Friday, October 30, 2009

Heritage Village Museum - Sharon Woods

As part of our literature study on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Anna and I were able to visit an event nearby that featured Ichabod and the Headless Horseman. Sharon Woods is part of the Hamilton County Park district and features a recreated 1800's village. It is open year round but offers special programs during Christmas and Halloween. Anna and I enjoyed the event which included trick or treating (ok the candy was not spectacular). Our favorite activities other than Ichabod and the Horseman were the semi-haunted 1800 house and the mad scientist. The pic above is from the haunted house. My flash captured this picture and made it lighter but the house was quite dark and the antique furniture added to the haunt. This was the chain lady who offered the only scare, really. The sound of the chain dropping to the floor was unexpected but fun!!!
I think Anna enjoyed the mad scientist. We went to see him twice! He was pretty silly and delivered a funny and not so scary act.
Our favorites by far were the Headless Horseman and Ichabod. Sorry, I know you can hardly make out Headless on Horseback below but I had to try to include a picture!! These actors were wonderful. The paths were lit by lanterns and Headless would ride up to unsuspecting visitors. He had his horse circle Anna and I (very tightly!) 3-4 times. We were amazed at how well trained the horses were and how well the actors played the parts and stayed in character!! Also, other characters jumped out us at various times on the paths. It felt a bit like Sleepy Hollow!!

Overall it was a fun experience and we were glad to witness our study on the Legend recreated. The evening was a bit pricey but worth it for us since it involved something we just studied. I got the feeling that most of the visitors present were not there for the Sleepy Hollow atmosphere!! And if they were there for the candy I think they were pretty disappointed!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Literature Study

We love doing literature studies as part of our homeschooling! We take a certain piece of literature and study various topics mentioned withing each piece. There are so many premade curriculum available. One that we loved to use in the younger grades was Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert. Now I often make up my own and this month we have been studying THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Washington Irving. Some of the topics we have covered are:
*Henry Hudson
*the Hudson River
*St. Nicholas
*New England Superstitions
*Screech Owls
*St. Vitus
*Don Cossacks
*1 Timothy 4:7
*and of course Washington Irving

Crafts included: oil pastel fall tree, collage tree with Bible verse and the Gourd pumpkin in the above picture.

We have been reading this in its original text and also in some easier versions. We came across a radio drama of the story by the Colonial Radio Players that is marvelous! Also, we watched the television renditions by Shelly Duvall theatre and Wishbone.

Our most exciting adventure for this study came with a trip to a haunted village complete with Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman on horseback. More to come on that in my next post!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Seems that our Bethany has taken a liking to riding in big army aircraft!! At her LDAC training in Washington this summer she had the opportunity to participate in some flight training. She is now considering the possibility of putting in for flight nurse training. We'll see what the future holds and we'll keep you posted!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apple Picking Time!!

Well, actually, September is apple picking time!! I'm just a little late in posting! Anna and I went with our home school group to an apple orchard out in Midland, Ohio. Where is Midland, you ask? I can't even tell you. Oh, I drove and we found the place but it seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere!! But, we were very happy we travelled all the way to Midland.

The orchard is called A & M Farm and is one of the only U pick orchards in our area. Not too many in our area since I had to drive an hour!! The people who worked at the farm were great and their little store which sold already picked apples, farm produce and their own cider was very cute. We were able to pick a variety but our all time favorite was Empire. Usually we are fuji, honey crisp or braeburn people but we took a liking to this little beauty!
The farm allowed us to taste the apples before we decided if we wanted that type. Very thoughtful and excellent marketing strategy!! We were able to keep what we liked.

We came home and immediately pulled out our apple recipes - I'll share two with all of you.
Apple Dip
1 can sweetened condensed milk (fat free is fine)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat milk, butterscotch, and salt on stove until chips are melted. Remove from stove and stir in the next two ingredients. Store in Fridge!
No Peel Apple Cake
4 cups chopped apples with peels
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons each of cinnamon and baking soda
Mix all ingredients by hand (will be thick batter). Pour into 9 x 13 greased pan and sprinkle with additional sugar and nuts if desired. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Even better on day #2!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Music with Lunch!!

Big tip for all Cincinnati area homeschoolers (and anyone else free on the second Wednesday of each month), Christ Church in Glendale, Ohio - - offers free concerts!!! This is a great way to introduce the kids to a variety of different types of music and instruments. If you go to their website you can view the schedule and what groups are playing when. In September, Anna and I brought our lunch (yes, everyone is allowed to eat during the concert) and we listened to a group call Miami3. Their music was called crossover music which contains classical music mixed with jazz, folk, rag, pop, etc. The instruments played were the piano, violin and clarinet. We enjoyed them and 25 minutes is just the right amount of time for a kid to sit. I felt like a youngster myself since most in attendance were over 70 yo!! But everyone was pleasant and it gave Anna some opportunity to socialize with the seniors!!
Anna quickly took these pics with our tiny camera. It was hard to get good shots with all the guests arriving and her feeling a bit awkward about standing in the best spots to get a good shot. But it should give you some idea of the beauty of these windows.
We will go back for about 3 or 4 more concerts over the course of the year. Check out the website to find out what is offered on each of those Wednesdays!!