Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Our Holding Pattern

We are still here, in case you are wondering...waiting to move into our home!   We were notified this week that our furniture will be delivered next Wednesday, Yippee!!!  We are all more than ready to get back to a normal life.  Honestly, we are all going a bit batty in the hotel and the kids bickering at each other is not helping at all.  On the good news front this week our second car arrived from the UK and we were able to pick it up on Monday so we are no longer a one car family, which means the kids and I can get out of the hotel while my husband is at work:).  Also our air freight arrive last week so I now have some basic items at the house and can now start cooking in our own home.  Eating out is fun until you have to do it every day for every meal for 3 weeks.  I actually looked forward to cooking again, and I am not a fan of cooking.  Also in the air freight were a few school books that I sent ahead.

Since the kids are fighting and getting on each others nerves I have decided to implement a light school day every day.  So far we are on Day 3 of this schedule and fingers crossed it is going well.  Actually I think the kids needed something to do other than playing on their electronics.  Since we are starting school with the kids, my husband and I discussed with the kids what they wanted to learn in the upcoming school year and I am ordering supplies based on some of their requests.   So hopefully those items will begin to come in and we can get started.  I will post our curriculum for the new school year soon:).  My school room is coming along nicely and I can't wait to put our school supplies on the shelves and then show it to you.

I have already contacted one local home school group in our area and have scheduled our first field trip to a local museum this week.  At the end of August I am signed up to participate in a class to better understand the laws of homeschooling in this state.  Slowly but surely I am getting the feel of the land here:)

Princess entered a story into a local contest at my parents house and it was PUBLISHED!!!!  We are all so excited.  Considering she was once my very reluctant writer she has made great leaps in her writing style.  If you want to read it go to this link.  The homeschool community is so fantastic, I put her story up on some of the homeschooling boards I am on and she has 22 positive comments from people we don't even know.  Princess is just glowing from all the comments and it has really motivated her to keep writing.  Now if I could just get Little Man to enjoy writing all will be good.

I will leave you with a few pictures of the fun we had this weekend.
Visited the Children's Botanical Gardens and had fun exploring

Went to the zoo and enjoyed a sea lion show

Found a small herd of deer in our back yard tree line.  The kids could see them from the deck and were so excited.  Can's tell here but this one was a young buck, I think

Took the kids to the Melting Pot, which is one of my favorite restaurants.

Hopefully, next week we will have our house hold goods and we will begin unpacking and living in our own house again.:)  Until then.....

Monday, 22 July 2013

Week 6 of our move

We have been on the move living out of suitcases for 6 weeks!  This is the longest break the children have had from school since we started home schooling 5 years ago.  For the last two weeks my husband flew back to the UK to do his final check out at work and close out all the rest of our accounts.  While he was back in the UK, I flew back to my parent's house to rejoin my children.  We have had a wonderful time with my parents, who have really loved finding educational and fun activities for us to do. 

We visited Indian Steps Museum and learned about the Susquehannack Indians
We went blue berry picking and princess made a yummy blueberry cheesecake

Kids tried sailing on a local lake

Took a ride on a historic train where we learned about the area and Abraham Lincoln who rode this line while on his way to deliver the Gettysburg address
Went to summer concerts in the park

Took a paddle boat tour on the Susquehanna river and got to talk to the captain

Went swimming at my sister's pool

Went Kayaking for the first time ever

 We have had so much fun visiting with my parents.  My husband returned to the states last Friday and the kids and I have rejoined him in Missouri.  We are still waiting for our household goods to arrive so until then we continue to live out of suitcases in a hotel.  We have been notified that our household goods are in the states but have not been released from US customs, which will take another 7 to 18 days.  Our second car has also arrived but still hasn't been released so we continueto be  a one car family t the moment, which is a bit of a struggle as my husband has returned to work and the kids and I are stuck at the hotel.  

So our lives continue to be in a holding pattern.  I think we will all be relieve when we can finally move into our home and get back to our routines. 


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Book reviews

I have had the wonderful opportunity to review 2 books by Susan Kilbride, a homeschooling mom.

 The first book review is for a children's historical fiction series on early America.  The book I read was the first in the series "Our America...The Pilgrim Adventure."   I have to say straight off this book will greatly appeal  to my daughter.  Why, because while the book concentrates on the historical facts of the time, it also includes a little bit of fantasy as the main characters travel back in time.  My daughter loves anything related to fantasy, mythology and time travel.  But don't let that turn you off this series as it is well written for children and is jammed packed with historical content of the period.  It sort of reminds me of the Magic Tree House books but for older children.   I enjoyed this book so much and even learn a few more things about the pilgrims that I didn't know and I thought I was well read on this period. For example I didn't know about complex role of Squanto and the pilgrims and local Indians.  I love that the author includes several pages at the end of the book explaining additional historical facts.  After I read this book I immediately went to the web (my go to source for information) and continued to learn even more about Squanto and his role with the pilgrims, many people only know the sugar coated story about how he helped the pilgrims but there is much more to this story.

I enjoyed the above book so much I went to the kindle store and immediately downloaded and bought Mrs. Kilbride's next two books "Our America...King Phillip's war adventure" which took place about 50 years after the pilgrims.  I will be honest I had never heard of this period in our American history so this was all new learning for me. If it was taught in school, I don't remember it.  Again the story interested me so much that I bought an adult book on King Philip to gather even more information and I will be adding this into my American history curriculum for my children.  The third book in the series is "Our America...The Salem Adventure". This period of history I did learn in school and it always fascinated me.  Once again I picked up a few more facts that I wasn't aware of.  I will definitely be using these books in our history lessons.

In addition to the great books, Susan has included activities related to the above books.  Since we 
love doing hands on history activities we will be trying these.  Want to have the kids try their hands at 
Making a Quadrant, building a Travois, playing Indian games, or making an Indian meal, make sure you 
Check out her website: http://funtasticunitstudies.com/lessons-and-activities/ and see what she has to 
offer to make history come alive for your children.

Right now Susan Kilbride is offering a chance to down load her second book in the "Our America series", King Phillip's War Adventure free on Kindle for a limited time July 15th through to the 17th. You don't have to read the books in order so it is a great chance for you to pick up the book and gather your own opinions and just in time to add this book to your history lesson for the upcoming year!!!

The second book I was able to look at was Susan Kilbride's science book

This book is broken down into 2 groups, the first half of the book is written for ages 4-7 and includes chapters (experiments) on magnets, human body, insects, plants, and health to name just a few.  The second half of the book is for ages 8-13 and includes atoms and molecules, matter, chemistry, weather, forces and motion, light and color, simple machines, and health just to name a few.  

Each chapter in broken down into sections starting first with a list of materials needed for the chapter.  Everything listed are easy to find items, which is always important in my mind, I hate shopping for obscured items that take weeks to find before you can complete an experiment. Next, the chapter will include several activities on the subject so you can choose to do all of them or just pick one or two depending on your schedule, often times the author includes additional resources or TV show suggestions, ie magic school bus (for the younger age group) that will relate to the subject.  Lastly, a chapter test is included.

This is great book for homeschoolers with multiple age groups and like to do science in short unit study bursts.  This upcoming school year I know I will be looking at the weather activities human body, and health chapters for my kids:)   She also has a science book on electricity on Amazon that I will be looking into as that wold appeal to my son.

I received the science unit book and the American series...The Pilgrim Adventures free of charge, all opinions expressed are given honestly and based on my experiences only.  


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Week Two in our move

It has been a busy 2 weeks getting everything set up and ready for the family to move in.  Just in case you didn't know moving is expensive! We keep being surprised by little expenses that keep creeping in and making a mockery of our carefully planned budget!  Our house is coming together and we have completed 25 out of the 28 items on our list.  While not being able to stay completely on budget, we hope that by spending the money now we will ward off any future expenses, at least that is what we keep telling ourselves.

My husband and I realized this week that this has been the longest time we have been without our children, 2 weeks.  We have left them with my parents for up to a week before but never 2 weeks.  Not sure my parent will ever agree to watch my kids again after this length of time!  But, we couldn't have accomplished as much on our list if the kids had been with us, so THANKS Mom and Dad!

The craziest thing we have done this week is drive 300 miles one way to shop at Ikea.  I have been going into local furniture stores looking for bookcases to use in our new school room and couldn't find what I was looking for.  The few shelving units that I did find had limits of 15 to 23 pounds per shelf, considering the amount of books I have I knew that just wouldn't cut it.   So I took to the Pinterest page and started searching on the web for homeschool classrooms and noticed lots of people were shopping at Ikea for their school room furniture.  Once I checked out Ikea's web page, I found bookcases that could hold 63 pounds per shelf, I knew where we needed to go.  

Our car load of 5 bookcases and a desk.  All of which is sitting in the garage as we have no tools to assemble them until our sea freight arrives.  I think this is only the second or third time I have ever been in an Ikea store, sure wish there was one closer because that is a drive I can only convince my husband to do once, I think!  He was a really good sport about it, I must say.  

My husband and I have been enjoying going to more upscale restaurants, you know ones without chicken nuggets on the menu and paper napkins:). We are taking this opportunity to go to seafood restaurant, and the melting pot, my personal favorite. 

On July 4 th we took the day off from the house and work and went to the botanical gardens.  Just to slowly wander the grounds, it was fabulous!  Later we took a nap, heaven, since we have been working at a non stop pace for the last week and a half.

On Saturday we bought tickets to see the Cardinal play the Marlins.  I haven't been to a baseball game in years.  It has been nice to have some time together and regroup, my husband is still my favorite person to hang out with.

We are hoping the work to the house is completed this week.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope in another couple of weeks I will be back to browsing your blogs