Wow! I can’t believe it’s already the middle of September! We have been having a wonderful time with our school year so far. I was advised by some veteran homeschoolers to do a lot of field trips in September since the weather is so nice and most school kids won’t be doing them at that time which means it’s less crowded. So, we’ve gone on a couple already this month and have a few more planned.
First, we went to the Brookfield Zoo. A friend gave me free passes, so all we spent was $8 for parking! This leopard came right up to the glass where we were standing. Very neat! Below is a picture of a polar bear cub. He was having such great fun chasing his toy that he didn’t realize how close he was to the water and fell right in! Then he ran over and started bugging his mom. She growled at him! Such adventures at the zoo!
Another field trip we went to was an outdoor museum village of the 19th Century called Naper Settlement. They have moved and restored several buildings and houses to the settlement. There are people dressed in costume who explain and teach in each of the buildings. The boys’ favorite was the blacksmith. The girls liked seeing the cradles where babies slept. My oldest son said he’d like to go back there for his birthday!
I’m pretty happy with the way our schooling has been going so far. I’m not able to do quite as much as I’d hoped, but much more than last year. It has worked out well to have a "special" activity of the day, so that they get done. On Mondays, it’s violin lessons. Both boys are taking lessons this year. On Tuesdays I teach Musikgarten classes. My "preschool" class has 3 families in it, but no one signed up for the older kids class. (It’s at a bad time for most people–9:15 on a weekday). But I have been teaching the class to my 3 oldest (with the 2 yo tagging along), and it’s going well! On Wednesdays, we do a math game or activity. So far we have played Monopoly Jr. and Dominoes. On Thursdays we work on our unit study. In August we studied "The Ten Commandments" and did a lapbook on it. Now we’re working on "Weather" and have started the lapbook. Next we’ll fit one in on Obedience before beginning Money. The trait of obedience is really an important focus of our family right now! Hands of a Child just came out with a lapbook on "Biblical Obedience," so I thought that would fit in perfectly. I’ll do another post on it later and give more details. On Fridays we do art. I try to do pretty simple things because usually the baby is awake. Last week they painted rocks that the boys had found at a Lake Michigan beach. Below is a picture of another project we did of putting pressed flowers (from our backyard) in between pieces of clear contact paper. We also made some bookmarks. I learned a lesson, though. The flowers really need to be completely dry. They were still a bit wet and are starting to rot in between the contact paper! Oh, well.
Here’s a crazy thing: I’ve started grinding my own wheat and baking my own bread! It’s not as difficult as I thought it would be. The kids and my husband love the new bread.
The next picture is from our Fourth of July trip up north in Wisconsin. We were able to march in the parade that the little town put on for the 4th. My sister-in-law and I tie-died these shirts for our families. Below is my husband and his brother.
My in-laws and kids:
Finally, a couple of pictures of one of the most fun parts of the day: when Dad reads in the evening. The second picture is what it really looks like!