Archive for November, 2017

A Week in the Life (Connection)

November 20, 2017

Well, Little Sis had her regional cheer competition over the weekend. Her team didn’t place this season. She is in division 4 and the competition is tough. There literally is no room for error. Her team did amazing and they did receive a club zero (no flyers were dropped). She is ready for the next season to start. I am ready for the holidays.

With cheer over and done for the season, my brain can start focusing on our holiday “school” lessons. I found an inner reflective journaling project that Sky and I will be working on. I also think this year we will do more craft projects. The girls are excited about baking their favorite holiday cookies.

The girls helped me prepare last year’s Thanksgiving meal. They will be helping me again this year. So, this week’s lessons will basically be wrapping up any loose ends we may have so we will be ready to start our holiday countdown.


This week Little Sis came to another meal plan page in her journal. So, it was Sky’s turn to pick out what she wanted to make. She chose vegetarian chili macaroni and cheese (one of the girls’ favorite meals) for dinner,


(This is the Papa’s dinner for work.)

vegan pancakes with faux (tofu) bacon for breakfast,


a monkey platter for lunch (which included leftover spicy roasted chickpea gyros, another huge hit with the girls. They ate the roasted chickpeas like chips. They were delicious. ).


For dessert Sky chose to make November Cakes from the novel Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvator.


They copied their favorite recipe in their core Thinking Tree journals.


I read the biography of Cleopatra from the book Lives of Extraordinary Women and they took notes.


We watched History versus Cleopatra from TED-Ed and Shakespeare Summarized: Antony and Cleopatra from Overly Sarcastic Productions on YouTube.

I also read the next short story from The Haunted Looking Glass.

There was A Sentence a Day, Mad Libs, Spelling journals, Teach Yourself to Draw,

and I wrote a few grammar rules on our chalkboard for the girls to copy from The Absolutely Essential Grammar Guide for Kids.


The girls had XtraMath and worked on dividing decimals from Learn Math Fast.

Sky and I started chapter 6 of Braving the Wilderness and we watched episode 4 of Crash Course Sociology. We also watched the biography of Auguste Comte from School of Life on Youtube and Sky took notes in her journal.

Little Sis and I watched a video on Giraffes from Free School on YouTube.

We made giraffes from Draw So Cute,


and this week was all about the guitar.

We listened to Relaxing guitar music, Robert Johnson’s Kind Hearted Woman Blues, The Entertainer played by Chet Atkins, Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry, The Star-Spangled Banner played by Jimi Hendrix, and Purple Rain by Prince.

We also watched Geography Now’s Greece and Flag Friday videos on YouTube.


Wishing everyone in the states a very happy Thanksgiving.


Peace for the journey.


A Week in the Life (Truth)

November 11, 2017

At this moment, the house is completely quiet. Papa is at work, Little Sis is catching up on some sleep after staying overnight with friends, and Sky is in her room creating. For once, in I don’t even know how long, I am able to plan this week’s meals and lessons without someone interrupting me.

It is finally beginning to look and feel like November. Flash fires are becoming more of my evening routine again and I have been restocking candle supplies. I wouldn’t mind one bit if I could just hibernate the winter away. Unfortunately, Little Sis’s social schedule does not allow time for that. So if I am going to embrace winter’s darkness, I can at least be prepared.

This is the best time of year for us to work on school lessons. It is too cold for anyone wanting to be outdoors. I know once warmer weather starts to peak its head, I’ve lost all attention.

We are almost done with volume one of Learn Math Fast. My goal was to be done by the end of 2017, so we are right on track. I am so proud that Sky has been able to retain everything that she has learned thus far. She has not struggled with this volume at all. Little Sis, on the other hand, has needed a little extra help here and there.

What I really like about the Learn Math Fast curricula, so far,  is how it is written for either the student or parent to read and learn. Sky is capable of reading the lessons and doing the work herself. Little Sis needs me to help explain some of the examples. The examples are all laid out for you, explaining how the problems are solved. I also like how all the problems are all worked out for you in the back of the book. This allows you to see where you might have gone wrong at. I dislike describing the program this way, but it reminds me of plain old-fashioned math.

I would have loved to have something like this when I was in school. I had some pretty crappy math teachers, with the exception of my Intermediate Algebra teacher, she rocked. I learned Algebra myself just from reading the textbook, and that wasn’t exactly explained the best.


For writing, I am trying something a little bit different. I watched a great webinar over at Free Homeschooling 101 on Facebook. It was from Julie Bogart, creator of Brave Writer. She explained how we shouldn’t correct writing mechanics when children are first learning to write. I am SO guilty of this. Both girls have complained how I never see how good their story is, just all their mistakes.

So, I am not correcting their journal mistakes. Instead, I am reading their work and writing any mistakes that were made down for us to go over on writing days (without mentioning where I might have seen the mistakes at). For example, I have noticed some confusion with they’re and their, lately. So, I plan on going over homophones in our next lesson, with them copying down the notes into their journals. I will then keep an eye on their journals to check for improvements. Same with misspelled words. I will keep a running list of them to add to their journals.


The girls worked on their study and draw books. Little Sis’s kitten was a royal kitten and Sky’s pet was a rabbit.

We watched All Things Animals Cats, Dogs, and Rabbit videos on YouTube.

We also watched Pets 101 videos about Rabbits and Guinea Pigs-YouTube.

Sky and I watched Crash Course Sociology video number 3.

Little Sis and I watched the All Things Animals foxes video.

This week we listened to fiddle music, including Charlie Daniels The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

Little Sis read Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo and the girls came up with notes.


Sky and I read chapter 5 of Braving the Wilderness and she started reading the graphic novel Locke and Key by Joe Hill.

We watched the movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Little Sis has been wanting to see it for a while now.


We created some pixel art inspired by the movie


and drew a perfume bottle from Draw So Cute.


The girls attended Homeschool gym this week, Little Sis has one more cheer practice before her competition, and the girls made the no-bake cheesecake from the Mom Files book.



For Geography, we learned about France from Geography Now on YouTube.


Peace for the journey.

Happy Birthday, My Little Sunshine

November 5, 2017


With each passing year, I am amazed at how much you change. Once the shy little girl that clung to me everywhere we went is now spreading her wings of independence. When you set your mind to something, there is no stopping you. You know exactly what you want. Though your interests have challenged me tremendously (“Mom, do you know how to French braid?”), I’ve enjoyed every moment of our time together. You always find a way to make my heart smile.


A Week in the Life (Anger)

November 4, 2017

Well, after this weekend Little Sis will officially be a preteen. Only one year left until my baby will be a teenager. :0 It just doesn’t seem possible to me that all my children will be teenagers. I knew it would only be a matter of time before the sleepover invites would start to appear. After all, she loved cheer camp.

I have been lucky with Sky in that she is a homebody. I mean she has friends, it is just that she is okay with talking to them online. She doesn’t need them to be with her in person all the time.

Little Sis, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. The more in person friends she has, the better. She is a very popular child. The fact that she is homeschooled has not affected this in any way.

I will be honest though, you may see a tiny smile appear at the corner of my mouth when I drop the homeschool bomb and get the shocked look on people’s faces back in return. Yes, this extremely outgoing, confident child is a homeschooler, never once having set foot inside of a school building. Then, more shock once I reveal how terribly shy she was. Little Sis was attached to my hip the first six years of her life.

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen, first hand, terrible examples of homeschoolers not being properly “socialized” (I really dislike the word socialized. It makes me feel like I am talking about dogs or something.). However, I have also seen, first hand, terrible examples of school children not being properly “socialized” as well.

Maybe, just maybe that’s because schools do not “socialize” society. Schools are meant to educate society (As well as training them to be obedient little workers, but I digress.).  I just decided to educate my children at home. It is what works best for us. My girls are still apart of society just because they don’t go to school. We don’t live on an isolated island.

Sky, is Sky. Little Sis, is Little Sis. Where they receive their education does not change that. Being raised in a healthy, loving, nurtured, accepting environment does.


Since Halloween was this week, I tried to focus our lessons around it. Sky decorated our pumpkin this year.


Little Sis didn’t want to go trick or treating this year, she went to a party over the weekend, but wanted to help pass out candy instead. So, I busted out a few of our Halloween favorites and we all dressed up.


It was a fun night.

It was my turn to pick out our meal to prepare this week (I made it to my recipe plan page in my mom journal.). I chose cilantro lime shrimp with garlic parmesan roasted potatoes and asparagus for dinner.


I learned that when you add lime to shrimp it makes sort of a buttery sauce. The recipe is literally just shrimp tossed with a little salt, cumin, and cilantro. Then squeeze the juice of half a lime over the top once the shrimp is cooked. That is it. This meal was a huge hit with the family.

Breakfast was blueberry pancakes,


and dessert was chocolate chip dunkers.


Both recipes were from the Mom Files book. The dunkers are delicious with coffee. The pancakes were really good too, I just have a vegan pancake recipe that I already make.

Lunch was just apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

I also made vegan teriyaki tofu and broccoli this week for dinner that was a hit with everyone, including Papa.

We read the biography of Edgar Allan Poe from Lives of the Writers and watched the PBS Amerian Master’s documentary Buried Alive. It was nice to discover that the author of Lives of the Writers is correct with her research. There is a lot of information packed into this little book.


The girls chose their spelling/vocabulary words from the biography.


We also watched the Edgar Allan Poe special from Overly Sarcastic Productions (Where Sky found out that the movie Saw was inspired by Poe’s short story The Pit and the Pendulum.),

How to Make Your Writing Suspenseful from TED-Ed on YouTube,

and NOVA’s Why We Like Being Scared.

We created haunted houses inspired from Draw So Cute,


and read October’s issue of Kids Science in the News A-Z.

We listened to Erhu music while journaling and learned about Egypt from Geography Now.



Then as if it was planned (this week airing on PBS Nature was the episode H is for Hawk), one of the sparrowhawks that live in our neighborhood decided to perch on our backyard fence. Boy, it was huge. Like, almost the size of our dog huge, but beautiful. It stayed there a good 20 minutes until a squirrel, of all things, chased it away.

So, we ended up watching H is for Hawk and learning more about hawks this week.


Drawing inspired by Art for Kids Hub on YouTube.

Sky finished Monstress (and is ready for volume 3) and we finally finished chapter 4 of Braving the Wilderness.


Peace for the Journey.