Friday, February 8, 2013

Week 22 ~ The Long Winter

On My Mind ~ I am continuing to think about healthy eating. This week we tested duck eggs and asparagus. Everyone liked both (for the most part). The duck eggs were more popular, but the asparagus was received better than Brussels sprouts or cabbage. I also attempted to make my own yogurt, but it flopped. I will have to try again another time. I did have success with making homemade chicken and beef stocks. I have several quarts stored away in the freezer. I am also transferring everything in the kitchen cabinets into jars. We have had mice issues, and I want to take away their desire to visit my kitchen as much as possible. It is nice to see the jars all full of food in the cabinets.

Literature ~ We finished The Long Winter this week. I think this may have been our favorite Little House book so far. There was so much to learn and talk about in this book! We discussed in great detail perseverance, sacrifice, reasons for risking one's life, and getting through a terrible trial with a cheerful heart. We had lots of conversations about how blessed we are to have a bounty of food. We also did several activities.
  • Made a snow covered town during a blizzard on our window
  • Discussed emergency preparedness and reviewed our important information
  • Learned about the Earth's water cycle
  • Watched the movie, Stanley and Livingston
  • Learned the medicinal uses of Ginger
  • Learned about the battle at Wounded Knee
  • Watched You Tube videos about the rotation of the Earth
  • Made a button lamp
  • Completed a lap book for The Long Winter from Homeschoolshare
  • Ate a loaf of sourdough bread and thought about what it would be like to eat only water and sourdough bread for two to three months like the Ingall's family did
  • Discussed what happens to one's body when they are starving or becoming malnourished
We plan on having a pioneer day soon with no electricity. It should be lots of fun. The kids really love the Little House books. I was going to stop here and maybe come back to the books next year. However, the kids really want to continue with the next book, so we will.

In Other School Topics ~ We received the next level of All about Spelling  and should get the next level of Teaching Textbooks next week. The kids really enjoyed having a spelling bee and they did a great job. I am very pleased with the spelling program we are using. I do think I am going to change course for Goldilocks in math. I have tried more than six math programs with her, and she is making very little progress.  I think I need to admit that she is not college bound and that she is very learning challenged. She is still struggling on a second grade level in math. It seems, at this point, that I need to start moving her into consumer math and using a calculator. Fortunately, the careers she thinks about doing some day do not require a college education.

This week we did ~
  • Math every day (mostly word problems and multiplication)
  • Read three chapters in the Life of Fred (dogs)
  • Worked on two chapters from Social Stories
  • Listened to Al Capone Does My Shirts
  • Finished The Long Winter
  • 15 minutes of writing every day
  • 20 minutes of reading every day (more for some kids)
  • Lots of science videos on You Tube
  • CNN student News (the kids favorite time of day)
  • Explode the Code
  • Multiplication games
  • Prairie Primer projects
Where  We Are Going ~
  • Dance classes
  • Aerial Arts classes
  • Cartooning class at the library
  • Doctor appointments

The Rest ~  We sure aren't having a long winter around here. Our weather seems to rotate between warm spring days and ice/sleet/rain mix. We woke up to ice all over the yard one day this week. All of the garden tools were frozen together and made a perfect popsicle for Boomer. Also, several of the wine bottles we got from Freecycle to decorate our secret garden were full of water and broke. The ice was still in the same shape as the wine bottle.

I am joining  Homegrown Learners.

Blesings, Dawn


  1. Dawn, you know I am with you on the healthy eating. We aren't as far along on the journey as you, though. I am just trying the organic eggs (which are so much better), and slowly introducing more veggies. I'm trying Quinoa tonight with some chicken I'm making. I always enjoy reading about your weeks!

  2. Look at all the things you all accomplished this week. It must make you feel so good to write your wrap-ups and see all that you have done. I know I love to read them!

  3. I love your ideas for The Long Winter! And duck eggs sounds...interesting :D Did you make your yogurt in the crock pot? Some people have said it gets too hot so the yogurt doesn't set properly, which has been my experience as well. Visiting from Collage Friday!

  4. Another great week Dawn. I wonder too if you made it in the crock pot. I just read another blog friend who said it was horrible! Keilee and I LOVE asparagus! Especially grilled..yummy. I am feeling the 'eating better' bug too. "Long Winter" resources look really good. Have you tried any of the "Business Math" courses that Charlotte Mason offers? Kei really loved Pet Shop Math. We aren't having much of a winter either. I am ready for SPRING though! Happy Monday Dawn!

  5. HI Dawn, thanks for stopping by my blog. The list is really not to impress anyone but to remind myself that we did learn something during the last month. I got 4 kids ages 3 to 10 y.o. and sometimes it feels like I do a lot of running around and nothing more. So the learning log helps me see that we actually learned a few things.

    I enjoyed reading your post. It's fun to see how other people homeschool and how creative people are. Thanks for sharing.

    As for your yogurt... why did it flop?? I hope you didn't throw it away. You can always keep in the fridge and use it as you would buttermilk, and in recipes that ask for milk too. That's what I did one time, I tried to make almond milk yogurt and it was very runny and not so sour at all. So I kept it in the fridge and used it in recipes that asked for milk or buttermilk. Wonderful added protein and no waste of money or time.

    You can see this post to see how we make yogurt here at our house.