Monday, March 1, 2010


So we have been taking it easy around here. E has almost memorized " The Crocodile"! Also today, mom send me something from Highlights. You have to match the sticker to the right shadow and by each one is a letter. On the other side of the page there were lines on top of the picture of fish. You had to find the match and write the approiate letter above it on the line. I tried this a few months ago with lots of opposition. Today was different, he jumped right in and did the whole page by himself as I sat there and watched. I got kind of teary, my baby is really getting big, where did that newborn go? I know this is just the beginning of my proud mama moments. but it blows my mind the edge of learning that he is sitting on.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Schnappi die Kliene Krocodil

So Easton today during J's nap wanted to work on some school. I thought I would see if he might be up to writing since he has been against it recently. I was shocked that he said yes, but he wanted it to be in German. We have been learning Schnappi and he LOVES it so I asked if he wanted to learn how to write Schnappi and Krokodil, he jumped on it and I was so proud! He still is stuggling alot with them but he was not as resistant to help today so we were able to make some progress and he ended up doing wonderfully!

Mrs Lindell gave him some of these very cool animals information pages and there was one on crocs and gators and we read the whole thing today. It was great in showing him the difference in the two animals and where they live. I really want to get a big world map and when we learn stuff get stickers for that and place where needed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have known about this place for a few years but find it hard to support a child geared place that charges more for me than for my kids. Big pet peeve, don't want to get started, I have said enough to get my point across. It happened to work out that it was free the second Sunday of the month so we thought we would give it a go. It was okay, but maybe because of the crowds I was a bit turned off, ( free stuff can't be easy, I know) E started stimming even before it was crowed, we had to leave within 30 minutes. It was good to get out of the house on a yucky day and try out somewhere new, even if it is not what we are going to do again. He had fun I guess but it didn't seem to knock his socks off, you know? I think if I am going to shell out that money we will go to the Wonderplace or something else. I might try on a day without crowds and school groups but we will see.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where do Crocs and Alligators Live?

In the water! So what do you think or art was today? Watercolor! Talked about you can make art with anything. We then talked about how crocs and alligators are reptiles and what make a reptile a reptile and the difference in mammals and reptiles. To help him with the scale concept I had him cut a sheet of green construction paper into all kinds of small little pieces. He then had to glue them all over an alligator to show him how scales work. He loved it and it was great therapy for him. As you can see, Junah was very active in it all today.
Also they are both learning and loving Schnappi, die Kliene Crocodil, the German kids song about a baby crocodile and how it is born from an egg and goes looking for his mama. So that covers our German lesson. We are going to work on handwriting again Monday I think, if he isn't to resistant to it again. Working on some math games we can tie in with it.
Oh, and he found a shirt at the store the other day I had to get for him! We found it very fitting for this lesson we are on.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Barefoot Boy

I came across this poem in E's new book the day I got it and it is a large part of how this book unfolds inspiration into our lives and learning. It has also inspired a photo project I have for the coming year. I am going to take a picture of there bare feet in each season and then at the end of there year, create a wall of there feet, though the seasons. I just love everything this poem touches, hope you can get delight from in as I have.

BLESSINGS on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still 5
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy! 10
Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy 15
In the reach of ear and eye,—
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood’s painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day, 20
Health that mocks the doctor’s rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools,
Of the wild bee’s morning chase,
Of the wild-flower’s time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude 25
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell,
How the woodchuck digs his cell,
And the ground-mole sinks his well;
How the robin feeds her young, 30
How the oriole’s nest is hung;
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Where the ground-nut trails its vine,
Where the wood-grape’s clusters shine; 35
Of the black wasp’s cunning way,
Mason of his walls of clay,
And the architectural plans
Of gray hornet artisans!
For, eschewing books and tasks, 40
Nature answers all he asks;
Hand in hand with her he walks,
Face to face with her he talks,
Part and parcel of her joy,—
Blessings on the barefoot boy! 45

Oh for boyhood’s time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees, 50
Humming-birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone; 55
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night,
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, 60
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Still as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too; 65
All the world I saw or knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy,
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!
Oh for festal dainties spread,
Like my bowl of milk and bread; 70
Pewter spoon and bowl of wood,
On the door-stone, gray and rude!
O’er me, like a regal tent,
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent,
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold, 75
Looped in many a wind-swung fold;
While for music came the play
Of the pied frogs’ orchestra;
And, to light the noisy choir,
Lit the fly his lamp of fire. 80
I was monarch: pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy!

Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard, 85
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat: 90
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt’s for work be shod,
Made to treat the mills of toil, 95
Up and down in ceaseless moil:
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin. 100
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!

So Excited!

I am quickly finding again my love for poems and art. I found a book today at TJ Maxx and call me crazy but I want it to be the base of our learning for the next year. A Child's Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa is going to be one of my favorites books for poetry right now. The pictures are so divine and the poems are so classic and sweet. They touch on everything and...AHHH it just makes me flutter with joy and anticipation of seeing the boys learn them and grow in the knowledge they can learn from such poems that have been read by children for over a hundred years. I think that is something that is really connecting with me in this homeschool journey, is connecting to the past. Not just for the boys for myself, to maintain a sense that we are very connected to the past, the love and joy that I feel was felt by mothers 200 years ago is what I feel today. That children 200 years ago, learned the same way that I am hoping my boys learn. Through life, family, friends, nature, neighbors, the market, the forrest, the fields, the streams. It gives my soul sense of peace and grounding. I want to be able to have the boys know this. They are not all there is, or was, or shall be. They didn't just show up here. I really hope that we are going to be able to live somewhere soon that allows us to get back to nature and the basics. Living simply, learning simply, eating simply, love with all. It is going to be through this that we learn and live. Crazy how a little book of poems can stir so much within me, but that is what it is all about to me. I want my boys to feel this. And that is why we do what we do.
My plan the more I look at it and read it is that this is what we will base our learning off of this year. I want to take the seasonal ones and use them as the fit. The rest we can tie in day by day, if it is A Sea Song From the Shore we can talk about beach ecosystems, the tides, animals, the tale of mermaids, so on and so forth. Maybe some explorers that were famous sailors and how they did it. With that one with all the S's in the title we would cover S and things that start with an S that are nautical. Some might be a week in learning, some a day. I am very excited by it all. So my plan right now, is to post the poem that we are reading, post pictures of what we are doing with the learning within it as well as our narration of the lessons learned.

Monday, February 8, 2010


We were SHOCKED to wake up to this!!! THey said that we MIGHT get a dusting, an inch at the most last night. When E woke me up to come cuddle at 2 there was already about an inch and change and then we we woke up....

It snowed snow globe snow all day, and hard. I can't remember the last time I saw flakes this big...

I think Junah had been jaded from the last 'snow' outing. The ice would hold him some steps but not others and he was an unstable mess on it and had no trust of the good stuff we got this time. E on the other hand, ran full tilt out in the yard and threw himself face first down in it and started rolling around and making snow angels and snowballs. He was in heaven!!! I had to make my boy a snow man and I have to admit, I wanted to make him HUGE, like taller than me. Well I forgot how hard those balls are to roll once they fain some girth. Either way E loved it and has been viligent to make sure no nar-do-wells or malcontents take him down.
After about an hour and half we were all frozen and done and had to make it back on in. It did not take Junah long to pass out.

That afternoon our best friends called to tell us of there experiement they were doing with the different states of matter and the water cycle with the snow. I remembered doing this when I was little and loved it so we followed suit. FIrst we got a bowl of snow.

Easton then had to guess where the water would melt too. Would it take up more room or less? He was so close! Within a quarter of an inch!

We then brought that water to a boil to see the gas form. The whole time we took temps to show that it all ties together.

We ended a great day with more snow! Nick grew up with snow ice cream. His de dad and his dad both made it when it would snow so he wanted to carry that on with the boys. Junah could NOT get enough of this stuff!!

It was a very good day. By the end of the day we had 8 inches!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Been taking a break

We have been taking it easy lately. E has been having a lot of behaviour issues, don't know why, but it is what it is. Some good news is that we were told this week that Easton is showing more and more improvement. So much in fact that he is only going two days a week now and not three. I firmly believe that this diet has changed our lives. We did not see this improvement until we started it. I am very proud of him and can't thank everyone that works with him enough for getting us so far.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So we are really trying to work on very simple and elementary phonics. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't expect much out of him until he is at least six and that there are ALOT of letters in the alphabet to remember, as well as the upper and lower case versions. I find myself struggling with the part of me that say, letters, shmetters he will be ready when he is ready, he is not even five. Then the other part of me is saying he should know them all by now, upper and lower, and should have phonics well started within his concept grasp. I know I need to listen to him before anything else, and the nagging parts of me last of all. I guess I have a fear that if he isn't 'up to par' it is because I am doing a shotty job homeschooling him. I do understand that a lot of his learning is going to fall under my responsibility, but more of that is up to him. I can only give him everything he needs and then it is up to him. The next 6 months look to be very busy with a possible move and everything else, we need to just let him learn as he has. I have been finding ways to make a letter or two a day that he is struggling with into games we can incorparate into our day. I live for the small triumphs, I know what lies within those are the footsteps to big revelations. We have been doing some math more and bless his sweet heart, he really seems to like it. Just yet another difference between my son and I. Did ANY of my DNA osmosis it's way into him at all?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Do you know what you get when you tell a kid after he asks you where we are going and you say, "crazy"? A child that jumps up and replies with much enthusiasim, " that's great, I'm dressed, lets go!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Did you know that Easton has words, within his head, that are coming into and out of his mouth? We must all stop and listen to this, it is very important.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I was so proud of E today! He wanted to have more waffles for breakfast. He had already had one and wanted to make two more. I said no you can only have one more. He responded with, " no mom I don't want two!" I asked him if he didn't want two then why did he have two in his hand. He then told me that he wanted to have three totally, he had already had one and these two would make three, not two, that is why he wanted two more. He is really getting the hang of this math thing all on his own!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To 'Sum' It All up...

So Easton wanted to give his addition workbook a try today. We have never done 'formal' math so I was curious as to how he would respond. Page one was pictures of objects in groups and you had to write in the box how many whatevers there were and he did great! I know he can spot out numbers pretty well but not well enough to recall them and write them out. I propped up his dry erase board of numbers and letters and such so he could look at all the numbers 1-20. He would could out the objects, look for the number on the board and write it down in the box. He loved it, I loved seeing him think like that, it was the first time I saw him think 'scholasticly' I guess you could say. The next page was addition with pictures only. He LOVED it and needed no help from me, just praise and affirmation. When he got it right and was almost as proud as I was he would run around high five'ing everyone. Then I thought to get out the tramp. What ever the sum was the number of times he could jump. He did so good! I can't wait for what we see in the coming months! I don't think it will be hard for him to be better than me in math at all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More Letters

So today when we had to power out for two hours right before we were about to leave ( we got stuck with the fact the garage door would not open) I thought I would try to gauge just how many letters he really knows or doesn't know. Going through his handwritting without tears book in my VERY untrained observing he knows A,B, C, F, E, I, T, C, O, Q, G, S, D, V, X, Z. With slight coaching he knew J, P, and K. He needs more work wiht L, H<,T, U, R, N, M, W, Y. I think he knows T and N he was just being lazy at that point. My amazing and wonderful neighbor got e this wax colored sticks for Christmas and they could not be any more perfect to help him with letters and fine motor and all kinds of sensory goodness. We worked them for the first time today and he loved them, as well as Junah and I. I also noticed that the Alphabet song is getting more clear and he is getting close to seeing how it is the letters in order and not a bunch of sounds put together to a tune.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Great website

I found this amazing website that a friend posted about Charlotte Mason that I adore! I wish I could just go out and get all books for year one. What I love so much about her ideas is that they are so old fashioned, that she loves linking past to present, the strong nature influence, the challenge of it. The whole thing is just so amazing. The fact that she doesn't advice in real schooling to start until six reminds me of how I feel deep down and quiets the little competitive voice in me that is not good to listen to. You know which one. Even though I am very happy with where we are, I feel that slight pinch every so often when I hear kids his age reading or counting or something ' age appropriate'. But then again how many of those kids know all the Apollo astronauts, rockets, or even some rocket science. Or about all the song birds and where they fly and there songs? Or about the water cycle and tornados and weather? It is all relative. I can't believe my baby is going to be five in a few monthes and that he no longer my baby, or my toddler, or even pre schooler, he is a grade school age soon. My sweet little Pootie...

Monday, January 4, 2010


We are trying to work with E and his numbers. He knows how to count pretty well with the normal 11,12, 13 flubs but reconizing them is much harder for him. Just trying to write a 2 took 20 min with no avail, so we stopped. I don't want to stress any of us out about it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So it looks like nick finally got his wish, SNOW! Be it is just flurries and looking like a heavy frost it is snow so him and the boys are stoked!!! E is really getting the weather cycle down and we are going to be doing some experiments in the next few weeks to demonstrate it more for him. I found some awesome books at Barnes and Noble yesterday, I am going to have to get up there with a big notebook and no kids one afternoon!
So with all the excitement of this dusting I got out the microscope to show he all the differences in each snowflake. You have to move fast but it is so cool. I think my five dollar yard sale tasco is going to get alot of work in this year. Junah loves to look in it as well as the rest of us!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Books and Pencils

I was reminded to today of one of my favorite smells as a kid I have not smelled in a very long time. Pencil dust. As I was showing E how to use his pencil sharpener it hit me and it was like I was back in Mrs. Madays class, and every classroom after. That clean crisp lead and wood smell. I never knew I could find such warmth in it. It is almost like it was a foreshadowing of what these years and experiences that are going to bring for all of us. Smell is such a powerful sense, likely my favorite. I hope that E looks back as fondly as I can on what the smell of a simple pencil can bring!
Although I still feel that we are unschooling, relaxed learning, natural learners or what ever you want to call it, I am sifting through different things that we are going to do to learn the magic of english phonics and reading. He in the past month or so is showing more interest in letters, though nowhere NEAR knowing all of them. I would say he knows MAYBE 12 letters and what they say but somedays he seems to want to lend more effort than others and I jump on those while the getting is good. Numbers and letters both are going to be learned this year I feel.
I am BEYOND blessed with an amazing friend here, as well as an aunt and friends afar that are all beyond inspiring and helpful to us, Easton has a best friend that is about a year and change older than himself and the two of them together is the best! His mother has quickly become a wonderful friend as well as we travel down similar paths with boys facing very similar challenges. Wise beyond her years and a wonderful resource of aid and commradery in this journey. I love hearing her input and having her around.
Today we went to Mardel's to get some workbook. E loves them, they do them alot in therapy so when they had some of the same ones he was very enthusiastic about sharing them with me as well so I found them on sale which was awesome. Added to the ones that Laurn picked up for me at Target ( they always have good school stuff this time of year in the dollar section!) and I feel that we have a good little stash to choose from. I am also loving the posters. I can't believe how much I LOVE going to these stores! I never thought I would be this way but I embrace and enjoy it! Since E is HUGE into stormchaseing right now we got another poster on 'stormnados' and another on the clouds and the water cycle. We are going to all attend the NWS storm spotter class in the next few monthes to become official weather spotters! He is beyond excited! I am anxious for storm season this year now that we have a stormchaser on our hands! He is going to want to chase every storm we find!

Friday, January 1, 2010


It is that time of year again where we feel the need to revamp our lives, like it is the last day we are going to live. I would like to think I look at everyday with the enthusiasm and gusto that over takes us at New Years. But I guess I don't since LAST years goal of keeping up with this went to pot so alas here I am again, with the same challenge, same gusto, same bat time. Maybe knowing that this really is the year that Easton is really going to be getting more involved in the learning. I always let him lead the way but I have come to the reality that I don't have a toddler and baby anymore, that time as elluded me into a mother of two young boys. Junah is going to be very much apart of the learning process this year, a much more active participant in our day to day learning. It is so unique the difference I see in the two of them. Both have so much to offer not just themselves, but myself and each other.
As with tradition, I asked E what is on the years agenda and the list he gave me is awesome and exciting. I look greatly forward to this journey with my boys this year! Here is the list and away we go!!!

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