Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Senior Citizen Coop

External shot of progress

Cedric's retirement home is coming along.  If you missed it, Cedric is our crippled rooster.  He is one of our original crew when we started chickens 3 1/2 years ago.  He is a good boy and a good rooster.  Most of all he is my son's pet so culling him is not an option right now.  He injured his leg a little over a year ago (or more?) and just never really recovered.  He gimps pretty bad but still manages to get around.  Jumping in and out of our current coop is really wearing on him and he just really isn't producing many fertile eggs these days. 

Internal shot looking out towards nesting boxes

Back of coop and roost

Wonderful nesting boxes

This coop will allow him a smaller area to move around and hopefully not so high to get in and out of the coop.  Closer to the ground would have been perfect but then there would be no shelter so it was a toss up.  We went with creating a shelter under the coop as low as possible.  I think it will be a little better.  He doesn't really walk up and down the ramps well so he chooses to hop/jump in and out which can be pretty stressful to him.   We'll put some hens in with him so he won't be lonely and can still be a rooster, just on a smaller scale.

Loving these egg boxes

We have had schedule and weather challenges with more rain coming in the next few days.  Hopefully we can get it completed by this weekend.  We shall see.  I really need to start moving some of the chickens around.  We are overpopulated in roosters again due to the upcoming babies and juveniles.  Three of the ones we hatched are probably all roosters, now it looks like about 2 of the 3 that we got for momma #2  will be roosters, and of course we now know Sir Galahad is also a roo.  Oh my!!  That gives us a total of 8 roosters!!  Definitely not gonna work!  One of our hatch babies, Kristoff, is an absolute sweety and my buddy so I will find a way to keep him.

BRIGHT neon type green, oh my!

It's coming along slowly but surely

We still have Sweet Pea whom I intend to make our main rooster in the big coop and run if he will behave himself.  He has lived in the mini coop for so long with such little interaction with me I am nto sure how he will behave when he gets out.  Another of the hatch babies, Olaf, is so big and beautiful I would love to see him help Sweet Pea in the main coop if they can get along?  I will prob put Kristoff and his brother/sister (not sure if roo or hen yet), in with Cedric in hopes that might possibly work because Kristoff is so docile righ now.

As usual, never a dull moment in the chicken yard and always lots to do.  Will have more updates coming when we complete this project.  May you be richly blessed and enjoy your day.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra REVIEW

No-Nonsense Algebra
It seems you can never get too much help in the math department so when I had the chance to review No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials, I jumped at the chance.  My 8th grader is set to start Algebra this fall.  I took Algebra when I was in 8th grade and it dawned on me that this is a year ahead of time!  Oh no, I thought I messed up but his current math program covers pre-algebra for his 7th grade math so we should be okay.  Also, now that I know we have this book available to us we will be just fine. The author, Richard W. Fisher is an award-winning math teacher with a proven system that produces fantastic results.

The current math program we are using has short videos as the lesson and No-Nonsense Algebra is much the same.  It is basically a textbook (not a workbook) that has 10 chapters of lessons that include:
  • Necessary Tools for Algebra
  • Solving Equations
  • Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
  • Solving and Graphing Inequalities
  • Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Polynomials
  • Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
  • Radical Expressions and Geometry
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra Word Problems
The lessons begin with an introduction that includes helpful hints on the subject followed by examples and then some practice problems. Each chapter ends with a review section to help solidify what was learned.  Almost every topic has a corresponding video lesson to also teach the concept (there is supposed to be a video for every lesson but we found a few to be missing). The FREE videos are accessed online with an access code that is given to you when you purchase the book.  There is a final review (comprehensive test) at the end of the book as well as answers to all the problems, a glossary, important formulas, important symbols, and various other helps (multiplication table, commonly used prime numbers, squared and square roots, and fraction/decimal equivalents).

Math Essentials Final Cut from Richard Fisher on Vimeo.

The approach taken is a systematic approach that allows the teaching to flow from one concept to the next in a very logical sequence. This book can be used in various ways.  It can be your sole stand alone program or you can use it as a supplement to a program you are already using or even as a review text to be sure that your student has mastered all of the algebra concepts.

Since we have a current program that works well with my son we chose to use this as a supplement and a review for concepts he has already learned in pre-algebra.  Our current homeschool schedule for summer is 3 days a week and this has worked well in working through this text.  He likes that the video lessons are fairly short (approximately 10 min each - some a little shorter some a minute or two longer) and that the lessons include helpful hints.  I was even able to use some of the helpful hint concepts with a 7th grader I homeschool and they were helpful for her.  The entire first chapter is dedicated to reviewing pre-algebra concepts so it has been a good review for my son.

Sample snip from a video lesson

We plan to continue using this as a supplemental text as he moves on to Algebra in a few weeks.  I would definitely recommend this book for anyone needing a quick review of pre-algebra concepts, needing to solidify their Algebra or even just needing a full Algebra curriculum.  This text can rise to the task and you will not be disappointed in the results it can bring.  I have learned from experience with my son that curriculum that is bogged down with endless lessons and practice questions does not make for a better source of teaching.  Short, concise and to the point gets it done with less pain to the student and I think they learn and retain the material much better.

Math Essentials

You can connect with Math Essentials on FACEBOOK. Also be sure to check out their website for more math books and helps.

Please take the time to check out the other reviews on this text book through the banner below.

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Meet Sir Galahad

Well, it's official.  Ebony has been dubbed Sir Galahad!  He started crowing the other day and there is no doubt he is a rooster.  Oh boy.  Don't need/want any more roosters.  Hoping that he will remain docile enough with the other rooster(s) so he can stay.  He certainly is a handsome one.  He seems really laid back but he is still pretty young.  I think around 6 months or so now.  Time will tell.  I'll keep y'all updated :).

I am back to a rooster dilemma again. We are currently building a retirement home for Cedric, my top rooster who is quite disabled.  He still think he rules the roost but he has such a hard time getting up and down out of the coop and getting around due to a serious unknown leg injury about a year ago.  He is now just 3 1/2 years old but has been through so much.  He will have his own coop and run area along with about 4-5 hens I choose to stay with him.  It may well be that Sir Galahad becomes a roomie too.  We shall see.  How do you handle rooster overpopulation?
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