Our Homesteading Dream

Living, laughing, loving, and learning on our little suburban homestead.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Coming Back..

It's time our family came back to the basics of home.

We've been so busy, wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, and it's time to come back to the simple life that God has called us too.

Home schooling, Home cooking, Home keeping-They all begin with home and that's where we need to be. We need to simplify, and refocus on the work God has for us.

So that's where I'm going with this blog now.

The good, the bad and the ugly of refocusing on home.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Backpacking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

Our latest adventure was a backpacking trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire! Our group was made up of 3 families, 13 children and 5 adults (my poor hubby had to work :( )

We were a little apprehensive about the weather that had been forecast for the area, but decided we were going to stick it out.Temps during the day were in the lower 40's, and at night 30's. We had several rain showers, and even some snow in the middle of the second night. We were blessed to be able to stay at the Jeffers Brook Shelter, on the Appalachian Trail.

Here are some pictures from our trip :)

 The shelter we stayed in was 10 X 20, and had an open front with several small leaks. We squeezed all 18 of us into that shelter! Very cozy :)

Day two, we walked up part of the Beaver Brook Trail. After hearing from some other folks that the trail became very slippery and unsafe, a friend of mine and I opted to take some of the kiddos and head back down. Some of the older kids went farther up with a few of the other adults.

 The beginning of the falls...
 Adam eating his lunch about 16 inches from the edge of a huge drop off, right next to the cascades.
 Karina, walking across one of the bridges on the trail...

Some beautiful wild flowers Karina and her buddies picked..
 One of the magnificent views up in the White Mountains...we had to stop for pictures :)
 My beautiful kiddos...
 Several of us in the group are barefooters...we managed to do the weekend primarily barefoot (one of my friends made it the whole weekend barefoot I believe!) The hardest was first thing in the morning. when the temps were still quite low. The ground was wet from all of the rain, and the combo made it pretty rough on the feet :)

We had such a wonderful time in the White Mountains and can't wait until next year to do it again!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Journal of the Yurt...

Last week we stayed in a yurt at a local state park for 4 days. We can't decide if it was a rough, hotel type of stay or a very luxurious camping trip! Either way, we had a wonderful time!

 It was nice being tucked into the woods!

 Don't mind our bedding, this is one half of the yurt. We brought an extra camp cot to give a little extra sleeping room. There was electricity, lights and a ceiling fan inside the yurt.

Here's our little cooking area outside the yurt.
 Arianna, started her fire with a battery and steel wool.
 Chip, our friendly little chipmunk that must have been hand-fed before. He was very bold and came right up to us!
 Our happy kiddos right before we headed out for our hike.

 Karina, with her "larger than normal pine bough!" The pine needles were thick and long.
 Adam told me that these were "mysterious footprints" and I needed to take a picture :)
 Oldest to youngest, largest to smallest....I love them all so much!
Best buds. I absolutely love the relationship between these two. They've always been close!
 Cassidy, the fierce Indian ;)
 Cassidy, wading out to pick cattails for her Mama, isn't she sweet?!

Arianna had to get out there and take pictures of the beaver pond the cattails were in...

 Cassidy and her "muuuuuustache"
 Adam, bringing in his cattail. He wanted to cook up the tuber :)
 Even on vacataion, trucks and tractors are some of the best toys!
 The ice cream came through the campground and we had to buy some pops! We have lived in our home for 4 years, and the ice cream truck has come down our dead-end road once....it was so exciting when the kids heard the music, lol.
 Adam and his berries...
 Biggest sister and littlest sister...
 Karina, the Walrus :)
 Down to the beach for a swim...Arianna and Karina decided Cassidy had to go in the water....

 Payback stinks! :)
 Some of our friends were also camping at the same time we were there...it was fun to see them, and Adam had a lot of fun with his friends!
 Headstands in the sand...
 Daddy putting a worm on Karina's fishing pole...
 My husband caught a small mouth bass....

 Another evening, fishing off the bridge..
Adam, the fierce woodsman!

I have so many more pictures, but I had to restrain myself from putting them all on here. We had a blast on our trip to the yurt. Using primitive methods to start fires, hiking in the woods, fishing, swimming and just having fun with our family!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Curriculum for 2012-2013 School Year

This is just a quickie post to list what we'll be using for the 2012-2013 school year.

9th Graders:

Bible-Weaver Volume 4
Science-Weaver Volume 4 (Supplemented with Apologia texts.)
History-Weaver Volume 4 (Supplemented with the Carson books.)
Language Arts- Learning to Love Literature by Weaver (accompanied by "Reading Between the Lines")
Math-Math-U-See We'll be reviewing Algebra 1/2 then starting Algebra 1
Foreign Language-Spanish Rosetta Stone
Phys Ed.-our local YMCA as well as hiking, rock climbing, roller and ice skating etc.
Art and Music Appreciation- We'll be using the Ambleside Online site for this.
4-H- Sewing projects-to be determined :)

1st and 2nd grader: (Same curriculum, grade level appropriate though.)

Bible-Weaver Volume 4
Science-Weaver Volume 4
History-Weaver Volume 4
Language Arts- Wisdom Words by Weaver (Weaver also covers creative writing)
Phonics- Christian Liberty Phonics
(our 1st grader will be completing "How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons")
Math- Math U See Alpha and Beta
Foreign Language- La Clase Divertida
Phys Ed.-our local YMCA as well as hiking, roller and ice skating etc.
Art and Music Appreciation- We'll be using the Ambleside Online site for this.
4-H- Sewing projects-to be determined :)

Can you tell that I like keeping everyone on the same page whenever appropriate?! :) It really helps when you have so multiple ages/grades. 

Now I'm off to pack for the yurt!!! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

We're Going Camping in a Yurt!!

We are so excited!

This next week, our family is going to be going camping...in a yurt! We're really looking forward to trying something new, and the kids keep asking if it's time to start packing ;)

We're bringing our fishing gear and some field guides and are really looking forward to finding and identifying some more wild edibles! There are some great trails in the area we'll be staying as well as a nice, clean lake for fishing.

I'll be sure to bring my camera ;)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Evaluating Curriculum for the Coming Year...Weaver Unit Studies

It is that time of the year again! For homeschooling families across the US, it's convention season, which usually means it's time to evaluate what curriculum may be working for your family (and which may not,) and start thinking towards the next school year to come. Our family usually schools year round, so I really need to have our next curriculum ready when we are close to completing the current one.

I've learned so much about the Charlotte Mason theory of homeschooling over the past year, and most of it has been well received by our children. Nature studies, living books, a wide buffet of ideas to choose from, classic literature etc. I have no doubt that my children have learned much and grown scholastically over the past year.

The biggest problems that I have had following this methodology of teaching, is that my children aren't learning together, that I feel strongly that their studies should be based on the Bible, and that the retention just hasn't been as good. My children have repeatedly asked that we go back to the Weaver unit studies, and after much prayer, my husband and I decided that that would be the best choice for our family.

(I'm looking forward to adding a Charlotte Mason "flavor" to our studies!)

For those who haven't heard of the Weaver curriculum, it's a Bible based, unit study that includes grades k-12. There are 5 volumes, which you work your way through cyclically. (Your children could theoretically go through all 5 Volumes, 2+ times, though the last couple of Volumes tend to take 1 1/2-2 yrs to complete.) Each Volume has a corresponding Day by Day (an easy to use lesson planner already laid out for you), and Supplement (which adds 7-12 grade objectives to make the Weaver a k-12 grade curriculum.) Weaver uses more of a spiral approach, continuously adding to your child's knowledge base.

As I mentioned Weaver is Bible based. The days lessons begin with Bible, and then move on to Social Studies. Science, Health, Creative Writing, Language Arts (there are some L. Arts objectives in the Volume itself, but Weaver also has a Language Arts curriculum. Wisdom Words for k-6 and then there is Highway to English Grammar and Learning to Love Literature for the 7-12 grades. ) One of the biggest blessings of the Weaver program is that all of our children can learn together, at their own level.

Alpha & Omega has a free sample online of Weaver that you can download.

(The Teaching Tips and Techniques and Skills Evaluations books are wonderful to have even if you don't end up using the Weaver curriculum. TT &T has awesome suggestions for new (or even veteran) homeschoolers, and Skills Eval. gives a good idea of what things should be covered in grades k-6...helps with all those "holes" that us homeschooling moms dread so much :)

I was able to find sets of Volume 4 & 5 used on Vegsource.com....and we didn't even wait til the "official" end of this school year before jumping back in :) Today was our 4 day, and I can't tell you how much we've all enjoyed it! It was like sinking into your favorite comfy clothes after wearing work clothes all day! :) The kids are loving it, and the older ones are helping to guide the younger ones...which is very cool :)

Now if I could just find a math curriculum that works with all of our munchkins......

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Romans 7:15

"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15 ESV

This verse really sums up our eating habits from the past several months. Our good intentions always seem to fall by the wayside of budget constraints, time constraints...and general laziness constraints :P It's time to take the reigns and this runaway wagon back under control! lol.

I'm pulling all of my friends out of the fridge (kombucha, milk kefir, water kefir) and starting a new Sal the Sourdough pet. Having a living kitchen has always been such fun for us, and I'm really looking forward to getting back into it.

I'm going to be posting my menu's, grocery lists and receipts here (for some accountability and maybe to inspire others?) Friends are welcome to (kindly) call me out if you see something on there that you shouldn't!