Archive for February, 2018

A Week in the Life (Origami)

February 26, 2018

Last week was a busy week for us socially. The girls had homeschool gym, then afterward we went to see the movie, Black Panther. Oh, My Goodness! What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this movie. Absolutely, by far, the best movie I have seen in a long time. Hollywood, please take notes.

There is so much I could write about, but one, of the many, things that I loved was the way the sibling relationship was portrayed. I mean, the family unit was very strong, but I loved watching the interaction between brother and sister. I feel like this is something that has been lacking in a lot of films lately. It is about time we start breaking stereotypes, and this movie did that in so many (awesome) ways.

This is the movie I am using to end Sky’s Film History course with. I feel like it is an appropriate conclusion being that the first full-length movie that started her course was The Birth of A Nation.



Then, the girls had a sushi date with their Big Sis.

Next up was our annual day trip to the Maple Syrup Festival. We purchase gallons of fresh maple syrup to last us all year. I use it as our sweetener in nearly everything from pancakes to granola and muffins. Unopened, the gallons last for a long time (we never have them around long enough to find out exactly how long). Once opened, I store the rest of the unused syrup in freezer safe Mason jars. Then when I need more, I just pull out a jar from our freezer.

This year we brown bagged it with homemade vegan blueberry muffins and roasted chickpea pita bread sandwiches. Little Sis appreciated the muffins since we headed out right after her morning tumbling practice.

If that was not enough, before Little Sis’s cheer practice she had a friend over for a few hours.

I never thought I would need a separate planner just for the girls’ social conflicts.

We were able to get almost all of our lessons completed, thankfully (thanks to The Thinking Tree and Learn Math Fast).

The girls took notes from Who Was Charlie Chaplin and about Murasaki Shikibu from Lives of the Writes.



Instead of their spelling journals this week, I read another short story from The Haunted Looking Glass. They found their own spelling/ vocabulary words from the story.


They had the usual. Warming up with XtraMath…..


We also made easy origami dogs


and watched Geography Now’s episode of  Japan and Flag Friday.


The girls pretty much already knew everything he mentioned in the episode thanks to their anime and manga interests. It is a fun country to get lost in.


(Little Sis’s Thinking Tree journals)

Sky took notes from the next episode of Two Cents and the Crash Course Sociology episode number 9. She also watched School of Life’s episode about Max Weber. We had lots and lots of discussion from these episodes.


We also watched Crash Course Fim History episode 9 and Film Production episode 4.

The girls have been raised watching Charlie Chaplin, but one movie we had never watched before was The Great Dictator. I am sorry that I waited so long to do so. I was able to see the origin of every comedian from Dick Van Dyke, Mel Brooks, and Monty Python all from this one movie. I can also see the birth of satire and dark comedy. He truly was a genius.


We watched episodes of The Keystone Cops too.


(Sky’s Thinking Tree journals)

Peace for the journey.


A Week in the Life (We Studied Japan)

February 18, 2018

We studied Japan

We have studied this before

We will not stay long


We also learned how to write a basic haiku and limerick. 😉



We watched the TED-Ed video: What Makes a Poem a Poem?

We read Who Was Charlie Chaplin and The Magic Tree House Fact Guide about Ninjas this week.

The girls started volume 2 of Learn Math fast. This volume starts with a basic review of fractions. Here is where the girls will begin to split up during lessons. Sky, thankfully, remembers everything about adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. This will be a quick review for her. Little Sis, on the other hand, has not learned how to find the common denominator yet. Volume 3 puts Sky right back up there with pre-algebra.

I am crossing my fingers Sky gets through the next 3 volumes by the end of next year. 2019 is her last year of high school. If not, she will have all the rest of her credits to graduate and can continue working on the volumes finishing her math credit as needed.



We watched the movie Kubo and the Two Strings and PBS: Origins of Everything: The Origin of the Heart Symbol episode.

We made our usual Valentines sugar cookies.


I have been experimenting with using cooked lentils to replace most of my ground beef recipes. I made BBQ lentil balls with roasted potatoes for dinner this week. The girls and I agreed this would make an awesome breakfast dish. So, I tried making lentil “sausage” patties.


I think lentils are my new favorite food to cook with. I made a bunch of patties to freeze so we will have them ready for a quick side or breakfast. I can’t wait to try them in our roasted cauliflower and potato taco wraps.

This week Little Sis’s spelling words started with the letter J. So, we learned about jaguars, and we watched episodes of Andy Griffith that featured the Darlings to learn about playing the jug.

She also came to another object lesson


and graph paper in her core journal.


So, I had the girls come up with their own object they wanted to build on Minecraft.

These are some more of Little Sis’s projects she has made.





(I forgot to add Little Sis’s spelling journal to the photo.)

She has also been practicing with different hairstyles.



(Sky’s Minecraft creation.)

Sky and I watched Crash Course: Sociology episode number 8 about Harriet Martineau.


We also watched Crash Course: Film History episode number 8 and Film Production number 3. Then we watched the movie The BattleShip Platomkia and read the excerpt from The Movie Book.



Friday we decided to go see The Maze Runner: The Death Cure movie. I am very excited to see the Black Panther movie (He is my favorite Marvel hero along with Thor 🙂 ) but Little Sis has been wanting to see the final installment of the Maze Runner movie first. We all really enjoyed it. Lots of action, I thought it was a satisfying ending to a pretty good series.

Peace for the journey.

Film History (Credits 2)

February 15, 2018

During this two-semester study, the student will look at the history of one of our most powerful mediums. Film has the ability to communicate with images, entertain, move us, frighten us, and so much more. From A Trip to the Moon to Marvel’s Black Panther, the history of film is really a history of humanity.

If you have a love of film, then this course will help you learn more about film analysis, film reviews and discussions, period genres and movements in film style, and more.

Over the course of this study, the student will learn,

  • How you can get real enjoyment from the films you watch, and why you should care
  • Early film-history
  • The process of film-making and how it relates to understanding the films you watch
  • A look at 100 years of film-styles, genres, and movements
  • A discussion of film-psychology, and some fascinating aspects of the perception of films
  • A review of ‘films to watch’, taken in 20-year periods starting in 1900, and moving through 2018, featuring all the classics from each era
  • General ideas about film and art-theory as a consumer habit
  • Film composers to know
  • Film directors to know


Crash Course: Film History


(Movies, a list in progress)

A Trip to the Moon

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Battleship Potemkin

The Keystone Cops

The Great Dictator

The Jazz Singer

Citizen Kane

The Wizard of Oz

Diabolique 1954

A Hard Day’s Night

Bonnie and Clyde

Netflix The Little Prince

Pan’s Labyrinth


Blade Runner

Blade Runner 2049

Marvel’s Black Panther




(This list is ongoing)

Who Was Charlie Chaplin by Patricia Brennan Demuth

A Week in the Life (“I Am the Wilderness”*)

February 10, 2018

*from Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Sky and I finally finished Braving the Wilderness this week. What an emotional and educational journey reading this book together was. The first thing Sky said after we finished reading it was:”Mom, I want a physical copy of this book for myself.” I purchased it for my Kindle, which means we can share, but she wants to highlight her own favorite passages. The conversations we shared is well worth the price.

As a homeschooler, I have found myself in the wilderness more than once in my life. In fact, you could say I was born there. It has taken many years for me to make peace with that.

I have never been good at conforming. “Because”, was never a good enough answer for me. That gene has been passed down to my girls. One of the worst things you could say to them is:”because that is how it has always been”. As proud as I am of them, it saddens me too. The wilderness can be a lonely place. They do, however, at least have loving and supportive parents. 😉


The girls took their final exam for volume 1 of Learn Math Fast this week. They did really good. They are both ready for volume 2.

Volume 1 starts out fairly easy, however, the problems do get harder. Though each lesson is short and to the point, the problems are challenging, and I like that. My goal is to be finished with volume 2 before summer starts.

I did something different for spelling this week too. Instead of their usual spelling journals, I had the girls pick out their own words from our reading this week.


They looked up the definitions too.

Since Sky was researching pet mice this week, I thought I would pull out the Handbook of Nature Study. I read about the house mouse and we watched a video explaining the difference in having a pet hamster or a mouse.



We also read this month’s issue of Science in the News and watched the Space X Falcon rocket launch (Awesome!).

The girls had homeschool gym this week as well as yoga and we watched the movie: The Lion in Winter.


I know I’ve seen this movie before, but I didn’t really remember much about it. What a shame, because I loved it. I want to add it to our Christmas/holiday movie collection. The writing and acting are amazing. Katharine Hepburn is one of my most favorite actresses.

We also watched PBS Masterpiece Theatre’s The Diary of Anne Frank. It was interesting to see some familiar Game of Throne faces.




(Little Sis’s Thinking Tree Journals used this week.)


Sky and I watched the next episode of PBS: Two Cents about whether college is financially worth it and episode 7 of Crash Course Sociology. We also watched a short biography of W.E.B. De Bois.

Sky has been working on a lot of drawing projects for her social media movie group.






(Sky’s Thinking Tree Journals from the week.)

Peace for the journey.

A Week in the Life (Wild Hearts)

February 3, 2018

Welcome, February!

It is hard to believe that a month has already passed by since Christmas. It is about this time, that I am ready for winter to be over with. Especially, this warm, then freezing temperatures we keep having. Hurry up spring.

With the girls getting older, I feel like we are beginning to bust out of the seams of our small house. It feels like I can’t even turn around without bumping into someone. *Note to self, never buy a home with only one bathroom.* It feels like all I do anymore is clean, bake, have school, and sleep. How can one household accumulate so much dust!? Then, there are all those dishes. I am seriously thinking of keeping one side of the sink filled with hot soapy water at all times so everyone can wash their own dishes as they go. Don’t even get me started on groceries. I think it is time to downsize again. Now, if I could just find the time to do it.

On a more positive note, both girls are happy with their current lessons. Well, besides math. I don’t think either of the girls wants a career in science, sadly. They just do the minimum of what needs to be done.


Both girls will be taking the final test for the Learn Math Fast: volume 1 next week. Sky did really good. Hopefully, Little Sis will be ready to move on too. She had a few problems with decimals.

Since this week’s chapter was all about measurement, we watched 6 Weird Units of Measurement from SciShow- YouTube.


We had lots of discussions this week, so I guess it would be best to just jump right in.

We read Who Was Anne Frank.



Watched The State of the Union Address.

The girls had their everyday journaling work.


(Little Sis)

This week Little Sis had spelling words beginning with the letter I. So, we learned about Iguanas by watching:

Iguana care and set up video, from Snake dude 1814,

and How to Feed Your Dragon from Rolando Christina Pacheco on YouTube.

We also watched: Why Do Stink Bugs Stink? from SciShow. We have an overabundance in our garden.

We learned about the Inci,

and Indonesia from Geography Now.


We also watched The Little Travelers: Bali episode found on Amazon Prime.

We practiced our daily Yoga.

We watched the movie, Gigi


and learned about Vincent VanGogh.


We watched Ted-Ed Math and VanGogh’s Starry Night,

and Starry Night at the MoMA from Artrageous with Nate on YouTube.

We made the best vegan brownies ever. They went so fast I wasn’t even able to get a photo. They tasted just like the Little Debbie’s brownies.



We started chapter 7 of Braving the Wilderness.

Watched episode 6 of Crash Course Sociology and learned about Karl Marx.



We watched episode 2 of Two Cents, How to Start a Business from School of Life,


and episodes 2 and 3 of Crash Course Film Production.


Peace for the Journey.