Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Week in the Life (Block 1, Woodworking)

September 8, 2018

This post could be titled: “That in which I insert foot into mouth.”

It seems only fitting that since we started out our journey of homeschooling with Waldorf education, that I finish Sky’s last year with it.

Tuesday was our first day back to school. This year I have a 7th and 12th grader. I spent the summer deep in planning and came up with this year’s plans.

I have thoroughly been enjoying Betty Staley’s book Between Form and Freedom. Honestly, I couldn’t have found it at a better time.

Instead of creating their own main lesson books, the girls will be working in their Thinking Tree journals. I gave each of the girls new binders to keep any extra papers in, along with their attendance. I decided to start out our new year gradually with a short, 2 week, woodworking block. Most Waldorf main lesson blocks last 3-4 weeks.


Since Little Sis has never colored with block crayons or played the penny whistle or stitched anything before, these next two weeks’ extra lessons are kind of a “crash course” introduction.

The girls copied the first stanza of a Michaelmas poem (They will recite the poem from memory for Michaelmas on September 29.)and worked on their first form drawing.


Since Little Sis is between the ages of 7-14, she falls into the “heart” stage of learning, that means she learns best through stories. One of her math blocks this year will cover business math. So, I have come up with a story that our family owns a bakery. This will be the theme running throughout her year.

It is hard to explain how Waldorf education is different from mainstream education in a paragraph, but what I will say is it meets the individual child where they are developmentally. The stories should feed their hearts. Though the subjects may be the same (like business math), the lessons will look different for each family.

Little Sis loves to cook. We have been watching all kinds of different baking shows this summer. She has been coming up with her own recipes, trying this, making that. I think using baking as the theme for her lessons this year is going to work out for her.

Sky, on the other hand, falls between the ages of 14-21. She is ready for more intellectual thinking (head). One of her history blocks this year is History through Architecture.

Being that Little Sis never had a”shelter” block, I thought a good woodworking project would be to build a dollhouse. I mean, a “bakery”. Sky is learning how to design a structure, then build it.


These houses will be the center of the majority of our handwork projects this year.

Speaking of handwork projects, our first project this week was to make our own handwork bags to hold our current project.


We learned the notes B, A, and G on the pennywhistle. The girls’ first assignment was to write a song using those notes. Sky picked up right where she left off like she had never stopped playing.

For our block crayon lessons, we worked using the three primary colors to make orange, purple, and green.


Little Sis has been working on some of her own art projects.



We still have a morning rhythmic routine like our circle time before the main lesson, just now that the girls are grown, we perform brain gym movements and Bal-A-Vis-X exercises. The girls also have a critical thinking challenge. This week’s challenge was Animal Crossing from the book Family Math.


For Little Sis’s read aloud, we are reading The House at Pooh Corner. (We loved the new movie.)

Sky’s interest in Skyrim has sparked an interest in mythology, so mythology will be her first literature block. We are reading Dante’s Inferno, and actually really enjoying it.

Next week I will add journaling, spelling, and vocabulary back into our lessons.

Though we encountered a few bumps in the road this week. I am feeling positive about our year.

Peace for the journey.


Science (Chemistry With Lab)

August 23, 2017

(Update with photos when completed.)

The Student explores the fundamental principles of chemistry which characterize the properties of matter and how it reacts.
Computer-based and traditional laboratory techniques are used to obtain, organize and analyze data. Conclusions are developed using both qualitative and quantitative procedures. Topics include, but are not limited to: measurement, atomic structure, electron configuration, the periodic table bonding, gas laws, properties of liquids and solids, solutions, stoichiometry, reactions, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry.

Main Goals: The main goal of this program is to provide a solid foundation for the study of matter and its changes.
Through many activities, students will demonstrate how theory is applicable in laboratory situations. All students will develop good methods of problem-solving and proper laboratory technique.

Credit (2)


Basher Science Chemistry

DK Science Encyclopedia

Crash Course Chemistry YouTube

SciShow YouTube

Tyler DeWitt YouTube

Bozeman Science

Khan Academy Chemistry


The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom  Theodore Gray

Illustrated Guide To Home Chemistry Experiments  Robert Bruce Thompson

The Disappearing Spoon  Sam Keen

The Radium Girls  Kate Moore


Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking  Simon Quellen Field (This will probably end up as another Culinary electives course.)






(CO2 chemical reaction. Results from an acid and a base together.)




(Checking the PH level of our soil.)








(Extracurricular, Maybe) Equestrian Beginners Lessons

August 19, 2017

I’m not sure whether I will add this under extracurricular activities or electives yet.

Credit (1)

The Student will learn foundation Western riding skills in an indoor arena, how to follow a pattern, and what judges will look for when competing in a horse show.

The student will also learn about basic horse care, habitats, boarding, food and how to groom, saddle, name the saddle parts and bridle a horse.





Spring Break (2017)

March 16, 2017

So, between getting sick (again, *sigh*), out-of-state company, the maple syrup festival, all day stunt clinic for a certain cheerleader, and being at the perfect stopping point in our lessons, we’ve decided to take two weeks off for spring break. Of course, I could have done without below freezing temperatures and the snow. Oh well, I guess beggars can’t be choosers. Come on summer. 🙂




Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“How Do I Love Thee”)

February 20, 2016

So, I thought we might be ready to move out of Austria by the end of the week. Yeah, well guess what? Austria is just too darn full of history.

I often wonder how much is too much, and how little is too little? I can’t help myself really, I am addicted to history. There I said it. It is a huge pet peeve of mine, how little history one actually learns about in school. I mean, I could easily spend Sky’s 4 years of high school covering European history alone, not to mention India.

So who decides what’s the most important parts to learn? I get it, a teacher only has so much time to cover topics. I guess this was how homework came to be. Maybe hoping children will be SO excited about a certain subject that they, themselves might take the time to learn more. It sounds like a good idea, with good intentions. However, in actuality, it stinks. What school child have you met recently, to fly home much too eager to check Facebook because they must know more about Empress Elizabeth of Austria? How many children even know who she was? It’s sad really.

Then, the children that could possibly know, are so busy trying to jump through freakin’ hoops, checking off the right box so that they might be excepted into university. “Will I need to know this for the test? No, then it’s not important.” Oh, my dislike for the school system. It is sure to do me in.

Homeschooling has helped me be a little rebellious. The girls did have time to be children, time to play, time to discover themselves without the pressure from peers. Yet, here I am finding myself making sure I’m checking off the right boxes to kiss a university’s ass. Who cares about Austria? “Will it help me get into college? Then it’s not important, time to move on.”

I try, I really do, to let it go. To follow along with the rest of society like a good little girl. I wish, obedience just wasn’t so hard for me. I wish I could simply just buy a textbook of what needs to be covered, and be okay with that.

There is something inside of me, that just won’t make it happen. My brain invents a society of mindless obedient bodies doing everything that is expected of them.( I am actually holding back what I really want to add here, but it is honestly irrelevant to my point). I know, I overthink.

One of my goals for homeschooling was to raise individual, independent thinkers. Children who loved learning, children who are happy. Not children who worry about getting into college, so they can get a decent paying job in order to keep themselves fed.

Papa tells me not to worry so much. (Oh, how I would love that!) To take each day, one at a time. Reality is, that’s all I can do. I mean, no matter how much dislike I have for the school system until something changes, it will be there, giving me no other choice but to comply.

That doesn’t mean I must be happy about it though, and we will be staying in Austria a bit longer, whether it’s on the test or not.


Language Arts


This week we read the story Ella Enchanted. Yet again, one child liked it, and the other did not. Man, they are tough to please (I wonder where that could come from?).

I also read the book Cinders by Jan Brett.

We continued with Punctuation, The Write Stuff by Basher, and listened to the story of The Ugly Duckling at Storynory per request of Little Sis.


The girls wrote their book review of The Land of Stories.


The girls copied the poem How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I told them about how Elizabeth’s poetry came to be, which is fairy-tale in itself. This has been Little Sis’s favorite poem thus far, so she will be memorizing this one. Sky will memorize her favorite Emily Dickinson poem.


There were no vocabulary words this week.

While reading a story, we will stop at a word the girls are unfamiliar with. They use their Kindle dictionary to find out what it means. It can be comical at times, while reading, to hear one child click on a word, then hear the other child click on a different word.

I find it rather repetitive to have then look up the words after they already learned what they mean. At first, I gave vocabulary words so they would learn how to use a dictionary. Now, we discuss them while reading, or when analyzing a poem.


The girls warmed up with XtraMath, then continued working in their workbooks. They are moving right along.

Some helpful advice I’ve taken with me because we homeschool is to not move on unless your child scores 100%. Part of my transcript will explain how the girls learn for mastery, not just a grade.




We watched Downton Abbey, where Sky made the comment, “Oh, surprise, something happened.”. It’s kind of becoming a running joke.

We also watched and discussed the movies, For the Love of Sissi (with English subtitles, YouTube), and Mayerling (with Omar Sharif, YouTube).


We listened to some Austrian folk music.


We learned about one of Sky’s favorite artists, Gustav Klimt.

I printed a picture of Sky’s favorite painting, The Kiss, for the girls to add to their history notebooks.


We watched another video of his paintings (YouTube), and Sky shared the opening of an anime that was influenced by his paintings.

(Warning, this clip does contain nudity, as do Klimt’s paintings.)

Fine Arts

We watched two animated versions of The Ugly Duckling. One from Disney’s Silly Symphony, and the other from Hanna-Barbera’s Timeless Tales. (YouTube) We decided we didn’t like either of them. The animation was great, the retelling was not. I think we’ve become spoiled by Beatrice Potter and Friends animation.

We also watched the musical/ballet, Hans Christian Andersen.

I don’t think the writers really knew what to do with this movie, it was all over the place. It would be interesting to have Sky write a review.

Speaking of Sky, she has been putting her pencil drawing lessons to use.






I am interested in the reading the story behind these drawings.


The girls had homeschool gym this week, and we Yoga Walked.

Peace for the journey.




A Book Review By Miss Sky

January 18, 2016

For this post, I will be reviewing the book, The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman.

The story starts with a spell being cast throughout the kingdom, causing the villagers to fall asleep. Once word reaches our main protagonist, our heroine slips into her armor and sets out determined to lift it.

Neil Gaiman has cleverly put together a crossover between Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Instead, of waiting for prince charming to save the day, Snow White takes matters into her own hands.

The first thing that grabbed my attention about this book is the illustrations. They’re very stylized and pretty to look at. Some people complain that the main character is bland, I personally didn’t have a problem with her. In the past, characters in fairy tales have been left bland on purpose so we could place ourselves in their shoes. I really liked the twist at the end of the story.

I would recommend this story for anyone who enjoys illustrations, and people with an open mind for modern fairy tales.  I would not recommend it for small children, because some scenes may be a little too intense, but no worse than the original fairy tales themselves.

I give this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Week(s) In The Life (So Long, Farewell, 2015)

December 29, 2015

So, here I am behind again.

I hope everyone’s holidays were cheerful. It’s time for me to put 2015 to bed. Whew, so much happened this year, where is one to even begin.

It has been 4 months since my back surgery. I am finally able to say, that I feel like I did before I needed surgery (Yes!). There were times when I didn’t think this day would ever come. I was a roller coaster of emotions. So, what else was there for me to do, but push our lessons hard. I’ve come to the conclusion that in 2016, we will take more time to come up for some air once in awhile. I’ve decided a few other things as well. Only time can tell for those.


We finished our Christmas school lessons, and are officially on break from school until January 11. That is, the girls are on break. I’ll be working on gathering all of Sky’s credits she’s completed so far. First things first though.

Language Arts


Week 1, we read several stories. Continuing with our Christmas around the world theme, we read An Early American Christmas, The Legend of the Poinsettia, and The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola.

We also read, James Whitcomb Riley: Young Poet (Young Patriots series) by Minnie Belle Mitchell (We actually really enjoyed this story, and learned quite a bit about Riley that I didn’t know.), and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

I do want to add a warning about Stardust, there are 2 sex scenes in the story, one takes place in the first chapter. It’s pretty easy to kind of come up with your own words to skip the scenes if you wanted. Also, there is a bit of violence.

The way I see it is, if we can watch the Game of Thrones series, we can watch, or read anything. (I am always hiding my eyes during that show.) With that being said, we loved the story. It reminded me of a more grown-up Narnia. So, my rating? This story would make a great read aloud and discussion for older children, younger children not so much.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, I am halfway through A Feast for Crows. I’m enjoying this book a lot. Now, that I am over the hump from A Storm of Swords, fans of the series will understand what I mean, I am eager to find out how the series will end.

Little Sis finished Divergent (she had to wait to start Insurgent, until after opening it Christmas.).

Week 2, we read  Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis, and The Lion Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Of course, we listened to Twas The Night Before Christmas too.


The girls finished the poem A Christmas Carol by Longfellow.





The girls warmed up with Xtramath.

Week 1, the girls worked in their workbooks.


Week 2, we played the game Zoom,


and lots of puzzles.



(The girls completed one by themselves.)


We watched the PBS Nature series episode, Christmas In Yellowstone.



We watched a video(YouTube) about Las Posadas.

We finished the Advent calendar and listened to how Christmas is celebrated in Iceland.


We continued learning with Scholastic’s scrapbook of holiday traditions. First, with how Americans celebrate a traditional Christmas,

then Kwanzaa.


We watched The Sound of Music sing-along. Then, we watched The Von Trapp Family Singers,

and Lady Gaga’s 2015 Oscar performance from The Sound of Music (She did an amazing job!) (YouTube).

The girls enjoyed playing the Beethoven game from Google.


The girls had homeschool gym.

Culinary Arts

We worked on a few traditions of our own.


The girls can completely make gingerbread cookies all on their own now. They didn’t need me for anything, except reading the history behind them.

We also made white chocolate covered pretzels.


Something new this year, I made Rudolf pancakes for breakfast Christmas eve.


I used Hersey Kisses for the eyes and split a red grape in half for the nose.

The Arts

A local radio station played a live version of a local performance of It’s A Wonderful Life radio show. They also aired a performance of Dickens, A Christmas Carol. We listened while we made pretzels. They did an amazing job.

We watched an animated Ukrainian Fairy Tale of Nikolai Gogol’s “Christmas Eve” (YouTube) (It was completely in Russian with English subtitles. ), and Fraggle Rock episode 22- The Bells of Fraggle Rock.

We also watched Behind the scenes of Disney’s Snow White that aired on ABC, BBC’s 2005 live-action version of The Snow Queen (Beautiful, the girls highly recommend it.), and the movie Stardust. This is setting us up for our winter study of exploring fairy tales.

Sky had been drawing away,



and the girls made Little Sis’s room into a movie theater.


(Their list of movies)


(A new movie for Christmas.)

We had a great Christmas. Little Sis and Sky made me a book of free verse poems and artwork,


and Papa’s present was for us to play one of his favorite games as a family, Risk.


(Little Sis won, I think he found a challenger.)

We’ve been playing new games as well.


(Pizza Party)

Wishing everyone a Happy 2016,

Peace for the journey.


Week(s) In the Life (Celebrations, Come on)

December 13, 2015


Our Christmas shopping is done. That’s reason to celebrate, right?

Also, I finished A Storm of Swords. Whew, what a ride. I am already over 100 pages into A Feast for Crows. Little Sis, is a quarter of the way through Divergent. So, between the shopping, and reading, I find myself behind on writing. I really don’t like getting behind, it always takes twice as long to catch up. And, we have been busy.


The theme for Christmas school this year, is holiday celebrations around the world. We are counting down to Christmas with an online Advent calendar, learning how different countries celebrate Christmas.

Sometimes, it is hard for me to remember that I am homeschooling a 4th grader. She is so mature for her age, it is easy to forget. It is a little too easy for me to put the cart before the horse.

Sometimes, it is nice for a 9th grader to be able to take a breather. Sometimes, I need to remember to breathe. Sometimes, I need to remember to enjoy life. (Sometimes, a margarita, or two, can be helpful. 🙂 ) I mean, the whole point of Christmas school, was to feel less stressed about doing school during the holidays.

Language Arts


Week 1:

We read and listened to The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

Week 2:

We read Child Rhymes by James Whitcomb Riley.

We are also reading, listening, and discussing  Christmas short stories, including The Gift of the Magi, by American author O. Henry, and Christmas Storms and Sunshine, by British author Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. Both, are wonderful examples of how to write the perfect short story. We also learned how to identify point of view, and mood.

Speaking of Christmas stories, I thought I would list the girls’ favorites, since they are a bit older, and our stories have grown a little longer.

Little Sis’s favorite Christmas story is Little Women, she lists The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann as a close second (She is such a romantic). Sky’s is The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Neil Gaiman and Dickens are her favorite authors. My fingers are crossed that Gaiman will write a Christmas story (please, please), until then we’ll read Stardust.

My favorite stories are The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson, and The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith.


The girls are copying the poem, Christmas Carol, by Henry W.Longfellow in cursive.

I like to have the girls write out  Christmas lists too. I keep them in their binders so we can look back on them. It’s fun to see what the girls’ interests are year to year. For instance, last year was all about My Little Pony. This year is all about Game of Thrones, and The Hunger Games. Boy, what a change. 🙂


Warm up at XtraMath.

Week 1:

Continuing our study of the book Math, A Book You Can Count on, the girls plotted coordinates, and plotted a line graph.


They have an assignment to keep track of how much snow we get during the winter. So far, with temperatures being in the 60’s, a white Christmas looks doubtful.

Week 2:

They continued working in their Kumon workbooks.



We took a tour inside of the home where James Whitcomb Riley lived as a man.


The home is furnished exactly the way it was during the late 1800’s (some serious eye candy), including the original cobblestone road.


It was interesting to see how updated the house was with the latest technology. He had electric and gas combined fixtures. In the case of power outages, he could switch back to gas.



World/ Geography:


Week 1:

We learned how Europe celebrates Christmas by watching Rick Steves’ European Christmas Story(YouTube).

We also watched The Coolest Stuff on the Planet, Oh, Christmas Tree.

Week 2:

We learned about Hanukkah. We watched Mysteries of the Bible – The Maccabees: Revolution and Redemption (YouTube).

We read an interactive scrapbook on how Hanukkah is celebrated.

We also made Latkes.


We watched Dolly Parton’s inspiring true story based on her life, Coat of Many Colors. I have to say, first I love Dolly Parton. She is extremely talented. There has not been any other songwriter, that could bring tears to my eyes the way she does. Second, I love the family programming NBC has been airing lately.

We seldom watch commercial television.  Our television channel is always left on PBS, with the exception of Papa watching football on Sunday. Thank goodness, the Colts played during Sunday Night Football, or we would have missed some great programs.

Theater/ The Arts:

Which brings me to The Wiz live, the girls and I loved it.

We also learned about the history behind British Pantomime.

We listened to Dick Whittington and His Cat (A pantomime audio play).

We listened to the story from Storynory and learned about the myth behind the story.

Then, we watched IVT’s panto of Dick Whittington.

The girls,  myself included, found it hilarious. We can’t wait to watch more shows.

Then, of course, we watched a few of our favorite Christmas movies, including The World Of Peter Rabbit & Friends – The Tailor of Gloucester (YouTube), and The Year Without a Santa Claus (Prime).


There is a special on stop motion animation that plays after The Year Without a Santa. This inspired the girls to make their own stop motion videos, using their POP vinyl and DS, and Sky is still creating her own creatures.



The girls had homeschool gym and skating.


I think that about wraps it all up. I mean, Papa and I celebrated our anniversary, there was a dentist appointment, and driving around looking at all the decorations.


The usual business of life.

Peace for the journey.


A Week In The Life (It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas)

November 29, 2015

Which is why, I need to post our lessons from last week ,before we start Christmas school.

I hope everyone, in the states ,had a Happy Thanksgiving. Something, that I’ve learned on this homeschooling journey of ours, is to not even attempt our regular school schedule during the holidays. The girls are distracted, I’m distracted, it just doesn’t work for us. Thus, Christmas school was created. All “lessons” are geared toward the holidays, and we focus more on having fun.

Usually, St. Nicholas brings a new game, Christmas puzzle, Christmas movie, and Christmas story on December 5, but the girls are getting older and stories are getting longer. So, St. Nick visited us a bit early. 🙂

For us, Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving. Papa gets the tree before the girls wake up, we eat Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast, then decorate the tree. We watch our city’s Circle of Lights celebration on television (Indianapolis, decorates our war monument with lights in the shape of a Christmas tree, then turns them on the day after Thanksgiving.). Then, we usually kick the Christmas movies off,  by watching the movie A Christmas Story.

I am getting a head of myself though.


Language Arts:


We finished both the Bridge to Terabithia and the Song of Hiawathia.

The girls took the quiz for the Bridge to Terabithia at SparkNotes.

We discussed the conflicts from the story, and the elements of flashback, and foreshadowing.

I decided to cut their last essay assignment. It seamed pointless. Instead, I am waiting until the new year. We will be digging into writing composition a little more.

The assignment will still be about character change, but they get to pick which story, and character. Little Sis chose the Hunger Games series, and Sky chose the Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones).

I dislike pointless writing assignments. I do understand why certain assignments are given. You’re building writing skills. You learn to write by jumping in and writing. Since, that is the case, it doesn’t really matter what topic the girls are writing about. It’s about them learning those skills. At least, they can chose what they want to write about, for now.

Not to sway too off subject again, this was part of my point, from my last post. I want the girls, to enjoy learning. I want the girls, to want to read. If I instill a dislike for reading and writing now, they will always associate those feeling with those tasks. There will be plenty of time for them to detest writing later.

Learning, can happen from anything, anywhere, at anytime. From the good or bad.

I could easily come up with a study using the My Little Pony television series. There are tons of connections in that show. Why, I “preach” so much, about not being negative toward your child’s interests.

For example, the girls and I watched a video of the story, ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving.

They found it hilarious. They understood the comedic symbolism. I am sure, at one time The Marx Brothers were not considered a magnificent means of entertainment. Hell, even Shakespeare wasn’t considered suitable during his time.


The girls copied the poem I Dream A World, by Langston Hughes in cursive.




The girls made a bar graph of their television hours, from last week.


(Little Sis)

Both girls discovered, they watch the most television on Fridays.

I found an article in the newspaper using a line graph as an example, showing the statistics collected, that I showed to the girls. (Working along with the book by Basher, Math, A Book You Can Count On, The Data Gang.)

We also watched the documentary, The Beauty of Diagrams episode 4 – about Florence Nightingale’s pie chart (YouTube).

Little Sis finished her 3rd grade math workbook. I’ve decided, instead of doing the 4th grade mathematics at Khan Academy first, she is going to work through Kumon’s 4th grade workbooks. Then, I will use Khan as an assessment of what she might need help with.( I love the Kumon series. I would love for them to include high school level books.)

We also tried solving a bridge riddle from TED Ed. You know, with the whole bridge theme and all.

A game I absolutely love, and highly recommend, that fits in perfectly with bridge building, is World of Goo.

And speaking of games, this year’s new game was a huge hit. We’ve been playing it all holiday weekend.


Labyrinth by Ravensburger. It’s a maze/puzzle game that constantly changes.



We watched the episode of How Stuff Works, about Turkeys.



This week was all about Thanksgiving. There was a video going around on Facebook, about everything that is wrong with what we know about Thanksgiving. I shared it with the girls. That’s another thing about homeschooling I love, I can cut out all the bullshit history and science propaganda taught in school. The girls learn, that there in more than just one point of view. What is truth for the U.S., might not be the truth for someone else.

We watched the Crash Course American History video, Colonizing America (YouTube), and PBS American Experience, The Pilgrims, where the girls learned the difference between the pilgrims and the puritans.

The Arts:

We watched and discussed the Bridge to Terabithia movie. We all agree, there are parts we like from the book best, and parts we like in the movie best.

We watched Rankin and Bass, A Mouse on the Mayflower, and listened to Family Theater’s radio show of The Courtship of Miles Standish (YouTube). We’ve read Longfellow’s poem before. We joke, that this was Little Sis’s first introduction to love triangles. She liked the poem when we read it.

Our new Christmas puzzle, was of The Nutcracker Ballet.


Little Sis, made Papa’s and my Thanksgiving/Christmas present.


She even added my hair up in the back. 🙂


We walked away the Pounds, 2 miles.


Happy holidays, and wishing everyone peace for the journey.



Week In The Life (Don’t Worry, Be Hopi)

November 20, 2015

When taking a break from our regular school lessons, the girls artistic side really emerges.

I still cringe when I hear parents comment about, “All my child wants to do is……”, or, “All my child does is…..” It signals, to me, that the parent disapproves what their child is doing, and if I can hear it, so does your child. Maybe, the parents think it’s not “educational” enough.

If there is one thing, as a “veteran” homeschooler (Yes, I think I can call myself that now 🙂 ), that I want to say (scream really, but I don’t think that would be well received) to all new homeschoolers, is why recreate a broken system that you’re choosing not to participate in, at home?

I understand, that homeschooling is a personal choice, and there are many different reasons why we do it. Some homeschool, because they don’t like what is being taught today in school. They want to homeschool recreating a broken system, but under their beliefs. I understand that.

I understand, some parents don’t have time to sit down and plan out what their children might want to learn, and that a ready made curriculum can come in handy. Hey, I understand life gets busy, but you do not need one to homeschool.

What does irritate me, is when parents put their children’s interests down in front of others. When they see no value in what their child is doing, because to them, it doesn’t look like learning.

I have shared the difference in my children’s learning style here multiple times. I have a 10 year old that reads teen fiction, and completed two years of math this year. There is no doubt in my mind, she will probably graduate high school early.

I also have a 15 year old, who struggles through her math lessons, has a hard time with spelling, and doesn’t read long 500 page novels on her own time. She is a visual learner, and learns best by watching something, over reading about it.

If I were to say, “All my 15 year old wants to do, is watch television.” I would be putting down the way she learns. And you know you’ll never hear, “All my 10 year old wants to do, is read 500 page novels.” because that seems more educational, than “just watching television”.

Sky will tell you herself, that she would love to be able to learn like Little Sis. She would love to be able to do 2 years of math in one year. As her parent, I can tell you how hard she is trying. I can’t force her to learn though. I can not change her, nor do I want to. She is not broken.

Homeschooling, allows for us to tailor our child’s education to fit their personal needs. That was the driving force behind why I started homeschooling in the first place. If Sky was in school, she would fail.(I have several reasons for knowing this too, trust me. 🙂 )

Sky gets visual ideas from watching television, no different than if she was observing a painting (which she gets ideas from too). My job as her facilitator, is to expand those ideas, and interests beyond her knowledge. (Now, the girls are able to connect Iago from Disney’s Aladdin with Iago from Othello ,and think it’s funny. “Patience, Iago.” )  You know what else? I’ve learned a whole lot from her too. 🙂

So, lets get caught up with projects the girls worked on while “off” from school.

When not reading Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer, Little Sis worked on her art skills.



When not discussing the book A Storm of Swords, from the Game of Thrones Fire and Ice series, with me, (which I am now 60% of the way through, by the way. Woohoo!) Sky worked on a bit of drawing,






and read the short story Children of the Corn, by Stephen King (thanks Nostalgia Critic 🙂 ).


Language Arts:


Little Sis requested reading The Bridge to Terabithia. We read chapters 1-8.

I am using a combination of resources for this story, to help them learn about plot conflict, and foreshadowing (they actually have learned these topics from watching Nostalgia Critic, but Sky needs 180 hours for a composition credit.)

Library (Jan. 07 issue, Bridge to Terabithia )

Their vocabulary and spelling words came from THE GLENCOE LITERATURE LIBRARY study guide of the story.

Their final essay for the year will be from here.

We also read chapters 1-12 from The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


The girls copied the poem After the Rains, by Ramsom Lomatewama.


(Miss Sky)


Warming up at

Little Sis will finish her Math Made Easy, grade 3, math workbook next week. I decided to wait until after the holidays to start grade 4 mathematics from Khan Academy. I gave her a bar graph assignment instead. First, she made the bar graph from the worksheet. Both girls have been keeping track of how much television they watch this week to make their own bar graph. We also read about bar graphs from the book, Math, A Book you can count on.

Sky did more worksheets on finding percents.



We discussed Diwali,

watched another video about Dracula’s castle,

and watched PBS, Indian Summers.


We watched the Scholastic video from the book Giving Thanks, by Chief Jake Swamp.


We listened to the songs mentioned in the book Bridge to Terabithia. Up, Up and Away, This Land Is Your Land, Free to Be You and Me, Blowing in the Wind, and the big 70’s hit, when I was a child, You Light Up My Life.


We learned about glass blowing from Ramsom Lomatewama,

and Navajo sand painting.


The girls had homeschool gym.

The Arts

The girls made Christmas cards and ornaments for a nearby nursing home.








We watched the 1931 version of Dracula,

and saw a sneak peak of the Children Ballet’s Nutcracker.




Tomorrow we are going to see Mockinjay part 2 in theaters, Little Sis can’t wait.

Peace for the journey.