Week In The Life (Don’t Worry, Be Hopi)

November 20, 2015

When taking a break from our regular school lessons, the girls artistic side really emerges.

I still cringe when I hear parents comment about, “All my child wants to do is……”, or, “All my child does is…..” It signals, to me, that the parent disapproves what their child is doing, and if I can hear it, so does your child. Maybe, the parents think it’s not “educational” enough.

If there is one thing, as a “veteran” homeschooler (Yes, I think I can call myself that now :) ), that I want to say (scream really, but I don’t think that would be well received) to all new homeschoolers, is why recreate a broken system that you’re choosing not to participate in, at home?

I understand, that homeschooling is a personal choice, and there are many different reasons why we do it. Some homeschool, because they don’t like what is being taught today in school. They want to homeschool recreating a broken system, but under their beliefs. I understand that.

I understand, some parents don’t have time to sit down and plan out what their children might want to learn, and that a ready made curriculum can come in handy. Hey, I understand life gets busy, but you do not need one to homeschool.

What does irritate me, is when parents put their children’s interests down in front of others. When they see no value in what their child is doing, because to them, it doesn’t look like learning.

I have shared the difference in my children’s learning style here multiple times. I have a 10 year old that reads teen fiction, and completed two years of math this year. There is no doubt in my mind, she will probably graduate high school early.

I also have a 15 year old, who struggles through her math lessons, has a hard time with spelling, and doesn’t read long 500 page novels on her own time. She is a visual learner, and learns best by watching something, over reading about it.

If I were to say, “All my 15 year old wants to do, is watch television.” I would be putting down the way she learns. And you know you’ll never hear, “All my 10 year old wants to do, is read 500 page novels.” because that seems more educational, than “just watching television”.

Sky will tell you herself, that she would love to be able to learn like Little Sis. She would love to be able to do 2 years of math in one year. As her parent, I can tell you how hard she is trying. I can’t force her to learn though. I can not change her, nor do I want to. She is not broken.

Homeschooling, allows for us to tailor our child’s education to fit their personal needs. That was the driving force behind why I started homeschooling in the first place. If Sky was in school, she would fail.(I have several reasons for knowing this too, trust me. :) )

Sky gets visual ideas from watching television, no different than if she was observing a painting (which she gets ideas from too). My job as her facilitator, is to expand those ideas, and interests beyond her knowledge. (Now, the girls are able to connect Iago from Disney’s Aladdin with Iago from Othello ,and think it’s funny. “Patience, Iago.” )  You know what else? I’ve learned a whole lot from her too. :)

So, lets get caught up with projects the girls worked on while “off” from school.

When not reading Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer, Little Sis worked on her art skills.



When not discussing the book A Storm of Swords, from the Game of Thrones Fire and Ice series, with me, (which I am now 60% of the way through, by the way. Woohoo!) Sky worked on a bit of drawing,






and read the short story Children of the Corn, by Stephen King (thanks Nostalgia Critic :) ).


Language Arts:


Little Sis requested reading The Bridge to Terabithia. We read chapters 1-8.

I am using a combination of resources for this story, to help them learn about plot conflict, and foreshadowing (they actually have learned these topics from watching Nostalgia Critic, but Sky needs 180 hours for a composition credit.)


Library Sparks.com (Jan. 07 issue, Bridge to Terabithia )


Their vocabulary and spelling words came from THE GLENCOE LITERATURE LIBRARY study guide of the story.


Their final essay for the year will be from here.


We also read chapters 1-12 from The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.



The girls copied the poem After the Rains, by Ramsom Lomatewama.


(Miss Sky)


Warming up at XtraMath.org.

Little Sis will finish her Math Made Easy, grade 3, math workbook next week. I decided to wait until after the holidays to start grade 4 mathematics from Khan Academy. I gave her a bar graph assignment instead. First, she made the bar graph from the worksheet. Both girls have been keeping track of how much television they watch this week to make their own bar graph. We also read about bar graphs from the book, Math, A Book you can count on.


Sky did more worksheets on finding percents.




We discussed Diwali,


watched another video about Dracula’s castle,

and watched PBS, Indian Summers.


We watched the Scholastic video from the book Giving Thanks, by Chief Jake Swamp.


We listened to the songs mentioned in the book Bridge to Terabithia. Up, Up and Away, This Land Is Your Land, Free to Be You and Me, Blowing in the Wind, and the big 70’s hit, when I was a child, You Light Up My Life.


We learned about glass blowing from Ramsom Lomatewama,

and Navajo sand painting.


The girls had homeschool gym.

The Arts

The girls made Christmas cards and ornaments for a nearby nursing home.








We watched the 1931 version of Dracula,


and saw a sneak peak of the Children Ballet’s Nutcracker.




Tomorrow we are going to see Mockinjay part 2 in theaters, Little Sis can’t wait.

Peace for the journey.



Week In The Life ( Clearance Racked )

November 11, 2015

What a crazy year it has been. My unexpected back surgery, strike worries at Papa’s work, and now having part of our main sewer line replaced. I’ve been trying really hard to look on the bright side, but damn!

I am pretty lucky that Papa and I usually are able to do most home repairs ourselves. We have needed to replace, upgrade almost everything in our home, that’s kind of normal owning an older house. What is not normal, is everything in this house was half-assed, and nothing is standard size. So, were we surprised to learn that our sewer clean out wasn’t even attached to our sewer line? Nope, of course we weren’t.

We’ve had minor plumbing problems before, but over the weekend water started to back up through our bath tub. Well, long story short, because the sewer clean out wasn’t attached to the main sewer line, roots from our hedges grew in between the clean out and the main line blocking the water from going through. Looks like I’m not getting those 24 carat diamond earrings again this year for Christmas.

On top of everything else, my yearly cholesterol test didn’t come back as good as I wanted. My bad cholesterol was 117, and they would like it to be 99 or less. We made the switch to egg beaters, low fat dairy products and my numbers didn’t budge much. So, I am wondering that if mine didn’t budge, that maybe Papa’s might not have. He goes in for his test next month. Heart disease is horrible in his family. Most of the men in his family haven’t lived to see 60. I am wondering if it’s because our primary source of protein is beef. So, this year I don’t think we will be purchasing our 1/2 steer of beef (Which really sucks, because we love our cattle farmers). I am very thankful the girls love fish, and that Big Sis works behind a meat counter. She has already brought us some fresh sea bass and salmon they had on sale. I hate the American diet!


We had a shorter week because of Little Sis’s birthday. The girls always get their birthday off.

Language Arts


We finished Dracula. We read Dracula’s Guest, The Judge’s House by Stoker, and The Red Room by Lucy M. Montgomery.

The girls took the Dracula quiz from SparkNotes.



The girls finished the poem, The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe.




(Little Sis)

The girls silently read along while we listened to the poem being read.



Little Sis completed the 4th grade spelling List 5. Sky’s vocabulary came from The Bells poem.

paean, expostulation, beguiling, tintinnabulation, alarum, euphony, monody, voluminously, rapture, Runic


Warming up with XtraMath.

Little Sis, 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook.

Sky did a couple worksheets finding the percent of a number. For starters, Fat Brain Toys sent me an e-mail celebrating their 13th year with 13% off merchandise. Sky “pretend” shopped for 3 items and calculated the total of her items and how much 13% off was. She added in shipping and handling, and 7% sales tax.

She pretended to be an accountant helping two imaginary people figure out their taxes, and shopped with coupons.




We watched Otis Art History’s video on Gothic art. I meant to watch both Gothic art videos together but forgot. (YouTube)


We watched a documentary about Vlad, Prince of Wallachia (YouTube), and the girls came up with 10 things they learned about him.



We also learned about Día De Los Muertos.

We watched a bunch of short videos from Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know, and How Stuff Works about vampires. (YouTube)

Thirst of the Vampire –  Monster Science

The Origin of Halloween Traditions

What was the New England vampire panic?

Lilith and Vampire Myths: Stuff You Should Know Animated

And of course, the PBS series Indian Summer. There is so much to discus from this series. It’s leading us into next year’s big block on India.


Besides voting, we had discussions on what this election meant for our little town and city, and watched the results.


We took turns reading aloud and discussed the latest Science in the News episode.



The Arts

We watched a short animated film about the Day of the Dead celebration.

There has been lots of excitement around these parts over a certain movie release.



The girls had homeschool gym this week, and walking for Papa and myself. The temperatures here have been pretty mild thus far. I think for the first year ever, Little Sis had on shorts for her birthday. :)

We are taking this week off from any “schoolwork”. It’s what I like most about homeschooling year round. We work hard throughout the year, then by the time the holidays roll in, we can lighten up a bit and have fun.

Peace for the journey.

Happy Birthday, My Little Sunshine

November 10, 2015

(I am actually posting this 5 days late, because we are still waiting on a couple books to arrive from Barnes and Noble. Little Sis did not want the mass market versions of The Host or Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer, otherwise she would have purchased them using Prime and would have them by now.)


It brings me such joy being able to watch your individuality emerge. Observing the changes in your interests, beliefs, and maturity.


My little optimist is growing up. Gloominess never stood a chance. :)

Week In The Life ( I Vant To Suck Your Blood, Blah, Blah)

November 1, 2015

Well, this will be my last post having a child in single digits. Little Sis will be 10 this week, 10 going on 18.

She will be as old as Big Sis was when I had Sky. Sky, is as old as Big Sis was when I had Little Sis, and Big Sis is as old as I was when I had Sky. :) Time sure does fly.

Last year, the girls did not go trick or treating because it was to darn cold and snowing. I think I made up for it this year. Friday, the girls attended a homeschooling Halloween party.

Then, we attended Scare in the Square.


The historic neighborhood of Fountain Square’s independent local businesses pass out candy. The girls got candy, while I discovered where I will be purchasing a few of this year’s Christmas presents.

Of course, they went trick or treating around our neighborhood too.

I don’t buy Halloween costumes, I think it is because of the whole commercialized thing. The girls have always been into “dress up”, and cos-play. When they see an outfit or accessory, when out and about, they usually purchase it. It’s all up to them to come up with what they want to be. Most of the time than not, it is something they’ve been influenced by, or really like.

Little Sis, loves The Phantom of the Opera and went as someone from the Masquerade ball. Sky, was influenced by the Pride and Prejudice and Zombie book series. Only, she did her parody off of Cathy from Wuthering Heights  (Heathcliff’s skull is in her pocket :) ).

I based most of our school lessons this week off the holiday.

Language Arts


We read chapters 17-24 of Dracula this week. We all are really enjoying it.

Independent reading

Little Sis finished Mocking Jay from the Hunger Games series. We watched part 1 of the movie, and she is super excited part 2 comes out after her birthday. She just put in her birthday book list order.

I’m a little over 20% of the way through A Storm of Swords, which is like 200 pages of 1200.


The girls copied part three of The Bells, from Edgar Allen Poe.


Little Sis, learned list 4 from her words. Sky, had the last set of words from Dracula.

rapture, lethargic, emancipated, morbid, solicitor, primitive, vitality, insatiable, confide, repulsion, asylum, anguish, anticipation, loathe, crypt


Warm Up at XtraMath.

Reading the Data Gang from Math, A Book You Can Count On.

Little Sis, 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook.

Sky, finished percents from Khan Academy, did a few worksheets to make sure she really grasped the concept, and learned how to find a percent of a number.



We discussed what untouchables meant from the PBS series Indian Summers.

We watched a documentary about Bram Storker, and the girls came up with 10 things they learned about him.




We learned about the Romanian Căluşari dancers.


We learned all about the country of Romania. I printed a page of Bran’s castle in Transylvania to serve as the country’s cover, and they added Romania to their map of Europe in their timeline binders.


We watched the documentary Wild Carpathian │ Mountains of Transylvania (YouTube).


We watched the PBS series Secrets of the Dead episode about vampires.


We learned about vampire bats (they are so small),



and Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia.

We listened to Star Talk’s podcast, Monsters with Bill Nye,


and learned why so many people, including Sky, are afraid of clowns from IFLS.


Culinary Arts

We learned the history of Halloween treats.


The Arts

We went to see a youth theater group’s performance of Oliver Twist.


The girls picked out a Dracula color page to add in their timeline binder.



We also watched a few of our favorite Halloween movies.



Walk Away the Pounds is back. We are starting with 2 miles to ease our way back.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween. Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“Great Scott”, 10/21/15)

October 25, 2015

If felt SO good being able to clean our house this week. Yes, it felt good, really good. I had a really good routine going before my surgery. If fact, everything was sparkly clean, my injury changed all that.

Don’t get me wrong, our house never got out of control dirty. Papa, would never allow that. He can’t stand clutter. However, it did lose its sparkle. I mean, I couldn’t bend. So, imagine clothes, that’s usually inside my dresser, folded on the top of it for easier access. It drove Papa nuts. This week I managed to bring the sparkle back. Though, it did suck needing to start all over again.

It’s just in time too as we prepare for the upcoming time change. I’ve already noticed it’s beginning to get dark sooner. I’m not ashamed to mention my dislike for shorter daylight hours. I’ve already stocked our home with new candles. As soon as the sun goes down, I light them. I don’t know what I would without our wood stove during winter. There is something so soothing about fire, that keeps me going during the darker months of fall and winter.

Since we are finishing up our school year, tying up any loose ends, I decided to have a little fun this week.

Language Arts


We read Dracula, chapters 9-16.

Man, there is so much to discuss in this story. Sky has been wanting to start a Psychology credit for awhile now. I’ve felt bad not really knowing when I would be able to fit it in. I mean part of homeschooling is being able to follow your child’s interests.

Well, I had everything planned out for us to start an Astronomy credit after the new year. I think I will change that though and start psychology instead.

It has always been part of Sky’s intention to use her art degree to help tutor children suffering from anxiety, to help them learn how art can be one option to use an outlet. Art has been her outlet to help her get through some pretty tough times, and she wants to pass that on. Who knows, maybe she will end up going into art therapy. Who better to understand panic attacks and anxiety, than someone that has experience with it themselves?


The girls copied parts 1 and 2 of The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe.


Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis practiced list 3 from the 4th grade spelling list at SpellingClassroom.com.

Sky practiced her week 2 list from Dracula at Quizlet.

oppressiveness, emaciated, unfettered, psychosis, ravings, endure, scurries, defile, inevitable, composure, transfusions, scald, superstition, frail, avail.


Warm up at Xtramath.

Little Sis, 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook.

Sky, percents in Kumon workbook, and at Khan Academy.


Wednesday, being it was the 21st of October 2015 as was predicted in Back to the Future 2, we watched the movie and discussed the differences in what they thought we would have, compared to what we really have. Like, we have no flying cars ( According to Neil deGrasse Tyson though, we do. They are called helicopters. Listening to his opinion of why flying cars would never work, for one they make too much noise, was a fun addition).

We also discussed scientists predictions for the future from IFLS, watched Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit Jimmy Kimmel Live, and 10 things Back to the Future got right, and got wrong, by China Uncensored. (YouTube)





PBS Indian Summers


We learned about the history of Gothic Art from Good-by Art Academy,

and discussed Gothic painters like the Limbourg Brothers.

The girls listed 10 things they learned.


We also watched The Avengers, Age of Ultron. Then, watched Brows Held High, between the lines The Avengers. (YouTube)

Culinary Arts

The girls made chocolate chip cookies using oat flour.


We doubled the recipe and only added 2/3 cup of coconut oil instead of a cup, and it was still way too much. Also, I didn’t care for the baking soda taste in the cookies. I want to try to make these again, but next time with less baking soda and use Earth Balance. The texture and sugar amount was perfect though.



The girls had homeschool gym this week.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween,

peace for the journey.

Is The House Haunted? (Little Sis)

October 21, 2015

Emily, a young women, was walking around the large new house that her husband, Demetri, and herself just bought. Emily was still humming softly when she finally stopped pacing.”Em, Em!”, her husband called out to her. “What is it?”, Emily questioned in a curious tone. “Didn’t you hear that odd noise downstairs?”, Demetri asked.”No” ,Emily replied.”Hmm, my mind must be playing weird tricks on me.”, Demetri murmured to himself with a queer and confused expression on his face. Meanwhile, Emily thought to herself, “It’s getting late, maybe I should work on making us some dinner.”. She went to the pantry downstairs, to gather the ingredients she would need.

While downstairs, Emily heard the pantry door creak. With her teeth clenched, she moved toward the creaking sound, and opened the door. Inside, Emily saw what looked like a dark shadow fly past her and disappear into a nearby small closet. Curious, Emily went to check the closet, to make sure she wasn’t just imagining things. While stepping inside the closet, Emily saw the horrifying visible dark shadow, and suddenly the door slammed shut locking her in. Emily jumped at the loud noise of the door slamming, and wasted no time trying to get out. ” Demetri!,can you hear me?” she screamed while banging loudly on the closet door. Emily could feel two hands closing in around her neck, choking out her screams. It felt like her throat was clogged. “Demetri”, she tried shouting again, but her words caught in her throat. The room went black as she took her last breath.

Demetri, never heard Emily’s plea for help, so he went into the bedroom to get changed for the night. With all their clothing still packed in boxes, Demetri wasn’t quite sure where his clothes might be. “Emily!” he shouted, and received no reply. He shouted for her again, in a more confused yet anxious voice. Still, there was no response to his shouting. Demetri, got more confused. He walked into the next room closest to theirs and shouted, “Em!”. Still no reply.

Demetri’s heart felt as if it was about to leap from his chest as he stepped into the dark room. He tried to turn on the light switch, but the light wouldn’t come on. He heard a loud creaking noise on the floor that wasn’t his footsteps. “Oh Emily, I knew you would…”, Demetri stopped in middle of his sentence and looked around the dark room. The floor kept creaking as the door behind him shut and locked in the same manner as it did with Emily. Demetri’s breath caught in his throat. He thought about his wife, worry consumed him, where was Emily? ” Emily, answer me please!”, he cried out almost in tears.
There was no response, only the loud creaking noise that he heard approaching upon the floor.

While trying to adjust his sight to the darkness, Demetri thought he saw a dark shadow ,and sweat began to drip from his brow. “Who’s there? ” ,Demetri called out to the faintly visible shadow. Suddenly, the room was filled with light, as the switch flipped on . Demetri’s mouth gaped open when he saw crimson colored liquid ooze from underneath the door. “Could that be Emily’s?”, Demetri asked terrified. In the bright light, Demetri could no longer see the dark shadow that clung to the darkness.

Demetri’s eyes jolted open and tears swelled up inside them. His heart was beating rapidly, and his panting was almost unbearable. Sweat was dripping from his forehead and trickled down his face. He felt nervous, yet so happy that it was only a nightmare. Emily, was still alive.

Demetri rubbed his eyes, wiped the sweat from his face, and got up out of bed to go see his wife. When he found Emily, she was lying across their closet floor. Her eyes were closed, and her heart was no longer beating.

Maybe, his dream wasn’t just a nightmare after all. Perhaps, their house really is haunted.

Seeing You Again (Miss Sky)

October 21, 2015

My name is Wendy Maymore, I am currently riding in the car with my mother. We’re headed back to our old home. I don’t want to go back there, but mother asked if I would ride out with her to pick up an old chair we had left behind.

5 years ago, while living there, my younger sister Ellie and I were playing in the yard close to a nearby creek. Ellie wanted her doll to come and play with us too. I wasn’t in the mood for a fight, so I had went into the house to fetch it for her. When I came back out, Ellie was gone. I quickly ran to find mother, and together we began searching for her. I looked by the old creek. My face grew pale, there she was, my sister, Ellie was lying face first in the creek! She must have slipped and hit her head by mistake and was knocked unconscious. I pulled her out, holding her wet body against mine. I remember screaming her name several times, there was no response. Mother gently touched my shoulder and said, “We’re too late.”.

A tear slowly fell from my eye, and down my cheek as I looked out the car window. The dark, dead fingers of tree branches felt as if they were reaching out for my soul, while driving through the familiar towns . Nothing much had changed. The small bleak houses, that once held the people I knew, were all still there . The only difference was, they were all empty. The once life filled houses, where children could be seen playing in the yards, now seemed death like, and sad. It gave me an uneasy feeling in my gut, that I knew would not be going away any time soon.

We pulled up into the gravel driveway of our old home. It was located in the country, miles away from the city, or small towns. This made me even more uneasy, knowing that there would be no one nearby to help if we broke down. I reluctantly got out the car, and stared up at the old house that was once our home. It still looked the same. I was pale, and mother seemed to see my uneasy expression, so she tried speaking to me in a cheerful voice. “Wow, it sure has been a while hasn’t it sweetie?”, she asked and popped open the trunk of the car to make room for the chair. I nodded in response. Mother saw my nod and walked up to me, grabbing my hand and rubbing my left shoulder in a soothing manner she said, “Come on honey, let’s look on the bright side of things. Maybe you’ll find something you will want to bring back with us too.”. We both climbed the front stairs of the house, that were now cracked, and headed towards the screen door. Standing at the entrance, my heart began to pound in my chest so hard, that the sound swallowed all the other sounds out around me. Mother sighed, took the old door key from one of her pockets and unlocked the door. She turned the knob slowly and opened it. We walked in and the wood floor creaked under our feet. “I’m going to go get the chair, it should be in my bedroom upstairs.”, mother said walking slowly up the stairs, leaving me downstairs all alone.

Waiting felt like hours, then I heard a strange noise coming from the basement of our old home. It sounded like excited footsteps running about .The footsteps grew closer and closer and then suddenly stopped behind me. Holding my breath, I turned around, and gasped as I saw her, my sister Ellie. She was all wet, and seemed excited as she reached out toward me.Terrified, I ran upstairs to my old bedroom. I feared my sister was coming to take my soul out of anger and revenge. I hid under the bed, crying softly as I held my breath. My heart was pounding incredibly fast, I feared it would leap out of my chest, or stop beating all together. I heard the footsteps again, and I saw her dripping, wet feet walk into the room. “Sister, why are you hiding from me?”, she whispered, confused. Her feet stopped short in front of the bed. Suddenly, her face peered down and looked straight at me. I let out a scream. It seemed to scare her, for she jumped back and covered her face while falling down on her knees. I stopped screaming, and could hear a slight noise coming from her. Whimpering, she said, “I’m sorry, sister, I’m so sorry if I made you angry or scared”. Then it dawned on me, that she might not realize she is dead. I crawled out from my hiding spot, tears rolling down my face as I took her in my arms (which surprised me that I could, since she was a ghost), and I slowly told her everything.

She didn’t seem sad, or hold me responsible for her death, she seemed happy just to be with me. She told me that she had been alone for so long and that she wanted me to stay with her now that I was here. “I won’t leave you, I will stay with you, somehow…” I said.

Mother walked into my bedroom where I had been hiding, and screamed. I hoped she wouldn’t be too upset, I knew this was for the best. I held my sister tight as the both of us stared at my dead body. Mother ran out of my room crying. Ellie and I held hands as we watched mother leave the house, we both whispered…


Week In The Life (Epistolary, Gothic, Asylums)

October 18, 2015

Well, we are way over our 180 days for the year. I am trying to close any loose ends we may have, so we can enjoy the upcoming holidays. Looking back over the year, I am pleased with everything we accomplished thus far. Considering I was recovering from back surgery, and the injury that lead up to the back surgery, both girls are right where I was hoping they would be before we start our next year of school. I’m really glad we used Sky’s 8th grade year as a test run for high school. She’s prepared, and understands what’s in store for 2016. It also helped me see how much time was needed for each of her credits.

At first, I was completely overwhelmed. Being that I am keeping a journal of our homeschooling journey, I want to make sure I am portraying homeschooling accurately, and honestly as possible. So, I want to make it perfectly clear, homeschooling high school scared the shit out of me!. After listening to some very helpful webinars, seriously I highly recommend catching them when you can, from Lee Binz ,my confidence grew tremendously. That, and being able to see what combining some classes together might look like. For example, combining composition and literature classes together works really well for us. So does combining (world, American, art, theater, and music) history and geography together.


Basically, we are considered the same as a private school (again, always check your state’s/ countries homeschooling laws), and can call all the shots. We do not need to follow public school’s requirements for graduating our children. However, there is a catch. If your child plans on attending college, they will need a transcript. (Community colleges do not need one, but I would still prepare one, because plans can change.) It’s the colleges you want to make happy. That should be the most important goal for homeschooling high school. What courses the college wants your child to have before attending there.

I thought I would post Sky’s plans, in case they might be helpful. Of course, we will try for every scholarship opportunity possible, because honestly we can’t afford college. Both girls will need to work while attending. Sky wants to go to art school, she will need to complete a few basic courses before she can apply. She plans to attend our local community  college to complete those courses, then have them transferred when she applies to the art school.

Since she wants to attend art school, I need to know everything the school wants my child to have before applying. I want the art school to want her as a student there. Her transcript will have lots of art classes, and she will need a portfolio. So, this is what high school will look for her. For Little Sis, high school might look completely different than Sky’s.

To me, this is what makes homeschooling completely worth it. We can custom fit each child’s education around them. Not only are we able to see the individual, we are able to focus our attention on them, one on one. A personalized education.

Language Arts


We started Dracula by Bram Stoker this week (chapter 1-8, book found free at Amazon).


We also watched a video ( from Shaun Kunz , YouTube) about the first 8 chapters of the book.

I have stayed away from this story personally, because the sight of blood and I don’t have a very good relationship. The thought of someone sucking my blood makes me nauseous. Then, I thought what the hell?, both girls had requested we read it, and you know what? I really am enjoying it a lot! I am kicking myself for waiting so darn long.

Little Sis finished Catching Fire and is reading book 3, Mockingjay.

I read a short bio on Emily Dickinson from the book Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull.


The girls listed 10 things they learned about her.



The girls watched videos explaining what both Gothic, and epistolary (from Shaun Kunz) literature is.


They added the explanations to their composition journal.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis learned list 2/


Sky learned the first week of words from Dracula (Quizlet)

desecration, congealing, anemia, genealogy, bereaved, hell-hound, ferocious, credence, trinket, hale, contagious, craggy, brandishing, fluttering, headland


The girls copied the poem, Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson.




We also watched the Crash Course Literature video on Emily Dickinson.

Speaking of Crash Course, we finished up our Shakespeare study by watching their videos on Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet (YouTube).

We watched videos about Shakespeare from TEDEd too.


Did Shakespeare Write His Plays? (Science, learning about linguistics)

Insults By Shakespeare, and Poetry, Pentameter, Pirates (This was a wonderful visual. I’m sure I will use it again).


Warming up with XtraMath.

Little Sis, Math Math Easy 3rd Grade workbook.

Sky learned percents from the Pre-Algebra Kumon workbook, and watched a video.


Little Sis had her STEAM class this week. They played board games while the parents talked to the librarian. The library is really interested in making sure they have all the resources we might need to homeschool on hand. They are very open, and want to help us with our homeschooling needs.


World History

We watched a video on the history of vampires from TEDED.


We watched the Democratic Debate.

The Arts


We watched the musical, West Side Story. The girls were able to pick out all the similarities between Romeo and Juliet.

We watched a video from Brows Held High( one of my favorite YouTubers) on the musical West Side Story, as part of his Shakespeare week.

We watched the movie Lion King (Hamlet), and Lion King 2 (Romeo and Juliet). Then, we watched the Brows Held High video about the similarities between the Lion King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (YouTube).

We discussed Waterhouse’s (another favorite artist of mine) paintings of Ophelia.

We also watched the movie Catching Fire.

We attended a homeschool field trip this week, learning what goes on behind the scenes of The Asylum House haunted house.








The girls had a blast! We are very thankful to the owners of the Asylum House for allowing us to do this, and giving us the tour for free. Sky loved learning about all the work it takes to run a haunted house.

Peace for the journey.

Happy Birthday (My Little Angel)

October 15, 2015

Fifteen, it feels like just yesterday you became a teenager.


Though you’re not really that little anymore, you will always be a little angel to me. :)


Happy Birthday!

Week In The Life (Hungry, Hungry Hyde)

October 11, 2015

Well, this is my last post categorized under 14 for a certain child. God, there is no way she can be only one more year away from driving. While attending homeschooling events, I have found myself feeling rather old surrounded by newbies. It’s really quite an awaking experience to realize you are no longer a new blood. Being surrounded by new homeschooling concerns, with me being in a place where I can go to a doctor appointment, then home to see my children sitting around the table getting their schoolwork over with. Where wondering if your child will ever be able to read or add are your biggest concerns, not worries of drunk drivers, or a certain child, that sometimes doesn’t seem to know where the hell she is in a parking lot, being behind the wheel of a car soon. Finally, getting to that place where you realize, parenting will never get easier.

Being a tad wiser, it has a much better ring than older methinks, I would like to express, that yes, your child will learn how to read and add. That it will be okay. Don’t waste those precious early years with phonics and workbook lessons. Enjoy the scribbles and Play-Doh creations. The “mom, what does this say?” moments. Those mornings, while still in bed, where reading Bread and Jam for Francis for the hundredth time is a must. Or, when you just don’t think you can stand to watch a certain Disney movie one more time without losing your sanity. They should take top priority right now. Letters and numbers will come. (We live in an age where words and numbers are everywhere.)

I can still remember what it felt like starting our journey into homeschooling. Those moments when it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest thinking, “what the hell am I doing?”, “can I really do this?”. It took me several years, and several different homeschooling philosophies to realize there is no one right way to homeschool. To be able to forget everything I learned in school and understand that real learning has nothing to do with regurgitating facts for a test. That all children are unique and a “one size fits all” education will not work for every child. That no matter how hard I try, or might want it, I can’t make my children learn. The confidence will come. All we can do is our best, and that’s all our children can do too. :)

Language Arts


We kicked our Halloween literature block off with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


We followed along with the story on Kindle, where the story can be found for free.

I read a short bio about Stevenson from Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull, and the girls game up with 10 facts they learned about him.



In honor of Stevenson, we took turns reading A Child’s Garden of Verses (also found free on Kindle).

We also read a collection of short ghost stories.


Independent reading

Little Sis finished book one of The Hunger Games trilogy, and is halfway through book two of Catching Fire.

I finally finished Clash of Kings, and am well on my way through A Storm of Swords. It may take me a bit longer to get through this book for two reasons. One, it is over 1200 pages long; two, I am not looking forward to certain events that take place. Why am I putting myself through this again? Oh right, because Sky has taken a huge interest in the series. “The things we do for love.”

Reading Comprehension

Before starting Jekyll and Hyde, we watched a few YouTube videos I found about the story.

We also watched his 6 minutes on the first 5 chapters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and his video on the last part of the story.

Once we finished the story, the girls took the quiz from SparkNotes.


We watched the Crash Course video on How and Why We Read too (YouTube).

Spelling/ Vocab

Little Sis completed the first 4th grade spelling list at Spelling Classroom.com.

Sky’s list was from Jekyll and Hyde (Quizlet):

qualm, exorbitant, turpitude, tincture, apothecary, insensate, juggernaut (thanks Marvel), pecuniary, countenance, balderdash, coquetry, conflagration, malefactor, abject, disquietude, induce


The girls copied the poem, My Shadow by Steven Louis Stevenson in cursive.


(Little Sis)


The girls are entering a haunted house short story contest from SparkNotes. I will post their stories on my blog after the contest deadline.


We discussed a narrative writing checklist before they started writing their story.



Warm up exercises with XtraMath (I give this program credit for Sky being able to progress as well as she is in math. Since she has been warming up using Xtramath, she hasn’t been making as many mistakes.)

Little Sis, Math Made Easy 3rd grade workbook. Sky, Kumon Pre-Algebra Workbook 1.


We read and discussed Science in the News (A-Z) issue Gone Bananas.




PBS series Indian Summers


We have been watching new episodes of one of my favorite television shows, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza, studying improv.


The Arts

We watched the silent movie, Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


We also watched The Hunger Games movie (Brutal, and I’m reading the Game of Thrones series.).


The girls had homeschool gym.

Peace for the journey.


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