Monday, April 30, 2012

Gospel for Asia

Our church has been a supporter of Gospel for Asia for a couple of years now. Yesterday we had a real treat, the Vice President of Gospel for Asia came and gave a presentation during our Sunday School hour and also spoke during both church services. He brought a table of maps, books, dvds, and missionaries to support. Grace picked out a missionary from India for our family to start supporting. Very excited. If you are also interested in supporting a missionary or their organization please visit .

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lots Going On

There is so much going on right now I don't know where to start. Currently myself and a close friend are in the beginning process of planning and starting up a fine arts academy. We have already worked together with a youth theatre group for the past four years together and wish to enlarge the scope. Hoping to have classes available in art, dance, music, choir and drama at a very economical cost for families in these hard economic times. So if you will excuse my vanishing act over the past few days I hope to be back blogging regularly in the next few days.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What We Did Today

This morning we went to a hour long class of Jazzercise and returned home for lunch. One of Grace's Keepers projects is to study a foreign country and language, she chose Germany. Today we decided to make a traditional German strudel. According to Scott it turned out delicious. Grace wanted to make a deal with me to finish her math book today (three lessons left) and not do any writing. I was completely okay with this because quite frankly I am ready to be finished with math for a couple of months too. While the strudel was baking we read two chapters from Anne of Green Gables and one chapter from Heroes of Invention. Today's chapter was about Archimedes and early inventors. She also watched LibertyTreehouse this morning while eating breakfast with information about Johnny Appleseed and Albert Einstein. Yesterday Grace started taking some free online piano lessons so I am sure she will continue that this afternoon also. Tomorrow we will probably concentrate on her German project and an ebook I am reviewing for Notgrass about the upcoming Olympics.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Arrivals

Yesterday all five eggs that Peacock was sitting on hatched. Five fuzzy, healthy chicks. Today they will be moved with their mother into the nursery coop. These eggs were given to us by a friend and are a mixture of breeds. I am pretty sure that 4 are Buffs but a little unsure of the black one. Hatching eggs is so much fun it kind of gets addictive. Our Game Fowl are great sitters so we might do another round of hatching in a couple of months.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Keeping Records for Unschooling

This is our new journal for recording unschooling like activities. There are many activities, discussions, tv watching stuff going on each day that really never get recorded as school time. When you think about it most of our children are learning something from sun up to sun down. This journal is made for recording all these situations and so much more. I purchased our journal from . There are many different covers to choose from for your child's interests. Each two page spread is for one week starting with Sunday and running through Saturday. On the far left are areas to fill in with what was accomplished each day. On the right is boxes for each category to fill in those activities. This way it is very easy to see if your child's education is balanced or if some boxes are missing any entries. There are eleven catergories
  • Spiritual Life - Bible Study, Worship, and Christian Fellowship
  • Learning to Work- Chores, Service, and Life Skills
  • Relating to Others - Character and Relationships
  • Learning about God's Creation - Science and Technology
  • Learning About People and Places - Geography, Government, and Foreign Language
  • Learning About the Events and People of the Past - History and Biography
  • Learning About the Thoughts of Others - Reading and Literature
  • Being Creative - Art, Crafts, Music, Drama, and other Creative Activities
  • Learning to Communicate - Letter Writing, Grammar, handwriting, Creative Writing, and Journaling
  • Caring for My Body- Exercise, Sports, and Health
  • Learning Math, Problem Solving, and Thinking Skills
In the back of the journal are pages to fill in all the books the student has read and another list for books that were read aloud to them. There are also more pages for grades, test scores, and awards that are received throughout the year. So far I have been very pleased with this journal.

We Love Seeing the UPS Man

The UPS man visited us yesterday with two packages. As I mentioned in a previous post each night after dinner is family time. We have started watching Little House and The Waltons and will be adding the Brady Bunch while playing games. As a family we had not played alot of games in the past so I needed to purchase a few. From Rainbow Resource we got World Almanac for Kids, Tri-ominos, Swap card game, Dutch Blitz, and Settlers of Catan. When we go to the convention in May I will try to find a few others at the used sale. Last night we played World Almanac and had a good time.
I met an online friend through SCM forum that has a living books library in her home. If I'm not mistaken about 10,000 books. She has software to keep everything organized andabout 50 patrons that visit her library weekly. She has very much inspired me. I love books so much and with the fate of alot of libraries hanging in the balance these days I thought I might make this a ministry for our family also. A couple of weeks ago Robin posted books that she had more than one of and I grabbed some great titles. I have a year or two to go before I can actually open my library up to borrowing (still lots of collecting to do) but I also have alot to learn before doing it. We hope as a family to visit Robin's library in Tennessee sometime this year and get a good idea about how her system works and if it would work for us.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Friends Will Think I Am Crazy

The past couple of days this post has been swimming around in my brain. I don't know how to tell all my homeschool peeps that we are now unschooling. In the homeschool world alot of adults view "unschooling" as a dirty word. We have tried the traditional, structured method for 6 years and it just isn't working. I asked myself, "Do I continue to force information and work on a child that doesn't care about it and doesn't remember any of it or do I let her start charting her own course". There are many things that she is passionate about - drawing, computer work, drama, and peforming. Our form of unschooling will not be the radical kind that you read alot about. She will have guidelines of what she needs to accomplish in a day, a week, a month. But she will be able to chose just what subjects and materials and how much. Over the years I have researched alot about unschooling and it had always intrigued me. There is so much we do on a daily basis that doesn't usually get counted as school. Like conversations about anything and everything, jazzercise classes, gardening and preserving food, chicken care, documentaries and television programs, games played. It is all educational. I think the only subject that will be daily and she will have no choice in is math. We will continue to use Teaching Textbooks. So there you go, we have come out of the closet, we are now unschoolers/independent learners/very relaxed homeschooling. Whatever you want to call it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nature Walk and Photography

I have blogged about this before but figured it was worth another entry. Our neighbors have created a beautiful area on their property. Many Asian themed areas and so much more. Scott got a new camera for his birthday and Grace has been itching to take it down to the neighbors house and take some nature inspired photos. Of course the pics I am posting are not hers but from my blackberry. The above photo is a trail the you can walk on the back end of their property and it looks like walking through something form Lord of the Rings or fairyland.
They have three fish ponds with goldfish and huge koi. Lots of greenery.

This water feature is inside the tea house and Grace's favorite fish resides here. The big white koi. He likes you to pet him and feed him treats.
This is the outside of the tea house.
The owner also created a bonsai garden with bonsai trees he created himself. It is always so much fun going down there and visiting.

Acts of Faith

The drama ministry team had another performance last night. This time we performed for "The Garden" a homeless shelter for women and children in Smyrna about 1 1/2 hours away. It was such a blessings to perform for this group (about 100). By far the best audience to date. I hope we get to go back again next year and perform with new material. The photo above is actually after the performance at Chikfila for dinner. Because of Atlanta traffic (even at 9:00 at night) we didn't get home until nearly midnight. Very tired this morning and played hookey from church.

Friday, April 13, 2012


We have recycled for the past two years. Our small community only accepts two types of plastic, paper, cardboard, and glass. A trip to the recycling center happens about twice a month. Up until yesterday everything went together in a couple of plastic containers, but when Scott went to the center yesterday someone had left these perfectly good recycling bins free to a good home. So excited to have a free more organized front porch.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Child Directed Learning Day 3

One thing I can say about child directed learning - not as many daily struggles between parent and child. Much more relaxed atmosphere. Going with the flow is going to be hard for my control freak self but I will get there. Today Grace picked a story for history from The American Story Book about Sojourner Truth, she wrote a paragraph about her and we printed a picture to paste in our book of centuries. Since Grace will probably be jumping all over the place for history for a while we thought it would be best to continue her book of centuries so she will have a reference point for each historical event, person, etc. She finished her puppetry project today (wrote script yesterday) and performed it for me. Once project down and 17 more to go. Her next chosen project is sign language. Today she learned half the alphabet and kept doing it over and over till it was perfect. We will probably be on sign language for another week trying to memorize the activites that are assigned. This morning we attended a jazzercise class, she read from the book of Numbers for Bible, discussed GMO foods, watched a documentary about unusual buildings in the U.S., took a quiz in Math and got a 92 ( only 6 more lessons to go for the year), and tonight we will watch another episode of Little House on the Prairie while playing a game. Grace also spent some time bonding with the baby chicks this afternoon. Of course as every day she is drawing, sketching, and learning her new manga drawing software. Tonight she will still need to do her 30 minutes of independent reading. All in all she had a pretty full day of subjects she chose. No fighting, fussing or complaining. Hope this continues.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Look What Happened To Us This Weekend

Betty's babies hatched. Only two survived but they are cute as anything. One chick hatched on Saturday and one on Sunday. Easter chicks. Betty is a great mother. So amazing watching her teach them to eat and drink. They crawl up into her wings for warmth. Love having baby chicks. More to come hatch in two weeks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Child Directed Learning

I am still hesitant to call this unschooling but it is the closest thing to it at this point. Today Grace chose everything she did except math. Math will be a constant, but she only has 10 more lessons for this year then done until Teaching Textbooks grade 8 starting back in August. Otherwise Grace picked a polar bear documentary to watch while eating breakfast this morning, a section of her history book about Vikings, a Bible reading about Moses and Aaron from Numbers (she has decided to continue on and read straight through the Bible), and wrote two paragraphs about what she learned today from the above items. She picked Puppetry Arts for her Keepers project. So far she has created her two puppet characters and will write her short script tomorrow to learn and perform later in the week for me. Other educational items to note that happened today were observing Betty the mother hen teaching her one day old chicks how to eat (just plain amazing), reading a couple of chapters from our new read aloud book and lots of drawing. Tonight we will watch an episode from the Waltons, 30 minutes of independent reading and working on the comic book. I could really get used to this ultimate relaxed way of learning.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

New life on Easter. Betty's eggs starting hatching yesterday. The first died, second lived, third died and waiting to see if the fourth will hatch. Scott is working on the coops and securing the nursery for Betty and her chick to start staying in tomorrow.

While I was outside watching Scott work, but helping too, I discovered this guy sunning himself on a rock. Hubby tells me it is a golden skink. He was a big fella.

Next the beautiful, blue sky.

The only thing Grace has done all weekend is watch episode after episode of Once Upon a Time and some sculpting.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Experimenting With School

I am hedgy about calling this experiment unschooling or child-directed, but I guess it is somewhat of a form of these two combined. We have two months left of school and I really want to try something different. As I have mentioned before Grace hates anything academic and I really want to try and instill a love of learning in her mind before she graduates from school. So here is my plan, if all goes well we will continue this next year. I am putting Grace in charge of her education (with some guidance from me). She will pick each week what she wants to study in history, science, keepers projects, watching documentaries, and english. The only real mainstay will be math. At the end of each day she will be required to write two paragraphs in her journal about what she learned that day from all of her choices. I am hoping with her being in charge of her choices it will ignite some interest in researching and gaining more knowledge. Here is what each month will look like:
Week One and Three
Keeper of the Home Projects
Liberty Treehouse (on GBTV) or documentary
Independent Reading
Read Aloud

Week Two and Four
Keeper of the Home Projects
Independent Reading
Liberty Treehouse or documentary

Again she will write two paragraphs in her journal each day to describe what she read, watched, heard and learned. There are 18 categories in the Keepers book to choose from and I have added a little incentive - when she finishes one selection from each 18 categories she will receive a $50 itunes gift card. Of course it will take 6months - a year to finish everything. I would also like to add that she will continue with her two art classes, drama ministry team, drama group performing The Jungle Book, and all her creative endeavors here at the house. Scott and Grace are in the process of creating a graphic novel to take to anime com in Atlanta this September. Next week from Amazon Grace will receive anime software to further her creations, and she draws almost nonstop. So I feel I need to loosen the reins some and let her find herself and have a little more control over her academic life. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Our next step in healthy eating started last night. Scott started juicing last year when we have an overabundance of carrots. Grace and myself decided to start this year, so we are doing this as a family. Last night was juice with carrots, apples, pineapple, and parsley. It actually tasted great. We added a little water to it to start things off and make sure it didn't upset our tummy. Grace didn't love it but drank her portion. We will hopefully drink one glass a day of different concoctions.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lending Library Update

Great purchases today for the lending library. I got both sets of books for 13.00 total. One set from a friend and another from the library.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lots Going On

This week is spring break for us but still no rest for the weary. Three purchases have been made of books to add to the lending library. I still have a long way to go before I can start having families borrow books from from us. But I really feel like this is a ministry that I have been called to do, especially living history book about the United States. It will become harder and harder as the years go on to get accurate history books. The government and society is trying to change so much of it to suit their purposes. Also what happens if one day our smaller libraries do not have the funds to keep operating because of our dwindling economy? Where will families get books then? Hubby has been working really hard on planting. All the mushroom logs have been inoculated, stevia, chives, 90 strawberry plants, and sugar snap peas. Tomorrow will be a big planting day. Today Scott and Grace visited the aquarium and saw the new dolphin show. They had a great time. Tonight we watched the first episode of The Waltons with Grace and she really enjoyed it. So now from Netflix we are watching... Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons and I just added The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island. Grace is working hard on her new characters and the development of an anime show/book. I am thinking about a new way of doing school when we start back. Something a little more independent. She would have more control of what she is studying. I will be praying about it and let you know more as this thought process develops.