Friday, July 31, 2015


Story by Esme, habitat project by Esme with help from Mom 

Once upon a time, there was a fox, that lived in a den.

A heron caught a cricket until two mice stole it and put it in their food storage.
The mice lived in the grass under the big tree, in the ecoystem.  They were husband and wife and helped each other get food, and to stay alive  They were in survival mode, and didn't want to be captured by the big snake.  Or, (eaten by) the fox.  The fox came out of his den and played in the lake with Larry, the heron in the lake.

A salamander crawled into the fox den and looked around.  He saw a picnic blanket and a chicken bone. He also saw a bed made of feathers and grass.  He got back out.  He asked the fox if they could have a picnic.  They would bring chicken, earthworms, crickets and bugs to the picnic.  And maybe a blanket, and maybe some fish.  The fox would bring some flowers, because he loves them.

The snake would bring some hares and rabbits for the picnic, because he is a top hunter.  He has poison in his teeth.  The bird came back from the South and joined the picnic.  Her eggs hatched in the nest in the tree, and it was a happy ending.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


I'm glad to have another day off to get some things organized.  Summer has went by so fast - and the time leading up to the oral surgery was stressful.  Mark and I are both glad that I was able to get in at their earliest cancellation and get it done.  Gail at work told me there is a visible change in my whole appearance showing the effect of the removal of the infected wisdom teeth.  I don't quite see it - but I know I'm not as tired as I had been..and that is a good thing.

Esme is all ready to start her homeschool - and coming up with new ideas daily.  She is so much more grown up since last year - homeschooling has been very good for her.   Her language has advanced noticeably and Renee at work said she can see a new confidence in her now when she comes in with me to talk to my friends.   She is back to being creative, drawing, painting, building things everywhere... and she can use up her energy outside or with her sports equipment in the house without having to worry about schedules so much.  If I had been keeping 'track' of the last few weeks I am sure she would have gotten school requirements in..but I didn't want to push it.  I love seeing her learning be spontaneous and all the connections and questions that come from regular play.

Next week, though, we will be on 'official' school time.  I will be posting some projects to the blog as we move in the school year, but not the timed lists we did last year.  We will still keep those, but in our personal journal with her attendance.  Since we have so many big projects to do I know there will be plenty to blog about!  I also want to encourage her to continue her photography - as several people have commented she has a natural talent for it.

I am now at Level 5 in Spanish Duolingo, so I can help her more with her Spanish lessons as we move along.  I am trying to find (or print out another copy) of the poetry book we were going to read and illustrate - as I had found a few more to add to it.

Grandma came down today and saw our new pups and Esme was proud to show off her 'organized' room and all the things she has that are special.  She also showed Grandma the things she has built in the new Minecraft world and explained what they were.  We will be helping Grandma some more tomorrow, and I've asked her for her help in the family tree project in our Social Studies book that will be coming up in the first few weeks.

Article: The Benefit of Homeschooling - its Innovative, its Eclectic, its Organic, its Academic
This is written by Blair Lee, the leader of the Secular Eclectic Academic (SEA) Homeschool group.  It is an excellent article and reflects many of the reasons we are educating Esme as we are. 

Article: Success isn't necessarily a top college 
I will take that lesson to heart with Esme's choices for the school year.. she is making lots of progress and I still want it to be fun...  still want to go fishing and swinging on the swing and reading a fun book because it has great pictures etc...soul food. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Articles and flotsam

Homeschooling article - Should you try homeschooling your kids?
Socialization article - School isn't the standard for socialization

We did the accordion book  project last night and Esme really liked it.  She has carried her book around with her all day today.  I printed out the words and she had to cut out the ones she wanted from the huge page of 'randomized' words...and then put them in order to tape down for the story.

 Esme's bear book

 My bear and crocodile book

And because... we had some dinosaur races.  The 'triceratops' won, by a horn.

Esme liked the book idea so much she wanted to make another one tonight after I got home from work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Idea File

We finally have a few running things in our 'idea file' of projects.. so I can start  a running post to keep them in for later.. -^- are Esme's own ideas.

-^-Aquarium of paper fish, find information in books, draw the fish/plant/animal and write a 'file card' for them
--Make our family tree on a wall in the house (social studies project in our book)
--Make a timeline with pasted pictures for our history projects / dinosaur info
-^-Make paper dolls and/or puppets on popsicle sticks and put on a play with them
---------sewing sock puppets maybe
-^-Get another large cardboard box and paint it with a scene
-^-Make a painting on plywood and cut it apart with a jigsaw to make a puzzle
-^-Make something bowl or jar-like with bake clay and paint it like the Indians did (this would go great with the story in the Spinners reading book)
-^-Go to the Japanese Hibachi restaurant
-^-Find more Make/Craft books and find more awesome projects
---------Maybe make this a library initiative to look for these kind of books to read and make notes

--Play recording studio (She made one in Minecraft, but didn't know exactly what it all included)... maybe find some resources to show what really happens in a recording session

--Try to find a place with more musical instruments to look at and try

-^-Learn Spanish 

-- Make an accordion book out of paper and draw or glue pictures inside of a story
--Use printed words to cut apart and tell a story - add punctuation and choose the words that make sense ie: catches/catch, and capital letters at the beginning vs. the lowercase version.
--Use these printed words to play a sorting game of verbs, adjectives and nouns

Monday, July 27, 2015

More paintings

 Esme and I were painting dinosaurs side by side on the easel.
Hers lives in a park, (instead of a volcano) and has great fashion sense.  I didn't want her to feel stressed to paint exactly the dino model we were looking at -and she added lots of details instead of giving up.  I think they both turned out great :)

When it was just about time to clean up, Daddy held up Columbus dog and said 'Paint a portrait of this!'...Esme said she couldn't...I said 'OK.'  (The photograph was taken later, to show the comparison for the post)  Mark had to put Columbus down halfway through (he was very embarrassed by it all) so I didn't get his markings just right...but the general idea is there.

About 9"x12"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ready for Second Grade homeschool

 Ready to start 2nd grade on August 3rd
at Mixie Engineering Primary School (homeschool)
She says she is excited to make things, dig for gems (geology kit) and learn about dinosaurs!

 Mom and Esme

 And with Daddy the silly faces reign!

 Silly tongue out and air swim

With a kitty all ready to go to town

I ordered several photos for her 'school years book' and to give out to relatives.
We had a long day and she built several 'mob grinders' in Minecraft that turned into restaurants selling freshly gathered chicken, beef and wool bits.  She hooked a furnace up to the grinder/gathering hoppers and served cooked chicken with the push of a button....pretty cool.  I did help her get stuff into the hopper, as the water flow she had started was a bit off.

Pumpkin is disapproving (after taking a rare very close look) of the colorful thing that isn't really there.
I played a bit with painting after coming across an article about an artist named 
Rena Thiagarajan artist website  I was inspired by the way she applied her colors.  I mixed that thought with the bouncing around in my head of the Spanish I am learning as well as the 'schematica' and organization of things I have been working with lately (crystal structures, math, even homeschool charts and supplies)...I imagined Spanish word shapes as I painted, and then electrical circuits, then finally it seemed like a broken city landscape was coming into view...which I finally saw the doors, stairs, windows, lamps and plants take shape.
I think Pumpkin thinks I should add a cat in the 'blank window' at the top. Esme and I do more art this year I definitely need to practice with this sort of 'the art leads and I follow' type has been a long time.