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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Quilt

Once upon a time there was a little 7 year old girl who loved to sew.  Sew, sew, sew.  During this time she made a quilt top with our neighbor who was giving her sewing lessons.  She chose the fabric, rich golds, greens and yellow the color of turmeric.  Stunning and very mature.  She cut out six inch squares and sewed them together.  She was very proud of her work.  Then, like most little seven year olds, she grew up a little and discovered that she loved to bake.  Bake, bake, bake. The sewing machine was put on a shelf.  Her ten year old self loved to craft.  Craft, craft, craft.  The sewing machine was taken out now and again.  Her ten year old self made a table runner and napkins for Easter dinner, then put the machine back on its shelf.  Her eleven year old self took the machine out to make fabric hair bows, then put it back on its shelf.


Lilah registered for sewing class at our new coop.  Her teacher (a fellow mom) has 30 years of sewing experience.  I emailed her and asked if sh…

Layered Learning

A few weeks ago my father had posted on his Facebook account about a woman named Irena Sendler who was passed over for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize when it was awarded to Al Gore for his work on climate change.  After spending time learning about this amazing woman, I am baffled that someone who saved the lives of 2,000 Jewish children would be passed over in favor of someone who made a movie about climate change when many in the scientific community do not feel there is sufficient evidence to prove this theory and data was falsified by those pushing for its acceptance.  2,000 human lives vs. a movie.  I guess I should not be surprised since this is the same culture that places crazy penalties for destroying an eagle egg but places no value on a  human embryo or fetus.  Search bacteria on Mars as proof of life, and link after link will come up verifying that yes bacteria = life, but here on Earth, a fertilized egg is not considered life.  Nope.  No harm in destroying that.  Our prioriti…

Winter in Connecticut

Snow.  We have had our share of it.  I keep reminding myself that this is winter in Connecticut.  This is normal, if not always welcome.  





For Grace the snow is a blessing.  Her friends who live in the neighborhood get a snow day and this has given her the opportunity to spend hours and hours on the hill with them.  Being out in the elements is good for her soul.  



The snow has not always been kind to us.  Lilah’s 5th Annual Valentine’s Day Party saw half the number of people we were expecting because towns to the north of us got several inches of snow the night before.  It was still a beautiful time thanks to the thoughtful organizing and planning of Lilah.  This is her day.  Planning events that bring joy to others is good for her soul.





And then there is Jake.  He loves the snow.  Every single flake.  It brings out his inner puppy.  Catching snow balls is good for his soul.  





And me?  Well, I just cross my fingers that the snow falls on a day that Greg is home so I can get some much nee…

Soundwaters Week #3 Learning in Action

This week I was reminded of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a term I don’t use often anymore, but was quite familiar with when I was teaching.  I don’t focus much on the lower end of the scale, the labeling, matching, identifying and rewriting.  I expect that the girls are going to get these steps on their own through our reading, our conversation, through their classes and their investigations.  However, I get very excited when I see things happening that fall on the opposite end of the spectrum: invent, create, plan, construct, critique...
This class was about #5, or synthesis.  They used their prior knowledge to begin construction of a new salt water tank.  I was not in class with them (I never am) but because the frigid weather kept me inside I was able to stand silently on the sidelines and take some pictures. The girls told me that they used “live sand” or sand with bacteria in it that mimics the bacteria of the ocean sand.  The bacteria multiply and help maintain a healthy tank balance.  They…

Milkweed

I have this notion that homeschooling is about filling your mind up with really great things. It’s not about how many text books you complete or which curriculum you are using.  There are many ways to fill your mind, as long as you choose to fill it with great things.  
I am having a hard time explaining this to my girls.  This stage of “in between” is a tough one.  They are in between childhood and adulthood and  there is no road map for this mama to use as a guide.  
Lilah is capable of reading all the books that are making headlines now.  However, she is still just eleven years old.  She wanted to read Fault in Our Starts.  I pre-read it and felt that some of the relationship content was too much for an eleven year old.  There is great buzz about Divergent so I read that too and felt that the scenes of violence were just too much for someone so young to take in and process, same with Hunger Games.  Does this make me an overprotective mom?  I really don’t know.  I know that this is a …

Where are you going to high school?

Grace must get asked at least once a week where she is going for high school.  Will she go to the public high school or one of the many private or Catholic schools?  To be fair, most of the people who ask do not know we are homeschooling.  She is tall, taller than me (and I'm 5'8"), and has played basketball for the past six years for our town’s recreation department.  She is very good.  People assume she is going to play basketball for a high school team somewhere.  They are quite perplexed when she tells them she is not going to high school.
She is not going to high school.
Telling someone you are planning to homeschooling high school garners a much different reaction from people than telling them you are going to homeschool elementary school.  The stakes are higher, I guess.  What if I screw it up?  What if the kids don’t go to college?  What if they can’t compete in the global marketplace? What about prom?  What about sports? What about socialization? What about graduat…

Eucharisteo

I recently read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.  It was one of those books that kept popping up here and there on my radar. Over my lifetime I have probably read thousands of books.  Some I remember, some I forget, and every now and then one changes my life in some tangible way.  

I found this book, or should I say, it found me, just when I needed it the most.  Homeschooling this winter has been tough.  We have had moments of sheer brilliance, but also a few tears (mostly mine) and we needed to figure things out and shift our focus and create a new path.  Parenting this winter has been tough.  My children are my joy and my life’s work and parenting an 11 and 13 year old is much different than parenting a 7 and 9 year old.  We had to figure some things out.  My relationship with my church has been strained this winter (really since the fall) due to religious education decisions that were made that I am not in agreement with and left me wondering the future of our little church by the …