In Homeschool this Week (take 8)


Fiona has been enjoying this “Read, Build, Write” activity. We used lots of fall words this week. You can find this free resource here.


Kali started this Self-esteem Workbook for Teens and has really been loving it. This is a great series, they have lots of different workbooks for different issues that teens face.


The boy got braces. Ouch. This is a great self-portrait, don’t you think?


Pajama Day!


Meet Stuart. We found him Geocaching (it’s like treasure hunting). We are getting back into it after a bit of a hiatus. Brandon has a knack for finding them when we’re hiking even when we’re not looking!


A little spontaneous Yoga


In other news, we are trying to finish the entryway right now. I may have mentioned that we are currently renovating my great-grandmother’s Victorian home. It’s quite the project! More about that here.


Fiona spent about 4 hours creating this little friend with found objects. All I did was help her with the hot glue.


She also colored in these leaves and created a little tree with a pretty branch we found outside. We do lots of art and spend a lot of time outdoors!


In Homeschool This Week (take 7)

The theme of the week was tradition, ritual and sacred wisdom. It is important for kids to have family rituals that tie us all together. For example, every Christmas Eve the kids sleep under the Christmas tree. This is a tradition that my sister and I did as children, that we now have passed onto our own children. But there are rituals and traditions that we carry on in daily life, and these are just as important as the big holiday ones.

I found this great book at the library:


From Amazon: “Quality family togetherness—everyone wants it, but it seems increasingly harder to achieve. In a world run by cell phones, computers, and virtual networking, the comfort of human connection grows more important— and rarer— all the time. In a guide newly updated for the next generation, family expert Meg Cox offers a solution. Family rituals provide a sense of home and identity that kids and parents both need. From holidays and birthdays to bed times, meal times, pets, and even chores, The Book of New Family Traditions spotlights hundred of ways to bring the fun and ritual back to family life”

In this book, there was another book suggestion: “The Thundering Years: Rituals and Sacred Wisdom for Teens”. This was particularly interesting to me as the mom of two teens. I think it especially important for teens to go through the process of the “rites of passage” or “initiation” into adulthood. Native Americans describe these years as “The Thundering Years”. I immediately bought this book.


We started out this week by going out to my dad’s prairie/creek land and observing/drawing nature for an hour in silence. It was the best. Then, we sat down in the tall, dry, autumn prairie grass and read the first chapter of “The Thundering Years” together.

This chapter, “The Way of the Spiritual Warrior”, talked about the intensity, beauty, difficulty, and questions of the Thundering years, and how they are designed to challenge us to determine what path we are going to take in life. A Warrior’s way includes a journey to oneself and to one’s purpose.

The next day we used watercolors and worked into our drawings:




At the end of the first chapter of “The Thundering Years” there were instructions on how to make a Medicine Bag. So we did this as well. Pictured above is Kali with her artwork and medicine bag.


Kali’s completed artwork


I also created an artwork!


Fiona stitching her medicine bag together (not just for teenagers!)


One tradition that we have in our family is Movie Night! Is there anything better than sister snuggles?


Fiona strumming for mommy after bath-time. Music is so important to us.


Yoga in the woods at Blue Mound State Park

We read Sonnet 73 by Shakespeare in the woods, and then left it on a bench for another person to find. I’m going to start leaving poetry in the woods more often!

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
   This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

In Homeschool This Week (take 6)

I am WAY behind on posting (hmm….I wonder why? Homeschooling 3 kids while working from home AND in the midst of major home renovations….why wouldn’t I have time to blog?) So, anyway, we did a whole lot not mentioned, but here are a few pics from our week:


Science experiments at the library with other local homeschoolers. Matt doesn’t let me photograph him very often!


Some random local veggies I had came together wonderfully — eggplant, spicy greens, and sweet peppers. SO GOOD!



We sent more supplies out to the Standing Rock Reservation to help the Native water protectors. Fiona created this artwork with painter’s tape and marker to include in our package.


Here’s a link to a great article I read this week,
“Why Daydreaming is Critical to Effective Learning”


via one of my favorite FB pages: U is for Unschooling