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Showing posts from May, 2014

Beach Nights

Beach nights have begun.  If only Mother Nature would wake up and realize that we are nearing June.  I sure would love to sit at the beach and not have to wear lined Crocs, jeans, a long sleeve tee, Greg’s hooded sweatshirt, and a fuzzy blanket!

Random Happenings

So much of our week is spent moving from one activity to another with random bits of work thrown in between.  Sometimes there is not much to say because posting that lesson 10 of Teaching Textbooks was completed or we are so close to finishing Life of Fred Elementary just is not all that riveting.     Grace asked me if I am going to keep blogging since lately a week or more may pass in between posts.  My answer was yes, just sporadically, when  I have something to say or share.  Since I print out my blog yearly and they are favorite books of ours, I don’t want to abandon it even if it means that sometimes I am just reposting pictures already shared on Instagram.  If and When Instagram allows for blogging formats with the ability to print, I think many bloggers will abandon their blog sites.   Spring happenings are taking place.  We are getting some much needed housework done.  First up was new front steps and walkway.  Our house had the original 1930 concrete steps which were beginning …
There is nothing so good for the inside of a man  as the outside of a horse.     ~John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894

First Swim

It is not really warm enough here in CT for swimming.  My toes have not felt the sand and my mind has not even begun to dream about swimming in our backyard.  We have had a 70 or 80 degree day here and there, but I need consistency.  I need a pool that is at least 80 degrees.  However, my girls don’t have these same strict requirements.  
Sunday was a beautiful day.  Not only because it was Mother’s Day.  Truthfully, we don’t make much of “holidays” like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentines Day.  My theory is that if you are not showing those you love that you value and honor them every day, then celebrating these is hypocritical.  Every day should be Mother’s/Father’s/Valentine’s Day.

The day was warm and sunny.  After a visit to my sister’s for dinner with her family and my parents, the girls returned home and felt the pool was just begging for company. 

In they went and in they stayed!  I don’t know how they did it.  But they had fun!

Discovery Adventure Park

My girls had the opportunity to spend a day in the trees at the Discovery Adventure Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut with other homeschooled children.  Lilah passed because she, like her Mama, is not too fond of her feet leaving the ground.  Grace, on the other hand, prefers it this way!  
This was her second trip here and while I was nervous about the rain, it was actually a blessing.  The mosquitoes and pollen were kept at bay.  The fog and the mist transformed this city park into a lush forest complete with huge red tailed hawk just feet away monitoring the climbers.  
Hours passed in the blink of an eye.  Grace only paused for water breaks, saving her lunch for the car ride home.  She savored every moment of this time challenging herself to new heights and sharing the experience with kids she does not have the opportunity to see often.  

I love activities that challenge the mind and the body.  These kinds of activities bring a sense of peace to Grace and they are where she thrives.  I…

Creating Course Descriptions

One day when Grace was at her class in New Haven and Lilah was immersed in projects of her own making, I took a few hours and went through all the data I collected in Grace’s 8th Grade Binder.  I wrote down everything chronologically, and I was able to see trends or concentrations in what we were learning over the course of the year.  History fell into mainly three categories: Irish Immigration, World WarII/Holocaust and Civil Rights era.  Science was mainly marine science and chemistry.  
The next step is to summarize this information into class or course descriptions that speak the language of traditional academia.  A high school or a college does not have the time to read through 4 pages of detailed daily notes.  What we did in a very nontraditional way needs to be summarized in a way that Lee Binz describes as college-talk.  
At first this felt overwhelming, but with a model provided in the book The Homeschooler’s Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts by Loretta Heuer, M.Ed., I set ou…

8th Grade Binder Update

As we are winding down the year (I consider a school year July 1 through June 30) Grace’s 8th grade binder needs some attention.  I have not been as diligent as I need to be about recording hours and activities every single day.  For example, yesterday Grace spent an hour streaming The Weather Channel live to track the severe weather outbreak in the southern states.  

We looked up local Alabama news and streamed that as well.  She was looking at radar, updating me on torcon values in the Birmingham area and is fluent in the weather speak that meteorologists used (rain wrapped tornado, debris field on radar, how storms to the west will increase the rotational flow of the storms to the east, etc).  This is her thing and while it fascinates her, it worries her because she is aware of the human element and the heavy toll on life and property these storms take.  Technically this could be counted as science.  It should be counted as science.  Too often I forget to record these spontaneous le…

Another high school post...

If you had the chance to go back and do high school over again how would you change it?  If you were freed from the restrictions of spending your day inside a brick building, what would you do?  If you had no tests, no midterms, no official requirements, what would you learn?
Honestly, if I had the whole world open to me at 14, I’m not sure where I would begin.  It is a pretty big world out there and the amount of information contained within it is staggering.  We talk about college in our house.  It is expected that each of the girls will go on to learn a skill, obtain a degree, or learn a trade that will afford them financial independence. If this is a goal, then colleges do have basic guidelines that they are looking to see on a transcript. 
This is how we will structure our “high school” experience.  Where did the term “high school” come from anyway?  I wish there was a way to avoid using that term for the next four years because it conveys a very different experience than the one w…