Sunday, May 24, 2015


Memorial Day weekend has come and nearly gone. I'm back at work tomorrow, with a long stretch ahead of me. We gave away our kittens, did some gardening and rearranged the workspaces in the house some more.  The delivery of next year's school items arrived - the Astronomy book, a Geology book and a test prep book for second grade language and math that will be supporting material.  She carried the geology book with her to town the other day and was telling me all sorts of things from it.   We also ordered several cartoon series from my childhood.  They have rich language and themes in them, similar to Ducktales - of which she has really picked up a lot from this past year.  As the summer goes on I will add a few other things, maybe -- like more Stink Moody books or something on animals, perhaps.

We've finished the first chapter of the Adventure story - have to type it up and go over it a little but not right away.  She is a little exasperated by the 'I already told you this!' aspect and the fact that it 'has gone on forever' for just one chapter.

Going to my sewing table to see if there is anything to rearrange etc...  When Esme was at the park the other day I saw a beautiful sundress on a little girl that I know I could make...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Journal and writing adventures

 Her sentence today was 'There were no aliens.'

The better organized writing area and her favorite pen we bought at a store earlier this year.

We started working on a story called the Adventure of the Twelve Charms.  I am writing it out for her and she is telling the story. Then we will go back (hopefully) and smooth it out some.  She started telling me this long 'dream' about elves and vampires and portals and a mission from the king.  Daddy said 'write it down - make it into a book!'.

So, we'll try and see where it goes!

There were lots of other Esme-isms today... the Force was running strong in this one. 

'This toast is firm.  That means solid.  I saw it in a cartoon I was watching.  I forget which one.'
 'The Ancient Egyptians didn't have hairbrushes.  So, why do I have to brush my hair?' - told her they did, beautiful ones actually,.. she hadn't seen it in the artifacts book we looked through...I told her to brush her hair and I would look some up for her to see.  She did, and we saw several beautiful bone combs and others.  I told her we might have to look up the Senet game, as there was a beautiful set shown in one of the pictures.  We saw African and Native American combs and brushes in the pages, too - she was impressed.
I told her that the story was just a first draft.  No, not a giraffe, a draft.  Err.. nevermind (as Daddy starts to joke about the second and fourth giraffe) -- we will go more over that after we get it written down.  It means we might have to change some things as we go.
You mean I have to clean up  this whole room tomorrow, like,everything, all gone?  Is that what you want me to do? //No, and you know it.. pick up some things and get them off the floor // so, on the ceiling then? *It's bedtime (Now she has the octopus toy on her head and is pretending to be a sleeping octopus..but removes it before I can kiss IT she wants the kiss goodnight.)

//and tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Garden and bits

Blauschokker peas with purple flowers and purple pods
and our petunias looking sparkly down below.


We had a flea market day and then back home to hang out.  Esme played in her 'forest house' and asked me to take a picture.  She is watering her wild mustard flower with some water that collected in the coconut shell (of coconut Saturday fame).  Columbus, the white puppy, can't wait to get in on the fun.

 A particularily 'Esme' type quirk.  This could be called her signature look - no one else could duplicate it.  Her dad comes close ;)

Garden notes:  It has been such an odd year.  Dry and cold, then super wet, a day or so of heat and sun, then cold again...  Nothing in the garden knows what to do.  I  have many seeds that have failed in the ground and a few that, once up, have tried to flower immediately.  The cicadas were singing in the trees and Esme got to see several of them up close (and three birds, too!)  She said they have four wings, and that they are kind of ugly.

I've made her another pair of shorts and weeded some of the garden.  We might go out and put some more of the greenhosue starts out in the bare places.  She wrote her journal page and drew a picture. She asked to play Monopoly again- and it was a two hour game ending in forfeiture to Mark.  He owned half the board. Esme made change much easier this time than the last time we played. And, she didn't fall off the bed once *heh*..but she did bounce quite a bit at intervals.  Monopoly gets to be fierce and tenacious competition.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Homeschool and Summer Activities

We went in to the School Board today to fill out the papers for second grade homeschool, and to turn in our attendance record from this year.  We had talked to Esme about maybe trying to get into third grade - but she said she would rather do the things we had planned for at home than have to work that much harder on her writing (and what we said about older kids worried her some).  So, we put in our order for the Astronomy and Geology books.

I also cleaned up the school and craft areas a bit today and sorted things out.  We played several hours in our shared Minecraft world, just for the fun of it. I started on her summer clothes - as she has torn holes in a lot of her other playclothes.  I finished a pair of shorts that she will try on  later. We had a good lunch, and Harry Potter is on the TV again.

We have kept the Summer Journal for three days in a row - reluctantly a little, but hers has to be at least one full sentence with punctuation.  Then I share something as well for her to read.  Her spelling has noticeably improved since last year.  It gives me hope that we can start on writing prompts a few days a week when we start 'class' again in August.

I am really glad to see her using her skills she has learned.  That makes all the difference.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Summer vacation

Sweet night, we all did our hobbies.  Esme played outside in the mud after the rain, then took a bath and washed her hair.

I got home from work, then painted and sewed.  Mark built on his robot kit. Esme and I started our Summer Journal, where we both do at least one sentence about what we did for the day.  Esme cut out paper cookies, animals and taped a paper rosebush together out of brown and red paper.  She then took a turn at painting, as well.  She made a 'family portrait' showing us as real lambs :)  This is the in progress picture.

 Painting at my craft station
mixing her own green

Lambs, a daddy, mommy and baby - in a field with dandelions

Mama's painting
I challenged myself to paint a 'pink cat with a cookie'
and this is what it ended up.
I should challenge myself more often :)

And Esme handed me a tree frog from outside and missed the handoff - it landed right between my eyes.  I would have bet more than a nickel I would have screamed.  But, somehow, I caught it up in my hands and put it outside while she roared with laughter.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Last Day of Homeschool First Grade - Graduation Certificate!

9a    - discussion of last day of school, certificate presentation
9.30a    - bird book
10a    - town, shopping at garden center
10.30a    - discussion: why is fast food usually junk food?
11a    - co-op; finding and loading lime and posts, use plans
11.30a    - break

12p    - minecraft
12.30p    - gardening and chores
1.30p    -  done

We are very proud of her progress this year.  A friend at my work came all the way back to my department to say how grown-up and articulate she is now.  She remembered how she hid behind us and cowered at strangers following the public school attendance -- and she said it was beautiful to watch her blossom this year with confidence and see her inventions and drawings on our album page.  Right now she told me a silly daydream she had about squishing a pretend tomato in her hands if she went over a bump in the car.  This while she is putting together her allowance-bought LEGO toy.

We are planning on homeschooling for second grade, too.  We will go to fill out the paperwork on Monday.  She has planned to study Astronomy/Universe and Geology/Rocks for science topics.  I have some social studies books I will start her on.  But, from now until August - it will  be summer break.

The future:
Our idea is that she can decide what she wants to do for third grade.  She is such a good reader, and does math already at least at a beginning third grade level. Her expressive writing may always be behind - and we will have to work on it as hard as we did her speech therapy when she was younger.  By then, she can understand what she really wants more - know herself and not get anxious/depressed/discouraged by the school environment. And, if she decides to go back she will have to handle herself better in the tough situations.  I have confidence that by the end of this next year she will be ready in ways she just wasn't for first grade, emotionally, language-wise, and in a greater sense of the world around her.

P.S. // Mark mentioned Esme should talk to the homeschool coordinator herself about skipping into third grade now for next school start.  She's not sure.  I'm worried about the expressive writing,(making up sentences yourself that make sense and writing them out) which she despairs over every little bit.  That is linked up with the expressive language delay she has had.  From what I have read that has been a trial of similar children up until about middle school age.  I know she would do fine with everything else.