Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plans for the future.

I want to do some special things for my girls this year. Demi is now school age and I want to make her school year as fun for her as it was for Travis when he was 5 years old. The problem is Travis and Demi are such different children. I figure the easiest way to make it fun is to start with the things she likes. She LOVES the TV show Little House on the Prairie. We DVR it every day so she doesn't miss any of it. She pretends to be Laura. She talks about her Ma and Pa all day long. This is wonderful because it does fit into some of our history reading. I plan to read all the Little House books to her this year. I am sure doing some of the things we read about in the book will be fun. I know my girls would love to have a corn husk doll and a rag doll or two. This should be a good way of making history fun in the winter.

Making mosaics, spinning yarn, sewing, hand embroidery, knitting, baking, candle making, and painting might be good school projects for Demi. She doesn't sit for hours reading the history Encyclopedia like Travis did BUT I think she will listen to me read our history encyclopedia while she crafts.

Another idea I have is to let her have a proper tea. I would like to make up some new princess costumes (or finish the one I have started for Demi) and teach her some etiquette for an afternoon tea. Our history class starts out with Late Renaissance so this will fit nice and make history more fun for her. Hmm.... I can invite some of her friends over and have new princess costumes sewn up for all of them. They could all have tea time together. Maybe after tea they all could make some crafts that go along with that time in history. We have done princess parties with friends a few times in the past. We have tea parties all the time but I never thought to invite friends over to join in. I think my girls will love it. YES, they will love it! I am adding a tea party in Oct. on my to-do list. Fingers crossed stuff like this will create a wonderful school year for Demi.

My plan right now is to do some catch up blogging in the next week to share some of the school things we have done already this year. While I am doing my catch up blogging I need to get busy sewing up some school clothes for my girls so they don't freeze this fall (the temps. drop fast in PA in Sept). After the girls have some jeans and tops with sleeves in the dresser I will whip up some princess costumes and work on teaching some etiquette to my girls so we can have our tea party before Halloween. The only problem with working out our tea party might be that our public school friends only have Saturdays free and Travis has soccer games on Saturdays. I will either need to plan the party for a Saturday that Rob is off work. I can send him to the soccer game with Travis so the girls can party at home. If I can't work that out I will need to find some homeschoolers with free time. Most homeschoolers I know are busier than pubic school kids so I might have a hard time finding any free homeschoolers. I'll am sure I will be able to work something out. If nobody is free will will have a formal tea with family (and Grandma Em).

I am signing off of blogland so I can get busy making up patterns for my girls school clothes. I will be back tomorrow to catch up with some of what we have been doing over the last month.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

American Revolution why read about it when you can live it?

I have to take a small break from summer fun pictures so I can blog about our school year. A few weeks ago we went see Escape From Wyoming a Living History of the American Revolutionary War. It was a wonderful way for the children to learn about a part of the American Revolutionary War (the part that took place where we live).

The man in the picture above gave us a lesson on clothing, weapons, the war, and the way of life in 1778.

He told me the girls might not like it in the woods with all the noise and they might have a hard time. He kept stressing to everyone in the group how "dangerous" it was and how you needed to be very careful you didn't get hurt on the rugged trail in the woods. He said the battle was very safe but the woods are the woods and be careful you don't trip on a stick or stone. I reassured him that it wouldn't be a problem that my girls are not afraid of loud noises (we had just celebrated the 4th of July). I let him know my girls are use to walking/running in the woods and if they didn't move along or if they had any problems my husband and I would carry them. He did an awesome job at preparing everyone! He had several people in flip flops and summer shoes a bit afraid to enter the woods. I could see the path was a very clear worn path and it was short (very short compared to the hiking my girls have done). I knew once the guns started firing if my girls got afraid all I would need to do is say "It's OK it is a boom boom fireworks" and that would keep them from getting afraid
(funny side note: if a loud noise happens around my girls and you say "boom boom fireworks" they will start singing Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas and not be afraid). I knew if that didn't work picking them up in our arms at any thing scary would comfort them and keep them from being afraid. We had already told the girls that we were going into the woods to see a pretend fight that would have some fireworks. I was a little worried about the older man in front of us he was "afraid" of the woods and told his grown boys that he had not been in the woods in the 20+ years he lived in PA (I felt sad for him never being able to see how beautiful our forest, mountains, and trails are in NEPA).

The man in the pic above was so nice to us! He represented the Oneidas. The Oneidas and Tuscaroras supported the settlers at the time of this war. You can read a little about the Battle of Wyoming here.

Travis learned so much on this adventure! I learned a lot! I learned that this area wasn't part of PA It was part of Connecticut! This sounds very odd to me because NY is between PA an CT. I wonder if the bottom of NY was part of CT. at that time? I had never even heard of the Battle of Wyoming until a few days before this event (I think I must have been sick the day we read about it about it in school).

Here is Demi with Daddy just before we went into the woods.
Here is Zee holding her dress so she doesn't trip in the woods.

Travis is one excited boy! He loves history and reading about the wars is his favorite part of History class.

Some pics from the battle in the woods.

Man down!
It is so cool being right next to the action! Travis learned (by watching) how to load the muskets by tearing off the paper (using teeth) then pouring it in and packing it down before you could shoot.
This was a bit sad. Our Native American friend didn't survive the battle.

Pictures from the field battle...
OH NO! Things are not looking good for us.

See all the red coats marching at us? They came to capture us and take us to Niagara! They marched us to a camp up the hill.

After being captured we got to ask questions and see how they lived back in the 1700's.

A camp stove.

Spinning wheel. I spin yarn on my wheel and on a drop spindle so I love seeing people spin yarn.

One of the camps.

This boy was so cute! He shared his wooden gun and sword collection with my children so they could play with him.
I made the girls dresses. They look sort of colonial. I didn't want the girls to have to wear all the heavy hot layers people wore back then. I also wanted to make the dresses a bit more modern so if they wanted they could wear them out in public today without looking odd.

I decided to make up the dresses at the last minute. I had less than 2 days to make up a pattern and sew both dresses. They are not my best made dresses but they look good when I think how little time I had to make them.
Demi making friends with a little girl.

Rob talking history and politics with our new Native American friend.

I think this was a WONDERFUL way to teach children. It was a fun day and we all learned a lot. Seeing, touching, living in the time can give let you experience things you can't get by reading a book. He will read about this time in history later in our school year. I hope when he does he remembers how much fun we all had on this day! I would like to take my children to this next year. I hope to see you all at it. ;-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just a few more pics.

A bit more ball play...

I already have play ball listed as a summer fun activity #2 so I am not counting this.
When Travis had a friend over after they made a movie, swam in the pool and they played ball in the yard. This was so much fun for Travis I felt that I needed to post it here.

I think the only thing that could have made this more fun would have been to play ball then go together to see a real ball game.

I think baseball is something that all men have wonderful memories of playing with friends when they were young.

Did you make time to play outside today?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer fun #6

Fun #6 is play football in the pool with a friend.

This is another thing the boys did when Dante was over for the day. This was so much fun for Travis because we have only had our pool for a couple weeks.

I have been busy trying to get the two girls adjusted to the new pool. Because of that I don't get to play a lot with Travis when we are in the pool. I play with him but it isn't very fun when I have his 2 year old sister on my hip (she was against getting wet in the pool until today). Travis had so much fun playing a game of touch football in the pool with a friend. It was so much more fun than the normal game of catch a football with mom who has little sister in her other arm. I'm sure Travis will be talking about this for months.
If you don't have a pool you can take a friend to a public pool (we don't have a public pool near us).

or you could set up a sprinkler in the yard to play football in.

Until we got a pool football near a sprinkler was a favorite summer activity for him.

I hope everyone is enjoying summer as much as we are!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer fun #5

#5 is invite a friend over and make a stop motion movie. Travis has a friend named Dante that he only gets to see once or twice a year. He often says this boy is his best friend. I have always been a little confused why he calls someone a best friend that he hardly ever sees. I understand how as an adult we can keep a best friend without seeing them every day but I thought a childhood best friend is someone you see a lot. After the other day I have changed my mind. Watching the two boys together I could see they understand each other. They are the type of kids who will spend hours planing out a pretend war. The planning to them is more important than the playing war. Other boys who come over to play get right to the war play. They could care less about creating a story. Dante is so much like Travis I think they could have spent the entire day planning out this Lego war. Making the story and creating the characters was very important to both of them. Making a plan, thinking things out, being as historically accurate as possible is what they both care about. I watched them for 15 minutes deciding what would be the best way to have a Lego man hold the gun (they called it a flintlock musket loader or something like that). The day was full of things that they both do in the same way. I think it was a dream day for Travis. I think 100 play dates with other children would never equal one afternoon with Dante. Travis likes making plans, learning about things, reading books, writing his own books all things his friend Dante also likes to do. I am not sure what kind of friendship Dante thinks he has with Travis. With only seeing him once or twice a year he might not even think of him as a friend at all. No matter how Dante sees it I will never again wonder why Travis calls him as his best friend. After all isn't a person who understands how you think and has fun doing the same things you do reasons we cherish our best friends? Dante had never made a stop motion movie before so I don't think he knew how short they are when you put the pictures together. Travis knew but I think he was so excited making this with a friend he forgot how stop motion works. They spent a lot time acting out the Revolutionary War (or maybe it was the Civil War). They took about 100 pics. I think they both were shocked they only had a 12 second movie in the end. Once they added in the voice they thought it was very cool and wanted to make more movies. That is when Dante's mom came to pick him up. Maybe they will get a chance another time to make more movies or do some other thing they both like. Here is the movie they made.