Monday, September 26, 2011

Schooling Michelle

Michelle loves children and working in the kitchen. If I let her, she would have our yard filled with farm animals. She is a most compassionate person. She is also a hard worker. However, her interests are not very academic. So coming up with her school curriculum is a challenge. She would rather cook or babysit all day rather than do school. So what did we come up with?

Well, I am having her teach the younger two children art. This has been a win-win for the family. I am also having her do a sketching course. Time will tell if that is successful. She must finish Pre-Algebra this year and Physical science.

Her reading includes things like a cookbook, that covers the different regions of the US, A book that teaches how to run a small farm and all the skills needed, including electrical, plumbing, digging a well, and raising animals. She really enjoys that book.

She is also doing the Mystery of History vol 3 with us as a family. Plus all the other together subjects. She is also doing a lot of reading.

I have assigned her 'Roosevelt's Letters to his Children', 'All Quiet on the Western Front', the book that is Edward Bok's Autobiography, 'Seven Men Who Rule the World From the Grave', Hazlitt's 'Economics in One Lesson', 'Flying Cloud' a biography of the woman who navigated the fastest clipper ship passage around the horn ( a great read, by the way), 'Microbe Hunters', 'Holiness of God', A book on de-cluttering, and she has to copy a recipe in her personal cookbook every week. She also does a daily language lesson and is working on Seterra for geography. Now she doesn't do all of them every day, but she does work on them a little bit every week.

Michelle also works on her craft project while we do school together. She has been very busy lately on making two 'quiet books' for two of her friend's children. She is a real artsy-crafty person. Very artistic. She has grown into a delightful young woman.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Michelle Bakes a cake!!!

Michelle baking a cake is not big news. She does it often. However, this summer we celebrated my Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary.

Michelle decided to try and make a cake for the party that looked like their original wedding cake.

Here is the wedding photo she had to work from.

She started on Thursday baking the cakes, Friday, she iced the layers and decorated the edges. Saturday, we took the cakes to the party site and Michelle put the cake together.

She then decorated around each layer to hide the cardboard that the cake set on.

She set it up....

Layer by layer.

Until it was all put together and decorated.

Michelle then used fresh flowers on top as we didn't have a bride and groom cake topper like was on the original wedding cake.

Mom and Dad exchanged bites. Just like on their wedding day.

The top layer was a white almond cake with a raspberry filling. This was the middle layer, a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

The bottom layer was chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling. It was not the least bit healthy! No, I didn't have any. Our guests cleaned up every last bit of cake. There wasn't a piece left. I guess that means that it tasted as good as it looked.

Way to go Michelle!

Friday, September 23, 2011

School Planning

This school year was one of the most challenging I have ever had in putting together our family schedule and curriculum. It seems like as the children get older they are going in more directions. I will explain what decisions we made and what we are doing.

We use a Charlotte Mason approach to our school. We use a lot of our material from That does simplify things.

Here is what we are doing...
Paul is in grade 12.5 this year. He could have graduated last spring , but.... He hadn't finished his math or Physics. He did get the math done this summer. However, the real reason he is doing school this year, is that he fell in love with debate.

We have a local speech and debate club through CCA (Christian Communicators of America) state group the CCO. It has been an excellent experience for him. He didn't start until last year and because he doesn't turn 19 until January, he is eligible to participate IF he is home schooled.
So he is schooling with us.
So what do you do for grade 12.5?!!! That was a big question for me too. We started off by having him do Physics. Yep, he must FINISH it this year. He also is working on completing a Small Motors course. He must join us in our memory work ( Heb 11:21-40, some poems) and some of the other subjects we are working on together- Mon: Logic. Tue: Anatomy and Physiology, Wed: Economics Thurs: Plutarch's Lives (Pericles). I have also given him a reading list... Spurgeon's Lectures to his Students, A book on apologetics. Thomas Sowell's Autobiography, An Economics book by Larry Burkett and one other book I can't remember right now. He is also free to work with his Dad. We are calling this an 'apprenticeship'. Last week he was only in 'school' one day. As long as he gets his assignments done I am fine with it. It doesn't matter when he does it in a day, just so long as it gets completed. He is working hard and saving his money.

Any ideas of what you do with your non-college interested older boys?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random Things and photos

I sometimes leave my camera lying around and I am always surprised at what I find when I download pictures...

This is Michelle with my youngest nephew, Isaac. This was taken at the family Labor Day picnic. I love their big blue eyes.

Apparently, one of my children , misunderstood the concept of money laundering and took it literally.

The camera is also used to tattle on someone who didn't get their dishes done on time or properly.

Michelle uses the camera to record beauty. These were some of the flowers that my DH gave me for our anniversary.

Thomas takes pictures of his Lego models. He is starting to grow out of the Lego stage, as he spends more time on his studies.

I took this picture of T-Bob. He made this hat himself on a circle 'knitter'. He worked on it during school hours. Michelle helped him by making the pom-poms. He wears the hat almost all the time.

Elizabeth lost her two front teeth this week. It sure changes her appearance. I love her cute little lisp.

That's the News from the Mangos.