Such Fun

Our family was invited to visit a dear friend, yesterday.  He cooked out for my entire crew (he needs a crown for that)!  We laughed, remembered old times and allowed our children to get re-acquainted.  It was so nice.  I met Jason and his family about 18 years ago.  We had moved into our first home, with our then 9 mth old daughter, Bug.  We lived on a quiet, dead end road.  As I looked out, I saw a guy working on his house, across the street.  I went over and introduced myself and I met his, then wife and their daughter…also 9 mths old.  We all hit it off and became fast friends.  Over the course of this 18 years….his wife and I were pregnant with two more children who are no more than 2 weeks apart in age.

We were all about the same age.  We had been married about the same time.  We each had a 3 children (we were pregnant together for the last 2 of those kids) and we had lots o fun!!!!!!!!!!!  Life happens…my friends built a new house and moved, not too far…then more life happened.  There are seasons of friendships, within this world and he was (and is still considered) one of my dearest friends…though we do not keep in touch like we should.  His kids are 18, 16, and 13 …  My kids (and Big Daddy’s LOL) are 18, 16, 13, 13, 10, and 8.  We got busy!

We happened to notice that Jason had one of his vehicles for sale and because he is the best mechanic anywhere…we trusted him and bought it for our daughter, Peach.  In that “transaction”, we also inherited his chickens LOL.  We finally made a date to get our families together and yesterday was that day!  I am looking forward to many other get togethers with Jason and his kids!!!!!!!

Thoughts on Lifeskills Class

3267439

Please, chime in if you have any comments or suggests!!!!!!!!

Peach (works at McDonald’s):  We *sort of* have this ironed out.  She will be doing daily lunches, at my house.  She will have to make sure the bathrooms, during the lunch hour, are clean.  She will also have to keep the dining area clean and, of course, the kitchen clean.  She will create menus with prices.  She will pull that hair back and slap on those rubber gloves.  She will cook, serve, collect money, and clean.  One day a week, she will be cooking McD type items (burgers, cheeseburgers, McChickens, fries) for our two families.  She will have to create fry holders and wrap all items appropriately.  She will be accepting checks, debits, and cash…she must learn how to count cash back.  We would like to get a field trip to a fast food place (or any restaurant) to see how things really work.  Pizza Hut is usually really good at doing this.

Gigi (farmer):  She has had to clean out the meat chicken’s coops and the laying hen coops.  She has had to feed and water all farm animals.  She has had to transfer the horse poop and work it through the garden area to prepare it for planting next year.  She is weeding flower gardens and soon will be planting fall flowers.  She will learn how to feed horses/cows properly, any “how-tos” with horse maintenance.  We will planning a field trip to a local farmer and learn how to milk cows and work tobacco farms.  She will work the yards of both families.

Boo (stay at home dad):  We have that pretty much covered. Whatever I have to do, he does.  He will also be spending at least one day a week with Pam and her family being a stay at home dad to them…cleaning/cooking/chauffering, etc.

Catfish (army):  He will do exercise drills, hiking, learning how to live in the woods, shoot guns…he will teach a couple of times to all the kids and everyday do drills with my children.  We are going to try and plan a field trip to Ft. Campbell…we shall see on that one.  We will also be planning a field trip to the police station, ambulance service and fire department.  In doing that, we will bake these people cookies and create cards to show our respect and appreciation for all they do.

Little Man (doctor):  He will take blood pressures, pulses, and blood sugars from everyone in the family, as well as Pam’s family.  He will learn how to clean out cuts, what types of creams to use on burns or cuts, how to bandage properly.  We would like to go on a field trip to a local doctors office.  We will also try to get a field trip to the health department.  They will talk about nutrition, staying healthy, how to do examines (hearing and vision), etc.

Precious (engineer):  She will build us things, but first she has to design it.  We need a place for a field trip, but I’m sort of at a loss….

Muffin (factory worker):  She will organize closets, make lists, and learn how to make life a bit simpler.  We are trying to plan a field trip to a window making company and a paper company.  She will do this for both families.

Norman (lawyer):  He has going to have to defend a case of our choosing between two other children.  He will prepare witnesses, interview, and do all the legwork for this case and present it in front of a judge.  We will be attending felony court, plea court and sentencing.  He will be required to dress the part.  He will also interview (hopefully) a judge, a lawyer and a probation/parole officer.

The Experimental Egg

Peach is taking Biology with a Lab, this semester.  She enjoys experiments, but sadly, they don’t always turn out the way she needs them too.

This experiment, however, exceeded our expectations!  She had place a raw egg in a glass and cover it with vinegar.  That had to sit, covered, for a few days.  In that time, the outer shell began to flake off.  Once the outer shell was completely gone (the egg is raw, mind you), she had to pour out the vinegar and then cover the egg with syrup.  That had to set covered, for a few days.

In the midst of the egg hanging out in either vinegar or syrup, she had to measure the egg each time.  Once the process was complete, the egg had shrunk considerably.  When she pulled it out of the syrup, this is what she found…a gelatinous egg where you could bing the yolk around and you could see the yolk.  It was squishy and awesome!  I’m so proud of her!

DSCN6450 DSCN6451

Meet Boo: Lifeskills Class

Boo is my 4th child and he is 13.  He drew high school drop out (pursuing his GED) and being a stay at home dad.  His wife makes $13/hour.  He has drawn out a small 2 bedroom/1 bath home and he wants 1 child (because that is easier).

We began his training on Monday afternoon.  We started off by going to the pharmacy (I wish I had taken a picture…will do better).  He had to walk in, talk clearly and concisely to the staff, hand them my prescription, as well as, getting 3 other filled.  We talked about why they only stock one item, at a time, of bathroom products (think cost).  What the difference is between Walmart and a drugstore.  Why people buy “expensive” things at the drugstore…what is the best thing to buy at the drugstore.  How to look for deals.  Also, just being polite and speaking up when talking to other people.

After that, we headed to the grocery store.  Had I been brilliant, I would have let him create the menu for the next couple of weeks, but I did that and made my list.  He, however, took the list, a pen and did his thing,  We talked about branding and how sometimes you pay more the brand name or the packaging.  We compared prices on the same item, 3 different brands.  I taught him how to shop for produce and fresh vegetables.

We set a limit of $200 for a 2 week period.  That includes paper products, cleaning supplies, dog food, food, etc.  He came in at $166.60.  I totally would have made him put something up if he went over budget.  Gotta learn to live within means!  It too FOREVER to get through the grocery, but it was time I got to spend with him…one on one!

As we were loading the groceries on the belt thing…I explained to him that there are good cashiers (separate your items properly and don’t overload your bags) and then there are the struggling cashiers (those that suck and smash your bread).  I told him that it was our job to make their job a bit easier….especially when I normally shop a month at a time. I can be an overwhelming presence in the grocery store.  I taught him how to group cold stuff together, freezer stuff, canned goods, boxes and always…always….load the squishy stuff last.  It makes everything go much more smoothly.

When we went to check out, I used my debit card.  He was in shock because he *thought* it was a credit card.  I explained the differences (while the little girl was checking our groceries) between the two.  Debit (or used as credit) goes directly out of my bank account…instantly…no money in account, it will decline my card.  I then asked him what I had taught him about credit cards and he gently replied “they are from the devil!”  Well done…son….well done!!!!!!

We got home and he had to hurry to put everything up.  After he got everything put up, he had to hussle to get Little Man prepared for soccer and we can’t forget his water!  He was soccer dad because every kid likes to be involved in something.  After 2 hours of waiting, he had to come home, feed LM and then put the rest of the groceries (pantry items) up.  He will take my menu list and he will separate out each meal and put the recipe items (as well as the recipe) in the boxes.  He will then place those in the pantry…when it is time to make that particular meal, he will have everything at his fingertips.

DSCN6455 DSCN6456 DSCN6457

Yes, he will be cooking (pray for me).  He made Corn Chowder and Broccoli/Cheese Soup.  Both were delicious.

DSCN6458

Tuesday, he attended speech therapy with Catfish.  He had to come in, sign him in, meet the therapist and shake her hand.  He had to properly introduce himself to the head of the department, as well as, an undergrad student who was taking notes.  My boy took 2 pages of notes AND he asked many questions to the head of the dept. and the grad student therapist.  He loved it!

10660322_10204980778983671_8382398012630035994_n

Wednesday, he will be going with 4 of the other children to the doctor, as well as, making sure everyone is bathed and ready for church.  Thursday is therapy and soccer again….he will do everything that I do and I will shadow him.  He was exhausted, yesterday…maybe he will have an appreciation for me :) Friday, we have a down day and will probably pay bills (he will write checks, as well). Saturday, is a full day of soccer in another town about 2 hours away.  He will have to prepare snacks for everyone, make sure they are properly dressed, make sure LM has all he needs to play, get blankets and chairs and be ready to cheer!  Then everyone needs showers because Sunday is church!  Then it starts all over again :)

We will be going to the bank, doing some couponing, reading recipes, making phone calls, attending therapies, doctoring boo boos and he has to clean the house from top to bottom….good times people, good times.

My goal is to teach him to look people in the eyes, have a firm handshake, be prepared, be polite and to be efficient.

I will keep this blog updated as each kid represents their chosen field and I promise to add pictures!

Lifeskills Class

learning-life-skillsand-soft-skills-1-638

My friend, Pam, came up with an extraordinary idea for our little homeschool people.  I know that they do similar things in public school, but the intensity of what we will be doing was created out of her experience as a teen mom, who took her daughter to school everyday.

Life is hard.  There is no way around that and in the world we live in, giving our children everything is not doing them any good.  We are setting them up for failure.  My son, 13, asked me if he could have his own room when he was 16.  Ideally, I would *love* for each of my kids to have their own space.  Realistically, the Lord has met our needs.  Do kids share rooms?  Yes, they do.  We have 3 boys in one room, 2 girls in another and then my oldest has the smallest room of the house.  It is what it is.  My kids need to learn to be grateful for what the Lord has given us…and they are, for the most part….but they do still dream big.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming!!!!!!!!!  Dreams can, one day, be turned into attainable goals and goals are a great thing to have.  Goals keep us in a place of constantly growing and changing.  There are families with way less than what we have and then there are families who have way more than we have.  The point is….is that our needs are met by the only One who can meet them!

My kids went over to Pam’s house, on Monday, and that is when she went into more detail of what they would be doing.  She had different educational options printed out on paper and thrown in a bowl.  In another bowl, she had jobs listed.  Each child randomly selected their educational status, their salary, and their jobs.  They could decide how many children they want, their type of home, etc. based on what they drew.  They jobs that they chose from were engineer, lawyer, McDonald’s worker, farmer, stay at home parent, doctor, army, and factory worker.

These are some of the things that they have to do in this class:

  • Draw their homes to scale
  • Decide on how many children they want
  • Create a budget for their bills (they will be given amounts for everyday bills like electricity, water, phone, gas, etc.)
  • We have printed out checks so they will have to learn how to write them properly (this will also teach the younger kids how to write in cursive)
  • They have check registers because Pam and I are the bank and if they overdraw their accounts, then that means more money they have to come up with.
  • They will go to a bank, for a field trip, and they will learn about savings accounts, IRAs, checking accounts, safety deposit boxes, debit cards, ATMs
  • They will learn how to save….tithe first, then (ideally) 1/2 a paycheck to savings and 1/2 to checking
  • They will learn about vehicle maintenance
  • How to go to the grocery
  • Meal planning
  • Organizational skills
  • We will have them switch jobs, in 2 weeks, but they will have to interview for it.
  • They will learn how to properly fill out job applications
  • Some kids will get to go experience court
  • The engineer will design/build things
  • At the end of the two weeks, they will write a paper about their experiences

There are so many things that we are going to have them do, that I will try and document it with posts and photos.  In a month or so, we will receive our “baby” and each child be solely responsible for that baby for 2 weeks.  We will probably continue this type of class each semester and they will have to keep the baby each semester to keep things fresh.  Our goal is to raise children who love the Lord, who love others and are responsible.

If you have any ideas on what we can incorporate, please feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can email me at thebarefoothomeschooler@mediacombb.net or find me on facebook under “The Barefoothomeschooler.”