12/3/14

The BIG list of field trip ideas for NC

I with the help of the great ladies in the Facebook group N.C. Homeschooling  have come up with tons of field trip ideas and tips. I decided to compile them and make the readily available for everyone! This list has its own page and will continually be updated! Be sure to PIN and save for future reference!  Find it here
http://freerangefarmmom.blogspot.com/p/homeschooling-in-nc.html

11/24/14

Indian rain/talking sticks!


Today was busier than I expected but we got our rain sticks or talking sticks done! I found an image on teachkidsart.com I'm sure they have more directions if you need them! The kids are loving them!

Supplies Needed for 1:
-1 Paper towel tube
-Tin foil approximately the length of the paper towel roll.
-markers
-4-6 feathers
-20 beads
-20 in of string cut in half
-Tape,scissors
-2 4x4 in squares of brown paper bag or card stock for the ends
-1/2-1 cup rice

How we did it:
First let the kiddos decorate the tube with markers. While they are doing that you can be getting your supplies ready.

Then take the tinfoil and roll it up lengthwise to the paper towel tube and insert in the tube.
Then take one if the squares and poke a hole in the center take 1 string, thread thru & tie a bead on the end as a stopper(the bead side goes inside the tube so color doesn't matter)

Place the paper square around the end of the tube and tape around

Pour rice in and do the same to the other end.

Next thread 9 beads onto string then double or triple knot.

Gather 3 feathers making sure the hard ends are together. Make another knot but this time stick the feathers thru circle before you close knot. Do the same to the other end & that's it! Please comment with any questions!

11/23/14

Thanksgiving week kick off

Ahhh...I can almost smell the turkey and stuffing in the oven...the sound of can openers opening the cranberry sauce and my siblings and I arguing over who made the best dessert! But not so fast! We still have 3 more days! We decided to continue school this week with Thurs. And Friday off. We are super close to our 100 days of school and I want to hit that marker before Christmas break if possible! Since it IS a holiday week we are going to do a lighter version of school this week lots of crafts and fun learning! We are studying native Americans so we will spend the week making necklaces with clay pendants, rainsticks & finishing our native American lapbook! I will be posting all of these activities once we have done them! I know a lot of you "unplug" over the break so we would like to wish all of our readers a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!
Hugs,
The Wards

11/13/14

All about air ( fun games too!)

Today we learned about air. We discussed gases (carbon dioxide & oxygen) then we played different games! We took a 2 liter bottle and some tiny paper balls and had to "shoot" the air out to get the ball in the candy bowl. If they got it in they got candy. We also tried blowing it in a tube they couldn't blow it out of the other end so they really had to focus on how hard to blow. They had a great time with this! Actually they are still in there playing!

11/10/14

Menu (Madness) Monday

Every ones Monday's are a whirlwind it seems. My Mondays are my grocery/errands day. I also go to a diabetes prevention class at the local YMCA. In the spring time we will be at co-op most of the day! My husband also has fire dept training on these days! So dinner is always something quick and easy. i try to plan out our meals ahead of time to save time,money and stress. Also to make sure we eat healthy well rounded meals. Here's our weekly menu:

Monday- Spaghetti( i make a homemade "hybrid" sauce) and cheese bread
Tuesday- Grilled Chicken, Grilled corn on the cob ,baked potatoes.
Wednesday- Crock pot beef stew with carrots & potatoes. We usually do mac & cheese for the kids and some sort of rolls.
Thursday- Chicken stir fry! a family fave.
Friday- Well its my birthday so hubs is taking me out but the kids will have chicken strips and mac & cheese ready for them.

Breakfast options this week:
mini sausage biscuits
pancakes & sausage
cereal
Livermush & eggs (we live in the town where hunter's livermush is made so we all grew up on it! lol

Lunch options for myself are usually a salad or a quick sandwich. If we have leftovers i may dig in to that too!
The kiddos- This week i found fresh fish sticks on sale for $3 for a huge box at bilo. So they have those tons of fruit and veggie snacks as well as sandwiches. Pretty basic! What are your family favorites & staples?

5 Things I wish I'd known BEFORE homeschooling


Ok first off, I did TONS of research on homeschooling before we decided to pull our then 1st grader out of public school. Not for the pros and cons or the reasons why I should. We knew all that. We knew its what we were going to do. My husband was home schooled so that made our decision easier. I was researching how to be the "perfect" home school mom. Since then I have came back to real life, so here's a list of my 5 things I wish I'd known!

1-I wish I'd known that Pintrest & 10 min You tube videos aren't always a reality.
   Don't get me wrong i am a fanatic. I get so much inspiration and motivation from both but I looked at those sweet patient mommas with toddlers sitting quietly playing so well while she breastfed a newborn that she had like 2 minutes ago as she was making a video of her gorgeously organized home school room tour decked out in the latest Ikea trofast system storage. Yeah...I went there. Don't lie...you were probably thinking the same. I have since learned that school happens in all places and ways. Those mamas are going thru the hard times too. Let's give her props for pulling the messy hair up and getting a great video out for us!

2- I wish I'd known i didn't HAVE to have an all in one curriculum or even one at all.
My husband came from what i call a "Abeka Family" they bought everything for that grade and went by the book. I spent many weeks trying to figure out what we could afford. Then I came across a blog speaking on the subject. I was so relieved. I know so many home school families that follow every page and are miserable. I eventually found Easy Peasy free online homeschool http://allinonehomeschool.com/ . I felt like i had been under a rock! I immediately started it with my 3 year old daughter. For our son we use a little of this & that. More on that later.

3-I wish I'd known that it isn't all fun, games, painting and projects with math & reading thrown in here and there throughout the day. I love being a kid! I love getting messy in the paint & doing cool projects with my kiddos, but it isn't a reality. We are lucky to fit one activity in a week where we can just have fun. Don't get me wrong we do have fun everyday. I make every subject fun and as interactive as possible but its alot of work to get everything out and organized to extra everyday. My 3 yo does get to play a lot in her work boxes (play dough,bead stringing,etc)

4- I wish I'd known that I would have to "DeSchool" my son.
I had no idea that deschooling was all about letting them get used to be at home & get into a new routine. I didn't realize how important it was for both of us. He was home all summer so i just assumed that was good enough. Poor guy missed his friends and didn't understand how to learn new easier ways that i was trying to teach him. I failed to think that its all new to him. He was used to a very structured environment to learn in. I wanted to cry every time we would start math & he would zone out. Now just a few months later he is calm cool and collected. He brags about being homeschooled. His confidence is up and he's thriving! Take time to be gentle and understanding in those first few weeks. Maybe just read a few books together and do some puzzles!
5-I wish I'd known that other moms are just like me & some days everything just doesn't get done. 
We all try to be perfect in our on little ways. We try to please everyone. My husband likes every subject done each day for both kids. I still cringe a little when my 3 year old says she played on the ipad all day(she does starfall lol) and colored a few pictures when he asks the kids what they learned today because the house was a wreck and my son needed a little more time with me that day. Thankfully he now gets it too. We can try our best and that's all we can hope for!

I hope these help you a little and if they did please share & subscribe to my blog! It would be so appreciated! Thanks & God Bless!

10/31/14

Halloween Day fun without trick or treating!

This halloween we decided against trick-or-treating. It was cold and there was so much bad stories going around on the news we didn't want to chance it. We thought about how we could give the kids a memorable night. We came up with some snack foods they loved. I did the mini mummy dogs,marshmallow ghosts,cupcakes,witch brooms out of string cheese & pretzel sticks, Taco dip, chips & dip!


We also had some movies we had recorded & candy of course! I set up activities for them they included a bubble box filled with all sorts of fun things to use to blow bubbles,a craft table where they could glitter,glue and cut to their hearts content, a gak making station, & silly string. While they done the stations i played halloween music classics such as the purple people eater & Witch doctor, Both favorites of theirs! They both dressed up my daughter was Elsa i handmade her costume with no pattern in a few hours thanks to a friend & Mason my son was a police officer. He decided last minute & made the costume himself! lol We did take them to my husbands fire station and let them get candy and give out some too! They thought that was awesome to get to hand it out! All in all it was a Spooktacular night! 

 

10/30/14

Handmade Christmas

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner! Halloween hasnt got here yet but i am feeling the Christmas spirt! With pinterest being oh so popular and more and more folks are getting there "craft on" these days the why buy it when you can make it trend has set in full swing....I've never had the urge or want to make my children toys but this year we are...well at least were going to attempt a few plus decorations! In the next couple weeks I will have posts featuring all the cute things we've made! So far I've done our wreaths and stockings to match our primitive holiday decor. (Because I burnt yes...burnt our $25 ea ones....yeah...I cried like a baby...the wood stove technically did it) anywhoo...I plan to make my daughter a barn,a play food market,puppet theater,play food from salt dough and felt and a washer/dryer set! I know my son will secretly play with all of it anyway.....she's just soooo into role play toys right now (almost 4) I couldn't possibly afford to buy all that and get a good quality product! Here's our burlap wreaths I did....first try at this too like no tutorial...nada ..zip...zilch lol so its a lil rough but cute! Of course i had to try it out!


10/11/14

Pumpkin Odd & Even Sort {Freebie Share Friday}

We had to share how much we LOVED this Pumpkin odd & even set from Lavinia Pop on teacherspayteachers.com Included is the page link as well as a photo of our finished product which i laminated to keep for years to come!
Get it FREE here!

10/4/14

Homemade apple butter & pie filling!

We Recently took a trip to the Apple Hill Orchard & cider mill. Its an annual trip for us! This year we purchased 2 bushels of apples! 1/2 went to my mother in law & the other half was ours. I finally got around to making my goodies! I first peeled the apples i would need for one crock pot full plus a pie & soaked them in water mixed with a small can of pineapple juice to keep the from browning. I just love my apple peeler i don't know how i managed before! The kids did alot of this part too! Mason loves cutting up any time of fruit or veggie. It took me a few days to finish all the apples but it was well worth the time & effort! You just can't beat homemade! For the pie filling I just added a little sugar and apple pie seasoning,Cinnamon & boiled for a few minutes then placed in food saver bags and froze. I'm sorry I don't have more details but I always just eyeball and taste till its right!


Homemade Apple Butter
Ingredients
5 1/2 lb apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla --- optional
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
Place the chopped apples in the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients, stir to blend well.
cover and cook on high for one hour
reduce heat to low and cook 10-11 hours, stir occasionally. Until mixture is thickened and dark brown.
Uncover and continue cooking on low for 1 hour. Stir with whisk if desired to increase the smoothness
Spoon mixture into clean freezer containers.



9/27/14

Fall Emergent Reader Pack {Freebie Friday}

Check out this awesome set i found over at freehomeschooldeals.com < I am secretly addicted to this site....lol Get it FREE  here!

9/20/14

Johnny Appleseed {Freebie Friday}

We are so ready for Johnny Appleseed Day! I am such a history buff. I think its my favorite to share with my kiddos! Check out this awesome freebie I found at mama's learning corner! I just LOVE her printables!


Get it FREE here!

9/18/14

Its Constitution Day!

We had so much fun today thanks to this freebie I found on TpT. Both my little ones got in on the fun and learning!



9/3/14

Trip to the NC Arboretum

We received tickets to the NC Arboretum thru a science project we did to go visit the science celebration expo. We arrived early that morning ready for fun! We hardly made it out of the car and the kids were picking up snails in the parking lot! They were so ready to explore! There were several companies there handing out freebies such weather charts,animal track cards & Electricity balls! Homeschool mom score! We did our research before hand and found that they had explorer packs to rent for free. Surprisingly there was plenty left! I suppose that many weren't aware they offered them!
 Our favorite exhibit was the dinosaurs! My daughter wouldn't go near them to get a photo but my son was all into them! They had a cool excavation dig area and a fossil area with real fossils!

 They also had nets for them to catch butterflies in the gardens! It was so sweet seeing all the laughing kids running around catching butterflies!

If you live in WNC take time to visit the arboretum soon!!!
 Heres a link to their site: http://www.ncarboretum.org/ 

8/30/14

Crocodile Alphabet Snap {Freebie Friday}

We did a version of this cute croc a few days ago! Thanks to Kathleen at growing kinders for this awesome freebie!


Get it for FREE here!

8/15/14

Easy snack system for hungry little ones & busy mama's!


My kiddos are constantly eating us out of house and home. My kids get 3 meals a day and 2 snacks but they wanted to snack all day as well! There always in the pantry or fridge munching on something. It was costing us ALOT and it wasn't healthy for them to eat junk all day. So I had tons of these containers i got at the dollar tree a while back and decided to put them to use. I bought mostly healthy snacks and filled each with 2 choices. Each day, each kid gets one to eat on all day. So far this has worked great for us! Some of the items I put in them are raisins,grapes.fruit cups,go gurt,cheese its,craisins,nuts.cheese & crackers,and sometimes a sweet treat if i have any on hand. Hope you get some inspiration with this if you are having this issue as well! 

8/9/14

Free Family First Aid Class! FRIDAY FREEBIE

My husband & I are both certified First responders but i came across this site and knew it was share worthy! Firstaidforfree.com offers a VERY good free online first aid course that anyone can take. This online first aid training could equip you (or your kids) with the skills and knowledge to help save someone’s life. Students can work their way through the course at their own pace to develop lifesaving knowledge. Once you’re done, you can download a free first aid certificate.
(For older kids, you might consider going through this online course to familiarize them with all the basics, and then actually have them go through the American Red Cross First Aid/CPR certification in your own community.)
Registration is required, but the course and certificate are totally free. How cool is that

8/6/14

Get out and learn!

Today was our 2nd day back at school. The kids were still in there summer funk. So we decided to get out side and have school on a blanket! We also did a color match scavenger hunt. The kids loved it! I did too! It was too pretty of a day to sit inside! What is your favorite outdoor "school" activity?


8/1/14

Old Timers Day Fun!

We enjoyed this cool spring day at the local saddle & bridle club a few months ago and im just getting around to sharing(eek). The kids got to meal corn and draw water the old fashioned way! We also watch my husband and his friends compete in several horse and buggy competitions. Its so important to teach our children a Godly heritage and to work hard for things! Back before things were "Automatic" 



7/24/14

Summer Library Fun!

Each week all year long our local library has a kids craft time! We love it! This is from one we did this summer. We made Dino Eggs! They gave them all a mini toy dino in a small bowl and a big bowl to mix concrete,dirt and water in. Once mixed while still a little damp they molded them over the dino in the shape of an egg. They took about 24 hrs to dry well then they cracked them open to get the baby dino! My kids loved getting messy and having something to look forward to! Maybe we will try this approach with something else in the future!




7/15/14

P.E. Anyone?

I feel this is where we will be doing our "P.E" this year! After my dpp class on mondays at the ymca the kids and me go play some basketball! It feels good to switch up our activity and its a great confidence builder! Whats a fun sport you like doing to get your kids more active?



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