pinterest-dd591.htm Oak Creek Academy: February 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I've been torn

over whether to change the boys names on here as a security measure. Yes, I've been blogging since last April and using their real names. It still makes me feel more comfortable having made a decision to "change the names to protect the innocent". So, from here on out (and past posts have been edited) our oldest son is referred to as Thing One and our younger is referred to as Thing Two. I choose these names because they went dressed as Thing One and Thing Two from "Cat In The Hat" a few years ago, for Halloween.

Happy reading folks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Police Station Tour

Tonight, the Bears in Pack 683 had a tour of the local Police Station. The boys seemed to have a good time learning about safety, how to identify a Policeman (not quite so easy with people trying to impersonate them), and mostly looking at all their equipment.

Here, in the lobby, officer talked a lot about basic safety, how only policeman can where the word policeman, and that it's okay to ask for identification.

In an interrogation room at the station. A very small, very cold, very boring room. Suppose it should be to let someone "think" things through.

Only way Thing Two would get in the police car was by sitting on my lap. He eventually thought it was cool.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Hatmaker's Sign

We've just begun reading "The Hatmaker's Sign A Story by Benjamin Franklin" Retold by Candace Fleming and Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker. It tells of Thomas Jefferson's struggles in writing the Declaration of Independence and the revisions that the Colonial Congress wanted to make. Benjamin Franklin tells the story of a Hatmaker's difficulty in making a sign for his store as a form of reassurance to Tom. At the conclusion of the story, Benjamin Franklin says "So you see, Tom, no matter what you write, or how well you write it, if the public is going to read it, you can be sure they will want to change it."

When I went to the local library, I was pleased with the number of things I could find about the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, the original 13 colonies. The boys and I watch a video today "Great Americans for Children, Benjamin Franklin". It was well done, with kids asking questions of "teacher". We also picked one up for Thomas Jefferson, as well. There are 12 DVD's in the whole series, on a number of different people or times in history. Here's a link to the web page.

It should be a good series for the boys, they already seem to be enjoying it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tribute to Mason Jars

If confession is good for the soul, I'll admit it, I use Mason Jars for just about everything. This is my tribute to my beloved jar. To my friends at Burke Community Church, I do use them for more than just coffee, although that is a great start to the day.

Taking a tour of our house, you'll find the following uses:
  • base to a lamp (if you look carefully at the one on the left, it has the tag still there saying what kind of jelli was in it)
  • candle - see the below picture (thanks Mike & Paula - Autumn Hill Candle creators)
  • pen/pencil holder once the candle is used up

  • jelly
  • daffodil's growing in them (here's the picture, but you'll need to scroll down a bit)
  • next Christmas, I hope to make Candy Jars for each in our family - I remember my grandparents having their hearth lined with candy jars for each person in our family, one Christmas
  • of, course, my coffee (and today's happens to be a recycled sorghum jar, thanks honey!!)
  • potpourri
  • cork holder

Here are some other ways I've been known to use the various sized Mason Jars:
  • fresh cut flowers
  • actual canned food
  • sugar bowl
  • baking soda (I buy the Costco size, which stays near the washer and dryer and keep a portion in the kitchen)
  • small junk bowl for those things that you don't want to throw away because you might remember where it goes some other day
  • coffee/tea related gadgets - honey sticks, coffee scoop, loose leaf tea strainer, etc.
  • craft supplies - pomp pomps, little plastic eyes, etc
Suppose I really do dream of being in the country if I decorate with Mason Jars, Quilts (and some of those quilts are now lamp shades although not made my me), baskets, wire/wrought iron, wood. My dream house would have a wrap around porch with awesome views of mountains and sunrise/sets. Of course, the vehicle I'd really like is a faded, red pick up truck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cowboy Charlie Math

We are wrapping up the final week of Cowboy Charlie and working on Math today. One of the early pages, in the book, shows Charlie day dreaming about the West while he should be doing math. In Jane Lambert's lesson "Math: It's in the Presentation" the question given to the kids is to come up with cowboy math that Charlie would have liked. Here's our take on the lesson.

  1. How many buffalo do you need to pull one driver and 100 hurt horses? One buffalo can pull two horse, so you will need about 50 buffalo.
  2. If Charlie and Pike road the train to Red Rock for 10 days, road the stage coach for 10 days till it went no farther, and finally road their horse to the plains for 10 days, how long did they travel? They traveled for 30 days or one month.
  3. How many dogs will it take to eat one big bone in one day? (Maybe not the best question, but my 6 year old wanted a question from his favorite stuffed dog to Jip)
  4. How many crackers does Charlie have to eat, so that he can use the box to draw on? In a box of Ritz, there are 3 sleeves of crackers. Each sleeve has 36 crackers. Charlie would need to eat 108 crackers to be able use the box.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Probably one of the hardest things for me, with regards to this blog, is finding colors or themes that I like. I've looked at a number of free and pay for type blogs I could down load. These have been quite cute and look like a very nice scrapbook.

The problem I run into, is that I really want simple. It would be nice to have some artwork (of sorts) running down the sides, but I just haven't had the time to figure out the html codes like I'd need to. My husband, the more experienced html person in the house, is just as busy. Another problem that I've found with blogger, is their limited color choices. The selection just doesn't work for me (and yes, hubby even found a link for me to try more colors, but I couldn't find one I liked). Just to picky I guess.

So, to explain the every changing color changes here, I'm just not settled on the formate and color yet.

And if you are wondering what the second hardest thing is, probably the title of our blog. Although, the more I think about it, maybe my blog title isn't to far off. On a homeschooling board I frequent, someone had a question about the amount of "hours" you school. My thought and reply was something to the effect of "homeschooling has become a way of life for us. Yes, we have some hours that are traditional school time, but we aren't training our boys just to be book smart. We're schooling them at home to be able to: read, write, use math in everyday life, relate to other people - of ALL ages, be able to clean up after themselves, know how to wash their clothes and put them away properly, reach out and care for other people, and most importantly have a relationship with God. Because we homeschool, we're able to have a more active role in every part of this and seek out help, as needed. We're able to take advantage of secondary learning - the learning that happens when taking a walk through the woods, for example. And we get front row seats for when the light bulb goes on.

Now, some may say something along the lines of "I couldn't homeschool MY child". I've been there and said that. For some, having their child (ren) in a school building is necessary to be able to earn enough to live. Or, there's the thought that to get into a prestigious school, you need to have x amount of AP classes offered from Public School (did you know there are high school age, homeschooling kids taking college courses at local colleges?). If you thought any of this or in a "have to work" situation, you won't get any criticism from me. Just know, there are people who have felt the same or had to work and still made homeschooling work.

My ramblings need to come to a close for now. Time to ring the school bell (yes, I have one, got it for Christmas, at the kids request).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here's a concept

A homeschooling blog (diary of our homeschooling experience sort of) and I'm actually going to post about school stuff. It's been awhile since I've done something so CRAZY!!

We've been reading "Cowboy Charlie", by Jeanette Winter, last week and this week. It's a great book for our boys. Cowboys, drawings, stars, stories, Indians. Under Language Arts, Jane Lambert (author of Five in a Row) goes over Poetry and Song to "go along with parts of Cowboy Charlie". I thought my boys would enjoy this and was able to find a book called "I Hear America Singing, Folk Songs for American Families", Collected and Arranged by Kathleen Krull, at our local library. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book (and accompanying CD with just a portion of the songs) also had "Follow the Drinking Gourd". If you are using FIAR as your curriculum, you know there is also a book entitled this that follows slaves to their freedom. This is another great book to be read. Anyway, after listening to a few of the more cowboy type songs, I just played Follow the Drinking Gourd. The boys made the connection right away.

Yipee!!! They are remembering stuff from their lessons.

P.S. How fitting that my 100th post on "Our Homeschooling Experience" is actually about homeschooling. Didn't even realize that when I first wrote this blog entry.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Miscellaneous Musings/Monday

Over the last, almost two years, I have been knitting. It has become a passion of mine that I delight in and find pleasure in creating something for someone else. It helps me to relax and to focus. Well, around Thanksgiving 2008, I decided I needed to "step up" the kind of knitting I've been working on. Cable stitch often seemed difficult to me, with having to slip stitches off the needle onto something else, knit or purl a few stitches, then put the slipped stitches back on. Quite honestly, it SOUNDS so much harder than it really is. I was amazed at how quickly I picked up this "form" of knitting. The photo, below, shows the cable stitch well.

This scarf had a tendency to fold over on itself because of the stitches and "hide" the cable. To reduce this, I got the scarf damp, hung it over a hanger with the cable facing outward, and pinned it to itself. It still may need to be ironed. Will save that task for tomorrow though.

My attempt at having a triple stuffed Oreo after lunch. Knowing I hadn't blogged about much of anything lately, this seemed like a good start to a miscellaneous Monday.

(next two photos)
Don't quite know how Mr. 6 year old got a photo of just red, but this falls under the random shot worth posting, I suppose. What got the whole miscellaneous photos going, was the other day, the same child, asked to use the camera, because there was a cute squirrel outside. Um, okay, normally I wouldn't think an actual squirrel is cute, but it kept him occupied for a few moments when I had a friend over.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Are you a color person or black and white type?

Personally, I really need color on the walls to "feel" good in my own home. White (or to light of a beige color) just makes me feel cold and that I am in a hospital or something.

Our living room and dining room are an orange color that looks warm and bright depending if the sun is hitting it or not. A fair number of the photo's I've published on my blog are in the living or dining room. There are some though, of our kids playing Wii in the basement which is a slightly warmer orange than upstairs.

The fireplace room, is a sage color (don't remember the exact color name). Don't know that it would be called warm or cool, but it's another that makes me feel good. A couple of my Wordless Wednesdays photo's are from this room, although you don't get a good view of the color. The first one shows all our different shelves with various school books, crafts, boxes of stuff.

The kitchen, I caved some and have glossy linen on most of the walls, BUT the backsplashs are the same "sage" color as in the fireplace room.

Blue and green dominate the boys room and play room. I actually had fun in their bedroom and painted a portion of the wall with chalk board paint. No we haven't had problems with the chalk being elsewhere. It was painted between two windows and I put trim at the top and bottom. Chalk dust on the floor YESSSSSS, chalk marks on other walls - no.

Speaking of putting things on walls, I did get metal tins on the wall, for the boys to use magnets, use words, and display art work. It went on the stair case wall in the fireplace room, at their height, but as an adult I need to sit down to work with them. Wall space is at a premium here. Darn the luck, still haven't found good cushions for the floor yet. (If you scroll down far enough, on the above link, you'll see a picture of the tin, too).