Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What We Are Reading {Week 8}

We have gotten pretty busy over the last week with some church activities and medical appointments but we are still chugging along through school.  We finished up Week 8 on Friday and we are enjoying a short break from other studies while we do a little bit of catching up in history.  We opted to stretch out week 8 into 2 weeks since there was so much interest in what we are learning!

We've enjoyed discovering the Oregon/California/Mormon trails through literature this last week and enjoying learning about the Transcontinental Railroad this week!

Our Read Alouds:

Ohhhh, this book was SO good!  
It is a 3 tissue book though so be prepared for tears.  Just like most families who traveled west on the Oregon trail this family suffered many hardships.

A good non-fiction read about traveling in a covered wagon!

 A funny look at some of the disgusting things pioneers had to suffer on the Oregon trail...such as where they went to the bathroom and burning buffalo "chips!"

A short non-fiction look at the Transcontinental Railroad.

Our studies wouldn't be complete without something funny or gross:

We watched a couple of movies too, Seven Alone is based on the true story of the Sager children who lost both parents on their way to Oregon.  It was a terrible quality and the acting was even worse - but, it did give us a glimpse of some hardships on the trail.

This movie was pretty laughable.  These guys didn't even get dirty.  And-- seriously, the lead lady was wearing pants.  How unseemly!  But-- we did see what a wagon train looked like when they circled the wagons and had a party...  sort of?  And at least it was family friendly...  

Coming up still this week we are going to read through a couple of quick biographies too:

 Maggie's independent reading last week consisted of:

This week she going to try Pioneer Cat.  This is an honest to goodness chapter book but she thinks she can do it and she wants to try so I think she will be successful!

Kayley's Independent Reading:  The Great Wheel.  She said it was "hard" and "not very interesting" and she really wanted to quit about 1/3 of the way in.  She persevered and finished it and completed a nice book report...  I'm proud of her for reading something that was challenging and not terribly interesting...  

I let her choose free reading this week after the tough book and she is reading this interesting antique store find, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  Published in 1965 this is the 1st Science Fiction that Kayley has read and I'll be curious to see what she thinks about it.

Well, there you have it!  Thanks for stopping by!

Who Needs a Museum?

Who needs a museum when you can just go to an antique store?  Interesting items from 100 years ago, on display, and you can TOUCH them, twirl them, and try them out!  We found butter churns, coffee mills (just like Laura used in the Long Winter to grind wheat), cash registers, type writers, books, toys, dishes...Wow!  

I do believe we made the lady at the front counter pretty nervous when we came in and she kept a pretty close eye on us as we made our way through the store.  I went in knowing the rule "you break it - you buy it."  I told the girls on the way in that if they broke something it could really hurt our wallet.  They were very good.  Very careful.  And, surprisingly - they had a wonderful time! 

The girls ran constant narratives through the store about what they recognized from all the books we've read.  They could tell me what they were and how they were used.  So, I highly recommend skipping the museum and going to the FREE display at an antique store!  Have fun!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Freetown DVD Giveaway! {Deseret Book Review}

Caught in the middle of a brutal civil war, six Liberian missionaries in Monrovia flee the widespread violence of their native country. Their destination: Freetown, Sierra Leone. With the help of local Church leader Phillip Abubakar (Henry Adofo), the missionaries make the difficult journey only to have their troubles compounded by a rebel fighter bent on killing one of their own. Based on true events, Freetown is a thrilling and inspiring story of hope and survival. 
Based on a true story, 6 missionaries are caught in the crossfire of a civil war between 2 tribes in Monrovia, Liberia.  Rebels have taken over the cities, driving through with guns blazing, wreaking havoc and fear on the local families.  The Rebels goal: to kill ALL the members of the Krahn tribe.  With a strong desire to teach the gospel the brave elders work in the midst of the unrest until the conflict escalates leaving them no choice but to flee the country.  Asking a local church member to help them escape the missionaries make a daring escape through rough terrain carefully concealing the identity of Elder Gaye, a Krahn.  Followed close behind by Rebels, navigating through dense terrain, rough, muddy roads and literally, driving on empty for miles (a miracle!) their faith pushes them to the limit.
This was an edge-of-your seat intense movie to the very end.  It is hard for me to imagine living in such a rough, terrifying, beautiful, place...and still having the ability to preach of God's love to the people.
This DVD offers a LOT of special features including:
  • Behind the scenes
  • Director's commentary
  • Writing Freetown
  • Shooting in Africa
  • Music of Freetown
  • Filming Freetown
This movie was rated PG-13 for thematic situations involving violence.  It also has subtitles in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
I cannot wait to go back and watch with the directors commentary.  I hope it will answer some of the questions I had throughout the video.  It did leave me wondering at the end on what happened to a handful of the people who lived there...
The best part!  I get to giveaway a copy of this DVD to one lucky reader of Swinging On Small Hinges!  I'm so excited!  Enter using the Giveaway Tools below!  Giveaway ends Aug 26th at 11:59pm Central Standard Time.  Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond before I will have to draw an alternate.  Thanks for stopping by!  Good luck!

Disclaimer:  Thank you SO much Deseret Book for the chance to review this movie!  I was not paid for this review and all opinions here are my very own.

Friday, August 14, 2015

What We Read This Week....

We have had a pretty quiet week.  I think we enjoyed a bit slower pace this week after all the excitement of the Civil War from the last month.  It was soon after the Civil War when the idea behind the statue of Liberty was presented to President Ulysses S. Grant.  A gift from France that symbolized Freedom, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hoped that by offering such a gift France would see the need for a democratic government.  It took years to build with Gustav Eiffel (who would go on to build a famous Paris landmark!) building the inner framework and Bartholdi hammering out layer upon layer of copper to build the statue.  How Lady Liberty came to be is a really fascinating story and we really enjoyed learning about her!

We read:

We even enjoyed a fun experiment where we turned our own copper green!

Kayley's reader this week is Lily and Miss Liberty...

Maggie's is the Statue of Liberty...

 The girls are also working on a fun lap book that I 
downloaded FREE!  

We also finished up our biography about Monet and then enjoyed this little picture book:

As for me...I am working through Simply Charlotte Mason's Laying Down the Rails today...  More of a reference book and not a straight read-through but it is a helpful tool in teaching you how to teach good habits to your kids (and yourself). 

I haven't had time for extra reading this week.  It's been busy!  
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

School Days...

I've enjoyed looking at so many back-to-school pictures this week.  My Facebook feed is clogged with pictures of my friends and their kiddos with their cute little backpacks, lunch bags, and bright smiles. While sometimes I wonder what it would be like to scoot my children out the door I can't imagine what it would be like to have the house to myself.  I'd probably sit on the computer too much eating Oreos.  I know I would miss out on all the fun stuff we get to learn!

We've been back to school for quite a while now.  In fact, we are finishing up week 7!  We are looking forward to the end of our "quarter" where we will switch gears a little.  But, only a little.  

This week we had fun learning about the Statue of Liberty.  The girls are finishing up a lap book that we downloaded for free from Homeschool Share.  We have completed all the usual subjects as well.  Here are a few pictures of our school days...just for fun.

Kayley is learning typing this year.  
She decided that writing paragraphs and papers is just easier when you can type.


Nature Studies (thanks to a dear friend who gave us this jar with a cocoon inside we hatched a HUGE moth and set it free!)

Language Arts.

 A favorite place to work...

Home Economics.



School Days...  Pretty fun!
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