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Showing posts from November, 2014


I am approaching #800 on my gratitude list and I would be well over 1,000 if I were dedicated to writing in my journal every day. Tuesday was a day I worked in my journal and the beauty and blessings and gratitude overflowed from morning,

to afternoon,

to late afternoon,

to evening.

Give thanks every day.

Table of Contents

I am using this slowdown from sickness and the Thanksgiving holiday to get the girls academic binders prettied up.  
On Facebook I read that colleges will frequently ask for not only the names of textbooks used (if they are not listed in course descriptions) but also the table of contents from those textbooks.  Imagine having to do this for four years worth of work!  I cannot.  That would induce instant panic.  I have been going through the books we are using and photocopying the cover page and the table of contents and adding these to the binders.  This fall the girls completed two text books in American Sign Language.  

In addition to the two texts (a third will be added in January when the group class resumes), Grace read three fictional books by Marlee Matlin.  When I sit down to write the course description, I will add these, and every video they have watched as well.  To help me remember which books were read for which content area, I created a spreadsheet which I can sort by titl…

Good Stuff

I am happy to report that after taking a dose of activated charcoal, I started feeling better which led me to believe I picked up a nasty bacteria somewhere in my daily travels and did not catch a mutation of Greg’s virus.  

As I went through the photos on my phone I realized that some pretty good stuff happened last week.  Stuff worth mentioning, even if there is no fancy chart filled with check marks this week.
If there is one thing Crosby is teaching me every day, it’s to look at the positive.  That, and remember it’s about the journey, not the destination.  I thought I had that one covered, but clearly I needed a reminder.  

Every Thursday Grace's friend comes over after school.  Every Thursday they practice sign language.  Lately she has even been partnering with Grace for Algebra since she is a little bit ahead of where we are in school.  This week Grace was able to share her knowledge of music theory and give a hand with Chorus homework.  
Our dinner at the shelter.  Always a…

sickness derailed us

Greg picks up little viruses every so often working in New York.  He was home Wednesday with a whopping cold that put him in bed for the day.  He is better and returned to work Thursday but still has a lingering cough rattling his chest.  I never worry because I never catch these viruses.  Never.  
I have not been sick in bed for years. It happens so rarely that I can clearly remember the last time - the day we visited the Alpaca Farm and I came home with a high fever and a migraine like headache, body aches and chills.  I stayed in bed to 2 days.  
Thursday I was going through my normal routine of dog training, a way overdue endocrinologist appointment, picking Grace’s friend up from school, and a religious education meeting at church in the evening.  My stomach felt a bit off, but I did not pay it much mind.   I was clearly not at 100% but I figured I was just a bit off that day.  
Friday I woke to the same type of illness I had mentioned above.  Fever. Chills, Aches, Headache.  Stomac…

Weekly Wrap Up: November 9-15, 2014

We are rounding out our fall study of literature with Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.  Aunt Kris will once again be reading along with us and we are excited to read this book during the holidays.  From movies to plays, there will be many extensions we can do with this book.
Lilah has always been a reader and this fall she read classics like Rabbit Hill and 100 Dresses on her own.  Grace used to find pleasure in reading, then lost that love for a long time.  I am glad I have been patient with her because I now find her reading every day.  She has her book for pleasure, her book club book and our literature selection.  It often comes down to the wire for her to finish the book club choice, but she always does.  
I count the hours spent listening to our audiobooks towards her language arts credit.  I do not for the books she reads independently.  Why?  Because listening to an audiobook is a shared learning experience.  We always listen together; Lilah, Grace and I.  We always pause, di…

Finding Joy in Our Community

Karen and I love to talk about Gilmore Girls.  We are just beginning season 2 and they are almost done with the series.  One conversation we had that has really stuck with me was about how cool the festivals are in the community of Stars Hollow.  I realize Stars Hollow is a fictional town full of fictional characters, but it drove home the point that I should be celebrating more in my own community.  
Over and over in mass each week, our Priest points out that in order to move through these troubled times we must resist the world view of focusing on the negative.  We need to look to the beauty, the hope, the light.  One way I can do this is by getting off my behind and doing more to seek out the beauty, the joy and the light.  
Friday night was cold.  We were tucked inside our home sharing time with friends.  It would have been so easy to build a fire, put on pjs and call it a week.  I am really tired these days.  The evenings are hard for me.  It is like I go into hibernation mode with…

Week of November 2 - 9

On paper this looks like a slow week but in reality it was chock a block full.  Taking an afternoon and hanging out with Grammy is always worth it, especially when we can’t see her during the week.  Taking half a day to make a new friend is always worth it for giggles and smiles weigh just as heavily in our home as notebook pages and multiplication problems.
Lilah asked me recently why I list our work each week.  I do it for several reasons. 1) Every time I think of shutting down my blog,, I receive an email from some person out there who thanks me for sharing how we homeschool older children.  There are hundreds of great blogs of families educating young children via Waldorf, Classical Conversations, unschooling, or Charlotte Mason.  But there are not as many of us who keep blogging when the kids hit 7th, 8th or 9th and beyond.  Perhaps the kids don’t want their lives shared publically.  Perhaps the kids choose school.  Or perhaps homeschooling does not look as interesting without as …

Is this hard enough?

Do children need to struggle to learn?  
Perhaps it is shocking, but I don’t think they do.  I think they need to be exposed to intellectually stimulating, creative, well written or produced, thought provoking, challenging material.  
When I was in 6th grade we moved from Massachusetts, where no foreign language was taught in elementary school to Connecticut, where Spanish began in grade 3.  I was three years behind and had to catch up quickly.  Every night my Dad would sit with me, my Dad who does not speak one word of Spanish.  I remember tears.  I remember worry.  I remember intense embarrassment when I pronounced the J as a J in class and received no correction from the teacher but a room full of laughs and snickers from my classmates.  I also remember love.  My Dad was the one who took it upon himself to teach me to read when I was 4.  I have vague memories of his flashcards and phonics.  He took it upon himself (I’m sure my Mom had lots to do with this behind the scenes) to teach …

Weekly Accomplishments October 26th - November 2nd

First high school credit completed! Grace has reached 120 hours in her internship (not counting hours she was paid to work).  This includes her volunteer hours, the time she spend shadowing our groomer, the time she spent learning how to groom and cut nails, time spent in dog training class, time spent watching movies and documentaries, time she spent baking homemade organic dog treats and does not include the time she spent reading as I keep a book list (7 books to date), but find it impossible to track hours spent reading. This also does not include the hours she has spent creating and updating her Instagram account and the time she spent learning how to take and edit photos.
(our academic year runs from July 1 through June 30.  Grace’s internship began July 5, 2014) ASL CLASS COMPLETED! Both Grace and Lilah completed what her teacher is calling ASL I but is technically ASL II for the girls.  They completed 100% of their book and both received a certifica…