A homeschooling blog we created to share our stories and adventures as we live and learn as a family.

Monday, February 28, 2011

addicted to knitting

This is my latest knitting project. Yes, I know, it's another scarf. But this time I decided to go with something slightly more challenging than a scarf created entirely using the knit stitch, and went for a scarf created entirely using the knit stitch with stripes! I used a really chunky, organic cotton yarn for this scarf and I'm not sure I like it as much as the thinner wool I have been using. But I love the colors that D picked out. Now I'm thinking of trying something a bit more challenging, like a blanket (which is really just a big scarf) or a cute little pocket purse for each of my girls that I have a pattern for. Which also means learning to follow a pattern, so we'll see which one wins out. But first, an alpaca scarf for me that I 've already started.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

winter blahs

It is official. We are all suffering from a severe case of the winter blahs. It has been a difficult week here, mostly because we are insanely tired of being stuck inside the house all the time, having runny noses and coughs, a lack of energy, and a severe shortage of vitamin D. But also because this is the time of year when it is easy to find oneself stuck in a rut and feeling tired of the same old lesson plans, the same old curriculum, the same old daily cycles. We are longing for a sunny, soggy spring day to throw on our rain boots and start hiking and gardening again.

It has also been a difficult week because D has been having an extremely difficult time attending to his independent work, sticking with any one thing for a significant ammount of time, and completing his work in a timely manner. We are pretty relaxed around here, and for the most part if he is feeling overwhelmed, we let some things go, or at least take more time to complete things. I try to sit with him and guide him for much of his learning, and make sure he is really thinking and processing things, and not just going through the motions. I rarely feel compelled to stick to any lesson for any prescribed ammount of time. When it's done it's done and if it gets tedious we let it go. But there are some things that I feel are important to one's overall learning - like math. And i do know that as challenging as math might be at times, it should not take an HOUR to do one division problem! That is a focus problem. This has always been D's own personal challenge, and one I try to help him with but it as much as I can, but it was seriously frustrating this week.

On the bright side, he wrote three lovely poems this week that I would like to share. He wrote a cinquain, a diamante, and a limerick.

Many teeth
Swims and hunts
School of golden fish

Soft, friendly
Running, jumping, landing
Kittens run, puppies play,
Running, playing, sleeping
Faithful, friendly

and the limerick was continued from an example in his language arts book. Here is the example:

There was a young lady, whose nose
Continually prospers and grows
When it grew out of sight
She exclaimed in a fright
"Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!"

and D's continuation:

The nose it continued to grow
To France, it decided to go
It got a top hat
It grew very fat
And then it started to snow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

scarf 2.0

I knit my second scarf - this one for my little K. Once she saw that her big sister had a hand knit scarf, she just had to have one. This scarf turned out much better than my first, with only a few holes and extra stitches here and there. I think it is safe to say that I am addicted to knitting now. I love the meditative zen-ness of it, and the feeling of soft yarn in my fingers while curled up on the couch with a snoring pug at my feet and my favorite music on my ipod.
On a completely different note, we started having our milk delivered by a local organic farm today. It arrived on our doorstep in milk bottles - so lovely! We've been trying to keep our consuming local these days, especially when it comes to food. It's nice to know where the things we eat are coming from.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

can you feel the love tonight?

If you can not, for some reason, feel the love, can you at least feel the sugar high? Because we all consumed a whole lotta sweet stuff today.
We spent the weekend crafting and of course baking to get ready for Valentine's Day. The kids made Valentine gnomes out of hershey kisses to give to their friends in our Home Schooling group at today's Valentines Day party. We made cupcakes and cupcake balls dipped in melted chocolate for treats. I found some great vintage valentines and gave one to each of the kids this morning. They had a great time with all their homeschooling friends, handing out valentines and going through their bag to find their favorites from special friends.
DG is away in Tawain for Valentine's Day this year, which is a little sad, but we celebrated over the weekend with a nice night out with friends and family at a wine tasting/auction to benefit the Scituate Animal Shelter. So this year I got to spend Valentines Day with my three wee ones, watching them play with their friends and consume vast ammounts of sugar, which if you ask me is not a bad way to spend the day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

my first knitting project

I knit my first scarf! Is it perfect? No. Does it have a few gaping holes, a strange asymetrical shape and lopsided ends? Yes, yes, and yes. But I am proud of it nonetheless. And I love it even more because I made it for my lovely daughter. Hopefully the next one will be even better. You never stop learning, right?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

baby it's cold outside

We returned from vacation to another foot of snow on the ground, having missed yet another blizzard or two while we were away. Our driveway is like a skating rink. Literally. You could lace up and skate around out there, no problem. While it's a bit dangerous for driving, the kids love it for playing. And while they played outside in the snow today I made a homemade whole wheat boule, using the standard recipe from 'Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day'. It was delicious, crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. We made short work of it, polishing off half in about five minutes. I think I will need to add this to our weekly recipe list.

Monday, February 7, 2011

vacation 2011

We've just returned from our winter getaway to Florida and the Bahamas. Needless to say we had a great time! We spent time in Jupiter, Florida, where my dad has a lovely home right on the beach. The kids swam in the pool, collected shells on the beach, and visited a sea turtle rehabilitation center and an oceanographic institute. We then went on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas for 4 days which was FUN FUN FUN! I must admit, I've never been a huge fan of Disney. Something about their over the top, incessant marketing in conjunction with too many films about helpless women waiting for some man to rescue them from some terrible demise and live happily ever after rubs me the wrong way. I mean, get yourself out of that castle and get a job lady. Something with good benefits and flex time and for the love of god, stay away from any apples offered to you by creepy old women who could possibly be your evil step-mother who is trying to kill you! But Disney completely sold me on this cruise. It was beautiful, and lovely, and just so much FUN! Did I mention the fun? And the food was deeeeelicious. I gained at least five pounds, and DG had to help roll me off the plane upon our arrival. D and I took off snorkeling one day, which was so nice. We don't often get to do things together, just the two of us, so it was a special day.

We foolishly decided to leave our nice camera at home, and of course my little, on-the-go camera decided to break during our trip, but I managed to get a few good pics, which I will post here. For more on the Disney Dream, click here: