We’ve been living in and working on our off grid cabin for 18 months. Sometimes I’m amazed at the things we’ve completed. Other times I’m overwhelmed with what still needs to be done. 🙂
August was spent working on the kitchen. I’m so excited that the cabinets, counters and sink is in! The range will be hooked up soon.
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We’re still a dry house (no incoming water) and likely will be through this winter. People always ask us how we can handle not having running water. Joe loves to respond “But we do. I just run out and get it.” Truthfully Joe does make it very easy on me by making sure I always have enough water in the house.
A few more weeks and the kitchen should be mostly put together.
Last month I told you about the six new babies we had. I was actually able to decrease our herd a bit and sold Pepper and her baby plus Cookie and two of her triplets. I kept the 3rd triplet. The 3rd triplet was very tiny and I guess Cookie decided she wasn’t gong to make it so she stopped feeding her.
We enlisted one of our goats that is in milk, Sheba, to be the tiny goats wet nurse.
Sheba has now decided she sort of likes the baby and lets her sleep next to her. The tiny goat is growing so much she’s as big as the other babies now. At one point we weren’t sure she’d make it and now she is thriving for sure.
After decreasing the herd we’re down to 5 does, 3 babies, the 2 bucks and a wether. It’s a much more manageable amount. We plan to get rid of 1 more baby in the near future.
Our chickens are doing great. It is wonderful to have fresh eggs again. Right now we have 5 laying with 11 that should be starting in the next month or so. Of course, with winter on the way egg production could be a little limited.
We still have the chickens in a tractor. Getting a coop or figuring out some sort of winter housing is high on our list.
Our poor garden has been attacked by voles. Those little varmints love taking bites out of the tomatoes and beans. We think we have the holes plugged up to keep them out but we’ve thought that before. They are too smart!
The garden is down at our neighbors house. Joe waters it every morning on his way to work and we take turns doing the evening watering and care. We’re getting tomatoes and beans out of it. We’re hopeful that the squash and cucumbers will have time to grow before the first frost. I’m not sure…
I planted several rows of greens to get a fall harvest and for some reason nothing came up. I’m not sure if I can blame the voles for this or just what happened.
We’re on our school year schedule. We homeschool year around but my husbands schedule changes based on when public school is in session.
We’re still adapting a bit to the new schedule.
Here’s how it looks now…
Joe gets up way too early (no later than 4 am) and does basic chores like watering the goats and chickens, giving hay to the goats, bringing in water (remember, we’re a dry cabin) and making coffee (very important). He leaves for work a few minutes before 5 and waters our garden on the way.
I get up between 6 and 6:30, dress in my “farm” clothes, take the dogs out and do some basic house chores and work at one or both jobs until around 8:30.
The boy gets up between 7:30 and 8. He has a light snack (bread with peanut butter, yogurt, etc) since he’s a growing boy and wakes up starving.
At 8:30 we go out to do the milking (we’re milking 3 goats right now. 2 twice a day and 1 once a day), feed the chickens and the dogs. Joe gets home around that time (he has a split shift).
We clean up from milking and either Joe or I will make breakfast. This is my favorite part of our school-time schedule. Eating a nice, hot breakfast together.
After breakfast, I get a shower and dress for the day while Joe tidies up the kitchen. I started trying to wear something other than my well worn farm clothes during the day-time about a year ago. I’ve found it really helps me feel more professional and I don’t feel the need to hide when someone stops by.
I may need to do a quick dinner prep then it’s back to work for me, house chore time for the boy (he’ll move on to his schoolwork after chores are completed, more on this to follow) and Joe will work on some miscellaneous project until around 11 when he returns to work.
Around 1 the boy and I will take a break for lunch and a short walk then it’s back to work/school.
Usually school is done by about 3:30 so we’ll take a short break. I’ll do some stretching and dinner prep as needed. The boy is often playing outside during this time.
I work some more until Joe gets home around 5:30. He’ll change and then we take a family walk. It’s usually only 20 to 30 minutes but it makes a nice time to catch up.
The evenings are less structured. We may have dinner after the walk or we may put it off a bit and do something that needs done. Sometimes that is working on the house (usually for Joe) and sometimes it’s working on the for-pay jobs. At some point, we do have dinner (together) which is followed by cleaning up and evening chores.
I often work for a bit more in the evening. Keeping up with a full time (contract) job, part-time job and blogging puts me on the computer several hours every day. Joe may finish up a project, with the boy’s help, then hop in the shower. Or he might just hop in the shower and then relax watching a movie with the boy.
Around 9 we start to wind down. Joe reads aloud to the boy every night. This has been a tradition since he was a baby (the boy, not Joe). Right now they are reading the Little House series. They are both loving it!
We try to get to bed by 9:30. I usually can’t wait for bed and my book. I have a Kindle Unlimited membership and really take advantage of it. Most of the books are by independent authors and some are not wonderful but for the most part I’ve been pleased with the membership. If a book isn’t very good I just quit reading and move on to something else. Easy enough. I read a lot of mystery and action/adventure style books. Lots of those available in Kindle Unlimited.
Joe reads real books. 🙂 Right now he’s reading Open Season by C.J. Box. He is enjoying it but by the end of the day he doesn’t read more than a few pages before he’s out.
Daily Work Assignments
We’re trying a few new things this year for homeschool. The biggest change has been me taking a few minutes each day to right out the plans for the day in the boy’s notebook. I purchased several spiral notebooks to use for school and personal. One of those notebooks is now marked Daily Work Assignments.
Each morning, I list out the boys chores (like pick up your room and make your bed, etc.), then I list the assignments we’ll do for the day.
I go through the Brainquest workbook we’re using ( I like this workbook for the most part but skip some lessons or plan on a discussion when I don’t quite agree with the teaching. There are Brainquest items for older children that I really do not like, especially the science.) and pick out lessons from the different sections. Depending on other plans for the day this could be 3 lessons or several more. He does these somewhat independently with me available to help.
In addition to the math in Brainquest, we do an online program. We’ve been using CTC Math for a couple of years and love it. It is not common core aligned and so easy to follow and understand. He does 1 to 3 lessons a day on CTC Math. We also use an additional online reading program. It’s mostly games. He spends about 30 minutes a day on this.
He spends 15 minutes each day reading aloud from a book of his choice. While his reading is steadily improving, he still struggles. The reading aloud has helped immensely. Some days the 15 minutes goes well past that as he is flipping through and reading different things. As I’m typing this he’s reading from Disasters at Sea. The book is his favorite and has been read so many times it is falling apart.
One day a week we do an online science lesson. We use Mystery Science for this. I do these with him so we can discuss and the activities are fun for both of us. 🙂
While we do have workbooks and structured lessons we try to keep things fun. Some days the schedule will be interrupted and something fun will come up. Like yesterday. UPS brought something over that just happened to be contained in the perfect sized box to turn into a small “box fort.”
The beauty of the Daily Work Assignments is if we don’t finish and check something off, we can move it to the next day. He had finished his workbook items and his reading before UPS arrived so the few other things on the list were simply moved to today.
He also spends time playing each day.
Inside play includes LEGOS, blocks, drawing, etc. We often listen to a short recorded book during this time (I’m working while he’s playing). We’re listening to Tales from Shakespeare for young readers right now.
We also try for some sort of music and/or craft class each week. Sometimes he’ll go to a neighbor’s house for crafts or woodshop or a craft kid from Green Kids Crafts (this is always a project done with Dad) or we’ll take a YouTube lesson on playing the Ocarina.
We’re looking at joining a local homeschool co-op one day per week if we can fit that in the schedule. And that is a big IF.
How was your August? Has your schedule changed?
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