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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Corn Maze and New Social Plans

Here it is, October 31st and we're almost done with our fist quarter!  I suppose this is a good time to think about what is working, what isn't working, and what changes I can make.  

What's working:

Millie is really enjoying co-op, and really loves Teaching Textbooks (which is a new program for her this year).  Elise is doing a lot of self directed learning, as well as excelling at all of her book-work subjects (English, spelling, math).  Our playgroup has ended, and our Tuesdays are now full with different pursuits (none of which have started yet), which I think will bring some variety to our week.

What isn't working:

Phonetics Zoo isn't what I had in mind at all.  I'm really disappointed that I paid $100 for a program that comes with a few cards, and no teachers guide or anything.  I haven't had a chance to print the guide off the internet yet, because I'm disgruntled about having print a guide for a program that cost $100. I really wish we would have just used All About Spelling.  Grrrr.  So, spelling is not working for Millie because it's not happening at all.  

What do I need to change:

I need to figure out a way to make Millie accountable for her work.  She is desperate to stop school so she can play with her sister, so she ends up skipping tasks that I've set out for her.  For now, I have put little red check boxes next to her daily tasks, and they must be initialed by me before she is allowed to have her afternoon electronics time.  

Wow, it feels good to put those things down on paper.  Now I know what goals I need to work towards!

Here's what we did this week:


Piano was cancelled this week because their teacher was sick.  It was really nice not to have to go, but I couldn't fall back asleep, so I ended up being pretty sleepy most of the day.  Millie went to co-op at her normal time.  They made crepes in cooking class, and she worked on writing stories in creative writing.  While she was there, Elise and I came home and made the puppy chow recipe in the back of her Dogs in the Dead of Night book that she recently finished.  It was really yummy!

We had plans on Wednesday last week, so we ended up moving "Wonderful Wednesday" to Tuesday.  "Terrific Tuesday"?  We did a lot!  The girls learned and journaled about the inner planets, and learned about ancient Egypt.  The girls made scarab carvings out of soap, which led them on an hours long soap carving adventure ;)  They loved carving!! We were supposed to do a "phases of the moon" project with Oreo cookies, but we didn't have Oreos.  Can you believe it?  We'll have to do that next week.


Today we did our regular school work in the morning as usual, and then continued on with our fun studies in the afternoon.  We started digging into the study of Ancient Greece.  We were supposed to go to Cristos for lunch so the girls could try Greek food , but that didn't happen either.  Next week:  Oreos and Christos!

Governess day!  We did our school in the morning, and then Millie taught Elise in the afternoon.  They read out of the Circle C Adventures books, worked on Harmony Ed worksheets, and played read.  They're temporarily banned from electronics, but I gave them permission to watch Magic School Bus.  They opted not to do that, but to play with Legos in their free time, instead.  Fine by me!


It's Field Trip Friday!  One of my favorite days of the week.  Today we went out to Severs Corn Maze, and met up with friends.  It's always fun to bump into people that we know when we're out and about.  The kids went on the giant slide, played on the bounce pillows, in the corn pit, at the petting zoo (they had kangaroos!!!), the parakeet house, and the straw bale maze.  We pretty much did everything except the corn maze ;)  It was so much fun.  It was a good reminder of how spoiled we are as homeschoolers, to be able to go to places like Severs Corn Maze during the school day, and avoid the crowds!  When we got home, I took a nap, and then cooked my annual disgusting dinner.  This year it was feet loaf!

It was a great week!  Find out what other homeschoolers were up to, here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Witches, Holes, Coraline, and Magic Treehouse

Yes, it was that kind of week.  A week so uneventful, that I had to use our current reading list as my blog post title ;)  Ha!  Uneventful certainly doesn't equal boring though!  We still saw people, had fun, and enjoyed the amazing fall weather we're having.  It's the end of October in Minnesota, and we still don't need coats.  Hooray!

Here's what we did this week:


As always, the girls had piano in the morning.  Elise just killed it on the piano.  I mean, she has only been playing for a month, but she's a note reading, proper hand position, counting out loud master!  I'm really proud of her progress.  I must also add that she enjoys practicing the piano for fun, and spends a lot of time pretending to write songs, too.  Future prodigy?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see ;)  After piano, Millie went to co-op, and Elise and I went to Jr. First Lego League.  It was a special field trip day!  We took the kids on a tour of the local garbage processing facility.  It was really stinky, but so cool!  We learned that almost all of the garbage from our county and one county over goes through that place.  Of the garbage, over 90% of it gets recycled or turned into energy.  Pretty amazing!


Since we have our Tuesday afternoons free now, I let the girls do a little self exploration.  Millie has been really busy working on Scratch.  Elise played with Legos, I think.  I can't really remember.  In the afternoon we walked to the park for a Snoopy party.  It was really lame, so we left.  At least it was a fantastic day for a walk!!


Today we met with friends at Silverwood for a fun morning!  We just walked around, hung out, ate lunch,  watched the kids play, it was great. I've been lacking in the "mommy chit chat" department lately, and this particular mommy friend and I have a lot to chat about!  I loved it!  In the afternoon, we came home and did school work.  Wonderful Wednesday didn't happen this week ;)


Governess day! We did school in the morning.  In the afternoon I left for class while the girls stayed home and did independent work.  Millie read to Elise and the practiced the piano.  Normally I have a lot of work for them to do, but I have been so busy lately that I didn't have time to prepare anything fancy.  I think they played on their electronics and watched TV...  Not a proud homeschool mommy moment.  On a side note, I had my midterm (a group test!), and my group was the only group to get 100%.  Weeeee!


Hey, I told you it was an uneventful week, right?  Today we did school work, and then ran some errands for 4-H.  That's it.

Over the weekend, we went to see the newly released bison over at Mineopa State Park.  It was really fun!  SELFIE:

Find out what other homeschoolers were up to this week, here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Our Week In Pictures - 2nd Week in October

It's finals week (for me).
Too busy to type.
Here's our week in pictures ;)

A wonderful visit to the farm

SciGirls on Wednesday

A girl with a clipboard means business!

A beautiful fall colors boat ride on the Mississippi

Millie tried a new method for writing book reports

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The End of an Era, the Start of a New One.

Homeschooling can be a roller coaster ride.  Families change, priorities change, and as they change, so must our activities.  This week marked the last of our Tuesday playgroup.  Many of the families are getting older, and have different priorities and commitments.  The day before it was called off for good, I signed Millie up for an all girls group that meets once per month, and does fun stuff like nails, cake decorating, holiday parties, movies, etc.  After I signed her up, I thought, "what am I thinking?  We don't have the time in our schedule to add another activity!"  I didn't have to worry about it for long, since playgroup was cancelled the next day.  The girls will still see their playgroup friends at SciGirls, book club, and private social outings here and there.  Thankfully things always work out in the end!

Here's what we were up to this week:


Monday is the most predictable day of the week.  The girls always have piano in the morning, Millie always has co-op after piano, and every other week, Elise has Jr. First Lego League.  This week at Lego League, the kids got to do some imagining and building with Legos, a Lego relay race, and a project based on Shel Silverstein's poem Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Sout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.  It was really fun!!   


Today was homeschool day at the Minnesota Zoo.  We meet friends out there, and walked around.  The weather was perfect, it was a great day to wander the zoo.  My favorite part is their new natural playground.  It's so cool!  On our way out, our friends 3 year old wandered off, so we had to split up to find her.  We ended up missing playgroup, so we went home and hung out.  


Wonderful Wednesday!  After doing our normal school work in the morning, we went on to learn all about Mesopotamia by reading a chapter from A Little History of the World, and watching a Lego video.  

We watched this video 4 years ago when we did ancient history the first time.  It's a movie that gets quoted often ;)  After that, we learned all about the sun.  We decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall day to take a long bike ride.  We brought binoculars and paper to do a sun spot experiment, but ended up forgetting the paper.  Oh well, it was sooo nice to be on our bikes again!!!


Thursday we had regular school in the morning.  In the afternoon I had class, as usual.  Millie and Elise did a lot of work at home.  Millie is learning all about the Native Americans and the history of Minnesota, and Elise did a project based on signs and symbols in our neighborhood.  


She's "surfing"

Today was Millie's first Girls Club meeting!  They spent an hour and a half painting nails, singing songs, chatting, and having fun.  I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this group!!  Millie loved it.  While she was there, Elise and I found a really cool playground to hang out at. 

That was our week!  I need to regroup a little bit and refocus on what's important: finding time to do our academic studies.  I have been allowing our fun to interfere with school work a little too much.  Generally our outings are somewhat educational, and my kids are progressing in their studies nicely, but I really need to make sure that we spend 3 mornings at home.  That's my new goal!

Find out what other homeschoolers were doing this week, here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Apple Orchards, Hay Rides, and the Renaissance Festival

Only one week into Autumn, and we're enjoying it to its fullest! We had a fabulous week full of friends, family, cider, and crisp air.  Here's what we did:


Today was co-op day.  Millie had class as usual.  While she was away, Elise and I spent some time at home, cooking.  I love Mondays!  It's an easy breezy day for us.  I usually don't have much going on with my school, so we're able to take it easy into the evening.  We watched Egypt, a documentary.  Good stuff.


Apple orchard day!  We had school in the morning, and then met friends out at Aamodts Apple Farm.  The kids played, picked apples, went on a hay ride, ate apple treats, and had so much fun!  It's one of my favorite traditions :)  I feel really lucky to have such a great group of homeschool mommy friends, with such great kids!!  Before the orchard, we had a little swim.  We're attempting (but not succeeding very well) to exercise every morning.


Remember "Wonderful Wednesday"?  Today was no less wonderful than last Wednesday!  We did regular school in the morning, and wrapped up the afternoon with science and history.  For history, we learned all about Egypt.  I did some reading out of our A Little History of the World book, painted Egyptian murals, watched a few segments from Horrible Histories, and ended with playing with Lift the Lid on Mummies.  So much fun!!!  After that, we dug into science.  We read all about stars and did a little marker/water blending notebooking,


Today is Governess day!  I did school with the girls in the morning.  I had class in the afternoon, so Millie acted as governess, and went through a few lessons with Elise.  I love that we do this.  Millie has gained so much independence, it's really fun to witness :)  I still haven't gone through the details of our "governess plan" with you ;)  I'll try to get something together in a week or less.


Huzzah!  No school today!  We took a trip to the Renaissance Festival.  It was homeschool day, and we managed to run into SO MANY friends.

In the evening, we had our October 4-H meeting and hay ride.  It was SO MUCH fun!  I was in charge of the Cloverbud activity.  We made glow in the dark bugs (plastic Easter eggs, decorations, and flameless tealight candles).  It was a hit!  They had a bonfire, s'mores, and lots of running around with friends.  We love 4-H so much.

Find out what other homeschoolers were up to this week, here!