Sunday, August 31, 2014

I would never make it as a nomad

This week, we learned about the earliest people, the nomads.  In order to get an idea of what their life was like, we tried to do the things they did.  First, we created some cave paintings.  The kids were very excited to find out that the nomads left hand prints inside caves.  That's what they wanted to imitate the most.

Here's what our "cave wall" looks like now.  I wonder how these pictures will be interpreted thousands of years from now.

Later in the week, we really delved into the world of the nomad by building huts in the wild and foraging for our own food.  Eli and Leah made little huts with materials they found in the wilderness.
Noah built a hunting lookout.  He was able to bag a deer for lunch with nothing but his instincts and a bow and arrow.

Naomi got really creative.  At first glance, the thing in her hand looks just like a bunny.  What you may not realize is that it's just a stick with two points that look like bunny ears.  She entertained herself for an hour bouncing the stick around and saying "hop, hop, hop".

I was able to turn the deer meat Noah got for us into hot dogs, which we roasted over a fire we started with two sticks (or more like 15 sticks called matches).

To supplement the meal, I gathered some paper plates, buns, ketchup, mustard, chips, sliced peaches, and juice boxes.  It's amazing how nature provides all the necessities; you just have to know where to look.

Leah took the first watch during lunch so no mountain lions or warring tribes attacked and stole our lunch.

Finally, we were honored to share our feast with the revered elder of the tribe, Big Chief. 

Even though the land provided for all our needs, I would still rather live in this time with all it's modern conveniences.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Just like Indiana Jones

We finished our first week of school.  We only did three days, but we had some ups and downs already.  I figure this will always be a learning processes.  I embrace the fact that I will have to change things as we go along.  At least the kids are excited and enjoying this change so far.

We are doing history all together.  We are getting our lessons and crafts from a series called The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer.  It's simple enough for my three older kids to follow and it comes with an activity book filled with fun ideas for hands-on learning.

This week, we just did the introduction.  We learned about what history is, what historians do, what archaeology is, and what archaeologists do.  For our activity, we had an archaeological dig in the back yard.  I had the kids get their clipboards, paper, and pencils and bring them out back where there magically had appeared a dig site.  First they roped off the area into a grid with official rainbow yarn and popsicle sticks.  I also asked them to pretend it was 500 years in the future.  Since I buried our own stuff, I needed them to pretend they didn't know what the things were that they were finding.  The idea was that they try to learn about ancient people based on the materials and uses of the items they found.

They all had fun participating in different ways.  Eli was happy to suspend disbelief for a little bit and examine the artifacts, writing on the paper where he discovered them.  Noah was so excited to just find things and thought it was funny when he found Legos and a Scooby-Doo plate.  When Leah found stuff, she would put her hand on her hip and say, "Really, Mom?"  I think she was expecting to find actual ancient artifacts.  Naomi loved flinging the dirt.  Her favorite artifact was the toothbrush, which she did put in her mouth.  Don't be too grossed out.  It was mine, so it's only been in my mouth and a bunch of dirt; that's all.

This is what our first day of school looked like

Here are the kids ready to walk out the door, for their first day of school.

Here they are climbing on the bus.

What an odd thing to have at the entrance of a school....wait a minute.  Are they at a school?

They are at school, but it's not the typical brick and mortar one that the big yellow bus takes them to.  Our family has begun a new schooling adventure.  That new adventure is called HOMESCHOOL.  After a lot of prayer, fasting, research, prayer, convincing and prayer, I decided we were going to homeschool our kids.  I say "I decided" because Mike has been wanting this for quite a while.  He slowly and patiently waited for me to join the homeschool bandwagon.  I fought it and I fought it.  It was just something I never wanted to do.  I didn't want to have the "weird family" in the neighborhood.  I didn't want to have all that work and prep to do.  I didn't want to go crazy being around my kids all the time.  Those and more were my reasons not to do it.  That was before.

Now that I've really looked into it, talked to lots of homeschool moms, and prayed (have I mentioned that?), I have learned that homeschool is none of those things.  My kids will be fine socially because there are lots of families that homeschool too.  There isn't crazy amounts of prep work to do because homeschool is not like public school and it's not supposed to be.  In our homeschool, there's no "homework", tests, assigned readings, etc..  The best part is I am crazy about my kids, so I want to be around them all the time.  Mike and I genuinely feel that this is the best choice for our family.  What more reason do we need?

In order to celebrate the start of the new school year and this adventure, we decided to take the kids to the new aquarium near us.  It was really fun for all 6 of us.  The kids took sketch and idea notebooks to record and draw new animals they were interested in.  We had a fun time talking about the things we thought were interesting or gross or scary.  We were able to watch the sharks get fed (we learned that is not as cool as we were anticipating).  The kids even made some new friends:

 I plan on and hope to restart this blog so I can keep a homeschool journal of sorts.  And I also promised some people that I'd blog so they can see where our adventure takes us.  I'm excited to find out where that is!