained to them that each of these items has some small part that comes for a cow. A few said they would never brush their teeth again, but they were still planning to eat hamburger!
Sam, Cora, and I went star gazing tonight. We laid out in the back yard with blankies and popcorn and watched the night sky. It was so fun to hear their comments about the sky and other random things. Sam thinks being an astronaut would be neat, but he wants to be an archeologist when he grows up. Cora thinks the coyotes could smell our popcorn and might come get us. Sweet memories!
Each morning we say the Pledge of Allegiance, do the calendar, and the weather. Eli won't miss standing with us as we do the pledge. We also do the popsicle sticks at this time. It has become one of my favorite parts of the school day because all the kids love it and we get to do it together, one of my favorite blessings of home schooling.
We have a bunch of popsicle sticks in a cup, and each one has a different concept written on it. The kids take turns pulling a stick and answering questions. Its neat to vary the questions for each of their age levels. For example, one stick says "birthday" so Sam has to say month, day and year, Cora just the month and day, and Eli says how old he is and we're working on holding up 2 fingers. We have sticks for counting, address, months of the year, Bible verses, sight words, and more. Cora and Eli are learning to sit for their turn, and they learn a lot from listening to Sam. Plus Sam gets an opportunity to help them when they need it.
And please don't tell my kids about Labor Day...they have no idea they were supposed to have the day off. Here they are cuddling/wresting, but this is NOT during school time!
Cora got a big girl bike at a yard sale yesterday...for $7!!!!!! She was so excited that she was almost glowing.
The kids found a few other "new" toys, and I got a much needed $5 bookshelf (that for some reason caused me to rearrange the whole living room even though the shelf went in the bedroom).
We had a fun time treasure hunting at yard sales, but they always remind me of how temporary our material things are. We saw tons of vases, jewelry, shoes, clothes, and much more that at one time people had to have. Now its a quarter at a yard sale. I'm even making a pile at our house right now for our approaching yard sale (and Sam is cleaning out some toys!).
Lord, help us remember those things in our lives with true, lasting value: You, our families, and our time. Amen
Dandy, our bottle calf, is a good sport! He lets all the kids lead him around with the halter.
We have been feeding Dandy twice a day since mid-June. Last week we weaned him down to just an evening bottle. While I miss our morning visits, it sure is easier to stay on track with school work without that disruption.
Later this month, we will take Dandy to "Farm Fair". Its a special day for local 4th graders to come to the fair grounds and learn about many different aspects of farming. The kids will rotate through stations learning about things like corn, soybeans, poultry, and horses. We will teach them a little about cattle, with Dandy being our prop!