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Showing posts from September, 2012

AP History/Government Update...

I am so happy to say that Grace enjoyed her first day of class!Her AP history class met for the first hour, followed by her government class.She preferred the government class but decided to keep the books for both classes and agreed to the assigned work.

I am excited for her.  She went into the class knowing just one other person and was eager to share with me that she sat at a table filled with other 12 year old children.   They have more background knowledge than she does to bring to this class.  Our focus has been on Story of the World, beginning at history should, at the beginning.  My plan was to offer 4 years of US History in high school, most likely with Joy Karem’s The Story of Us, but honestly I did not begin to research curriculum’s for US History because I thought I had one more year. When this class was advertised over our homeschooling Yahoo group, it satisfied three of our goals: 1) it is geared for children 12+, which is a hard demographic to fill in our area.  2) it is…

Fall in New England

Fall in New England is magical.  It is when I feel most alive.  Sandwiched in between the hot, humid summer months and the frigid, blizzard producing winter months, this is a time for beauty, for outdoors, for camp fires, for Main Street strolls, and for cups of coffee with friends.   We were able to do all this and more when we visited our friends in the hills of Connecticut yesterday.  Since we live on Long Island Sound we do not have the foliage that can be found an hour north. The color will slowly creep southward, but in the Litchfield towns of Kent and New Milford color abounds.  It makes me want to break out my cable knit sweaters and Ugg boots but our days are still in the mid 70s.   A day in the mid 70s, a stream, building materials, creative kids, stuffed animals, a campfire.  Hmmm...Only good things can come from this combination!


The first day of fall was ushered in with much fanfare.  I found an adorable craft on Pinterest and showed it to Monica, whose girls love owls with a passion that rivals Grace’s love of weather.  Too much time has passed since these four have had time, unstructured time, to just play together.   
The owls were crafted using recycled TP rolls with the tops folded in.  The rest was left up to imagination....
These clever children decided it was not enough to just make owls, the owls needed a habitat!

Sticks were gathered.  
Owl swings were constructed.  

Names were assigned. 
Mantles were measured.
I cannot imagine a more perfect way to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox!  Next time I promise I will serve a dinner more substantial than grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup!


I have been spending a great deal of time thinking about quitting.  Quit.  It is a word that has such negative connotations.  Winners never quit and quitters never win.  Quit actually has two definitions, to stop, cease or discontinue and to give up or resign.    The meaning that is assigned to the situation often is determined by the judgement that someone passes on the situation.  Why is it that we think that nothing is to be learned from quitting?  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that “you can’t just quit when you're in the real world”, as if being 10 and 12 or 21 or 42 is not real enough?   I have quit jobs.  I have quit relationships.  I have quit bad habits.  I have quit sports.  I have never regretted my decisions.  I have been wondering why quitting is associated with lacking a certain skill set for life.  I was allowed as a child to quit certain things. Most of the time my decision to quit was based on a principal I held.    My mom let me skip school on the da…

Friday Collage: An assessment of our week

Every fall most homeschooling families post their curriculum choices and planned activities for the upcoming year.  Like classroom teachers, we parents put hours and hours of effort into choosing the books we think are best, the programs that will not only match our children’s learning style but inspire them to produce great work.  We carefully construct a schedule.  We collaborate with other parents.  We step back and heave a huge sigh of relief.  On paper it looks great, but what is put on paper is hardly ever reality, at least for me.  

We are three weeks into our fall term.  I have shared some of our plans and activities.  I have purchased new curriculum and developed a new schedule for us.  Some things are working better than I had anticipated.  Other things are shifting and settling in a way that is neither good nor bad, it just is.
What is Working: Our schedule.  Every morning the girls and I have a morning breakfast meeting.  We dine at the table and I have our notebook laid out …


Yesterday I took over 100 pictures of my girls and their friends at the beach.  This was one of those spontaneous moments, which in my opinion, are always the best.  We found ourselves with a few free hours after having rocked out much work during the day.  Amy and her girls were in town working on the sale of their home.  The timing was just right and we were able to scoot down to the beach together and work on a special project for a faraway friend...... The afternoon light this year is stunning.  I suppose it is every year, perhaps I am just taking the time to notice it more this year.  When the storm blew through on Tuesday, it gave Mother Nature a giant bubble bath.  Everything had been cleaned up and was bright and sparkly.  The water was still warm, the salty air crisp and I don’t have the words to describe the sky...   We were there for a specific purpose, to comb the beach for pretty pieces of cloudy glass with edges dulled from the journey it took through salty water. If I had …

Big Food

A nasty fall storm blew through Connecticut yesterday bringing high winds, inches of rain and a torcon level of 4 (low chance of tornado but strong wind gusts and hail possible)!  Since I live with a junior meteorologist, this was definitely “on her radar” and made us all a bit nervous.  I don’t like driving the Prius on I95 in high wind.  As a result, we postponed our trip to the Pequot Museum and met up with Kim for a trip to The Peabody Museum in New Haven.  

They are hosting an exhibit called Big Food.   I was excited to see it since it ties in beautifully to what we have been learning through our viewing of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Super Size Me, and our almost complete 8-hour audiobook, Don’t Eat This Book by the creator of Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock.  I guess you could summarize all this learning under the category of health, but I don’t label our learning.  This is our life.  We try to live it as well as we possibly can.

I was a bit suspicious when I walked in and read tha…