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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Our Week In Pictures

No time to write this week!  I have a 10 page paper due.  Topic:  The Post WWII Home.

Here's what we did this week:

Elise had a fever on Monday, so she made a nest in the back of
the station wagon and hung out with me while Millie was at farm class.

Nature Seekers club.  They saw 7 deer!
We also had playgroup, piano lessons, and a couple at-home days.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ancient History In 25 Lessons

It's time to start the cycle over again!  Here we are, back at the beginning of time, studying ancient history.  I'm so excited, and so are the kids.  We took last year off from history to study geography, and boy did we miss it!  I have a lot of fun things planned this year.

I'll be using A Little History of the World, by E.H. Gombrich as my spine, and adding on a lot of projects and videos to enhance our hands-on and visual learning experience.  

Without further ado, here is our 25 week ancient history plan:

Week 1 - Early People:

Read Chapter 1 - Once Upon a Time
Usborne World History - Browse through the "early people" section
Make mini javelins.  Have a throwing contest at the park.
Read aloud: The Clan of the Cave Bear
Watch a couple videos about ancient people:

Week 2 - Greatest Inventors of All Times

Read Chapter 2 - Greatest Inventors of All Times
Artistic Pursuits lesson "Look at Cave Art"
Watch a video about nomads in Lapland

Week 3 - The Land by the Nile:

Read chapter 3 - The Land by the Nile
Read aloud:  Tirzah
Millie to start reading: The Cat of Bubastes
Artistic Pursuits: Murals
Watch all the episodes of The Egyptian Code on Netflix throughout the week

Week 4 - Sunday, Monday...:

Read chapter 4 -  Sunday, Monday
Do an activity from History Pockets
Read aloud:  Tirzah
Millie to start reading: The Cat of Bubastes
Watch a couple Lego videos!

Week 5 - The One and Only God:

Read Pyramids! pages 7-20.  Make scarab soap carvings
Read chapter 5 - The One and Only God
Read aloud: Tirzah
Millie to start reading: The Cat of Bubastes

Week 6 - Ancient Greece:

Read chapter 6 - I CAN READ (very short chapter)
Read Ancient Greece, pages 62-71
Go to Christos for lunch :)  Greek food!
Watch a few Greek myths (Mythic Warriors on youtube!  Way too many to list here)
Read aloud:  Black Ships Before Troy

Week 7 - Ancient Greece:

Read Ancient Greece! P. 80-93
Artistic Pursuits p. 70 - make pinch pots
Read aloud:  Black Ships Before Troy
Watch this video while the kids are sculpting

Week 8 - The Enlightened One:

Read chapter 10, The Enlightened One and His Land
Read aloud:  Black Ships Before Troy
Have the girls fill details into a caste pyramid as they watch this video

Watch The Kite Runner (PG 13)

Week 9 - The Great Teachers:

Read Chapter 11 - The Great Teacher of a Great People
Learn and practice writing in calligraphy
Read aloud:  The Tao of Pooh
Watch this video while they're writing in calligraphy:

Week 10 - Ancient Greece:

Read Ancient Greece! P. 94-100
Do this character defining project
Millie's reading: Pardons Price (Diane Yoder)

Week 11 - Rome:

Do an activity from Rome History Pockets

Week 12 - An Enemy of History:

Read Chapter 14 - An Enemy of History
Go to the Childrens Museum and make paper

Week 13 - Rulers of the Western World:

Read chapter  15 - Rulers of the Western World
Watch this video

Week 14 - The Good News:

Read chapter 16
Read Adventures in the Catacombs of Rome

Week 15 - The Storm:

Read chapter 18 - The Storm
Look at Justinian & Theodora portraits
Artistic Pursuits - Roman Portraits p 79

Week 16 - The Starry Night Begins

Read chapter 19 - The Starry Night Begins
Artistic Pursuits - Make a Mosaic p. 82
Watch/listen to this while the kids are creating art

Week 17 - There's No God But Allah:

Make an oil lamp
Read Aloud:  Joan of Arc the Lily Maid

Week 18 - Knights & Castles:

Read Knights & Castles p, 19-24
Learn to play Chess
Read Aloud:  Joan of Arc the Lily Maid

Week 19 - Knights & Castles:

Read Knights & Castles p. 34-43
Bake rose petal bread
Read aloud:  Joan of Arc the Lily Maid

Week 20 - Knights & Castles:

Read Knights & Castles p. 56-64
Artistic Pursuits - Medieval embroidery p. 85 (just read, don't do activity)
Teach the girls to cross stitch
Read aloud:  The Lacemaker and the Princess

Week 21 - Knights & Castles:

Read Knights & Castles p. 75-84
Make a book of birthdays (use fancy lettering and all that)
Read aloud:  The lacemaker and the Princess

Week 22 - A New Age:

Read about Marco Polo
Make salt dough maps

Week 23 - Leonardo DiVinci:

Leonardo DiVinci For Kids and activities

Week 24 - Leonardo DiVinci:

Leonardo DiVinci For Kids and activities

Week 25 - Gutenberg and the Printing Press:

Read Marguerite Makes A Book
Make a book
Read aloud:  The adventures of Sir Gawan

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Habsburgs, All About Reading, and a Homeschool Convention

I'm late to getting my weekend update up because I was busy filling my head with encouragement and teaching ideas at a homeschool convention!  I'm back at home now, so I'm going to write about our week, and then spend some time sifting through my bag full of goodies from the convention.  Squeee!

Here's what we did this week:


 Mooo, Gale Woods Farm!  I can't remember what the girls learned about this week, but I know they made cookies.  The hallway smelled so good.  Another thing I can't wait for them to make me once they get their packet of recipes on the last day of class :)  Prior to leaving for class, the girls did their school work.  Millie is trying really hard to master adding, subtracting, multiplying, and diving fractions, working on her spelling words, and reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  Elise has been working on her reading.


Today we got up early for piano lessons.  In fact, we got up so early, that Elise and Bud were still sleeping when we left.  :)  Millie had a great lesson.  Afterwards, we came home for a quick snack and then left to meet up with our playgroup at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see the Habsburgs exhibit.  It was so amazing!  It was so cool to see actual suits of armor, jousting outfits, artwork, sleighs, carriages and clothing from that family.  I need to learn more about them, now.  After that, the girls and I went to Snuffs Malt Shop for lunch and...you guessed it...malts.  :)  Fun day!

In the evening, the girls had play practice, so Bud and I snuck away to Stillwater to have dinner together at a little pizza place.  We had a loaded baked potato pizza.  Mmmmmmm!  That was the first time we had been on a date together in months and months.  


A stay at home day!  Today we didn't leave the house at all.  My car actually sat in its parking spot for over 24 hours without moving.  It's a record!  ;)  The girls worked on their school work, of course.  Elise finally passed All About Reading Level 1!!  She said "I feel so proud of myself."  She should!  She started out the year saying, "the one thing I DON'T want to do this year, is learn to read."  What do you know?  She's turning into a pretty good little reader :)  I'm so proud of her!!  While Millie worked on her school work, Elise took it upon herself to make a raft out of craft sticks, fill the tub, and test the flotation of her raft when it had different plastic animals on it.  Then, she made a new doll for the dollhouse.  I love that she will keep herself so busy!


Today we did school work, ran some errands, and got ready for Friday.  Knowing that Friday would be a BIG day, we took it easy most of the day.


The BIG day!!  The girls spent the day at their grandmas house.  Around 4, Bud went to get them, and took them to their Share the Fun competition through 4-H.  It was a looooong competition.  They didn't get home until 11 PM!  Their play didn't win, but they had a lot of fun practicing together.

I got to go to a homeschool convention!  It was so fabulous!  Here are some highlights from my experience:

We stayed at a swanky hotel that looked like a castle inside.  We each got our own bedroom, that had super comfy beds, and down comforters.  Each room had a huge flat screen TV (for a total of 3), and we had a super yummy breakfast in the morning (a make-your-own waffle bar!).  It was so fun!

I must say that I discovered a few really great things at the convention that I am madly in love with; Nest of Lydia: A Home Economics Curriculum, Circle C books, and above all, Classical Conversations.

Find out what other homeschool families did this week, here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Chicken Dissection, Science of Flames, and The Apple Store

I know my kids are still learning a lot, because we're out and about doing cool educational things on a regular basis.  The part I am uncomfortable with, is that we've been out and about too much.  I really need to cut back. Ugh.  It's hard.  Socialization really is a problem for homeschoolers.  There are simply too many options to be out socializing!!  Here's what we did this week:


Today the girls did their school work in the morning, and in the afternoon we were off to Gale Woods for farm class!  Millie dissected a chicken (!!).  She loved it, and was surprised at the density of the heart.  Barf!  I'm so glad she did that at class, and not on my kitchen table :)  I'm not exactly sure what Elise did in class because she doesn't come home with many details.  After class we went back to the house we were house sitting at, to do some final clean up.  While we were there, the in-laws came home.  It was so nice to see everyone after so many months.


Piano was cancelled today.  It was like receiving the gift of time!  Our house is in shambles, as we unpack from our house sitting gig.  I used my bonus gift of time to organize and clean.  It was fantastic.  In the afternoon, we met up with friends at the Science Museum.  They have a new exhibit that is a play structure made entirely out of tape.  The kids had so much fun there!  They also listened to a talk/demonstration of flames.  It was really interesting.  I'm learning so much as a homeschool mama!


SciGirls!!  Doesn't it seem like we just had SciGirls??  This one snuck up on me.  It was a great day.  The girls learned about robots, made a robot arm in their groups, and then we went to the Apple Store for a tour.  The girls made videos, and took home their videos on USB bracelets.  Fun times!  While Millie was at SciGirls, Elise spent the day with her friend Charlotte again.  I'm so thankful that they were willing to take her for the day again!  She spent part of the time reading Bob books :)  At least she got a little schooling in!!


Today we did school work in the morning, and then spent the afternoon at Good Times Park with my friend and her kidlets.  It was really nice :)  The kids love that place.


This was supposed to be our big academic day of the week, but the girls were swept away to the mall with Grandma and Aunt Kinsey.  :)  How could I say "no" to quality bonding time with Grandma and Kinsey, when they'd been away for months and months??  I couldn't.  So, I spent the day doing school work (History museum, lunch with Bud, etc).  Lunch with Bud is school work??  It was that day!  :)  It was so nice to go on a date without kids!  It had been a very long time.

The girls have been spending 3 evenings per week practicing for their 4-H Share the Fun skit.  They're having a blast!

That was our week!  It was really nice (but too full!).  Find out what other homeschoolers did this week, here.