Shelby and I had a great first day of the 8th grade yesterday. The first day is always the toughest for kids, even in homeschool. Getting back into a schedule is not always easy after a carefree summer. I do understand that, as I had a carefree fun summer myself. Now it is time to get down to it and do the work though. I am really pleased with all the materials I have for this school year. Quite a complete curriculum if I do say so myself. Here is a run down just to give an idea of what we did and will do. All of the workbooks are geared specifically for the 8th grade of course.
Vocabulary Workbook (Wordly Wise)
Spectrum Math Workbook
Spectrum Science Workbook
other materials include National Geographics Map Essentials, Elements of Literature (her first story right off the bat, a favorite of mine, Rikki tikki tavi)There are questions and work to do at the end of each story. We are also using those Handy Answer Books I bought off Amazon. We started in the History and Science one yesterday. Every six weeks we will alternate the Science, Biology, and Physics books. These should last maybe the rest of her school years. We will also have sewing, crafts, cooking, home ec type things. Things everyone should know how to do. I still have the biggest book of every animal species known to man I think, that we will continue to use throughout school years. So many children know so little about nature and its surroundings anymore. I want Shelby to be very knowledgeable about animals and their habitats. We both enjoy this book a lot.
I do some of my best thinking when out on the mower riding around, looking off into the distance and smelling my fresh cut grass.
I have been trying to think of a way to make myself and my animals happier. Mostly we are talking of the pigs and the goats. Mostly the pigs. You see, pigs are very strong. They are also always on a constant quest for an easy meal if let loose into the yard. This inevitably ends badly. Pig noses are VERY strong. The can smell that chicken feed inside the pens...and they can bust open a pen like they were made of matchsticks. Pushing on the chicken wire til the wood breaks of the staples and wire can't take it anymore. This of course makes me very angry and scares the chickens in that particular pen pretty badly. There is just no need for this. I feed them well, too well. So you may ask why I think they arent as happy as they could be.
When we got these pot belly pigs I had to make a quick set up for them. They had plenty of room for their size at the time. Now, they really need to roam, to be put on pasture. For many reasons. One, they need the exercise badly. Two, being put on pasture would really cut down on the feed bill. Three, I think they would be happier. So how to do this, mowing, thinking, mowing thinking.
The obvious answer is to fence off the chicken pens. You have to remember the determination and hard-headedness of a pig is a force to be reckoned with. I could give them the back three acres to roam, but put a fence up to keep them out of a small forbidden zone, and they will try to go there everytime.
Yesterday we went to Lowes and got a 330 foot roll of hog wire. It is the same kind of wire that was used to back the wooden fencing put up around our back half of the property. It is very strong. The problem is, pigs get their nose under things and pull up. So you better have some good posts in the ground, and have that fencing tied down good to the posts. I am really hoping they will just go on out back and eat grass...but you know what they say, wish in one hand and !!!! in the other, and see which one fills up the quickest. We will see. I intend on giving them a run for their money.
Ultimately what I am looking to have happen is to have the two goats, the three emus, the horse, and the two pigs on pasture next Spring, which will really cut down on the feed bill. You see, when I feed the chickens, everyone wants to eat their food. I guess it is really tasty stuff. Its always a battle to get in the gate and set the food down in the chicken pen without being run over and trodden upon with those extra mouths trying to get some of the good stuff. To solve this dilemma, I told Ian its going to be all layer pellets, all the time, for everyone. Less waste with pellets too.
The ultimate goal here is to cut down on the feed bill. The back half used to be leased to a local farmer that grew bermuda hay, so that is what grows back there. Perfect for everyone to be eating.
I have a very silly chicken. Her name is Belle. She is from the chickens a friend of mines sister gave me that she could no longer keep. She has never conformed to living with the flock. Even when I had them all locked up together for two months, this did not sway her. She has gone back to being a front yard chicken. Her and Bubba are a solid pair and hang out alone, together all day, with the occasional visit from Gabby, who never really fit in to the flock herself. She is different, and has a lot of personality. Belle hides her eggs from me. I have found them under the front porch in some ivy before. I am sure there are places I have not found as of yet. This time, she has decided to deposit her eggs on the cement floor of the garage...next to the paint cans. Now why she decided this, I couldnt tell you. But here she is, and here is where she has put her eggs.
I was going to post a few pictures of some plants I need to get into the ground, mums and lantana, but photobucket is just really fighting me today, so I will try again later.
I have so many projects swirling around in my head right now I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I need to get out there and DO something instead of thinking of so much to do at one time!
Have a good Tuesday...I will try and do the same. :)