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Friday, January 29, 2010

Field Trip Friday

Our day started with a trip to the Oncology Center. We're all fine, but I need to be monitored. 3 years ago, I had my left kidney and spleen surgically removed  because of a tumor.

The city I had to go to is a pretty touristy town- at least in the summer. When researching somewhere to go for a field trip, I found most places closed for the winter.

We DID go window shopping though! Keeping in with the "roadschooling" thing, we went window shopping looking at RV's and travel trailers. When I showed Princess some of the websites from families that travel, she wanted to go check out some traveling homes. I thought, "Why not?" Except it was c-o-l-d!

So we looked at a few models they had displayed inside, and talked to a saleman for quite a while. When we got home, we checked out all the models on the Internet. We were impressd at some of the space some had!

I think I would really want a master bedroom (fo' momma!) and a small bedroom for the Princess. I liked the homes that had almost full sized kitchens.

Oh, to dream! Definitely something to think about saving for!

But if you're looking for a REAL field trip, check out our trip to the science museum last week!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh, to hit the road!

Wow, in all of my surfing the net reading posts by homeschoolers, I've run into a whole new group of people.

I've also found more to keep me entranced for hours on the Internet.

The group is the "roadschoolers"- those that have chosen to hit the road and see the country- or even other countries. They homeschool on the road.

If you have ever read my blog- (ok ANOTHER blog) you know that I have always regretted not having a "camp" for my kids.

I am really a homebody, but I think I could see myself traveling for a month or so, then see how I feel about it. Ron wants to get an RV and travel someday, I want a houseboat ( and I mean HOUSE)! I think Ron's enthusiasm has waned since his brother recently sold his RV. He had sold his home several years ago, wanting to travel in his retirement.

I think they found it was too expensive with gas prices and such, and getting older they need to see doctors more often.

I traveled across country back in 1991 when I moved to Oregon from New York as a new bride. I saw a lot and got tons of pics, but didn't know what was what when they were developed (remember the day?) And of course, half the trip was made driving in the dark. When my dear hubby decided he no longer wanted to be married, I traveled back to New York on a train. I traveled with a 14 month old and a 12 yr old.

Both driving to Oregon and taking the train back were such awesome experiences. I wish I could share that with the Princess.

Hmmmm....maybe this summer. ...

Fun Math and a homeschooling conference!

Yesterday the Princess helped me go through coupons and go shopping. Some weeks, she does all the clipping and organizing. She is getting pretty good at comparing prices as well.

I know the Princess has to take some tests this year, although I have no idea if it's every subject or just some. When shopping yesterday, I picked up a workbook that has information on the tests, test-taking tips, terminology you should know, and sample tests with answers in the back.

I flipped through it and the Language arts looks pretty easy for a 7th grader (at least mine). Haven't checked any more out as far as that. I did start creating a game for her to help her with the terminology (most of which she probably knows :-) Ended up just putting the word on one side, the definition on the other. She can look at those until I figure out the game part.

Speaking of games...

I also bought a math game called Math Dice. It has 2 twelve sided dice, and 3 regular 6-sided dice.

You roll the two 12-sided dice to establish your "target" number. Then you roll the 3 dice. You have to use those numbers to get as close to the target number as you can. Everyone plays, by calling out the number they have. The closest wins.

You can add, subtract,multiply, divide, use "to the power", etc....

Example (from their directions) Target number is 28

Player one shouts: "25" -  (2+3) x5
Player two shouts: "30" -  2x3x5
Player one (again) shouts: "29" - 2 to  the 5th power (how DO you write that?) - 3
Player two (again) shouts: "27" (5-2) to the third power
Player one shouts (again) " 28" 5 to the 2nd power + 3 This hits it exactly and you get a point.

Anyhoo, we played it for about 10 minutes before bed- it was really fun! The Princess is playing it right now.

Is anyone going to the Northeast Unschooling Conference?

It is August 26-29 in Wakefield, Massachusets

$45.00 adults
$35.00 children
Family rates-( forgot how much! :-)

Hotel- $99 or $139.00

From what I can tell, the cost is for all presenters and funshops for the kids as well. Check it out:

I'm thinking about going- I just talked to the Princess about it. I told her she has to help me save $$$!

If you are going, let me know!

Well, it's snowing like a son of a gun, and I need to go feed the farm animals, the dogs and us!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Princess sure does keep busy!

The Queen (of course!)
The Princess shuns the Queen!

This morning, the Princess made herself some breakfast. then she started HER OWN blog (hmph!). It is about babysitting. She has attempted a website about babysitting, but because you have to have so much content at once, I think she was overwhelmed (like I am at my site!). With a blog, you can post a sentence, paragraph, or whole story each time you post.

Great News!

The Princess is going to  be interviewing Stan, the toothpick man ( as I call him!) in early February! For those of you who didn't see the Toothpick City, check out Stan's site at: I think she will really enjoy it. She talked to him a few weeks ago when she was at the museum with her aunt. We also got some pics when we went Friday. My camera is being stupid, so only a few pics came out. Check it out HERE.

Later, The Princess found some OLD computer paper, the kind that where each sheet is attached with a perforated line where you can separate it. She decided to draw the solar system. She dragged out some of our science materials. One thing was the book I bought at the museum Friday.

Golden Child, the Princess' 18 yr old brother (graduating in June from PS) came out and started flipping through the book. Before you know it, we were all so interested in all the stuff in the book. We came to a page about rocks, which then had me getting the fossils.

When we bought our property, it was all woods- and BOULDERS-BIG BOULDERS! And tons of rock, stone, etc...We spent tons of time digging the boulders out so we could have a yard. In the process, we've found many fossils, mostly with small shell imprints. Others look like leaves or "ribs" of something small imbedded in the rock. Once, I'm pretty sure I found an arrowhead. I handed it to a kid I was babysitting, and told him to hang on to it. What does the kid do? Tosses it into the woods!

That was almost 12 years ago, still no arrowhead :-)

Golden Child just ran down to his school. They have regents today and he had none so he had the day off. One of our "fossils" looked like a bone. He took it to his science teacher (just got back)- the teacher thinks it's a kneecap from a dog or something like that. We do have coyotes and wolves in the area.

Bad news, he went to get it back and dropped it. It broke into a bunch of pieces.

Right now, I have a skeleton of a (?) chipmunk I found in the yard. It's in a box waiting to be put back together.

Ok, enough eeby-jeeby stuff.

Later at Girl Scouts, the girls are going to make "hope" pillows for kids in Haiti. I'm bring in all of my material, ribbon and whatever. We have to run to the craft store and get more needles and thread and a few other items.

I'll try to get pics today- providing there's anything to get a pic of and that the camera works! I figure it may take a few weeks to complete the pillows. I would like to send a number of pillows, and we only have 4 girls.

So, the Princess has done some writing, artwork,science, geography, home economics and more today..........

And it's only 12:47 p.m.!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Been a busy day..............

The Queen:

Today we had quite a busy day organizing some more materials. Princess Der has been wanting to revisit some of our old videos. I just boxed them all up and put them in storage in the area reserved for the stuff for my yard sale I plan on having in the Spring . I mean, no one has looked at those movies in quite sometime. But the Princess see's them, and her interest is reignited.

It was quite interesting the amount of movie and books that will interest the Little Man and even help teach him. For those who don't know, Little Man is my grandson, nephew to the Princess. He's here quite often.

The princess found quite a bit to interest her, as well. She busied herself right away with old magazines. She cut out all kinds of cool girl stuff (shoes, purses, etc...) and glued them onto a paper for a collage.

We found a good book about the human body, and one about amazing facts. I guess I've always had the homeschooling mentality, always buying "educational" toys and books. I must get it from my Grandmother. She homeschooled my two uncles, who had hemophilia. They were both smart as whips, but in different ways.

Tonight The Princess and I went to the store and got her a couple of big plastic bins to hold stuff. She's getting ready for puppy day, less than two weeks away! Not that her room is too bad. It seems since homeschooling, she has taken some pride in her room and been keeping it pretty clean.

Yesterday, the Princess went to breakfast with her fave cousin & his new wife. Then they went to a movie. I don't want to spoil it for you- I'll let the Princess tell you herself- although it will probably be tomorrow!

The ferris wheel actually works!

Hi, it's Princess here!!, and im here to tell you right now that the ferris wheel made out of knex actually works!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday School

The Queen:

Even though I report to NY state that we homeschool only during the normal school year, we learn every day here. Maybe I'll change my state report to year-round homeschool. I mean, most of our nature and science stuff is during the summer, and that's when we do our building projects, home repair and such.

Anyhoo, yesterday morning, I went out to feed the goats, chickens and ducks. I noticed little footprints all over the place (mice?). They ended at our picnic table, which is flipped over and covered with snow. Looking around the yard, I saw rabbit and deer prints as well. I ran in to grab the camera.

You could see Princess Ders head jerk up. When I grab the camera, there's usually something up. I mentioned seeing some prints. She just shrugged (yeah, right!)

I took some pics of the mouseprints, then started walking into the woods. I was following some deer tracks to see where they ended, when I heard the house door close. I yelled to the Princess to let her know where I was.

The Mouseprints (???)

We ended up walking all through the woods, looking for tracks, and trying to take pics of them. Unfortunately, I accidently deleted something on my computer, and can't upload the pics to it. I can't get the Princesses laptop to turn on.

Princess Der is MIA at a friends, so the pics will have to come later- if they even turned out!

(edited: I got one pic as seen above- the others were corrupted-time for a new camera, don't you think?)

After we came in, we made brunch for everyone- pancakes, eggs and sausage.

We each did our own thing for a hour or so, then the Princess and I played Scrabble, where I proceeded to whip her hiney. I'll admit, I got some "lucky letters"- high point value and able to place them on the board where I got extra points.

Later, wii played Wii............................

So we did a little science, practical living skills, math, Pys.Ed and language arts. Cool, huh?

More later......

P.S. I have a chart somewhere here (I think something from Girl Scouts) that shows different animal prints and what they are. I'll have to find it, and next time we have a fresh snowfall overnight, check out the prints!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Our field trip to the museum

Today, Princess Der and I went to the MOST (Museum of Science and Technology). The main exhibit was "Toothpick City". Here are a couple of pics of buildings made out of toothpicks- Amazing!

Lotus Temple!

Toothpick City!!

This exhibit was AMAZING! The artist, Stan Munro is a great artist. He has a website HERE

Princess Der could not wait to go to the shadow room. She had just been to the museum a few weeks ago, so she was flying around showing me stuff.

The Shadow Room.

In the shadow room, you pose against a wall- a flash goes off, and when you walk away, your shadow stays there. Really Cool!

The ferris wheel made out of k'nex!

We went in the the Egyptian Similator. You were in this thing like a train (?) and you are watching a movie and the train thingy is shaking and you feel like you are in the movie, racing through a pyrmid. It was really wild- I was surprised I didn't get ill!

We also went in the IMAX theater and saw the movie The Magic Of Flight. It was soooo coool! The movie is all around you- on the ceiling and walls. When the birds or a plane flew, you were right there flying with them.

That was so fun, that after we went to lunch, we watched ANOTHER movie, The Amazon. Holy Moley, they were flying over the Amazon, and you "were there". It was just such a neat thing.

We left the museum for lunch, and ended up going, of all places to Subway. It wasn't very good, sorry to say.

At the gift shop, I purchased a book called Planet Earth, the incredible visual guide. It has a little of everything. I could barely put it down to do this post!

There was so much more, but I should leave something for Princess Der to tell you. She put the pics up, then went & laid down. It's 7 p.m.- she's probably passed out. A lot of walking wears her out with her hip bothering her (the arthritis).

I'm sure she'll add more tomorrow.


P.S. Just had to share- Pricess Der has a penpal now. They haven't even gotten a letter from each other yet. Anyway, the new penpal lives in Nove Scotia. Princess Der got her a postcard at the museum.

She looked up Nove Scotia on the computer when we got home- it was  -12 degrees there! Brrrrr!

Tomorrow, we're going to see how far away it is and a few other facts.

Student becomes teacher..........

The Queen

Yesterday, I had to have some medical tests, so The Princess did her weekly thing with KK, the 6 yr. old that she helps homeschool. Here, Princess tells about her day:

The Princess:
Well, KK had a dentist appointment about 30 minutes after I got there. So I had to watch Maymay. He is a good boy and I love that crazy kid. When KK and her mom got home about two and a half hours later, maymay was sleeping. But of course I'm not the one who got him to sleep! His older sister linds got him to sleep. When the boys got home about an hour later, wii played the wii!! It was the game band hero. I stink at playing the guitar!!!! : -)  : -)

The Queen:

Today Princess Der and I are going on a field trip to a local science museum. More later.....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just another day in the neighborhood

Just to catch everyone up to speed, the one goat died overnight. Unfortunately, when I went out to feed, another baby was under the mild stand, almost dead. I think it went under there and couldn't figure out how to get out. We gave it emergency treatment- fed it momma's milk all day long, kept it warm. It perked up by nightfall and was hopping everywhere! Took it out to  momma- she let it eat for a while, then kicked it away. Figured we'd be in for a few weeks of mothering.

Unfortunately, the next morning it took a turn for the worse. It hung on (barely) all day, then passed away. The Princess was heartbroken, but it's not the first time we've had a baby goat not do well or even die. I actually had a story published in a local magazine about the Princess being "mother" to one of our babies. I'll probably post it on my writings blog around Mothers Day.

The Princess had a friend (from public school and Girl Scouts) over for the weekend. They went to youth group at church on Sunday night- the friend really enjoyed it.

Today the princess checked out some websites I found in my searches. The game Geography Challenge was...well CHALLENGING! Who knew there were that many countries? I'm started to learn how much I DIDN'T learn in school.

Eclectic Homeschoolings website has TONS of cool learning games, virtual tours and more!

Here is a great blog post I found last night from a freshman who had always been "unschooled." He decided to try public school in his freshman year to see what it was like. You can read his experiences HERE. Quite interesting.

We have Girl Scouts today. We are into cookie season- yeeeee-haw!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to our homeschooling blog

Princess Der

Hi, I am Princess Der.

I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It's called polyarticular (which means 5 or more joints are affected).

I am 12 years old and I do NOT like having Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. My friends don't understand that sometimes I can't do things they want me to.

I'm also homeschooled. Home schooling is  fun to me because I like doing my work at my own pace. I also like that I don't have to sit there when the teacher is yelling at all the other kids.

Princess Der

The Queen

I'm the mom here. We embarked on the homeschooling journey for a number of reasons. The Princess has always been a glutton for knowledge, yet she started disliking school in 2nd grade. After years of of hearing of her dislike for anything school and her begging me to homeschool her, on top of the arthritis diagnoses, I thought , "Why Not?"

I had always wanted to homeschool, and now I was working at home. So here we are.

We prefer an eclectic/bordering on unschooling approach. Since The Princess has a natural curiosity about her world, not to mention we have a house full of books on just about everything, I figured we'd be ok.

So, a typical day in our home.............

Princess Der worked on some of the reading part of the GED. She is doing this because she found old GED books I had from when I tutored an adult student who wanted to get his GED ( I am a Literacy Volunteer).

A little later, she found some balloons and started checking out static electricity.

First Princess Der rubbed the balloon all over her head...................

Then she experimented with different surfaces- the balloon stuck on the wall and the lamp.

It stuck on the side of the freezer...

Not sure why she's measuring- she said she just wanted to!

It DID NOT stick on the couch.....

Later in the day...................

Check out where they did stick.

Tomorrow, maybe we'll take a peek at the website Science Made Simple about Static Electricity...

Princess Der has been going to my neighbors this week in the early afternoon to help her out. Earlier in the school year, the neighbors daughter, son-in-law and 3 kids lived there. When Princess Der had finished some Math and Grammer, she would go next door and help out with a newborn, 2 year old and 4 year old. Now they are gone but the neighbor(the Grandma) has a knee problem. Since her boyfriend is at work and the kids are in school during the day, she's on her own. Princess Der has been going over and putting the dogs out and making the neighbor lunch. Princess Der has such a spiirit of helpfulness and servitude.

We also had a birth to celebrate today. One of our goats, "Q" ( short for Suzie Q) had triplets. Here is a pic:

I'm pretty sure the black & white one on the left won't be alive in the morning. It didn't look too good tonight- it kept laying on it's side & it's not eating. Momma wont let it eat, either. The Princess has encountered death before with our animals, but she's not too happy about it.

Later in the afternoon we went to the YMCA and exercised. Then we had dinner. Now it's almost 9 p.m. and I'm ready for bed. Princess Der is cleaning her room and washing clothes.

That's it for today. Either tomorrow or Friday, Princess Der is going to help a homeschooling mom we know homeschool her 6 year old.