Archive for the ‘A Week in the Life’ Category

Week(s) in the Life (Microbes Beware)

March 4, 2017

I have been struggling with finding time to write. The older the girls get, the less time I seem to have. My poor unsocialized homeschool children have been extremely busy.  If we are not out and about, the girls have friends over.

I actually need to make sure we are getting all our lessons in. There has been several things I have been wanting to watch with the girls that’s been given the boot. We really don’t have time to watch many documentaries anymore. I am so glad I got the majority of our theater productions in last year, and thank goodness for YouTube.

Homeschooling has many stages. In the beginning, you want to make sure you are not ruining your child’s education by homeschooling. You start out by doing what you know, school at home, and realize that it’s just not going to work in a homeschool environment. So, you read any and everything you can get your hands on trying to find your groove. You start to see learning everywhere.

If there is one thing I would want to share here with newbies just starting out with younger children, please do not buy curricula. Younger children need to play, and 502

Imagination is the first skill they need to unlock. Read, color, go on outings, do chores, bake, sing, make crafts, play games, and watch their favorite shows with them. I promise, they will learn to read, add and subtract, and write. They learn through imitation. When they reach about middle school age, then worry about curricula. You will not regret it. 🙂

Once you find your groove, everything seems to fall into place. Before you know it, they are ready for high school. This is when documentation becomes important. I spent way too much time worrying about checking off boxes. High school feels like you are starting the homeschooling journey all over again, and so the cycle begins. You start by doing what you know, school at home, once you realize this isn’t going to work, you start reading any and everything you can get your hands on…………

It wasn’t until I stopped worrying, when things started to fall into place. It was when I stopped looking, that things literally started falling into my lap.

Little Sis could not be happier in cheerleading. I couldn’t believe how she wasn’t nervous at her first competition. She had never performed in front of a large audience before. She will be attending cheer camp this summer. She is very excited, this will be her first time away from home. She is ready.


Sky loves her western equestrian lessons.


They have helped so much with her anxiety. She cantered for the first time at her last lesson. She has always loved animals.

Though both girls have started later than most of their peers, they are quick learners. They know it is a lot of hard work, but they want to be there.

Keep following your gut instinct , but keep following your children’s lead too. It will all work out in the end.(Note to self, remember this moment.)  🙂



Language Arts


We finished Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. For me, this book came out at the perfect time. I mean, we were just wrapping up our winter lessons of the arctic, and like the sun shining down upon me from up above, Neil Gaiman releases a new book. So Scandinavia, here we come.

As far as the book goes, I really liked it. However, if you already have Norse Mythology resources this probably will not be anything new for you. I mean, the stories don’t really change.


*Mama’s reads*

I finished: The Gunslinger by Stephen King. This was never my favorite book from the series. It kind of reminds me of the movie The Phantom Menace , it is not the best movie from the Star Wars series but it is important to the story as a whole.

I started: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley but just could not get into it. I really wanted to like this story; there was just too much information being thrown at me all at once. I thought it really hurt the flow of the story.

Thank goodness I received an e-mail letting me know that: I See You by Clare Mackintosh was ready to be checked out. I am already over halfway through, and I just started it two days ago.



The girls are still working on the poem: Let America Be America Again. I don’t think I could have picked a better poem to copy at this point in time. We’ve had so many wonderful discussions.



Grammar/Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis: Beginners Word Roots, Mad Libs, Sentence of the Day.

Sky: Word Roots Level One, Mad Libs, Sentence of the Day, Barron’s E-Z English.


adorned, serf, furrow, lea, ambled, vamoosed, caboose

Creative Writing:

Reading: Seize the Story. The girls free write 10 minutes a day adding to their story what they’ve learned from the chapters we read. By the time we finish this book, they should have the rough draft of their fairy tale adaptation done.



Warming up at XtraMath.

Little Sis: She finished her Kumon Division workbook and started Fractions and Decimals.

Sky: Worked in Kiss My Math and practiced with worksheets from Tree of Math.

I was so excited to find this website. I love the Kiss My Math book but sometimes Sky needs more practice grasping some of the concepts. Finding algebra worksheets for what she needs to practice is almost impossible. Then I find the math site above. It is all about the little things I tell you.



The girls had homeschool gym, we Walked Away the Pounds (3 miles), Yoga Walked, and walked around the block.



We watched:

Why Do We Eat Raw Fish But Not Raw Chicken? – SciShow YouTube

Should I refrigerate my eggs -SciShow

Why Did The FDA Ban Antibacterial Soap?-SciShow

Squeaks Caught A Cold-SciShow Kids

How Do Germs Spread -TedEd

Learning from smallpox: How to eradicate a disease- TedEd

Why Vaccines Work- It’s Okay to be Smart

How Vaccines Work-TedEd

Is the Five-Second Rule Real? SciShow

How mucus keeps us healthy-TedEd

All found on YouTube.



We watched:

The Life and Death (and Life Again) of Dire Wolves -Animalogic

Living With Wolves Documentary – YouTube



All the videos about illness lead us into a microbiology block.

Reading: Basher Science Microbiology .


Germ History from NPR (all 3 videos found on YouTube).

Chapter 1 Introduction to Microbiology –  Edward Kerscsen -YouTube.







It’s Not the Size of the Month that Matters- It’s Okay to be Smart- YouTube

PBS Victoria


The Arts

We watched: How It’s Made  Ice Sculptures-YouTube,

and the girls made chocolate chip cookies for movie night with friends. They are watching the Star Wars series. 🙂

On a side note, because I like to know what parents are watching too. Papa and I watched the movie Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein is one of my favorite books, and I wanted to see this at theaters but never did. It was all right. I would add it to my Frankenstein movie collection, but nothing fantastic (besides the actors). We are also watching BBC The Last Kingdom series on Netflix. We are really enjoying it. Papa and I are history big nerds. I am really glad Netflix picked this series up.

Peace for the journey.

Week(s) in the Life ( How We Science)

February 18, 2017

Here we are again, the middle of February, and we have the windows open. I feel like winter is over, before it even began.

The robins have been gathering around our crabapple tree, helping themselves. We have named it our tree of life, because it maintains its own ecosystem. The crabapples feed the birds and squirrels, and the flower blossoms feed the bees. The bees help our garden, which helps feed us. The tree absorbs our carbon dioxide and releases us its precious oxygen. That, is the beauty of science for you.

We had a light bulb moment this week while watching our science videos. While our videos were discussing the positive and negative attractions of protons and electrons, Sky exclaimed: “just like in math”. What a great moment to discuss how mathematics is the language of the universe; to finally understand its necessity.

This, was the breakthrough I very much needed to boost my confidence. I still hold firm to my belief that not everyone is meant to be a scientist, mathematician, or an artist, but for her to finally understand why learning mathematics is so important, was big.

I feel like this is another positive aspect of homeschooling. School separates learning into “subjects”. I mean, I understand why. It is hard to find a teacher that is an expert in everything. In homeschooling, you don’t need to be an expert; you just need to have the desire to want to learn.

Earth isn’t separated into subjects, everything connects. This, is what real learning looks like. It is hard to understand art and literature, if you don’t understand the history of what was happening at the time. History influences movements, movements influence change, change influences art. It is a never ending cycle, and I am very close to busting out the lyrics to the song: The Circle of Life from Disney’s The Lion King right now. 🙂


Language Arts


We finished Julie of the Wolves. I’m sure this will be added to our favorite reads from the year list. Lots of discussion from this little gem.

We watched Julie of the Wolves Mini-Documentary – YouTube

We started: The Call of the Wild by Jack London but ditched it. After the first two chapters, both girls, in unison started arguing with me. “I do not need to read about animal abuse, I know it exists.” “I’m just letting you know, I am not going to pay attention to this book if we continue to read it.” Nothing like keeping it real. So, I read the biography of Jack London from: The Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull, and we discussed the historic significance of his novels instead.

The girls understand the novels place, they even appreciate them being written. “I am for anyone that gets the word out about animal cruelty, I just don’t need to read about it myself.” This lead to a wonderful conversation about how well the novel Black Beauty was written. “There was a balance of good and bad.”

This goes to show you why it is important to know your children’s sensitivities when picking out stories. Sky can watch someone getting their throat cut in the Game of Thrones series, but she can not tolerate bullying or animal cruelty. This is why Little Sis became a vegetarian. She can not tolerate the treatment of animals in the meat industry. Even though we support small farmers and know how the animals are treated.

We are reading: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman instead.


*Mama’s Reads*

I finished: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. I liked it all right. I could see the influence of King’s Pet Sematary. I really liked the historical aspect of the novel. The ending wasn’t bad, I just think it could have been a little bit better. I gave it 4 stars.

I read: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough next. I really liked this one. I wasn’t really sure where it was going until the end. It held my interest, and I finished it in 3 days. It was a fun read, but will it be memorable? No, the characters were kind of bland. I really didn’t care what happened to them, the ending proves that. Still, I am glad to have read it. I gave it 4 stars too.

I am rereading: The Gunslinger by Stephen King now. I am excited to see the movie, so I am going to try and reread the entire series before I go see it in theaters.



The girls copied the next stanza from: Let America Be America Again.




The girls worked in their Word Root workbooks. Sky worked in her English workbook, and both girls played Mad Libs.

Words from the week were:

bondsman and bartered

The girls corrected a sentence a day.

Creative Writing:

We continued reading Seize the Story, and during free writing, the girls came up with some character names.



Violet worked on the review from her workbook. Sky learned about distributed property.

The girls made hearts using the pattern blocks.


(Connecting art and mathematics.)



The girls had homeschool gym. We took advantage of warmer weather and went for a walk around the block, and Yoga Walked indoors.

Sky had equestrian lessons, and Little Sis had cheerleading practice.



We watched and discussed:

How Soap and Water Makes Us Clean? SciShow Kids

Are Hand Dryers Sanitary? SciShow

The Best Way to Fight the Flu – Scishow

The New Superbug! -SciShow

Attack of the Super Bugs -SciShow

Honey: Bacteria’s Worst Enemy SciShow

Metal vs. Bacteria -SciShow

all found on YouTube.




We read February’s issue of Science A-Z – Multilevel Science News Articles for Kids.

We watched and discussed:

Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap? SciShow

Wolverines Are the Honey Badgers of the North -Animalogic

Relationship Advice From the Animal Kingdom -It’s Okay To Be Smart

The Arctic Canary in the Coal Mine- TedEd

Ice Caves ShiShow Kids

The 17+ Different Kinds of Ice! SciShow

Inside the Tiny Ecosystems Hiding in Glaciers SciShow

We celebrated Charles Darwin’s birthday and watched: Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin! SciShow Kids

all found on YouTube.





We watched and discussed Masterpiece Theater’s Victoria.

Civics/ Government:

We watched and discussed:

Trump vs. Truth: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

What Does it Mean to be A Refugee? TedEd

all found on YouTube.


The Arts

Music Appreciation:

We watched:  Coolest Concert Ever? Hear Ice Instruments-National Geographic -YouTube

(Combining art and science.)


We made love birds from Draw So Cute-YouTube


Peace for the journey.


Week in the Life (Patterns)

February 4, 2017

Surprisingly enough, even with all the current events swirling around in my head, I am feeling really positive about the start of our school year. I feel like, even though we were going through our same homeschooling routine, that I was extremely distracted with making sure we were covering all of our bases for high school. Somewhere along the way, we lost all our joy in learning. I found myself more interested in the novels I was reading than in our lessons. My lack of enthusiasm was not lost on the girls. How many times have I wrote that if interest is not there, learning will not happen? Well, homeschooling parents are not excluded from that.

Though I am not one to break laws, actually I am a huge nerd (if you couldn’t already tell), I do tend to question arbitrary rules a lot. Just because everyone else might have done it a certain way, does not mean that I have to. I have never been much of a follower.

Homeschooling Kindergarten through 8th grade was great, you basically just need to cover all the basics. Can they read? Can they write? Are they building onto their mathematical skills? No problem. Then high school comes around with thoughts of college, scholarships, and competition (oh my). The stress of my child’s future rests upon my shoulders. I was not only making myself physically ill, I was impacting my daughter’s mental health. Creating your own path, can be scary at times. Everything that I had observed of my daughter, over all these years of homeschooling, no longer mattered anymore; it was time for her to become another cog in the wheel. Over winter break, I realized that I could care less about the wheel anymore, and we focused more on our interests again.

All the times I tried to force activities (“got to list extracurricular activities on a transcript, no one likes a loner, especially if they are homeschooled”); in the end, it was the girls that told me what they wanted to do. Little Sis loves cheerleading, and Sky is loving her equestrian lessons. They both are interested in taking a self defense class as well. If I had just listened to my instincts, and followed their led  in the first place (like I had been doing, before the high school madness began), I could have spared the both of us a lot of stress.

Something else that I witnessed over winter break, was that the girls were going to be alright. They are fully capable of managing on their own. They have been listening, and making their own observations too. They are both incredibly smart girls, with a good head on their shoulders, a solid foundation beneath their feet, and have grown a fondness of questioning arbitrary rules themselves. 🙂

I guess, it is all just part of my learning journey.




Language Arts


We continued reading Julie of the Wolves.

There is so much in this little story to discuss. I may have already mentioned this, but I read this story when I was younger. I remember liking it, but I can’t really remember why. I guess when reading reviews, there is a little controversy over an attempted rape scene halfway into the book. I sure didn’t remember any of that from reading it when I was younger. However, one difference is we read for discussion purposes. The girls know they can talk to Papa and me about anything, and we have and do. Second, Little Sis has read and watched the Hunger Games series, and Sky has read and watched the Game of Thrones series, so this wasn’t anything worse than what they have already read. In other words, you know your children best.

*Mama’s reads*

I finished The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. I give it 4 stars. (5 stars being I absolutely loved it, 4 stars being it was okay, I liked it enough, 3 stars being I didn’t like it, 2 stars, I have yet to give a novel 2 stars, complete rubbish.)

I could see the influences from The Shining and The Haunting of Hill House. The characters were well developed. The prose was nicely written. I think the pace just dragged a bit for me, which kept it from being a page turner, and 5 star novel.

I tried reading The Trap by Melanie Raabe but dnf it. I really tried to give it a chance, the prose is beautiful, and the plot sounded like it would have been a good read. However, the repetition was just to much.

I am reading The Winter people by Jennifer McMahon now.


Vocabulary Words:

This week, the girls had words from both the poem we are discussing, and from Julie of the Wolves.

Poem: liberty, patriotic, mumbles

Novel: sedge, nomadic, peat, carrion, soliciting, ambrosia, undulating, bayed, vaulting, monotony, tundra, regal, cosmos

They also worked in their root word workbooks.


Sky worked in her workbook. Netflix had added mad libs to their DVD envelopes, so the girls took turns asking each other the questions. They had so much fun, that they asked if I would order them some more, so I did.

We continued working out of A Sentence a Day (loving this!). This led to a conversation about appositives.


The girls copied the next two stanzas from the Poem: Let America Be America Again, with lots of discussion of current events.


(Little Sis)

Creative Writing:

We discussed creating characters from the book: Seize the Story (loving this too!). They continued free writing 10 minutes a day; this time focusing on developing their characters.



The girls warmed up at Xtramath.

Little Sis: continued working in her division workbook

Sky: learned how to divide using variables.

*Slight detour ahead*

Something I have discovered on this learning journey of mine, is it isn’t the algebra that is necessarily what’s so hard to grasp, but maybe that the steps leading up to algebra might not have been mastered well enough. I see this with Sky, granted she has just dipped her toes into algebra, she has been flying through her worksheets. Though Sky isn’t at grade level with mathematics, the fact that I have taken the time for her to master each step before moving on, has been extremely beneficial now. Another positive side effect from me letting go of the wheel. What do I want, an educated child that has mastered concepts? Or a failing child rushed through the process because of someone else’s timeline?

*End of detour*

We purchased a new board game: Rubber Road.


I was wanting to purchase a geoboard for a project, but didn’t want it sitting around collecting dust when we were though. So, I saw this game and thought it would be a perfect solution. The object is to get your color of rubber bands across the opposite side of the board without crossing over your opponents and only using three pegs. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and a great time filler when the family is waiting on me for whatever reason.

It was perfect for our project too.


I purchased a separate set of rubber bands to use the game as a geoboard. The girls took turns between the geoboard and the pattern blocks making snowflakes, snowmen, and other winter objects.



We watched :

See the Beauty of the Northern Lights From a Plane, and from Space -National Geographic

Why Seasons Make No Sense – It’s Okay to be Smart

Fun Facts About Groundhogs!- Scishow Kids

Lichen: Two Living Things In One -SciShow Kids

How does a jellyfish sting? – Neosha S Kashef -TedEd

(Where we took a detour and learned about lion’s mane jellyfish, holy crap!)

Giant Echizen jellyfish off Japan coast.BBC World News

All found on YouTube.



Colds, the Flu, and You- Scishow Kids

Cell vs. virus: A battle for health – Shannon Stiles…TedEd

The Surprising Reason You Feel Awful When You Are Sick…TedEd

Bacteria vs. Antibiotics….TedEd

All found on YouTube.



We Walked Away the Pounds: 3 miles, Yoga walked, Little Sis had cheerleading practice, and Sky had her equestrian lessons where she learned how to run a pattern.





We watched PBS Masterpiece Theater: Victoria.

Snowflake Bentley Read Aloud

The myth behind the Chinese zodiac -TedEd (Which fit well with the video: Why Seasons Make No Sense.)

Take a Tour of a Soviet-Era Ghost Town-National Geographic

Found on YouTube.


We watched PBS series Mercy Street.


The Arts

We watched Disney’s animated The Jungle Book movie. I waited a bit to watch this with the girls since we had seen the live-action version in the theater. I have to admit, even though I did not like the live-action version, it was way better than the animated movie. It really needed an update. I can see why it was never a favorite of mine.


We made Rapunzel from Dramatic Parrot-YouTube.


The girls have been working in their adult coloring books they received for Christmas.


This one is called: The Time Chamber by Daria Song.

(Little Sis)

Theater Appreciation (Small Screen):

We watched: Faerie Tale Theatre  – Rapunzel – YouTube.

Music Appreciation (Instrumental): We listened to George Winston:Winter (while making patterns)- YouTube

That about sums it up, peace for the journey.

Week in the Life (Do You Want To Build A Snowflake?)

January 28, 2017

What a crazy winter we’ve had. Over the weekend, I had all the windows open letting the house air out. Today, we are huddled around the wood stove. On top of that, I think I’ve spotted the sun twice so far this winter. I can deal with the cold alright, however I do need sunlight. It has not been cold enough to snow much, so it has been very rainy and gloomy. Even my little sunshine, Little Sis, has been getting a bit grouchy.  Hopefully, with the girls’activities starting back up this week will help manage our “doldrums”.



Language Arts


We started reading Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. The girls were a little bored at first, but gained interest as the story went on.

Grammar/ Vocabulary :

The girls worked in their workbooks and their words this week were:

pioneer, plain, connive, tyrants, scheme

It is interesting when going over vocabulary words with the girls. I pick words from either the story we are reading, or the poem we are dissecting. I choose words that I think they know, and some words that I think they don’t know. Sometimes, I am surprised by the words they do know, and question where they might have learned them from. Sometimes, I am surprised that they can’t define words I assumed they already knew.

We added a new book into our lessons that I absolutely love: A Sentence a Day by Samantha Prust. Each day the girls are given an incorrect sentence to edit.


The girls copied the first two stanzas of the poem: Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes. He has become one of my favorite poets.



Creative Writing:


We read Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky.

We also started another book that I absolutely love: Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley. The girls learned about free writing and began writing, ten minutes a day, their first creative writing assignment of a fairy tale adaptation.

*Mama’s reads*

I finished Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. I did not like this one as much as The Kind Worth Killing. Part one, gave me the creeps. As someone that actually suffers from anxiety, I could feel the main character’s anxiety which literally gave me nightmares. I was like: finally, a scary story. The kind of story, that had me scared to walk down the hall in the dark. Then, part two happened. Between constant repetition, and reading from the “stalkers” perspective, ruined the whole story for me. I forced myself to finish it because I had invested so much time into it already.

I have about 50 pages left in The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. This story reminds me of the old monster movies. The ones that have an actual plot with character development, not just gore. I think I may have found another new favorite author.



The girls warmed up at XtraMath.

Sky continued reviewing simplifying algebraic expressions. Little Sis worked in her workbook.



This week was all about snowflakes. We watched:

(Little Sis)

Save the Snowman- SciShow Kids

Where Do Snowflakes Come From? SciShow Kids

Snowflake Safari by SciFri: ~ YouTube


Science of Snow- It is Okay to be Smart

The science of snowflakes”…TedEd

Building a perfect igloo takes cool science! – It’s Okay to be Smart

8 Beautiful, Weird, and Scary Things Ice Can Do – SciShow ~YouTube



We walked the 3 mile from Walk Away the Pounds, Just Danced (Wii), Little Sis made the division 4 cheer team, and Sky had her first horseback riding lesson.


She loved it.




We watched the PBS series Victoria. Both girls are loving this series. Being that we already studied this time period makes it even better. Both girls are cheering on Prince Albert, even though we know the ending.



We read The Magic Tree House: Balto of the Blue Dawn and the Fact Tracker guide: Dog sledding and other Extreme Sports.



We watched: the snowflake man – YouTube

We also watched the first episode of season two: Mercy Street. This is another series the girls love. They would want to watch both Victoria and Mercy Street even if it didn’t count as part of school. They enjoy them just as much as Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars.


We watched :5 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidential Inaugurations…National Geographic- YouTube.


The Arts

First, we made paper snowflakes, video from Scishow Kids- YouTube.



Then, we drew Olaf from Disney’s Frozen- Dramatic Parrot- YouTube.


Peace for the journey.

Week in the Life (You Better Put On A Coat)

January 21, 2017

Well, this was our first week officially back to school, and the start of a new school year. I have tried to follow a regular school schedule starting in July and ending in May (Indiana’s school schedule) , it just doesn’t work for us.

While on break, I was looking back over our previous year to see if I felt we needed to change anything. I am actually really happy with our progress. Knowledge builds upon knowledge, do I think the girls’ knowledge has grown in the past year? Yes, very much so, and I don’t need yearly testing to see it. I was so caught up in learning about educating high school, making sure that I was doing everything right, that I forgot my original reasons for homeschooling; to become independent learners. To understand how knowledge is obtained, to be able to come to your own conclusions and form opinions, to be able to think for yourself. To understand that learning never ends.

It really is amazing when you are able to stand back and just observe your children actually doing what you worked so hard to instill. These past few weeks, I did exactly that.

Sky has been researching how to properly take care of sea monkeys.


She had them once before, but I killed them while trying to clean out their tank. This time around, she is in complete control (as well as taking care of her Betta fish, which she has been doing a great job with). When she has trouble spelling a word, or understanding what a word means, she looks it up on her tablet. Thanks to technology, we now have traveling calculators and dictionaries at out fingertips. Both girls research purchases, google anything they might not know, or are confused with, and ask for help when needed. The same exact thing that I do. They know how to learn. They literally do not need me anymore, and you know what? It feels great.

I feel like a mother polar bear that has taught her cubs how to survive and are now ready to go out on their own. I can honestly say that I have no regrets, and nothing that I wished I would have done differently (except to not stress so much, they are learning). I am excited to see their journey unfold.

I am no longer worried about getting everything done, because we never will, and life isn’t a race. You can’t force learning, and as long as we are moving forward I am content.



Language Arts

The girls copied and we discussed the poem: It Sifts from Leaden Sieves by Emily Dickinson.


(Little Sis)

I do plan to focus more on American Literature this year.

Vocabulary words:

leaden, sieves (which they actually remembered from Edward Lear), alabaster, celestial, ruffles, artisans

The girls worked in their root word workbooks, and Sky is continuing with her grammar book.

Creative Writing

Reading: I read Neil Gaiman’s version of Hansel and Gretel.

We watched: The History of Hansel & Gretel | Fairy Tales With Jen -YouTube

and Sky and I watched the movie Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. I actually liked it, and thought it was a clever steam punk adaptation of the fairy tale.


Independent Reading:

Little Sis is reading: Wicked, book 6 from the Pretty Little Liar series.

Sky started the graphic novel series: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples.

Mama’s reads:

So Far, I am on my 4th book of 2017.

After finishing Mystic River, the last book that I read in 2016, I started reading: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I loved it. It reminded me so much of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (one of my favorite television shows). The writing was great, the character development was great, the plot twists, though I saw one coming, was great. It was a wonderful start to the new year.

Next, was Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon. This was another wonderful read. I really, really liked it. It will probably be one of my 2017 favorites. This is what Girl on the Train should have been. There was no surprising plot twists, I pretty much figured it out early on. That didn’t matter. I felt that this was more of a story about character growth than an actual thriller. Though the characters were flawed, the writer really made you care about what happened to them. The writing was beautiful, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

After that, I picked up I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. Okay, I am honestly going to say that I didn’t see the plot twist coming. This book is a little like Shutter Island in that the author lays everything out for you, it just depends on your perception. This was just okay. It held my attention, and I wanted to see how it ended. The abuse though, was incredibly hard to get through, which should be. I read horror and this was a really tough read. So, I will leave you with a warning, if you don’t think you can handle reading physical or mental abuse skip this one.

I am halfway through Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson now. I was a bit disappointed with this after reading The Kind Worth Killing. It took me several chapters to get into it, I actually put it aside for awhile. About 1/3 of the way through it does pick up. I am not going to lie, this book is giving me the creeps. I think I may need to take a break from thrillers after this one. 🙂



The girls warmed up with XtraMath.

Little Sis is almost done with her division workbook. We will continue with Kumon’s fractions and decimals. I actually like the building of math skills instead of learning some division, or some decimals one year, then some a bit harder the next year and so on. That actually doesn’t make sense to me.

I actually plan on sticking with Danica McKeller’s math series. I really like how she builds each skill onto the next. I plan starting Math Doesn’t Suck with Little Sis after she finishes Kumon’s 4th grade geometry and measurement workbook.

Sky learned how to multiply variables from Kiss My Math. I printed off worksheets for her to practice from I am excited that she has finally made it to Algebra.

We also played all kinds of games that I didn’t keep track of while on break.


Reading: We read: Magic Tree House Polar Bear’s Past Bedtime and the Nonfiction Polar Bear Guide.

We watched: PBS Nature Snowbound:Animals of Winter

Animals’s with Winter Coats- Scishow Kids – YouTube

How do Whales, Penguins, and Polar Bears Keep Warm?…Scishow Kids- YouTube

I printed off a map of the arctic circle and the girls took notes.


abcteach Printable Worksheet: Maps: Arctic Region

We also read: January’s issue Year in Review Science in the News A-Z.



We watched: How stress affects your body – Sharon Horesh Bergquist…TedEd -YouTube


The girls had homeschool gym. We started working out during the week again with Walk Away the Pounds the 3 mile and Yoga Walk.

Little Sis has been practicing her tryout routine for cheerleading that starts back up next week. I am also meeting with someone this week about getting Sky signed up for horseback riding lessons. She showed interest after watching Victoria on PBS.





We watched: PBS Masterpiece Theater’s Victoria.


Sky and I watched Donald Trumps’s first press conference, and PBS Charlie Rose’s interview of House Speaker Paul Ryan. We all watched Donald Trumps’s presidential inauguration.


The Arts


We learned how to draw a polar bear from Draw So Cute-YouTube.


Peace for the journey.

Week In the Life (“A Few Of My Favorite Things*)

December 28, 2016

The last post of 2016.

I was just thinking: what a year, when I read the news about Carrie Fisher. I was just thinking: how this post was going to wrap up our school year, and I would share some of my favorite presents from the holidays.


Yep, we just saw Rogue One yesterday. We were still discussing the movie right up until we went to bed. I read the news today while uploading my photos.

Did I mention my favorite gifts from the holidays?


(From Little Sis)


(From Sky)

Guess which ones are mine. 🙂

After the movie, we came home and took down our Star Wars tree. We wrapped each ornament and placed them in their proper boxes, ready to be pulled out next year.

I’m not just a Star Wars fan though, Carrie Fisher was a very talented writer. Postcards From the Edge is one of the first books I’ve ever laughed out loud reading. She was also one of the first famous people to ever speak out openly about Bipolar depression.  She made mental illness famous, and helped give me the courage to open up about my anxiety and depresion, Thank you. RIP

2017, we could sure use some cheer.



I am going to try to categorize our last week of school for the year. After a long talk from the girls, our last week resembled the essence of what our Christmas school should look like; a little of this, and a little of that, and lots more fun.

Language Arts


We read: The Nutcracker. This is one of the girls’ favorite Christmas stories. While trying to find a new story to read this year, I didn’t realize how much the girls would prefer to read their favorites; lesson learned.


Independent reading:

Little Sis, is almost done with Unbelievable. She will probably finish it up today or tomorrow and start reading the next one while on break. I am sure we will be watching lots of episodes of the show while on break too.

Sky, is almost finished with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We will probably watch the movie soon. She received some graphic novels for Christmas that she is interested in starting too.

Mama’s reads:

I finished Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I am sorry I finished it, honestly. It took my rating from 2 stars, down to 1. I give the novel 1 star, because the author’s writing isn’t bad, and he did manage to bring closure to the plot. I understood where the plot was heading pretty early on. “It’s not the creature that is evil, but humanity.” This wouldn’t have been so bad if: one, I hadn’t read this theme 100 times already; or two, the plot was actually scary.

When I explained to Sky, how the plot was about a witch from the Salem witch trial era putting a curse on the town before being burned at the stake, she said:” I wish people wouldn’t write stories about witches having powers, it takes away from all the innocent people that were murdered during that time for supposedly being witches.” Though the ending was kind of trying to portray this, I agree with Sky.

I am a little disappointed Stephen King recommended this.

I am about halfway through: Mystic River by by Dennis Lehane, and enjoying it very much. At least my reading will end on a good note in 2016.



The girls copied the last stanza of :A Christmas Carol by Christina Rossetti.



(Little Sis)



The girls warmed up at Xtramath, and continued working on review.

Winter Solstice brought us a new game.


Deer in the Headlights. This is a great game for adding, and learning odd and even. You roll three dice, and what you roll determines the action you take with your cards. The first person to get rid of all your cards wins the round. The one with the less points wins after 10 rounds or when a person reaches 150.




The girls had homeschool gym.



We watched : What Is Tinsel Made Of? Speaking of Chemistry Ep. 12…by CEN Online

Excellent Evergreens by Scishowkids-both found on YouTube.


The Arts

Theater Appreciation (Small Screen ): We watched parts two and three of: PBS The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses.


Besides chalkboard art,


we made Santa, Dramatic Parrot-YouTube.



We watched: 1933 “The Night Before Christmas” Walt Disney CLASSIC-  YouTube.

Our homeschooling group took a trip to a local small town candy store where the girls learned how to make candy canes.



Last but not least, the girls have already been working on some of their new gifts.



(Little Sis)



Time to put 2016 to bed. Fingers crossed, for 2017.

Peace for the journey.


*My Favorite Things: Sound of Music

Week In the Life “Baby, It’s Cold Outside*”

December 18, 2016

If you live in the Midwest, or up north, I’m sure you are aware it is cold out. Though we’ve had commitments, the majority of our week was spent cuddled up around the wood stove.

For the most part, we are ready for the holidays.



This coming week will be our last week of “school”. Then, the girls will get two weeks off. One of those weeks, I will be working on Sky’s transcript for her first two years of high-school.

Indiana requires a core 40 diploma, which basically means Sky will need 40 credits to get a general diploma. You earn one credit for each semester completed.

To graduate with an honors diploma, she must complete a minimum of 47 credits; which will need to include AP exams. You do not need to complete an AP course to take the exam.

These past two years, I have stressed over learning how to homeschool high-school. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important to understand what is needed to graduate a homeschooled child. However, looking back I can honestly say I worried way too much, and ended up stressing both Sky and myself out. I got caught up in preparing her for college, and I forgot the whole reason I was homeschooling in the first place.

Homeschooling for me, has always been an individual process. Sky, has always been a bit behind. Everyone keeps asking her about getting her drivers license, and she keeps telling them that she does not feel ready to get behind the wheel of a vehicle yet. I can honestly answer that she is not mentally ready. She already suffers from anxiety/panic disorder, driving is the last thing she needs right now. However, I would almost put money down that she will be ready next year. That is just how it has always been with her.  If I could have just one more year to graduate her, it would be perfect. Unfortunately, society does not work like that. Five years to graduate does not look good on a college application, and I’m pretty sure will not attract any scholarships.

This year, I have accepted the fact that Sky probably will not be going to university. Don’t get me wrong, we will still be working towards an honors diploma. I’ve just decided, I not going to work my daughter into panic attacks to get her there. My daughter’s mental health comes first. My daughter comes first, period. That, was the whole point of homeschooling.

I sit here and write about how our children are not us, and yet when it came to high-school and college, I pushed my child to be something she is not.

Like I mentioned, we will still aim for the honors diploma. More than likely though, Sky will graduate with the Core 40 diploma and attend community college, if she wants. She is a very intelligent child, much more so than I was at her age. We’ve talked about life, and the way it works. She gets it, she understands. In the end though, this is her life, and the choices are for her to make, not me.

So for these next two years, I am back to following her lead, meeting her where she is. Life, and my time with her is way too short to not be enjoying it.


Language Arts


We ditched Dodger. Not because it wasn’t good, it actually is, but because this week I was reminded what Christmas school, for us, is about. Little Sis wants to read: The Nutcracker, so that is our plan for this week.

Note to self: Allow the children to chose what we do for Christmas school.

Little Sis is still reading: Unbelievable. Sky is still listening to: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.


Mama’s Reads:

I am a little over halfway through: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I’m not really sure what to think about this novel. For me, it starts out really slow. I think, I might know where the plot is heading; I guess I will just need to keep reading to find out. If I had to rate it now, or wasn’t already over halfway through, I would probably give it 2 out of 5 stars. I am really struggling with wanting to finish it. Like I mentioned, I find the plot boring and not the least bit scary for a horror novel.

I have been a little disappointed with the horror genre lately. I have found myself being drawn more towards psychological thrillers; which is why I enjoyed: The Haunting of Hill House and Shutter Island so much. I think Stephen King might have been trying to attempt this with The Shining, but that novel fell through for me as well.

I can’t wait to count up how many books I actually read this year, but I feel like it has been a very disappointing year as far as my book choices go. Besides the Game of Thrones series, only three other novels have really stood out as great reads. That is a terrible ratio, in my opinion.

I will say, between reading Hex, discussing what the girls have been getting in with, and watching the Pretty Little Lairs series, my dreams have been very interesting lately. 🙂

*Updated* to add, I can not believe I forgot about The Raven Cycle series. This was probably my favorite read of the year. Thank goodness for Maggie Stiefvater. This series alone, makes up for all the other mediocre stories that I read this year. I just wish I had not read it so early in the year, because everything after that has just been okay. I am extremely excited to read what she comes out with next.


The girls copied the next stanza of: A Christmas Carol by Christina Rossetti in cursive. This has been another fun poem to discuss, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.



The girls continued working in their root word workbooks.

Vocabulary words this week were:

seraphim, thronged, maiden, bliss, beloved

I love it when the girls inform me that they already know what some of these words are. It means I am doing my job.



The girls warmed up with XrtaMath.

Little Sis continued with long division.

Sky learned how to simplify algebraic expressions. This is what she will continue working on the rest of the year. No since in learning something new and forgetting it over break.




We watched and discussed:

Is Santa Real? (A Scientific Analysis) – It’s Okay To Be Smart- YouTube

Why is Ice Slippery? – SciShow-YouTube

4 Reindeer Facts-SciShow kids-YouTube



World History/ Geography :

We watched and discussed: The wars that inspired Game of Thrones – Alex Gendler TedEd-YouTube.


The Arts


Little Sis made white and chocolate chip cookies,


and the girls made bread to go along with dinner this week.




We made The Grinch. Dramatic Parrot-YouTube.



Theater Appreciation (Small Screen):

We watched: PBS Great Performances: The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses.

The girls love Sophie Okonedo, especially as Nancy in BBC’s Oliver Twist. They were so surprised that her character was not good in this series. “Just goes to show you how great of an actress she is.”


Little Sis had her award ceremony this week for cheerleading.


They start back up again at the end of January. Until then, she will just have to practice her  toe touches around the house, and she does too.

Peace for the journey.

*Neptune’s Daughter

Week In The Life (The Thirteen Colonies, and Giving Thanks)

November 27, 2016

We had our first fire of the season this week. It seems like it never fails; 70 degrees and shorts one day, 30 degrees and winter coats the next. I for one, am happy about the cooler temperatures. Papa on the other hand, walks around freezing.

It is kind of funny, it use to be the other way around. Before perimenopause, I would be the one walking around freezing. Papa needed to sleep with a fan on year round because he would get too hot; I would need to sleep with five extra blankets piled on top of the bed. What can I say, except crazy hormones I guess. It is going to be an interesting winter.




Creative Writing: Fairy Tale Adaptations


We are more than halfway through Insanity. I was hoping to have it finished before Christmas school, but that is what happens when we get sick.

*Slight detour ahead.*

I see so many new homeschoolers post questions (in one of my Facebook homeschooling groups) about schedules, and planning lessons out for the whole year. I try to answer when I can, but it does get a little frustrating typing the same answers out over and over again. This is one of the many reasons I hate Facebook. There is no way of storing previous answers to questions already asked. It is way to easy to ask a question and wait for the answers. Those of us that have been homeschooling for a long time, the ones that should be answering newbie’s questions, don’t have the time to answer repeat questions. This is the reason many homeschool veterans charge for their services, which I completely understand. Living on one income takes lots of budgeting. However, I do think that it is a bit unfair as well. Where would many of us “veterans” be without the help we were given when first starting out?

I for one, probably would not be able to afford to homeschool if I was a newbie now (It is becoming a business.) . I will say though, there was never a time in homeschooling where there was SO much available for free, as there is today either. You will need to do a little searching though (more than just asking a question in a Facebook group and waiting for the answers ). I have answered many of these questions here on my blog. I even have most of them saved in the About widget: Back to the Basics, found over on the left side for easier access.

Homeschooling, is not school at home. You literally need to pretend that school doesn’t exist. How would learning happen if school never existed? What would that look like? How did all those before us learn without school? This is called “deschooling”. Which is more beneficial for the parents than the children. Deschooling, took *me* a whole year. I blogged about it. All my posts are categorized under unschooling. 🙂

Once you understand and can “see”, that learning is everywhere (not contained to a brick and mortar building) and never ends, but is a continuing journey. Then, homeschooling can begin. Our homeschooling journey, will not look like yours. It is different for every family, and every child. Learning is so different, what works for Sky, does not work for Little Sis. Sky learns better visually, Little Sis is an auditory learner. They are both individuals with individual interests. There is no such thing as a one size fits all education. There is no such thing as a perfect curriculum.

Since society has already set standards for learning with a high school diploma, and as much as I think some of those standards are stupid, as a homeschooler, I still need to follow them. I believe in an educated society, now more than ever. However, I get to choose how we learn those standards, and I’m given twelve years to do so.

Sometimes, life has a way of changing your plans (like getting sick). Make sure your homeschooling schedule can accommodate those changes. 🙂

*End of detour.*



Little Sis worked in her Word Roots Beginner workbook.

Sky worked in Barron’s E-Z Grammar and Level One Word Roots workbook.


Independent Reading:

Little Sis finished: Flawless and started reading: Perfect by Sara Shepard. We watched more of: Pretty Little Liars, season one together. I think I figured out the “big reveal”. I mean, I am a Hitchcock fan, but I am enjoying our time together.

I finished Shutter Island. Wow, I knew it was about time for an awesome novel. I love it, and this novel has been added to my favorites book list of the year. I like it so much, I place it right up there with House on Haunted Hill.

I knew about one of the plot twists, but even so, I did not know how the novel was going to end. The writing was great. The historic element alone made it a great read for me, add in the psychological thriller aspects, and I was hooked. To be able to write a story that draws, you as the reader into one point of view, and then manages to pull the rug out from under you is a very talented author. I can’t wait to read more of his work.

I am reading: The Lottery and Other Short Stories by Shirley Jackson, now.



The girls warmed up at XtraMath.

Little Sis worked in: Kumon 4th Grade Division workbook.

Sky worked on Chapter 5 (Mean, Median, Mode) of Kiss My Math. This was perfect timing for review, since we had a short week for Thanksgiving.

We also played lots of games that I forgot to take a picture off.






We watched the season two finale of Indian Summers. This was a brutal season, we had many discussions. It is a shame the show has been canceled, it was just getting good.



We finished: What is the Deceleration of Independence.

I printed off a map of the Thirteen Colonies, and we watched: Mr. Zoller’s Thirteen Colonies three part Series. – YouTube

The girls took notes and added them to their American History notebook binders.





We also watched the conclusion of: PBS Black America: And Still I Rise.


The Arts

We watched Disney’s Mickey Mouse presents Walt Disney Silly Symphony -Little Hiawatha-YouTube

Sky is collecting the seasons of South Park and we have been watching episodes together.


I recently discovered one of my most favorite chefs has a YouTube Channel. Sara’s (Moulton )Weeknight Meals. Cooking Live was how I learned to cook. I loved that show. I watched it every night, then tried making the recipes the next week. Many of the recipes I still use today. I missed it so much when it went off of Food Network. I am so glad I am able to watch her new show with the girls. A new generation of chefs.

The girls helped prepare Thanksgiving dinner this year. This was kind of their year end exam. I figure if you can bake a turkey, and make: mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, corn on the cob (frozen fresh from the farm over the summer), oyster dressing, dinner rolls, pumpkin pies, and homemade cinnamon rolls, you can make anything. They can too.

We watched: The Surprising Origin of Thanksgiving Foods – YouTube From It’s Okay to be Smart.

Little Sis also decided to bake peanut butter chocolate chip cookies all by herself. She said: “I know how to cook, wash dishes, and do my own laundry. I could live all on my own.” That is the goal child. 🙂


(They didn’t last long.)


I purchased a new Wii game: Just Dance 2016. We love it. Little Sis was surprised that I won. I beat her at all the songs but One Direction’s No Control. I wasn’t always old.

I hope everyone celebrating had a great Thanksgiving. The countdown to the holidays has officially started.


(The only thing we buy on Black Friday, our Christmas tree.)

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death.”*)

November 19, 2016

Little Sis had her first regional cheerleading competition over the weekend. I had video taped her routine, so she could practice her non stunting moves at home. She was ready, and had them all down. Unfortunately, some of her team didn’t show up, so they had to change some of the stunts at the last minute. Then, the person in charge of their music turned it off before the end of their dance routine. So confused, half of them started their cheer, not really knowing what else to do. Sadly, they didn’t make it to state finals.

Considering the majority of the team, including Little Sis, was new to cheer this year, and with everything else that happened at competition, everyone did their best. I am really proud of Little Sis. This was her first major competition preforming, not only in front of judges, but a completely filled gymnasium, and she didn’t freeze up. I wasn’t even sure what to expect.

She still has another month of practice, this session ending with an awards ceremony. She is really enjoying it, and can’t wait for spring’s session. Now, she knows a little more of what to expect. It has been an interesting learning adventure for myself as well.



I am trying to wrap up any loose ends we might have, before Thanksgiving. I am also trying to get us to a place where we can pick our lessons back up next year. At the end of September, our 180 days for the school year were “officially”  done. We will be finishing out the rest of the year with lessons leading us into the holidays, or what we like to call Christmas school. What an interesting journey 2016 has been. Oh 2017, what do you have in store for us?

I am pretty happy with where we are right now. I mean, I wish Sky was further along in mathematics, but she has made progress, real progress, and that makes me happy. After all, for us “winter is coming”.


Language Arts

Creative Writing:


We finished reading and discussing: Basher’s Creative writing book.

We also finished reading: D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythology and Fables by Arnold Lobel.

We started reading: Insanity by Cameron Jace again too.

We also watched the movie Pan’s Labyrinth (thanks Big Sis for the recommendation).

Wow, what a beautiful, dark movie. It is rated R, so far from your typical family friendly fairy tale. It is very graphic, and I do not recommend it for young children. With that being said, this movie deserves every award it did and didn’t receive. Sky really liked it, and it was a perfect example of how to create your own fairy tale.

Little Sis finished her Kumon writing workbook by writing a three paragraph essay about her favorite sport.


Independent Reads:

Little Sis is halfway through Flawless by Sara Shepard.

I am a quarter of a way through Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. Last week, I just didn’t feel much like reading, and honestly didn’t know if this was the right book to read next or not. The first chapter kind of dragged a bit for me (more likely because my heart just wasn’t into it) but once I got to the part of the disappearing inmate, I was hooked.

Sky finished volume one of Monstress by MARJORIE LIU, and is anxious for the next installment.

American Literature:


The Declaration of Independence writen by Thomas Jefferson.



The girls copied the first two paragraphs of The Declaration of Independence in cursive, adding them to their American history notebook.


(Little Sis)

Grammar/ Vocabulary:

Sky continued working in Barron’s E-Z English book, and Word Roots Level one workbook.

Little Sis continued working in her Word Roots Beginning workbook.

Words from this week:

dissolve, unalienable, impel, institute

We also had fun learning about and playing Lewis Carroll’s invention of “word links”, or word ladders.



The girls warmed up at XtraMath.

Little Sis continued working in 4th grade Kumon division workbook.

Sky learned about absolute value from Kiss My Math and worked on some worksheets.




World/ Geography:

We watched Indian Summers.



We started reading: What is the Declaration of Independence by Michael C. Harris.

We watched:

The Declaration of Independence recited by Tom Richey

The Pursuit of Happiness – What Did Jefferson Mean?…

Road to Revolution (Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts…

The Declaration of Independence (US History EOC Review…

Parliament Verses the Colonies (US History EOC Review all by Tom Richey – YouTube

How Not to Confuse the Declaration, Articles, Constitution Mr. Bettes Class- YouTube

What you might not know about the Declaration of…TedED- YouTube

Battles of Lexington and Concord ~The Game Station-YouTube


We also discussed, watched: PBS Black America Since MLK and I Still Rise.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

This is a wonderful, eye-opening series. I highly recommend it.


We watched and discussed:

The 13th Amendment Explained: The Constitution for Dummies… Hip Hughes History- YouTube

President-Elect Trump: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver -YouTube


The Arts


The girls and I made the Cheshire Cat ~ Dramatic Parrot -YouTube




The girls had homeschool gym, and we walked around the block.

We have our miles down to 20 minutes each. I haven’t walked this fast since my back surgery last year. Swimming really helped strengthen my back and lungs (and worked wonders for my anxiey, I am beginning to miss it already), now I am back to walking like before my injury (woo-hoo).

Peace for the journey.

*Patrick Henry

Week(s) In The Life (Seeing Red, Feeling Blue)

November 12, 2016

We ended up taking the week of Halloween off. Between the holiday, dentist appointments, homeschool gym, cheerleading, a birthday, and getting sick, I knew I could kiss any planned lessons goodbye.

I feel like we have caught the same bloody virus four times now. This crazy Indiana weather has tomato plants growing in our garden, and election morning we woke to find this.


It is kind of hard to get into fall while still surrounded by summer, tank-tops included. I can’t believe that in a little over two weeks, we will be decorating our Christmas tree. Throw in the time-change and an election, I am a mess. Not even candlelight seems to be helping.

Speaking of the election, that is what we dedicated the week to, but I am getting ahead of myself.




Language Arts


Being we all had an upper respiratory tract infection (thank goodness for lotion tissues), it kind of put a damper on us reading out loud, so we listened to audio while reading along with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythology and Fables by Arnold Lobel.

I hope we can continue reading Insanity next week.

Little Sis finished: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, and started Flawless. We also watched the first episode of the television show together too.


Mama’s Reading:

I finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I am torn on what I think about it.

As a reader, I didn’t like the book. I hated the ending. Was it entertaining? Yes, very much. Honestly, I didn’t know how it was going to end. It kept me guessing with each chapter. Would I ever read it again? No. I couldn’t stand any of the characters, and the ending was so disappointing.

As a writer, I thought it was great. In a time of predictable plot twists, I didn’t know how this story was going to end. I literally had to refrain myself from reading ahead or searching out reviews. That alone made the story worth it. I loved how the story was told from present day Nick’s point of view, and the flashbacks from Amy’s diary. I thought the pacing of the novel was really good. Just when I thought I might have it all figured out, surprise. Though I couldn’t stand the characters, they were well developed (and unforgettable), and I really liked the media theme throughout the book. There is lots to discuss with this novel, especially regarding human behavior.

So where does it stand? I am glad I read it. Will it go down as an all time favorite? No, and I would only recommend it if you are looking for a psychological page turner where endings are not that big of a deal to you. This book would make an awesome psychology discussion though.

I am reading Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane now.



We started chapter 4 of Basher Basics: Creative Writing, and the girls worked in their workbooks.

Little Sis will be writing her final three paragraph essay from her Kumon writing workbook this coming week, and then she is done with the workbook.

I don’t think I will purchase grade 5. I was just looking for something to help her get an idea of how writing is structured. She is actually pretty good when it comes to writing, spelling, and punctuation. The workbook, in some ways was holding her back.

Little Sis does not need lots of repetition, yet anyway. She is also very advanced with her reading choices. She gets bored very easily. I need to make sure she is being challenged. She really enjoys writing her blog, and I don’t want to mess that up. So, I think that is what we will continue to focus on.

When she writes her blog, she decides everything. The writing process is still the same, whether the topic is about books, or make-up. She researches the subject she writes about (just like you would a paper). I am more of her editor, helping her out when she needs it.

Sky is the complete opposite. She expresses herself extremely well verbally, but has a hard time writing her thoughts down. She would do great speaking in public. So, we need to focus on writing more next year. She does great creating her own stories, which is why I wanted to start with a creative writing credit. Hopefully this will help boost her writing confidence.



The girls warmed up at XtraMath.

Little Sis continued working in her workbook, and Sky started chapter 3 of Kiss My Math.





We watched: Indian Summers


Monday, we went over each (state and federal) candidate’s positions, then the girls cast their votes.

We watched and discussed the videos:

Electoral College (Walk With Me) – @MrBettsClass – YouTube

Election Basics Crash Course Government -YouTube

Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained…TedED – YouTube

Understanding the Primaries: Delegates, Democracy, and… VlogBrothers -YouTube

What is an Electorial College

Tuesday, we watched coverage of the election and the girls kept track of the electoral votes. We watched all the way to the end with Donald Trump’s acceptance speech.

Wednesday, we discussed the results.

On a side note, Sky and I also watched: School Segregation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)- YouTube.


The Arts:


Sky finished her last comic assignment. It needed to include: a child, park, and balloon that comes to life at some point.




We watched the movies: The Book of Life, and the original Halloween (on Halloween night).


The girls had homeschool gym, and Little Sis is getting ready for her first cheerleading competition.

Peace for the journey. 🙂