Archive for the ‘9 year old’ Category

Week In The Life ( I Vant To Suck Your Blood, Blah, Blah)

November 1, 2015

Well, this will be my last post having a child in single digits. Little Sis will be 10 this week, 10 going on 18.

She will be as old as Big Sis was when I had Sky. Sky is as old as Big Sis was when I had Little Sis, and Big Sis is as old as I was when I had Sky. 🙂 Time sure does fly.

Last year, the girls did not go trick or treating because it was too darn cold and snowing. I think I made up for it this year. Friday, the girls attended a homeschooling Halloween party.

Then, we attended Scare in the Square.


The historic neighborhood of Fountain Square’s independent local businesses passes out candy. The girls got candy, while I discovered where I will be purchasing a few of this year’s Christmas presents.

Of course, they went trick or treating around our neighborhood too.

I don’t buy Halloween costumes, I think it is because of the whole commercialized thing. The girls have always been into “dress up”, and cos-play. When they see an outfit or accessory when out and about, they usually purchase it. It’s all up to them to come up with what they want to be. Most of the time than not, it is something they’ve been influenced by, or really like.

Little Sis, loves The Phantom of the Opera and went as someone from the Masquerade ball. Sky was influenced by the Pride and Prejudice and Zombie book series. Only, she did her parody off of Cathy from Wuthering Heights  (Heathcliff’s skull is in her pocket 🙂 ).

I based most of our school lessons this week off the holiday.

Language Arts


We read chapters 17-24 of Dracula this week. We all are really enjoying it.

Independent reading

Little Sis finished Mocking Jay from the Hunger Games series. We watched part 1 of the movie, and she is super excited that part 2 comes out after her birthday. She just put on her birthday book list order.

I’m a little over 20% of the way through A Storm of Swords, which is like 200 pages of 1200.


The girls copied part three of The Bells, from Edgar Allen Poe.


Little Sis, learned list 4 from her words. Sky had the last set of words from Dracula.

rapture, lethargic, emancipated, morbid, solicitor, primitive, vitality, insatiable, confide, repulsion, asylum, anguish, anticipation, loathe, crypt


Warm Up at XtraMath.

Reading the Data Gang from Math, A Book You Can Count On.

Little Sis, 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook.

Sky finished percents from Khan Academy, did a few worksheets to make sure she really grasped the concept and learned how to find a percent of a number.



We discussed what untouchables meant by the PBS series Indian Summers.

We watched a documentary about Bram Stoker, and the girls came up with 10 things they learned about him.



We learned about the Romanian Căluşari dancers.


We learned all about the country of Romania. I printed a page of Bran’s castle in Transylvania to serve as the country’s cover, and they added Romania to their map of Europe in their timeline binders.

We watched the documentary Wild Carpathian │ Mountains of Transylvania (YouTube).


We watched the PBS series Secrets of the Dead episode about vampires.

We learned about vampire bats (they are so small),


and Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia.

We listened to Star Talk’s podcast, Monsters with Bill Nye,

and learned why so many people, including Sky, are afraid of clowns from IFLS.

Culinary Arts

We learned the history of Halloween treats.

The Arts

We went to see a youth theater group’s performance of Oliver Twist.


The girls picked out a Dracula color page to add to their timeline binder.


We also watched a few of our favorite Halloween movies.



Walk Away the Pounds is back. We are starting with 2 miles to ease our way back.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween. Peace for the journey.


Week In The Life (“Great Scott”, 10/21/15)

October 25, 2015

If felt SO good being able to clean our house this week. Yes, it felt good, really good. I had a really good routine going before my surgery. If fact, everything was sparkly clean, my injury changed all that.

Don’t get me wrong, our house never got out of control dirty. Papa, would never allow that. He can’t stand clutter. However, it did lose its sparkle. I mean, I couldn’t bend. So, imagine clothes, that’s usually inside my dresser, folded on the top of it for easier access. It drove Papa nuts. This week I managed to bring the sparkle back. Though, it did suck needing to start all over again.

It’s just in time too as we prepare for the upcoming time change. I’ve already noticed it’s beginning to get dark sooner. I’m not ashamed to mention my dislike for shorter daylight hours. I’ve already stocked our home with new candles. As soon as the sun goes down, I light them. I don’t know what I would without our wood stove during winter. There is something so soothing about fire, that keeps me going during the darker months of fall and winter.

Since we are finishing up our school year, tying up any loose ends, I decided to have a little fun this week.

Language Arts


We read Dracula, chapters 9-16.

Man, there is so much to discuss in this story. Sky has been wanting to start a Psychology credit for awhile now. I’ve felt bad not really knowing when I would be able to fit it in. I mean part of homeschooling is being able to follow your child’s interests.

Well, I had everything planned out for us to start an Astronomy credit after the new year. I think I will change that though and start psychology instead.

It has always been part of Sky’s intention to use her art degree to help tutor children suffering from anxiety, to help them learn how art can be one option to use an outlet. Art has been her outlet to help her get through some pretty tough times, and she wants to pass that on. Who knows, maybe she will end up going into art therapy. Who better to understand panic attacks and anxiety, than someone that has experience with it themselves?


The girls copied parts 1 and 2 of The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis practiced list 3 from the 4th grade spelling list at

Sky practiced her week 2 list from Dracula at Quizlet.

oppressiveness, emaciated, unfettered, psychosis, ravings, endure, scurries, defile, inevitable, composure, transfusions, scald, superstition, frail, avail.


Warm up at Xtramath.

Little Sis, 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook.

Sky, percents in Kumon workbook, and at Khan Academy.


Wednesday, being it was the 21st of October 2015 as was predicted in Back to the Future 2, we watched the movie and discussed the differences in what they thought we would have, compared to what we really have. Like, we have no flying cars ( According to Neil deGrasse Tyson though, we do. They are called helicopters. Listening to his opinion of why flying cars would never work, for one they make too much noise, was a fun addition).

We also discussed scientists predictions for the future from IFLS, watched Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit Jimmy Kimmel Live, and 10 things Back to the Future got right, and got wrong, by China Uncensored. (YouTube)




PBS Indian Summers


We learned about the history of Gothic Art from Good-by Art Academy,

and discussed Gothic painters like the Limbourg Brothers.

The girls listed 10 things they learned.


We also watched The Avengers, Age of Ultron. Then, watched Brows Held High, between the lines The Avengers. (YouTube)

Culinary Arts

The girls made chocolate chip cookies using oat flour.


We doubled the recipe and only added 2/3 cup of coconut oil instead of a cup, and it was still way too much. Also, I didn’t care for the baking soda taste in the cookies. I want to try to make these again, but next time with less baking soda and use Earth Balance. The texture and sugar amount was perfect though.


The girls had homeschool gym this week.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween,

peace for the journey.

Is The House Haunted? (Little Sis)

October 21, 2015

Emily, a young women, was walking around the large new house that her husband, Demetri, and herself just bought. Emily was still humming softly when she finally stopped pacing.”Em, Em!”, her husband called out to her. “What is it?”, Emily questioned in a curious tone. “Didn’t you hear that odd noise downstairs?”, Demetri asked.”No” ,Emily replied.”Hmm, my mind must be playing weird tricks on me.”, Demetri murmured to himself with a queer and confused expression on his face. Meanwhile, Emily thought to herself, “It’s getting late, maybe I should work on making us some dinner.”. She went to the pantry downstairs, to gather the ingredients she would need.

While downstairs, Emily heard the pantry door creak. With her teeth clenched, she moved toward the creaking sound, and opened the door. Inside, Emily saw what looked like a dark shadow fly past her and disappear into a nearby small closet. Curious, Emily went to check the closet, to make sure she wasn’t just imagining things. While stepping inside the closet, Emily saw the horrifying visible dark shadow, and suddenly the door slammed shut locking her in. Emily jumped at the loud noise of the door slamming, and wasted no time trying to get out. ” Demetri!,can you hear me?” she screamed while banging loudly on the closet door. Emily could feel two hands closing in around her neck, choking out her screams. It felt like her throat was clogged. “Demetri”, she tried shouting again, but her words caught in her throat. The room went black as she took her last breath.

Demetri, never heard Emily’s plea for help, so he went into the bedroom to get changed for the night. With all their clothing still packed in boxes, Demetri wasn’t quite sure where his clothes might be. “Emily!” he shouted, and received no reply. He shouted for her again, in a more confused yet anxious voice. Still, there was no response to his shouting. Demetri, got more confused. He walked into the next room closest to theirs and shouted, “Em!”. Still no reply.

Demetri’s heart felt as if it was about to leap from his chest as he stepped into the dark room. He tried to turn on the light switch, but the light wouldn’t come on. He heard a loud creaking noise on the floor that wasn’t his footsteps. “Oh Emily, I knew you would…”, Demetri stopped in middle of his sentence and looked around the dark room. The floor kept creaking as the door behind him shut and locked in the same manner as it did with Emily. Demetri’s breath caught in his throat. He thought about his wife, worry consumed him, where was Emily? ” Emily, answer me please!”, he cried out almost in tears.
There was no response, only the loud creaking noise that he heard approaching upon the floor.

While trying to adjust his sight to the darkness, Demetri thought he saw a dark shadow ,and sweat began to drip from his brow. “Who’s there? ” ,Demetri called out to the faintly visible shadow. Suddenly, the room was filled with light, as the switch flipped on . Demetri’s mouth gaped open when he saw crimson colored liquid ooze from underneath the door. “Could that be Emily’s?”, Demetri asked terrified. In the bright light, Demetri could no longer see the dark shadow that clung to the darkness.

Demetri’s eyes jolted open and tears swelled up inside them. His heart was beating rapidly, and his panting was almost unbearable. Sweat was dripping from his forehead and trickled down his face. He felt nervous, yet so happy that it was only a nightmare. Emily, was still alive.

Demetri rubbed his eyes, wiped the sweat from his face, and got up out of bed to go see his wife. When he found Emily, she was lying across their closet floor. Her eyes were closed, and her heart was no longer beating.

Maybe, his dream wasn’t just a nightmare after all. Perhaps, their house really is haunted.

Week In The Life (Epistolary, Gothic, Asylums)

October 18, 2015

Well, we are way over our 180 days for the year. I am trying to close any loose ends we may have, so we can enjoy the upcoming holidays. Looking back over the year, I am pleased with everything we accomplished thus far. Considering I was recovering from back surgery, and the injury that leads up to the back surgery, both girls are right where I was hoping they would be before we start our next year of school. I’m really glad we used Sky’s 8th-grade year as a test run for high school. She’s prepared and understands what’s in store for 2016. It also helped me see how much time was needed for each of her credits.

At first, I was completely overwhelmed. Being that I am keeping a journal of our homeschooling journey, I want to make sure I am portraying homeschooling accurately, and honestly as possible. So, I want to make it perfectly clear, homeschooling high school scared the shit out of me!. After listening to some very helpful webinars, seriously I highly recommend catching them when you can, from Lee Binz, my confidence grew tremendously. That, and being able to see what combining some classes together might look like. For example, combining composition and literature classes together works really well for us. So does combining (world, American, art, theater, and music) history and geography together.

Basically, we are considered the same as a private school (again, always check your state’s/ countries homeschooling laws), and can call all the shots. We do not need to follow public school’s requirements for graduating our children. However, there is a catch. If your child plans on attending college, they will need a transcript. (Community colleges do not need one, but I would still prepare one because plans can change.) It’s the colleges you want to make happy. That should be the most important goal for homeschooling high school. What courses the college wants your child to have before attending there.

I thought I would post Sky’s plans, in case they might be helpful. Of course, we will try for every scholarship opportunity possible, because honestly, we can’t afford college. Both girls will need to work while attending. Sky wants to go to art school, she will need to complete a few basic courses before she can apply. She plans to attend our local community college to complete those courses, then has them transferred when she applies to the art school.

Since she wants to attend art school, I need to know everything the school wants my child to have before applying. I want the art school to want her as a student there. Her transcript will have lots of art classes, and she will need a portfolio. So, this is what high school will look for her. For Little Sis, high school might look completely different than Sky’s.

To me, this is what makes homeschooling completely worth it. We can custom fit each child’s education around them. Not only are we able to see the individual, we are able to focus our attention on them, one on one. A personalized education.

Language Arts


We started Dracula by Bram Stoker this week (chapter 1-8, the book can be found, free, on Amazon).

We also watched a video ( from Shaun Kunz, YouTube) about the first 8 chapters of the book.

I have stayed away from this story personally because the sight of blood and I don’t have a very good relationship. The thought of someone sucking my blood makes me nauseous. Then, I thought what the hell? Both girls had requested we read it, and you know what? I really am enjoying it a lot! I am kicking myself for waiting so darn long.

Little Sis finished Catching Fire and is reading book 3, Mockingjay.

I read a short bio on Emily Dickinson from the book Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull.

The girls listed 10 things they learned about her.



The girls watched videos explaining what both Gothic and epistolary (from Shaun Kunz) literature is.

They added the explanations to their composition journal.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis learned list 2/

Sky learned the first week of words from Dracula (Quizlet)

desecration, congealing, anemia, genealogy, bereaved, hell-hound, ferocious, credence, trinket, hale, contagious, craggy, brandishing, fluttering, headland


The girls copied the poem Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson.



We also watched the Crash Course Literature video on Emily Dickinson.

Speaking of Crash Course, we finished up our Shakespeare study by watching their videos on Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet (YouTube).

We watched videos about Shakespeare from TEDEd too.

Did Shakespeare Write His Plays? (Science, learning about linguistics)

Insults By Shakespeare, and Poetry, Pentameter, Pirates (This was a wonderful visual. I’m sure I will use it again).


Warming up with XtraMath.

Little Sis, Math Math Easy 3rd Grade workbook.

Sky learned percents from the Pre-Algebra Kumon workbook and watched a video.


Little Sis had her STEAM class this week. They played board games while the parents talked to the librarian. The library is really interested in making sure they have all the resources we might need to homeschool on hand. They are very open and want to help us with our homeschooling needs.


World History

We watched a video on the history of vampires from TED-ED.


We watched the Democratic Debate.

The Arts


We watched the musical, West Side Story. The girls were able to pick out all the similarities between Romeo and Juliet.

We watched a video from Brows Held High( one of my favorite YouTubers) on the musical West Side Story, as part of his Shakespeare week.

We watched the movie Lion King (Hamlet), and Lion King 2 (Romeo and Juliet). Then, we watched the Brows Held High video about the similarities between the Lion King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (YouTube).

We discussed Waterhouse’s (another favorite artist of mine) paintings of Ophelia.

We also watched the movie Catching Fire.

We attended a homeschool field trip this week, learning what goes on behind the scenes of The Asylum House haunted house.








The girls had a blast! We are very thankful to the owners of the Asylum House for allowing us to do this, and giving us the tour for free. Sky loved learning about all the work it takes to run a haunted house.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (Hungry, Hungry Hyde)

October 11, 2015

Well, this is my last post categorized under 14 for a certain child. God, there is no way she can be only one more year away from driving. While attending homeschooling events, I have found myself feeling rather old surrounded by newbies. It’s really quite an awaking experience to realize you are no longer a new blood. Being surrounded by new homeschooling concerns, with me being in a place where I can go to a doctor appointment, then home to see my children sitting around the table getting their schoolwork over with. Where wondering if your child will ever be able to read or add are your biggest concerns, no worries of drunk drivers, or a certain child, that sometimes doesn’t seem to know where the hell she is in a parking lot, being behind the wheel of a car soon. Finally, getting to that place where you realize, parenting will never get easier.

Being a tad wiser, it has a much better ring than older methinks, I would like to express, that yes, your child will learn how to read and add. That it will be okay. Don’t waste those precious early years with phonics and workbook lessons. Enjoy the scribbles and Play-Doh creations. The “mom, what does this say?” moments. Those mornings, while still in bed, where reading Bread and Jam for Francis for the hundredth time is a must. Or, when you just don’t think you can stand to watch a certain Disney movie one more time without losing your sanity. They should take top priority right now. Letters and numbers will come. (We live in an age where words and numbers are everywhere.)

I can still remember what it felt like starting our journey into homeschooling. Those moments when it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest thinking, “what the hell am I doing?”, “can I really do this?”. It took me several years, and several different homeschooling philosophies to realize there is no one right way to homeschool. To be able to forget everything I learned in school and understand that real learning has nothing to do with regurgitating facts for a test. That all children are unique and a “one size fits all” education will not work for every child. That no matter how hard I try or might want it, I can’t make my children learn. The confidence will come. All we can do is our best, and that’s all our children can do too. 🙂

Language Arts


We kicked our Halloween literature block off with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

We followed along with the story on Kindle, where the story can be found for free.

I read a short bio about Stevenson from Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull, and the girls came up with 10 facts they learned about him.


In honor of Stevenson, we took turns reading A Child’s Garden of Verses (also found free on Kindle).

We also read a collection of short ghost stories.

Independent reading

Little Sis finished book one of The Hunger Games trilogies and is halfway through book two of Catching Fire.

I finally finished Clash of Kings, and am well on my way through A Storm of Swords. It may take me a bit longer to get through this book for two reasons. One, it is over 1200 pages long; two, I am not looking forward to certain events that take place. Why am I putting myself through this again? Oh right, because Sky has taken a huge interest in the series. “The things we do for love.”

Reading Comprehension

Before starting Jekyll and Hyde, we watched a few YouTube videos I found about the story.

We also watched his 6 minutes on the first 5 chapters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and his video on the last part of the story.

Once we finished the story, the girls took the quiz from SparkNotes.

We watched the Crash Course video on How and Why We Read too (YouTube).

Spelling/ Vocab

Little Sis completed the first 4th-grade spelling list at Spelling

Sky’s list was from Jekyll and Hyde (Quizlet):

qualm, exorbitant, turpitude, tincture, apothecary, insensate, juggernaut (thanks, Marvel), pecuniary, countenance, balderdash, coquetry, conflagration, malefactor, abject, disquietude, induce


The girls copied the poem, My Shadow by Steven Louis Stevenson in cursive.


(Little Sis)


The girls are entering a haunted house short story contest from SparkNotes. I will post their stories on my blog after the contest deadline.

We discussed a narrative writing checklist before they started writing their story.


Warm up exercises with XtraMath (I give this program credit for Sky being able to progress as well as she is in math. Since she has been warming up using Xtramath, she hasn’t been making as many mistakes.)

Little Sis, Math Made Easy 3rd-grade workbook. Sky, Kumon Pre-Algebra Workbook 1.


We read and discussed Science in the News (A-Z) issue Gone Bananas.




PBS series Indian Summers


We have been watching new episodes of one of my favorite television shows, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza, studying improv.

The Arts

We watched the silent movie, Dr.Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde.

We also watched The Hunger Games movie (Brutal, and I’m reading the Game of Thrones series.).


The girls had homeschool gym.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (” To Thine Own Self Be True”)

October 4, 2015

Happy October!

The first week of October actually felt like fall. Overnight we went from shorts to flash fires. Today, the sun is back out and the windows are open again. The garden is tilled and the garlic is planted for next spring’s crop.

Slowly, I’ve been getting back into my routine, thank goodness. I did discover one thing while recovering from back surgery. I am the backbone of our home. Papa has his responsibilities outside of the home, no money, no eat. My responsibility is to make sure everything else keeps running smoothly. Papa and I are partners, and we definitely felt the difference with one partner down. The pantry is a mess, my kitchen is a mess. I am more than ready to get back in there and get everything organized again.

The girls really stepped it up, and I am proud of them. Dishes, dinners, cleaning, they’ve really been busy. I saw all our training paying off. The Little one especially, she is very comfortable in the kitchen. She reminds me of myself is so many ways. It really is such an amazing gift to be able to see your children flourish.There really isn’t a better reflection of yourself than through your children, and I mean the good, bad, and the downright ugly.


Language Arts


This week we finished our Shakespeare study (until we study the Romans anyway) with Hamlet.

First, I read the story from Tales from Shakespeare while they read along on their tablets. Then, we read the play while listening along.

We also finished the Sonnets (where the girls learned how to read Roman numerals).

Reading Comprehension

The girls took the Hamlet quiz at SparkNotes.

Personal reading

Little Sis is almost done with The Hunger Games (book 1). Sky is reading the second graphic novel of Game of Thrones, and I am 100 pages from being done with Clash of Kings (Should have it finished by this week).

I’m still going to wait until I finish the whole series before I give my overall rating. One thing I do like about George R.R. Martin’s writing is his use of language. I’ve recognized several words in Shakespeare because of the Game of Thrones series. I love that he has invented his own world, but still, uses words from an early time period. One thing I don’t like is getting invested in so many characters that will eventually die. There will need to be a point to it all in the end, or I will not like it.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

So, how do I do spelling and vocabulary without curricula? This is the first year I’ve started a spelling program with Little Sis and is the first year for Sky using Quizlet (that I am really happy with). Before, I would pull words from the stories we would read that they might have had trouble with, and then have the girls look them up in the dictionary and write out the definition.

The girls played lots of online games, Animal Jam being their favorite, and learned to spell while talking with other players. If there was a word they needed help with they would ask, and I would spell it for them. Eventually, they stopped asking and started using the dictionary online. There’s the games Bananagrams, Word Shout, and Scribblenauts they like to play too. Little Sis is an excellent speller, she spells better than me and honestly doesn’t need a word list. Basically, we are just going through the motions.

I started Sky at Quizlet to help expand her spelling and vocabulary beyond what she would normally be exposed to since she is in high school now. Though, I am constantly amazed at how much both girls actually know and learn from their interests. For example, one of Sky’s words this week from Hamlet was discord, she learned what it meant from watching My Little Pony.

I am a firm believer in the more you are exposed to, the more you will learn. Sometimes, this means stepping out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, this means not being so quick to dismiss a child’s interest. Sometimes, it means having an open mind. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear parents say, “all my child does is play video games all day.” Having played lots of video games myself, I can see all that is learned from playing them. I can see what my visual learner loves about video games. They are interacting virtual storybooks.

I will admit that I was very cynical toward technology, and I still believe it has the ability to make us lazy, just like anything when used too much. By stepping outside my comfort zone, I found out how much I love Kindle. We have a very small house, and books take up a lot of space. Technology has solved that problem for us. I love the built-in dictionary the Kindle has. While reading, the girls will come to a word and can find out what it means, or how it is pronounced and we can keep right on reading. I love that I can borrow, or purchase one book and all of us can read along together on different devices. The Kindle has changed our read-aloud time, only for the better.

Again, I am not putting curriculum down. If you love it, and it works for you, great. Just showing there are other ways to learn besides using one. 🙂

Speaking of spelling words, I am trying a new site for Little Sis.

I think she will like playing the games there much better, and the words seem a bit more challenging.

I am very happy with Quizlet for Sky. Her words from Hamlet this week were,

epitaph, perdition. afflict, contrive, expostulate, ambiguous, malicious, conjuration, aloof, discord, carnal, extolment, scourge, churlish.


In honor of Little Sis finishing the Twilight series, the girls copied the poem Fire and Ice by Robert Frost in cursive.


Kumon Pre-Algebra for Sky, Math Made Easy 3rd grade for Little Sis.



Yes, we watched the supermoon lunar eclipse and discussed what was happening (

Then, there was the discovery of water on Mars.

We watched part 2 of Gorongosa National Park.

I do F***ing Love Science! 🙂



We started the new PBS series, Indian Summer. This fits in perfectly after studying England’s Industrial Revolution and Victorian Imperialism.


We watched Crash Course episodes 26-29, learning about America’s imperialism, and Hughes’ History of the Spanish American War (YouTube).

I also printed a picture of President Taft for the girl’s history timeline, and we discussed his presidency.


We watched CNN’s 2015 Republican GOP debates (YouTube).

Little Sis’s STEAM class this week was all about engineering. I learned that this was something we need to work on, so I am thinking of breaking out the Zome this week.




(Gear erasers)


The Arts

We finished our Shakespeare study by watching the Hamlet movie starring Mel Gibson (Netflix).

We finally paid a visit to our local art museum. It is SO big we were only able to see half of it, and that took us 3 and 1/2 hours to do that.




We were able to see two of my favorite artists. Norman Rockwell


and Georgia O’ Keeffe


We didn’t even make it to the 100-acre outdoor garden, it’s no joke that we will be visiting again. Sky came away with lots of new inspiration.

We also finished the movie saga of the Twilight series.

Halloween, here we come. Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (Why Must Your Name Be That Of Romeo?)

September 27, 2015

Happy Fall!

Honestly, I can’t believe it’s time already. I think it’s because summer felt more like spring. So far, fall is still feeling like summer. Anyway, I have managed to get all the bedding washed and hung outside to dry at least one more time. Now to take stock of our fall clothing. Both girls are in need of new clothes. It wouldn’t be bad if they weren’t so picky. Neither likes to wear jeans. This is fine for the little one right now, finding pants for her age isn’t much of a problem yet. The bigger one, however, well it seems all that teens like to wear are jeans (at least that is what stores think). Besides sweats or leggings, the selection is sparse. Not to mention she is not much of a shopper. I need to take the girls shopping on different days. One likes to make a day of it, the other wants to just get in and out (takes after her dad).

It’s not just clothes that can be a problem. Little Sis finished Breaking Dawn and is on the lookout for what to read next. She really wasn’t into the whole vampire/ werewolf angle of the story, as she was with the love triangle (The Phantom of the Opera is her favorite story). This is where I fall short because I detest romance stories. It doesn’t help matters that she reads well above her grade level, and since this is for independent reading, and not school related, makes it even more challenging. Thanks to some great friends’ recommendations, she is 6 chapters into the Hunger Games trilogy. Hopefully, this keeps her busy awhile. I could always use more recommendations though. I pretty much have our school reading list made, so books like The Princess Bride and Anne of Green Gables have already been chosen.

Is it just me, or do other homeschoolers face this dilemma too? We read SO much here as a part of our school, what is left for entertainment? Do you have children above grade level and struggle with finding resources that interest them? Little Sis has problems fitting in with groups, though she is 9, 10 November, she is very mature for her age.

For instance reading clubs, for her age, focus on Magic Tree House reading level books, which I use for our history jumping off point (so school related). She would not choose to read this on her own for “entertainment”, and is well past this level.

She gets bored with stories like Clementine, that are geared toward her age, and longs for more intellectual conversations. She would love to discuss Twilight, but children her age don’t really know what it is, or parents don’t allow their children to read it yet. (I have no doubt this child will graduate early). Well, she is the child that never really “played” with toys. She beats us at all our games and is constantly looking for more challenges (why the girls are combined together for school lessons). “You were born older George.” I would love suggestions. 🙂


Language Arts


The girls copied So Oft As I Her Beauty Do Behold by Edmund Spenser in cursive.


(Little Sis)

So, how did I do handwriting? I purchased a cursive Painless Learning Placemat, before that I wrote the cursive letters on the chalkboard, for the girls to copy from. I picked seasonal poems for the girls to copy and practice. The same for handwriting. They would copy sentences off the board to practice. It could be from anything, stories you’re reading, or famous quotes, but I always tied it to lessons. You learn to print and write by practicing printing and writing.


I do have a few books we will start using in 2016 to help with the girls writing and punctuation, but for now, I am just having them practice writing book reviews, poems, and essays. This week’s assignment was continued from last week. First, they needed to take notes while watching PBS’s American Experience documentary on Theodore Roosevelt. Then, they needed to use those notes to write an essay about him. Last, they practiced typing by putting them on my blog. I wasn’t really concerned about what they wrote as much as learning how to do it.

I printed a picture of Theodore Roosevelt, then printed their essay on the back. Little Sis’s was 2 1/2 pages. Sky’s was 2 pages. I didn’t give them a page length.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis did the fourth-grade list 3 at Homeschool Spelling Right now she is flying through the lists and she has asked for harder words, but I think I will continue to see if the words get more challenging.

Sky’s words came from our story this week, Romeo and Juliet. She uses Quizlet.

procure, intercession, transgression, waverer, pensive, grievance, predominate, cunning, fickle, vial, heretics, sallow, fray.


More Shakespeare Sonnets.

We read Romeo and Juliet from Tales from Shakespeare, then read along with the play.

This has been their favorite Shakespeare story so far, and Little Sis caught the similarities between the story and the Twilight series. Edward right away reminded her of Romeo.

Reading Comprehension

They took the quiz from SparkNotes.



Basher Math A Book You Can Count On


Warming up with XtraMath.

Little Sis continuing with Grade 3 Math Made Easy.

Sky, Kumon Pre-Algebra.


Sky requested we watch PBS documentary about Gorongosa National Park. It’s basically showing how the ecology of the park changed after the civil war in Africa, and what they are doing to restore it and why.



We finished the music history of the Tudors from BBC’s Radio Podcast. I am hoping to add penny (tin) whistle lessons into our lessons soon.


I read about Elizabeth the first from Lives of Extraordinary Women by Kathleen Krull, and we watched the Kings and Queens documentary about her (YouTube).

I printed a picture of her and the girls came up with 10 things they learned about her. (I print lines on the back of the pictures for them to write on.)



I took advantage of Amazon’s Prime deal Friday for $65. We were going to try it next year anyway, so why not save a few bucks too. We have been watching Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons that spoof the serial and melodrama. I am impressed with how ahead of their time the humor was. Very pre-Simpsons adult cartoon humor.


The Arts

So far, we’ve seen one Shakespeare play live and one on YouTube, so this time I picked a ballet of Romeo and Juliet to watch (YouTube Prokofiev’s music and Alessandra Ferri as Juliet was a perfect.combination).

We finished PBS Mystery, Auther, and George. The girls really liked the series and can’t wait to read Sherlock Holmes. We also watched one of my favorite Disney movies, The Great Mouse Detective.


We took advantage of fall with a visit to a local pumpkin patch.




The real challenge was the corn maze.


It took us over an hour to find the 24 hidden trivia posts. We all slept well that night. 🙂


Well, Fall we welcome you! Peace for the journey.

Theodore Roosevelt (Little Sis)

September 22, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest man to be president at the age of forty-two. He became president after the assassination of William McKinley. In his life, he experienced many things including sadness, happiness, and madness.

One October day, 1858, in New York City a baby boy was born. As a child, he loved his father very much. His father was his best friend. Theodore suffered from terrible asthma, and some nights he didn’t even know if he was going to live the next morning. Since his lungs were very weak from asthma, his father would take him to go hiking and to get some exercise to make his body healthier. He did actually recover from his asthma by exercising every day.

When he turned seventeen, he decided to move out and attend college. Two years later, while Theodore was still in college, his father passed away from stomach cancer at the age of forty-six. Theodore suffered from depression after receiving the sad news.

While still in college, Theodore encountered a young woman named Alice Lee. He claimed he would marry her one day. Theodore, at first was shy to ask for her proposal but when he did, she accepted.
In 1880, Theodore and Alice’s wedding was prepared and set. When Theodore graduated, they moved into a house they named “Lee Home”.

When Theodore was twenty-three, he got involved with politics and chose the Republican side. The years quickly passed. In 1884 Alice was pregnant with a baby girl. After Alice had the baby, two days later she died from Bright’s disease ( a disease involving chronic inflammation of the kidneys). After Alice’s death, Theodore named the first baby girl Alice. But, once he had named her, and being overcome with grief from his wife’s death, he rejected Alice and gave her over to live with his sister.

While still grieving, Theodore spent time as a Rough Rider cowboy. The Rough Riders made fun of the way he talked very fancy and the way he wore leather boots. He declared he wouldn’t marry again, but after seeing his childhood friend, Edith Kermit Carow, he changed his mind. In 1886, Edith and Theodore were married. Soon after the marriage, Edith and Theodore had a baby boy named Theodore Junior. After Theodore Junior, the children piled up all the way to six (with Alice returning to live them).

Theodore joined in the war against Spain when he heard that the United States was fighting against the Spanish. The reason he went to war was that he wanted his six children to think of him as a hero. The war ended almost as soon as it started, and the United States had won over Spain. Soon after fighting with Spain, Theodore went into another war against Cuba.

In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became vice president under William McKinley. One day, William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, and Theodore then became President. His first day in the White House was September, his fathers birthday. While he was president, he declared to fight against the rich, who were getting too much, and the poor, who were getting too little. People were scared of him because they thought of him as a time bomb, they didn’t know if or when he was going to blow his fuse.

When he was forty-six years old, he was elected president of the United States for the first time. While Theodore was president, he had miners dig coal for winters and helped settle their coal strike. He negotiated the Panama Canal, he started the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), he was the first president ever be shot in a film, first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and helped save thousands of acres for national parks. Once, he couldn’t bring himself to shoot a bear cub, so they named the Teddy Bear after him (though he did not like to be called Teddy).

Whenever he was stressed, he would write. He wrote over thirty-six books. In one of his journals he wrote, “I have tried and failed”. One day he made the great mistake by saying he wouldn’t run for president again, this stayed with him for the rest of his life. He was fifty years old when his presidential term came to an end in 1909.

After he left the White House, Theodore Roosevelt didn’t know what he was going to do with his life. After a while, he decided to visit Africa. In Africa, he sent letters to Edith and she would write him back. He hunted a lot of wild animals including lions, elephants, zebras, rhinos, and water buffalo. After almost a year of Theodore and Edith being apart, Edith decided to visit Roosevelt in Africa. After Theodore got bored in Africa, he decided to go to Europe before returning home. When he came back to the United States, the Wright Brothers asked him to take a trip with them on the airplane that they invented.

One day in 1912, while Theodore was trying to run for president again, on his way to make a speech he was shot near the heart by John Schrank. He was hurt by the assault but refused to seek a hospital and continued to give his speech.

World War 1 started in 1914, Theodore wanted to join in the war but being older, overweight, and partly blind he couldn’t. However, all four of his sons did go. Sadly his youngest son didn’t come home from the war. Theodore and Edith found out he had been killed. Theodore loved his youngest son very much and was heartbroken when he found out. His son was only nineteen. World War 1 ended in 1918. Theodore died a year later in 1919 at the age of sixty.

I personally thought Theodore had a good heart and was strong spirited and full of wisdom. His words spoke the truth and he lived to be a decent age. He lived a long adventurous life.


PBS American Experience TR

Week In The Life ( “The Nest of the Devil” )

September 20, 2015

Well, it has been four weeks since my surgery and I am finally getting out and about. I can honestly say this has been, by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Pain and mental wise. Your mind feels the same, so you think you’re able to just get up and do something. However, your body tells you different. You would think I would love being waited on, and having everyone else doing the things I would usually do. The first week was nice. By the second week I was ready to do something, anything!

I’ve been able to cut my pain medication down to once a night, then just two Advil come morning. This week, I was finally able to get behind the wheel and take the girls to a few homeschooling events. The real test was Saturday.

We went to a local art fair, where they had several streets blocked off filled with art vendors. I was SO ready to get out there. I woke up this morning a little sore, but no more sore than any other morning.

How easy it is to take our back for granted. You don’t realize how much we use it until you can’t. This week I plan on adding walks around the block back into our days. I am also adding Yoga back into my mornings. We are near an indoor pool, and I am thinking of adding swimming on the weeks we don’t have homeschool gym just shake things up a bit.

From the garden:

Papa was able, on top of everything else he was doing, to get the garden all ready for next year. We still need to plant garlic though. This will be the second year planting with our garlic.

From the kitchen:

During all that has been going on, I have really been getting good at cooking with a crock-pot. I’ve cooked a whole chicken, baked potatoes, meatloaf cooked over the baked potatoes, even lasagna. I’m actually having a hard time not wanting to use my crock-pot now. I love the time I am saving by using it. With our school hours getting longer, my time spent cooking meals needs to get shorter. There are very picky eaters in this family of mine. When you are spoiled on eating fresh foods, processed foods just don’t cut it. One child would rather starve than eat frozen types of dinners (think pizza, chicken nuggets, even french fries). My crock-pot has been the perfect solution.

From the school front:

Language Arts


This week the girls tackled A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

We read along with our e-readers (book free at Amazon).

Since seeing Othello, the girls have been curious about Shakespeare. I loved English Literature class back in high school. Actually, I always had stories, or books read way before we as a class did. So, I never understood the big deal about Shakespeare being hard. Maybe ,it’s from all the silent movies I’ve watched, but when something is acted well, you really don’t need to understand what is being said. I really didn’t see Shakespeare being harder than anything else I might have been reading at the time. So, I wondered what the girls would think about him.

The only thing I read to them before seeing the play, was a summary of the story from Tales of Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb. While at the play, I asked them if they were following what was going on. They both gave me a look like they couldn’t believe I had asked. “What is there not to follow?” That came from Little Sis, 9 soon to been 10. On the way home, I explained that some think Shakespeare to be a bit hard. Neither of them could believe it.

Maybe, it’s all the Dickens we’ve read lately, or all the PBS we’ve watched. Maybe, it’s the fact I’ve never “dumbed-down” anything with them. I’ve never looked at “maturity” as something that occurs at a certain age. I know people older than myself that I would never call mature. I’ve never forced the girls to watch anything they didn’t want too. Little Sis still does not like watching nature programs showing animals as the prey, and I will never force her to watch either. What I do know, is our Shakespeare study is moving right along.

After we finished reading the play, they took the test from Sparknotes.

We read the summary from the Tales of Shakespeare, the girls following along with me on their e-reader. I read about Shakespeare from Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull, and we read more Sonnets. I am still continuing Beatrix Potter stories too (by request).

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis did list 2 of the 4th grade spelling words. Sky took her test at Her words were,

tarry, beguile, progeny, enamor, officious, condole, visage, pomp, abjure, sovereignty, tempest, dowager.


The girls copied the poem The House on the Hill by Edwin Arlington Robinson.


We went over how to write an essay with Essay Mama’s essay writing guide,

and the girls wrote their rough rafts for their Theodore Roosevelt essay.

Reading Independently

Little Sis is 3/4 of the way through Breaking Dawn. I am 60% through Clash of Kings. The book is really picking up for me now. Sky started reading the graphic novels of Game of Thrones (there are 4 graphic novels for the first book).



Math A Book You Can Count On

Working on

Warming up at

Sky, Kumon Pre-Algebra workbook.

Little Sis, 3rd Grade Made Easy.



Science in the News about Pluto.


The girls took a science quiz, and only missed 1.

We compared the size of North America with the size of Jupiter from IFLS.


NOVA Dawn of Humanity documentary.



We listened to The Tudors Drama part of the radio podcast.

The girls came up with 10 facts they learned about Shakespeare.



We watched a video from YouTube about Elizabethan Theater,

and the girls came up with 10 facts they learned about The Globe.



We watched the American Experience documentary about Walt Disney, and learned a lot about him I never knew.

The Arts

I mentioned the art fair that we went to.


We came home with some new interesting items (my favorite being a new Santa Clause clay painted ornament, for my Santa collection), and Sky observed and asked the artists lots of questions.

Our local library is starting a homeschool STEAM class (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) for Little Sis’s age (9-12). Their first project was a Minecraft project.


Some new drawings from Little Sis.



We enjoyed watching episode 2 of Arthur and George on PBS and Rice University’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (found on YouTube).


The girls had homeschool gym this week (they have it twice a month).


For an hour and a half the girls, along with other homeschoolers, get to play in the gym. It is one of their favorite outings.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) In The Life (Tolerance)

September 11, 2015

On this day of remembrance, I am feeling a bit disgusted. This morning, I’ve already encountered an argument over religion with “my way”, is the right way. Current events from the last couple of days, pick any really, doesn’t help matters.

Science has shown me, we are all human beings evolved (whatever your stance may be on evolution or religion, I think we can agree) from a common source. Yes, we have differences. We come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries (just like every living plant, animal, insect, thing). I get that, how boring it would be if we were all the same. However, we are still homo sapiens.

I guess I’ve never really been a “labeling” type of person. I mean I have used labels to describe where I was on my journey, but I feel labels hinder internal growth. Why do we feel the need to label ourselves anyway? (My opinion or “theory” stripped to its core is acceptance.)

Which brings me to my point of all this. Being homeschoolers, sometime along the way the word socialization will be brought up. Honestly, I am so past this now I kind of just chuckle. Like many things, most times than not, it is repeated from something heard with no true understanding of what it really means. “School is more than education, you also learn how to work and communicate with others.” I saw how well this worked back in high school when a boy, that I sat next to in Spanish class, brought a machete to school stabbing the kids who were bullying him. My teen self would have called “socialization”, bullshit and I still do now.

History has shown me, that it will get worse before it gets better. I am hopeful for the better. 9/11 awakened in me not only what hatred looks like, but ignorance too. As a parent, my goal for the girls is to learn the opposite.

From the home-front:

With lots of new homeschoolers this year, and with lots of them starting school this week, I thought I would share a little bit more about how we homeschool. I see so many newbies asking questions about curriculum, repeating the same method used at school, at home. If a curriculum is your thing and works for you, great. Really, there is no one right way to homeschool.

I’m personally not a big fan. I’m not the kind of person that likes to be told what to learn, and if I “have to” learn something, I need to know the real reason why. Mathematics, for instance, is Earth’s language.

Though there are “core” subjects everyone must learn in order to acquire a diploma, how we learn those subjects is totally up to us. A curriculum is one of the ways. Now that we are in the 21st century, there are other methods besides literature and worksheets.

Don’t get me wrong, I love literature and we use it quite a bit. One of my children, however, learns better visually. So, I’ve adapted how we homeschool to fit the needs of how my children learn best.

Language Arts

These last two weeks have been all about Shakespeare. Sky, 9th grade (15), is working on her British Literature credit, and Little Sis, 4th grade (10) though well above her grade level, requested Romeo and Juliet as our next read aloud.

Being there just happened to be a performance of Othello going on at the same time, that was what we read next.

First, I read a summary of the story from the book Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (also found free at Amazon).

We downloaded the story for free on the tablet from Amazon to read along.

They took the quiz from SparkNotes.

We are also reading and listening to some of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Little Sis read Magic Tree House, Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve out loud on the tablet (downloaded using OverDrive).

Lastly, I continued reading more of Beatrix Potter’s stories.


The girls copied Sonnet 2, from the above link, in cursive that I had written on our chalkboard.

Spelling/ Vocab

Little Sis practiced her spelling words from 4th grade list one and took her test.

Her vocabulary words came from her story ( sentry, legions, impishly, anvil).

Sky’s words were from Othello she practiced at Quizlet ( imprudent, solicit, restitution, strumpet, reproach, mettle, discretion, imposition, disposition, trifles).


The girls warmed up at Xtramath.

Then, Little Sis took the 3rd-grade quiz from Khan’s and I started Sky with 6th grade and she completed the 7th-grade quiz. This made me extremely happy because she passed everything except the algebra problems, which is where she is now. So, 9th-grade math, for her, will be Pre-Algebra from Khan’s.

Little Sis worked from the 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook. Sky from Kumon Pre-Algebra workbook 1.

We are also reading, from the Basher series, Math, A Book you can count on. There are mental math problems for each explanation (love this series).


We attended the annual Bug Fest at a local park, where Sky ate crickets. She actually did lots of research on how healthy crickets are for you before we went. Her big sister is the inspiration behind this new discovery when she brought cheese flavored crickets with her during a visit. (Thanks Big Sis 🙂 )




Continuing our study of bugs, we learned about how infected bumblebees self-medicate themselves, and Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells but not healthy cells from IFLS.



Sticking with the 1900s, after reading the American Girl Samantha series, we watched the PBS American Experience documentary, TR (found on YouTube). The girls took notes for their reports they will start writing next week.

We also watched the Crash Course episode on Bush 43


We listened to part of the BBC radio series called The Tudors, (taking us to the late 1400s through the 1600s England) with Tudor sketches.

We also watched PBS’s new series, Author, and George. All of us can’t wait for episode 2.


I mentioned our outing to see Othello,


and Sky made some theater masks.



The Arts

We watched an artists interpretation of the poems Lenore and The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

Then, we watched The Raven read by Christopher Lee (RIP).

We watched movies 1-3 of the Twilight series, now that Little Sis is more than halfway through book 4.

I was hoping to be halfway through Clash of Kings by now myself, but am only 40%. This book is moving a bit slower for me, I think it is because when you take out so many characters from book 1, you need to spend more time introducing all new characters in book 2(and there are a lot of new characters).

Sky made another felt animal to be the baby of her other one.


From the kitchen

Apples, yes it is that time of year already.


Gluten-free pizza, crust made with my favorite flour, oat.


Papa loves this crust better than my original homemade crust. We used Egg Beaters instead of eggs and reduced fat cheese, so I like how heart healthy this crust is. (Toppings, steak, green peppers, hot peppers, onions, mushrooms.)

Also, my new favorite oatmeal.

It tastes just like cookie dough. I make mine in the microwave, heating for about 4 minutes.

I also found out I do not like sushi!

I think that just about wraps things up, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but this is the bulk of it anyway.

Peace for the journey.