Homeschool weeks 19&20

Yes, I’ve been a little preoccupied. I think about writing a blog post on this or that, but it doesn’t happen. After June 7, I should have my free time back. These days, I spend most of my time phone banking for Bernie. It has been quite a journey, honestly. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone again and again these last few weeks. I even mustered up the courage to go canvassing, door to door! And I’m so glad I did, it was an awesome experience. And I’m so glad I took the 12 year old with me, I think he really benefited from it. We only had one rude, cussing person. Everyone else was kind. Bernie Sanders has ignited in me a passion and hope for our future.  Until a few months ago, I literally ignored the news and purposefully stayed in the dark most of the time. I still filter what I read because some news affects me on a deep level and is too much to handle, but I’ve never cared so much about a politician, let alone a presidential  candidate. Ok, I won’t go on more. This isn’t meant to be a political post.

Two weeks ago, we went and saw Bernie in person! I know, I just said no more politics. But, it was the highlight of our week. It was a hot day and the lines were long. I left H. home as he hates heat and lines. I. and P. came with me. We all loved it. We didn’t start anything new, homeschool-wise, that week, because that event was all day, with the waiting, and we were then only left with 2 school days before I. went to his outdoor school on Friday. So, we did math, knitting and music with I. Well, music happens daily. In fact, most days I have to tell him that’s enough, time to put the violin away.

Last week, we started our geology block. It’s our last big block of 6th grade. A few months ago, when I told him we’d be doing geology in the Spring, there was lots of complaining, saying it sounded boring. But, now that we’ve begun, he absolutely loves it!

He finished his 6th grade math workbook. That felt like an accomplishment! However, based on experience, I know we can’t put math away until September. And, I. agrees. So, I’ll be pulling out occasional practice problems, just review, over the next few months until he starts 7th grade in September. I’ve also decided that I’m going to have him work on foreign language over the summer. That somehow always gets pushed to the wayside after a few weeks. We will probably use Duolingo. In the past, we used it  to learn some German, but he’s lately really expressed and interest in Japanese.

P. and H. are doing lots of playing, of course. P. has started singing and making up songs. H. is getting most excited about starting 1st grade in the Fall. He has his own garden and it is bigger than mine!  He is such a help in the yard, he does all kinds of weeding and planting and likes to water the garden.

We took a family trip to the forest this weekend. It was drizzly weather and wonderful. After our walk through the forest, the kids played on the bank of the river, finding rocks and snails. P. of course managed to get water into her boots and her pants soaking wet. If the weather had been warmer, they would have all stripped down. But, it was still fun, even in the cold wet weather.

I am wishing more and more lately that I had a smart phone. I downgraded to a regular  not-smart phone a few years ago to assist me in being more present in my life. (It really worked.) But, that also means I can’t snap pictures as easily for this blog. I have a regular camera, but my laptop is down until I get a new charger and so I can’t upload the pictures. This is why you don’t see more pictures here.

Speaking of pictures,

Our babies are getting big! They are between 7-9 weeks now. They don’t need a light anymore and they spend their days outside. They still do spend their nights in their brooder inside our house, because I think it’s still a bit cold outside at night. But, I expect in the next few weeks, we’ll transition them to being fully outside. We are pretty sure we have one rooster, the langshan. But, only time will tell.

Homeschool weeks 17 & 18

Two weeks in one post here.

Last week, we wrapped up our three week block studying the Middle Ages. Have I mentioned how much I love history? Probably. I’m grateful that my boy also loves it. He was most fascinated with learning about the weapons and the clothes of those times. He also started getting very interested in lutes. He has been pretty much glued to his fiddle lately. So, this reading on lutes lead him to mandolins. His old fiddle teacher also plays and teaches the mandolin, so it isn’t a new instrument to his awareness. But, his recent love of fiddling has kindled a general love for playing music.

We had been planning and saving up to upsize his violin to a full size this month, although he hasn’t totally maxed out his 3/4. And when we went to the music store for some new strings (one of his broke), he saw they had this lovely used mandolin for sale. I got the make and model of it and went home to research. It turns out it was made in Japan in the late 70s and is solid wood. Perfect condition. I. agreed that instead of upsizing his violin, he’ll stay on his 3/4 one and buy this lovely mandolin instead.  So, that was the big event last week. He loves it. It is strung like a fiddle, so he can already pick out some basic tunes on it.

This week, we’ve had more and more fiddle music. I. has taken to listening to Irish fiddle music on pandora when he washes the dishes after dinner. He’s learned quite a few of the songs, and has pretty much only Irish fiddle music on his iPod now. The times are rare that he isn’t fiddling, listening to fiddle music, or looking up new music to play. All his free time is fiddling. What a change from 6 months ago when he hadn’t touched his fiddle in months.

For lessons this week, we are doing a short physics block on energy. Namely, static and magnetic energy. I. did some reading on Tesla and Edison and he’s been playing around with some fun experiments.

This week, H made hedgehog-shaped bread, to tie into the story I told him this week. I’ve been steadily reading the first grade curriculum and am getting more excited about starting that with him in the fall.

H also built, on his own, this little shelter today.

Trying it out.

He had plans to sleep under it tonight, but thankfully finally changed his mind after about half an hour of trying to fall asleep.

In animal news, I gave all four hens a full bath this past weekend. That was a new experience. They all survived. I got pretty wet when our moodier then decided she’d had enough and tried to fly away, wet, while I was holding her. I even blew dry two of them who were needing some help drying faster.

Enjoying a new garden bed that we just put in. They think it was just for them, I think. 


The babies (as I call our chicks) are all doing well. They are 6-9 weeks old. We’ve been taking them out to the yard to get some greens and dirt when the weather is warm. They love the dandelions and the clover!


The kids have already started playing in the sprinklers. Late April/early May seems just too early for that. I think we are going to have a HOT summer.