Saturday, July 30, 2011

Preparing Your Home for the Homeschooling Year

Below is a link to a very short article I wrote for our local homeschool magazine. Below that, are pictures of our art closet before one of my organizing sessions. Just so you don't think I'm one of those crazy ladies whose children play use art supplies and put them all back perfectly where they belong. They don't. But straightening the cabinet has become part of the rhythm too. So no big deal. Right?
                                      Preparing Your Home for the Homeschooling Year

extra large pictures of our mess .   .   .

                                                  .   .   . and us enjoying it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Its Done!


School Year 2011-2012
Harvest: collection, grains, grinding grains ,  prep for cold months                           Festivals: Fall equinox, michaelmas 
ABC, 0,1
mass (weights) /multiplication 5-10 
Market: shopping, nutrition, trade/money     Festival: Halloween/Harvest Moon
DEF, 2
money(measurement)/ division, sentence structure 
Clothing and Fibers: Wool, weaving, knitting and finger knitting, sewing. felting  Festivals: Thanksgiving, martinmas
GHI, 3
place values/ people at work
Advent, christmas, winter solstice, st nicholas, st lucia : Christmas Crafts, stories from around the world
KLM, 4
long multiplication/division, multiplication houses
Measuring Everything: Calendar, time,  Festival: New Years, st bridgid
NOP, 5
time: clocks, months, years  creation: leaving paradise, cain and abel
winter farming: compost, garden planning  Festival: Valentines Day
QRS, 6
time: clocks, months, years  creation: leaving paradise, cain and abel       creation myths 
Shelters: teepees, bird houses, doll house   Festivals: Nu Ruz, Spring Equinox
TUV, 7
lengths  Sons of Cain, Noah, Babel
Farm Life: Animals, foods, planting health Festivals: Easter
WXY, 8
Abraham and Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
spring: insects, wild animals, nature around us Festivals: May day, faerie festival, sheep and wool END OF SCHOOL YEAR Celebration
Z, 9, 10
Moses, cursive writing

 Ahhh. And Whew. Its done. I do plan to post all the months so that daycare mama's can follow along. But here is September. I will not be posting all the songs unless I wrote them, but for some reason I can't remove them now. They are from All Year Round. 
And I am still hammering out the form drawing and some of the stories for the Kindergarten set. But the heavy lifting of school planning is complete. For Kindergarten I will use stories from various sources. In Third grade I have listed the story but not necessarily where it is from. I use Eric Fairman's Path of Discovery as a guide. Our Little Nature Nest is a few years ahead of me and has similar interest and style so if there is a link it will either be to her site or a link she has used on her site. 

In other news. Life is full of summer here. I do plan on publishing all our beautiful summer photos at some point ( having some hard drive issues), but want to hold on a bit as I am formulating a plan. I'd like to do a collection on the great natural treasures we have here in Maryland. We will be enjoying them over the next year at our state and national parks. 

I have spent the last month going to acupuncture once a week ( thank you mama, January, David, Lyra and Hazel). Amazing things, amazing things. I started to feel a blockage shortly after the miscarriage. Like a darkness spreading from my left ovary up and down the left side. And my cycle has been nothing less then a total mess. Nothing like anything I am used to. After the first treatment, the physical was feeling much better. But I could feel that there was still much emotion trapped in there. After the second, I felt a settling of the emotions. Not that they went away- just that they had found a comfortable place to reside. And after the third, I felt like a healthy and strong version of myself.  I have always felt that the loss of this baby has brought me closer to the universe, and the faith I have for it. But now I realize that without this loss, I could not continue on my journey here. I wouldn't let myself relax until I had found every little cherishable treasure I had to learn from my baby. And here it is. I am here. Can I explain what I have found. Not exactly. Its more like a window into something. It has something to do with healing, and internal power. It has something to do with awareness, acceptance, love. It has something to do with what comes after this, and why we are here. So no, words cant encompass that. But I know I have something to do on this earth for the next 70 years or so and that what I have just come through is a very very important key that I will need along the way. 
Oh. And David and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Umm, we did nothing. Except awe over the fact we've been married ten years, together for 14 and what a magical life we've made. He often looks around and says " Wow, it would have been so much easier if I had know about all this when we were starting out in Frostburg- can you imagine if you could have seen this then." I smile a little to myself. Yes, I can imagine. This is exactly what I saw then and why I was in such a hurry to get here. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Best Summer Sandwich

So plans for rolling out pizza and putting it in a 500degree oven were halted by late swim practice and record heat rolling in.
Instead I threw together this beauty of a sandwich- I do love when something simple and easy turns amazing. There is no picture because the above scenario also produced very hungry girls.  It was a long day, where things didn't go well and in the end it was obvious everyone needed to get exactly what they needed to get. Hazel went with grandma to the library ( I thought this might help her feel big and grown up), came home wailing that she can't yet read.  She required a very hardline for the tantrum and a very big snuggle for the tears.  Lyra has been in need of some undivided mama attention. After swim and before getting Hazel, we whipped up a new drawstring backpack with fabric she has been saving from my step-mothers trip to Iran. Then a bed full of new books and an hour to read. We were all balanced and secure again.  I did throw an iced cold beer into the dinner prep routine, because, well, it makes me feel celebratory. And what is not to celebrate about making it through a hard day, with only a few tears, and flipping bacon while consoling a distraught four year old!

Sandwich- layer by layer
One piece of sourdough bread toasted
thin piece of swiss cheese
layer of thinly sliced tomatoes
chopped swiss chard and basil
thinly sliced peaches
double layer of bacon ( shiitake mushrooms browned in butter with salt and thyme would sub nicely)
sourdough bread toasted

Lyra was a little skeptical- but declared the sandwich perfect in the end (although she says my basil was a little spicy, whew!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'd like to write about . . .

.   .   .   summer. And our camping trip to the bay.
I'd like to write about making pickles and picking berries.
I could tell all about the school planning for next year, or show pictures of all the skirts and napkins I've been making. We are growing veggies, in the shade, after years of working around those trees in the yard. I want to write about these things, I want to share. But I can't. The details seem forced. It seems a little false. Because, even though everyday I do these things, cheerfully even. Because even though I love and enjoy all those things. These are not the things I am really thinking about. I am thinking about baby booties and sweaters and caps, as I knit the girls an extra set of mittens. I am dreaming, as I stretch my feet into the grass, about the belly that should be blocking my view. Truthfully, every thought is torn between my children. The ones whose sweet faces I kiss all day, the one that lives on beyond where I can mother her, and the one I pray is coming.