Skip to main content

What Is Working

I thought it fitting to kick off 2015 with a 
What I Know For Sure post.

I know for sure that when I work in my Bible, I am closer to God.  When I search #biblejournaling or #documentedfaith on Instagram I marvel at the works of art people have created out of scripture.  Reading my Bible is not the same as working IN my Bible.  I like to highlight the passages that speak to my soul.  When I was in my Catholic Bible Study class my Priest made a comment that making little notations in the Bible is okay.  My artwork is not little notations.  I asked an online friend about her feelings whether or not it is a sacrilege to mark up your Bible.  In other Christian denominations this is quite common but not so much in the Catholic  community.  My favorite quote is “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”  2015 is the year I learn more about where my Catholic faith originated.  This is the year I learn more about the Bible.  I am currently working in my weekly class at church and 21 day study of The Gospel of John.

I know for sure that slowing down is best for right now.  We made some changes to our schedule.  Our only outside classes right now are those that we have made a priority: piano, ASL, and horseback riding.  We knew the time had come to invest in a new piano.  Our piano is a vintage Ivers & Pond; a beautiful large upright with rich tones.  It is old, built in the early 1930s.  The keys are no longer responsive to the quick touch needed for songs like Waterfall.  We researched and finally decided on a Yamaha.  My Nana’s piano is still here.  It is a family heirloom and the girls still play on it when they walk by.   There are some changes in store for the girls but I am not at liberty to say just yet.    ASL II is underway and although it did not quite work out the way I planned (because rarely does anything work out quite like I planned) it is good.  The girls are the only 2 students in the adult class.  They can’t switch to the younger class, which has adults who are beginners because the day conflicts with riding and they have already mastered the material.  So for now they are receiving a private lesson.  I am coordinating the time of their lesson to coincide with my volunteer work at church. Riding is still ongoing weekly.  Grace loves it.  Lilah likes it.  Lilah hates extreme temperatures.  She dislikes riding in the heat and in the frigid cold.  Even though they ride in a barn, it is still very cold.  Last week I took Lilah’s lesson and I loved it.  It was a bit hard on my back, but I can cross something off my bucket list.  I think Lilah and I may alternate weeks.  It is a blessing being the same size as my girls.  I wore Lilah’s boots and Grace’s old breeches and Lilah’s helmet.  No extra cost!

Math is working.  I know the girls do not love it, but they are doing well with Teaching Textbooks and both have an A average.  When they work I usually sit with them and knit but last week I had much work to do at church so I left them alone with their lessons and told them to skip over anything that confused or frustrated them and we would review it when I returned.  They flew through their lessons, no arguing, no frustration.  Perhaps hovering is not the best thing to do since it gives the girls an outlet for their complaints.  We printed off a hundreds chart and made a countdown to when they will complete their math for this “year”.  I am encouraging them to work on the weekends to finish sooner but they now have a visual of what lessons are remaining in their programs.  At the end of Algebra I, Grace will take the AccuPlacer test for Community College.  Passing the math portion will allow her to take classes that have a math prerequisite.  

Writing Group is working.  I have always loved this “class” but it has grown and developed into something really wonderful.  Before our holiday break the girls decided they wanted to explore Fairy Tales.  They wanted to construct, deconstruct, analyze, read, and watch fairy tales.  We are all reading fairy tales for certain literary elements and sharing with each other.  We are all working through writing exercises from the text From The Beanstalk and Beyond and for the first time reading and writing is “homework” outside of class.  In fact, this has moved from a creative writing workshop, to more of a class and the girls responded by writing for a solid 90 minutes and working for hours on their own during the week.  I am so excited to see where this study leads us and I just can’t wait to hear how this week’s stories (quests) develop.
*Our book club's read last month was Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.  Not a fairy tale, but still a quest.  Hours and hours of work went into their book end projects.


  1. I'm no authority on whether what you do with your bible counts as sacrilege or not, but I think it looks beautiful. If it helps you get more out of God's word, don't you think He would approve? As the family historian, I also couldn't help but think what a treasure this will be for future generations.

    I chuckled to myself over your comment about how smoothly math seemed to go when you were not there. I have found the same thing to be true. If I am sitting there with my son, he feels free to complain (and drive me crazy). If I am not there, he just gets it done!

    I really need to sit down this weekend and figure out what is going on for the rest of the year. I feel like we are behind and I need to get us back on track.

    Love all the pictures of what you are up to.

    1. We always get off track during the holidays and then set ourselves back on track in January. We are mapping out remaining lessons so they know when they are "done". We are definitely going to be doing more math solo this winter!

  2. We too are so happy with Teaching Textbooks. We are reading so many fairy tales since we went to see Into the Woods. We are reading the The Red fairy book.

    1. I am excited by the energy that has been created from this study. It is infectious. Next week we will have a large author share and the girls will read their completed stories. I can't wait to hear what they have created.


Post a Comment

Due to high levels of span, comment moderation is turned on for the time being. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I will return it shortly!

Popular posts from this blog

Defending Homeschooling

Yesterday I was called to defend my homeschooling to someone who did not know me well and does not understand the concept of homeschooling well.  Some of the questions that were asked included:

How do I grade?How do I know they are on track?How do I teach what I do not know?How do I have patience?How will they go to college?
These are fairly typical questions and I should have been able to answer them with ease and confidence but I sensed judgment and it shook me a bit.  After all these years, I thought I was beyond being shaken up by questions, especially when asked respectfully.  To be fair, the questioner has a very traditional outlook on education and has two children younger than mine, who already know which Ivy League schools they wish to attend.

So how did I respond?

Grades - we don't grade.  I have gone back and forth over 
the years about grading but I wrote a post a few days ago that sums up my thinking on grades.  It took Grace a year and a half to make it thought algebra an…

Art Journaling: Quotes

If you saw our group’s art journal pages on display, I wonder if you would be able to guess how old the artists are.

Their work is mature beyond their years.  

I wonder why this is...Is it talent?  It is interest?  Is it passion?  
I don’t know.  What I do know is that magic happens when they are together...  

...and that I love every single minute of it.  

Shelling in Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island

It is a wise father that knows his own child. - William Shakespeare

Our family has always embraced each other’s interests.  We almost take them on as our own.  I have attended two weather conferences with Grace.  I have run a baking camp for Lilah.  It is truly wonderful when we discover an interest that we all share. For us, this interest is shelling.  
You can’t shell as home.  After a long and at times difficult week, Greg and I decided to skip our normal Saturday routine of food shopping, running errands and having a nice family dinner at home, in favor of exploring beaches in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  We threw food into a cooler, grabbed water bottles, our microscope, shelling bags (mesh laundry bags), and headed north.
Our first stop was Rocky Neck State Park.  We have mixed feelings about this beach.  We love the soft white sand and the glacier formations to climb on and the contrast of colors created by the water, the sand and the rock, but we disliked the Amtrack trains that…