Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Perfect Homeschool Day

Since I've been so absorbed in keeping my sanity for the past few months, I haven't blogged about our day to day schooling, which is really too bad!  Even though I've been uncomfortable with things since school started, I must say that the girls have been learning a lot, having a lot of fun, developing great friendships, and digging into subjects that they love (history and science).

Here's a sample of a (very rare) stay at home day.

We started out the day learning about science.  We're talking about brains right now.  We already read a few books about them.  Now we're digging a little deeper by learning about Phineas Gage, making model brains, and watching brain surgery!  We didn't go as far as to do a dissection, which was on the schedule originally.  I just can't do it.  Watching a video of a little girl cutting a brain with a butter knife on youtube almost did us in.  Barrrrf.  Here's the link for those awesome brain helmets ;)

After our science fun, we got down to the nitty-gritty.  Millie did a spelling test, math drills, and a typing lesson on the computer, and a math lesson.  Elise did some math and reading in our newly formed "Kindergarten Corner".  It's a special place for her do do her work, where we can set up a little station that doesn't need to be taken down each day.  She loves it!

After lunch we did a history lesson, where we learned about Nicola Tesla, read about the West, and baked cowboy cookies.

At this point, we all needed a big break, so we walked to the Children's Museum for a little art and energy-burning session, only to find out our membership expired.  Sad!  At least it was a gorgeous day for a walk.  So nice!  I didn't even need a coat :)

Before we called it a day, we read Woody, Hazel and Little Pip by Elsa Beskow and did a felt craft that I've been meaning to do for about a month and a half.  This was our final Autumn activity that I really wanted to do before moving onto the next season.  Now we're ready to move on to Thanksgiving "stuff"!  Gobble gobble.

What next?  A nap for me!  I'm exhausted after a long but very fulfilling day!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Best Advise EVER.

This has been a really trying year for me.  Not because anything "wrong" has happened, but because I'm less organized than I usually am, I overbooked our schedule, and I'm having a hard time adjusting to teaching two kids at two completely different levels.

Public school has been calling my name.  I was 70% sure I'd put the kids back in school next year.  It's not what I really want, but like I said, this year is really taking its toll on me.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  It really helps to have the support from other homeschool moms!!  Here's how a friend (you know who you are!) answered my request for advise:

"Your kids should be doing more house work.  Structure time, not content.  Throw out your curriculum.  When you need a break, send the kids to their room and have a glass of wine.  Schedule regular project time daily where they get to do what they want.  Require that they pick it up when they're done.  Make Millie do her own laundry.  Have her cook dinner once a week.  This will make her feel worth while and release you.  Drink wine while she cooks.  Make sure you spend an hour a day doing something for YOU.  This will make you happy and set a good example for them.  Send them to their room when you are stressed, even if they're not in trouble.  For at least an hour.  The results are sweet.  Kids need more alone time to process life than we give them."

Those text messages seriously saved me from a nervous breakdown.  And, I'm glad other moms appreciate wine as much as I do!  :)

Anywhoo, things are better around here.  I still haven't implemented everything she advised me to do, but I'm getting there.  As time goes on, our schedule is clearing up, and I'm able to make some changes.  It feels great!

Here's what we've been up to the past few weeks:

Lots of science projects 

Visited the Russian Museum of Art.  Fascinating!  Who is that kid with us?  That's Maddie!  We babysat her for 10 days.

Lots of outdoor play

Science museum visit

Celebrated Halloween with friends

Went to the MN zoo

Elise continues to love her Doodle Bugs class!

They took a water power class at the Mill City Museum

Millie got her first job cat sitting.