Archive for September, 2016

A Week In The Life (“Sugar, Sugar”*)

September 16, 2016

This week, we were able to take advantage of being home to squeeze in some lessons. I think all of us needed the break too.

Papa, will get to have his time off this coming week (though, adults never really get time off ). Perfect timing, for getting everything in order for winter: getting wood, planting garlic, and caulking up windows.

I feel like I have so much catching up to do myself. Little Sis is in need of new pants (all of a sudden she has noticed jeans). Then there is, organizing the closets, getting rid of any outgrown clothes, and it’s not just clothes the girls have outgrown (Junie B. Jones, has officially been removed from the bookshelf. Disney movies, are quickly being replaced by Twilight, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and The Shining.); the house is needing an all around deep cleansing.

Not to mention, I need to organize all of Sky’s credits, and her reading list for the completion of 9th grade.

Indiana is weird in that, semesters equal whole credits; which is good I guess, if one would need to transfer midyear. So, I will need to see how many actual credits she already has, even though she has only completed a semester in some classes.

Sometimes, I think that I have made things much harder on myself by us trying to learn everything as a whole; instead of separating lessons into their proper “titles”. I can’t help it. I see everything as connected, and once you see it, you can never not see it.

It seems ridiculous, to learn about the Medieval time period in history, without also learning about writing, art, music, theater, culinary arts, and science. They all connect. One movement, influenced another. Cause and effect.

Maybe, it is just how my brain works, and since the girls are genetically connected to Papa and me, it is how the girls’ brains function too. I mean, it is working, and to me, that’s all that matters.

Here is to hoping, all of my hard work pays off in the end. 🙂


Language Arts


We finally finished The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. All of us,  liked the story a lot. The characters are interesting, and the ending, though could have been predictable, wasn’t; it was very satisfying.

Stiefvater, does an amazing job breaking stereotypes. I think it is because, she, herself, breaks them. I love her writing style. I can see myself, reading this story again. It was that good. It for sure, will be on the girls’ end of the year favorites, my list as well.

I wish, I could say the same about The Boys From Brazil by Ira Levin. I really had to push myself to finish it, because I pretty much knew how it would end. At the time when this novel was written, I can see how the plot twist might have been a bit frightening. I just don’t think the story holds up now.

I am still wanting to see the movie though. Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier in one movie, yeah, I’m going to watch it.

I am halfway through Carol, or The Price of Salt, by  Patricia Highsmith now. It has been on my TBR list, and I have been waiting for it to become available at the library for awhile.




This week was all about sugar, but first we watched a few more videos on the sun and skincare.

Why do we have to wear sunscreen? – TedED-Kevin P. Boyd – YouTube

Repelling The Rays: The Chemistry of Sunscreen~ Bytesize Science-YouTube.

Where Does Sugar Come From? – SciShow Kids-YouTube

The Spangler Effect – Sugar Science – YouTube

SciShow: Sugar Compilation- YouTube

The Science of Sugar Addiction & The Fifth Taste…SciShow-YouTube

How Does Sugar Affect the Brain TedED-YouTube

The Sugary Truth – The Tremendousness Collective- YouTube

Sugar addiction is not anything new to us. We’ve actually been through it before, when Sky was little. Before Little Sis was born, Papa and I decided we would start making our own sweets instead of buying them at the store (baked goods kill your grocery budget); so I could control how much sugar went into the recipe (I still cut out, at least 1/3 of the amount of sugar from all recipes; most times 1/2.). That is when, we also started replacing sugar with real maple syrup.

We joke about it now, but it is not funny that Sky became furious when we didn’t come home with cookies; she threw a major tantrum. She was use to Pop Tarts, pancakes on a stick, donuts, and cereal for breakfast, on top of the sugary snacks. I don’t care what anyone wants to say, my daughter was suffering from sugar withdraw. Now, there is scientific proof.

I have wrote here before, how I struggle with obesity. I eat my way through stress, and dealing with depression, and not getting proper exercise didn’t help. Thank goodness, it was my overeating, and not an addiction to sugar that was killing me (literally).

We have made huge changes in the way we eat, and we move a lot more now. Little Sis becoming a vegetarian, probably saved Papa and me. Now when I feel stressed and want a snack, I air-pop a bowl of popcorn. I don’t even pop it on top of the stove anymore. Sometimes though, chocolate will only do.

I still have a ways to go, watching my proportions and exercising are not quick fixes; but I am determined. 🙂



We watched PBS Nature: A Sloth Named Velcro, and Little Sis wrote her report. Both in cursive,


and typed on my blog.

We also watched: Bytesize Science: A new weapon in the chemical arsenal of Amazonian poison frogs- YouTube.



World/ Geography

We watched PBS Masterpiece Theater: Indian Summers.

We also watched: BBC Planet Earth: episode Jungles -Netflix

BBC Human Planet: episode Jungles-Netflix

We read: The Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Soccer.


The Arts


Sky finished her first assignment from her on-line comics course.


Her next assignment, is to make a diary from the week incorporating comics language that she learned from the class.

This class, has inspired her to work on her own story (Warning, there is nudity in some of her drawings.).



If you couldn’t tell, Gustav Klimt is one of her favorite artists.


After all my talk about sugar, the girls made November cakes from the novel: The Scorpio Races. It was a wonderful finish to the book.


They were delicious. Even in this recipe, we were able to cut 1/3 of the fat, sodium, and sugar out. They were still plenty sweet.

They taste even better the next day.

Let’s see, Sky is on chapter 2 of Monstress , Little Sis had cheerleading practice and wrote several posts for her blog, and we watched the animated movie Rio.

We will be off for fall break these next two weeks,

peace for the journey.

*Sugar Sugar The Archies



Sloths (Little Sis)

September 14, 2016

Sloths live in the rain forests of Central and South America. Their skeletons are the same shape as primates, but they walk upside down along the tree branches. Their main diet is plants, but they do eat some insects for protein. Though thought to be non-active mammals, sloths actually only sleep about 9 hours a day. They need a great deal of sunlight to keep their bodies warm like reptiles. Sloths live in the Canopies of the rain forests. Their trees are being cut down for wood. They’re losing their homes. While looking for a new place to to live, they end up in the streets where some don’t make it across. Sloths, are not the only ones living in the rain forests losing their homes. It’s important to make sure we do not destroy the rain forests.




Resource: PBS Nature: A Sloth named Velcro.

A Week In The Life (“Here Comes The Rain Again”*)

September 10, 2016

Trying to start this post, without sounding like a broken record. Does anyone even understand the symbolism of what a broken record means anymore? Yeah, my age is beginning to show. I do however, think I am beginning to get the feel of our new normal. I have never been a: fly by the seat of your pants, type of gal.

When I first started out homeschooling, I needed to have every minor detail planned out. I was a very rigid person. (I have since discovered, that it is just part of my personality, made worse by a very chaotic childhood.) I quickly found myself burned out everyday. Bumping heads with a very energetic daughter became excruciatingly tiresome, and led to many nights of the both of us in tears. I knew something needed to change.

The beginnings of homeschooling, kind of remind me of that first year of marriage. You need to work out all those kinks, before you can start working together. Since, I am not one to force change onto others, I needed to understand the workings of my child first; I needed to step inside of her head.

This literally, changed everything. I stopped listening to outside advice on how to educate my child, and started listening to my child. I mean, after all it is her life, not mine. I think this has to be one of the hardest concepts of parenting to learn, it was for me anyway.

In order for our homeschooling to be considered successful though, my daughter needed to understand where I was coming from too. One-sided relationships don’t usually work out very well. This, is a continual dance of give and take.

I still need to have a plan. My brain needs to know what it’s going to be doing in order to focus. I have since learned though, how to go more with the flow of things.

So for the time being, I am embracing this new chapter of our lives; one, that finds us more out and about. That’s one of the many awesome things about homeschooling, learning does not need to be contained to the inside of a building.




Language Arts


I was really hoping to have The Scorpio Races finished by now. I can’t believe it has taken us a whole month to read it, but then again, I think that is our average for an almost 500 page book. It took us awhile to read Oliver Twist too. I guess, I am use to finishing a book in about a weeks time. I can’t remember the last time we did read a book that was this long. I mean, we are enjoying it. The girls agree, it is one of the better ones we’ve read this year.

We also read: The Great Kopok Tree by Lynne Cherry.

I should have The Boys From Brazil finished by this weekend.


Little Sis, has been working away on her blog. Her blog, is becoming more popular than mine.





Swimming, Little Sis’s cheerleading practice, and the girls had homeschool gym.



This week was all about fat. We discussed and watched:

What is Obesity-TedED

Obesity ~ SciShow- YouTube

The Science of Fat – Spangler Classic Friday! – YouTube

The Deal with Fat~ SciShow – YouTube

What is Trans Fat? – Everyday Chemistry – YouTube

When You Burn Fat, Where Does it Go?~ SciShow – YouTube



We read The Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Rain Forests.

We discussed some questions,

and I assigned Little Sis to write a report about one of the rain forest’s animals; she chose sloths.

We also read the latest addition of Science in the News A-Z about the telescope Juno.

We watched:Breaking News: There’s an Earth-like Planet Next Door…SciShow Space.


The Arts


I signed Sky up for the free: Comics: Art in Relationship | Kadenze’s on-line course, and she loves it.

Her first assignment is to draw a double page comic spread, about herself.

She will be working her way through the book: Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, and I assigned her first reading: Monstress by Marjorie Liu.


Keeping a blog, has inspired Little Sis into making all kinds of DIY projects.


I am just trying to keep up with the both of them.

We are excited for the next season of Indian Summers to start this weekend; can’t wait to see where this will lead us to next. 🙂

Peace for the journey.

*The Eurythmics

A Week In The Life (Get Out)

September 7, 2016

What a crazy busy week we’ve had.

I guess for starters, I can’t remember if I had already posted this, we’ve put our garden to bed for the winter. I was able to get 10 more jars of tomato sauce out of our crop, and know we will have plenty to use throughout the year. I am also glad to have an abundant supply of blueberries this year, to use to make muffins and pancakes. Usually, we only have enough for smoothies. I love adding blueberries to my vegan, gluten-free banana bread, to shake things up once in awhile.

It is kind of weird how once September hits, it’s all about pumpkin. Right now, I am all about apples. We have already been to the orchard several times. I would have made apple crisp over the holiday weekend, but I didn’t have time. This week is just as booked, so I guess it will need to wait until the weekend.

Our state has really stepped it up with homeschooling activities. Where it was once like trying to find a needle in a haystack for activities, now we actually need to figure out how to squeeze in our lessons at home.

Earlier in the week, I took the girls and a friend to the homeschool day at our interactive history museum. I couldn’t believe how many homeschoolers were there. If that wasn’t surprising enough, while at Benjamin Harrison’s house, the president reenactor asked the girls what school they went to. Both girls replied simultaneously, that they were homeschooled. He said: how great that was, and how he has gotten to know many homeschoolers from programs they host at the home; a long way from: “What about socialization?”. Even the girls from Little Sis’s cheerleading practice were all like: “really?”. They couldn’t believe it.

I guess corporations are finally beginning to take notice that there is money to be made off of homeschooling. 🙂


Language Arts


Besides the fact we are still reading The Scorpio Races, we read The Magic Tree House Afternoon on the Amazon.

I really wasn’t planning on staying in Brazil this long, but I am like: since we are here, I might as well toss in some lessons on rainforests for Little Sis.

I finished reading: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. It was good. I didn’t really care for the whole love triangle plot-line, but since it was historical fiction, I found it entertaining enough. I learned a lot about a forgotten historical figure, that pushed barriers before it became a thing.

I am reading: The Boys From Brazil by Ira Levin now, because after reading about a strong, plays by her own rules type of heroine, Nazis, and cloning sounded interesting.


Besides the usual, I thought it was time for a new Wii game.


Fortune Street, is a little like the game Monopoly, with the addition of buying and selling stocks, playing the stock market, and building up the equity in your property purchases. In other words, lots of living math. This isn’t a fast-paced game, just like the board game Monopoly isn’t. You can save it to play later if needed. We are gamers, so long games don’t bother us. This isn’t Mario Party either. It is basically a board game made into a video game, but we love it. It is a perfect addition to our collection.



We discussed, and watched:

Vitamins and Minerals by Nancy O’Sullivan- YouTube

10 surprising chemicals your body makes~SciShow

5 Chemicals That Are in (Almost) Everything You Eat…SciShow

Are Multivitamins Really Good For You? ~ SciShow – YouTube


Swimming, Little Sis’s cheerleading practice,


and bowling.


A bowling alley nearby was running a dollar per game special, so Papa and I decided to take the girls. We ended up bowling 6 games. The girls had a lot of fun, and can’t wait to do it again.


World/ Geography:

We watched: Apartheid Explained: Global History Review ~from Hip Hughes History-YouTube

The summer Olympics book we read touched briefly on Apartheid, so I decided that an explanation might help the girls understand exactly what that meant.

I also printed off some sheets on South America, and Rainforests for the girls to add to their history timeline binders.


We watched: Exploring life within each of the Rainforest layers -YouTube

Why is biodiversity so important? TedEd-YouTube.


I mentioned a visit to our local living history museum.


The Arts

Theater Appreciation (Stage):

We went to see a production of Romeo and Juliet.


I was proud of Sky, Papa asked her if she knew how the play ended. Of course, she should know, because we have already covered it. Well, Sky explained to him what happens, and I was the one that couldn’t remember if Romeo stabbed himself or if it was Juliet; Sky said: “Mom, Romeo went to the apothecary and purchased the poison. The apothecary was one of my vocabulary words that you gave me.”. That is how you know if your child is learning, without the need for tests. 🙂

We also watched: Disney’s Watcher in the Woods. This was one of my favorite movies as a child. It is funny how we remember things differently when we are children. I can’t believe how horrible the acting was. This movie is one that could actually stand to be remade. The family was extremely disappointed with the ending. I guess we will not be adding it to our movie collection anytime soon.

Peace for the journey.