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

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Day in the Life Of... 2016 Edition

It's hard to describe what a typical day in the life of our homeschool looks like, because it changes every. single. day.

One thing is consistent though, our 3 R's time.

9:00 -


I usually try to roll out of bed around 9:00.  I get home from work at 3 AM, so waking up before 9:00 isn't an option.  Sometimes I sleep later.  When I wake up, the girls have already eaten their breakfast.


I don't need an alarm.  Instead, I wake up to the sound of Millie playing her scales and warm up's on the piano.  Elise makes me a pot of coffee, and I sit down at the piano with my cuppa, and help Millie with her piano practice.  Does this happen every morning?  No way!  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that even a dusting of snow can throw off our whole routine.









When she's done with piano, Millie starts in on her Teaching Textbooks, Xtra Math, and Typingweb.com.  I sit with Elise as she practices her pieces.  (Millie does language arts and writing at co-op on Mondays, the one day of the week that we don't even attempt to do our 3 R's).


By the time Elise finishes piano, I usually have to help Millie with her math.  Today was a test day, so I didn't need to help. Instead I tended to our somewhat neglected kitchen.





I sneak in a quick breakfast before helping Elise with her language arts, spelling, and math.



When we're all done, we all sit down and read for 30-45 minutes.  Millie is busy learning everything she can about rabbits, Elise can't get enough Magic Treehouse books, and I am reading Pioneer Girl.

12:00 - 


Lunch time!  I make a lunch menu at the beginning of the week.  If I don't have a plan, I end up making 3 different lunches.  Today we had "fancy curly noodles," or to common folk, Ramen noodles :)  This is my kids favorite lunch, but I almost never buy it.  This is the first time in over a year they've had this treat.


I usually let the kids watch a show while we eat lunch.  Millie gets to pick the show on odd days, and Elise gets to pick on even days.  Today, Millie chose to watch Odd Squad.  I love that show.

Afternoon - 

This is where the concept of "A Day in the Life Of" gets complicated.  Our afternoons are very different, every single day.

If we stay home, we work on history, earth science, or architecture.  The lessons don't take too long.  Just long enough.  If the lessons are particularly interesting, the girls will keep exploring when I'm done.









If we leave the house, we do things like:

Learn all about rabbits with STEM Bunnies,
Go sledding with friends,
Attend a Meet the Masters art class
Glide across the ice on a kick sled, or 

Take a pottery class.

3:00 - 

Before the girls can go out to play the afternoon away, we all do our daily chores.  Many hands makes light work (is that how the saying goes?).

We're house sitting in the suburbs for the winter, so the girls are in neighborhood kid heaven.  If it's over 0 degrees out, I'll find them playing outside with their friends for a couple hours before dinner.

When they're outside playing, I hit the treadmill, take a shower, and read until they come home.

6:00 -

Dinner time!

7:30 -  

Read aloud time!  Right now I'm reading Ralph S. Mouse.

8:00 - 

The girls go to bed.  Bud and I spend the rest of the evening together, usually watching shows that aren't appropriate for kids :)  Some of our favorites right now are The Big Bang Theory, X Files, and Last Man On Earth.  I also tend to my other duties; household financials, menu planning, SciGirls planning, or Field Trip Friday planning.

10:00 - 

I leave for work.  I work for 4 hours in exchange for free health insurance and a small paycheck.  It's worth if for us!  I'm happy to work weird hours if it means I can stay home and homeschool my girls!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow & Bunnies

I've been busy working on a "day in the life of..." post for our homeschool.  Stay tuned!  It should be up and ready by next Friday :)

In the meantime, here are some pictures from our week:

Petting the Angora from STEM Bunnies

Fresh snow = late piano practice

My hungry girl learned how to make pancakes

It looks like my head is in a birds nest!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

BFF Time, CSI Crime Lab, and Frank Lloyd Wright

Last week we spent almost the entire week at home.  It was a nice way to start second semester, here at Two Cowgirls Homeschool.  This week, we were back to our normal routine, running around, attending classes, and learning a lot.  Here's what we did:


Monday:

Today Elise had Jr. First Lego League.  Millie's co-op hasn't started up yet, so she tagged along to the library with us, hunted for books, and read by the fire while Elise hung out with friends and created with Legos.  This was a great Jr. FLL class, because the kids worked on their challenge for a LONG time!!  Our little Lego Leaguers are so proficient at their Lego skills, that they usually breeze through their challenges.




Tuesday:

Today was a book club day.  We read The Little Prince aloud as a family, and Millie went to the book club with a group of other middle school age kids.  Millie and Elise loved the book, but I didn't care for it.  Anywhoo, while she was at her book club, I had the pleasure of entertaining Elise and her BFF.  I took them to the Children's Museum to play for an hour.  Good times!  When we got home, we did our regular school work.  The kids were really thrown off having to do their school work in the afternoon!  He he.













Wednesday:

SciGirls!  My favorite day of the month!! This month the girls did a little CSI, and had to solve The Case of the Missing Diamonds.  They dusted for fingerprints, fumed for fingerprints, analyzed fabric samples, analyzed blood samples, and experimented with chromatography,  It was super fun.  Unfortunately, Millie started feeling sick mid-way through class, so I had to take her home.  *Gasp*  Fortunately, another mom was on site, and was willing/able to step in and help finish up the class.  Getting her home was a crazy event.  I had to do a drive-by drop off, and drive to the next city over to pick up Elise where she was hanging out with her BFF (again!!  Two days in a row?!  Lucky girls) at the zoo.  When we finally made it home, Millie had made herself some mint tea, and was cuddled up on the couch, where she stayed for the rest of the day.









Thursday:

Finally, a stay at home day.  We did our regular school in the morning, and then moved on to Earth Science and architecture.  We're in the midst of a Frank Lloyd Wright study.  I'm so excited that they're getting into architecture!!  This book is full of great projects.  This week they used shapes to create art, similar to how FLW's sister made illustrations for one of her books.  The week has been really cold, too cold to play outside.  Today was a break in the weather, so the girls left the house at 3 to meet the neighbor kids at the bus stop.  They played outside until dinner time.  I love my quiet time when they're gone!  I use it to run on the treadmill and read.


I'm reading Pioneer Girl


Friday:

I mentioned before that we're using Harmony Ed this year as a way to fund our homeschool expenses.  In return for getting reimbursed for $1,600 worth of homeschool supplies, classes, and curriculum, we have to do worksheets.  It's not a bad trade off!  I wouldn't do it again, because next year we have to return the books we use, which makes doing the worksheets pointless, but for this year, it's working for us.  So, Friday we had what I called a "Harmony Ed Extravaganza," at which we spent the afternoon plowing through worksheets.

***

This weekend brings sub-zero temperatures, which means a lot of indoor time.  We'll be venturing out for a piano recital (Elise's first!), and one-act play practice.  I hate the thought of driving 40 minutes on a day where the high is -7, but 4-H calls!


Find out what other homeschoolers did this week, here!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Beginning of Second Semester

It's been a great week.  I mean, a really great week.  

First of all, we moved.  It's a temporary move, just for the winter.  We're house sitting for the inlaws again.  What did this big move do for us?  Well, now my kids leave the house at 3, and don't return again until dinner.  They've been very busy sledding, building forts, making snow sculptures, and having lots of fun with the neighborhood kids.  It's fantastic for so many reasons.  One of the reasons it's so fantastic, is that I get to use my free time to use the treadmill and read :)  It's also great, because the girls started a shoveling business, and now have a way to earn extra money while we're here, since the dog walking business is on hold until we return to the condo.













Speaking of reading, my new years resolution is to read 33 books this year.  So far I've read 2 (Pollyanna and The Little Prince).  I'm now reading Pioneer Girl,  

This week was unique in that we didn't leave the house at all until Friday!  We worked hard at studies every day until 3.  We had Field Trip Friday on Friday, and went to a skating rink for a couple hours of ice skating with friends.  So much fun!!


Millie's studying 1940's fashion













Millie said, "I wish every week was like this!"  Me too, me too.  Next week is going to be the opposite of this week, in that we are going to be out and about almost every single day!!

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


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015: The Year We Took December Off

I declared December to be a "no school month."  I twas fantastic!!  I had finals, we had Christmas to prepare for, and it seemed that a lot of other "things" were coming to a head in December, so I decided to give myself (and everyone else) a break.

The one condition?  No electronics.  No tablets.  No computers.  No TV.  As the month comes to a close, I'm getting a little lazy about enforcing this rule (my girls are watching Barbie: Life in the Dream House as I type).  Having electronics off for the month has been great.  The girls have been playing more together, doing more art, and getting creative.

Of course, even though we had "no school month,"  learning didn't come to an end.  We had a few art lessons, took a few classes through Field Trip Friday and SciGirls, and had a few meet ups with friends.

Here's what we did this month:

Meet the Masters:  Renoir

A tour of the Christmas decorations at the Ramsey House

Gingerbread House fun at 4-H

Elva Kaffe:  Elise was a Norwegian dancer

Decorating the tree!

A Day in the Life of an Elf display at Macys

SciGirls: Make up (frost bite.  Brrr!)

Hour of Code

Cookie making workshop at 4-H

Decorating cookies at 4-H

Making her first stop action animation movie.  So cool!!

Meet the Masters: Warhol



Annual bell ringing

Norwegian folklore and tomte making class



Photo bombing my pretty table setting

My little elves on Christmas morning!


A product of Millie's cooking class

Art lessons through Createful Christmas

The only cookies we made (at home) this year!

Daddy/daughter bliss!
Only two more days 'til 2016!  I love the time between Christmas and New Years.  It is perfect for business planning, life planning, and school planning.  I'm sure New Years Eve will find me with a bottle of wine, Dick Clark, my laptop, a notebook, and a sharp pencil.  I sure know how to party!

See you in 2016!!