Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday New Year's Eve

10a    - PE(30x 15lb bench, 30x sit ups, 100 jumping jacks,
      30x 10lb deadlift, 30x 10lb bicurls)
10.30a    - calendar making
11.30a    - Liberty's Kids (ep 18, 19, 20)
12.30p    - calendars
1p    - (didn't load)
1.15p    - Tynker app
2p    - done

Mark did PE, as she was in such an active mood all week she just needed to get energy out.
The calendars were very cool - I could tell what almost every picture was she drew.

She did all the Tynker app... 10 levels... and Mark tried to find something similar for her next week.

I had a flat tire and had to wait an hour at the place to make sure it was fixed before driving home on it.

Esme is at Grandma's for a New Year's Eve sleepover.. and I have to work tomorrow.
We intend to give her the rest of the week off now until next Monday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


It is so cold outside... and we're still trying to get into the drift...

 A little paper birdcage for her digital bird she bought yesterday.

8:30a - drawing animals, meerkats, zoo, rhino in bathtub
9a - break

9.45a    - paper birdcage project

10.45a    - Tynker app
11.15a    - break (she had to go to her room to 'cool off' after a disagreement about the app

11:45a - listening to chapter 3 Charlottes Web
         discussion of what happened in the chapter

cooked rice noodles and put together a plate of different foods, strawberries, mandarin oranges, broccoli, sausage and pumpkin bread.

1:45 p -  Carmen Sandiego cartoon (geography) - 3 eps. (we skipped the music, it's awful!)
2:15 p -  break

Dad had mentioned doing some vocabulary words.. or math practice on the tablet?

She is trying to be on good behavior to go to the indoor playplace.. but we've had a couple of hard days with bouncing / over-energy and also with some attitude... Trying to get school over for the day before we go out - which leaves a lot of time for her to argue etc and get in a bad mood... but we'll see how this works.

It is very very cold outside... and that wears on all of our attitudes!

I'm getting to the end of Fool's Fate... I'd like to finish it while she plays today, too.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Octy octopus

This was the first try from a pattern I sketched earlier this year and never did anything with... some hangups trying to get the tentacle undersides to match up in the middle.. but, pretty good for a 'shoot for the moon' sort of try.  I almost gave up twice - but I'm glad I didn't.l. because he is cute.

Esme wants to bring him with to the Japanese restaurant today.  We're going to do some math on Khan Academy - and then head out after that.  She bought a little toy bird with some of her Christmas money and she is eating some fruit salad.  We talked about how kiwis and strawberries are different but same.. and she had this odd question this morning if chopped onion and rice were the same thing - and why is one raw and one is cooked...sometimes what she springs on me sounds like an alien traversing our culture... it would never have occurred to me to think chopped onion and rice were similar, they look similar - but they are entirely different.. and she wants to see how.

On to math.. update later.

9.15a    - drawing animals
 I liked her rhino - thought we might make a toy like it later.  She said she scribbled and it 
looked like a rhino, so she drew the rest of it in.
9.30a    - break

10a    - store and bank, handling money
10.30a    - break

11.50a    - kahn academey math - did the bar graphs and finished the word problems, did some review
12.50p    - break

1.30    - sushi place
2.30    - library - building Atlantis and towers with two other children, reading some of her book, playing a music program with different instruments and patterns.
4    - break

5p    - Reading aloud ("Some Pig", EB White)
5.15p    - spelling - writing - homonyms etc...
5.35p    - break

6p    - Monopoly (we introduced the idea of being shortchanged, and traded properties so she could build houses)
7.30p    - done

Now she's making a villainry flag - because she will only help a little, so they don't know she is a superhero.  It is a pirate flag with a razor saw and a shark on it.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day as clean up day

I really couldn't find any articles about this - except for cleaning out your wardrobe, to make room for new purchases.  However, we had gotten used to the idea, in Minnesota, for the day after Christmas to be a day you reorganize, bag up all the wrapping paper and empty boxes as well as loose trash, papers and 'build-up' you have around the house.  Whatever isn't where it needs to be - within reason (it is still a holiday) gets moved to a more logical place.  Clothes get reorganized, shook out, wash whatever has built up over the past few holiday days etc...  And then pile up the items for charity, dump and so forth to be dealt with over the next week.  Sometimes, we had to clean out the fridge for leftovers - or wash lots of dishes.. so the day was just a general clean-up until everyone had done something really noticeable, and then we collapse again to let it all sink in.  Maybe my family was just cleaning-oriented.  I know my mom was..

I held Esme to a 'boxing day' clean-up today, her major areas.. she grumbled.  But, it made really nice progress.  And she is being rewarded by playing on the computer game some more now.

There is a lot more we could clean up - but having a start on the basic areas feels good. 

I'm thinking what to do with the sourcream in the fridge, and maybe the pumpkin cans Mark gave me as part of my canned goods.  My 'Pumpkin' recipe book is calling to me... Mark has planned porkchops for dinner and we're all just hanging out and trying to stay warm.  The puppies have started to both grow teeth and wander the room more.  I have lots of thoughts ranging through my head - and back to work at 7 am tomorrow....

reading: Fool's Fate, Tawny Man trilogy, by Robin Hobb
---wondering about picking up Half Magic, the book I bought for Esme, after this.  It has been so long since I read it...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas morning surprise

This was the baby doll bed Mark and I made for Esme for Christmas.  It was based on a toy I had as a child - and he helped cut out the shapes from a board I brought home from Lowes.  This is as best as I can remember the paintjob and decals (we used a stencil) the original item was like 30 years ago.  Esme said it was a baby daycare and hospital.  It fits nicely on the shelving unit we store toys on and the two baby dolls (one old, one new with sleepy eyes) can fit together on it if they squeeze a little.

 Santa had found all of the things on Esme's simple wish list, plus a jack-in-the-box, 
but she was smitten by the intricacy and accessories of the baby set. 

 The baby doll 'refilling' bottles were a hit.  She had forgotten she asked for them and 
had to thoroughly check them out.

 I found Mark an rc racecar and they played with it a bit and scared the cats.
The big dotted ball was something she had asked for, too.

Extra large plastic dinosaurs say RAR 
and attempt to make off with chocolate bars (not shown)

A bit later we will take Grandma her presents and visit.  Mark also gave me enough canned food to last until next year - all the things he doesn't eat, and a can opener because my can opening skills are laughable.. especially considering how often I attempt the task.  There was also a glue gun for projects and bags and bags of dried beans.  I gave him some cashew butter and candies and nuts I thought he would like - and the racecar. 

The other big hit wasn't a Christmas gift at all - they are playing Goat Simulator, a pc game where the main character is a goat and goes through the town like Grand Theft Auto and tears things up for points... there is even a rollercoaster and a castle. 

 speaking of castles - this princess castle tent Grandma gave her immediately became the home for her new dolls and she spent a lot of time in it setting everything up and putting out toys and eventually putting her babies to sleep in their bed.  She told me she was in the middle of a beautiful garden that had tigers - her cat Pumpkin - just outside so she needed to keep the babies safe in the castle so they grew up to be Queens.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve
'dancing around the Christmas Tree'
we did a few family pictures this morning, as we do...

Esme took a try, too.

Mark and I did a 'construction project' last night while Esme was at Grandma's house for a sleepover.  It was a recreation of a toy that I had as a kid, and I thought would go well with the toys she asked for from Santa.  I'll post pictures of it here after she has opened it... as she can see this blog, and it is still a surprise.  

She is really excited about the 'huge package' and trying to guess what is in it - I hope she will like it and her imagination won't take her overboard.

We have been invited out to hang out with her friend's family for a few hours - to qualm the energy storm the girls have a bit before Christmas but still not  have toys open yet so no comparing gifts etc.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Balloon Experiment (and puppies, and Christmas stuff)

Apparent disbelief

Esme has been asking us for more than a week to do this experiment.  She was still wanting to do it, even though she is not 'officially' on homeschool this week.  So, we finally did it.  According to the internet calculations it would have taken four one-foot diameter balloons to raise 48 grams of weight.. but the weight of the balloons and the string were not calculated.  We ended up cutting off 27 grams of tube and adding one more balloon - and then the balance worked.  We had her use a balance scale to weigh the tube before, and the entirety of the cuttings to find out how much cardboard weight was lifted.

Now she is using the cut off tube parts to make a snail headband (with balloons for eyes) and a shell for the snail costume out of K'nex.  She has been busy today!  She also drew banners for upstairs and downstairs to celebrate the holiday, with lots and lots of little pictures in between all the letters.

 The Mad scientists themselves...
Daddy and Esme :)

 It works!
 Spy girl

This is the energy level she has all day long.. it can barely be contained, the jumping, the thinking, the building, the drawing, the running, skating, climbing in and out of boxes... and we (as parents) never wonder if she has 'hyper' problems.. She has been laying out and designing the snail shell all by herself with great progress for the past ten minutes or more.. knows what she wants to get done and is focused on doing it. (Well, she did end up using her backpack - we all wondered why we didn't think of that before!)

Her Happy Holidays banner with lots of little drawings of the puppies,and Santa and his sleigh
She draws reindeer just like I do :)
We have bits to wrap up still for Christmas, and cookies to make... 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Geo Friday

10a - turn signals and hazard lights, why we use them, what makes them happen..
     cutting and marking of trees for utitlity work, discussion of 'trees are of nature - why are we hurting them' vs replanting, shredding material for recycling by the earth etc.  When she gets her teeth in a subject she really thinks on it.

We did the post office and chose a package size that was appropriate for our item, addressed it, and sent it out.  She discussed how many people must live in our town for all the post office boxes, and how she was older than one girl in line but younger than another girl in line...

11a  - library, books, shells, meerkat colony conditions vs. hibernation?
       World Geography Explorer and globe
        discussed Asia, Russia, Japan and the Phillippines - Marianas Trench,
        discussed distance to South America from Asia, Pacific Ocean
        discussed Arctic Ocean, North Pole (all points lead south) and she showed understanding by telling me then that the South Pole would be all points from there would head North.  YES, you're getting it kid.
       Was very interested in the 'distance to walk/drive/fly' comparisons the program made.
       Showed her the globe showed the same things, but 'in the round'.. and the map was flat but the items were still 'congruous'.. you can go east and end up in the other side of the map etc.  She understood that easily and was bored by it... *sheepish*, but I had to know she understood.
        She was amazed to hear the African 'rainforest' called such when she compared it to the South American rainforest.
        She loved the 'sticker book' thing and had just discovered the 'find this place on the map with these clues' game when we had to leave.
12:3a - break for lunch
1p    - P.E. running, climbing etc.

2p    - buying school supplies for crafts, science projects
2:3p  - break to drive home... quiet during this trip, was worn out!
3:p   - Marianas Trench, Sea Urchins, Hydraulic Welding Robots
     We talked about earthquakes and volcanoes with the video online How the Planet Was Made.
     She saw people eat sea urchins, and learned random facts about them.
     She saw a video online of hydraulic welding robots like her grandpa is working on today (she had sent him a message to ask what he was working on today, and he had answered).. and talked about what 'writing the code' for one means - it is like a map and a recipe all in one, to tell the robot what to do to make the thing and have all the pieces work together.
4p    - done  (now she is downstairs running her robot bird toy all around in the air)

Three Day Catchup

Somehow most of a week happened and I forgot to report any of it!
Most of the schools here have next week off -- so we will be giving Esme it off, as well.
And as most of the schools have parties and other activities, we've taken some time out to do Christmas cards and package wrapping and post office etc.. real stuff, real time.


10a    - puns, rhymes, rebus
11a    -
12.30p    - packing lunch for mom, cooking eggs
12.45p    - Liberty's Kids (ep 16, 17)
1.30p    - PE (Handstand 60sec, 60x 10lb bench, 100 jumping jacks, 50
      sit ups)
2p    - done


9.30a    -
10.30a    - wrapping presents with mom
11a    - Identifying continents; making christmas cards
11.30a    -
12.30p    - Liberty's Kids, (ep 13, 14, and 15)
2p    - christmas cards
2.45p    - done


10a    - Liberty's Kids (ep 11 & 12)
11a    - vocabulary words
11.30a    - coloring
12p    - break

1.15p    -
3.30p    - done

Monday, December 15, 2014


I was back to work today...
Mark and Esme spent the day in town at stores and then wrapping presents at home.

8.45a    - map making & discussion
9.15a    - break
Before I headed to work Esme and I had an argument about maps, 'north' on the compass rose, drawing the compass, comparing old maps and more...

10a    - stores /town; money and grocery list management
10.30a    - break

Mark said he had given her the grocery list and she had to read his handwriting, remember where that item was in the store, go to it and show him where it was (he would get it if it was heavy or high up).  He said it was quite an adventure letting her lead him through the store...

11.30a    - Liberty's Kids (ep 10)
12p    - cleaning table / wrapping christmas presents
1p    -
1.30p    - wrapping presents
2p    -
2.30p    - done

When she came to pick me up at work I had her sort a few fittings with me, and she talked about invisible ink from the Liberty's Kids show she had watched.  She drew different kinds of flying bugs - I helped her cut them out and hang them on strings.. after which Daddy helped her hang the strings up on hooks using a stick and a chair.  She also had me look up why 'pies' are called 'pies'...which was interesting.  I quizzed her on what we had found out just before I put her in bed, and she did remember!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

That Last Day of Vacation, again...for a while...

We played Skyrim for about ..six? hours *ha*.. and I was freezing.. so then it was time for soup and to sit down with a few little craft projects.  I'm making another 'Bracers of Wool Warmth Power' set.. as the last pair was not of wool but have served well.  I took a break after a bit and Esme and I collaborated together to make a rag doll.  I had been thinking to make one for her, and she had bought a dollar one at the store that probably won't last more than a week.. so we made her a 'big sister'.

This is Daisy, named for the buttons Esme found in my collection and asked for her shirt.  Esme chose the colors and I insisted on a little white collar for the buttons and putting yellow yarn on for braids as her hair didn't really work out otherwise.  It was based on the Black Apple doll pattern I saw out there - but I had to redraw everything.

Esme with the rag doll

with her Pumpkin cat, in a box, pretending to be cats
picture from Daddy :)

School requests this week:  She wants to get a quill pen, and a feather pen, and find out what that 'separate ink' thing is all about.  I told her she will have to actually try hard with it...  She also had an idea about hanging 'pretend fireflies' and then trying to catch them.  I'm not sure how educational the second one can be.. will have to think about it.  Glow in the dark paint?

Notes: I've finished up a few little things, a cotton yarn crocheted doily and a fisher bear woman drawing - sending them on to my stepmom as the doily colors reminded me of her request for a sunrise drawing.  How things link together in my head.....  // Cruising Pinterest the past few days and reading my stack of twenty-five cent library magazines has kindled some house-nesting instincts that probably won't do much over the next few months - but at least I've gotten a little crafty again.  Hence, the doll :)  I've felt in a slump lately..with holidays, and retail, and our busy homeschool goals... // 

Dream bit: Had some 'oh no its college all over again' scheduling dream last night that I had to find the philosophy class building after my math class - that math class I can never finish the work or remember if I've even been attending enough to pass... - search all over for the 'philosophy' and 'logic' class I somehow found at the bottom of the schedule - finally found it, and knew the walk between the two at the end of the day, every day, would be so hard to make it.  I'd end up late, choosing which to go to or not either.... but the class wasn't really a class at all, it was a workshop  - with toys, and writings, and reading works by authors I didn't know they had written....  I began to wonder how important this class was as a class - was it the people in the class, the journey to the place.. didn't I do these things already?  Could I do it better than the examples I was seeing here - was that the point?  Why didn't I do it more often?  Lots of other bits, - ended up as part of a large group trying to escape some 'roundup', in a boat begging to leave and watching a large fish trying to pull an overly stuffed large bird into the water, because both could not fly, and we couldn't leave either of them even if we were to go by sea or by air - it was one or the other, as they were chained or entangled or....  The (white porcelain goldfish scaled thing) pulled the bird behind it into the water and the bird was forced to swim underwater with it...worried about what would happen. and then began to emerge, 'unstuffed' as a white heron or stork gaining altitude.. came up right underneath me and I actually felt the feathers and wing bone like a real bird as I held on and the water fell away from us and it began to fly with me hanging on into the night down the river with the stars and moon above us.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nearing an End to Vacation bits

We went out and visited some friends today, and played video games at home :)

I made a few goals to write down ... been meaning to do some of these for a while but have not actually written them out anywhere.

Make egg noodles with Esme, as a school project for her.
Make sugar cookies again with our pretty cutters and BUTTER.  This would be more fun, but it could count as cooking class.
I've ordered a copy of the book Half Magic for Esme.  We've talked about 'be careful what you wish for until you know exactly what will happen' etc .. and that book came to mind.  She said she would wish for two snows then, so it would snow once.. or maybe four, because one might not be just enough.

Sewing workshop:
rag doll toy kind of like Rag doll but without the knitted stuff..
Put ties on Esme's blue dress... think about washing that purple fabric to make another one now that I know it is a little large on her.
Brown fabric made into a long skirt (like the linen one I love but is too transparent)

Upcoming Plans:
Make more KnitOwl toy patterns.  We have the scanner working on the new printer.
I really like the look of duvet covers but not the idea of down  as a filling material- have discussed making one as an extra warmth layer on the bed.  Something simple, not as involved as a quilt.  Mark and I have discussed making both this and some beanbag chair type things... projects for this summer.
Learning more about using natural clay.. Mark says we have some in the hills here and he knows where it is.  Doing more hands-on projects with Esme with air dry and papier mache clay.

Other News:
The puppies nearly have their eyes open.
Our geraniums are doing well.

I said something in French to Esme today to get her moving when she was at a store - and she said 'You speak in Minnesotan a lot to me, Mama.'  Err. .yes, I do, I'm from Minnesota - but that was French.  'French!  I love French! Do you know how to say Cheese Oemelette?'  Err .. yes.. Omelette du fromage. (Dexter's Laboratory episode),  Yes, that's it!  *laugh*
Watching Electric Company and I see something repeat and ask her if we just watched this episode or... 'No Mom, that's just an app.  An app?  Yea, an app - something the people who make Electric Company want kids to see again (and again).  OK. .but this is a DVD, not a computer or phone program - so we would say it is a repeat, not an 'app'.. an app is something you click on things in a computer program.  Oh, ok Mom, (whatever you say), but it's like an app.'

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday ornaments and science

9.30a    - painting christmas ornaments
10a    - math test, word problems using subtraction and multiplication
         - frustration and arguing on last problem of printed test....borrowing issue led to mini meltdown
          - lots of math word problems written in word processor 'on the fly'
        -- when asked if there were only three seats left on the bus and four people wanted to get on, what would happen?  She asked how big the seats were and if the people could squeeze in together or not... if the seats were big and the people were small...  // there is our divergent thinker.

11a    - Science experiment "Walking Water"
       - siphoning with tube and buckets
      - capillary action with bread and foodcoloring
     - walking water setup with jars, food coloring and towels
      - talking about straws and gravity, air vs. water

12p    - reading aloud (skeletons book - chapter2)
12.30p    - break

2:30   - modeling and molding with Crazy Sand 'clay'
2:45p - spelling primer through pg 34
      - writing lots of common words, correcting mistakes, writing a few sentences
3:15p - using needles and ribbon to finish ornaments
     She said she knew how to use the needle - I said show it, she said prove it,
      just like a scientist proves his experiments and chemicals mix together.  Hmm..yes!
       writing date on and hanging ornaments
3:30p - done

There were pillow fights and  varnishing ornaments when they dried, a trip to a bakery in town when we went shopping for project materials, and we kept checking on the Walking Water experiment all day, because it took that long.  I drew out the principles behind the siphoning experiment and the bread experiment as Mark said my words were kind of vague (and they were).. and Esme understood the concept quite well when we asked her to explain it to us on the way to town later.

 Crazy sand
This was one of the project materials she bought at the store
Finished ornaments hung up.. also some ribbons, other ornaments from 
other years and a little felt puppy toy she stuck in there the other day.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Slow Thursday

I was on the edge of a headache all day, since I woke up... kind of have half of it gone now.
Because of that, we took it 'slow' today.. and Mark did some PE with Esme to fill in some of the time.

Christmas ornaments
made from air dry clay (cornstarch and white glue clay recipes)
1.5 cup cornstarch
1 cup white glue
1 tbsp baby oil
1 tbsp white vinegar (smells awful)
The recipe said the vinegar would make it last longer..
After mixing this awful glop together I put it in a 
microwave safe bowl and heated it up for about 45 seconds.. then 
put it in wax paper and rolled it out with a rolling pin.

We found texture things in her toybox and made impressions on the clay
after rolling it out inside wax paper.

 Morning pretend: 
Her 'child' she was taking care of that had a broken ankle
and needed a toy and a food while they healed.
She was not being a doctor, - because she had given it a bath and brushed its hair before that.

 Her picture of her Pumpkin cat

Star 'cradle' the thing on top spins around and holds the light in it, and I helped
 her balance the bottom
Minerva and her babies, catahoula puppies.  She is really enjoying her little ones.

Eating applesauce in the sunshine

9a    - Cooking French Toast, frying eggs
9.30a    - Electric Company ep 166 and 197, ep 12
11a    - break

12p    - Cold Porcelain xmas tree ornaments
-choice, reading or... chose PE then reading
1p    - PE (headstands, 30x 15lb bench, 30x sit ups,
      20x 10lb deadlifts)
1.30p    - reading aloud (Magic School Bus: Skeletons, chapter 1)
2p    - break - lunch

2.15p    - Liberty Kids (ep 8, 9) her request
3p    - Fixing dryer,  Maytag 1970s model - she watched us and asked questions.
It had been deciding when to heat and when not to, when to make the timer work, and when not to...
We had taken a peek and it had lint build up in it that was probably interfering with the wiring and needed
tending to either way...
Esme examined the dryer with 'panels taken off' .. looked at the wiring and how Mom and Dad were vacuuming out the lint etc..  She helped me get some paper and pen and write down the part number off the timer in case we need it later.

3.30p    - done

We went to town for some extra parts for the dryer.  We (Mom and Dad) replaced the vent hose and clamp before putting it all in place and testing it out again.  It works.  Mark says this was why the Maytag repairman was so bored all the time.  We only needed a single multihead screwdriver (hex and phillips) to open the dryer, do all the work and put it back together.

About a year ago I remember calling the parts line about the water inlet valve on the twin washing machine - and the lady asked me where that number was coming from.. was I looking it up somewhere?  No, I am reading it off the part.  Silence.  Do you mean your washing machine has that actual original PART in it?  Do you know how old that is?  Yes, it's from about 1979.  OK.. and you need that part?  We'd like to get one.  I have to go find a book, that is so old it's not in the computer...  The part would have been six dollars.  But by that time Mark said he had rinsed the old one out and it 'worked ok again'.. and we put it back on.

I ended out the night recovering some throw pillows on our bed.. while Esme drug up a dollhouse out of her room into the second story of the house where my sewing area is and started having a party with her little figurines until it was time for bed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


9a -  tennis in the downstairs hallway
9.30a    - Making pancakes
10a    - break

10.30a    - Reading aloud (open highways 1966)
    rebus - she loved these!  She said they were funny.
    Encyclopedia Brown mystery
    'Searchwell' mystery story
    she left off at page 22.

11a - draw a picture that tells a story, write some about it
    - tennis
11:3p - math, multiplication tables to 10x10

I did the reading and math with our feet tucked in the bed, but was still freezing...and she was begging for more tennis playing.

12p -break for HOT bath (with math questions)

1:15p - talking about continents,
       Antarctica and Australia vs. Greenland (her question)
       Europe vs. Asia - tectonic plates analogies
       7 continent map lesson
1:45p -break
2p - talk about summer vs. winter with planet Earth's axis
    she wants to build a tent now...
    asking her to draw this cube and blanket idea she has.
    drew a plan and helped construct using PVC pipe parts
    brought tent out to tv area and put mat, pillow and     blanket in to have a rest inside.
2:30 - break

It has been so cold today - and Esme really wanted to do all of these things downstairs... I had to break for a hot bath just to keep my feet from frostbite.. and that was with two layers of socks on!

I finally convinced her to bring the tent upstairs (since her room was not going to happen, and it is one of the warmest places in the house so that would have been great) so she sat in it looking through the pictures in the Cat Love book but purposefully not reading much of it.. .she kept telling me she wasn't reading it.  *oh sigh*

She did a great job on her multiplication tables - and I hope to work it into our math more.  I had her 'completing the ten and twelve' while in the bathtub.. 6+4=10 and 4+6=10 etc etc.. because once she gets that committed to memory, she will be able to do other math faster... but she is starting to understand that she can 'cross the ten line' in her head without having to use her fingers every single time.. adding 6 is easier, adding 7 or 8 is still hard.

7:30-8 pm - spelling primer up to page 16, writing down words, correcting spelling
-school officially 'done' after this.. played with K'nex and toys some for fun :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


a little ink drawing attempt by me, 
but she wiggles a lot.. so I had to fill in the shadows while she was giggling 
8a    - cleaning and organizing - discussed why we clean and why yes, it will be important for scientists and engineers to clean as well, not only in their jobs but their homes.
8:30     - break

I put on the movie 'Epic' and she watched nearly the entire thing.
I needed down time...knit a bit, drank coffee.
Getting ready for town, planning town

11.30a    - Khan Academy math - subtraction and addition reinforcement..7s table in multiplication up to 7x5, working in multiples to do addition and subtraction quicker than working on fingers, and writing out problems from words with minimal help.  Is it subtraction or addition they want here?  How do you know?  How do you write it.  Reinforcing doing the ones column before the tens, and what borrowing really means as well as how to do it right.  Started out crying about every little thing, brain hurts, why we are doing this.. then she saw I wasn't giving up, and she asked good questions and really started to click the reasoning for HERSELF after a bit, went a bit further to do a full hour.

Teaching Note -- She WILL try to tell me 7 minus 4 is 5 (during the first ten to twenty minutes) just to get me to give up on her. but I won't take that.. I'll ask her to count back 4 from 7 and show me how that equals 5.  She'll throw a frustration fit because she wants to do something else.  I'll say this is what we are doing and I really want her to tell me how that equals 5.. 'because' doesn't work.. etc.  When she knows that Mom is in 'real math mode' she stops fooling and starts working.  Only then does she really click.. and then I can stretch her and see what she knows and she doesn't.  And, afterwards, when she knows she did real work and did it well, she says it was 'fun'.. public school never did that for her, and they would never have gotten accurate test results from her.

12:30p    - break, drive to town

1:3p    - library use of catalog computer to find books on skeletons (question the other day)
             comparing the Dewey Decimal numbers to the author name fiction tags on books
              going out to the 'adult' book section to compare that the numbers and
              name tags mean the same things out there as they do in the kid's room.
              computer game - 4th grade ClueFinders, math, geography, logic
              lunch out in the parking lot
              hibernation pretend/role play with reasoning, questions, science application
              ---she climbed under a table and made a den with blocks as her stored food.. which was 'strange' but she answered the questions well about why she needed to store food, what she would do all winter, and why, and what would happen if another animal came to her den, good or bad...?

4p    - bookstore choosing appropriate books to buy, thrift store, bought two tennis rackets and a toy welding mask for 25 cents each item, Lowes
---asked why shadows 'break apart as you go higher'.. meaning she is holding a spoon in a light from the window at night and watching how the further up she holds the spoon the more shadows it has.  We talked about making an experiment with that..

5:3p     - break

//plan to do some reading in either the Cats to Love book she picked out or another one.
8-9p - bopped around, watched arts and crafts I was doing, cut out a paper hammer, wrench, screwdriver and drill and pretended to be fixing things with her new welding helmet toy
9:15-9:30 - read two small books she had bought for herself today.

I found several reading textbooks and a science textbook for Esme's level between the library bookstore and the thrift store.  One of the reading books had some good 'levelling' passages with pictures and words to know to test her knowledge.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Monday birthday, spinning yarn, and Liberty's Kids

7:3a - gave Daddy the birthday present she had wrapped and the card she had made for him
8a    - Spinning yarn on a spindle
--replicated the K'nex spindle to make one of her own, made about a foot of yarn herself, watched me spin and then knit some of the wool into yarn - pieced through the wool roving and talked about it and things people had made and how.

9a    -
9.30a    - Liberty's Kids
10.45a    - break
--played in the paper from a UPS delivery..

11.30a    - Liberty's Kids, discussion
1p    - Done
We watched up to the fifth episode? of Liberty's Kids and talked a lot about the issues.. but it will be a while before she really gets the reality of what we were discussing.  She did compare the dates to the 1776 on our Declaration of Independence hanging up, and we looked at a map of where England was compared to 'the colonies'... lots of talk about tea and tax, but she still wasn't sure.

We did a bit more with the yarn while she watched the last episode, and then got ready for town and went out for Daddy's birthday lunch, and played with the little fishing rod and wooden toys that Grandma had given to Daddy for his birthday.

One of the movies Daddy got for his birthday is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.. and that is on now.

Before bed : read Margaret Hillert's 'Go to Sleep Dear Dragon' to me, and wandered Skyrim looking at things.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Great fury dragon picture and vacation

Esme's 'Great Fury' dragon page
drawn after watching How to Train your Dragon again the other night.

She says the symbols at the top right is a sword that if you cut it on it's tail the plastic beads inside will come out and it will be 'ded'.  It also eats fish, as indicated by the symbol on the left.

I have nine days off starting today.
We are preparing to go to a crafts bazaar in town.
I have a few plans for this vacation.. some sleeping in, some reading, some sewing... teaching Esme for her next week of school.  For now, we are having our 'weekend together - both of us', as she said this morning.  I finished the thick knit socks the other day and they have been a great thing to put on as soon as I am home and sit reading while Esme has bopped around making dragon lairs, fish dinners, penguin egg laying stations and other things with her Knex and other toys.

Probably some puppy pictures this week - they are still small but very lively.

Friday, December 05, 2014


7a    - Town running, dog food, scheduling and grocery lists and "why buy
      frozen things last"
8a    - break

9a    -
11a    - snap circuits #11
11.30a    - Electric Company
12.30p    - done

4:30p - shopping with Mom and Dad for vacation, new video for her history lessons
Lots and lots of K'nex and Lego building in her dragon den she has been making the past few days... 

I liked she made a 'How to Tame your Dragon' page for her violet dragon.  She said it was a Grape Fury, then reworded it during the writing stage to 'Great Fury'.  She was getting spot-on practicing several scenes with me as Hiccup and herself as Toothless, then vice-versa.

It has rained so much.

Esme told me all about the dreams she had the other night - some interesting images.. and I compared them with mine from the other day.  She dreamt a lot about dragons :)

Thursday, December 04, 2014


9.30a    - vocabulary words & headstands
10.30a    -
11.30a    - Planet Earth ep 11 "Ocean Deep"
--I heard there was a philosophical discussion about SpongeBob here?
12.30p    -
1.45p    - done

Our internet connection was 'fast' again after being down for a while lately... so Esme played lots of new and exciting online games with fervor today.  Mark has a town trip planned for them for tomorrow then I begin my 9 day vacation!  The Christmas Crafts bazaar is on Saturday, too.

Back to playing dragon and dinosaur games with Esme on the pool table.  There is a gypsy tent set up and lots of 'food' spread around for them.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


11a    - Snap Circuits # 10
11.30a    - Planet Earth ep 10 "Sesonal Forests"
12.30p    - Snap circuits / PE (headstands, balancing)
1p    - break

3.30p    - hair care & perserverence
4.15p    - PE (60x 10lb bench, 100x jumping jacks, 40x sit ups,
      50x, 5lb deadlift, 50x 2lb R&L curls, 25x 5lb bicurls, 30x
      7.5lb squats)

4.45p    - break

5p    - Reading aloud (Pets and Promises)
5.45p    - done

Taking apart her snap circuits project after showing it to me

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Tuesday Greenhouse science and puppies

 Esme sporting her pretend glasses (see yesterday) and pointing out the seeds 
we are planting today.

All ready for the project!
 Writing it all down in her journal

 Sillyness with Daddy.

8.30a    - Matific math games, measuring, distance comparison, shapes
9a    - break

10:30a    - science, planting seeds 3 diff.kinds with journal entry
------We planted geranium seeds 'Black Magic' variety that I ordered from an Etsy shop.  We also did sunflowers 'Lemon queen' variety and lima beans 'Florida Speckled' that were all from our garden last year.  I intend to have her notice the differences between the different seedlings as they come up, different leaves, how fast one grows compared to another etc..

11:30a     -  break

12.30p    - multiplication chart -- 0 to 5 again by herself, then try the sixes.
12.45p    - eye chart, Snellen variety with 20 foot line.
Determination : We all have somewhat bad eyesight. I couldn't read the 20/40 line even with my glasses on.

1.15p    - balancing; headstands
1.30p    - vocabulary words - 3rd grade set first column. copying from sheet
2p    - break

2.15p    - vocab words - using in sentences, reading own handwriting!
2.30p    - cooking; rice krispie treats
3p    - puppy retrieval and observation
3.30p    - done

Minerva had eight puppies.  We had all of the other female dogs fixed, but not her.  She was so close and had never had puppies... so we decided to let it happen.  There are several real beauties, and she seems to be doing well.  We have lots of misplaced hormone reactions in the other girls, though -- they all feel they should have puppies, and they are reacting in different ways.  Sweetie and Nova are giving wide berth but are depressed.  Daphne is intense about sitting outside the puppy area and growling at everyone - especially Loula, who is spayed but is now the only one who never had puppies at all.  We have a long week ahead of us!

Monday, December 01, 2014


11.30a    - community center - walking, schedule
--We checked out the schedule and events at the community center - they have a basketball court and walking course.  We talked about the pool, taking swimming lessons next year, and found out the costs for the family to join and use the gym. 
12p     - thrift store, changing room, clothes sizes
--Esme found a dress in her size, we talked about ugly vs. pretty clothes, what made them different -- still not quite meshed on that.. she said she had dresses that were a little bit ugly, but pretty and she wouldn't change them etc.. I guess we'll return to that another day?  She tried on the dress and we bought it.  We found a cheap book that was on our reading list!  The Little House by Virginia Burton.
12:30     - break

1p     - library, seashells, books, playing music game
--There is a case with shells, crabs and seahorses and other shells in it on display at the library.  We got a reference book of shells to look at, and read part of another book The King on Stilts, trying to wait for a family to get done reading aloud.  Esme then introduced herself to the daughter - tried to play, but the mother was insistent it was time to leave... they were a homeschool family as well, but not one open to talking to strangers.  After a while playing a game no other kids came - and Esme said one thing she would like to learn about is how one gets glasses, and vision tests, and to look at glasses in a clinic.  We decided to go to the optometrist center at the Walmart and talk to the lady if she wasn't busy.  She talked to Esme about it, told her the fees.. we tried on glasses, sunglasses and then bought her a pair of very weak magnifiers so she could understand some about wearing and cleaning glasses.

2:30p     - vision center, birthday for Daddy plan, shopping

3p     - helping Grandma load car, unload - take groceries inside
4p    - reading aloud (The Little house)
4.45p    - break

5.45p    - 30x situps, 50x 5lb bench, headstands
6p    - done

She also began looking through her Science Starter book from the series Aunt Dot sent us.
She has been wearing the magnifier glasses here and there to read... hope it is not too bad for her.  She has 'cleaned' them several times.

//Notes:  I've finished reading the Farseer Trilogy, and began the Tawny Man Trilogy.  I had finished the vest portion of the purple sweater for Esme - it is a little large on her, almost fits me.  I have to think hard about whether to put sleeves on it.  I have one done and another half done of a pair of tall socks for myself, not quite knee high.  They are held up with ribbons, so they are not too tight around the calves.

Saturday, November 29, 2014



8a    - vet visit, observe stiches, discuss tools
8.30a    - break

11a    - LEGO crafting
12p    - break

1.30p    - PE, running outside
2p    - Planet Earth ep 9 "Shallow Seas"
3p    - break

5:30p     - making a milkshake
6p       - break

7p       - knitting (watched only)
7.30p      - discussed philosophy in Robocop - robot vs human
9:00p      - read first grade reading primer 'Fun with our Friends'

We've talked quite a bit about learning every day, with everything, what you want to know - that learning isnt just for school.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Intense Wednesday

Story writing time... she needed spelling help, 
so we did spelling words afterwards.

7.30a    - discussion of the Declaration of Independence, why
      G. Washington didn't sign - browsing through topics on history magazine website
8a    - break

8.30a    - Vet visit, weighing dogs
9a    - break

10.30a    - story writing, copying address onto a letter
11a     - reading Martha Speaks Thief of Hearts,  spelling words
11:30a     - break

12p    - multiplication tables 0-5, recombining groups (8x3 equals 6x4 equals 12x2)
12.45p    - vocabulary words - copywork from list

1.15p    - PE (30x sit ups, 50x 5lb deadlift, 30x 5lb squats, 50x 5lb

1.30p    - vocabulary words - making sentences
1.45p    - Nat'l Geographics with mom - peoples of the arctic and map
2p    - done

Add extra credit for talking about the spaying of the three dogs, post-operative care, how long they will take to heal, what they need, how to reassure them...  She was very concerned.. said that this looked like a terrible thing we had done - because each dog had a cut and they were weak and disoriented from the anesthesia...  then we told her how it had happened to several others of our dogs, and they felt better afterwards and were healthy now... and she finally decided she would let them rest and hope they will all get better soon.  She also asked if it was okay to skate downstairs while the dogs were resting and sleeping upstairs.  Very considerate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


8.30a    - PE (Skating)
9a    - break

9.30a    - (Murb math), addition, subtraction, multiplication
10.30a    - more skating
11a    - break

11.30a    - Thank you letter
12.15p    - bird drawing
12.30p    - vocabulary words
1p    -
2p    - done
some reading before bed...talking about learning and why we need to learn lots of different kinds of writing
talking about tomorrow and lots of things we need to get done

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday recycling and skates

8.30a    - Morning discussion, water pressure in leaking containers
             Hear ye, Hear ye, doctors and medicines
---She had said that she noticed water in a container with a hole in it stopped coming out at a certain point - and she had theorized that the 'hard water' was what was left, and the soft water leaked out.... I tried several other containers with a hole in the bottom and talked about water pressure with her- that we couldn't just scoop up 'hard water' or 'soft water' to put on top of the other water - it was the weight of any water - all the water was the same - but the more that was in there the more 'pressure' the water at the bottom had to leak out.. and when it got down, there wasn't enough pressure to force the water through the hole.  She really understood that, and tried a few more times.
//There was also an outbreak of 'broccoli fever' among her imaginary patients - and a wordplay on 'patience' and patients getting their medicine if they have patience.  *silly*
9a    - break

10a     - watching recycling batteries at plant- weighing scrap
10.30a    - break
11:30a     - Mickey Clubhouse pattern matching games
12p    - Grizzwold the bear book, reading aloud
12.30p    - break
----back to town for second trip, buying skates, getting dinner

3.30p   - PE (skating)
4.30p    - break

4.45p    - Reading aloud, Grizzwold again
5p    -, electric company word games
5.45p    - done

We went to the local recycling plant today.  Esme helped us load some of the smaller stuff, count and stack it - and we used equipment for several of the larger things.  Once we were at the plant, she talked to several people about her homeschooling (which I was very proud of her for and she said she felt brave!) and watched them weigh the batteries on the scale.  At one point the girl working there helped Esme take some of the batteries and stack them on the scale - so she could feel like she was helping in the process.  The girl also showed her where on the computer the weights came up.  I talked to Esme about how the scale was built - she couldn't see anything but the flat metal plate and asked me how it was a scale - what made it a scale?  Then we talked about how the weights were figured with both addition and subtraction (there was a pallet on one of them), and then multiplication by the price per pound for the item.  Out of the proceeds, she got a new pair of big kid rollerskates we had been looking at for her.  We are also going to get several of our dogs spayed at the vet, which we have also talked about.  So, this is a big learning day for how things are done and what are important things to do with the money.

She picked up the Grizzwold book by herself out of our latest library excursion, and read in between some of the trips.  Then she picked it up and read it out loud again to both of us with some questions about the words she had missed the first time.

Here are pics of her happy with her new big kid skates!  She has been wearing them most of the night *hehe*

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday field trip

8.30a    - Hair and fingernails and seashells explained
      'schedule' and 'hours of operation' discussed
9a    - kahn math
10a    - break
1:30-2:30p - tour of artist and pottery studios, talking
             with the artist about painting and art
2:30-3:30p - library music and photography programs, building

4.15p    - reading aloud, "Fall is for Friends"
4.30p    - sketching
5p    - done

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday measurings and letter to Santa

9.45a    - Letter to Santa
10.30a    - Measuring tape, meausure 10 things
10.45a    -
11.30a    - break

12p    - Planet Earth  ep 8 "Jungles" & discussion
1.15p    - vocabulary words (I've been having them do a list of 2nd and 3rd grade words, and she has been doing them well)
2.15p    - done

Tomorrow I plan to take her to the library - we have went through the three picture books I checked out 'Animals Santa', 'Oliver finds his Way' and 'Man in the Moon : Guardians of Childhood'... there are two other books on measuring and weighing things that we have not yet went through.  We are also planning on going to the art gallery at the Lee School.  Saturday I have to work and we have tickets for the Mr. Roger's Neighborhood stage play.

I am hoping to get a few things done on my own agenda.  I ordered some geranium seeds for a project coming up, and rebooted the purple sweater I had been knitting for Esme more than a year ago - sometime before she grows out of it!  I would like to get another pair of pants done for her - have fabric set aside for it since September but had not gotten to it.

I'm still reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbs... getting to the 3/4 mark and things are starting to blow up all around the main character.

I have noticed since Esme has been out of public school and in homeschool (over a month now) her thoughts are getting even more complete.. she is forming better sentences, and thinks for herself much more.. logical conclusions, arguments/debate etc.  All of this is a very good sign for us.  Other little signs - she is taking care of her 'baby dollys' again... practicing she says for when she is a grown up with a job as a babysitter.  She is thinking more about places she wants to go and days of the week, schedules etc.  Cons - 'Why do I have to get up in the mornings at all?'  Err.. because the whole day depends on it.  Oh. Ok, I'm up.  // Getting her to brush out her hair is still difficult, we always have to help... reminding her to change clothes for town - which she usually does VERY well now, appropriate choices etc.  I can't believe how she can run around the house in winter in a tshirt and not be cold! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday and Wednesday catchup


10a    - Musical Instruments, identifying and playing
10.30a    - Grocery store, prices and sizes comparisons
11a    - break

12.30p    -
3.30p    - break

4p    -
6p    - break

8a    -
11.30a    - cooking eggs
12p    - break

2p    - Electricity & Lasers video
2.45p    - Reading aloud, "The Story of Babar"
3p    - PE (30x 10lb bench, 30 sit ups, 10x 10lb deadlift,
      30x 10lb squats, headstands)

3.30p    - break

4.30p    - Greek letters and numbers in mathematics
5p    - Planet Earth ep 7 "Great Plains"
6p    - done

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday oobleck and more

12p    - Reading aloud, "The Story of Babar"
12.30p    - vocabulary words
1p    - math worksheet; more vocabulary
1.30p    - break

2p    - science, B&G "Dancing raisins; oobleck
2.30p    - Snap Circuits #9
3.30p    - break

7:30 p - more oobleck, Greek lessons, take apart Snap Circuits and go to bed
8:30 - done

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday post, heritage, stew

8:30a     - music song, discuss lyrics
--We've listened to Stand By Me (yesterday) and Lean on Me (today) and discussed the words and what they mean
9a      - wrap package, discuss address parts and postal system, how mail is sorted, history of postmen etc.
9.45a    - break

10.30a    - Paris Heritage center, library, post office
--The lady at the heritage center talked to us about the Civillian Conservation Corp or CCC and showed us some pictures.  I talked to Esme about how older houses were made, and all of the fireplaces, radiators and multiple window/door combinations to keep heat in or let heat out.  We looked at their big dining room, the iron stair banister and the brick fireplaces and walls.  She talked to several people about the age of the house and things that would be happening there next month, and signed the register :)
12p    - break

12.45p    -
1.15p    - Beef stew, cutting meat and kitchen usage
1.30p    -
2p    - beef stew
2.15p    -
2.45p    - done

Ive still been searching for different homeschool styles - and Esme's choice of Greek led me to looking at classical homeschooling... which is similar to the Charlotte Mason.. just the book choices on the lists lead me to many ideas.

I'm hoping I can take Esme to a theatre performance by our local troope here later next week... trying to see if I can arrange for it as it overlaps with my work schedule that day but it would be a great opportunity.  They are doing Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and the tickets are not expensive.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday capacity

9am    - Kahn academy math
9.30a    - music notation video; notes and rests
10a    - break
10:30a  - Capacity book - math with pints/cups water
11a     - break

1p    - planet earth ep 5 "deserts"
2p    - ep 6 "ice worlds"
3p     - zip line stuff with Skittles packages and pipecleaners

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday units

8.15a    - Kahn Academy math
8.45a    - break

9.30a    - town run, change at bank, units and prices at store
10a    - break

11a    - units, comparison
11.15a    - Greek alphabet video, math worksheet
12p    - break

Playing with a balloon... I made her sit down to the Greek lesson just after this
2.30p    - vocabulary words
3p    - snap circuits #8, plus experimental variations
3.30p    - PE (30x 10lb bench, 30x 10lb bicurls, 30 sit ups, 30 almost
      push ups, 30x 10lb squats)

4p    - Reading aloud "The Fantastic Flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore" by William Joyce
4.30p    - done

One of the things we worked on at the store and at home was how to tell how much something weighed - comparing lb and 'pound' and oz and 'ounce'.  She continued with another Greek lesson at my behest...then I had to go to work and it was to Daddy for the rest of the day.

While we were getting ready for the town run this morning she was looking at a picture chart that was supposed to be filled up with pictures until grade 12.  She said that grade 12 was about science.. so the conversation turned to 1- you learn reading/writing/math to be able to understand Science, which is all of those things put together.. and 2.- in homeschool she can be many grades at once.  She said she was in second grade now, right?  I said it would all depend on what books she chose and what she learned - and she could learn at any pace now.... and that some of her things were still first grade, and some even third grade...

We watched How to train your Dragon 2 as a family - it was so sweet, both the movie, and the three of us cuddled together watching it :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday painting

8.30a    - painting -- will add the pictures to the post later...
Esme did a painting that is a 'King kid who set down his crown on a mushroom, which has a bean growing under it, and a flower, and grass... the kid has a grass stain on his sock, because he is a kid.'  I tried a painting of some flowers :)

9.15a    - Kahn academy math - subtraction word problems and comparing greater/lesser than +1425 pts
9.45a    - break

10.15a    - cooking scramled eggs
10.30a    - planet earth ep 4 "Caves"
11.45a    - k'nex engineering - rolling robot thing with a cup to hold things
12.45p    - break

3p    - snap circuits #6 and #7
3.30p    - done

I gave Esme the schedules of some of the free 'museumy' things around here.. she really liked that idea.  She had wanted to go visit one and see what they had there - when we were painting this morning.

She had lost a tooth last night.. one of her last front baby teeth.. she was a bit upset the tooth fairy left only a few coins, and not a toy.  I had such a headache when I got in from work she did her snap circuits with Daddy instead of doing something she had planned to do with me.  I was still not entirely 'good' early this morning - and I thought she was tossing things around in the video area downstairs, but she was really reorganizing, moving a table from her room, clearing things in her room to make more room to sit etc etc.. she made a teaparty with her teddy bear and was drawing pictures on post-it notes this morning when I suggested painting to her.