A Week In The Life (Give Me A.. T)

August 28, 2016

T for tornadoes.

Indiana was hit hard this week, we had 5 tornadoes touch down pretty much all at the same time in different places spread out through our state. If that wasn’t enough, we were awoken to the sound of sirens going off yet again the next morning; thankfully, no tornadoes this time, but major flooding instead. It was crazy, and lots of homes and businesses were destroyed, but no deaths; if you’ve seen any footage,that is an amazing thing.

Besides being a stormy week, we did manage to add a bit more lessons into our days. Especially, now that our garden is about done. As Sky likes to say:”winter is coming”. So that means, so are more lessons.🙂

Little Sis started her own blog this week, which I will write more about under language arts, and inspired me to want to write my first monthly book wrap-up for the month of August. There really is so much more to me than being a homeschooling mom.

It is kind of funny though, while helping Little Sis edit her blog posts, I discovered we really do have a lot more in common that what I thought. She writes a lot like I do, and loves lists, even though her interests differ from mine. I can write all day about books the same way she can write about makeup, and how Sky can talk about movies (Maybe, she should start her own YouTube channel.).

Anyway, I read 6 books in the month of August, well one I will have finished before the beginning of September; I’m halfway through it as of now.

I read: Rebecca by  Daphne du Maurier, Horns by Joe Hill, Room by Emma Donoghue, At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen, Nightwoods by Charles Frazier, and Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (at least I am far enough to know how I feel about this book).

I’ve already wrote details about what I thought of each of these books in other posts from this month, so I won’t really go into a whole lot more here. I will say which ones were my favorites though, if you could not already guess.

I do like to shake up my reading by choosing books from different authors and genres. I like to glean from various writing styles. You can learn from all of them, even if they are bad. I do tend to stay far away from romance though. It’s just not me.

So, my favorites books from the month are: Rebecca and Room. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy both of these stories, I thought the writing was brilliant. These are not just my favorite August reads, but will most likely be added to my favorites list from the year, as well as to my all time favorite reads list. It will be interesting to read Room again farther down the road, to see if the writing will still hold up for me over time.

In second place is: At the Water’s Edge, and Circling the Sun. Both of these stories are really good, and I have enjoyed learning about Beryl Markham. I probably will not read them again, but I am interested in reading more from these authors. I do recommend them.

Lastly is: Horns and Nightwoods. I really don’t want to write more negative complaints about these stories. I didn’t like them, some people might. Unless, you can really tell someone didn’t give their best effort (I have read books like this before too), I don’t like to put other people’s work down (if you don’t like 50 Shades of Grey, then don’t read it). These authors worked hard on these stories, their writing style just isn’t for me.

Homeschooling

Language Arts

Reading:

Yes, we are still reading: The Scorpio Races. We also read: What Are the Summer Olympics? This was a really good summery about the history of the Summer Olympic games. I actually learned a lot from it.

WP_20160824_12_36_16_Pro

Writing:

I mentioned Little Sis’s blog up above. She asked me if I would help her start one, and I said sure. It’s called Glitter N Glam and all about Little Sis’s favorite things. She takes all the pictures and writes it all herself. I just help with minor editing.

https://vftblog.wordpress.com/blog/

So here is the thing, a lot of parents ask: “How can I get my child to write?”. The number one answer, is to not make them.

Writing does not become that important until high school. Then, they will need to learn how to write essays. Until then, let them write about whatever they want.

Sky writes fan fiction, and she leaves comments on YouTube videos. Before that, the girls played Animal Jam and Minecraft. At some point, there will come a time when they will want to know how to write, especially if they want to text. That is when you pull out your resources on grammar and punctuation. That is when you help them learn how to write.

One of the things that I have learned as a homeschooling mom, is spelling will either come naturally, or not. We have done spelling tests, I add subtitles on the television, and we read a lot. I have one excellent speller, and one not so much, regardless of what I do. However, by letting the one use the computer or tablet to look up words on her own, because *she* really wants to learn, has helped a lot. She wants to go to college, she understands what she needs to do to get there. I don’t need to push her. I need to help her find what way works best for her.

I am better at expressing myself through writing, writing comes naturally to me. I have one child that is better expressing herself orally. Only society has chosen one to be the superior. Expecting everyone to be good at everything will eventually take its toll. I mean, even presidents need speech writers.

Health/ Nutrition

We watched and discussed: How the food you eat affects your brain – Mia Nacamulli…TED-Ed~ YouTube,

The Five Food Groups- SicShow Kids~ YouTube,

The Deal with Carbs – SciShow~ YouTube,

The Deal with Protein – SciShow~ YouTube,

and What Makes Muscles Grow- TED-Ed~ YouTube.

P.E.

Besides swimming, which we had to cut short because of the storms, Little Sis started Cheer this week. She really likes it a lot. This is not a homeschooling league. The school girls in her division, doesn’t even know she is homeschooled.

History/ Geography

American:

I printed off Indiana cover sheets for their American history timeline notebooks,

 

WP_20160826_10_51_56_Pro

and a color page of President Benjamin Harrison.

WP_20160826_10_52_10_Pro

We watched two short videos about him, and the girls added notes.

Disney The American Presidents: Benjamin Harrison – YouTube,

and #23 Benjamin Harrison YouTube.

We also watched: Geography Now! Brazil – YouTube.

The Arts

We watched Disney’s animated movie:Snow White,

and Sky is illustrating a version of Little Red Riding Hood.

WP_20160824_00_15_25_Pro

WP_20160824_00_15_52_Pro

Hoping for a less stormy week.

Peace for the journey.

A Week In The Life (Hoosier Hospitality)

August 24, 2016

I really miss writing my blog on Fridays. That usually was our free day, and I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to write about.

Like most writers, I carry a lot of information around inside my mind, and I need to write it out or I will dwell on it to death. My insomnia has gotten worse since perimenopause, so I don’t need added thoughts lingering around in my mind. Writing my blog on Friday, also allowed for me to put our school week , along with any other thoughts, to bed.

Now, we go swimming on Fridays, which we enjoy very much, but leaves me no time for writing. The weekends are busy catching up with Papa, and I have a hard time writing on Monday, because my brain has switched over to a whole new week, and I’ve forgotten everything I wanted to write about (because, I needed to put all my focus on the new week).

I like keeping a blog for several reasons. One, it helps me to stay focused, or holds me accountable. What did we do all week? Well, I’ll show you.

This also helps me to see if we are doing enough, and points out any weaknesses. Every year, when I look at past posts, I am constantly amazed at how much we accomplish. I also like the idea, especially when we first started out homeschooling, of having a record of our lessons if ever the need should arise. Before WordPress, I used Myspace (does that give away how long I’ve been homeschooling.🙂 ).

Two, I will be using my blog posts to write Sky’s transcript. Since I’ve chosen to educate Sky differently than traditional school (because, I can never do anything that is “normal”), I need to keep track of what she has completed to give her credits.

So in other words, not writing, is not an option. I’m sure I will figure something out, I usually do.

Did I mention Little Sis starts cheer this week?

In other news, we harvested the rest of our garden. We actually had to go buy more Ball jars to hold all our tomato sauce. I think we had a good year. Honestly though, I am kind of glad it is all coming to an end (with the exception of apples, and pumpkins); I am ready to reap the rewards.

Home-school

Language Arts

Reading:

We are still reading: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and are really enjoying it. Sky loves her writing. “I can visually see everything she is writing about. I also like how real the characters are.” I really wish I waited to read the Raven Cycle with them; maybe we can fit it in next summer. I don’t mind reading them again.

Sky has been writing and illustrating her own story. Using mythology, it is about a fallen angel.

As for myself, I finished: At the Water’s Edge by by Sara Gruen. I really liked this book. It kept my interest, and I was truly interested in the characters. I love historical fiction anyway. If the plot line doesn’t hold my interest so much (kind of like Frog Music), the historical aspects usually keep me reading. This story was a win, win.

I wish I could say the same for Nightwoods by Charles Frazier. I will say, this is my first time reading Frazier; I have not read, nor seen Cold Mountain.

Okay, I am all for beautifully written prose; one of the reasons why I like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. However, when it takes two pages to explain tomatoes, or a tree, or anything that is not relevant to the plot development , my mind wonders. I caught myself several times watching television instead of reading the book. I literally had to force myself to finish it, because it was under 300 pages and I was already halfway through the book; it was not worth it. I was so disappointed with the ending. The characters were bland, everything was bland, except the prose. I don’t know if I want to give Cold Mountain a try. My “to be read” list, is already longer than my lifespan.🙂

I am reading Circling the Sun by Paula McLain now.

 

WP_20160814_12_58_55_Pro

(Yes, this is the same photo as last week. Well, because nothing changed.)

Heath/Nutrition:

We finished chapter four of: The Way We Work. Sky took a test on the digestive system, and everyone is glad to be done with that.🙂

WP_20160815_14_28_17_Pro

(Using What’s Inside You for Little Sis)

We watched:

The Digestive System (National Geographic 5 mins video) from Inside the Human Body- YouTube

Why Is My Poop Green?, and What’s the Best Position for Pooping? from SciShow- YouTube.

Yes, we went there.

P.E.:

Besides swimming, the girls had homeschool gym.

WP_20160816_15_00_53_Pro

(Little Sis’s team deciding where to hide the flag, for capture the flag.)

American History/ Geography:

We watched: Indiana Weekend – Episode 20 “Hoosier Roadtrips” – YouTube

Then, in honor of it being Benjamin Harrison’s birthday, they gave free tours of his home and birthday cake.

WP_20160820_13_29_08_Pro

WP_20160820_13_29_37_Pro

WP_20160820_14_14_13_Pro

WP_20160820_13_37_08_Pro

(Photo of Harrison by T.C. Steele)

WP_20160820_13_55_56_Pro

We also watched Disney’s Frozen and The Nanny movies(because, I am on a Bette Davis kick).

Peace for the journey.

Week In the Life (Sixty Pounds of Tomatoes, and What Do You Get?)

August 15, 2016

A stiff back, that’s what.

Over the weekend, Papa and I gathered all the ripe Roma tomatoes off their vines and made sauce. If you are interested, 60 pounds of tomatoes makes about 13 jars of tomato sauce.

WP_20160814_12_53_53_Pro

If everything goes right, we should be able to get at least 30 jars from our plants this year (judging by the rest of the crop that is left). That should last us until next year. So note to self, 20 Roma tomato plants are the perfect amount.

We also harvested most of our potatoes.

WP_20160813_15_05_15_Pro

Not bad, Papa was hoping for more. They did however, fill a 25 pound box.

We are trying to decide if we want to add a few raised beds to grow our broccoli and peppers in, and plant only potatoes at the top of the hill next year. Our broccoli is not quite finished yet, but getting close. So far, we’ve managed to fill 4 gallon size bags. We would like to plant twice as much next year; which would be about 14 plants. To plant more would mean, we would need more space.

We are for sure, going to add one raised bed to grow raspberries next year. So, I guess we will just figure it out then.

So let’s see, that makes: garlic, tomato sauce, frozen strawberries, strawberry jam, frozen broccoli, potatoes, green and jalapeno peppers from our garden to help get us through the winter. Check.

From the help of local farmers: frozen corn, frozen peaches, peach jam, frozen blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries to get us through the winter. Check.

I think all that’s left is apples; which we just happened to purchase our first 5 pound bag of Ginger Gold over the weekend. I see applesauce and apple butter in our near future.

Homeschool

Language Arts

Reading:

We are still reading: The Scorpio Races. The girls are enjoying it so far; it is another perfect novel for summer.

We also watched The Little Prince animated movie on Netflix. We liked it okay. I thought the first half of the movie was great; the second half went a little off track for me. Though, I actually was thinking about why the creators of this movie might have taken the story in the direction they did. I have always thought that The Little Prince was a fairy-tale for grown-ups to read. I think the message can get lost on children. Maybe, the creators wanted to make the message clear for all ages. It will still always be one of my favorite stories.

I finished Room by Emma Donoghue. Wow, is all I can say about this novel. I have read some complaints, that people don’t like that the story is told from a five-year-old’s point of view, I beg to differ. I thought, telling the story from Jack’s perspective was brilliant.

I think it would have been too easy to relate to Ma’s struggle from her point of view. In fact, many of us have battled our own demons and understand quite well how that feels; but to experience Ma’s struggles through a five-year-old, gave me a completely different perspective. One that, we are not able to see when going through those same struggles. Sometimes, I wish we were able to see things from a child’s point of view.

I also watched the movie, heart-wrenching.

So, to read something completely different, Room is one of those novels that will stay with you a very long time, I am reading: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen. I am not usually big on historical romance stories, but I needed cheese. However, this story really surprised me. I wouldn’t really call it a romance story, but more of a historical coming-of-age story. I will probably finish it tonight. I mean, I don’t need sleep.

WP_20160814_12_58_55_Pro

Health/Nutrition :

We watched:What Really Causes Sunburns by PBS Gross Science- YouTube.

P.E.

More swimming.

The girls created their own movie theatre.

WP_20160812_20_54_50_Pro

Not to sound like a broken record, but this is why children need to have time for themselves. Yes, academics, and even real socialization ( not forced assimilation) are extremely important, but so is creativity.

We’ve pretty much had the whole swimming pool to ourselves these last couple of weeks, and they open after school hours. Which is cool, my laps have been getting faster. I also find this a bit sad too, I mean it is still summer. If you didn’t know, a heatwave hit the Midwest. Yet, instead of being able to cool down in the pool, the children here have been stuck at school.

Then, while walking to the pool, from the parking lot, we can see the children having football practice. After this, I’m sure it is dinner, homework, and to bed, just to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Oh, and I’m not talking about high school students here.

When do children ever get to be bored? It is no wonder when children do have a little free time, they want to spend it on-line or watching television. ( I am not anti “screen-time” by the way.) It would drive me insane, and I’m an adult.

Oh well, the only thing I can do, is give my children a little time to grow in.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) In The Life (Bicentennial)

August 9, 2016

I had something that I was going to start my post with; whatever it was, it’s gone now. That pretty much sums up perimenopause for me. That, and lots of hot flashes.

The girls get frustrated that they can’t interrupt me when I’m on a mission. This morning while making granola, Little Sis asked if I could cut her bangs; while talking with her, I put the peanut butter in the refrigerator, then couldn’t find it later.  Quite frankly, it stinks.

So, I guess I will just start writing about our garden and see where that goes.

Our Roma tomatoes are really starting to turn red now.

WP_20160805_14_52_59_Pro

I’ve already made my first batch of tomato sauce. From now until all the tomatoes have been harvested, I pretty much will have a pot on the stove simmering making sauce, weekly. I’ve already made some spaghetti and pizza sauce to store. I am also thinking of making some tomato soup for the winter. I already have some homemade chicken noodle soup put back.

I was able to harvest some more broccoli too.

My neighbor asked how I make my tomato sauce, so I thought I would post how to do it here, and who knows I may need to refer to it some day.

Step one: cut a small x with a sharp knife at the bottom of the tomatoes.

Step 2: in a large stockpot, add water (about 2/3’s full) and bring it to a rolling boil.

Step 3: fill a large bowl with ice water.

Step 4: add tomatoes, about 6 at a time, into the boiling water. When you see the tomato skin start to split, after about 30 seconds, take the tomatoes out, and place them in the ice water. After a few seconds, skins should peel right off.

Step 5: cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds, this doesn’t need to be perfect.

Step 6: place skinned, and seeded tomatoes into another pan, along with a little salt and pepper.

Step 7: once all the tomatoes are ready, place pan on the burner and bring it to a boil. Once the tomatoes come to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer, about medium low, and cook until the water, from the tomatoes has evaporated, and the sauce has begun to thicken. This will take a few hours. Once sauce is condensed to your liking, turn off burner and allow it to cool.

Step 8: add cooled sauce to a blender, blend until smooth.

Step 9: pour sauce into freezer safe jars and freeze until ready to use.

It’s been a few years now that we have moved away from store bought canned foods. Now, with me making my own granola ,and pancake mix we hardly buy boxed foods. I even make my own Balsamic vinaigrette for salads.

Since we’ve changed our diet for Papa’s heart, we’ve cut our red meat consumption down to once a week. Now, we eat lots of grilled or baked fish and chicken.

Besides salads, our other favorite summer meals are tuna burgers, and grilled chicken sandwiches. I always make a double batch of both, and freeze them individually to have on hand for quick meals. This also makes it handy for Little Sis, when she might need a substitute for dinner (the tuna burgers).

WP_20160808_13_51_48_Pro

(Grilled chicken marinade: 1/4 cup water, 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 cup low sodium tamari. Place 3-4 pounded, skinless chicken breast halves in marinade for at least 1 hour. Grill until no longer pink. Place grilled chicken on a cookie sheet, that has been covered with wax paper, and freeze overnight. Store in freezer bags for quick sandwiches. These are also great for salads. You can do the same with cooked tuna burgers.

Another favorite summer snack is a mozzarella cheese stick, or a sliver of mozzarella cheese, and grape tomatoes.🙂

Homeschool

Language Arts:

Reading:

We started The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. So far, we are enjoying it.

I found Little Sis a pen pal. Sky had twins for her pen pals, and actually got to meet them, about this age and I thought it would be fun for Little Sis to have some.

I finished the book Rebecca and loved it. Even though I knew the plot twist from watching the movie, the book was a bit different and still held an element of surprise. I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it.

I read Horns by Joe Hill next. I was curious how good of a writer Stephen King’s son was. I am not one to compare styles; I judge the artist as an individual, and how their work appeals to me. With that being said, I can see how Hill could appeal to the younger audience. I am thinking a mature YA horror author. The story wasn’t bad, I personally just didn’t care for it.

At first, I thought the whole idea of the story was awesome. A boy grows horns to find out who killed his girlfriend (This isn’t spoilers, the story literally starts this way.). The first half held my attention; once the backstory started though, I started losing interest. I just didn’t like the novel’s pacing. We literally find out who the killer is fairly early, then need to tread through lots of flashbacks before the conclusion. I feel this interrupted the flow of the novel. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

I am reading Room now by Emma Donoghue, and am halfway through. Oh my, what a brilliant idea to tell the story from the 5- year-old boy’s perspective. I’ll give my final thoughts after I’ve finished. (So far, I am really enjoying it.)

WP_20160807_16_41_20_Pro

Health:

Continuing: The Way We Work, and we watched: How To Choose A Sunscreen from TedEd- YouTube.

WP_20160803_14_09_36_Pro

P.E. Besides swimming, the girls attended home-school gym.

American History:

Indiana is celebrating its bicentennial this year, and with our Governor Mike Pence running for Vice President, I thought it would be a good time to learn the history of our state. So, that will be our theme heading into our fall schedule, leading us into Sky’s Civics credit.

We finished the series: Hoosiers: The Story of Indiana that ran on our local PBS station.

Geography:

We have been watching the summer Olympics when we can. Yesterday’s women cycling was brutal (what a horrible tragedy), but the girls have been enjoying the swimming competitions. We also learned there is a northern country in Africa called Tunsia.

Sky went ahead and purchased The Shinning movie for her collection, she also bought the original Poltergeist movie that we watched. We watched Disney’s animated version of Alice in Wonderland too.

Well, I think that is about it. I am sure I’m missing something, but I didn’t write it down, so….

peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“Summer, It Turns Me Upside Down” *)

July 26, 2016

Well, if you live along the east-coast, or in the Midwest, you are aware of the heatwave we are experiencing. Which sucks, yes; however, it is just the middle of summer, and summer here has been pretty mild thus far.

I do feel so sorry for all the children getting ready to head back to school this week. They don’t really get to experience much of the thrills of summer at all.

I could mention, again how this is another wonderful benefit of homeschooling; being able to set our own schedule, that works best for our family. How educating year-round, allows us time to enjoy the best each season has to offer. However, I’m just not feeling it right now.

My brain instead, is thinking about how little of childhood future generations will actually get to experience, and how this might end for them later on down the road. Mental illness is already a big problem right now, how will taking away more and more of children’s play time add to this problem?

When Sky was of age to start Kindergarten, a bill was passed in our district for mandatory all-day Kindergarten. Now, I have been following the fight for mandatory all-day preschool. “If we can just start educating them earlier……., Early education……..” As any homeschooler could tell you, early education is not the problem. Earlier, does not automatically mean better.

Personally, all I am hearing is how I am not capable of helping my child learn their ABCs, numbers, and colors, so I need the government to step in to do it for me. Which I then question, why would I want to send my children to the same system, that I graduated from, that left me incapable of helping my child learn those things?!

This blog alone, proves otherwise. Not only am I capable of helping my children learn to read, I am capable of educating them through high-school. However for the sake of argument, let us pretend this blog doesn’t exist.

My grandmother didn’t finish 8th grade. She took care of me while my parents worked, until I graduated from 8th grade. How she raised me, pretty much resembles what a Waldorf Kindergarten looks like.

Our days revolved around a “rhythm”, or a schedule. Through everyday play (she had very few toys, forcing me to use my imagination), watching Sesame Street, and my grandma spending time with me playing games, working puzzles, and answering any questions I might have had (before Google), I learned to read before I started Kindergarten. I remember, how I was one of a few in my class, that already knew how to spell my whole name (and my maiden name is not an easy one to spell. I’m of Belgian descent ). My grandmother, was capable of helping me learn my ABCs, numbers, and colors. Of course I should mention, my dad always read to me a lot too.🙂

Maybe, instead of making preschool mandatory, and pushing early education, we should put more of our focus toward building up the family. Maybe, we should take a deeper look at why parents don’t have the time to raise their children. Maybe, the problem is a lot more complicated, and has nothing at all to do with education. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty wrong with our school system, I just don’t think children needing to learn at an earlier age is going to be the solution.

Speaking of education,

Homeschool

Language Arts

Reading:

We have kind of been in a reading slump lately. I have a list of what we need to read, but during summer I like to pick out fun reads. The girls haven’t been to enthusiastic with the fairy-tale adaptation stories I’ve been picking out lately. They sure are tough critics.

My personal opinion, is that life is too short, and there are way too many books to keep reading one you’re not enjoying. I don’t hesitate for a second when giving a book the ax.

All this to explain that we just finished the right book, at the right time. We read the graphic novel: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. We loved it, and we highly recommend it.

As for myself, I didn’t read Mudwomen after all. Instead, I took advantage of Amazon Prime day and purchased on Kindle: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (that I am halfway through now), and A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin, which I have already finished.

A Kiss Before Dying is the perfect “summer read”. Of course, it is a bit dated, and I was a bit peeved at the typical 50’s female stereotype. Other than that, it was a fun thriller to read.

Rebecca though, fits in perfectly with my “haunted” reads. I’ve seen the Hitchcock movie, so I know the surprise twist ending. I am, still enjoying all the foreshadowing that the movie just doesn’t quite capture. It has been added to my favorites list (that just keeps growing). I can’t wait to read The Birds.

WP_20160718_23_13_13_Pro

Science, Biology, Health and Nutrition, and Culinary Arts:

I think I will start with SciShow’s video:10 Things We Didn’t Know 100 Years Ago – YouTube. Which is a perfect example of how knowledge builds upon knowledge.

We read the summer issue: Glow-in-the-Dark Animals from Science A-Z – Multilevel Science News Articles for Kids. We tried the doodle art experiment, and was able to recall the whole list that we doodled, compared to the list we wrote out.

WP_20160721_12_44_56_Pro

Of course, this opens up a whole new can of worms for me, on how our evolving brain registers images, and remembers best. Which makes me wonder if right brain, visual learners are the majority. Yet again, out-dating our current school system. This is an experiment, I would love to dip my hands into.

We also watched an exclusive video: First “Glowing” Sea Turtle Found, over at National Geographic.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150928-sea-turtles-hawksbill-glowing-biofluorescence-coral-reef-ocean-animals-science150928-sea-turtles-hawksbill-glowing-biofluorescence-coral-reef-ocean-animals-science/

While reading along with: The Way We Work, we watched TedEd Videos:

What does the liver do? – Emma Bryce,

What does the pancreas do? – Emma Bryce,

How do your kidneys work? – Emma Bryce,

and What would happen if you didn’t drink water? – Mia Nacamulli – YouTube.

We also watched: SciShow’s How Much Water Should You Drink video-YouTube.

Little Sis and I made Chia Pudding from her vegetarian book, using chocolate almond milk. It was delicious. We plan on making more, trying different flavors of milk.

Since on the subject of making, we harvested more of our broccoli and blanched it to store in our freezer.

WP_20160716_17_38_43_Pro

We ended up with two and a half gallon freezer bags full.

We purchased our annual 60 ears of corn, to blanch and store in our freezer too.

WP_20160723_12_32_26_Pro

Our grape tomatoes are beginning to ripen.

WP_20160722_11_33_57_Pro

Salads have moved from side dish status, to the main course.

We have been harvesting a few jalapeno, and green peppers as well.

WP_20160717_12_06_27_Pro

I made a big batch of tortillas, and scrambled eggs mixed with jalapeno, green peppers, and onions for quick breakfast burritos. With our days still being filled with lots of swimming (where Papa was able to join us this week, P.E.), quick, hardy breakfasts and dinners (salads topped with grilled chicken, boiled egg, or quinoa) have been required.

Theater Appreciation (Stage):

We saw the stage version of The Phantom Tollbooth. It was an amazing portrayal of the novel.

WP_20160716_13_50_53_Pro

Little Sis, has been keeping herself busy combining a few of her interests,

WP_20160718_23_14_04_Pro

WP_20160718_23_14_25_Pro

WP_20160718_23_14_41_Pro

and summer is the time to catch up on watching movies just for the fun of it. Which brings me to my next point, learning always happens (which fits in perfect if you celebrated Learn Nothing Day😉 ).

So far we’ve watched: The Good Dinosaur (wonderful!),

Big Hero 6 (another hit),

Ant-Man (another movie to add to our Marvel movie collection favorites),

Inside Out (Oh Disney/ Pixar, you’re killing me),

and The Bad Seed.

The last two movies triggered wonderful psychological conversations, where we discussed environmental verses genetic mental illness, along with human emotions and core memories.  Perfect to lead the way for Sky’s psychology course this fall. I think, I will use topics from both movies as ideas for her to write essays about.

Peace for the journey.

*Magic by The Cars

Week(s) In The Life (“Just Keep Swimming” *)

July 15, 2016

So, why does our family need to have a lighter summer homeschooling schedule?  Because, we are SO freaking busy, that’s why.

I think, I am just going to jump right in, like when first arriving at a swimming pool, and see where my brain takes me.

I think I will start with reading, since that is what much of my last post was about.

Language Arts

Reading:

For starters, we finished reading The Phantom Tollbooth. Both of the girls really enjoyed this one a lot. Then, we read Through the Looking Glass.

The girls really liked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass, not so much. I can kind of see why Disney combined the two stories for the animated movie, taking the best from both. We have yet to see Burton’s version of Through the Looking Glass.

I finished reading both The Shining, and its sequel Doctor Sleep. I actually enjoyed Doctor Sleep better. I am reading Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates now.

Reading The Shining, lead us to watching the movie. Sky enjoyed it for its artistic atmosphere. I agree with Stephen King though, that it was a horrible adaptation of the book. I think the movie had every horror movie cliche possible, and I didn’t even find it scary.

We did however, enjoy the Nostalgia Critic’s review of Stephen King’s Miniseries of the same movie. (YouTube)

Since on the subject of films, we also watched the new Poltergeist movie, which we didn’t care too much for either. Sky did really like the movie of the Haunting though.

WP_20160702_13_03_10_Pro

WP_20160705_18_34_01_Pro

Theater Appreciation

Small Screen:

We watched, The Shirley Temple Show: The Little Mermaid. (YouTube)

History

American:

Our local PBS station is airing a 4 part series, Hoosiers: The Story of Indiana, that we have been enjoying.

Science/ Health and Nutrition/ Culinary Arts:

Food! Where to even begin. I guess, I will start with the foods of summer.

We harvested our crop of garlic and have it curing.

WP_20160629_10_52_02_Pro

We also have started harvesting some of our broccoli.

WP_20160712_19_43_04_Pro

So far, everything is doing really good. If I am reading our plants right, we will soon have tomatoes growing out of our ears. Which is a good thing, because last year we didn’t get a very good crop, from all the rain we had. Which means, I didn’t get to jar much tomato sauce.

Speaking of food that is coming out of our ears,

WP_20160629_12_38_09_Pro

I bet you thought it was going to be corn. Well, that will be soon, very soon.

Anyway, for now it’s peaches.

We made jam,

WP_20160702_16_33_04_Pro

and peach crisp with pecans.

WP_20160702_16_35_09_Pro

Peach Pecan Crisp.

(I did cut the sugar and butter from the recipe in half.)

Perfect timing for the 4th of July, where it rained and spoiled our local fireworks, but it did not stop the people on our street from having a dueling show.

WP_20160704_21_53_31_Pro

We just sat back, and enjoyed.🙂

Peaches, I was writing about peaches. After the crisp and jam, we still had plenty left to freeze for smoothies come winter, or more crisp.

WP_20160702_16_06_50_Pro

I’ve been adding the pecans to our granola; I’ve been adding my new favorite egg substitute, chia seeds too. I also lowered the fat in the recipe, from Feeding the Whole Family, by using half the butter, and using apple sauce instead.

Little sis used the recipe from her vegetarian cookbook, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian, to make vegan pancakes, with chia seed eggs. They are now my favorite go to pancake recipe. We were excited to discover that the author has a blog too.

http://www.smartgirlveg.com/

I have been mixing King Arthur’s unbleached flour with their white wheat flour to add more fiber to Papa’s diet. No one has even noticed the difference.🙂

Moving on to blueberries.

WP_20160625_19_11_44_Pro

The freezer is stocked. We also made Vegan blueberry flax muffins, they are gluten-free too (I love using oat flour).

WP_20160628_13_57_59_Pro

We used our local maple syrup as a sweetener, and they were delicious.

Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

P.E.

I purchased 3 month swimming passes from one of our local park’s indoor swimming pools, and I have not been able to keep the girls away. Today, is actually the first day we have not been swimming all week, and that’s because they have a friend over.

WP_20160627_16_47_08_Pro

Come evening, we pretty much have the pool to ourselves; perfect for me to get in a few laps, which has been great for strengthening my back.

We also took advantage of a few beautiful days at the park, and walking the trails.

WP_20160628_16_08_21_Pro

WP_20160711_18_03_31_Pro

WP_20160711_18_03_06_Pro

Believe it or not, Sky has even managed to sneak in some drawing time.

WP_20160705_23_41_33_Pro

Well, I think that about does it. I guess if I miss any more weeks of posting, you can probably guess where we will be.

Peace for the journey.

*Finding Nemo.

Week In The Life (Not, Taking Its Toll)

June 24, 2016

Ahh….summer.

I did this crazy thing last year while recovering from back surgery, I added boards on Pinterest for every subject Sky will need credits for to graduate. Then, I added tons of resources for each one, more than I will ever be able to use. In other words, I have high school pretty much planned out. So, what am I now to do with all this free time on my hands? Read, of course.

I do want to say something about homeschooling high school, especially to those that might be new to homeschooling. I absolutely love it!

I will not lie though, it scared the crap out of me, still kind off does. It did take me a while to figure it out, but now our days flow really well.

In all honest truth, I think the hardest part about homeschooling, besides finding your groove, is getting younger children to cooperate. I promise you, it does get easier as they get older.

I love having the in-depth conversations that Sky and I have. All those learning trails we followed, and allowing her the space to come to her own conclusions, have really paid off. She is such a deep-thinking young lady.

Reading though, that is what I wanted to write about.

I finished Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. I enjoyed it alright. It is based off the real murder of Jenny Bonnet, a cross dressing woman from San Francisco during the late 1800s. I didn’t care too much for the protagonist, I just couldn’t relate to her at all. I did love the historical setting of the novel though, and think it was worth the read, just for that reason alone.

Then, I read the Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This novel, literally left me speechless. I read it in two days, because I could not put it down. Jackson’s writing is hypnotizing, absolutely beautiful. This novel, now holds second place, under Frankenstein, on my top 5 favorite books list. There are very few books, that I want to read over and over, this is, by far, one of those books.

I loved this story so much, that I had to buy the ’63 movie version. I can’t wait to watch it this weekend with the girls, and I am happy to add it to our Halloween movie collection.

So, this has lead me on a haunted house, reading kick. I am already halfway through The Shining by King. I’m not really sure why I’ve never read this one before, but I am really enjoying it (I have not seen the movie). I’ve already read: The House by Bentley Little, and The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, any other recommendations?

Homeschool

We ditched reading the Gregor series. None of us, was in the mood for another “go on a quest” type of story. I have a problem with adult authors that try to write  “21st century” child characters. I understand exactly how Little Sis feels about books “talking down” to you. It insults our intelligence.

So, we are reading, and enjoying,  The Phantom Tollbooth instead.

WP_20160623_13_39_15_Pro

The girls continued working in their english and mathematics workbooks.

WP_20160623_13_38_03_Pro

We practiced Yoga, and the girls have made several of the cakes now from the mug cake recipe book. My favorite, so far, is the strawberry shortcake.

For father’s day, the girls surprised Papa with chocolate cupcakes.

WP_20160618_17_11_18_Pro

They found the recipe on-line for the cupcakes, the icing, and baked them all by themselves. They were delicious.

We watched: Beauty and the Beast (With Some Jerk with a Camera!) – Brows Held High – YouTube. This was a wonderful critic of the differences between Cocteau’s and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Again, they do use some profanity, so use your own judgement.

The girls have had a friend over for the majority of the week, so not too many individual projects have been started as of yet. Not a bad start though.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“It Was the Worst of Times*)

June 18, 2016

I’m going to be honest, I have no idea how to start this post.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, America has taken another blow straight to the heart this week. As someone that suffers from depression, I don’t want to add to the sadness; yet, I find myself having trouble writing anything positive at the same time. It feels awkward writing about trivial things that happened to our family this week, when so many are mourning.It feels awkward, yet again, to just go on with our lives as if nothing has happened. Is this the new normal? “Someone has senselessly gunned down more innocent victims today, please pass the carrots.”

I don’t want to write about politics, or religion. I don’t want to write about gun rights. I don’t want to write about homosexuality, or transgenders. I don’t want to write about gorillas, or alligators, or perfect parenting. There is already enough of that noise.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many song lyrics that daily pass through my mind. The one song that has constantly been stuck in my head these last few days is: Seasons of Love from the musical Rent. I think that is what my soul, and our country, needs right now, a season of love.

I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this yet, but I am thankful we were able to complete our last week of long lessons, just in time for a much needed break.

Homeschool

Language Arts

Reading:

We started Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. Little Sis, has been curious to check out this series, since she loved The Hunger Games. We are on part 2 in the story, and are still not quite sure what to think about it yet.

We watched:The History of Sleeping Beauty | Fairy Tales with Jen – YouTube. One of my favorite BookTubers,

and the TedEd video: The Evolution of the Book-YouTube.

Handwriting:

The girls copied the first paragraph from: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

WP_20160613_23_50_04_Pro

(Sky)

I thought I would explain why I, usually, pick poetry to use for handwriting practice.

In the beginning, I would pick fun seasonal poems for the girls to copy just for practice. Now, not only does Sky get to practice her cursive, which she still struggles with, we also analyze what she is copying. This counts toward her literature credits (world, British, and American).

Vocabulary:

epoch, incredulity, superlative

Grammar:

The girls started new workbooks this week. Sky, started Barron’s E-Z English. When she completes this book, she will have completed her language arts credits for English 1 and 2.

Little Sis, started Kumon’s grade 4 writing workbook.

We also watched: English Grammar videos videos 1-6 from Socratica for a review. YouTube

WP_20160613_23_47_49_Pro

Heath:

We continued reading chapter 3 of: The Way We Work.

P.E.

We Yoga Walked indoors.

Mathematics:

The girls warmed up at XtraMath.org, and worked in their Kumon workbook.

WP_20160613_23_44_07_Pro

For our lighter summer schedule, the girls will continue working on math, grammar, reading, and P.E. Everything else, we will pick back up in the fall.

This allows more time for us to spend outdoors, gardening, time to have their friends over for Friday nights pizza, games and movies, and closer friends over even more, swimming, and more time for the girls to work on their own projects.

WP_20160617_00_05_36_Pro

(Sky)

WP_20160617_00_06_00_Pro

(Little Sis, Dover Seashore Life coloring book)

In my opinion, this is just as important as academics.

Science:

We watched: Scishow Kids What’s the Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables? – YouTube,

The Dirt on Decomposers Crash Course Kids-YouTube,

New Ancient Human Fossils from SciShow-YouTube,

and listened to podcast 011: Fossils and Rocks with Duncan Findlay by The Show About Science | Free Listening on SoundCloud.

Garden update: Everything is doing really good so far. We’ve harvested the last of our strawberries, and I made strawberry jam.

WP_20160611_16_13_56_Pro

History

World/Geography:

We watched lots of videos this week.

For starters, we watched: Geography More! Austria, Geography Now! Denmark, and latitude and longitude from Dig Into History -YouTube.

We finished the French Revolution series from Tom Richey. YouTube

6. Women and the French Revolution

7. Marie Antoinette

8. Oylmpe de Gouges

9. Mary Wollstonecraft vs. Edmund Burke

10. Charlotte Corday and the Death of Marat

11. Concluding Remarks

This was a very well done series, and I highly recommend it. He also has free curriculum to go along with his videos on his website, that you can find linked on his YouTube page.

We watched: The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29 – YouTube, and The French Revolution for Dummies: World History Review – YouTube Keith Hughes.

Sky took a quiz, and the girls copied notes in their notebook.

http://www.studenthandouts.com/Games-03/MC-The-French-Revolution-42-Questions.html

WP_20160617_00_00_36_Pro

We watched the BBC series: The Rise and Fall of Versailles parts 1-3-YouTube. Being this was made by BBC, there is brief nudity, mostly in episode 2, so use your own judgement. The documentary plays like a movie, and Sky found it very interesting.

We also watched: A Tale of Two Cities (1935).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027075/

Oh my, what a touching story, to add to an already heartbreaking week. I loved that Charles Dickens told the story from both the aristocrat’s and the common people’s point of view. This book has been added to my TBR.

Art:

We learned about Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and watched Pierre-Auguste Renoir Biography – Goodbye-Art Academy – YouTube.

I printed off a By the Seashore coloring page, and the girls copied notes.

WP_20160616_23_58_46_Pro

We read about the Impressionist movement from: DK Art That Changed the World, the other book we are using for art history.

 

Well, that is about it. Now that my brain can take a much-needed break from school lessons, I am ready to get out and spend some unplugged time with mother nature and my family this weekend. Wishing all the Papas out there a very happy father’s day.

Peace for the journey.

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Week In the Life (“You Say You Want A Revolution.”*)

June 11, 2016

In the last seven years I have been writing, I don’t think I have ever been nominated for the Liebster Award. Thank you Natural Homeschooling Mom.

Liebster Award Nominees

I really didn’t start writing my blog to gain readers, it is more for me to help sort out my thoughts, help out-of-state family keep up with what the girls are doing, and to document our homeschooling in case I would ever need to prove it. If my jumbled, opinionated thoughts can help anyone else that has chosen to homeschool their children, even better. I won’t lie, it is nice to read comments how a post may have helped someone, and I am incredibly thankful for the shout-out.

I am sorry to say, that since I’ve started homeschooling high school, I don’t read as many blogs as I would like. Sometimes, I’ll leave a comment here or there, if I liked a post. I think it’s nice when homeschoolers help each other out, and give encouragement.

Most of the bloggers that started writing when I did, have since moved on. So, I don’t really have a list of other bloggers to nominate. There are SO many new ones from when I first started mine. Then, I always get this guilty feeling that I might have left someone out, or hurt someone’s feelings if they were not mentioned. I think anyone that takes time out of their day to write, and helps others should be nominated.

I do think that it might be fun to answer a few questions though, since I keep myself so mysterious and all.🙂

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

My family has never been afraid to give  new foods a try. Big sis, is always bringing over weird things for the girls to taste, and thanks to her, last summer we went to an annual bug fest held at our local park. Can you see where this is going? Yes, we indulged in eating crickets. There was bbq covered crickets, all the way to chocolate covered ones. Sky, loves them; I would need to be really hungry to want eat any more, but hey, at least I tried them.

2. If you could read only one book for a year, what would it be?

Wow, this is going to take a lot of thought. Have I mentioned that I love books?

Since it can only be one book, and not a series (because I would want to read the whole series), it would need to be a big one. Since, there are very few books on my read it again list, it would probably need to be one I have not read yet. So, I am thinking either Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, War and Peace, or Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. All three of these are on my TBR (to be read) list. Then, one of my favorite books, that I could read over and over, is The Stand by Stephen King. Oh decisions, decisions.

Well, since it can only be one, I choose Anna Karenina.

3. What is your favorite charity and why?

Wow, another tough one. I am going to keep it local though, and say Riley’s Children Hospital. I believe everyone deserves a chance at life whatever your annual income happens to be, but especially children.

4. What person present day or history would you most like to have a conversation with?

Okay, I think it is safe for me to say that all of these questions are pretty tough.

There are lots of people I would love to have a conversation with. Honestly though, all of their knowledge would be dated, and I have learned what I’ve needed from them already. So, for me it would be my grandfather. I lost him way before I was prepared to. His death, was the first tragic death I was old enough to understand. His death was not a surprise, it was a slow decline from terminal brain cancer. His death, literally changed the way I perceive life, one that I’ve carried with me into adulthood.

I would love to sit and just listen to every story he had to tell; ones about his childhood, World War 2, parenting, gardening, home maintenance, any and everything.

5 .Why did you start blogging?

I kind of already answered this. I will  add, that I view my blog like a journal. Writing, helps to sort my many thoughts. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m going to write; before I know it, I’ve filled the page and I am like wow, where did that come from?

I guess you could call my decision to homeschool, my experiment with education and how children learn. This is our learning journey.

6. What would be your dream occupation?

Anything, besides being a teacher (I couldn’t teach the same subjects every year without getting bored),  that has to do with working with children. I use to watch children before I started homeschooling, and I really liked it. There is something about preserving innocence, and allowing every child a safe haven to grow into their true self, that just makes my heart sing.

7. If you could do anything to make this world a better place, what would it be?

This kind of goes with my answer to question 6. I believe, that when you raise happy, confident children, ones that understand their strengths and weaknesses (instead of pride, hatred, and greed), *they* will have the knowledge and power to change the world.

It must start at home, for everyone, not just children. This is why I am completely open and honest with my struggles here. My childhood was far from perfect, and it takes lots of work to jump off the merry-go-round we were brought up on. I suffer from anxiety and depression, but I am also compassionate and empathetic. I embrace my strengths and weaknesses. They make me, me.

8. What is the one thing that will always make you feel better?

Music, music, and more music. I love music! That, and my husband’s shoulder, while listening to music together.🙂

9.What do you most admire about yourself?

My ability to grow and evolve. I don’t have all the answers, and don’t pretend that I do. I am not scared to admit to being wrong. I have been wrong lots of times, but I’ve learned not to make the same mistake twice.

10.What is your favorite childhood memory?

Anything involving my grandparents. The best thing my parents ever did for me, was allow my paternal grandparents to watch me while they went to work.

11. Do you have a bucket list?

I view them more as goals. Papa and I worked very hard to get out of debt. Our next goal is to have our house paid off in the next 5 years.

We split the money we are saving, from paying off our debt, into savings, and matching our mortgage principal payment with the rest. We are also trying to update our home to be ready for when we are older. That has not been an easy task.

I know this is kind of boring, but we are setting our home up where we would want to vacation at. Indiana has beaches, city, country, hills, hiking, canoeing, skiing, and caves. It has everything we want for a day trip.

Whew, that was a lot of pondering. Thanks again for the nomination.

Instead of asking questions, I would love to hear answers in the comments to some of these great questions. What book would you choose? I could talk books, film, and music all day folks.🙂

Speaking of: I finished Agnes Grey, and really liked it. It wasn’t the best story ever, but I wanted to continue reading it. I was truly interested in the characters. I still think Anne was the better writer out of her sisters. Even her simplest book held my attention. I even like her poetry the best.

I think this story would make a great read aloud, or a study of governesses and their place in Victorian society.

I have started Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. This is my first story I’ve read by her. It has mixed reviews, I am glad I’m reading it before I read Room. I am enjoying it so far.

Homeschool

Language Arts

Reading:

We finished The Ballet Shoes, and dropped Red. All of us agree The Ballet Shoes was boring. I’ve read it being compared with The Little Princess, the girls could not disagree more.

Handwriting:

The girls copied, and we discussed: The Poor Children by Victor Hugo.

WP_20160607_16_01_55_Pro

(Little Sis)

Vocabulary:

heed, hath, fleshy, stammer, sinless, minister, ragged

Grammar:

We finished the Basher book on Grammar.

Mathematics:

The girls warmed up at XtraMath.org, and they continued working in their Kumon workbooks.

Health:

We continued reading: The Way We Work, and watched, Spit: Everything You Never Wanted To Know – YouTube from It’s Okay To Be Smart.

P.E.

The girls had homeschool gym, we weeded the garden, and walked around the block.

WP_20160607_16_00_04_Pro

Science:

We watched: How Recycling Works – YouTube from SciShow, and Recycling, and Composting videos from SciShowKids -YouTube.

We listened to a podcast about recycling from: The Show About Science (on Dreamcloud), and learned how recycled potato chip bags, and Capri Sun containers get reused at Terracycle.

History

World/Geography:

We read both chapters about The French Revolution from French History for English Children.

We watched Tom Richey’s videos 1-5 about the French Revolution-YouTube

  1. The Old Regime
  2. The Estates General of 1789
  3. The National Assembly
  4. Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
  5. Civil Constitution of the Clergy

Art:

We learned about Monet, and the girls colored La Promenade, and added notes to their notebooks.

WP_20160609_23_19_05_Pro

We will be using a couple of books for Art History, one being Art Explained by Robert Cumming, as well as videos, and we watched: Art with Mati and Dada – Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet Biography – Goodbye-Art Academy – YouTube.

We also discussed the painting: Death of Murat by Jacques-Louis David.

The Arts

Culinary:

Little Sis has been reading: The Smart Girl’s Guide To Going Vegetarian, and we’ve tried a few recipes.

For starters, hamburgers have been turned into tuna or salmon burgers around here. I have been using flax egg substitute to replace the eggs, with great results for a healthier burger.

I’ve been adding Chia seeds where ever I can, and made vegan plain pancakes, and sweet potato pancakes for breakfast.

Little Sis and I are the only ones that will eat sweet potatoes; I love them, and can eat them  plain, baked, mashed or as french fries.

So, Little Sis and I loved the pancakes. The plain ones were a huge success by all, and this has become my go to pancake recipe (after my oat flour pancakes). They are super quick, and easy.

Allergy Friendly Friday: Sweet Potato Pancakes

Vegan Fluffy Pancakes

Drawing:

I haven’t updated the girls’ drawings for a while.

Sky, has been working on a story.

WP_20160609_23_21_02_Pro

WP_20160609_23_21_51_Pro

WP_20160609_23_22_20_Pro

WP_20160609_23_22_40_Pro

Little Sis has been practicing drawing herself. This is her hand reaching for her door.

WP_20160607_16_00_53_Pro

We watched the movie: The Ballet Shoes. I thought, maybe it would be one of those times when the movie is actually better than the book, but no. They were equally bad.

We also watched Ponyo again, which we love!

Well, I see the lightening bugs are out and about; I think summer has hit Indy. We have one more week left until we switch to our summer schedule.

Peace for the journey.

* Revolution by the Beatles

 

Week In The Life (Seeing Red)

June 4, 2016

This week I started a new book after finishing The Knight of Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin. It took me a while to figure out what I was going to read next, since I am waiting to finish The Song of Ice and Fire series, and having finished The Raven Cycle series.

I am the kind of person that needs to change genre after reading from one. So, I can’t read fantasy while I am still reading a fantasy series, and I can’t read YA (though I can’t read much of YA anyway) because of just finishing a YA series. Crazy, right?

Actually it is kind of odd really, physically I am a creature of habit; I hate surprises, and I need to know in advance of any change to my routine. Sky, takes after me in this way. Mentally though, I need constant change. I think this is why I would never be able to plan out our school lessons a year in advance. My mind gets bored very easily. Little Sis, takes after me in this way.

I’ve never been one to read all the work of one writer before moving on to another writer, not that I think their other work wouldn’t be any good, it’s that I need to read from a different voice, and get a new perspective first. I am actually this way with everything, not just books. While I am typing this, I just realized why I need everything physically to be the same, and why I don’t like changes, because my mind is so chaotic . I need balance. Writing things out can be good like that.🙂

Anyways, so I started thinking about the huge list of classics that I have been wanting to read, and picked out Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. I loved The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and it has been a while since I’ve read a Bronte, so why not. So far, I am enjoying it (she is still my favorite Bronte writer). It beats some of the YA choices out there anyway.

This got me thinking about the girls’ favorite authors and our reading choices (and my constant struggle to find stories they actually like). Though Little Sis loved the Twilight and Hunger Games series, she also loved Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Little Women. She is a romantic, and I can’t wait to read Jane Austin with her. She can’t stand literature that tries to be “cool”, or that uses slang, or what she calls: ” babyish”.

Sky, likes more of the darker psychological elements in literature, as well as graphic novels. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, and The Little Princess (that both girls enjoyed) has been her favorite books we’ve read so far this year, besides Game of Thrones. She loves Death Note as well. Her favorite authors are Charles Dickens and Neil Gaiman.

Then it hit me, we are literary snobs, and it’s not because I’ve censored their reading choices either. I mean, the girls are free to read whatever they choose, and they naturally choose classics as their favorites. (Sky and I like Junie B. Jones, and we all love the Ramona series. Little Sis, on the other hand says Junie B. is too “babyish”, and she likes Ramona better ,because it doesn’t talk down to you. I am just happy they know what they like, and what they don’t).

So, this got me thinking about how much time I have wasted trying to read different fairy-tale adaptations, just for the sake of reading fairy-tale adaptations, that both girls have been bored with. I think the girls are quite capable of writing their own fairy-tale adaptations without needing to read other writers’ versions. I mean, if something is no longer enjoyable, that’s not mandatory that is, why continue?

So, I think I will just continue with reading the original fairy-tales themselves, that the girls have actually been enjoying, and move on. I know there will be certain books that need to be read, that the girls will eventually find boring. Honestly though, I think it is because they’re not “forced” to read and dissect the novel to death , that they really do enjoy discussing them (A day does not go by where we do not discuss Game of Thrones. In fact, Sky uses Martin’s writing to judge character development in other stories.), and has kept their reading experience enjoyable. Sky still doesn’t understand why people would dislike Shakespeare, and that makes me happy.🙂

This is why I keep a blog of our progress, instead of just records. Not only does writing things out help to clear my mind, reading back over our progress helps me stay focused, and on track. It helps me see where we might be lacking, and what changes I might need to make. It also holds me accountable.

Homeschool

Language Arts

Reading:

We finished reading The Little Prince. This was a fun book to discuss with Sky. She completely understood the point the author was trying to make.

We are continuing with The Ballet Shoes. This is one of those stories I think we would have ditched if we were not so close to being done. All of us are finding it incredibly boring.

We also started Red by Liesl Shurtliff. This will probably be the last set of fairy-tale adaptations we read. So far, the girls are enjoying it, only time will tell though.

We listened to Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood at Storynory.com, and Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl -YouTube.

Grammar:

We read chapter 3 of Basher’s grammar book.

Vocabulary:

conventional, prominence

WP_20160530_14_47_11_Pro

Handwriting:

The girls copied a poem about punctuation to add to their English notebook.

WP_20160530_14_40_42_Pro

 

(Sky)

Mathematics:

The girls warmed up first at XtraMath.org, then worked in their Kumon workbooks.

WP_20160530_14_42_08_Pro

Science:

This week was all about food science. We watched videos: The Spangler Effect – Sugar Science – YouTube,

8 Cheesy Science Facts  from SciShow- YouTube, and

Top New Species for 2016, and a Perching Robot!  SciShow – YouTube (not about food).

We listened to: The Show About Science podcast, episode 3- Food Science – found at Soundcloud.com.

Health:

Still reading through chapter 4 from The Way We Work. It has been interesting to break digestion down bit by bit to see how everything works together. We’ve had lots of interesting conversations about the way we work.

P.E.

Walks around the block.

History

World/Geography:

We watched a video from The School of Life: What is History for? – YouTube

We learned about Louis the 16th from: French History for English Children, and the girls added notes to their history timeline notebooks.

WP_20160602_23_53_28_Pro

I’ve decided that we will start our fall school schedule with The Enlightenment, then move into American History with the American Revolution. It just seems to make more sense than covering the Civil War then backtracking. Besides, this is where we left off with in our American History lessons anyway.

Art:

We learned about the impressionism art period, and watched: Impressionism – Overview – Goodbye-Art Academy – YouTube.

WP_20160602_23_54_13_Pro

This triggered lots of conversations about art, and artists. Sky has truly been enjoying learning about the art history movements; she actually knows more than I do.

The Arts

Theater Appreciation: (Small and Big Screen)

We watched Fairy-tale Theater’s version of Little Red Riding Hood. YouTube

We also watched 2012 musical of Les Miserables.

One of my favorite Nostalgia Critic’s reviews is of this movie (Found on YouTube, warning he does use profanity. Plus, it contains my favorite YouTuber, Kyle from Brows Held High). Sky has actually learned how to write a theater analysis just from watching the Nostalgia Critic. Soon, she will be writing her own reviews.

Well, another  week finished.

Peace for the journey.

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers