Archive for April, 2018

Week(s) in the Life (Busy as a Bee)

April 23, 2018

I had every intention to post regularly again, life has just been crazy busy for us.

For example, in one weekend alone, Little Sis had tumbling, from there we headed out to attend the Columbus Pride Fest, that same evening Little Sis went to a parents night out open gym with some homeschooling friends. The next day she had cheer practice.

This weekend was no different, the girls attended a tie-dye party



and Little Sis had regionals.


Her team placed first.


They are headed to state.

This then leaves me to play catch-up with everything that gets pushed aside, writing being one of those things. I personally don’t like falling behind on my blog (my OCD), because that means I have twice as much to write about and I usually forget most of it (which was the point of writing my blog, to begin with). Oh well, the girls are learning, that is what’s most important.

Little Sis’s spelling words started with the letters M and N, so she learned about monkeys.


(Art for Kids Hub YouTube.)

I should mention, now that we are kind of, mostly unschooling again. I want to point out that Little Sis is choosing to continue with the journals and is picking out the YouTube channels she wants to use.

Sky is picking out which journals and videos she wants to continue with too. Honestly, she has the majority of her core credits finished and is working on finishing up electives right now anyway. She chooses to continue with basic mathematics for personal financial reasons because she wants to. She has no plans of going into science or engineering fields, so I am not worried about it.

Both girls have different goals. I am taking the back seat and as their partner making sure those goals get met.

Anyway, monkeys, Mozambique,


(7 Facts by Sebastian Loan YouTube)

and the Mandolin. We watched music videos from Bill Monroe and Ricky Skaggs as well as Medival mandolin music. Sky still joins us for the videos and discussion to finish her Music Appreciation credit.

Little Sis chose a new drawing journal about sea creatures. So she watched a video about dolphins and we read the Magic Tree House Dolphins and Sharks guide,


and she chose to draw an orca from Art For Kids Hub.


Then, she learned about nutrias from Wildlife Facts on YouTube, watched a couple music videos about the ney instrument, and learned about Nicaragua from 7 Facts and Riveting Trip on YouTube.



We read Who Was J.R.R. Tolkien and she added notes to her core journal.


Little Sis has also been on a baking spree lately.

She made vegan no-bakes,


and Tuna Melts from the Teens Cook cookbook.


They were both delicious.

For the most part, we try to eat vegan as much as we can. However, it would be near impossible for us to be complete vegan or vegetarians with as much traveling as we do. Being able to pick up a fish sandwich in a pinch sometimes happens. The fact that our dairy and fish consumption has reduced greatly, and I mean a lot, is what truly matters to us.

Speaking of vegan, I purchased a new cookbook from one of my favorite food blogs.


I have yet to make a recipe from her blog that we have not enjoyed. As much as I like using online recipes, I like to have a collection of cookbooks on hand to plan meals from. This one has officially been added to my favorites. Honestly, it is the only vegan cookbook you need as it contains everything you would want to eat.

Little Sis wasted no time in making the chocolate chip cookie recipe.


Another hit added to the list.

Since we read the biography of Tolkien, Sky joined us for a Thug Notes summary about Beowulf and Grendel.(Film as Literature course)

Sky has been working on her own projects as well. She has been taking notes and keeping track of all the resources she uses. She too chose a new drawing journal that she likes.




She also chose a new Thinking Tree journal, like mine, for her own personal use and still using the spelling journal.

She has been keeping busy with some new art projects.




She has been playing around with a collage app too.



Peace for the journey.


Introduction to Two-Dimensional Art

April 20, 2018

Credits: a 1-semester course for 1 credit

(Fine Art or Elective)


Introduction to Two-Dimensional Art is a course where the student taking this course engages in sequential learning experiences that encompass art history, art criticism, aesthetics, production, and integrated studies and lead to the creation of portfolio quality works. The student explores historical and cultural background and connections; analyze, interpret, theorize, and make informed judgments about artwork and the nature of art; create two-dimensional works of art, reflect upon the outcomes, and revise their work; relate art to other disciplines and discover opportunities for integration; and incorporate literacy and presentational skills. They will identify ways to utilize and support art museums, galleries, studios, and community resources.




Instagram for “art criticism”










Culinary Arts 2

April 17, 2018

Elective, Credit (2)

Culinary Arts 2 prepares the student for occupations and higher education
programs of study related to the entire spectrum of careers in the food industry, including (but not limited to) food production and services; food science, dietetics, and nutrition; and baking and pastry arts.

Major topics for this advanced course include basic baking theory and skills, introduction to bread, introduction to pastry arts, nutrition, nutrition accommodations and adaptations, cost control and purchasing, and current marketing and trends.

Instruction and intensive laboratory experiences include commercial applications of principles of nutrition, aesthetic, and sanitary selection; purchasing,
storage, preparation, and service of food and food products; using and maintaining related tools and equipment; baking and pastry arts skills; managing operations in food service, food science, or hospitality establishments; providing for the dietary needs of persons with special requirements (such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and low fat); and related research, development, and testing.  Advanced Culinary Arts builds upon skills and techniques learned in Culinary Arts 1.


Many different resources, such as Pinterest, blogs, and cookbooks to put together a complete meal.

Recipe Rehab





(Chili crusted tilapia with oyster dressing and roasted asparagus)


(apple pie)


(baked salmon, roasted red cabbage, and dill potatoes)


(Scandinavian Kringle)

Music Appreciation

April 12, 2018

Fine Art credit (1)

Music Appreciation is a semester course providing the student an approach to perceptive listening in order to heighten student appreciation of Western art music from the Middle-Ages to the present, NonWestern and American music, and the most recent from independent and commercial sources.

1. The student will gain an understanding of basic music concepts.

2. The student will develop listening skills and attend a variety of live music performances.

3. The student will study style periods of Western art music: Middle-Ages and
Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth Century.

4. The student will explore American (Folk, Religious, Pop, and Jazz) and Non-Western Music.

5. The student will become familiar with specific composers and representative works of each style period, discuss in cultural context, and conceptualize relative to history, painting, literature, philosophical ideas.

6. The student will explore the various internet and/or electronic sources of music.

By first learning about the history of instruments, starting with the accordion and working their way to the zither, the student will learn the origin of the instrument as well as how that instrument influenced music today.


Several YouTube videos instructing how each instrument is played, then watching music videos of how that instrument is being used in music today. For example, The mandolin was used during the Middle Ages but also is still being used in Bluegrass music today.

Several online resources to research the instrument’s origin. Various compact disks of recorded musical artists from Johann Sebastian Bach to Bruno Mars.

Example of work.



Weeks in the Life (Down Time)

April 6, 2018

Happy Spring!

I don’t know how the weather is in your parts, but we received 10 inches of snow the weekend before Easter. Then it snowed again Easter night and I’ve heard we are in for another round this weekend too. I am tired of snow!

Usually, when we take off for spring break I catch up on some spring cleaning. However, this year I just wasn’t feeling it. It doesn’t feel right cleaning when I can’t open any windows. I mean, we still are using our wood stove.

I tried to prolong taking our spring break for as long as I could, the girls, however, were ready. Honestly, I was ready for a break too. Since Little Sis was off two weeks from cheer, we decided to lay off our electronics for a bit and focus on spending time together as a family.

We went bowling with Papa, played lots of games,


watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy, some childhood favorite Winnie the Pooh classics, and Mr. Rogers episodes. (Mr. Rogers, 2018 needs you!)

The girls attended homeschool gym, spent some quality time with their big sister, had friends over and caught up on some baking.



While the girls were being entertained, I caught up on some reading.


I can not begin to express how much I loved this book! It was exactly what I needed to get out of my thriller slump.

First, a brief little background about myself. I love Frankenstein! I have seen every film made (including, the “inspired by” films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Abbott, and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, and Frankenweenie ), read the book more times than I can count, and might have fangirl squealed when I saw The Frankenstein Chronicles added to Netflix. I am a monster fangirl. So, when I read about this book coming out, I knew I wanted to read it and it did not disappoint.

The novel centers around Mary Jekyll, the daughter of Dr. Henry Jekyll, discovering her father’s “partner” Edward Hyde may still be alive. Instead, with the help of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, she finds Diana Hyde. A serial killer is on the loose, murdering woman and stealing some of their body parts and Holmes and Watson have been brought in to investigate. Mary and Diana get dragged into the investigation which leads to the discovery of Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. The ending surprises with more monster relatives (squeal). I can not wait for the sequel. The book cover is beautiful and I want to own a physical copy of this novel.

For me to give a novel 5 stars mean that I will read it more than once. Would I read this book again? Yes, this is the fan fiction I have been waiting for. Is this book a masterpiece? No, not everyone will enjoy it. It helps to be a fan of the stories mentioned. Sometimes though, I crave comfort food.  However, if you are a fan of Victorian literature, monster stories, and want to get caught up in a world of female monster protagonists solving crimes, then I don’t see what’s not to like.

After reading this novel I was inspired to reread the originals.


I started with Sherlock Holmes himself.

Now, I am reading my favorite of favorites. I need to purchase a pretty hardback edition for my personal home library.


It is beginning to feel like old times around here. Everyone working on their own projects like when we were unschooling. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.


We had lots of discussions while on our break and I’ve made a few tweaks to our upcoming lessons. I listened to a Sandra Dodd interview on YouTube while we were off. It reminded me once again that the needs of my children come before academics. This was the whole reason I chose to homeschool in the first place.

Sky needs time to discover her interests again without me labeling everything for school. She has her whole life ahead of her. She does not need to know what she is going to do with the rest of her life, today.  She is learning, “always learning”. She has no plans of going to a university, so her finished transcript does not need to look like she is.

That is one of the many amazing things about the freedom of homeschooling. Since we are considered a private school (in our state), we get to call the shots. It never fails to amaze me what the girls lean toward when given the freedom to do so. I want to get back behind the lens again, not be in the front dictating what to do.



Before our break, we did manage to get a few lessons in.

I mentioned Lord of the Rings, Sky filled out a movie page from her portfolio.


(Our Funschooling journals will now become what they were originally designed to do. Capture their interests.)

We also watched Crash Course Film History episode 11 about Hollywood’s golden era and watched The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Cane.


This lead to us watching Crash Course Film Criticism episode 1. We also watched the Crash Course Recess video on Film History, the Film Production episode 6 about Producers, and Crash Course Sociology episode 11.

Little Sis’s spelling book was words that started with L.

So, we learned about lions,


(Draw So Cute-YouTube)



(Geography Now-YouTube)

and listened to Lute music.

We read Who Was Nelson Mandela (Little Sis really likes this book series.)


and watched a video about the Maasai and What made the ground split open in Kenya?

Peace for the journey.