Friday, October 18, 2013

My homeschool mother's journal: Russia part 1

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...I decided I need to blog more.  It's something I really enjoy.  Not only as a way to document and share what we are doing, but also as more of a hobby.  It helps me to organize things and thoughts.  It helps me to relax and release.  It helps me to remember what we have done!  It also takes a lot of time and energy.  I have been trying to decide where I stand with my blogging lately.  Do I keep blogging?  Do I stop and have one less thing to worry about?  It has been on my mind.  Finally this week I felt that I should put more into it.  For years I've wanted my blog to go somewhere, but haven't ever really wanted to take the time to make it so.  I think it's something I'd like to start doing.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm making changes, and trying to figure out more of the technical stuff.  I'm even starting to think about a facebook page.  Baby steps...

In our homeschool this week...We visited Russia!  We only got 2 days of Russia done, so we still have more to do next week.  But here's what we did this week.

We located it on the map.  Noticed the size, and how it is the biggest country.  We talked about how it spans 2 continents, Europe and Asia.

We explored lots of books.  This is how we started our study.  I laid everything out so they could come explore it all as we looked at the map.  (I really need to get our map back on the table under a clear cover.)

We looked up the flag of Russia, and colored this worksheet in.  We are excited about our new USborne flags sticker book too as we travel around the world this year.

 Russia ABC's:  A very informative book, and great for young kids.
The Littlest Matryoshka:  A sweet story about Russian nesting dolls.


Another Celebrated Dancing Bear:  A FIAR story that we read.  We did a little five in a row unit with this book (only 1 day).
Russia:  Another great book that has some information in it.
Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Russia:  We read the tale of The fool of the world and the flying ship.  The kids enjoyed this.  They want to read more, so we might read another one next week.


Another new book for us to use all over the world this year is Children Just like me.  We read about Olia from Russia.  This is going to be a great addition to our homeschool shelf. IMG_4582

We had an art lesson about Kandinsky a Russian artist.  We used this YouTube video lesson to create some Kandinsky circles.  My boys loved using oil pastels.IMG_4578

Aaron even wanted to try making a page with only 4 squares.  He also went on to make several more pages.  He LOVED this project.


Then we had a Russian themed dinner, beef stroganoff and naan bread.  According to one of the books beef stroganoff is a Russian favorite, and that's one of our favorites too.  We talked about Russia, and what the kids have learned.  We used the ABC Russia book to give us some direction in that conversation too.


Non-Russia related...the kids also learned about Pascal's triangle in math.  They loved watching this video over and over again.  April was able to figure it out before I showed her the video.  I was impressed.

And Aric had fun playing with his Tangrams for math too.IMG_4575

Helpful homeschool tips or advice to share...accept how your children learn, and that what they are doing at every moment of the school day is all part of the learning process.  Even if it's not what we imagine or planned.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...we went on 2 walks this week.  One at a nature park, and one to the library.  Both were absolutely refreshing and beautiful.  We had co-op on Wednesday.  Thursday we went to a homeschool friend's house to play and visit.  Friday we are heading to the coast for a Fall camping trip!

My favorite thing this week was...I think it will probably be our trip to the coast.  I'm so excited to get away, and spend time with my family there.

My kiddos favorite thing this week was...April made this bird's nest bead necklace.  She saw it on a friend at co-op this week and was excited to come home and make it that afternoon.  She had remembered seeing it on pinterest.


 What's working/not working for us...our new co-op is working for us.  I am impressed with how much April has learned in her Shakespeare class, how much fun she has, and how comfortable she is getting with Shakespeare.  I love that they have such a great older class.  My boys also love their classes too.  They are both learning great things.  Aaron's class is all about gardens, things that grow in the garden, and people from history that influenced how we grow things like Johnny Appleseed.  I thought he would not like that subject when we first started.  He said after co-op last Wednesday that he likes his class.  Aric loves his class, they are doing a cowboy theme.  The first 6 weeks is almost up, so the classes will change gears to new subjects except for the Shakespeare class.  I'm excited for that.  Aaron's class will be switching to Thanksgiving and being thankful.  The Shakespeare class is also going to hold a faire in December for the families.  Such fun!

Questions/thoughts I have...where do you find cotton candy when you really need it for a school project?  I've seen it sometimes in the candy aisle, but couldn't find it this time at Target.  I will have to check some other stores.  Ooh, maybe at the coast this weekend!  I'm also trying to think of a substitution that would work?  I haven't been able to come up with anything.  I guess the search continues!

Things I'm working on...packing up the trailer today for our impromptu camping trip this weekend.

We're reading... All the Russia books above, and here is what each child is enjoying this week.

Alex is loving this book.  It's a new book that we picked up at the library.  It's an adorable story about having a pet train.  One of the first longer stories that Alex is sitting all the way through.
April has checked this one out a few times trying to finish it.
The newest addition to our Magic Treehouse book library.  Aaron decided he couldn't wait to read it until he read the others.

I'm grateful for...fall and piles of leaves to jump in.


I'm praying travels today as we drive our trailer out to the coast.

I rewarded the kids this week by...taking them to pizza at Round Table after co-op.  One of our favorite pizza places to eat.

Something I'm ogling or have my eye on...this new dutch oven.  Hubby had his eye on it, and then he found it on really good sale.  I had been wanting one for a long time too, so I told him to just get it.


I'm cooking... a pot roast in the new dutch oven, stew from leftover roast potatoes, carrots, etc, chocolate pancakes, ground beef stroganoff.

 A link to share... I have been enjoying listening to this Grooveshark Halloween Classical playlist.  Some days I'll just turn it on and listen to it while we are doing school.  It's amazing how much it helps to have some classical music in the background during school.

I'm linking this up to Homeschool Mother's journal at So you call yourself a homeschooler.  Hope you had a good week!



  1. My girls loved The History Channel's "Russia Land of the Tsars". It looks like the library has it:

    Have fun this weekend!

    1. Great thanks Becca! I will definitely check that one out.


Please leave a comment, I love to hear what you think.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...