Thursday, April 24, 2008

Building Shelves

We are making another attempt at putting our house on the market. I know, I know... this is the worst housing market in recorded history. Nontheless, we are hopeful to get a bigger piece of property in the area where we currently live.
Anyway, as part of this, we decided to clean up our house so the realtor would take us seriously. We felt that all the clutter in our house might be a deterent for a potential buyer.
I managed to fill 4 large garbage cans and took 2 loads to Goodwill. That has helped tremendously. I also got cubic shelving units for the kids' rooms. That turned into an impromptu homeschool project in which all the kids participated.
Now I'm working on where to put this in our portfolio. Pa homeschool law doesn't list "life skills" as a mandatory subject. Hmmmm....Let's see.......Language Arts? They had to read and follow the directions. Math? Count out the correct amount of nails. Consumer mathematics? If the house is tidy, we might get a better offer. Art? Building a useful shelf to make our rooms neater and prettier. This was a very "hands-on" activity and has value and there must be some place to put it.

Below are pictures that tell the story better than I can.

Using real tools

DS's room Before

DS's room after

Dd's room before

Dd's room after

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We are turning into a regular farm here. Have I mentioned that we live on a fifth of an acre in town? Yes, one fifth of an acre.
The borough says that we can have any type of animal here but pigs. So now we have three chickens. I felt it would be a good experience for the kids to watch them grow and take care of them. They can keep track of them in their nature journals. We are going to use Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study to guide us in this little adventure.

Here are a couple of pictures....

This used to be a happy little playhouse. Is it our new barn?

The chicks seem happy here!

A closer look.

A farmer boy in the making.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Our homeschool group raised money through various fundraisers to get a bus to take us to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Once there, each family could do their own thing according to their homeschooling goals and objectives. At the Inner Harbor you can find The National Aquarium in Baltimore, The Maryland Science Center, USS Constellation, USS Torsk (submarine) , Baltimore's World Trade Center.

What a day! Being a homeschool family, we are a little spoiled with when we have to get up in the morning. This morning, I had to get the kids up at 6:30 (about 2 - 3 hours earlier than usual). We met our homeschool group at 8am and we were off. It was a pleasant ride and it was very exciting when we got to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. It's been a couple of years since I have been to the aquarium and they had a whole new section that was built and had an Australian exhibit in it to include a habitat complete with flying foxes (giant bats). It was very cool.

All three of my kids were fascinated by the rays and the sharks. It was cool to be up close to the glass and have a shark swim by so we could get a good look at all those teeth.

We had a great time "Finding Nemo". We also spotted Dorey there.

The trip was well worth it. Although Baltimore is only about an hour and a half drive from where we live, getting the bus was worth it. I wasn't stressed when we got there because I didn't have to navigate city traffic or find a parking space AND I had a chance to talk to friends during the trip.

The giant Barnes & Noble bookstore right next to the aquarium was a huge temptation to me. It took all there was in me not to go there. My kids even commented that I should stop staring at the bookstore and get into the aquarium fast. Oh well, maybe next time.

Did I mention that our trip was on a bus with a bathroom? Once my little man learned this, he had to go to the bathroom an awful lot! The picture above is about his 5th trip to the bathroom in about 20 minutes.