This past weekend, we went to the CHEO convention in downtown Columbus, Ohio. My gosh, was it refreshing! I saw folks who barely knew each other from Adam praying together in various spaces, simply because it was needed. Aaahhh…

Anyway, while dh and I were there, we attended various class sessions. One I attended was on getting organized so you can homeschool. Even though dd1 is only 2.5, she is certainly old enough to be able to accomplish some chores every day. So, her assignments are to take her dirty clothes to the laundry pile, help with the silverware (excepting the sharp knives, of course) in the kitchen, set the table (with adult assistance) and put away her toys once she is done with them. The lady presenting this class even suggested turning your chore chart into a game board, where you move your own “piece” to the next spot when one chore is completed. I love this idea, as I know it will really help dd1 see what needs to happen next (x) before (y) can happen (i.e., silverware needs to be cleaned and put away before we can eat our next meal). Another session was on touring Ohio to learn about Ohio history–can I say wonderful? Unfortunately, dd2 was fussing too much for us to stay through the whole thing, but what I did hear about was pretty great. The presenter gave us ideas for places to visit throughout Ohio to make history lessons come alive, and she also gave us tips to use along the way. One was about using a travel journal. I think this is a great idea! In fact, this week we plan to drive a couple hours to visit Roscoe Village in Coshocton, and I think this would be the perfect opportunity to get started. I also came up with the idea during a brainstorm session during lunch time (hey, it’s really how I unwind) of beginning a nature journal. Dd1 is a little too young yet to do it independently, so we’re going to begin a family nature journal first. Once she becomes more proficient with drawing and learns to write and spell, she’ll be able to gradually have her own journal; in fact, it’s going to be one of her assignments for science class.

While at the convention, I was able to purchase some texts which will get us going a little further in her preschool years. She is already interested in writing, so I found the Handwriting without Tears Pre-K Teacher’s guide and student workbook (they were out of the workbook, so they’re mailing it to me and I should get it in a couple weeks). I became a little familiar with it while working in a preschool before she was born, and I hope she enjoys it. With her being still young, this should last us a little longer than most writing curricula will. I also found 2 art books, one called “Eco Art”, which is geared for 3-9-year-olds, and “the Little Hands Art Book: Exploring Arts and Crafts with 2-to 6-year-olds”. I was able to get these two books used at a great discount, and I love them! I plan to start using them either this week or next, but I still have to sit down and begin my lesson-planning.

The Noah’s Ark unit study is going to be taking a back seat for a couple weeks, since we plan to go camping one weekend in July. I’m working on a short unit study to introduce dd1 to the idea of camping, and do a couple “practice runs” with her so she understands what camping is all about. I’m going to take an idea from here and there from various sites online, as well as use ideas that a former lead teacher and I used when I was still working at the preschool, and also incorporate some new ideas that I have. We’ll also begin our nature journal and we’ll visit some of the metro parks in our area simply to observe (and play, of course!). I’m still working on the brainstorming stage, and once I’m finished with that, I’ll do the web and attempt to post it here.

I also bought some wheat berries–50# of them, to be exact. Dh and I figure that it may end up just being less expensive to grind our own grains to make flour for our bread (I haven’t bought bread from the store in a long while, other than hamburger/hot dog buns). Oh, yeah! We also need a mill! So, last night he ordered the Country Living Hand Mill which works for beans and legumes as well as grains. We don’t know how long it will take to get here, but I really look forward to the fresh, living flour instead of the dead, chemically-enriched store-bought stuff. I’m going to use up as much as I can of the stuff that I have already on-hand before I begin milling my own. I have bread flour, all-purpose, whole wheat, and rye up in  the cupboard. I also have germ and gluten in the refrigerator, though I know I’ll at least need the gluten even for the milled flour. Once I feel more confident about my wheat bread-making skills, I’ll experiment a little and perhaps even try to make up my own recipe.