First Day of Homeschool: Deseret Ranches

We began our adventures in homeschooling with a field trip. First stop:
picnic at a park on the beach.


After our picnic we drove towards central Florida to Deseret Ranches. Who would have guessed that in the middle of Florida stood the second largest cattle ranch (by acreage) ? (And by the way, it is the LARGEST by head of cattle). The Ranch is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but the land is leased to a for-profit company.

It was interesting to learn a little bit about the ranch and its history. We found out that a guy in our stake high council manages the ranch. Fall time, as we soon found out, was not the best time to go on a tour because there were not many animals around to see. The tour guide suggested that we come back in the spring to see more birds and alligators.

After our tour we headed over to the firing range located near a youth camp site on the ranch. Here are a few highlights:





The stand was covered in horse manure so Isaac helped by scraping some of it off using this highly technical procedure.




Day one of home school was pronounced a success!

The last little while…

“A Ray of Hope and Sunshine”
Photograph by Peter Johnson

Isaac practicing the song “Climbing”

Fun with dry ice

Fireman Isaac

Celebrate America program at school


Wow. I have not been taking time lately to write down the events happening in our home. My children might not remember this last couple of months of their life and may need therapy in the future because their mom did not record this part of our family history.

Isaac – Reading. Reading. Reading! Isaac has had fun calling Grandma Gardner and reading his school books to her over the phone. He will be starting basketball in December and is excited because I let him buy a tank top just for practice.

Here is a knock-knock joke he told me this morning:

Isaac: Knock Knock
Mom: Who’s there
Isaac: frog
Mom: frog who?
Isaac: green frog – ha ha ha ha mom – did you expect me to say that?
Mom: No, Isaac, you got me pretty good

Sydney – She has been taking tennis lessons for a couple of months now and actually enjoys it. Being the least experienced in the class has not deterred her and she is doing well and making progress though she is not necessarily a natural at it. I’ll have to take my camera to the next tennis lesson.

Sydney has been reading the Harry Potter books and is now on number three. She can’t put them down and has been recording several of the spells that the students learn about at Hogwarts. I’ll have to join her and start reading them myself.

Liz – I’ve mostly kept myself out of trouble. Well, mostly. I’ve had fun cleaning out a couple of closets and the garage via a yard sale; I almost feel like a new woman. Most of my time the last month or so has been spent researching home schooling (yes, we are starting this next Friday) and looking over various books and curricula (and keeping up on politics and sending letters to my elected representatives about a gazillion issues). Being a homeschool mom is going to be interesting to say the least. Just so you know, I have had enough negative comments about this and do not want to hear any more so keep em’ to yourself 🙂 This is truly about giving our kids a better education than what is being provided in public school and I do not think we need to worry about the whole socialization issue that most people bring up – to me that is a non-issue because my kids are involved with other children and adults outside of school. I will share later about the classical method of education that I will be using to teach my children – I am very excited about it. Adventures in Homeschool to be continued…

Peter – He has been busy starting a class required for all majors in the Air Force. I think the acronym for the course if AFPC but I might be wrong; I can’t keep track of all of them… He just took the first test out of seven the other day and scored a 90%. He will be promoting to major in the next couple of months.

We have enjoyed having Peter home for a few weeks since he has not had any trips for a while. Peter had fun with the kids by putting dry ice in some kool-aid and is getting ready to help Sydney built some sort of electro-magnet motor to do a conductivity science project.