Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frugal costumes: doll-sized creations





Abby's cat costume:  One pair of super-stretchy black child's tights, snipped off at the shins and with armholes cut just below the waistband--no hemming or sewing required. We used the cut-off parts for sleeves (did sew those on), and added a snap at the back. Paws:  black mittens, crocheted for the occasion. Felt ears made by Dollygirl.  Sneakers: Springfield Dolls.

Crissy's Gypsy outfit: skirt and shawl sewn from yard-saled fabric.  Scarf: vintage handkerchief.  Jewelry made by Dollygirl.

Crystal's Princess dress:  sewn for Abby last summer.  Shoes: Springfield Dolls.  

Block calendar:  family heirloom.

Photos by Dollygirl.

What's for breakfast?




Friday, October 26, 2012

The why and how of frugal homeschooling, Part Two

Part One is here.

One part of frugal homeschooling is making better use of the books and other materials that you have.

Another part is to take resources--or things that you've never thought could be resources--and use them in ways that they weren't originally intended.  Like this summer when our cutlery box became my jewelery box.  Or the bits and pieces of the Aunt Sarah Scrap Challenge.  Or a Chinese-style sauce made with ketchup.

How does that work for school?

We've had a thrifted copy of Kids' Magnetic Poetry Book and Creativity Kit (Workman Publishing) for years.  Originally I had great ideas for incorporating the included poetry suggestions into our language arts time, but that never really happened.   We did use the magnetic words that came with the book, but mostly on the refrigerator rather than on the shiny blue fold-out panel inside the cover.

This week I was looking for a white board to use for some math review with Dollygirl.  I found a small magnetic board stuck to the washing machine, but I wanted a bigger one.  I thought there was a larger one somewhere in the school cupboard.  When I went to look for it, I saw the Magnetic Poetry Book, and thought of the shiny blue fold-out panel.  It worked!   What a great resource for math, or for other wipe-off work like spelling words!  As a bonus, it's already marked into centimeter-sized squares:  good for graphing, or geometry, or Cuisenaire rods.

We've used many resources for French lessons that weren't intended as curriculum--but they happened to be in French, like magazines bought from the library's discard rack.  We've also used real stuff from around the house:  toys, fruit, and so on...and not just for French, but for math and other subjects.

Magazines in general can be a great learning tool.  A few years ago we subscribed to Canadian Geographic, and that became the core of our high school Canadian geography course.  What could be more current and more relevant?--plus the magazine has a website with expanded articles, maps, and other resources.  Also we had a two-subscriptions-for-one coupon that we shared with another family, which made it even more frugal for all of us.

Recently I came across one of Emilie Barnes' Twelve Teas books.  This would make a great resource for young ladies (even very young ladies)--there are recipes, crafts (such as invitations), suggestions of ways to acquire basic "tea party equipment," thoughts about keeping friendships strong, and illustrations that, while slightly overdosing on lace tablecloths, show ways to make your house homier.  It wasn't written as a "home ec" book, but you could do worse than spend a season trying out some of the ideas.

What else do you have that you could use in an unintended way, or for a subject other than the obvious? 

Dollygirl's Grade Six: plans for Friday

Plans for today's school:  as Miss Maggie says, "all the good leftovers."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dollygirl's Grade Six: Plans for Thursday

Opening time:  hymns, puzzle cards

Basic Bible Studies:  Read Galatians 3:24, Hebrews 11:1-21:2 “Thus through all the ages, before Christ and after Christ alike, there is one way of salvation.”

Math:  Fractions in real life.  Guided Example (number of boards needed to build a deck), Minds on Math 8, page 95. Page 97, questions 1-4.

Citizenship: Plutarch's Life of Pericles

Composition:  see Tuesday.

French:  we haven't done any French yet this week, so we need to make sure we include this.

Handicrafts:  continue doll-making project.

Story of Canada (Lunn & Moore), start chapter 10, "The Flying Years."  After World War II, "more prosperous times had come."  What were some changes in Canadian life at that time?  Who was Tommy Douglas?  (maybe somebody to add to your People notebook).  What happened at midnight on March 31, 1949?

What's for supper? 4 S's

Tonight's dinner menu:

Smoked Sausage with Sauerkraut
Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans

Strawberry-Banana Soft Serve (frozen bananas, strawberries and yogurt put through the food processor)

P.S.  Green Beans don't start with S, but they count because they were Schnippeled.  But I didn't schnippel them, Green Giant did.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dollygirl's Grade Six: Plans for Wednesday

Dollygirl has been under the weather with a cold the last couple of days, so we didn't get everything done--some catching up tomorrow, probably.

Basic Bible Studies, page 26:  Read Romans 4:1-11, 20, 25. "No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God"  (English Standard Version)

Picture Study:  Emily Carr, "Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky," 1935.  One of my own favourite Emily Carr paintings!  Why are we doing so much picture study this week?  We are hoping to make a long-delayed trip to an art gallery, where there is a special exhibit of Carr's work, including this painting.  The exhibit closes this weekend, so if we are going to get there it will have to be in the next few days.

The Story of the World Volume 4,  chapter 32,  "Africa After World War II" and "Two Republics of China."

Math puzzles

Poetry:  two poems from Emily, about Emily Carr

Shakespeare:  Cymbeline, see TuesdayWe didn't get to this

Composition: see Tuesday.  Still haven't gotten to this one!

Handicrafts:  continue dollmaking project.  Didn't get anything done on this today.

Volunteer Afternoon for Mama Squirrel--Dollygirl stayed home.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dollygirl's Grade Six: Plans for Tuesday

Basic Bible Studies, page 25: Yesterday we read what the prophet Isaiah said about the coming Messiah.  Today, read Luke 2:25-32, 36-38. What did Simeon and Anna say when they saw the child Jesus? Listen to “Simeon’s Lullaby,” by Wendy & Mary.



Shakespeare: Cymbeline, continue Act II, Scene IV.  Iachimo reports back to Posthumus.  Oops--we forgot about this one.  Dollygirl was fighting a cold today and we didn't get to every subject.

Dividing fractions: Work through this word problem found here: "Cassie's bird feeder holds 1/2 of a cup of birdseed. Cassie is filling the bird feeder with a scoop that holds 1/10 of a cup. How many scoops of birdseed will Cassie put into the feeder?" Minds on Math 8, page 89, word problems 16, 17, 18, 19.  Now write your own problem.

Science: see Monday.

Copywork:  Einstein quotes.

French

Poetry

The Hobbit:  Chapter 10, "A Warm Welcome"
"The lands opened wide about him, filled with the waters of the river which broke up and wandered in a hundred winding courses, or halted in marshes and pools dotted with isles on every side; but still a strong water flowed on steadily through the midst.  And far away, its dark head in a torn cloud, there loomed the Mountain!"

Skills & Crafts:  work on Dollygirl's dollmaking project.


Grammar & composition:  Write Source 2000, sections 311 and on.    As an example of recalling information, list in sentences the six levels of thinking.   No?  See the example in the book about the 1985 Live Aid concerts.  What is the difference between recalling and understanding?  Your writing assignment for today:  write a paragraph describing what Grandpa told you about V-E Day in 1945.  Use as many concrete details as you can remember.  We didn't get to this, since we read extra in science and did extra sewing as well.

What's for supper? 4 C's

Tonight's dinner menu:

Chili
Cornbread
Carrot Sticks

Chocolate pudding

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dollygirl's Grade Six: Plans for Monday

Basic Bible Studies (page 25): Review Trick #1 from Pack of Tricks. Read Exodus 20:24, and Francis Schaeffer’s comment about it. Read Isaiah 53.

Picture study:  Emily Carr, "Old Time Coast Village,"1929-30.


Minds on Math
Dividing fractions: what is the rule? See examples on page 87. Division problems 7, 8 on page 88. Question 13, a) and c): copy and complete the patterns.

The Story of the World Volume 4, chp 31b, "The Marshall Plan."  We have not yet done the earlier chapters about Israel, India, and Egypt, but this chapter leads directly out of what we have been reading about World War II, and also relates to Brother Andrew's Iron Curtain travels in God's SmugglerSome interesting (British) activities here.  Also BBC History: A Wartime HomeAlso here.
"Finally in 1945, when you are fifteen, the war ends.  Everyone in England is ecstatic.  There are even parties in the streets!  No more bone casserole, no more ration books, and no more bombs.  You can go home!  Your parents greet you at the train station with big smiles.  Now, they say, everyone can go back to normal.  But, after six years of war, what is normal?"--Susan Wise Bauer, Story of the World Vol. 4
On our large world map, find:  the United States; London, England; Berlin, Germany; France; Russia (referrred to as the Soviet Union).  (We tried to stump each other on other places as well.)
French:  continue Le voyage de Monsieur Perrichon.

Literature:  Independent Reading.   The Aeneid of Virgil, chapter 4, "Dido, Queen of Carthage."  Read pages 66-half of 71. Narrate orally.

Skills & Crafts:  work on projects.  Dollygirl cut out all the fabric pieces for a mini-doll-making project (her idea).

Science: The Great Motion Mission, chapter 5b pages 58-65
Sub-atomic particles.
Why don’t atoms just fall apart?
What do stars have to do with anything? (how stars are formed)   We skipped science and spent the afternoon working on the craft project.  Science will keep for tomorrow.

After supper:  swimming lesson.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How you know this is 2012: when pie isn't just pie

According to the cover of a popular Canadian women's magazine, it isn't enough these days to bake a good pumpkin pie, or a delicious pumpkin pie, or even a moist, fluffy, spicy, tangy, mouth-watering pumpkin pie.

Now you have to bake a s--y pumpkin pie.  (This is still a family-friendly blog.)

Thank you, but I'll stick with adjectives I can use in front of my father-in-law.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's for supper? Ham quiche

Tonight's dinner menu:

Quiche, made with leftover ham and green beans

Acorn squash

Pan-fried potatoes with mushrooms and smoked paprika

Canned pineapple, store wafer cookies

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thrift store Wednesday: puzzles and logic

Found at the thrift store today:

Two balls of tan yarn, for amigurumi projects

Alice in Puzzle-Land: A Carrollian Tale for Children Under Eighty, by Raymond Smullyan

To Mock a Mockingbird, and Other Logic Puzzles, including an Amazing Adventure in Combinatory Logic, by Raymond Smullyan

Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers...and the Return of Dr. Matrix, by Martin Gardner

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv

Discover the Bible for Yourself, by Kay Arthur--something maybe to hang on to for future school years

Dollygirl's Grade Six: Plans for a short Wednesday

Opening Time, hymns

Basic Bible Studies:  (page 24) Jump ahead to Genesis 12:1-3. How is God’s promise to Abraham both for him (and his family), and for his nation?  Jump ahead again to Genesis 22:1-18. When did Abraham live, approximately? When did Jesus live? When are we living? Where, exactly, did this story take place? Where did Jesus die? Memorize Trick #1 from Pack of Tricks: Adam (around 4000 BC), Noah (around 3000 BC) (fixed!), Abraham (2000 BC), David (1000 BC), Jesus, William the Conqueror (1000 AD).  (Yes, I know there are arguments for and against giving literal dates to Bible characters, especially Adam and Moses.  In this case we will use them as given.)

Math that we didn't do yesterday

Go spend twenty minutes writing a quick note or card for someone (on paper, not email). Make sure you mail it.

Poems

"Uncle Eric" study as outlined here

Volunteer afternoon at the thrift store

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dollygirl's Grade Six: plans for Tuesday

How did the plans for Monday go?  We got through most of the planned day, except that Dollygirl asked if she could listen to more of Number the Stars on audiobook, instead of doing the history lesson.  So we'll have to work that one in later.

TUESDAY

Opening time--hymn, prayer

Geography--we are about a week behind on our schedule, but that's all right.  Read Cool Geography, the first half of chapter 2:  "Cool Explorers: They Came, They Saw, They Discovered the World."

Make the geography-lesson grapefruit globe that we have never gotten around to doing yet.

Snack:  eat the grapefruit.

Copywork

Folk songs

Poems:  Robert Frost, read some of the biography (we should be almost finished that)

Math:  keep working on the fraction word problems from yesterday

Literature:  finish "Aeneas Comes to Carthage"

Go spend 15 minutes cleaning something up

Science:  start chapter 5 in The Great Motion Mission, about the laws of thermodynamics

Teatime:  maybe use the Little Dipper to make a warm dip

Monday, October 15, 2012

What's for supper? Almost-free brownie bites

Tonight's dinner menu:

Hamburger-tomato-mushroom sauce with pasta
This and that on top and beside

Brownie bites, made from a bag of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free brownie mix donated by a neighbor who's changed her diet.  Not bad, if you top them with a few chocolate chips. (The package directions say to use 2/3 cup butter or margarine; I used 1/2 cup of canola oil and they turned out fine.)  UPDATE: Dollygirl says that these are her New Favourite Dessert, especially with the chocolate chips, and she wants me to make them again.

NOTE:  Amazon reviewers note that this brownie mix is not a good gf choice for people who are sensitive to commercial gf products. But it is not an issue here; we were just trying to use what we had.

Dollygirl's Grade Six: plans for Monday

Hymns

Basic Bible Studies, by Francis Schaeffer: God’s Grace, part 2 (page 23)

After the man (Adam sinned), he tried to cover himself with the works of his own hands (how?). God took this away and gave him a covering of what? So this shows that people could not come to God by their own good works, but by what? (page 24) Look up Genesis 4:3-5. How does God ask Adam and Eve (and their children) to worship him? What picture does this give us of the promised Messiah?

The Hobbit chp 8: Flies and Spiders (continue)

FRENCH: Continue Le voyage de Monsieur Perrichon

Minds on Math 8, page 76 and 77.   Application problems for fractions 

Science biography: Albert Einstein, chapter 4.

Write Source 2000:  Last week we read about the "Planet of Bad Thinkers," a place where the inhabitants never set goals, never ask questions, ignore evidence, believe whatever they read, and so on.  We tried to turn those ideas around to list ways of "Becoming a Better Thinker."  Section 309 describes how your mind circles around from simple to more complex tasks while you work on a project.  Section 310 shows a chart of thinking "moves" from simple (observing, gathering) through more complex (rethinking, evaluating).  Choose a real or imaginary problem similar to the examples in section 308 (How can I...Should I...Is doing this activity worthwhile...I've got to convince my parents that...), and try to come up with a solution by tracing your way through the chart.  OR choose a picture book or children's story from our shelf, and show how the main character tries to solve a problem by using this kind of thinking process.

Put the books down and go for a walk.

Folk songs

Canadian history, using Story of Canada: World War II

Copywork

Poems:  Robert Frost, You Come Too

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Uncle Eric" study guide for chapter 8

Book studied:  "Uncle Eric" Talks About Personal, Career, and Financial Security, by Richard J. Maybury

Why a study guide for chapter 8, when I haven't posted any for the previous chapters?  This is where we're at in our term's work, and it's an important chapter.  Plus it shows you both why I both appreciate Uncle Eric (or Richard J. Maybury) and occasionally disagree with him--or at least want to raise a few questions about where he's coming from.  Which just shows that I've read chapter 8.

Dollygirl and I last read chapter 5 of this book, and discussed why the storytelling model is an effective one, especially for children (it's something our minds can more easily grasp than a list of rules).

We will skip chapters 6 and 7 for now--they're important in Uncle Eric's overall plan, but they don't make especially compelling reading at this point, at least for a sixth grader.

Chapter 8 is "A Model for Selecting Models."

"How do we know we have a good model?" Uncle Eric asks.

What are some ways you can make up your mind about which belief (about a given problem) makes more sense?  Flip a coin?  Ask a celebrity (the "prestige" model)?

Ask a specialist?  Uncle Eric points out that this is at least better than asking someone famous who doesn't specialize in that area, but, on the other hand, some specialists may be reluctant to give up their own accepted models, even if new evidence brings what they believe into question.  For example, read about Ignaz Semmelweis (we like the chapter in Exploring the History of Medicine).  Uncle Eric also uses Galileo as an example.

Sidewinding questions:  Does the Bible teach that the earth is the center of all God's creation?  Uncle Eric says that today we honour Galileo and regard his opponents as "closed-minded tyrants."  Are things different for scientists today?  What about Christian scientists?

Back to the main issue:  what is the final problem with the "prestige" model, that Uncle Eric points out at the top of page 52?

A third method of choosing which model is true:  do your own research.  What are the pros and cons of this?

Why does Uncle Eric say that if "everybody" believes something, then, mathematically speaking, there's a good chance that they're wrong?  Do you agree with this?

What is the scientific method?  What is a working hypothesis?  Watch this excellent, if somewhat silly, demonstration of the scientific method at work:




On page 54, Uncle Eric explains his beliefs about certainty/uncertainty.  Why does he feel it is safer to stay "uncertain" about many things?  Is there anything we can be certain of?  See Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 33:6; Matthew 27:54; Matthew 28:20; Romans 6:5; Hebrews 6:13.  Does that certainty contradict the point that Uncle Eric is making?

For further thought:  does science also demand an element of faith, or does that contradict the definition of science?  "In science, one must commit oneself to the belief that the world we see and touch is real, that nature is uniform, and that it operates according to the principle of cause-and-effect.  Without these prior 'leaps of faith,' reasonable though they are, one cannot undertake science."----What Does the Bible Say About...The Ultimate A to Z Resource

The why and how of frugal homeschooling, Part One

The why of frugal homeschooling is the easier of the two to answer.  The why is that you (if you're frugal-homeschooling) have limited funds, your family is probably living on one income, or at least less than two full-time incomes, so that somebody can be home to homeschool.

Or maybe you just like a challenge.

The short answer of "how" is "don't spend much money."  But since that's also a silly answer, I'll try to expand that into something more useful.

1.  Use what you have.
2.  Use what you have creatively.
3.  This is the hardest part to explain:  stay aware of your "big picture."  Unless you're naturally serene about letting the unschooling chips fall where they may, you need to keep evaluating, planning, trying to keep in mind whatever educational goals or philosophy you steer by.  Plus whatever family circumstances, special needs, etc. you have to deal with.
4.  In other words, you can use what you have, or what comes your way, as long as it fits into your overall education plan.

In Lloyd Alexander's book Taran Wanderer, the main character Taran meets Llonio, a father who supports his family by taking hold of anything that fate throws in his net--literally.  The family never knows from one day to the next what will float down the river, but they cheerfully take whatever comes, and eat it or wear it or use it.  As Taran stays with Llonio's family, he appreciates their generosity and their creativity, but he also eventually realizes that their way of life is not exactly for him.  He wants to do a little more purposeful seeking, instead of just catching what comes his way. 

I think there's room for both, even in a frugal lifestyle and in frugal homeschooling.  When I wanted to make a particular doll from a particular pattern, I kept my eyes open for certain colours and fabrics.  I never did get to the outlet store that sells rug yarn, but I found something pretty close that also worked.  When I crocheted monkeys last Christmas, I bought yarn in the right colours.  On the other hand, I've sometimes started with a piece of fabric or a ball of yarn, and asked "what could this be? How big is it, how much of it is there, is there enough for this or that?  What else would it work with?  And what do we need right now, who still needs a Christmas gift?"

The same principles apply to menu planning.  What's available? What's the weather like?  What sort of meals does your family eat?  What do you need to add to the shopping list to turn wieners and cauliflower into a meal?  What's still a favourite, what's getting old, and what new things have you been wanting to try?  Sometimes you go shopping intending to buy chicken thighs, because somebody gave you a new recipe, and that is what you bring home.  Or you look in the freezer, and that's what's there.  Or it could happen that chicken is too expensive, so you buy something else. 

One useful exercise to strengthen frugal homeschool muscles is to pretend you are (or maybe you really are) in a situation where, for whatever reason, you are suddenly limited to a few books and resources.  It could be a Bible, dictionary, telephone book kind of thing; or you can go with a more random choice, like the stack of books you just brought home from the library.  From very loose planning ("read the book"), to more structured copywork and dictation, notebooking, dramatizations, or complete unit studies, how many ways can you think of to get the most out of this resource?  If it's a map, are there ways you could add tags or markings to illustrate something you're studying?  If it's a math activity book, which activities can you honestly imagine doing, and (just as important), which ones will provide the strongest learning experiences for your children? 

If it's a book of poems, how will you get the most of out of it?  Have any of the poems been set to music?  Have any actors recorded them?  (Check out anything you can find by the First Poetry Quartet.)  Are there possibilities for acting them out?  (Never underestimate the potential for this--I still remember the Apprentice dramatizing Blake's "A Poison Tree," including the enemy's death throes.)  Can you use any of Ruth Beechick's suggestions, such as turning verse into prose?  Or can you use a poem as a jumping-off point for something original?  Or you can just read a poem slowly and carefully, maybe taking turns on stanzas, copying or memorizing favourite lines.  It's also educational, or just entertaining, to group certain poems together, maybe in combination with art, music, or other readings.  Our church music director once did this as part of a holiday program:  several people of different ages read winter-themed poems by Robert Frost.  Can your students plan a "poetry concert," just for your family or for others as well?  You can see where I'm running away with this...but that's the point, that you can take any worthwhile book as far as you like, use it as far as you can, and it won't cost you any extra.


Linked from the Festival of Frugality #357, and from the Carnival of Homeschooling: End of the Road Edition.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's for supper? Kind of Philippines-Cuban fusion

What's for supper tonight?

Chicken Thighs Adobo, which includes carrots and onion (from our freezer experiment)
Reheated sweet potatoes
Rice
Homemade Cuban bread (Dollygirl and I baked some this morning)

Oranges, bananas
Dangerous Chocolate Cake in a Cereal Bowl

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quote for the day: on church, classes, Charlotte Mason, and real life

One of this week's thrifted books was This Beautiful Mess, by Rick McKinley.  I am not an adherent of the emergent church movement, so I am cautious about this kind of book; but I did find one passage in it that said more to me about homeschooling and Charlotte Mason than it actually did about church.

Here is the quote:
"Our dream at Imago is that one day you would come to church with your kids and travel through Learning Labs as families.  Think about it:  What if you walked into a church and instead of seeing a sign that says "Sixth-Grade Girls," you saw signs inviting your family to the garden, a science lab, an art studio, a media room, and on and on?  If the kingdom is being expressed in all of life, why wouldn't that kind of "church school" make perfect sense?"--This Beautiful Mess, page 109
Well, what we do when we spend time with other believers on Sunday mornings is worship. Mostly. Our church has Sunday School classes too, but I'm thinking we are there because it's a time of corporate, formal worship, not a time to work in the garden or do science experiments. However, I do like what it says about how we might do life and learning together aside from that time of formal worship. Your thoughts?

Thrift store Wednesday

Most mis-sorted book seen today: Future Tense, shelved with the dictionaries and language books.

Most interesting and/or weird book that came in: a 1947 University of Toronto yearbook.

What we brought home:  Samantha's Craft Book, for Dollygirl; a couple of Christian-themed books with possibilities for adult Sunday School; Extending the Table (a sequel to More With Less); and a guide to local birds.  A fold-out Anne of Green Gables house, missing all its people but still good otherwise, for Dollygirl.  And a small ball of orange yarn, for one of the amigurumi projects I was looking at on Monday.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jo Doll, finally done

First you need an idea...
Then you need some stuff...and some stuffing...
Partly done...

Finished! (She still could use some shoes.)

All photos by Dollygirl.  Copyright 2012, Dewey's Treehouse.

Thanksgiving in our Treehouse: photo post




All photos by Mr. Fixit.  Copyright 2012, Dewey's Treehouse.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Showers of blessings (what's in your hand?)

This is sort of a Make-it-from-Scratch roundup, with a list of things we have here that need using, or using up.

1 cup of molasses:  Vegan gingerbread for a family Thanksgiving potluck tonight.

Package of brown paper lunch bags (nobody here takes lunch in a paper bag):  homemade paper-lunch-bag albums (there are tutorials on You-tube as well).

About two pounds of navy beans:  cook them in the pressure cooker, freeze them, and use some to make soup or a casserole.

1 small chicken and 1 small ham in the freezer:  Maybe Mr. Fixit will make his grandma's chicken soup.

Frozen "Nature's Balance" vegetable mix, bought on sale:  white vegetable lasagna, when I get some mushrooms.

Six square foil pans and a stack of foil pie plates:  I know you can string up pie plates to scare critters away, but we're in the wrong season for that.  I also don't have a birdcage that needs lining, or any need for a homemade tambourine.  I guess I will just keep using up the pie plates for sending cookies and so on, and as freezer containers combined with foil.

One springform pan we don't use much:  I am looking at this recipe for stuffed pizza.

Cinnamon, ginger, cloves & nutmeg:  homemade pumpkin pie spice mix.

Rolled oats, coconut, honey, and wheat germ:  granola, granola bars.  Ponytails really likes the Chewy Granola Bars recipe on Budget101.com, especially made with butterscotch chips.

Enough long bamboo skewers to make a lifetime of shishkabobs and fruit bouquets:  some food ideas here.  I'm thinking fondue.  And some craft ideas here.

A lot of cornmeal and a package of cornbread mix (gifted from a neighbour who couldn't use them):  well, I guess we're going to be eating corn muffins.

A mess of old Easter baskets:  I found a bunch of recycling ideas here.

Cream cheese, bought on sale:  Baked Potato Soup.

Non-alcoholic beer:  Beer Breadto go with the soup.

Sweet potatoes, because I bought too many:  baked (or oven fries), puree the leftovers to make muffins or doughnuts

Library card:  Go explore the Dewey Decimal system.

Basket of yarn:  Go explore some amigurumi sites, thinking Christmas?  I like this one (link fixed!), and also this oneAlso this egg carton, although the pattern isn't free.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Dollygirl's Grade Six: Plans for Friday including a woodland teatime

Opening:  O Canada, Thanksgiving hymns.

Basic Bible Studies (we read God's Smuggler yesterday instead of doing this)

Citizenship: Plutarch's Life of Pericles

Math:  continue with spreadsheets and repeating decimals

Study for dictation
School of the Woods teatime:  Bring as many woodland-type stuffed or toy animals as you can (including Uncle Dewey), and we will have hot chocolate and "woodsish" snacks, read a couple of Robert Frost's tree poems, play Beaver Ed's Nature Card Game, and read the next chapter of School of the Woods(I have to admit that this is a shameless attempt to interest Dollygirl even a little bit in School of the Woods.  So far I think she just finds it tedious.)

After lunch:  Dictation.  Work on "people notebooking" pages.  Drama club.

Dollygirl's Grade Six: plans for today

Homeschool plans for Thursday:

Basic Bible Studies: God’s Grace (A), part 1 of 2 (page 22)

Citizenship:  Uncle Eric, chapter 5: How to Learn or Teach Models. A sure way to keep people from learning:  teach them all about the thing, but don't let them touch it, play with it, or otherwise form any kind of relationship with it. Example: when we play a new card game, do we have to go over every single rule first?

Math:  start working on pages 64-65, Repeating Decimals. (working with spreadsheets as described in the textbook)

Copywork:  finish this passage from Leigh Hunt, quoted in Charlotte Mason's Home Education:

"Suppose," says Leigh Hunt, "suppose flowers themselves were new! Suppose they had just come into the world, a sweet reward for some new goodness... Imagine what we should feel when we saw the first lateral stem bearing off from the main one, and putting forth a leaf. How we should watch the leaf gradually unfolding its little graceful hand; then another, then another; then the main stalk rising and producing more; then one of them giving indications of the astonishing novelty––a bud! then this mysterious bud gradually unfolding like the leaf, amazing us, enchanting us, almost alarming us with delight, as if we knew not what enchantment were to ensue, till at length, in all its fairy beauty, and odorous voluptuousness, and the mysterious elaboration of tender and living sculpture, shines forth the blushing flower."
Einstein and The Theory of Relativity chp 3: Learning in Spite of School. Read pages 24-top of 30.

French: Le voyage de Monsieur Perrichon, lesson 8. Review folk songs.  Je Veux Chanter #30, “Alleluia.”

Finish a picture in Je gribouille!   (French equivalent of the Doodle Book series.)

We were supposed to go to the library this afternoon and look for Dewey Decimal books, but there are some life-interrupts conflicts, so it will have to wait.  Also I wanted to have a real tea time this week, but the afternoons have been busy, and tomorrow afternoon is drama club...and Monday is Thanksgiving.  So maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Or...whoever said you couldn't have teatime in the morning?  That would work...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Thrift store Wednesdays: poems and dinosaurs

Found at the thrift store:

One ball of red-and-other-colours heavy yarn that I think might work for Jo Doll's hair

One kid's denim outfit from the clearance corner, to make a skirt and vest for Jo Doll.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle...And Other Modern Verse.  Scholastic TX868.  A classic of my schooldays.

Cavalcade of Poems, Scholastic TX577

The Educated Imagination, by Northrop Frye.  I loaned mine out and I'm not sure if or when I'll see it again, so I picked up another fifty cent copy.

Time as History: CBC Massey Lectures 1969, by George Grant (the Canadian George Grant). The Educated Imagination is part of the Massey lectures series too.

The Science Class You Wish You Had...by David Eliot Brody & Arnold R. Brody.

The Dinosaur Hunters, by Deborah Cadbury. This is the same book as Terrible Lizard, just a different title.
Most expensive thing I priced today: a book of Annie Leibowitz's photos for $10. I figure somebody will buy it. Most out-of-place thing I found: a book of daily affirmations called Seeds of Change, sorted with the gardening books.  Coolest thing I priced last week but it's gone now:  a biography of Edward Gorey.

What's for supper? Reheat and thaw

Tonight's dinner menu:

Leftover chicken lasagna
Lettuce and carrot salad
Garlic toast triangles

A bit of thawed cake (a birthday cake layer that broke coming out of the pan) with vanilla yogurt and thawed blueberries.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Dollygirl's written narration: Albert Einstein, chapter 2

A written narration from Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity, by Robert Cwiklik

Albert’s father and uncle were doing the lights at the Oktoberfest. Albert and his sister walked around the grounds making sure the lights were on. Albert took Marta into the beer drinking contest and afterwards Marta made him swear to never ever drink beer like that. Albert hated school. All you did was sit there while teachers talked about things you didn’t understand. Albert didn’t get any of it, so he just sat there daydreaming with a silly smile on his face. “Mr. Einstein I wish you weren’t in my class, all you do is sit there, daydreaming and smiling.” His teacher often remarked. Albert did love watching the stars though. He would stand in the backyard for hours just looking up at the sky finding the patterns. One day he was walking home from school and he saw the soldiers having a drill. He hated seeing them standing with their bayonets shining in the sunlight waiting to hurt people. There were other people standing and waving and smiling at the soldiers as they drilled. Albert did eventually take violin lessons at the insistence of his mother, and became a very good player.