Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Goodbye Summer

     Monday was our first day of school.  A very special first day of school, because this year I have three students. The twins have been very excited about starting school, and I think they were a little let down by the amount of work that they are required to do.  Yesterday, they just did reading and writing, and today we did math as well.  We will be starting back with Konos in the beginning of September.  I think they thought they would be doing the same amount as Anna.  They kept asking, "Is this it? Are we really all done? I want to do more school!"  It's nice to have such enthusiasm; if only it would last! 
     I have completely revamped the way we are doing school this year.  We are still following a basically Charlotte Mason approach, but I am using Beautiful Feet history guides instead of Ambleside Online.  I am also using Singapore Math instead of Saxon.  For the twins I am making up my own math curriculum that I am calling "Squirrel Math", but but I'll do a separate post on that later. 
     The reason I decided to change math this year, was because last year was a very long, tear filled, and  generally painful math year for us.  Not wanting a repeat of last year, I chose a curriculum that I hope will give her a clearer understanding of what she is doing, instead of just memorizing formulas.  So far, so good; she likes it, and I think it is really helping her to grasp the concepts being taught.
     The reason I switched from AO was because I found that I was having to replace nearly all the recommended books for books that were more age appropriate.  The source I was turning to for really great book selections was Beautiful Feet, so I decided to just go with them.  We are doing the Western Expansion Pack, with some extra reading added in about slavery and the Civil War.  I loved reading about the underground railroad as a child, and especially about Harriet Tubman, so I had to add a biography about her.   She was so brave and bad ass, I was absolutely in awe of her. 
     As a last "hurrah!" before the end of summer vacation, my sister and her family came for a visit last weekend.  We had a fun time visiting and even did a little bit of hiking. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Coop

     This Friday we managed to finally finish our chicken coop!  The nest boxes were the last thing we did.  I was worried that they would start laying before we got them put on.  Now that we have them, I can't wait until I get to go out and collect eggs.  I've been looking every day with high hopes, but have yet to see an egg.
      Here's the outside, with the attached run, and below is the inside. The white pipe in the corner is my homemade pvc feeder.  It works great, and I never have any wasted food due to spillage.  I have three roosts, although the bottom one is not really a roost, but a means to hop up on to the higher roosts.  They can be taken out, so as not to be in the way when I change out the bedding. 
     The nest boxes can be accessed from outside, so that I don't have to go into the coop to collect eggs. 
     The circle on the far left was accidentally cut lower than the others.  I try not to look at it, as it bugs me to no end, but it works, and that's what is important.
     Here is a few of the chickens, with our beautiful rooster, Bergamont, in the middle.  He is a Golden Laced Wyandotte, and I got him exclusively because he it so pretty.  All of our chickens are named after flowers. We have, Clover, Goldenrod, Buttercup, Columbine, Daisy, and Snowdrop. We also have a cockerel, but since we are not planning to keep him, he has not been named.