Tag: day in the life

September in Review

September has been crazy busy with a trip to Alexandria and Ocean City, Penn’s Colony, the Art’s Festival, and lots of trips to the pond. At the beginning of the month we headed down to visit our friends in Alexandria, VA and got to go with them for a day trip to the ocean.This was our first big trip in our new minivan and was a happy and sad time. It was fun spending time with friends but due to the loss of both my friend’s father and my mom within a few weeks of each other it was bittersweet.

The trip also meshed several ideas the kids have shown interest in–my friend has both a guitar and a violin and gave the kids an opportunity to test both out. So now we know that Essie definitely wants to play guitar and that RAchel would prefer piano lessons to violin as she once thought.
Issac at the pond
We also spent tons of time at the pond with my brother (who’s school is on strike).

The kids spent the first half of the month swimming and learning to row and fish and the second half learning to build fires and lean-to’s while James and I worked on his forge.rowJames and forge
And did I mention the invention building kick?
And day time trips to Chuck E. Cheese?

The apparently interesting thing that is opening a new bank account?

And the awesomeness that was Penn’s Colony.

Where we got to see real blacksmiths at work.

And got to enjoy lots of Celtic music.

And in between it all was lots of game playing, reading, audio books, movies, playing, building, dreaming, creating, thinking, considering, discussing, programming…

A Day in the Life 33: Issac

The girls spent some time with my mother-in-law this morning so Issac had us all to himself. He chattered away happily about all sorts of thinks he was thinking. He watched Shamus play a game for a while then wanted to be with me.


I asked him if he wanted to help me finish cleaning in my bedroom–Rachel had been into the wrapping stuff and left a mess, not to mention all the stuff that gets tossed in my closet so it is out of the way. A moment later he was gone, eager to get started.


He emptied my closet then set about organizing it.


Shoes on the door, boots on the shoe holder, wrapping stuff moved to the wardrobe, garbage to the garbage, hangers to the hook, crutches and knee brace to the bathroom closet.


He swept and trashed and happily found all the change on the floor amidst the dust and his marbles.


He then helped me organize the wardrobe so the present and packing closets were organized.


We moved the wrapping bin to the hall to use for laundry.


Afterwards we ate lunch together and talked about compound words (he is desperate to read and loves talking about how words look).


He then showed me how to make various tens and hundreds (he was playing with Cuisiniere rods and discovered the ones, tens, and hundreds theme.


He helped me make cookies for Daddy.


When his sisters got home he helped me burn and gathered sticks from the yard to add to the fire.


Meanwhile the girls played Animal Land (they are being squirrels and chipmunks in their den in this shot.)


Home Education Week: April Fool’s!

Today we continue to celebrate Home Education Week with Dana of Principled Discovery who asks:

And we have likely all felt the fool in one way or another. Share your greatest challenge. Or one of those terrible, horrible no good, very bad days where the only thing there is to do seems to involve moving to Australia.

I don’t have any big humorous situations or stories to tell though we have had a few embarrassing ones. We have several challenges specific to our family that have made things interesting and leant to some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

The only embarrassing story that comes to mind was one day when we were waiting for our car to be fixed on a school day and a random stranger started asking way too many questions of myself and the kids about our school day. Keep in mind I have dysgraphia and dyscalculia and my oldest has dyslexia and dysgraphia. This random stranger started asking her all sorts of math questions of the sort that she has to see to get (and I have to see them to understand them as well.) Plus this was a random stranger and we were already having a very rough day since we were supposed to be visiting my grandmother and the car had broken down on the way. So add nervousness and general unhappiness to the mix and neither of us could answer any of his questions and boy was he persistent–in a way that he would never be with someone who was public schooled. It was horrible and awkward and I hated that we left this random person with such a horrible view of homeschooling. Yuck.

In general however our worst days are when Rachel has a bad day. She struggles with several neurological disorders and severe food allergies and some days are just really, really rough for her which means they are rough for us. She takes Omega 3 and magnesium which help a lot and the days she forgets are probably the very worst. Constant temper tantrums make those days a struggle and put everyone out of alignment.

A Day in the Life 21: Snow?

One of the reasons I love homeschooling is the ability to have the kids spend time with their great-grandparents (I am an oldest child of an oldest child of an oldest child–until recently MY great grandfather was still alive) and grandparents. Once a week we travel 45 minutes south-east to visit my grandmother. The kids would often prefer to stay home but it is good for them, and for me, to go. She doesn’t drive much anymore, except for church each day and her only real hobby is being on the prayer chain at church. My cousins and brothers see her even less often, they are all in school except my brother in Florida. Grandma and I don’t have much in common–she usually talks about my aunts (her sisters) and my mom and uncle or what they are doing at church. She is a talker though and I seldom have to try to make conversation–she just wants someone to listen. (Although today she talked about how expensive it was to buy prayers at church and how excited she was that some group had just sent her a plaque that promised that they would pray for her daily the rest of her life and, I am afraid to say, I laughed out loud, by mistake mind you. I was so shocked that someone would be required to PAY for prayer. I had forgotten that one and gently explained that she was prayed for without money and that it should not cost money to be prayed for. Sigh.)

When we visited this afternoon we did so with one eye on the weather–she is 45 minutes south and the weather there is always a little better than here. The sky was nearly black to one side on the way down, and once there I kept my eye on the windows while she kept checking the weather channel (which is useless may I say–I am used to checking the weather on my computer and being able to see in an instant whether there is something coming on the radar–she kept missing it on the eights and would try again, and again.) Eventually it was nearly white out and some of it was starting to stick so I said we had better go.

We left at the perfect time. By the time I got home it was starting to stick for real and you could barely see. Oh, and the temperature dropped big time. Brrr. Now I sit here in sweat pants, several shirts, a fleece shawl, and fingerless gloves trying to keep warm while doing some website work (three at once–I love how God works.). The kids are all cuddled under blankets watching a movie we froze our fingers off trying to get at Redbox outside the grocery store on the way home.

Would you believe it was sunny and clear when we left?

And, while I was writing that we got more– Check it out!

A Day in Life 16: When Learning is a Choice plus Doodle-a-day 2-19-08

When something is a requirement it is hard for the rebellious nature not to rebel. When learning is a choice then the rebellious will choose it because they really do want to learn. And when a person really does want to learn something that person will find a way.

  • When we went to the library last week my son asked for Hooked on Phonics: level 1, my daughters asked if they could get books to read. I reluctantly agreed only because we pay quite a lot in library fines because they forget which they got out.
  • Before bed my son read a book with me because he wanted to learn to read it. He also asked if he could play the Hooked on Phonics game in the morning. I told him he had to get his work done first (Mondays he throws all their dirty laundry down the step, move it to the hall where he has to sort it, plus put away all the pots ad pans and plastic items from the dishwasher.)
  • He woke at 8:30 and before he got his breakfast he had done the dirty laundry, not only the upstairs but also all the dirty laundry from the bedroom and the bathroom and he did everyone’s dishes, not just his own. He then came and told me and asked if he could play his game. (He has played it before and knows the answers pretty well but he is a cautious child and wants to REALLY know things before moving on.)
  • He spent an hour playing the Hooked on Phonics game which moves you through reading all sorts of three letter words then asked to go outside after he ate breakfast.
  • He went off to visit our elderly neighbor, who loves having company and happily reads him books, plays restaurant with him, and watches as he builds amazing towers with her set of blocks.
  • He spent hours playing happily in his room with his magnetics, exploring the world of magnetism and time outside with one of his plastic swords fighting off the monstrous trees that have invaded our backyard in search of fair princesses who need rescued or pretending he is a tiny little man inside my father’s back hoe moving sand around our fire pit and covering and rediscovering matchbox cars.
  • He asked to play Number Rings with me (a math game put out by Discovery Toys that requires the players to add, subtract, multiply, and divide 3 dice in order to fill in all the numbers from 1-18.) He then proceeded to beat me with only a little help with multiplication from me.
  • At bedtime he read If You Give a Pig a Pancake with only little help from me.
  • The next morning he he asked if he could do his school work. He then proceeded to get out all his workbooks and do page after page of his phonics workbook–effectively teaching himself all the long a spellings and reading them on his own. This after spending some time outside and realizing it was too cold and putting away 20 items in his room so he could go outside in the first place.

This is the same child who, when told he HAS to do something gets very worked up and can’t possibly get anything out of it because he is too busy being upset. Each of my children are different and he is my methodical self-motivated child. This child would be in trouble constantly in school because he can NOT sit still and can NOT be quiet (he makes noise and moves around all through our church time and reading time although if he is engrossed in a project he can be still). When he works on workbook pages he talks constantly and then gets up and runs around the house jumping off the furniture and shouting cock-a-doodle doo (his latest noise discovery.)