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Showing posts from February, 2016

Kent Falls

Valentine's has never been a huge day for us.  My philosophy is that if you need a special day to celebrate your love, you’re not loving right.  This year Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday and we were able to sleep in a bit, go to church, and then tackle photography homework, as a family.  
Grace asked if we could take a ride to Kent Falls to photograph the frozen waterfall.  She had an idea in her head of what she wanted to capture and felt compelled to try to match the picture in her head to the picture on her camera.  Mind you, it was 8 degrees with a windchill of well below zero.  Normally this kind of weather will keep me on the couch in front of the fire with a book or a good movie, not hiking up a hill, breathing in air so cold, it hurts your lungs.  But that is just what we did.  We hiked half way up, stopping for pictures at each landing.  

Sadly, the captures were not quite what she wanted.This week’s theme is black and white and she was hoping for just a bit more unfrozen …


Lilah’s snowboarding season has come to an end.  A simple fall with an outstretched hand resulted in two broken bones in her left wrist.  For the next 6 weeks she gets to wear a snazzy green cast.  Thankfully this cast is waterproof and below the elbow, so while it is a pain in the wrist, it could have been so much worse.  

The truly hard part will come when we return to the hill next week for our scheduled snowboarding lesson and she has to join me in the lodge when she would much rather be out on the hill with her sister.  It’s a good thing this girl loves her books.  A new one might be the only way to soothe her disappointment.

Personal Responsibility and Accountability

Some days I get too caught up inside my own head, dealing with my own what ifs?  What if we don’t finish history?  What if the new math program we bought for geometry stinks?  What if we don’t find time this week to work on our stories?  I then realize that Grace is half way through 10th grade and I have another mini-panic attack.  What if this was a mistake? What if she changes her mind and wants to go to a 4 year university away from home?  What will we do to assign grades and create a GPA?  And ugh, I can’t stand grades and GPAs, but colleges love them.  I may not be a “working”mom, but the homeschool mom has a full time job, and often another full time or part time paying job on top of that.  
My days are spent shuttling the girls to the hill for snowboarding, to the barn for riding, to New York City for sign language, to Westchester county for the wolf class, to Darien for piano, to church for youth group, to photography class, and this is all before we add in the “life” issues li…

Breaking the Cycle at The Peabody Museum

Back in the fall an email came through about a Teen Summit at Yale’s Peabody Museum focusing on social justice and celebrating Martin Luther King Day.  I love when opportunities arise that tie in perfectly to what we are studying.  I signed both girls up, as well as their friend, and planned to add this to our Civil Rights half credit.    
About 100 teens gathered together in a small auditorium on Sunday, January 17th where they were welcomes and encouraged to talk and interact through a multicultural ice breaker in which they had to find other teens who met certain criteria like, can speak more than one language, has lived in another country, knows sign language, etc.  The girls mingled and collected signatures and enjoyed this activity.  

The main speaker for this event was Hashim Garrett, with the organization Breaking the Cycle, Breaking the Cycle of Violence Through Forgiveness. This presentation gave me chills as he described what went through his mind as a 15 year old child layin…

Snowboarding with Tyler

My blogging is horribly out of date.  I now blog when I have time rather than several times a week and I go through my camera roll to jog my memory of what we have done and where we have gone.  So much of their learning right now happens away from me.  I have to beg them to remember to snap a picture here or there so I have a record of the moment for them to look back in our blog books.

Two weeks ago Tyler joined us on the mountain.  He is truly an incredible snowboarder.  When I saw his first run, I literally gasped at the speed he accumulated and for a moment I wasn’t sure watching would be a good idea.  He joined up with one of the girls’ instructors who was not teaching and the two of them were pure grace on snow.

Tyler and Grace are fearless and they enticed Lilah to step out of her comfort zone and try the chair lift.  Having him there gave her confidence and a feeling of safety and after that first run, they went again and again and again for hours and hours.  We were blessed to …

Digital Photography II

There is a mom I know who is skilled at seeking out experts in the field and asking them to create educational opportunities for homeschooled children.  She organized Soundwaters, one of our all time favorite classes, and she has done it again with Digital Photography I and II with a professional photographer working in New York City. We opted to pass on level I because Grace had covered all the topics through her online class and her class at Milford Photo, however, in hindsight I wish she took it simply because Gus is a great teacher and he has fanned the flame of her interest and has taken her photography to a whole new level.  

This class meets weekly for 90 minutes.  In addition to the class there is at least 90 minutes of homework each week and the assignments are challenging.  This is not a point and shoot class.  Grace purchased herself a good quality tripod with Christmas money as it is necessary in order to capture quality photos when using long exposures, otherwise every lit…