Archive for April, 2015

Selkies (Miss Sky)

April 29, 2015

Selkies are found in Irish folklore, they are known as the fairies of the sea. Selkies live as seals in the sea and shed their skin to become human on land. When a man steals the female Selkie’s skin she has to become his wife. However, if she finds her skin, she will return to the sea. In the movie The Secret of Roan Inish, a little girl goes to live with her grandparents and finds out one of her ancestors is a Selkie. Male Selkies make storms and overturn boats in revenge of seals being killed. Most stories about Selkies are found on the Northern coast of Ireland.


Merrows (Little Sis)

April 29, 2015

Merrows are Irish Folklore merpeople, they live in the sea like mermaids. Also, the female Merrows are beautiful and the male Merrows are very ugly with a red nose, green skin, and a bad complexion. The females are a lot like mermaids and have a mermaid tail. It is said that they carry a feather red cap, called a cohullen druith, that helps them dive back to their home. If it is stolen then they can never go in the water again. Humans have been known to steal this item for various reasons. In the story The Soul Cages, written by T. Crofton Croker, a male Merrow takes a fisherman to his house, then shows the fisherman his collection of souls.The fisherman steals the Merrow’s red hat and dives to his house to free the captured souls. Fishermen don’t like Merrows because it always means coming gales, or very strong winds. Sometimes Merrows come out of the sea onto the shore in the shape of little hornless cows.

Week(s) In The Life (Immune)

April 24, 2015

Well, Spring break came and went and several pats on the back for the progress I made cleaning. Dust had nothing on me. We started our “school” routine back after a much needed break, feeling much more refreshed and relaxed about certain decisions on where we were heading. Then, boom, one by one we fell prey to viral bacteria. It has been years since we’ve been sick and this virus gave our white blood cells a run for our money.

I am a ” routine” type of person, if you couldn’t tell that already from reading here, but not quite as anal anymore. I have learned to be much more “flexible” over the years but still, if I get behind for more than one day, it throws me for a loop and I start to get overwhelmed with the catching back up. So imagine what being sick for a week, a week did. I needed another whole week just to get reorganized. It is amazing how much work it takes to be homeschoolers. How disciplined we must be. I think this is something that really doesn’t get discussed much.

Being sick is not funny, but for a homeschooling scientific family, in some ways it is. The girls know and understand what is happening in their bodies so comments like ” damn germs, you will be defeated, my immune system will evolve stronger from this” are quite common around here. Or how after studying the history of cholera and typhoid fever, during the Victorian times, can really make you appreciate the advancements made in medicine and realize just how weak humans really are.

Honestly though, I actually needed the break, which makes me think the reason I got sick in the first place was because my immune system was weak from being stressed. While off ,it made me reevaluate a few things. I have been so focused on making sure I don’t mess high school or Sky’s future up that I have forgot to enjoy living here in the present. I have been worried, stressed, and anxious about where Sky isn’t, that learning was becoming a chore and nobody was having any fun, again.

I can present all the information and do everything right until I’m blue in the face but I can’t force Sky to learn. She is who she is and she can only do her best and that is all I ever wanted to begin with. This is our homeschool and we call the shots. If I wanted a public education, the girls would be in school.

Listening to another awesome Startalk podcast with Dr.Temple Gradin didn’t hurt either.

It was just the reminder and encouragement I needed.

So here we are, with stronger evolved immune systems ready for another go.

Language Arts

We started Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland by W. B. Yeats

and I read Clementine aloud.

I purchased the book Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee as a resource for our study and it has been read, and reread several times these past weeks. It makes another wonderful addition to our home library and is a perfect visual to our tales of Ireland.

The girls copied The Song of Wondering Aengus poem by W. B. Yeats in their notebooks


and listened to it.

Their vocabulary words were matriarch, paganism, peat, conquest, colonization, and reformation.


Sky learned about complex fractions (from Math Doesn’t Suck), order of operations (up to 5 steps), and exponents. The math journal is working out perfect for her, wish I had thought of it sooner. I am able to print off worksheets and she is able  to figure them out by looking in her journal. My goal is either she remembers how to solve a problem by looking at her examples enough or at least it will come in handy when studying for her tests.


Little Sis finished 3rd grade at Khan Academy with decomposing shapes to find area. I am getting a 3rd grade math workbook for her to practice all the concepts she has learned, as some could still use a bit of practice. She knows the multiplication tables up to 12 and we worked a bit with double digit multiplication. She also found the area of her name.

Social Studies

World History

We reviewed the potato famine and I printed a notebook page of Ireland’s troubles where they added notes to their timeline.

We also watched The Great Irish Journey, Famine to Freedom (found on YouTube) documentary and talked about how the Irish’s immigration played a role in United States history.

We also watched the movie Fairy Tale: A True Story

and The Secret of Roan Inish.

We finished the Little Dorrit miniseries too.

The whole family really enjoyed this series and I hope to add this Dickens story soon to our list of audio-book listens.


We watched Rick Steves, Best of Europe Dublin and Mystical Side-Trips and Belfast and the Best of Northern Ireland (found on YouTube). Also the Northern Ireland Belfast BBC documentary 2013 (YouTube). Lots of discussion on the war between the same religion but different denominations. Of course the girls also understand when the hostility between the two countries started and why as we’ve discussed the division in England between the Catholics and Protestants and the Tudors before.

The girls also took a Belfast comprehension quiz.


We did the rainbow milk experiment from the back of the Magic Tree House book.


The Arts

We started watching The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends series (YouTube) and the girls fell in love with the musical Oliver. They have asked for it to be added to our growing musical collection.

More drawings



(Little Sis)

Home Economics

The girls helped me make Irish Beef Stew, that turned out delicious, and bunny butt cookies


in honor of the Tales of Peter Rabbit and Friends. 🙂

We have read all of Potter’s stories many times as they are favorites, so watching them is a nice change of pace and this series is wonderfully made.

I, myself  have been on  a huge chocolate kick and in wanting to keep with my diet found a kick butt chocolate oatmeal recipe that I could eat daily and not feel guilty.

I have used both coconut sugar and maple syrup as sweeteners and both are delicious.


We have been blessed with warn enough weather to get us outdoors walking around the block.


Peace for the journey.