Monthly Archives: January 2016

Open Call

I’m auditioning yarn for a new project.

I need something stiff that will keep it's shape.  Linen might be the thing - it won't be washed.

I need something stiff that will keep it’s shape. Linen might be the thing – it won’t be washed.

I know I haven’t finished the Mermaid pattern yet. Ideas are not concerned with the status of other ideas.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Lesson 19

At the beginning of the school year, I thought we might want to use a white board but I wasn’t really sure how much we’d use it. So I ordered a $30 whiteboard from Amazon and used big clamps to attach it to Ellie’s easel.

I was proud of my ingenuity.

I was proud of my ingenuity.

That worked great until she grew. The past few weeks, we really started noticing how much she had to hunch to write on the thing. Which is most unfortunate since we use it many times every day. The white board is at the top of my list of “wow I am glad I bought that” items and one of the things that would continue to get use for many years. So we splurged.

I'm not sorry.

I’m not sorry.

It’s taller, a little bigger, double sided, and our most expensive non-curriculum, school-related item (it really wasn’t that bad when you compare prices). We love it.

This week we started talking about economics in Social Studies (different kinds of resources – we played Catan Jr. as reinforcement), science will be about birds for the next few lessons (do you know about weaver birds?), Math was a review lesson since this is the first week of the new semester, Language Arts continues with poetry and descriptive writing, and Health was sportsmanship (we played Catan Jr. so Ellie could demonstrate Gracious Winning and Parcheesi so that she could demonstrate Gracious Losing and number bonds). There was also potholder weaving.

She really enjoyed weaving.

She really enjoyed weaving – we used this kit.

Cat Project

Ellie and I are trying a little embroidery.

First we practiced basic stitches.

pink on pink is the new awesome

pink on pink is the new awesome

Then the transfer pens got here (THESE ARE SO COOL) and we made designs for a bigger project.

We'll probably make them pillows.  Or maybe frame them in hoops since that seems to be the Thing To Do lately.

A day without cats is a day without…a lot of things really.

Disappearing ink pens don’t work for us when we do big projects because the humidity removes the marks them in about half an hour. I mark sewing projects with ball point sometimes. I’ve got my eye out for an iron-away marking pen.

Pro Tip: A stabilizing fabric behind the working fabric is important. I didn’t know this when I did that little house thing over Christmas and it won’t iron out all nice and flat. We’re using the light weight interfacing that I had in my machine sewing stuff.

I’m already thinking about embroidering stuff on my knitting.

Half Way and Still Happy

We’re half-way through Grade 2.

I’m a little sad because it’s just been so very very spectacular.*

Nest Study - she's making a materials list.

Nest Study – she’s making a materials list. Yes, that’s a nest in my bike helmet.

I am grateful every day that Oak Meadow is an all-in-one curriculum with plenty of space to meet students at their ability level. I don’t have to spend all my time (and money) hand picking individual curriculum for various subjects only to discover that we hate what we picked but it’s too rigidly structured to modify. Oak Meadow book selection not working? No need to sell all of language arts on Ebay, just pick another book – the writing assignments will still apply. The library did upgrade my card to “Frequent Flyer” two weeks after we started school.

This is not to say “Meh meh only people who like to complicate their lives unnecessarily pick and choose curriculum!” That would be ridiculous. Everybody family different – every kid is different! There are plenty of individual situations that need the complication. Not to mention that everyone finds learning at home for their own personal reasons. I’m just saying: there’s no reason to knock yourself if you don’t want (or need) to. Homeschooling is supposed to be happier for everyone – there is no reason to not go with the simplest solution. There is no shame in a ‘boxed’ curriculum – especially one that leaves room for adaptation.

*And not just because I am in the kitchen making biscuits while everyone else is headed to school in 28°. Suckers.**

**I mean that in the nicest way.