In My Life This Week:
There is a particular person that I follow on Instagram that always posts pictures of cozy little nooks of her home. There is never any dust or clutter. There are always fresh flowers in vases and blankets lined up just so on the couch. Part of me wonders if this is for real or if the camera were to span just a little to the left would we see a pile of books and the remnants of the Sunday paper........Life is not always what we present it to be on social media. However, these photographs are beautiful, which is why I follow. They inspire me to declutter my home. Now is the perfect time to work on this never ending project.
Our Christmas Village takes up an entire room. It spans the length of my mantle, encompasses my entire hutch and a chest of drawers. It takes more than one day to get every house and every accessory packed up and moved back into the attic. I am not putting back every little pottery piece, every plate, every picture frame and every empty vase that used to take up this space. I am only putting out my very favorite pieces, the ones that hold the most meaning to me. I love having the village out because it is our family tradition. But I also love to see it go. My mantle has been washed with my favorite wood cleaner so that it shines. My porch is begging for someone to sit with a cup of tea and knit or read. It may even have a throw blanket lined up just so on the corner of the couch....
So far I have two giant moving boxes of village pieces packed....only 4 more to go!
In Our Homeschool This Week:
Projects took center stage this week over book lessons. We did get some of our book work done, just not as much as we would during a typical week.
Lilah is working on Life of Fred and Grace continued to work on measurement, using floor plans to find perimeter. This is still review, but it came up in real life this week.
During our trip to Joanne’s the girls were sitting at a table flipping through pattern books while I was people watching. A woman came to the fabric cutting counter and asked the store staff how much ribbon she would need to trim a 9 inch pillow. The employee took out a calculator and told the woman 36 inches. The woman continued to explain that she was making two pillows. More calculator work followed until the answer of 72 inches was determined.
After the woman received her ribbon, I told Grace about this exchange. I asked her to calculate. After confirming the pillow was square, she quickly answered. When I told her the woman had two pillows, she just doubled the answer in her head. Sewing and crafting provides plenty of opportunity to use the math she has learned already. Area, perimeter, square foot, volume are all applicable to sewing, and home decorating.
I knew that Lilah likes to sew. She had weekly lessons with my neighbor and friend for a few months when she first came home from school. Recently she has fallen in love with clothing design. I took out my machine, dusted it off, and Grace learned how to use it. So far the girls have each made a drawstring bag and Grace is working with a pattern for flannel pajama pants. I have a feeling there are many more trips to Joanne’s in my near future. Actually I want to go to IKEA, because I have always wanted to buy fabric there. Perhaps I will sew up some pillows......
History intersected with Minecraft this week. We finished up chapter 18 in Story of the World with narration, mapwork and some notebooking. I thought it would be interesting to challenge the girls to pick a country that sent Knights on the Crusades and research castles in that country. Using Minecraft, they would create a historically accurate castle. This project is going to take hours to complete. We spent three hours in the library just finding books with good cross sections of castles! Grace told me it is not as easy as she thought it would be. I will post their completed “world” when they are finished.
Places We’re Going and People We’re Seeing:
Lilah’s Cupcake Club delivered homemade puppy truffles to our local animal shelter.Grace got a sewing lesson from our friend Amy and some guidance from her grandmother.
We had a tech-free afternoon at Sunday dinner at my parents. We watched the Patriots game and I worked on my poker skills. I am proud of the girls for leaving their iPads at home and honoring their Grandfather’s request for good old fashioned conversation.
What We Are Reading:
We finished listening to How To Train Your Dragon, Book 1. What a wonderful audiobook! I loved it. I loved the characters, the descriptions of the dragons, the humor, and the names. I love that what makes the main character different and unique is what also makes him a hero. It is his intelligence, his knowledge and his courage that saves the day. I hope to start book 2 soon. We listened to this on our Tales 2 Go app.
Questions/Thoughts I Have:
I am wondering how families, especially those that unschool, make a portfolio for college applications. I am collecting everything from what we are doing now. Piano recital programs, bits of video of sports and music, work samples, field trips, volunteer work, etc. So much has changed with applying to colleges from when I had to write an essay and attach my SAT scores and high school transcript.... Not to mention being homeschooled! Even though Grace is only in 7th grade, I want to figure this out now, rather than be left scrambling for something at the last minute. I think it will be easier to maintain throughout her high school years if we have something in place before she beings.
After speaking with a friend about this, we may reach out to our local community in the hopes that families with older children will share what they are doing.
Quote to Share:
“If you change the world, the world will change.” There is so much going on in our world that I could go on and on about. Our government is systematically taking away the very things that make our country great and nothing is being done to stop it. Another sports “hero” just admitted to cheating after lying over and over and over again. Greg pointed out that it is hypocritical that we are so quick to react and demand retribution from Lance Armstrong for lying and bullying when corporations like Monsanto do this every day (with the food we ingest) and we all just look the other way. At times I wonder who my children are supposed to look up to?
I don’t want to write too much about the things that could keep me awake at night if I let them. This is not the place for that. I don’t want my girls to read my blog and worry. Instead I would like to use my blog and this space to honor those people, especially young people, who are using their lives to make change happen. On my sidebar I added a spot to highlight people changing the world. I asked Karen at Homeschool Girls for permission to post a video made by her 13 year old daughter, who used her birthday to brighten the lives of 13 strangers. She inspires me.