A Year In The Life 2013 ( “Language Is Wine Upon The Lips”)

~Virginia Woolf

I love words, I always have. My parents took a picture of me when I was about 2 taking a nap on top of a couch covered in books. Things, of course, have changed since then, they now reside on my nightstand. 🙂 You can not turn a corner of our home without running into some sort of shelf filled with books. I just can’t help myself. I am my dad’s daughter for sure.

I have very fond memories of the two of us never being able to pass by a bookstore without at least stepping in for a quick peek. The smell, the serenity, the feeling of holding a book in my hand is a pure delight to my senses. Of course, we could never leave empty-handed. I still can’t walk past a pile of books without looking and they are always the first thing I spot when walking into someone’s home.

I know I have said it before but this was probably my biggest hurdle to get over in homeschooling. I had to realize that just because I love books doesn’t necessarily mean my children will. I had to realize that my love for words didn’t stop with books. I love music, I love movies, I love blogs, I love articles (did you know the short stories of Jean Shepherd ran in Playboy magazine before becoming one of the most classic Christmas movies ever?). Words are everywhere!

So what did our year of language arts look like?

We ended 2012 with the girls just starting to get in with the story of Alice In Wonderland and that interest carried over into 2013. So I think that is where I shall start.


Miss Sky found a Dover story coloring book I had and got so caught up in the story before we knew it we were checking out different movies (Miss Sky was interested in how Alice’s shrinking was filmed) and listening to the dramatic LibriVox audiobook.


Sometimes it was a movie that inspired the reading of a story. The movie Tangled inspired Little Sis into reading Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky.

Little Sis and I also enjoyed the Scholastic Storybook Treasuries from Netflix.

Other books we read aloud that we enjoyed (and still are) this year are The Violet Mackerel series by Anna Branford, The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary,


Junie B Jones First Grader by Barbara Park and thanks to our local history museum’s annual Headless Horseman festival the girls are very aware of the story by Washington Irving. A little history tidbit, the city of Irvington in our state was named after the author.

As with everything many discussions are born from what we read and before I start reading I usually ask a for a brief summary of what was read the previous day.

Little Sis also decided to participate in the summer reading program at the library.

As I have already mentioned books are not the only reading materials we use. Miss Sky loves her subscriptions to Otaku USA and Cosplay USA


which brings me to manga and The Black Butler series( why she needed another bookshelf behind her door).


I have really come to appreciate this form of art, getting hooked on a series myself, and can see why she enjoys it so much.

This year I learned the terminology of fan fiction, OC, and discovered that I myself am a “fangirl”. Where Little Sis has really been getting in with reading this year too


Miss Sky has been reading when she wakes up, reading instead of being asleep (Uhem, I still have nights like these), reading whenever she can (she is reading now as I type this) fan fiction short stories.


This is the child I was worried about not liking books. This year I added a word of the week on the chalkboard to help Little Sis learn how to use a dictionary and learn alphabetical order but it is Miss Sky who informed me of all the words she has used her 3DS to find the definitions for.


She also just recently started writing poetry. Speaking of which as part of Miss Sky practicing her cursive I started writing a new poem on the chalkboard every week for the girls to copy.


I have noticed a *huge* improvement in both of their handwriting since doing this.


Little Sis has been practicing her cursive too and has been learning capitalization and punctuation.


Miss Sky isn’t the only one writing, Little Sis loves to create books


and journal writing.


The girls are always researching something or other whether it is how to draw a certain something, a YouTube video on how to build something on Minecraft, or reading reviews of what movies they want to add to Netflix.



Our second new favorite family game of 2013, Disney Headbands,


Scribblenauts Unlimited (The second 3 DS game I needed to buy 2 of. I can not recommend this game enough. It is by far the most played DS game ever and SO much learning like spelling and grammar.),


Disney Apples to Apples, Disney Create.com,


Manga Creator 2,


Charades (even though we have a game we enjoy playing the original way too, “first word, 2 syllables…..”), Silly Sentences (Someone starts the sentence off then we go around in a circle adding a word until the sentence is finished), Story Starter (Someone starts off telling a story then you ask “Sky what do you think they saw?” and have them participate in adding on to the story), and good old-fashioned Hangman.

How about the Arts next.


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