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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

End of year Wrap-Up

We've officially ended our homeschooling year 2010-2011. Actually, we finished a few weeks ago and I have been trying to write this post forever, but a new dog and trying to pack up to move for the summer have been keeping me from most other things these days. Summer in New Enlgand is so very beautiful. When it finally arrives I inevitably say to myself 'so this is why I live here'. We put aside any formal work for the summer, and relax into a different type of learning. We will soon be moving out to our house on the beach, and I look forward to spending our days playing, swimming, searching for treasures, reading great books, and taking long walks.

We did so many fun things this year! I'm sure I won't remember everything, but here are a few things we enjoyed: D learned about physics, architecture, and biology. He had a great time building models of simple machines and reading 'The New Way Things Work'. We took nature walks, planted a garden, and photographed the birds that come to our birdfeeder throughout the year. We participated in the Cornell Ornithololgy Lab's Backyard Bird Count and entered a Science Fair. J learned all about animals and plants. We visited the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium. D learned about world history from 1849 to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He worked on maps and learned about the 50 states, important U.S documents and amendments to the Constitution, and read some great biographies and historical fiction. J learned about the seven continents and read stories from around the world. We visited Battleship Cove and Old Sturbridge Village. We discovered our new favorite board game, The Scrambled States of America.

D read the entire Guardians of G'Ahoole series, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, along with many other wonderful books. Some of our favorites include Nory Ryan's Song, The Sign of the Beaver, and Number the Stars. J became a fluent reader this year! We read so many great read-alouds. Her favorites were Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and Around the World in 80 Tales. D wrote some wonderful stories this year, and did some great non-fiction writing as well. I truly enjoy the content of his writing and it's been so much fun to watch his confidence in writing grow this year.

Both kids worked on math skills using Math-U-See. D began learning German and continued his study of Latin and Greek root-words. J practiced violin while D rocked his drum set, and both kids made some beautiful art in their art classes.

We ended the year with two performances of Much Ado About Nothing, in which D played the role of Dogberry. It was a wonderful way to end the year.

D, backstage, during the Young Shakespeare Company's performance of Much Ado About Nothing

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by http://soulemama.com/

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Meet our newest family member, ZuZu.

We adopted her yesterday through Rescue Angels, a group that helps place dogs in need of homes with forever families. She is a little love and we are so happy to have her join our family.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot

Man it was hot today! I love New England. Last weekend I was gardening in my fleece coat and wondering if it would ever warm up aroudn here, and today it was 95 degrees and humid. I spend much of the winter and early spring wondering why it is that we live here, in this cold, gray, barren part of the world - but on days like today when the flowers are blooming and the vegetables and herbs that we planted on a cool spring day are growing tall and strong, I remember why.

We spent most of the morning indoors, reading books, playing music, and wrapping up a few remaining items to round out our homeschooling year. Then the kids raced out after lunch to get the sprinklers going. Is there anything better than running through the icy water from a sprinkler on a hot day?

Now that the weather is warm we try to bring the chicks out every day to scratch, peck, munch on bugs, and get used to outside living. We're hoping to get their coop set up in the next week or two, by which time it should be warm enough for them to move outside permanently. We've had our chicks for a month now and they are looking much less like babies and more like chickens.

We're wondering if this gal, Flower, is really a he-bird? Any chicken experts out there want to weigh in on this?

No, I did not grow these incredible peonies, but I might just make it my life's mission to do so. Aren't they amazing? A friend gave them to me and my entire house smells like a sweet, sweet rose.

We are planning to wrap up our homeschooling year tomorrow and celebrate with the performance of D's play, Much Ado About Nothing. We can't wait to see it! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Battleship Cove

We took a family field trip to Battleship Cove yesterday. This year D studied world history from 1849 to the fall of the Berlin Wall, so this trip tied in nicely to our study of WWII. The girls enjoyed the trip too, though they didn't ask too many questions about the nature of the ships we visited, which is probably a good thing. As a parent, I really struggle with the idea of teaching my children about war, or about glamorizing it in any way. War is terrible and violent, but war is also an unavoidable part of our human history. On our trip I tried to downplay the act of war itself, and instead bring to mind the courage of the men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our country and our lives. We imagined what it might be like to live in such a small space, to go without privacy or a room of your own for months or even years, to go without seeing your family and friends, and to have the knowledge to operate all those buttons and switches on the sub - so many buttons and switches!

On board the USS Massachusetts

And onboard the USS Lionfish

Yikes, talk about close quarters! Not sure I could live on a sub without losing my mind due to extreme claustrophobia.

Checking out a ... shark boat?

Field trips are exhausting...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Day at the Fair

A little fair came to town this weekend. The smell of popcorn and cotton candy combined with that tummy-tickling feeling of spinning and flying reminds me of how excited I used to feel, heading out to the fair with my family as a little girl. Nothing makes you feel like a kid again like going to the fair.

This ride made me laugh so hard my sides hurt. It was so much fun to go on a 'big kid ride' with my little guy who is now indeed a 'big kid'. 48 inches and tall enough to go on the rides that almost make my heart stop in fear and my stomach twist in a 'please don't vomit on the person sitting opposite us' sort of way.

We left the fair full of the kind of unhealthy food that makes my kids' eyes widen in disbelief that their mother is actually letting them eat it, and full of joy. K said, after going down the big slide for the third time, "This is the best day EVER!"

Thanks to my good friend T for many of these great shots. We had a blst with you guys :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/