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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Latitude is Flatitude

Three outings in one week, again?!  Yup.  It looks like things will slow down in two weeks ;)

Here's what we did this week:

 Monday:

We stayed home on Monday.  I love starting out the week with a stay-at-home day.  We did the 3 R's in the morning, then geography in the afternoon.  We're still in the "explore the map" phase of geography, so the girls learned about the compass rose, latitude and longitude, the prime meridian, and equator.  The girls seemed kind of interested in this lesson, but they're not in love with geography yet.  That's all going to change in 3 weeks (stay tuned).




She's 6!
Tuesday:

This was a big day!  Lots of celebrating to do, as it was Elise's birthday and our 14th anniversary!  We started out the day with a visit from Grandma and Grandpa.  Elise said "They're finally going to see our house!"  He he.  After their visit, we went to a playground for playgroup, where the girls played with their friends for a couple hours.  In the evening, we went to the Mall of America to hit up the Lego Store and Buffalo Wild Wings (Elise's choice).  It was such a fun day!






Wednesday:

Ugh.  This day was slightly tragic.  Millie was supposed to have a biology class, but I got lost trying to find it :(  Booo!  I eventually found it, but it was at a huge park, and despite walking and walking, we couldn't find the group.  Bummer.  We ended up going back to the mall because Elise had money burning a hole in her pocket.  She needed to buy some Breyer horses. The girls did their 3 R's in the afternoon.



Thursday:

3 R's in the morning.  Elise and I read Raising Dragons this week, she did her first dictation, and we did a super fun project (a fire breathing dragon made out of a toilet paper tube and crepe paper). That book was so sweet!  We both loved it.









Then, another big breakthrough for us! The girls stayed home alone for 1.5 hours while I had coffee with a friend!  I feel so free!  First a car, now 1.5 hours to get coffee...what's next?!  It was fabulous.  The girls did fine.  They just played Legos and watched Wild Kratts the whole time.  In the afternoon, we had nature study.  We're using the Nature Seeker Workbook for nature study this year.  It's truly the most amazing nature study guide I've ever come across.  Every lesson is amazing.  Today we learned about bugs and identified trees.  It was a perfect day to be outside.  We have to soak up all the sunlight we can before winter sets in!





Friday:


Today we drove an hour to Nowthen, MN for the Waipiti Buckskinners event.  It's a bunch of history buffs doing things like dipping candles, knitting socks, selling merchandise, metal working, hatchet throwing, and did I mention selling merchandise?  It was pretty fun.  Millie wants to work/camp there now.  :)  She wants to start her own business.  She has a pretty good idea.  Now to implement it, I guess.  Eeeek.  Afterwards we went to a bar and grill.  It really seemed more like a bar.  I had the quote from Sweet Home Alabama running through my head the whole time, "You have a baby...in a bar."  Ha ha.





Find out what other homeschoolers were doing this week, by clicking here!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Auditions, Biomes, Circuits, and DIY.org

Another week with great educational diversity, here at Two Cowgirls Homeschool Academy!

Here's what we were up to this week:

Monday:

 We woke up early and ventured out for a two hour drive to Fairfax MN to go to Fort Ridgley State Park.  It was so cool!  Our reason for going there was to observe the prairie, and fill out a workbook about it.  The added bonus was being able to walk around the ruins of Fort Ridgley.  What an interesting history!  Millie and her friend went on a walk into the woods by themselves, and had a great adventure.  A memory maker, for sure!  In the evening Millie had her first *real* play audition! 

Tuesday: 

We did our 3 R's in the morning.  Elise and I read Corduroy this week, which included a sequencing activity, and learning to sew a button on...you guessed it...a piece of corduroy.  Millie is reading (and very much enjoying) Where the Red Fern Grows.  In the afternoon, we went to a park for playgroup, then piano lessons.  




Wednesday:

Today was SciGirls!!  It finally came :)  We've been planning and obsessing organizing this class for months and months.  The first class was a success!  The girls received a challenge to make a fashion accessory using a battery, LED lights, and conductive thread.  This is something that was totally new to these girls, which is awesome because it's hard to come across science activities that haven't been done a million times.  While Millie and I were at SciGirls, Elise went to her Lil' Naturalist class with Grandma Susie.  Afterwards, they went to the Mall of America and Buffalo Wild Wings.  Fun!










Thursday:

Finally a day to stay home!  We did our 3 R's in the morning, and the girls worked on DIY projects in the afternoon.  Both girls earned their Makeup Artist badges.  While they did that, I had my Becky Home-ecy day (more on this later).  I spend the entire afternoon in the kitchen.  It was great!

Mirrorless make-up application challenge
Fake an injury challenge













Friday:


Another stay at home day!  I love these days :)  We did 3 R's in the morning, and science in the afternoon.  We learned about decomposers, producers, and consumers.  See the cute classification cards in my picture?!  They're available for free here.  The girls made food webs, which also happened to be one of the challenges for the "Biologist" DIY topic.  They uploaded their webs to the DIY website, and then spend the rest of the afternoon playing, cleaning,and getting ready to spend the night at Grandma Susie's house.  Bud and I are leaving bright and early Saturday morning to get a new car for me in...wait for it...Omaha!  Road trip!
















It was a great week, and although we went out 3 times instead of my ideal 2 times, it was low stress and fulfilling.  The upcoming weekend will include; the first day of Sunday school, a new car, and a birthday party for Elise.  Weeee!

What do other homeschoolers do all week?  Find out here!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Geocaching, Color Wheels, and Maps

We made it through our first week of 1st and 5th grade!  It was a pretty ideal, short week.  Here's what we did:

Tuesday was our first day of school.  It was a perfect day, everything went very smoothly.  I wish every day was like the first day!  I already wrote all about it, here

Wednesday we had out first DIY club meeting!  I certainly won't be earning a weather forecasting badge, because we were rained out :(  The kids didn't seem to mind.  They had a great time!  We ended up driving a few blocks away to a park with a shelter to finish our project.  The kids learned all about how to make and hide a geocache!  They made one, filled it, and hid it in the woods.  One of the kids took the coordinates home to log it on the geocaching website.  I was so busy, I didn't take any pictures until the end, when all the kids disappeared into the woods, and I found these two little girls (Elise and her BFF) walking through the woods alone.  Oops.


Thursday we went to the farm to do school.  It was fun to do school in a different environment!  I was surprised that we actually got work done (even piano practice!).  The highlight of our day, and the reason for doing school at the farm, was our art class.  We talked about primary colors, secondary colors, and the color wheel.  The girls did a little mixing of colored water, and found items from nature to match each of the colors in the wheel.  We got rained out today, too!  Eh, we're not afraid of a little rain ;)






Friday we stayed home (finally!).  After the girls finished their regular work, we did geography.  We read Me On The Map, then put together booklets mapping our home, city, state, country, and world.  It was fun!  This was mainly an activity for Elise (as was the color wheel), but it was good review for Millie, too.




It was a great week!  I'm looking forward to this week, too.  We have a LOT planned!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Not Back To School - First Day 2014!

I feel like I need to say something ridiculous like "Their futures are so bright, they have to wear shades," because it was so bright out this morning!  It was hard to get pictures in the lighting, but I did the best I could ;)

Here are the girls, just minutes before they kicked off 1st and 5th grade:







 After lunch, they had "special interest" day, where they got to decide what they wanted to learn about.  The girls chose to have a lemonade stand (Entrepreneur class?  Math?)


Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Wrap-Up

It's over!  Summer as we know it is over for 2014.  Of course, that doesn't mean we're going to sit inside with our sweaters until next June.  It just means that tomorrow, school will be in full swing!  I'm so excited to get back to our regular schedule.  It feels really good to want school to start, after my difficult year, last year.  I can honestly say that I'm totally refreshed, and ready to start again!  This summer felt really, really long.  I don't know why, but it went on forever.  It was the best summer I've had in years (maybe because I needed it so much!).

Here's how we ended our summer:













A certain little girl would probably consider the highlight of her summer ;)

And now we're ready to go!!  C'mon 1st & 5th!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4-H In Our Homeschool

"Isn't 4-H just for people that live on farms?"  

That's a question I get asked a lot!  It's definitely not just for people that live on farms.

We live in a high rise condo in Downtown, and Millie is quite involved in 4-H.  There is a club in our county, which is very urban, but we chose to go out to the next county over so she could get a different kind of experience.

Here's why we love it so much:

A Great Group of Friends

The kids in our 4-H are amazing.  The group is so inclusive of everyone, welcoming, and supportive.  Seriously.  They give me faith in humanity.



Experiences I Can't Provide

Throughout  the year, our county offers amazing classes and camps, taught by experts in their field.  I wouldn't be able to teach Millie how to make a solar car or paint Ukrainian eggs, but she was able to have the experience of learning about those things because of 4-H.













Overnight Camp

It has been proven that sending your kids to overnight camp in the summer is a great way for kids to build confidence, try things outside their comfort level, make new friends, strengthen bonds with old friends, and learn ridiculous camp songs that they'll continue to sing for weeks after camp :)  The 4-H camp that Millie went to was very affordable.  We were able to send her to an overnight camp experience that she otherwise wouldn't be able to participate in.



Public Speaking

So much public speaking!  It's not just limited to giving demonstrations in front of our 4-H group, but also giving demonstrations in front of a judge at fair time and participating in plays.  Millie has never been a shy kid, but getting these opportunities brings her out of her shell a bit more.  














Friendly Competition

Enter fair time!  The kids compete against other kids in the county for ribbons, and a chance to go to the State Fair.  The kids are driven to do their best work, put together their best presentations, and speak in front of a judge.  The encouragement that the kids get from their fellow competitors is very sportsmanlike!



Record Keeping

What if Lewis and Clark hadn't kept detailed records of their journey?  So much history would be lost!  I'm not saying 4-H is of Lewis and Clark proportion, or anything, but it is a good example of why keeping records to look back on in the future, is important.  In 4-H, kids are encouraged to keep records of the activities they do through the entire year.  At the end of the 4-H year, the kids can turn in their records to be judged, and can win a ribbon for it.  Ribbon or not, it's fun to look back on.  I'm sure Millie will like to remember her first year as an official 4-H'er.  She had quite a year!





Skill Building

There are so many groups the kids can be in!  No matter what they're interested in, there is something fun for kids to participate in.  Shooting sports, clothing project, food project, wildlife, various animals, etc.

This is why 4-H is the single most important activity in Millie's world.  She even chooses this over dance!  Wow.

Of course, it's not just for big kids.  The have Cloverbuds (which Elise participates in), that is for kids K-2.  They don't get judged, but they get to participate in the county fair, plays, camps, cloverbud day camps, and other special cloverbud activities.  Elise has made great friends, too.



We love 4-H!!