Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Classical Education

We use the classical approach to education and we've recently been studying 14th Century African History. The kids were mapping Mansa Musa's pilgrimage from Mali to Mecca.

We always like to take a look through google images to see what might inspire us to remember more about a topic, and in our search we stumbled upon this gem of a website! Edsitement!

All I can say is WOW!!!

If you're studying the humanities, you need to visit this website.
You can search by subject area, time period, grade level, or length of lesson.
there are 385 History Lessons, 179 Lessons in Literature and Language Arts, 157 Lessons in Art and Culture, 29 lessons on Foreign Languages, and many many lessons on American Culture and History.

Check it out! Let us know how you've used it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wow...did I really stop blogging?

It would appear that I did stop blogging. Almost 2 years ago. Life threw a few lemon pies at us and we had to do a lot of cleaning up, but it would seem that we've got things tidied up and we're back in business.

Our home schooling adventures have continued. And with Spring in the air we've got the urge to purge. Does that urge ever hit you?

It's so easy to collect things over time. Some things like toys just keep amassing until one day you have enough toys for triple the number of children in your home. Other things seem like they will serve a future purpose, so you just can't part with them. And then other things just find their way to the back of a drawer, cupboard, closet or basement (!) and hideout for months or years.

So, after cleaning up the lemon pie it seems we've got lots of drawers, cupboards, closets, a basement AND a garage full of previously useful things. It's been about 3 years since we've done a really good purge so we've got our work cut out for us.

Our mission is to yard-sale or give-away everything that still has life left in it and toss the trash. We're hoping to keep about 1/3 of our current "stuff." Our goal is to hold a yard sale either on the long weekend in May or the last weekend in May, whichever one seems to be the yard sale kick off weekend. Everything left from there will be loaded into the Diabetes Association's truck!

Being organized, I've made a list of areas that need purging (pretty much our entire home) and budgeted the time needed for each. We've got some large boxes to use for storing our previously loved goods temporarily while the yard sale date approaches.
For each area of the house it is our goal to keep only the essential items that we need and a very few special items that make us happy. So, we'll take a bag for garbage into each area and a yardsale box. And, we'll arm ourselves with soapy water in a bucket to do a good cleaning while we're there. Here's our task outline.

  • Drawer (we have 15 drawers in our house) each can be done in about 5 minutes: 15x5=1.25 hours total
  • Cupboard (11) can be done in about 20 minutes each. 3.5 hours
  • A closet takes an hour (for a coat closet(2)) or two (for a linen closet or bedroom closet.(4)) 10 hours
  • Kitchen Pantry (1) takes about 2 hours if you're going to move everything out and wipe down all the shelves and re-organize, but it's well worth it. We've stayed on top of this one, since we're in it everyday! phew 2 hours
  • A bookshelf (7) takes about 10 minutes and requires a box for books to giveaway. (It will be pretty much empty when you're done and nearly all the books will still be on the shelf!) Let's face it homeschoolers LOVE books! 1 hour
  • A basement...ah the basement. tackle the garage first.
  • The garage takes a full day after a long winter of neglect, and ends with a trip to the enviro-depot with cans and bottles that can be refunded, but once the garage is done, there's a place to store the items which need to find their way out of the basement. 6 hours
  • And then there's the basement. Why is it so easy to use the basement as a catch all for "off season" or don't have the heart to toss it items? The basement requires a whole weekend, or 2 full days, a lot of garbage bags and room in the garage for the yard sale goods. 12 hours
Having done the math, that means we've got a total of 37 hours of purging to do before the big day. With "2 man power" (2 of the 3 of us are children) means we need to budget about 18 hours for purging. 6 hours a week for 3 weeks. Totally do-able. :/

We'll report back.