Sunday, January 4, 2009

Keeping The Brain Warm in The Winter

At this time of year, things on the homestead are slow. Activities are limited to the occasional outdoor project, but, mostly left to keeping the animals fed and watered. The watering part was a challenge just a week ago, keeping the ice off the tanks was difficult. The ice accumulation lessens the actual amount of water in the tank and frozen hoses make it a challenge to refill them.

Much time is devoted to cutting firewood. Something that I seem to be behind on all the time. Every year, at this time, I should be cutting for next year's supply. Instead, I am always cutting to stay on top of the current burning season. One of these days, I will prevail and surmount that obstacle. (I can almost hear my wife chuckling at that.) In my last post, I wrote about a friend of ours that helped out in that regard. I plan to use that as a springboard for next season's supply. (Is that my wife chuckling again?)

So, with the slowness of activity here, I try to write about other things that are important to us. This is mostly our faith and homeschooling. With the occasional anecdote or tall tail. I purposely want things slow in the winter. I grew up in Wisconsin and knew many folks that were "married" to their dairy farms, 365 days a year. And, though I love the rural, homestead lifestyle, we want to have time for other things in life, also. So, I plan calving for spring and give the cow a chance for some rest. Which is much healthier for both the calf and the mother, anyway.

With that in mind, I want to share something for all the home school families out there and anyone that is interested in their children's education.

For Christmas, we bought Abigail, our oldest daughter, a Lonpos rectangle game. We love these kinds of games in our home. Quite often, we parents, have more fun with them than the kids. Without T.V. we found these types of games great entertainment and very educational, working on creative thinking, dexterity and critical thinking skills. I work in a public environment in which I see many young people struggle with problem solving skills, something I want to correct with our children.

So, what is a Lonpos rectangle game, you ask? Well, it is a puzzle game that starts with the very easy and progresses to the very difficult. It involves a series of round pieces all connected into various shapes. There are two books with puzzles in them that come with it. You set up the puzzle according to the diagram and fill in the blanks with the remainder. Sounds easy, huh? Trust me, some of these puzzles have taken an hour to figure out, and there is the potential for, literally, thousands of puzzles (you can download more from their web site ). I have to tell you that their website is under construction and many links within it don't work. But, do go and look around and get an idea of what I am trying to describe to you. We have the 101 rectangle puzzle and have had hours of enjoyment from it.

This type of game is what I call an I.Q. game. No, we are not geniuses by any means, but these types of games, which we all enjoy, does keep the mind sharp. That is healthy in itself. We have several of these types of "brainy" games that we all enjoy as a family. Another great website, from which we purchased the brunt of our games, is we love this place.

Another great resource is timberdoodle, both of these sites offer games for kids of all ages and abilities. Timberdoodle goes one step further, offering games for children with Autism and other disabilities. Both are really great sites. Here is a link to Timerdoodle's page with this particular game on it with more info.

I think you'll enjoy these places and games as much as we do. Look around and have fun!

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