Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spring Cannot Come Soon Enough!

I made it through my week.  Thank you for all the words of wisdom and support.  Once we were on our way to Grace's internship, everything fell into place, like it usually does.  My friend Amy supported me with a healthy dose of beauty and friendship and of course, coffee!  On my return trip back to her house after dropping Grace off, I was met with Red Zinger tea to soothe my frazzled self.  And I was treated to this:

This is why I push myself on the days where I could be tempted to say Mom wants a sick day.  This is why I homeschool.  This is why we do what we do.  To give my children the time and the opportunity to create the visions that live in their imagination.  This is my favorite garment so far.  This is a dress I would wear.  Perhaps they need an adjustable dress form......

During my hours in the car I was thinking about why I feel depleted of energy right now.  I know that winter is taking it toll on me.  I felt very out of sync with the time change late this fall and now I am feeling very out of sync with the cold dreary days of winter.  I am longing for days at the beach and soaking up some natural Vit. D.  I also feel a shift in our homeschooling experience that I am not sure how to adjust to.

The girls have many projects going on right now.

Electronics: they are building a paper monsters model from materials other than paper.   They have their plans and their materials and now they need to begin creating.  As part of their electronics project, they are studying physics.  This will give them a better understanding of how their project will move and how to plan to avert possible problems with design.  This week they read the first chapter and will do the experiments before Monday’s meeting.  They are also keeping a lab book on Evernote.  This is a cool project which I have very little involvement in.

Grace’s internship is underway.  So far she has designed and led a group lesson in which the class made a collage of the items recommended by the government for emergency preparation.  She has completed a Keynote presentation on the recent blizzard which struck the northeast and is almost done on her second Keynote presentation about tornadoes.  She has also begun working on updating the national maps that are used at the weather center with the forecast information for each region of the country.  This came about because she initiated conversations with a college student she likes and asked her if she could work with her and learn from her.  Viola!  Now she is doing the mapwork which is a task her “mentor” does not like to do!  

Lilah is working on planning an upcoming LCC meeting this weekend.  This involved planning, testing, organizing and coordinating the delivery of cupcakes.  Hopefully there will be some available for testing....I sure could use a cupcake to go with my coffee!

Lilah and her friend have been busy designing.  I am working on an opportunity for them to go to NYC to visit a home furnishing company that uses fabric for many of its designs.  More details about this will come soon.....

Writing with Notebook Girlz is going well and a new post went up this week.   

Grace is participating in a childrens’ music festival that requires her to memorize two difficult pieces which will be played in front of a panel of assessors.   She has been spending time every day working on this.  To assist her, I am reading The Inner Game of Music, recommended to me by Mary @ Homegrown Learners.  I am fascinated by the logic of this book and how it applies to all aspects of life, not just music.  

A new project is beginning this week, participating on a youtube channel their friend created by creating, editing and uploading a weekly video about an assigned topic.  This project is huge because it is a friend’s project, and it not only contains deadlines, but a huge learning curve to overcome.

I did not intend for this to be a weekly wrap up post but I am realizing that our day contains less and less traditional lessons.  Other than sitting down together to work on history and math, the girls are working independently which leaves me to figure out my role in this new paradigm.  On paper it looks like I should be able to have time to do the laundry, declutter the house and meal plan but I am not getting ahead in these things.  I am driving to Danbury, taking trains to Brooklyn, facilitating writing group meetings, shuttling girls back and forth from our LCC drop off location, going to my friend’s house who holds the electronics meet ups, running back and forth to basketball practice, games and on the weekends I have yoga class and religious ed class.......

I think to bump myself out of this feeling of being in a rut, I need to focus a bit on my  house so that as I am doing all this running around I can at least come home to a clean house and a prepared meal.  I have asked my girls for help working with me in a home control journal which will hopefully organize us around our crazy schedule and help keep our house clean and welcoming. 

While I work on this I will continue to search for signs of spring.   I really could use to see a crocus popping up from the earth or a bud on a tree or even a robin in search of an earthworm.  Spring cannot come soon enough.


  1. I hear ya on needing spring! We have been doing a systematic de-clutter on the weekends and with only three weekends down and much junk sent out the door, my house feels better. It doesn't really look any better, but it feels better. I hope it helps you too!

    1. I still have a long way to go! Greg and Grace cleaned out a whole bag of things from her closet. Her room looks lovely. This week my goal is to tackle one room at a time. It is not too bad, just not too good either. This week looks slower for us so I should have more time to give it the attention it needs. Funny that I think of our home as a person sometimes. It almost takes on its own role in our family life.

  2. SPRING! You know me and winter, so I am half dead over here. I did feel the sun on the back of my neck the other day and it was so warm, AND I have heard such an increase in bird noises. So that has helped so much!
    I hear you on the being so busy and many projects. What has helped me keep my semi introverted self intact is to build in sacred days that are not to be touched. Days that we are home, and able to chill, and do the math and the other things that I want to keep at. Plus the house stuff- that's a whole other monster. These at home only days happen every week, twice a week, and you would have to pry those out of my dead fingers! You HAVE to schedule in time for sanity, or your dead. Don't keel over, Jess!

    1. For the next two weeks I don't have the opportunity for any at-home days. Monday= dog walking and electronics. Tuesday = piano (which is at home but still something I have to plan for). Wednesday = internship. Thursday = art journaling and basketball. Friday = writing group, guitar and basketball. Saturday = yoga. Sunday = church and religious ed class.

      I get like this every late winter/spring. I felt it last year with DI too. Basketball is almost over. Religious Ed ends the first week of May. Life will slow down when these two things happen. For now I just have to keep moving on and dreaming of days on the beach!

    2. I hear you, once you have committed, there is no getting out. Now I always think really long and hard about committing for long haul stuff. Also, combining, so things fall on out days, has helped tremendously. I don't care that I drive like crazy on my out days as things can be miles apart, I just want my next day to be untouched, KWIM? The one small thing everyday is a sure fire killer. At least they are for me. Even if that one thing just takes an hour of the day out, it ruins the flow of a total relaxed at home day, one stinking thing!

    3. I think it gets harder to keep at home days as the kids get older. I was able to honor those days at home before but now there is too much to juggle and when things happen (like the internship) other things have to adjust at the convenience and schedule of their teacher, not necessarily me. I think as Grace moves into high school level classes outside of the home (she thinks she is going to homeschool through high school) we will be at the mercy of coops like the one in New Milford that offers the high school classes or community college schedules. I know it is not going to get any easier..... I have been reading blogs to find out how other families juggle teen schedules and classes and still keep their sanity!

    4. Yes, I think for sure High school will be a game changer. But I hear that many activities ( older kids based), other than coops, seem to happen later in the day. I think that would be ok. I think when activities happen later in the day, it is easier to deal with than ones that happen before noon... It seems like if I don't get done what I want finished before I leave the house, it won't get done that day. Either way, it seems that the only thing consistent in life is change. I suppose if I could just keep my one or two sane days a week, I will survive!

  3. The girls did a basketball clinic for February and opted not to sign up again in March and I was so relieved! We still have this week of pottery and then I said we have to skip the next session and we will do it when co-op, music and art are over--in the summer! The girls still have Writing by Design through the end of this month, but when that is over I told them we have to keep it to just choir for Piper, art for Allie and co-op for both. Then in the summer we can do pottery again and tennis. We need more time at home. I think they are feeling it as well, because there are things they want to do but we always have an eye on the clock.

    I am in a similar place as far as my role. We do math, Latin and artist study together. They love artist study and ask to do it. Eventually we will get back to history. The girls do most of the science experiments on their own, with me hanging back nearby and offering help when needed, but I think they will learn so much more if they do it themselves. I make up notebooking sheets for the material. Right now writing is pretty much independent, just meeting to discuss my suggestions to make it stronger and the projects are completely independent. I am sure they are learning, but I am finding that the more I take myself out of it, the more they do on their own and that is a good thing. But I feel like I spend a lot of time wanting to be nearby in case they need me, rather than throwing laundry in or decluttering. I can't get really into my projects "just in case" they need me.

    1. Yes! I feel exactly the same way with needing to be around just in case they have a question or a need. I tried knitting during these times but knitting is not really my thing. Lately I have been art journaling, when they are working, or trying to read something that does not require any concentration! What do you do when you are nearby but not necessarily involved in their lessons?

  4. Every time I read your blog I feel inspired Jess. Those are not just words they are truth. I love all the opportunities you make sure your girls have. I see more and more things like this as our girls get older don't you? What Physics program are you using? I told Keilee last week she MUST study something besides animals!

    How did Lilah make her dress form? Keilee has wanted a mannequin almost all her life. That dress is SPECTACULAR! Tell me more about it. Pattern? Is it for you? I need Spring too. I have always noticed in February especially I get blah and down longing for sunshine and warmth. Soon I hope. Keilee is very excited about the video project too. I can't wait to see what they create! Happy Monday. Off to Co-op here. :)

    1. This is Scarlett's dress form. She made it from duct tape, stuffed it and mounted it on a PVC pipe. I have been lazy in getting Lilah's finished. We duct taped her but did not wrap her enough (wrap Kei about three times so it is nice and thick). It is on my to-do list!

      Look up on my Pinterest Board, Projects. I have a tutorial there on how to make one. There are also others on youtube.

      I will look up the physics book. My friend gave me chapter 1 to read. I am not sure the title offhand but I will email you with the details. It is very introductory. We are supplementing with video from Brain Pop on Newton's Laws.


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