Archive for May, 2015

Week In The Life (There Once Was A Queen Named Boudicca)

May 30, 2015

Between a holiday, Memorial Day, and dentist appointments, it was a short week for lessons. I am planning like mad to wrap up any loose ends we may have before our summer school schedule starts. I’ve also been looking at what we still need to cover before the year ends.

So far, I’m happy with our trial run of high school. It took me a while, but I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction. More than anything we’ve been working on perfecting our routine. Making sure we get started on time each day now that we have twice the amount of work. Since I am keeping track of our hours for credits, which is 1 hour for each credit (2 in the state of Indiana) for 180 days, I need to make sure we have the time to begin with. As of right now our days look like this,

Math 1 hour, 4 days a week ,about 46 weeks. (We take about 6 weeks totally, completely, no reading, nothing, off from “school” a year.)

English (Comp, British/ World Literature) 2 hours, 4 days a week (reduced to 1 hour during summer school), about 46 weeks.

Science, as of right now is 1 hour a week. Sometimes it’s more depending on what we are learning. I am planning on adding this daily for Sky starting in 2016.

Art History/ Appreciation is 1 hour a week, about 34 weeks (Summer school lasts about 12 weeks.)

Music History/Appreciation 1 hour a week, about 34 weeks

Dance History/ Appreciation Combining this in with our lessons and keeping track of the hours. She should have 90 hours easily by the time she graduates. (In Indiana a semester equals 1 credit which would be 90 hours.)

Theater Arts History Again combining in with our lessons and keeping track of the hours that she should easily get for the 1 semester credit.

P.E. 2.5 hours a week, about 46 weeks

Home Economics 1 hour a week, about 46 weeks.

History (World/ Geography and Civilization, so she will get 4 credits when finished) 2 hours (sometimes more) 4 days a week, about 46 weeks.

Okay, we still need to add foreign language into our routine, and Sky is still debating on which language she wants to learn. Starting January of next year I will be combining health in with Biology/Life Science, P.E., and our baking. Besides all that, I think we pretty much have her other electives she needs down .

She is wanting to go to art school so most of her electives will revolve around those kind of courses, like drawing, fiber arts, painting, maybe sculpture and photography. She is wanting to take Psychology and Sign Language and I will be combining Astronomy in with her Ancient Civilization studies. I will be combining U.S. History and American Literature together too.

This is just my outline as of right now, me getting all my thoughts down. I have a good idea how we are going to do U.S. Government, Economics, Consumer Science, and there may be a drama class thrown in too. I’m still trying to figure out Speech though.

With that all said,

Language Arts

I started Red Hugh Prince of Donegal by Robert T. Reilly as our read aloud. With us having Ireland’s geography and history under our belts, makes it much easier to visualize the story.

I also read and we discussed the poem Boadicea by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The girls learned how to write a limerick, finding it to be much harder than what they thought,

then they typed it on my blog. I guess I should start keeping track of their hours typing too. They actually type faster than I can, and I can type pretty fast.

Their words of the week were,

clan, turret, vagabond, minstrel, amiable, gallantry, ally, annex

New words Little Sis has learned from playing Word Shout, din, jib, hob, and maw. I can’t say enough about this game, it has already paid for itself many times over.

Speaking of games, the Bananagrams have made their way back into circulation.



Keeping it simple since we had a short week, Sky continued practicing with decimals. The lessons from Math Doesn’t Suck start out with comparing fractions, and I noticed when doing her dividing decimals worksheets she’s having some trouble rounding off the answer. So, she practiced rounding decimals and bit more multiplying them.

Little Sis practiced some word problems from her workbook Math Made Easy 3rd grade.

World History

The girls copied notes about Boudicca into their timeline notebook.



Again, I made the notebooking page.

We finished The Pickwick Papers series that we all enjoyed,

and the series had an added bonus with A Night With Charles Dickens on the DVD. A Charles Dickens impersonator read, the most famous chapter from the book, in front of an audience. I love hearing authors read their work, wish more made audio books. I would have loved to hear Dickens read one of his stories.

The Arts

Having a short week, I kept it simple with another Enya song,

and we listened to the Fugees Ready or Not song using Enya’s Boadicea song as the background.

We watched Disney/ Pixar’s movie Brave, and Sky has been doing a lot of drawing again.


Culinary Arts

The girls made maple No-Bakes.


This time they used Earth Balance in place of butter and maple syrup as the sweetener. Texture and taste wise they turned out good. They were too sticky to hold though, and that kind of makes them unappealing.


It’s almost getting too warm for our walks around the block, but we still managed for another week.

We had a nice family game night, the four of us, over the weekend.


Peace for the journey.


A Dog Named Bear (Limerick, Sky)

May 28, 2015

There once was a dog named Bear,
who went out for some fresh air;
He ran in a cave,
met a man named Dave,
and that was the fate of Bear.

The Shady Lady (Limerick, Little Sis)

May 28, 2015

There once was a very young lady,
who seemed a little bit shady;
She played with a trumpet,
but then she just dumped it,
That poor very young shady lady.

Week In The Life (Such Nonsense)

May 22, 2015

As I write this, Sky is out with her big sister taste testing sushi for the very first time, and Little Sis is out with Papa running some errands. I do not know the last time I have been home alone. I am scanning my memories for if there ever was a time. I’m sure there has been, but the fact that  I can’t remember means it has been too long.

Usually I am sporting a big pair of headphones as I write, trying to drown out the typical noise that arises from a teenager and her younger sister. Most of the time it’s a battle of my music over theirs. Right now, I can actually hear the birds, over the sound of the never ending traffic constantly driving down our street that is. How easy it is to take for granted something as simple as a bird’s tune, to actually be able to hear my thoughts for once.

Of course, I know one day I will miss all the noise. I will miss the interruptions of “MOM!” in the middle of thought, then coming back to stare at a blinking cursor trying to remember what I was going to write. I am aware Sky will be driving soon, though she is in no hurry to get behind the wheel, she has been showing signs of wanting her independence. She no longer needs mom to help make decisions. She’s no longer nervous about wondering off to a different part of the store to look at magazines while I shop, and she will take advantage of any opportunity to stay home alone when she can.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was a little saddened by this, I mean they will always be my babies. Honestly though, I’m not as sad as I thought I was going to be. I think it’s because I was able to spend all these years home with her, prepping her for life. I truly, honestly feel very confident that I have done everything I possibly can to prepare her for her own journey. There are no, “I wish I would haves”. I took the time to build our relationship around honesty and trust, and I made sure my actions matched my words when the boundaries were tested (yes, talking to me about anything, really means anything). I know this is just the beginning of her journey to independence, and more tests will come (Big Sis will be 25 next week), but this time I am ready.

Language Arts

We had a lot of fun this week listening to more Nonsense stories and poems from Edward Lear.

The girls really enjoyed the story, The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple. I think I know who may have influenced Dr. Seuss.

The girls copied a few of Lear’s limericks in cursive,


(Little Sis)

and their words of the week were, chieftain, plunder, rapacious, bard, jig, and sieve.

Sky finished her folk/fairy-tale.

We also watched The Life of Edward Lear, Tales of Curiosity video (found on YouTube).


Little Sis learned how to divide with remainders and Sky learned to divide decimals by whole numbers.

I wish I could say she understood this but for some reason the extra steps are confusing her again.

This is when I wish I could climb inside her brain to see what is confusing her. I explain, that after you raise the decimal point the same rules of division apply ,but she tells me “No, there are more steps than just dividing.”  and for some reason the extra steps throw her off.

We will work through the problems together and she will get them right, then halfway through she starts making mistakes. It’s very frustrating on both our parts. I have however, come to the conclusion that no matter how long it takes us to get through math, I will continue working at her pace. The whole point of homeschooling, at least for me, is the fact that we don’t need to rush through lessons to get all the material covered by the end of the year. We can stop and actually master a subject, and that is what we are going to do. I’m not educating to hand out grades, I want the girls to understand what and why they are learning.


We watched NOVA, Secrets of Stonehenge.

Social Studies

World History

We watched The Rise and Fall of the Druids documentary (Found on YouTube), another short video on the many, many stone circles there are throughout Europe, not just Stonehenge,

and the girls added notes to their timeline.


We also watched the movie Boudicca, Warrior Queen. Okay, this movie carries a NR rating. So, I watched the first 20 minutes of the movie to see if it would be suitable, and it was a PBS Masterpiece Theater presentation too. I should have maybe read reviews before deciding, or did a little more research because we were surprised by nudity, incest, and rape scenes. I am not bothered by nudity or violence, the girls can go in the other room whenever they feel uncomfortable, I don’t make the girls watch anything. I also know that these things really did happen too and am all for not sugarcoating history. I do believe there should have been a rating for this movie though. So, I am rating it R. Now, with that said it wasn’t a bad movie really, and if I knew about certain parts I would have just fast forward them. Lesson learned.

I like to watch the Horrible History songs right after a show while the information is still fresh. We watched the song for Boudicca.


We watched Rick Steves  Heart of England and South Wales episode (found on YouTube).

The Arts

Continuing with art history, we watched the art video on the history of cave paintings and Stonehenge,

and the girls made pet rocks.


We also watched the movie Song of the Sea, that we loved!

I highly recommend it, the animation is beautiful.

Home Economics

The weather cooled down just enough to bake chocolate chip cookies.


Besides our usual walks around the block, we attended homeschool open gym.


The girls had so much fun and can’t wait until the next one.


Peace for the journey

The Selkie’s Skin (Sky)

May 20, 2015

Once upon a time in ancient Ireland within the Irish Sea, there lived a beautiful selkie named Sabrina. She had the most beautiful blue eyes any sea-man could have ever laid eyes on, and she had the silkiest golden hair you could ever feel. However, Sabrina was not very fond of humans. She had seen many of her friends lose their seal skins and become slaves to men. Sabrina vowed to never lose her seal skin.

One day while Sabrina was swimming in the sea, she began to feel sleepy. Since she felt too lazy to swim back home she decided to snooze on a tiny rock island she saw ahead of her. She came upon the rocky shore and slipped slowly out of her brown, slim, seal skin. She laid on the top of the rock soaking up the sun. “I shall only rest here a minute,” stated Sabrina as she laid back. Between the warm sun and Sabrina’s heavy eyes, Sabrina could not resist the temptation of sleep.

While she slept, a young and handsome sea-man was upon the bottom of the rock, on which Sabrina slept, and was fishing. As he fished he heard a soft whimpering sound above him. Curious, he climbed to the very top to see what the noise was. When he arrived he could not believe what he saw, “A selkie…” he whispered to himself. She was so beautiful and he knew how to claim her.

Looking about he saw a brown seal skin, without warning he reached for it. Sabrina woke with a start and looked about. “Bless my soul, I should be home!” she exclaimed and went to grab her seal skin. She looked all around but could not find her skin anywhere. “Where on God’s earth can it be!?” she cried becoming very alarmed. “Is this yours?” said a soft voice. Sabrina paled and turned to where the voice came from. “No, not a man!” thought Sabrina in panic as she covered her bare skin. The sea-man was holding Sabrina’s skin and was pretty confused by the girl’s panic. “If the legends are true then you must become my wife, am I correct?” he asked shyly. Sabrina nodded slowly holding back the lump in her throat.

The sea-man took her by the hand and led her to his house where he invited her inside. “You can sit here,” he said pointing to a wooden chair. Sabrina’s eyes teared up, but she tried not to show it as she sat down. The sea-man went to get some fish from the kitchen to cook on the stove for dinner. During dinner, Sabrina looked down at her plate but refused to eat. The sea-man stared at her with concern. “My love, is there something wrong?” Sabrina could not hold in her despair any longer. She went to the sea-man and dropped to her knees, and with tears streaming down her face replied, “Please, in God’s name let me go! I want to feel the waves against my skin once again. I want to be free within my home! I’m sure you’re a good man, but by god please let me go!” The sea-man could not help but let his own tears fall as he felt so much pity in his heart for the girl in front of him. He got up silently and went to the back of the house.

When he returned he was holding Sabrina’s seal skin. Sabrina’s face lit up with hope and relief. The sea-man walked over to her and handed back her skin. Sabrina was now in a state of confusion. “Why human, are you giving this back to me?” The sea-man bowed his head to her and got down on his knees. “Because, you belong to the sea, not in my arms.”, he spoke sadly. Sabrina took his hands in hers “You are a good man, and for that someday I shall be your wife. Thank you for the kindness you have shown me this day.” With that, she turned to leave the sea-man and his house, but he took her hand. “Wait, before you leave, may I please know your name?” Sabrina smiled gently and pointed to her chest, “My name is Sabrina, may I know yours as well?” The sea-man pointed to his chest, “My name is Eric.” with those words they parted ways, but not forever. Eric smiled warmly because he knew that someday… Sabrina would be in his arms for many years to come.

The End

Week In The Life (Reflection)

May 15, 2015

Well, the girls, mostly, are now prepared for summer. I guess I wasn’t the only one taken by surprise by the unexpected temperatures because the stores were packed. We literally had to wait in a line to try on clothes due to the overcrowding in the dressing rooms. At least the warmer temps have brightened up the scenery around here, inside and out.


The peonies are in full bloom and our garden, with the exception of our pepper plants for some reason (I’m thinking soil ph), is doing really well.


Our strawberries are beginning to bud and everything we’ve planted can now be seen above ground.

We are now more than 80 days into our school year and I am beginning to feel my restored confidence. I forgot to mention in my last post that our school year starts in January and ends in December. I’m not really sure how or why the school year is set up the way it is, with the children starting a new year in August and it ending in May of the next year. I, myself have just found it a lot easier to view our school year, as a full year. Maybe it makes for an easier visual on my part, being able to see the 365 full calendar days, or it just feels right come January 1, celebrating a new year and all, for us to start a new school year too. Anyway, it works for us.

It worked out perfect for the girls too. Since Sky was first to be “schooled” I just kind of followed her lead. I focused more on setting up a routine than trying to do actual school at home. We read, watched Mr. Rogers, baked, colored, played with play dough, had tea parties, danced to Greg and Steve, sang along with The Letter People songs, and enjoyed our time together. We are surrounded by learning inspiration.

By the time Little Sis came, I had my routine perfected and she just kind of followed along. She loved “playing school” with sissy and painted, and listened to our lessons with us. Of course, there were a few bumps along the way.

The biggest problem in homeschooling I have faced, besides getting my head around this high school thing and the one piece of advice I will share to anyone just starting the homeschooling journey is don’t get too hung up on one approach or philosophy.

Even though homeschooling isn’t really anything new as far as history goes, it is fairly new in our current society. Most methods we use for homeschooling, like Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, even unschooling, were never really used to “homeschool” as we do today. This is kind of big. Homeschoolers of this generation really are testing the waters of what will work and what won’t. Yeah, it’s kind of scary too.

Can you learn from those homeschooling methods? Of course. Problems arise when the “rules” of whether you’re “Waldorf” or “unschooling” enough can’t be broken and fingers start getting pointed. No one really can have all the answers. Many have what worked for their families, and we can learn from them, but their family isn’t my family. My family isn’t your family. What works for us might not work for you. You will need to find your own routine, your own method.

This is our method, our families homeschooling journey, and I am still learning right along with you. Only time will tell how it will all play out.

Language Arts

We finally finished our Irish Fairy and Folktales. The girls and I went over some steps on how to write your own folktale, and I printed a reminder sheet for their journals (I divided a binder for both girls to keep math and English notes that may come in handy later. The math journal has been a huge help for Sky this year.).

Their writing assignment this week was to come up with their own folktale. Little Sis finished her story already. Sky’s is a bit longer so I have given her more time.

We listened to Edward Lear’s Nonsense Verses too.

Their words of the week were:

sacrifice, relics, scribes, patron, abbot, furrow.


Miss Sky practiced comparing, adding and subtracting, and multiplying decimals.

Little Sis Worked on fractions, ordering decimals, adding and subtraction review from her workbook Math Made Easy 3rd grade.

Social Studies

World History

This week we went back to our ancient history studies learning about the Celts (where we left off right before the start of “Christmas school”.).

We started the documentary BBC The Celts Rich Traditions and Ancient Myths, but couldn’t finish it. It reminded me of something Benny Hill would have made fun of. I couldn’t tell if the documentary was trying to take itself seriously or meant to be funny, we thought it comical, not in a good kind of way. Instead of wasting more time, we watched an episode of the Ancient Warrior series about the Celts. (found on YouTube).

The girls added notes to their notebook timeline.


(Miss Sky)


(Little Sis)

Making my own notebooking page again.


We watched an episode of NOVA called Ghosts of Murdered Kings, about the latest bog body find.

The Arts

Continuing our study of Edward Lear, we discovered he was an artist as well as a writer and discussed several of his paintings.

We tried our hand at sculpting, where we discovered we needed more instruction (it is harder than it looks), and made Celtic crosses while listening to Enya (found on YouTube).


We also watched Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, live from Hyde Park, London (found on YouTube).

For fun, I came across a Mickey Mouse and Friends cartoon of the William Tell Overture.

Home Economics

The girls requested no bake oatmeal cookies, it’s that time of year again where I stop using the oven.


They made both chocolate and peanut butter. We reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup and they are still pretty sweet.


Still walking around the block.


Peace for the journey.

The Selkie (Little Sis)

May 13, 2015

There was once a young Irish girl named Diana. She loved sea creatures and was fascinated by them. Her favorites to study are merrows and selkies.

One day, Diana decided to walk to the river to cool off for a little while. She splashed her face with water, but then saw something under the river. What she saw was alive and swimming. Diana wished that she could get a closer look at the swimming object down below, but then realized it was a small brown seal. “Could it be?…”, Diana asked herself, “could it be a selkie?” The seal then came up out of the water and showed its ginger brown skin. With her mouth opened wide, Diana took a deep gulp. She realized the seal was indeed a selkie. The selkie’s human skin was emerging through the seal skin. The selkie was a beautiful girl, she had long dark hair and light blue eyes. The selkie was out of the river but her seal tail was still attached. Diana walked over to the selkie and bent down to reach her. The selkie groaned and moved her wrist to the water to feel the waves. “My legs are feeling weak and I’m cold”, the selkie said while shivering and panting. “Is there anyway to numb the pain?” ,Diana asked. The selkie nodded and replied, “I will need to put my seal skin back on, but I feel too weak for that.” “I know !,” ,said Diana, “I could walk back to my house and grab a blanket.” The selkie shook her head and said, “that would be wonderful !”. So, Diana walked back home and got a blanket.

Diana walked back to the river, excited that she had finally saw a selkie. When she arrived at the spot where she had left, Diana found the selkie was still waiting for her. Diana wrapped the blanket around the selkie. “Thank you for your kindness” ,replied the selkie, “my name is Mackenzie.” Diana introduced herself. With her warmth restored, the selkie was ready to go back into the river. Diana asked Mackenzie, “Do you think we can meet again?”. Mackenzie nodded and said “yes, I would like that.” Both girls agreed to meet later next week. “It was nice meeting you”, Diana said. “I agree”, said Mackenzie.

Every week both girls continued to meet and became close friends. As time passed by, Diana grew up and became an artist, painting selkies were her favorite.

Week In The Life (When The Saints Go Marching In)

May 9, 2015

This week for sure felt very much like summer here in Indy. All the windows have been opened and fans have already been brought in to help circulate the air. I know this may sound crazy, but I am honestly not ready for summer yet. Where I was completely organized for winter, I haven’t even been in the girls closets to see what is needed. Little Sis doesn’t even have shorts that fit her. That’s the way it goes in our home. I am either perfectly organized or perfectly behind. Sometimes I feel like I just need to scream.

I often wonder how other families do it. What corners are being cut? I have to remind myself over and over that what we see on the surface is not always reality. I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, I mean when I was sick things did pile up. I guess this is what I meant by homeschooling families needing to be disciplined with their routine. If I forget to do one little thing, everything feels unbalanced. While catching up on stocking our pantry, I wasn’t able to prepare for summer. There is one thing I am looking forward to with summer approaching, our summer school schedule.

We homeschool year round, 4 days a week. Friday is my planning, budgeting, blogging day. Plus, it’s nice having an extra day scheduled in case we didn’t get everything done during the week. We don’t use a curriculum, I am more of a do it myself type person. I do like to use guidelines of what might be studied in each grade, but try to follow where the girls are academically. Both girls give me feedback if I am going too fast or too slow, “If I hear Oliver Cromwell’s name one more time, it’s really going to piss me off.” (Sky is not a big fan of him.) Yep, time for this mama to move on.

We don’t really fall into any certain “type” of homeschoolers. We use workbooks, watch television, documentaries and movies, read all kinds of stories (some could be considered “twaddle”), play board and video games, and use notebooking pages. You could say I like unit studies but I don’t like to be tied down to just one topic. I like to go with the flow. What started out as a Victorian British literature block has us chasing rabbit trails in Ireland. Everything connects someway, somehow. Kind of like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. I prefer the term block study, though I like to cover all “subjects” during one block.

I like taking a week break after each block, this gives me time to regroup and organize. We have a summer school schedule, due to the fact summer is a busy time for us outdoors. Basically we pick our stories to read aloud, play lots of games, and continue math. Science is more of a hands on outdoor nature study and we always are watching movies. We also have a Christmas school schedule, because that is a pretty busy time too, where topics are geared more towards preparing for Christmas. We never really stop learning, so it just makes more sense for us to school year round. Why, homeschooling really is more of a lifestyle than something we just do. The longer you do it, the harder it becomes to separate.

Language Arts

Still Listening to Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by Yeats, we have about reached the end with Kings, Queens, Princess, Earls, and Robbers.

The girls copied the Poem, Old Ireland by Walt Whitman in cursive,


(Miss Sky)

and we listened to it.

We discussed what it might mean and Miss Sky asked when the poem was written, before or after the potato famine. I told her after so she thought that was what Whitman was writing about. Not having a commentary of the poem, I am going to agree with her.

We all took turns reading the story St. Bridget and the King’s Wolf.

Their spelling/ vocabulary words of the week were, prerogative, resilience, loiter, shroud,  and rogue. I am keeping a list of all their words, from each block, to test the girls when finished. Little Sis will have 15, Sky will have all of them. They should be able to use them in a sentence as well. I overheard Sky already come up with one. “The Artful Dodger is a lovable rogue. ” 🙂

We also played more Word Shout. Little Sis is getting really good, she surprised Papa with the word awe. We have even had to pull the dictionary out a few times. It really is a fun game.


Sky worked on comparing, adding and subtracting, and multiplying decimals from the book Math Doesn’t Suck. We are going to sick with multiplying decimals this week as she’s had trouble placing the decimal after finding the product. She keeps wanting to count forward. I know it is more of a dyslexia problem for her, she just needs some extra practice.

Little Sis worked on ordering numbers from smallest to largest, rounding to the nearest 10, polygons, identifying patterns, (this slowed her down a bit and I was glad it was in the workbook for her to practice), multiplying odds and evens, and adding fact families from the workbook Math Made Easy.

We also played more of the game Zoom.


We discovered a family of sparrows has moved into our recycled bird house Papa made from our old wood fencing.DSCF7092

We also learned about Irish Wolfhounds from the series Dogs 101, found on YouTube. I printed out a picture and the girls came up with 10 facts they learned.

Social Studies


We had our primary elections this week and lucky for us the weather was perfect for walking to the polls. We had discussions on what this election meant, as the topic of raising property taxes to update the schools and keep transportation in our district was on the ballot.

World History

Finishing up our study of Ireland during medieval times with watching the movie To Kill A King.

I would give this movie a PG-13 rating as it does contain very brief nudity and is a bit graphic. If your children are okay with the Hobbit violence than this movie should be fine. It is more from Thomas Fairfax’s point of view.

We watched the PBS documentary, In Search of Ancient Ireland and learned about Ireland’s three patron saints, Patrick,



Brigid of Kildare,


(Little Sis)

and Columba.

I made my own notebooking pages as I couldn’t find any I really liked.

The Arts

The girls had their first “art assignment” drawing a picture of the mythical creature they wrote about last week to add in their notebooks.


(Little Sis)



We watched the movie The Secret of the Kells,

the animation is done in the same style as the Book of Kells.

After picking out which picture from The Book Of Kells the girls wanted to learn about and color,


we listened to music from the group Orthodox Celts and a relaxing Celtic music mix I found on YouTube while learning the history behind the book.

We also had a Hobbit movie marathon.

Home Economics

We tried our hand at making twisted bread-sticks to go along with dinner.


They turned out really good texture wise but not so much twisted wise. 🙂

We halved the recipe and if we were to make them again ,I will probably try freezing half of that dough to save for another time. I think I will make them much smaller in size too as 1/2 a bread-stick was more than enough.


Still walking around the block.


Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (Acceptance)

May 1, 2015

Well, I wasn’t really going to write about it, but I guess it is meant to be as my fingers press over the keys. Today is my birthday, not just any birthday but my 40th. Yes, today I am officially 40 years old.

This past year has been a major awakening for me in so many areas. This past year I finally discovered and made peace with myself. I finally embraced everything that makes me, me.  I found my backbone, faced my demons (for a time they were winning too), rid myself of shame, and can honestly say that I love who I’ve become, gray hair and all. I am not perfect and never will be, no longer can my flaws be thrown back in my face. You love me for me, or not (and the not, no longer bothers me) . I am not the same person I was a year ago, I am not the same person period.

Though I needed to be the one to accept myself, Susan Cain’s book Quiet helped a lot. Being able to define “normal” for myself was huge. Introversion is a part of me and when you want to change that, or think I should, you are pretty much telling me that I need to change to meet your definition of “normal”.

It’s kind of ironic that I have always been able to accept other people’s normal, but not myself. It’s also kind of ironic that part of the whole “socialization” argument with homeschooling is them learning tolerance of other people’s differences and yet I’ve always felt the pressure (from outsiders who went through public school) to change who I was.Though I am not going to lie, I am pretty radical. I’ve always been that way. Something I discovered while working out my frustrations with Sky and her need to question authority was the fact that I did, do too. I don’t think I’ve ever made “normal” choices, homeschooling included. It’s like I was born to fight, though I’ve never liked conflict. As long as you stay off my back and don’t try to bully your beliefs on me (talking about me personally, not civil rights), I will give you the same respect about your beliefs. Acceptance, yes that to me is 40.

Language Arts

We are still listening to Yeats, Irish Fairy Tales and Folklore. The girls wrote a paragraph of their favorite Irish mythical creature, and their words of the week were Beldam, mutton, gullet, daft, and exhumed.

We also purchased a new game called Word Shout, that is another huge hit. It is from the makers of the dice game Toss Up and played in much the same way. You roll the word dice and must be the first to spot out words and grab the dice to get points.

Little Sis is halfway through book 3 of Gallagher Girls, and Sky purchased Death Note Vol. 13.


It was the perfect rainy weekend for a new puzzle.


This week for warm up (I always start or transition into school with a quick game) we played the game Zoom. I highly recommend this game for mental math. So much better than boring flash cards.

Sky watched a few more videos on complex fractions and we finally put all her hard work, from the past few weeks, to the test. I am really proud of her. She got each of the problems right. Example problem, from Math Doesn’t Suck.

1/4+1/2   +      5/12 +3 * 1/2

______   over  ___________

2-1/8       +      3 1/2 x (1/4-1/8)        (answer 226/15)

We are moving on to decimals next week.

I purchased the Math Made Easy Workbook, 3rd grade for Little Sis as it had everything she worked on from Khan Academy in it. So, she will be working through that for review since she completed 3rd grade already. She finished both the early math and 3rd grade math from Khan Academy in a matter of months. She is pretty much working through the workbook on her own. I will see if there are any places she needs help on before I decide whether to movie on to fourth grade, though honestly I think she is ready.


Our garden in planted. This year we did make it bigger, added more potatoes, more garlic (finally used our last head), onions, peppers, and we are going to try strawberries. Then there was counting all the hatched Robin eggs.

Social Studies,

World History:

Since in Ireland and already briefly going over Cromwell’s invasion, I thought we would watch the Cromwell movie about the English Civil War.

We watched Horrible Histories English Civil War song (YouTube) and Irish History, The Conquerors series on Oliver Cromwell (YouTube).

The girls copied notes for their notebooks.


(Little Sis)

Of course you can’t mention Cromwell and the English Civil War without mentioning King Charles I. So we watched the Kings and Queens documentary of Charles I (YouTube) and the English Civil War – Learning Zone (Parts 1 and 2, YouTube). The girls copied notes in their notebooks.



We finished it up with the Monarchy series (found on Netflix) episode called Cromwell, King Killer.

The Arts

First we watched a video of one of my most favorite female singers , Tori Amos, song off her new album Unrepentant Geraldines called Selkie.

Then we watched two videos on the artist Peter Paul Rubens, Master of Shadows: Peter Paul Rubens (YouTube) and Peter Paul Rubens, Elevation of the Cross from Khan Academy. I printed off a self portrait and the girls came of with 10 things they learned about him.



The girls picked one of his pieces to color and learn about. They chose Leda and the Swan and added them to their notebook.


We also watched another hidden gem movie, Into the West.

Home Economics

We made mint chip sugar cookies.


I am not a big fan of food coloring so we left that part out and our store didn’t have mint chocolate chips so I chopped the mints up in pieces. These weren’t bad, but next time I will use our chocolate chip cookie recipe and add the mint chips instead. I don’t really like cream of tartar in cookies. I prefer soft, chewy cookies. I would leave out the peppermint extract next time too, as it is overpowering or maybe just add 1/2 tsp.


We were lucky to get in more walks around the block as the weather has been beautiful.


Peace for the journey.