Friday, 23 June 2017

weekly wrap up 6/23/17-- School room clean up and Summer schedule

Our Official school year is over!!  We have moved on to our much lighter school schedule.  However I have to first clean up the school room because it is a huge mess from all the activities over the last several months and being so busy no one, including me put things back where they belong as a result the clutter was overwhelming.  I decided to tackle one part of the school room each day in order to make it more manageable for me
the kids school desk-- before picture
After picture.  I even got a new table cloth:)

This appears to be everyone's dumping ground. Before picture 
I think I threw three large trash bags of junk away---The after picture.  I still have to tackle the book case

My desk is a mess:)
After picture

Kids computer desks- for some reason only took a picture from one angle but trust me both computer desks were a mess

After picture

What I have discover from this little chore is my kids hate that I threw away old school projects!  I have to sneak some into the trash bags while they weren't looking or they magically reappeared.  My next job is to tackle the book shelves and try to thin out the books we are no longer using.

 Our summer schedule is always a bit slower and this year especially we are going to take it easy.  Since our local coop has splintered and we are at a loss for high school classes for our oldest we have made the decision to try flexie schooling at the Public highschool next fall.  This was an incredibly hard decision and Firedrake is not at all excited at the prospect of returning to school:(  I am hoping that only attending half days will make the transition a little easier for her.  Since she is only going part time she will still graduate as a homeschooler and will not be eligible for a diploma through our school district.

This summer for Firedrake 9th grade we are doing

private tutoring lessons for Japanese
attending Mathnasuim tutoring for Math -- The one area where we seem to still be struggling:(
PE we are all trying the program couch to 5K program--we all need to get better in shape
Biology we are completed the last book in the EO Wilson series
Finishing up US History (we are up to the Ford and Carter years)

MarioFan 7th grade
computer coding online class
completing IEW level A continuation class (almost done)
complete 2 LOF pre algebra books
PE couch to 5K program
US History (only class he does with his sister)
completing geography workbook (almost done)

We even got my husband to join us one day.  The dog loves these walk/runs:)

Kids are really spending less than 4 hours a day on school and have the rest of the day to concentrate on things they wish to do.  Firedrake usually writes or draws while MarioFan prefers to play on his electronics.  I plan on purging the book cases in the school room, and work on my stain glass:)!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Weekly wrap up 6/16/17 -- President Buchanan's home and Air Force Museum

After touring the Washington DC area we stopped by to see my parents who celebrated 50 years of marriage!!!

Happy 50th Mom and Dad

When my husband and I were dating we started visiting Presidents homes in our area (we lived in Va at the time) So far we have been to about 10 homes of former Presidents.  Our goal is to visit every one.  My parents have been telling us for years that Buchanan's home was not too far from their home so we decided on this visit to go check it out.  It was a beautiful day and we learned a little more about this president who doesn't have the best reputation;)

Front of the home

Back of the home

Inauguration cake


Carriage he rode in for the inaugural parade

The house remained in the family for may years and many of the original furnishing can be dated back to  Buchanan and his family.  While he never marry he did care for his niece and nephew and they played a major role in his life and presidency 

Nieces writing desk

Buchanan's niece played the role of first lady during his presidential term

The blinds on the window are the original blinds!

This wine bottle is dated 1837 on the label!

Many of his books are still in the library

The desk were it is believed he wrote many of his speeches

The reason the house is so precise as to the furnishings and decor is that a magazine published drawings of each room of his house when he took office.

His bedroom and bath tub

After he died his niece inherited the home and it is believed she installed a more modern bathroom

The docent was fabulous and knew tons of information about the furnishings of the home and the family history.  While they did gloss over some things, like how many believe he was one of the worst presidents ever.  It is also rumored President Buchanan may have been the first homosexual president as he did have a male friend who lived with him in this house.  It is reported that many letters of correspondence between the two men are very very friendly and thought that the family destroy some letters after his death.

After visiting with my family for three days we headed back home but first we stopped at the United States Air Force museum in Ohio.  If you have a child who loves airplanes then you must make an effort to visit!!  IT is fantastic, four buildings full of history of flight and some very famous planes!

Did you know they had helicopters during the First world War...I didn't

Most people know about the Enola Gay but can you name the plane which carried the second nuclear bomb.  You can find it here at this museum 

Kids thought the art work on the airplanes were fun

a model type plane used as training for fighter pilots


Seeing the inside of a WWII bomber cockpit

and where all the bombs were placed and how it all works

space shuttle 

seeing the many compartments

The original Apollo 15 and how it looks after returning from space -- it sure takes quite a beating on reentry

model of the Gemini
We only had about 2.5 to 3 hours to tour before the museum closed for the day.  I wished we could have stayed longer as we had to rush though the last two buildings.  Definitely on our list to return to visit.  Best of all the museum is completely FREE.

Friday, 9 June 2017

weekly wrap up 6/09/17-- Washington DC trip

We just came back from a trip to Washington DC.  Since we have been doing American history all year we thought we would wrap up our school year with a trip to Washington DC.  Since my parents live not too far away we dropped in to visit them as well:)  The kids have been to DC before but we still haven't seen all the museums so we tried to hit a few that were still on our list, we got into everything we wanted except the new African American museum.  We tried to get tickets but they were sold out:(.  We will just have to go back one day:)

I just give a brief run down of what we did.  My husband had to work for the first three days of our trip so I was on my own with the kids and at first attempted to to two museums a day which lasted exactly 2 days before we all agree that was just too much.  So then we just went to one museum each day and then went to the hotel swimming pool to relax before going out to dinner.  The kids did amazing, better than I even expected.  It was fun for them to discover something that we had read or seen in a book.

The first evening we arrived we went straight to the Vietnam and Korean memorial

My husband trying to find a person he knew as a kid who served int he war.

We found the names of the men in We were soldiers once

We also saw the steps in which Martin Luther king did his 'I have a dream speech'

Visiting the Korean memorial

 The next day my Husband had to work so I took the kids by train to Arlington Cemetery
MarioFan is an expert at maps, thankfully as he kept us off the wrong train several time:)

Kennedy's eternal flame

General Lee's home

An amazing view of the Capital

Watch the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown solider

The kids wanted to see the spy museum which was one of the two place we paid an entrance fee for.  They had an excellent James bond exhibit at the end

after the spy museum we toured the portrait gallery- kids are getting tired

The next day we went to see how money was made in the morning

and in the afternoon we went to the Holocaust museum
 It was at this point we decided we would only do one museum a day as it was just to exhausting for us all.  We were spending 3 hours in each museum and still not seeing everything we wanted to see so we thought a slower pace would be better.  Plus now my Husband is off work and could join us for the rest of the museum trips.
On the fourth day we spent the day at the Natural History museum

My husband loves the Air and space museum 
 After five days of non stop museum we decided to take a drive though Sky line drive and see some nature.
we took the kids to the winery where we had our wedding ceremony 

At one of the visiting station there was an excellent display of the Civil Corp that gave lots of information about the history of how this park came to be.  I had no idea how many people were cruelly kicked off their land:( by our government.

 On the seventh day we toured the portrait gallery and each of us had several artist painting we wished to see.  Here our just a few
I had to see the Vermeer Paintings (of which their are two)

My husband had to see Rembrandt's paintings

MarioFan said this was his favorite

And this was Firedrakes favorite

 ON the eight day we headed to the Newseum-- which was the second place we went to that we had an entrance fee for.  This was an excellent museum.  Four floors of history and journalism and if you think the press is bad or fake now, you should see what the press printed about George Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt back in the day.  Yikes!!!  Although my daughter said the insults were classier back then:)
 In the bathroom at the museum there were amazing tiles of badly worded newspaper headlines.  So were just out right funny:)

We ended each day exhausted and headed to the hotel pool, I was very disappointed this hotel did not have a hot tub!  But I survived.
 Next stop was a three day visit with my parents:)  I post that next week