Friday, November 26, 2010

When you spend Thanksgiving at Aunt Kathy's house...

and you bring the silver charms you created earlier in the week to show her...

she offers you the rest of the supplies you need to make your charms into beautiful earrings!

This is Julianne's finished project...

and these are Allison's.

We had a wonderful time, as always, with my family at Earl and Kathy's yesterday. I hope each of you had a lovely Thanksgiving as well.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our day with Johnny Tremain

Our FIAR group read Johnny Tremain this month.
We discussed pride (a huge problem for Johnny), Paul Revere and his portrait, some different styles of silver tea pots, and then read The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (an actual FIAR title but, since the kids have gotten so old, it was good to revisit it).

The kids then moved to the kitchen to try their hands at polishing silver pieces some of the moms brought. We've never covered child labor laws as part of our co-op days...and I don't think we plan to do so anytime soon.

After lunch, we left our friends' home and went to a pottery/craft shop so the kids could try making something silver for themselves.
They pressed silver clay into the mold of their choice, rolled it smooth on top, then chose to either press or etch a design into the top. Julianne etched her own design on hers; Allison used a stamp for hers. The clay was dried with a blow dryer for a couple minutes, then removed from the mold and put on a hot plate for a few minutes to complete the drying process.

Once dry, each piece had to be sanded before firing. I thought it was interesting that they could either drill a hole in the piece before firing or punch a hole through after it was fired.

Allison's creations are on the left, Julianne's are on the right. They plan to make them into earrings.
After firing, the kids buffed and antiqued their pieces. A quick polish and they were done.
Each month is something new and fun with this group. Last month, we read The Shakespeare Stealer and delved into Shakespeare a bit. (I mention it here because I didn't take a single picture or blog about it and I have a strong tendency to forget what we studied if it isn't written out.)
This is, and always has been, our favorite co-op group and they are one of the many things I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. They have become some of our dearest friends and I am truly thankful for all the memories we have made, and will make, together.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting back to the slow lane...

Today is the last day of driver's training for Julianne. Hallelujah!

These past three weeks have felt incredibly busy, with running her back and forth to class four days each week, as well as trying to maintain our regular activities.

The great news is that she took the written test yesterday and passed.

She said that today one of the students is bringing in a movie for them to watch (really? and I have to run her back and forth again for that?!?). Only Julianne and Paul have all their driving time finished so they will be the only ones able to get their certificates for their learning permits. Another advantage of homeschooling was their ability to drive while the other kids were in school. (And to see the ridiculousness of filling the required hours with watching a movie. Anyhow.)

I'm just thrilled the running is over after today. Life is bound to be slower now, right? What with the holidays quickly upon us and all...
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Driving advice

When the girls stay with Clarence's parents, Julianne tends to hang with Grandma while Allison goes outside and tags along with Grandpa. Consequently, Allison has done a little more tractor driving than Julianne and, being the more "experienced" driver, has been sharing bits of advice with Julianne since driver's training started.

The following are Allison's words of advice:

"Remember, Julianne, you won't go into the ditch if you don't steer into the ditch."

"Remember, Julianne, don't pull a U-turn on a one-way street."

"Remember, Julianne, when you want to back up, you've gotta put it in reverse."

Others have been getting in on the action, too.
One of our friends, upon hearing stories of Julianne's braking style, said "Oh, you're more of an aircraft carrier pilot, not a driver. Next time, just tell your instructor 'The tail hook caught!' when you use your aircraft brakes."

I'm confident that many of you have valuable advice you could offer as well. Feel free to share it in the comments and I'll make sure to pass it along to her.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Consider yourself warned...

We've reached another milestone in life: Julianne started driver's ed this week. She's been eligible to take the class for 8 months now but it seemed like such an ordeal to schedule that I hadn't gotten around to signing her up.

A couple weeks ago, a friend told me she was looking into the classes for her son, Paul, so I asked her to let me know what she planned to do. She saved me all the legwork (and found a reduced price!) and we got our kids signed up together for a session at the local public high school. Class started Monday and Julianne and Paul did their first hours of driving today.

So, if you find yourself in our area, be on the lookout for a couple homeschooled kids learning to drive. They'll try to swerve back into their own lane if they see you coming. I hope.