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Showing posts from August, 2011

Interest Led Learning: Un-planning Reading

Last year I bought Drawn into the Heart of Reading.  I loved the way it so closely resembled how I “taught” reading when I was teaching third grade.  Do you know where the book is now?  On my bookshelf collecting dust, in the very same place it was this time last year!  I could not use this book for one very important Grace hated reading.   It broke my heart that something happened along the way that took the joy out of the act of reading.  It was no longer pleasurable for her.  It was a chore, a task, an assignment.  This was the child that I rocked to sleep every night reading our favorite picture books of all time.  This was the child that I took to the library for story time and to Barnes & Nobel just to play.  This was the child that read every single Junie B. Jones to me.  This was the child who I started a book club full of 6 year olds for.  How could this have happened? I don’t have a definitive answer how it happened, but I knew that by pushing worksheets, Venn…

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: August 26, 2011

Last year I did a weekly wrap up of what took place in each subject area.  This year I am doing something different.  I am joining up with the Homeschool’s Mother’s Journal!
In my life this week…I spent much time with my friends.  It was beyond pleasurable to relax, unwind, drink a cup of tea while the children played and enjoy their company before the business of our fall begins in a few weeks.  Our minds have also been drawn to Hurricane Irene barreling our way.  While the beginning of the week was spent playing, the end of the week was spent preparing.  There is so much work that goes into extreme weather preparations.  Just a partial list included: propane tank filling, pool draining, basement clearing, food shopping, pet food stocking, water stockpiling, baking, cooking, securing, yard cleaning, harvesting.  I was in high school when Hurricane Gloria hit Connecticut.  At the time I lived in Glastonbury, on the Connecticut River.  School was closed for a week as a result of major f…


This magical, fantastical* girl turned nine yesterday.  She chose to spend her day with equally magical and fantastical friends at Frog Creek.   *per Ramona, fantastical is indeed a word.  We have adopted it into our daily vocabulary!

Interest-Led Learning: Our Unplan for Writing

Writing is a skill that one must have to be successful in life.  Period.  No exceptions.  But how we teach a child the skills to be a good writer is open for debate.   I have given much thought to writing.  I have contemplated purchasing a curriculum but I know that I will not stick to the prescribed lessons and my children will become frustrated if they are not allowed to express their creativity.  I have been searching for something that interests them and gives them many opportunities to write across a variety of genres. For us...that something is our Girl Scout Junior Badge Book!  I went through this book page by page searching for badges that met certain criteria:
pertain to an interest my girls already havecontain a rich writing experienceare challenging I asked the girls to sit and thumb through those that interested them. Their desire to begin was so strong, they copied the pages they wanted to do and began.  For the Outdoor Creativity badge the girls must: write and publish a Hai…

Interest-Led Learning: Our Unplan for Science

“Catching frogs, building forts, exploring wild places.  We allow children’s passions to guide the learning process.  Through weaving games and stories into learning, we create an “invisible school.”  Our students are having so much fun, they often don’t realize how much they’ve learned through the day..  We allow children’s passions to guide the learning process.  Through weaving games and stories into learning, we create an “invisible school.”  Our students are having so much fun, they often don’t realize how much they’ve learned through the day.”                                                                   Philosophy Statement @ Lilah is going on her third year at home.  This is #2 for Grace.  All this time we have been moving towards understanding how homeschooling will work for our family.  We have come to a very exciting place in our journey.  The place where we diverge from a plan and let the children lead their own way.   We consider the world our classroo…

Harvest Time!

We are back from vacation but not for long.  Just long enough to enjoy my new favorite time of the year...harvest time. Those of you who have known me forever might be laughing right now.  Gardening is not and never has been a love of mine for the simple reason that I cannot stand the feeling of dirt on my hands.  I want to enjoy it but it drives me bonkers.  But I am moving past this.  This year I can actually say I helped in our garden with the planting, the weeding, the organic pest management researching, the watering and the harvesting. This is what my counter top looked like this morning.  I did not clean it up for you.  This is the real messy deal.  This mess I can handle.  All the tomatoes are from our gardens.  As is the yellow squash, green onion, and the cucumbers.  The other veggies, like the potatoes are from our CSA.  

On our way home from the Cape we stopped at the outlets in Wrentham, MA and bought a new my whole family is very excited about.  Ta Da!

So thi…

We Joined a Co-Op!

When my girls were coming out of school, the thing they wanted to do the most was join a coop.   But Grace was having a hard time adjusting to being home, the coop I wanted to join is an hour away and our schedule was already so packed that I was afraid it would tip the balance and work to  our detriment, rather than our advantage.  I politely declined the invitation and crossed my fingers that we would be welcome again, when the time was right. This topic came up just a few weeks ago and my girls decided that the time was right.  We were accepted into the coop and classes begin September 21st.  After much  deliberation and debate, they finally settled on:

Grace Lilah Digital Photography Gymnastics Theater Theater Geometric Constructions

Harbor Seals in Chatham

Have you heard the buzz about Great Whites in Chatham? We went today. Not to see the Great Whites. But to see what they have come to eat.

A seal tour was not the best choice for us, just in case we happened upon a seal in distress.

Instead we went to where the seals know they have it made.

The seals cruise in behind the fishing boats to catch a scrap or two...

While this one small strip of sand keeps them from what lurks just beneath the surface....

We could have stayed all night.

It just never gets old.  

I could watch them frolic and play for hours.

Good night our seal friends.  We will be back to see you tomorrow!

A Twilight Musical Stroll

Harwichport puts on the best Main Street Musical Stroll four times a summer.   We were lucky enough to be here for one of them.

Bands played from every parking lot, their unique sounds filling the air.

Families strolled hand in hand.

The girls savored free scoops of ice cream while we perused my favorite childhood haunts.

We window shopped.

We strolled. We watched the sun fade to darkness with nothing short of breathtaking splendor.