Saturday, June 16, 2012

Week in Review

Finally tried using my mom's i-phone, but still trying to figure out how to edit without my old computer settings. Bear with me. :)
So, how is your summer going? Are you doing "summer school" or just plain relaxing? We've had a great week as far as school is concerned, but we've had some tough stuff going on around here the past couple of days (sick, almost dying kitty). Let me share with you some of the stuff we did before things got tough around here.


Since I think everything flows best when we put God first, let me share with you how we put God first this week. We started a new habit of having me do any God-related reading while the girls ate breakfast, instead of as a "school subject" later in the day. This week we read the next two chapters in The Child's Story Bible. We read about how God parted the seas to let the Israelites through and then crashed them down onto the Egyptians. We also read about how the Israelites began to doubt Moses again and complain about water and food. In response, God provided them with a beautiful Oasis of palm trees and water. He also provided them with "manna from heaven" ~ He provided them with bread that tasted like little honey cakes, and He provided it every day but the Sabbath.  As part of her school subjects, the Hippie drew pictures for both stories (the parting of the seas and the manna from heaven). She also copied a verse from the first story.

We also read the next chapter in our Wisdom and the Millers book. This one was about telling the truth and about how telling a lie makes everything worse. This is a lesson the girls have been hearing since they were old enough to understand English. They've always known that if they tell the truth about something they've done, they will get in less trouble, but if they tell a lie (about anything really), that that is the worst thing they could possibly do and that they will get in much more trouble for lying than they would have had they just told the truth. This chapter illustrated the same lessons we've been instilling in them for years.

Per the Princess's request, we continued in our DePaola's Book of Bible Stories this week with the story of Cain and Abel. Of course, the girls already knew this story, but the Princess likes having these short stories to call her own and to narrate from.


I read the story of The Laziest Man to the girls this week and The Princess narrated it beautifully. She also drew a picture from it and copied a verse from it.

In addition to our fairy tale, I read one chapter of Trumpet of the Swan to the girls and the story "Romeo and Juliet" from Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit. We also enjoyed a few audio/picture books this week. These were lovely stories! We heard The Little House and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, both by Virgina Lee Burton. We also listened to When Cats Go Wrong by Norm Hacking.


The Hippie completed three days of copywork, three lessons of cursive and three lessons in her language lessons book this week. She completed two lessons in math and read quite a bit in the book she is loving right now about the girl on the Titanic. She also read 9 chapters in A Lion to Guard Us (the fictional story of the family coming to Jamestown in the New World) and narrated each one to me.

The Princess completed three days of copywork, five lessons in her language book and did quite a bit of reading as well. She read aloud to me a couple of Mother Goose Rhymes, Three Little Kittens (a favorite) and Little Topknot. She also read silently to herself for at least 15 minutes each day, reading from various cat books she has as well as working her way through a "real" chapter book called Kitten Crowd. She's in chapter two. At her level, she can only do about a page or two at a time, so it will take some time, but she is determined. For her math this week, we played some games. She did a puzzle on the first day, we played a game called "Star Count" (deals with multiplication) on the second day and she played war with her sister on the third day.


I remembered that the library has a lot of stuff that goes on in the summer and looked up the calendar for our closest branch. Sheesh ~ we could go every day if we felt so inclined. There really is something almost every day. Anyway, we attended a puppet show there on Wednesday. It' was called "Tessa's Tree" and was the story of a little tree with big dreams who learned to appreciate the best within herself thanks to the help of a little girl who loved her. We spent some time hanging out at the library, reading and exploring after the show.

We listened to classical music every day this week. I love that my girls have such a love for it that they now choose to put in a CD of Beethoven when they are cleaning!

We also had a fun pool day with our homeschool group. Just good old fashioned fun and fellowship ... in the sun and water.

And, the girls worked on something for Daddy for Father's Day. The Princess painted a picture and I believe the Hippie sewed a pillow. I'll leave you with a few pictures from the week. I'm really not liking the quality of the pictures or the editing, but I'll share them nonetheless. Hope you're having a wonderful summer.

Until next time,

~ Irie Momma


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer School Goals

If you read this post, then you already know that we are moving into Summer School mode around here. I mentioned a few things in the post that I thought you might be wondering about, so I thought I'd quickly share them here for you.

In the previous post, I mentioned that I formulated a plan for summer. I mentioned that I made a list of goals for summer. I mentioned that I made a schedule for summer to include just a bit of time for school, but also some time for other pressing matters and for play.

Goals and Plans for Summer School

So, after starting the work involved in planning our family's trip in September, I realized how little time we really have and how little time and focus I am really going to have this summer to devote to school. So, I sat down and looked at the things we had going in school. I determined what I really wanted to finish before our trip. I determined which things we could just pick up with in 2nd & 4th grades after our trip. Basically, I wanted to finish up all of the skills subjects, finish a couple of read alouds and continue our regular Bible and devotional reading and discussions. Here are some of the goals I came up with for our Summer School Work:
  • Both girls finish their respective Queen Language Lessons books.
  • The Hippie finish her Cursive book.
  • The Hippie finish her current Math level.
  • The Hippie read every day (well 4 school days per week) from both a literature selection (her choice from approved choices) and a history selection (listed below).
  • The Princess read to me every day (4 school days per week)
  • The Princess read to herself every day.
  • The Princess finish her Treadwell First Reader (she's almost finished now).
  • Finish reading Trumpet of the Swan, Boy of the Pyramids and Seven Sisters books aloud.
  • Finish reading all Old Testament chapters up through the death of Moses.
  • The Hippie do drawings and copywork for each Old Testament chapter.
  • Finish reading all Fairy Tales for First Grade.
  • The Princess do drawings and copywork for each Fairy Tale.
  • Have Bible/Devotional time each morning with the girls as they eat ~ reading from The Child's Story Bible, Wisdom and the Millers and the Tomie DePaola Book of Bible Stories.
  • Listen to classical music.
  • Bake and play games and do puzzles.
  • Play some math games with the Princess (and drop the pencil/paper math work until 2nd grade).
  • Momma spend some time each week planning 2nd and 4th grades.
  • Momma spend some time each week planning our trip.
  • Spend some time each week on various household cleaning and/or cleaning out/organizing projects.
The Hippie's Summer History Reading:
  • A Lion to Guard Us
  • Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble
  • The Matchlock Gun
So, how to get all of that done, you ask?

Girls' Summer Schedule
  • Morning Routine (Bible at breakfast)
  • Chores
  • Summer School
  • Project time (Baking/Games, Household Projects, Play while Mom plans)
  • Lunch & Clean Up
  • Read Aloud
  • Quiet Time
  • Snack
  • Outside Play with friends on the street
  • Shower
  • Dinner & Clean Up
  • Nighttime Routine & Daddy time
  • Read Aloud
  • Bed
I made up some new checklists for the girls, just for summer. They have about an hour's worth of work, four days a week. I mapped out what lessons to do each day in order to finish ... Their subjects will trail off as the weeks go on. The Hippie will finish up her Language Lessons after 11 weeks, her cursive after 8 weeks, her math after 9 weeks and her Old Testament drawings and copywork after 10 weeks. The Princess will finish up her Language Lessons after about 10 weeks and her Fairy Tale drawings and copywork after 7 weeks.

After that, we are off to Germany to visit my mom and will start our new school year in October when we return. So excited!

Until next time,
    ~ Irie Momma

Monday, June 11, 2012

Are you living at the center of God's will for you?

"In the center of a hurricane there is absolute quiet and peace. There is no safer place than in the center of the will of God."
                                        ~ Corrie ten Boom

As I sat there with my piping hot tea on Sunday morning, I read this quote in my daily devotional.

If you place yourself at the center of God's will, He will provide for your needs and direct your path. I truly believe that. Do you?

But, how do we know when we are living at the center of God's will for our life? Does your life feel centered and peaceful? I'm not talking perfect or quiet (especially if you have children in the mix). I'm talking about your spirit. Do you feel centered and peaceful?

If you feel at peace with what you are doing with your life, then I'd venture to guess that you are probably living the life God intends for you.

If you feel internal chaos and discontent, you are probably unknowingly fighting the natural forces that are trying to guide you onto your path. If you feel like you are constantly struggling, maybe it's because you are fighting against what God has planned for you.

And, I mean really. Who can win in a battle against God?

No one.

This small bit of my reading yesterday morning really struck me.

Am I doing His will?

No doubt.

I know to the core of my being that I am doing His will with regards to my choosing to be a wife and mother above all else. I know that it is God's will for me to be at home. I know that it is God's will for me to provide food for my family in a loving way, each and every day. I know that it is God's will for me to keep my girls home and form lasting relationships with them while educating them about this amazing world that He created for us. I know that it is God's will for me to provide a loving home for my children and for my husband to thrive in. I know that it is God's will for me to strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman for my husband and for my family.

But, are we as a family wholly living in the center of God's will? Would He be providing more for us if we were more directly in the center of His will? What is His will for us? What is His will for my husband? What is His will for my husband's career and the manner in which we earn a living? What is His will for how we, as a family, spend our days? What might we be missing? How do we find the answer in the midst of day to day survival?

I don't fully know the answers to these questions, to be perfectly honest. But, it certainly got me thinking. And, I brought it up to my husband, so it got us talking.

It takes quiet time and reflection to really meditate on what God might want you to do with your life. But, figuring out the what is only half the battle. Putting steps into place to make that happen when you are struggling just to survive each day ~ now, that is hard. How do you work towards a goal when you have to work 10 hours a day to pay the rent? How do you start to make changes when you have to work 6 days a week to buy food for your family?

These are things we are working on here in our home. If I know nothing else, I know that none of it is going to be possible without the help of God. So, I took the first step. Prayer. I asked God to show us what it is that He wants us to do. I asked Him to provide the means to make it happen if it is to be a significant change. I asked for His strength and guidance and for Him to give us the courage to live the life that He wants us to live.

We're working on our "Five Year Plan". Are you? Where do you get your strength when things get tough? Do you lean on God as He has instructed us to do? When your life continues to feel like an uphill battle, do you ever stop to think that maybe you are out in the middle of that hurricane rather than living peacefully in the calm of God's will?

Something to think about. I'll leave you with a few verses to inspire your next Quiet Time.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; And lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your path." 
                 Proverbs 3:5-6

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
               Jeremiah 29:11

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
             Psalm 32:8

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
            Isaiah 41:10

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." 
             Philippians 4:13 
Until next time,
   ~ Irie Momma 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Week in Review

April 2007
If you read this post, then you know that we have relaxed significantly in our schooling. But, I still wanted to share a bit of what the girls did this week.

 We read the story of How Adam and Eve Disobeyed God this week and the Princess narrated it beautifully.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I started noticing some struggles with narration with the Princess a few weeks back. At that time, I decided that I would slow things down for her and really let her have her "First Grade" year instead of trying to combine so much and putting unnecessary pressure on her. One of the decisions we made at that time (per her request) was that we would continue to read The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos as a family, but I'd just let her listen. She wanted to read the shorter Bible Stories in Tomie dePaola's Book of Bible Stories for her "First Grade Stories" and she wanted to narrate these instead. She's been doing much better with that! So, we are currently reading through two Bibles. :)

We read Chapter 9 of Wisdom and the Millers this week and had a wonderful discussion about taking care of animals. We talked about how our family interprets the meaning of the statement in the book of Genesis where God gives us "dominion over" all the animals. It seems that many people think that it means we are better than the animals and should have control over them. In our family, we talk about how that means that God has called us to care for all of the animals. We believe that He gives parents dominion over their children and calls us to love our children and take care of them. We believe that He gives humans dominion over animals and calls us to love and care for the animals of the world. This week's Proverbs verse was about something similar ~ how the righteous man regards the life of his animals. I love the discussions I get to have with these little hearts and minds!

Daddy is reading The Wise Enchanter at night. We are currently on chapter 13 or the letter "M". The Princess is excited because the next chapter is her favorite letter!

We did something really great on Thursday. We got together with just two other families from our Homeschool Group and talked about "Creating Our Vision ~ Who am I and Who do I want to be?" It was really amazing to watch these young children discussing such things as "self" and "other" and "emulation" and "aspiration" and "manifestation". Each of the children then made their own "Vision Board" collage. 

The Princess made hers all about cats. She drew a cat on pink and cut it out and pasted it. She cut tiny whiskers from black paper and glued them on. She made a cat out of feathers. She found an image of a cat that looked like Silky and glued it on. Cats, cats and more cats. She also glued on a piece of paper that said "Always dreamed of being an animal doctor" and added the word "I" to the beginning. She glued on a picture of a pink rose that said BLISS on it. Very pretty.

The Hippie made hers all about how she wants to be a Marine Biologist when she grows up. She made a dolphin out of felt. She made a mermaid. She found a few flowers. She found an image that said "DREAM vision IMAGINE create BEGIN attempt EXPAND transform ... FOLLOW YOUR BLISS". She made another dolphin out of blue paper. There are some feathers hanging that are supposed to be something and I can't remember what (shame on me). Oh, and there is an owl. Random, I know. She says she likes owls. :)

After making our Vision Boards, we spent a good bit of time in the library, just exploring.

The girls got a bit of Greek Mythology this morning when they watched Hercules. *wink* They've also gotten some Dr. Seuss when they watched The Cat in the Hat this week (the one with Mike Myers). :)


This week the Princess did a bit of copywork about Pocahontas for her My America book. She attempted some math and got frustrated to the point of tears, so we called it a day and she did a puzzle instead. Other than that, she's been doing a lot of reading this week. She's read:

Scat, Cats! ~ whole book
Too Many Cats ~ whole book
Mr. Putter and Tabby Take the Train ~she's on chapter 2
The Cat (non-fiction book about cats) ~ she's on page 8
Kitten Crowd (a "real" chapter book) ~ she's on page 13 and has read 2 chapters


This week the Hippie did a bit of copywork about Pocahontas for her My America book. She also drew a lovely picture of Pocahontas. She took the test for Lesson 15 in math and completed a couple of lessons in her Language Lessons and her Cursive book. Like her sister, the Hippie has done her fair share of reading this week. She's currently reading Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary. She is on chapter 8. She also picked up a new book at the library on Thursday called Voyage on the great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic, 1912. It is part of the Dear America series and is a wonderful little piece of historical fiction. She LOVES it. She says it is perfect because it is about a girl, but while you're reading the story, you're also learning about the historical period or event. Anyway, she's on page 60 in her new book.


Other than that, the girls have been playing A LOT. And cleaning. And drawing. And, just plain old hanging out. I believe the Hippie is outside looking for a caterpillar or garden snake (she really wants a pet of some sort) as we "speak". After reading in The Handbook of Nature Study about garden snakes to see what they are like. The Princess is outside in her raincoat making mud pies.

Give thanks for slow, rainy, muddy days. And, the freedom to explore them.

Until next time,

~ Irie Momma

(p.s. Just a reminder that I am without the ability to take and upload pictures at the moment. Sorry. Hope you're enjoying my random pictures from seasons past). 



Summer 2009

I know I've talked here before about how we school year round and I like to have our school year start in January and end at the end of the calendar year.

But, then June rolls around.

Public school kids get out of school.

Homeschool families start talking (either online or in person) about how they are finished for the year.

The Homeschool group plans more beach and pool days.

And, it hits me.

      Lack of focus.

         Excitement about future plans (going to Germany in September).

Ultimately, I start thinking that maybe it is better to follow a typical school year.


With breaks where we need them and never taking 3 months off completely. 

I start thinking how nice it would be to do something totally different in the summer, like a unit on marine biology or cats or travel to Narnia for the summer.

Or to just plug away at the skills stuff (math, reading, writing), but let the rest be child-directed.

Or, work on that math and reading and then just bake and play games and play with friends on the street and watch documentaries.

Or, have the time to clean out the school room or clean out a closet or organize the junk drawer.

So, this week was not a typical week.

At all.

I knew when it started that Momma had a very intense to-do list of business-type stuff that would completely distract me from school.

Like getting passports for the family and completing the application for my children's health insurance or the paperwork involved in my student loan payment plan and paying bills and balancing the checkbook and doing laundry and going to the post office.

So, I tried to just have a checklist of the basics for the girls to do on their own while I "worked".

In all honesty, that worked well for the Hippie, but not so much for the Princess.

Then, I just let things be this week and I started to formulate a plan for our summer.

I made a list of my goals (what things I do want to accomplish this summer) and how we might meet them.

I made out a "Summer Schedule" that allowed for a small amount of "school time" each day (an hour to an hour and a half) and then some time for baking and games and playing with friends and household projects and getting ready for Germany and Momma's planning time for next school year.

And, I decided that we will start "Summer School" next week.

And, I will plan how we want to proceed and start 2nd and 4th grades when we return from Germany.

I'm excited.

What does your homeschool do during the summer?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A new vision

August 2010

As you know, I recently spent a good deal of time without the luxury of this computer. It was tough not being able to look something up the minute I wanted to know about it. It was hard not to be able to print things I needed for school. Being disconnected from the people out in cyber-space that provide encouragement was difficult.

But, some really fantastic things came from that Internet hiatus as well.

I have a lot of things going on in my head that I've been wanting to blog about. It feels like I need to explain so much before I begin, but the idea of explaining every thought and moment over the past six weeks is daunting and thus prevents me from even starting.

So, I'd like for you to bear with me as I try to share snippets of my recent journey with you. I have some ideas for the future of this blog and in my life that I'd like to share and get going.

To be honest, I've hesitated to start anything here for fear of not following through. I have yet to "schedule" any sort of regular writing time into my life, as much as I want to. I'd love to post daily, but can't figure out where to fit it in on my "paper schedules". So, if I start an idea here and you see it start to fall apart, please accept my sincerest apologies.

Better yet, if you see me start a series or something and not follow through, please don't hesitate to call me out on it. Contact me. Say, "Hey, I thought you were going to share with us how you XYZ. What happened to that?". I need that accountability.

However, my life is far from perfect. So, I also ask that you be patient with me as I attempt to become a "real writer". I have aspirations and goals, but I lack organization and direction. So, I predict several failures along the way. I see a rocky path and lots of stumbles.

All of that to say, I have been making some significant changes in my life recently that I'd like to share here in hopes that it can help someone else out there who struggles with some of the things that I do. Stay tuned for some of my thoughts on:
  • Becoming ME / My transformation project
  • The Proverbs 31 Woman
  • My Vision for the Future
I hope you'll check back often. Now, for me to figure out where to plug in "writing time" on my schedule. Any suggestions from those of you who've already mastered this are more than welcomed!

Until next time ... 
~ Irie Momma


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Week in Review

The girls with my Uncle (who lives in Spain) while on vacation last week.

After a well-deserved and much enjoyed break, we got back to school this week. It was a short week and we only eased into it, but we did manage to get a few things done. I thought I'd share with you some of the stuff we did. As I mentioned in my last post, I have no way to upload my pictures at the moment, so I can't show you what we did, but I'll throw in a few random older pictures for your enjoyment.

Daddy had to work on Monday, but we still decided to take the day off. Other than playing, the only notable thing that happened on Monday was that we baked muffins together. Not a bit of sugar or oil and man, were they yummy! I decided to just use a cookbook (for a change) and have the girls follow directions directly. So, this recipe came out of the children's vegetarian cookbook Better than peanut butter & jelly. You should check it out!

Apple-Carrot Muffins

3 eggs worth of Egg Replacer
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 cup grated Apple (we used Organic Fuji)
1 cup grated Carrot (we used Organic)
1 cup Whole-Wheat Flour
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour (we used Unbleached)
2 tsp Baking Powder (we used Non-GMO)
1/4 tsp Salt (we used Kosher Sea Salt)
1 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with spray (we used paper liners AND sprayed the inside of the paper). Blend egg replacer, maple syrup and applesauce until well combined. Stir in apple and carrot (we used the food processor to grate them to make it easier). In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Blend dry ingredients with apple mixture until well combined (I just stirred them with a fork). Spoon into muffin tins and bake 25 minutes. YUM!

November 2009 ~ Baking Bread Together
As for the more traditional subjects, we did a little Bible, World History, American History, Fairy Tale, Nature, Literature, Character, Poetry and a Field Trip this week. And, of course, the usual suspects ~ Math, Copywork, Drawing, Reading, Cursive and Language Lessons. Let me break that down for you.


This week's Bible chapter dealt with the story of the first Passover. Moses instructed the Israelites to kill a lamb and sprinkle the sides and tops of their doors with its blood. In case you didn't already know, this was so that when the Lord came through the land to kill the first-born of every Egyptian family (the tenth plague), He would pass by their houses. After the final Plague, Pharaoh finally told the Israelites to leave. So, the Israelites set about getting ready to go. They ate the lamb that they had killed so that they would be full for their journey. They packed all of their things and started to make bread. They ended up having to leave before they had a chance to add the yeast to the bread. When they baked the dough in the desert, it tasted more like crackers because of the lack of yeast. This is where we get the idea of eating lamb and unleavened bread each year to celebrate the Passover ~ in remembrance of how God had rescued them from slavery.

The Princess narrated a small part and the Hippie narrated the rest of the story. The Hippie drew a picture for this story and copied the following sentence:

It is the Lord's Passover to make us remember the night He smote the Egyptians, but passed over our houses.


This week's chapter from Wisdom and the Millers was a lesson that we are always teaching our daughters ~ to share and to give whatever you have to give. The chapter was about Proverbs 11:24-25 and dealt with the idea that those who are generous and share with others often end up with more than the selfish person who hoards everything for himself. This is one lesson that we demonstrate regularly. We live at or below poverty level, yet we always give whatever we have to give when we someone in need. When we see the man on the side of the road with the cardboard sign, we always pull up and give him any food or drink we have on hand ~ we pretty much always have a granola or breakfast bar or some fruit with us. We teach our girls to give what you have to give. In our case, that isn't money. But, we have food and we have hair (the girls and I have donated to Locks of Love a total of 4 times in the past few years) and we have smiles and conversation. Every person we interact with feels so good after we've given to them. They always say "God bless you" and rave about how thankful they are. It is a lesson I am eager to pass on to my children and I was happy to see it addressed in our Millers book!


We started reading Boy of the Pyramids this week. It is a mystery set in Ancient Egypt and my goal is for it to provide insight into what daily life was like in Ancient Egypt. We only read the first chapter, but the Hippie requested to keep reading. I think it will be an enjoyable read.

Cave Painting October 2010

We didn't get to a lot in American History this week. We left off (before the break) with the story of Pocahontas, so this week I let the girls watch a little 50 minute Pocahontas story (animated) that was on our cable's On Demand. They enjoyed it and then I had them tell me what was different about it from the story we'd read in school ~ only the ending was different in this version. Next week I will have the girls draw their pictures and do their copywork from the story of Pocahontas.


We read this lovely book this week. It explained in amazing detail the life cycle of the bumblebee. We all learned a few new things from this book. Did you know that when it is hot in the summer, it is the job of three worker bees to become a sort of ceiling fan? They hang on to the top of the hive and flutter their wings at a speed that creates wind and circulates the air inside the hive, cooling things off. God is so amazing! Anyway, both girls drew pictures in their Nature Notebooks and copied a line from the book, the Hippie's being much longer than the Princess's. The Hippie then proceeded to tell us a marathon story about a bumblebee ... with chapters and everything. If she could write or type as fast as her brain worked, she could write a novel. It sounded like I was listening to her read a novel to me when she was telling me this story. She tells it just like a well-written novel sounds. Too cute. If only I'd had a tape recorder.


We continued reading The Wise Enchanter this week (we have now read letters A through H) and we started reading Trumpet of the Swan by EB White this week. I only read two chapters and the Hippie was hooked. After we read those two chapters, the Hippie proceeded to make two swans out of fuzzy sticks and yarn. She colored their beaks and feet black (as described in the book) and wrapped the fuzzy sticks in white yarn. If only I had the ability to show you a picture. :) She also made them a nest. This was all on her own. You really don't need parent-directed activities and lesson plans ~ if you just give your children the good stuff and the time and freedom, their creativity will take over. The girls also played swans either later that afternoon or the next day (I can't remember). They built a nest with blankets, the Hippie sat on the next (I believe they used wooden Russian dolls as eggs) and the Princess "swam" around our house bringing food back to the Hippie. So cute.

Right Whale Festival ~ November 2010

Oh, we also read eight more poems by AA Milne from "When We Were Very Young" and the fairy tale "The Seven Ravens". The Princess narrated this fairy tale beautifully and then the next day she drew a picture for it and copied a short sentence about it.


Other than what I've already mentioned (drawings and copywork for "The Seven Ravens" and "Bumblebee at Apple Tree Lane"), the Princess started working on Lesson 8 in Math (solving for an unknown ~ yes, my first grader is doing Algebra, lol). She read three Mother Goose Rhymes aloud to me and read to herself a chapter each from Porky & Bess, Tales of Amanda Pig and a Cat reader I picked up at a used book store. She also read a page from Tut's Mummy: Lost and Found. In her Language Lessons, she learned about the comma (which she already knew about) and the silent "GH".


Other than what I've already mentioned (drawings and copywork for Bible and Nature), the Hippie completed lesson 15 in her Math book. She finished reading "More Stories from Grandma's Attic" over the break and has been reading "Emily's Runaway Imagination" for her free reading. For the first time, I assigned some history reading to her this week. She read the first four chapters of "A Lion to Guard Us" (a story about a family of children coming to Jamestown in the New World) and told me about them afterwards. She completed a couple more lessons in her cursive book and started writing her name in cursive (on her own and quite excited that she could do it!). In her Language Lessons, she learned about the use of "A" and "AN' and we did a bit of Picture Study and Narration together.


We took a field trip with our Homeschool group to a working Organic Farm on Thursday. It was a scorcher ~ so miserably hot and humid. But, the company was great and the blueberries, strawberries and tomatoes that we grazed on while walking through were simply divine! We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the shade after our tour and reconnected with our friends after being away for a bit. The Hippie also picked a giant squash that we got to keep because there was a tiny caterpillar hole in it. She was so excited about the prospect of getting it home and finding a caterpillar inside. Did I ever tell you about the caterpillar habitat she build recently in hopes of finding a caterpillar to raise? She never did find a caterpillar, but still had the habitat set up and she hoped to find her new "pet" inside the squash. When the farmer realized how much she wanted a caterpillar, he found her another squash with a hole in it. So, we got to take home two fresh organic squashes. Much to her disappointment, when I cut up one of them that night to add to our soup, I did not find a caterpillar. :( Maybe next time, kid.

Nature Walk October 2009

I think that about sums it up. I've got other home-making tasks to get to. I hope you enjoyed a peek into our week. Hopefully I will be able to make time for some of the other writing that is twirling around in my head.

Until next time,

~ Irie Momma

Saturday, June 2, 2012

From Unplugged to Plugged In ... Again

April 2008 ~ How quickly they grow up!

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for coming back to check in on me. I would also like to apologize for leaving you for so long. Please know that it has been very difficult not to have this avenue to express my thoughts!

In case you are wondering, I have been offline for over a month. My computer fried. The hard drive fried. I bought a new hard drive and thought the problem was fixed (that is when I was able to write our last Week in Review and tell you about our upcoming vacation). Then, as if God was just allowing those posts to be written, it went out again.

A few weeks and several hundred dollars later, I sit here with a newly built computer. Shiny and beautiful, it is. But, I no longer trust these things. I'm afraid of when the next problem will occur. I know rationally that we should be good to go now, but I thought that after buying the new hard drive.

Anyway, I've been anxious to get back to this blog. I have so many posts swirling around in my head. It would be a beautiful thing if I could actually find the time to write them all. But, in this season of my life, that is highly unlikely. I will start with our next Week in Review and we'll see what I can squeeze in from there.

I have to ask you to bear with me just a little bit longer in regards to pictures. I have a full camera, but no way to put them onto my computer at the moment. UGH. One of my dogs chewed up the USB cord that goes with this camera several months ago. At that time, I just started inserting the memory card directly into the CPU tower. Problem solved.

Well, I've just realized that this new tower does not have a place to put the memory card. So, I will have to find a new USB cord to match my camera (I'm assuming ~ if you are more computer-literate than me and know of an easier way, please let me know!).

In the meantime, I will throw in a random old picture here and there to keep your eyes pleased. But, please continue to come by and read whatever I've got time to say. And, I'll work on getting that USB cord problem fixed soon.

Thanks for you patience and understanding, folks.

~ Irie Momma
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