Thursday, November 27, 2014


I am approaching #800 on my gratitude list and I would be well over 1,000 if I were dedicated to writing in my journal every day. Tuesday was a day I worked in my journal and the beauty and blessings and gratitude overflowed from morning,

to afternoon,

to late afternoon,

to evening.

Give thanks every day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Table of Contents

I am using this slowdown from sickness and the Thanksgiving holiday to get the girls academic binders prettied up.  

On Facebook I read that colleges will frequently ask for not only the names of textbooks used (if they are not listed in course descriptions) but also the table of contents from those textbooks.  Imagine having to do this for four years worth of work!  I cannot.  That would induce instant panic.  I have been going through the books we are using and photocopying the cover page and the table of contents and adding these to the binders.  This fall the girls completed two text books in American Sign Language.  

In addition to the two texts (a third will be added in January when the group class resumes), Grace read three fictional books by Marlee Matlin.  When I sit down to write the course description, I will add these, and every video they have watched as well.  To help me remember which books were read for which content area, I created a spreadsheet which I can sort by title, author or subject area.   A friend of mine was given this suggestion from a Lee Binz webinar and shared it with me.  At the end of the year I will print the 9th grade list and keep each, 9th-12th, in her master portfolio.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Good Stuff

I am happy to report that after taking a dose of activated charcoal, I started feeling better which led me to believe I picked up a nasty bacteria somewhere in my daily travels and did not catch a mutation of Greg’s virus.  

As I went through the photos on my phone I realized that some pretty good stuff happened last week.  Stuff worth mentioning, even if there is no fancy chart filled with check marks this week.

If there is one thing Crosby is teaching me every day, it’s to look at the positive.  That, and remember it’s about the journey, not the destination.  I thought I had that one covered, but clearly I needed a reminder.  

Every Thursday Grace's friend comes over after school.  Every Thursday they practice sign language.  Lately she has even been partnering with Grace for Algebra since she is a little bit ahead of where we are in school.  This week Grace was able to share her knowledge of music theory and give a hand with Chorus homework.  

Our dinner at the shelter.  Always an evening to remember.  

My Faith Formation class is going very very well.  I love having Grace as an assistant.  Last week we built a marshmallow representation of the Tower of Babel with the 3rd grade class.

 We attended another dog agility trial.

I took a few moments to myself before a meeting at church.

Grace crammed in the last few pages of her book before running off to book club,

We finished A Christmas Memory and loved it.

We picked our next book club selection.  Book club is a bit harder now.  We have group of 6 girls and they all have pretty strong preferences in book choices.  I always know who will pick realistic fiction, who will pick fantasy, etc.  It is really not working to bring in 5-6 books to vote on because the vote is always split and someone ends up reading a book that they don't want to read.  The goal of book club was not to fit in books that would go on a high school transcript. It was to have a shared reading experience with peers for pleasure.  When the vote was split, I made the decision to set them free in the book store with 15 minutes to spend looking for a book they could all agree upon.  I thought this might be an impossible task but within 5 minutes they had their choice.  They are going to read this and create a vision board to share at the next meeting which will be in early January.

Ah Crosby.  This dog.  He reminds me of the nursery rhyme "there was a little girl who had a little curl.......because when he is good he is very very good but when he is bad, he is horrid."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

sickness derailed us

Greg picks up little viruses every so often working in New York.  He was home Wednesday with a whopping cold that put him in bed for the day.  He is better and returned to work Thursday but still has a lingering cough rattling his chest.  I never worry because I never catch these viruses.  Never.  

I have not been sick in bed for years. It happens so rarely that I can clearly remember the last time - the day we visited the Alpaca Farm and I came home with a high fever and a migraine like headache, body aches and chills.  I stayed in bed to 2 days.  

Thursday I was going through my normal routine of dog training, a way overdue endocrinologist appointment, picking Grace’s friend up from school, and a religious education meeting at church in the evening.  My stomach felt a bit off, but I did not pay it much mind.   I was clearly not at 100% but I figured I was just a bit off that day.  

Friday I woke to the same type of illness I had mentioned above.  Fever. Chills, Aches, Headache.  Stomachache.  The girls brought me water and they took care of a very hard to manage puppy, and they made breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The watched Christmas Movies and they put all the return address labels on my Christmas Cards.  They baked yummy treats that I was too sick to try.  They watched The Amazing Race when Greg got home.  Took care of the rabbit and got a glimpse into hard hard it can be to run a house, care for pets, and manage homeschooling.

Sickness derailed us this week.  Sometimes this happens and there is no use crying over the fact that vocab was not done or science was forgotten about.  All I can right now is heal my body and pray that the girls do not come down with anything that would affect our Thanksgiving holiday week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: November 9-15, 2014

We are rounding out our fall study of literature with Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.  Aunt Kris will once again be reading along with us and we are excited to read this book during the holidays.  From movies to plays, there will be many extensions we can do with this book.

Lilah has always been a reader and this fall she read classics like Rabbit Hill and 100 Dresses on her own.  Grace used to find pleasure in reading, then lost that love for a long time.  I am glad I have been patient with her because I now find her reading every day.  She has her book for pleasure, her book club book and our literature selection.  It often comes down to the wire for her to finish the book club choice, but she always does.  

I count the hours spent listening to our audiobooks towards her language arts credit.  I do not for the books she reads independently.  Why?  Because listening to an audiobook is a shared learning experience.  We always listen together; Lilah, Grace and I.  We always pause, discuss, debate and resume listening.  Some books we love.  Some books we do not.  But we always remember them.  Because we share the experience, they become part of our daily life.  Passepartout is one of our all time favorites.  We joke that his loyalty is like a dog.  When we joke around, we pretend to be him.  Because of this, he is so much more real to us than if we each read the books silently in our own imagination, never discussing the subtleties of his actions, his motives and his character.  

Our reading, including book club and the choices the girls have made independently have been wonderful and our reading this fall has been a success.  I feel that great strides were made in both reading stamina and comprehension.  As we head into the next season of our year we are going to increase the difficulty of our book club books and  attempt to generate deeper conversations at our monthly meetings.


Lilah: Lesson 19 review of multi-digit multiplication
Grace: Associative property of multiplication.  
Week #10 Earth Science - Oceanology
Language Arts
We completed Around the World in 80 Days!  An 8 hour audiobook.  We have mixed feelings about watching the movie.  We have such a strong mental image of these characters that we feel there is the possibility to be very disappointed with the casting of actors....

The girls completed a 5 paragraph essay in which they chose a character and a specific character trait.  Grace: Passepartout: Quirky  Lilah: Fix: Devious.  They had to cite specific examples from the text that support these traits.  

Vocab: Word Up!  Episode#3 Greek & Latin words for Earth (Geo and Terra)

Our next piece of literature is Dicken’s A Christmas Carol and we will be reading A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote  

Writing Group: memoir

Private lessons began this week and will last for the next 6 weeks.  The girls meet every Tuesday for an hour with their teacher, the same woman who taught the class they just completed.  They will have a new book that is an increase in difficulty.  
Social Justice
Our family hosted dinner at the homeless shelter Saturday.  
BBC recording of Item#4: Swimming Reindeer
Double journal entry
Read aloud #5 Clovis Spear Point 
Double Journal Entry
This was a tough week.  Their trainer is insisting on attention to details so that they can learn to jump well, and safely.  No cutting corners, focus on finding their line, correct body position, etc.  They were a bit worn out this week!  
more of the same: recital practice.
Grace purchased The Piano Guys Christmas Book and she is working on this independently.
Dog Training
Crosby attended training class this week (last week was just for humans).  He has mastered sit and down and is working on holding his down for longer periods of time.  He had playtime off leash and was a super happy puppy.  His favorite dog to romp with was a 4 month old labradoodle.
Art Journaling
Pottery has ended.  We are waiting to pick up the fired pieces from the studio.  Since this time was already blocked off, we decided to fill it with art journaling!  We have missed working in our sketchbooks and it is nice to stay connected with our friends whom we will not see much now that pottery and sign language are over.  I am thinking of having the girls do some pieces on thin canvas boards so that I can hang them.  I need some new artwork on our walls....
Aunt Kris and her cousin just returned from a 10 day trip to Sicily.  Our cousin lives in Florida and since she had a 12 hour layover in Connecticut we were able to meet them for brunch Monday.  Grace shortened her volunteer time by an hour to make this possible.  

Crosby had his first grooming.

Cousins from Massachusetts visited Tuesday since they were off for Veteran’s Day.  We have not seen them in months and months so lessons were rearranged to allow time for a visit.  

Much needed haircuts on Wednesday.  Lots of damage to this hair happened this summer between chlorine and the beach.

Friday night at the trampoline jump zone with a bunch of other teens.    
A quote Grace really likes.

Taking a minute to admire our surroundings.

Can't wait to read this.

First private sign language lesson.





Art Journaling

Making algebra fun....sort of.

Related Posts with Thumbnails