Rapberry Picking in Mora, New Mexico

We went Raspberry picking last weekend and we were surprised how much fun we had. Take a look.

Upon arriving you get a small bucket to collect the raspberries. You fill those and at the end they get weighed and you pay by the pound. We paid $6 per pound. Everybody gets a row assigned to pick their berries. We were shown how to properly pick the raspberries off the stems. Tasting is allowed; we tasted A LOT. picmonkey-collage-2

PicMonkey Collage-3.jpgimg_3409img_3447img_3386

After we were done picking we went to the store to pay for our 4 lb we had collected. There was a small shop that served raspberry sundaes. So good!!picmonkey-collageimg_3470img_5348IMG_3478.jpgIMG_3343.jpg

I recommend bringing bug spray and sunscreen.Which we forgot and paid for the next day.

Be sure to check Salman Raspberry Ranch’s website before you go, fields and stores are not always open. They update daily.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

 

Rapberry Picking in Mora, New Mexico

Desert Child

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to raise children in the desert. It is such a unique experience and one that I never anticipated. I grew up in Germany in a city near a dense forest. Everything was small, green, and urban. New Mexico is almost the opposite. It is vast, brown, you can see for miles and miles, and it is wild. There is hardly any grass, just a sea of rocks. I wonder if the surroundings will affect their views on life. Will they see this world as big and limitless and be eager to discover it?

Bringing Tashi to White Mesa made me realize how much at home she is in this terrain. There was no: “I’m bored, what is there to do?” She immediately started walking and interacting with her surroundings. She could have spend all day there.

 

IMG_1995IMG_1999IMG_2008IMG_2010IMG_2035

She found some chalky rocks and was delighted that she could draw pictures with them. IMG_2011

She decided the rocks would make excellent furniture. Here she is holding a couch, but it looks more like a telephone….IMG_2026IMG_2038IMG_3512

I have been reading a lot about forest pre-schools in Europe. Children spend all day outside in the woods. I guess my children have been going to rock school…

Have lovely day,

Sofija

On :

Pants: H&M

Top: Olive Juice

Vest: Old Navy

Cat Socks: Gymboree

Shoes: Hand me downs

 

Desert Child

Home-school Statistics

homeschool

I honestly don’t think that home-schooling is the only option. I think there are really wonderful private, public, and charter schools. I have been home-schooling for 8 years and it has not been easy. That said I also believe that home-schooling is a really good option and paving the way for a better way to educate in our country and hopefully in the world. The chart above proves that you don’t need a lot of money. Home-schoolers spend on average $500 a year and score in the upper 80th percentile in state testing. Our state spends $5000 per student a year and ranks very low nation wide. I think this is good news for the rest of the world who don’t have thousands of dollars to educate their children.

But here is how I hope that home-schooling will change how we educate our children. Home-schoolers educate individuals, not masses. They understand that every child is different, learns at a different pace and in a different way. It allows for children to take longer to learn to read or understand a certain math concept.  At the same time they don’t need to get bored with concepts they already understand.

What do you think? Has this chart answered some of the questions you had? Did anything surprise you?

-Sofija

Chart found via http://www.topmastersineducation.com/homeschooled/

Home-school Statistics

Book Series: Artemis Fowl, Redwall, and Spartan Quest

Hello Friends,

do you have children that read you out of house and home? I have a 14 and 11 year old who read so much that I have been seriously concerned we might run out of books to read. Thanks to the library and friends, who read just as much as they do, this has not happened yet. There is always a sigh of relief when we  find a series that has at least 12 books (which might get them through one summer). I asked my 14 year old to write up short summaries of some of the series he has read. Here are three to get you started. This is for readers who  have already read the well knowns like:

– Narnia

– Lord of the Rings

– Harry Potter

– Little House

– Percy Jackson

– Anne of Green Gables

-Inkheart/ Inkspell/ Inkdeath


Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer. This series includes: Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony, The Time Paradox, The Atlantis Complex, The Last Guardian (Coming Out The Summer of 2012)

This series follows the the adventures of the young genius, criminal mastermind, and millionaire Artemis Fowl II. His adventures take him all over the human world and under it in the fairy world, where he both fights and aids the fairies with the help of his loyal bodyguard Butler and other friends he picks up along the way. I recommend these fun, witty, and exiting books for ages nine to ten and up.

Redwall Series (Brian Jaques): Redwall, Mossflower, Mattimeo, Mariel of Redwall, Salamandastron, Martin the Warrior, The Bellmaker, Outcast of Redwall, The Pearls of Lutra, The Long Patrol, Marlfox, The Legend of Luke, Lord Brocktree, The Taggerung, Triss, Loamhedge, Rakkety Tam, High Rhulain, Eulalia!, Doomwyte, The Sable Quean, The Rogue Crew.                                                                                            Following several centuries of (and before) the history of Redwall Abbey, a comfortable premises  in which mice, badgers, hares, moles, and various other creatures live peacefully. But occasionally they are attacked by rats, foxes, and other vermin and the peaceful creatures must rise up and defend their abbey. These epic twenty-two books are filled with adventure, battle, and fun humor. I recommend them for ages 9 and up.

Spartan Quest Series (Michael Ford): The Fire of Ares, Birth of a Warrior, Legacy of Blood

These dark, gory, and violent books are about the life of Lysander, a half-Spartan half-Helot (Spartan slave), who is given a chance to train to become a Spartan warrior. During his training and the battles he fights Lysander loses many of those close to him, and discovers just how hard his life has become in this society where the fittest prevail. This series gives a demonstration of what the life of a Spartan boy would have been like in a story-telling way. I recommend it for ages 11 and up.

Book Series: Artemis Fowl, Redwall, and Spartan Quest

Essential Furniture for our Home-schooling

Hi,

Today I wanted to share the several pieces of furniture that are essential to our home-schooling. The first one is a desk with a computer for my high-schooler. He pretty much spends all day on it, because he is part of an online schoool. The computer is on loan from the school and too ugly for words. We are I Mac people so you never see the adults in the house using it.

IMG_5384The second one is this black round table. It is a Pottery Barn table purchased on Craigslist. I really like it because it is so versatile. I can pull it out for extra seating for dinner guests. Since they are no legs you can fit a lot of people around it. It is sturdy and holds up to kids climbing on top of it. This is what it looks like when I have cleaned all the clutter off to take a picture.

IMG_5386

This is what it usually looks like. There is always someone sitting at this table, coloring, doing school work, crafts, etc. It drives me crazy that it never looks like the above picture. But then again, I’m glad that it invites creativity, and a lot of it.IMG_5393Next is my school closet from Ikea. It kind of functions as a locker. Every child has one or two cubbies. I have maxed out our book schelves, so I really need something for the school stuff we use daily. I like that this closet stays shut, thus hiding the mess.

IMG_5376This is my 11 year old daughter’s cubby, neat and organized. She takes after her dad.

IMG_5378Here is my 14 year old son’s cubby. I’m not sure what happened here, he is usually pretty neat.  I am responsible for top sections where we keep craft supplies. It needs attention badly…

IMG_5380

On the bottom I keep pre-school type of learning toys for the little people, so my two youngest can do their  “school”. IMG_5381Here is the dining room table we don’t use as much, because frankly most of the time it is too sticky.

IMG_5388

We have a little table that is perfect for the under 5 age. It was a hand me down, originally purchased at ToysRUs and has survived all of my children and their friends. Here is my mom when she visited with Luci.

DSC06775

Lastly, would you like to know where most of our school gets done? Right here on the couch. This is where I sit and do one and one sessions with the kids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEsther spends a lot of her time on our main computer. It is here that I write all my posts if you care to know.

IMG_4032

This is pretty much it. It looks like a lot of furniture, but with six kids all of it gets used all the time.

How about you, do you have furniture that invite learning and creativity? What is your favorite? I’d love to hear.

Have a wonderful day!

-Sofija

 

 

Essential Furniture for our Home-schooling

The Perfect Homeschool Room

workroomfloor1

Friends,

this post is about what would be a dream come true for me: a designer helping a home-school mom to design a room where she can teach her kids. Can you imagine?? Edie from Lifeingrace had the good fortune to do just that. That is after her  previous house burned down and they had lost everything. So don’t be too jealous. Take a look.

updatedworkroom

updatedworkroom2

Here is what Edie says about her room:” The multitasking type of room has long been a dream of mine.   A room that’s like me—–that reads and does laundry and blogs and dabbles in paints and maps and printing and child-rearing and bird watching.  We’ve only lived here two weeks but I can’t even  count the hours we’ve already spent in here.”

updatedworkroom3A place for everything, even the works of Luther. Love it.

workroom3

updatedworkroom4

Here comes the surprise. Not only is this room a school room but also a laundry room!!! This makes total sense to me, since that is what my days are all about: schooling, blogging, and laundry.workroom5

workroom7

Edie assures her readers that her room is NEVER this clean and organized. The green table for example gets cleaned about 27 times a day only to be cluttered with new projects again. The family spends their whole day in this room, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Friends, this rooms speaks to me on so many levels. When you are home with children all day you want it to be a happy and aesthetic place, and one that functions well. We use our front room as a library/school/play room. Now I need to work harder in making it look prettier. However the washer/dryer will stay in the laundry room…

How about you, is your space working for you? Is it pretty enough where you want to spend all day in it? I know most of us can’t afford a designer, still the smallest changes like drapes, pillows, and a couch cover can make a big difference.

Happy decorating!

-Sofija

The Perfect Homeschool Room

School Pictures

Yep, home-schoolers do the school picture thing, too. And the yearbook. In our home-school co-op we pick a photographer who is used to doing school pictures and we go to their location. At the end of the year a team puts together a year book. Most often we use Shutterfly.

Here we are waiting for our turn and practicing that cheesy grin.

The year book has a page even for the nursery and pre-school. My two year old was not on board with that. I’m going to have to find another picture for her.

Lucille on the other hand was ready.

The whole process was quite fast. Even with six kiddos we were done in 10 minutes.

Have a lovely day!

-Sofija

School Pictures