Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Dentist today -she was a trooper.

8.15a    - Writing a paragraph about dreams, used a dictionary for several of the words.
9.15    - art: Ultimate Dragon drawing

9.30    - break

10.45a    - reading magazines : Boy's Life (dentist's office, there were some cool ones about Space)
11.30    - break
//dentistry!  She needs three more visits before the end of the year to be caught up.

12.45    - library
1.15    - break

2:30  - reading about the creation of shampoo, things used before shampoo
2.45p    - Documentary: America: The Story of Us ep 1
3.30    - break
3:45    - Khan Math - 100% on K-2, begin 3rd grade mission!
4:15    - done

// We watched the Indian in the Cupboard, and talked about music vocal types as elements of music scale.  (bass, baritone, tenor, alto, soprano).  We were playing on the electronic keyboard.  We read some more George (the black holes part) just before bed. 

She wanted me to move her baby doll bed she got for Christmas to a place there weren't any spiders - because she was scared she had seen a spider next to it.  A big wolf spider came out and shook a fist at me as I moved the little table it was on across the room.  She was much happier and tucked Sally and Sarah into their bed.  She says they are so amazing dolls, especially Sally, because her eyes open and shut.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


9.45a    - cardboard dinosaur cont'd

----PVC pipe dinosaur, will be covered with cardboard boxes and painted.  Yesterday she helped measure, cut and find the pieces.  Today we added a tail and Daddy helped us use the tools to drill pieces for caster wheels.  We tied all the square pieces together with string using a pipe cleaner to thread the string through.

11a    - Kahn math- we got to 95% K-2
--There was a point she thought it would be silly and cute to answer a question wrong because she was having a fit...not sure what started it... she didn't like the problem.  It backfired on her, she got five more of that kind of problem the program served her up to reaffirm she knew how to do it.  She had another short fit about that and I explained this was exactly why I had warned her against answering '8777' instead of 87 on that problem (and she had clicked through anyway)... She straightened up a bit and was much better attitude after that lesson.

11.30    - how to play chess, pieces, moves and setup, half of a game
12    - documentary: Popped Secret; the Origins of Corn
12.30p    - break

2p    - minecraft
3.30    - break

5p    - Tree trimming; use of wood saw.
    - Discussion of earthmoving
5.30p    - break

8p    - kitten gender and inventory
8.15    - done

Tomorrow we are going to the dentist.  She is a little scared, naturally...

Monday, September 28, 2015


8a    - discussion about Mars, the Moon, and atmosphere
8:20    - Spelling and dictionary work, identify which of four words is misspelled, and if necessary, find it in the dictionary to spell it correctly.  Lots of cool stuff in our dictionary, there were several minutes talking about the instrumental organization of an orchestra as she looked at the map in the book.
8:40    - Khan Math : reached 90% and has now practiced every skill in K-2 at least once
--She's not far at all from completing this she began last year...and then we will be on to third grade math.
9:30    - break

10a    - outside, walk & frisbee
10.30a    - reading: Rocks & Minerals book
        - NASA Mars discussion of news article
11a     - cardboard construction
--We are building a pvc pipe and cardboard box dinosaur
12p    - cooking: scrambled egg
--Daddy got her the pan from the high shelf, then helped her crack the eggs. She cooked it, served it for herself, ate it, and then washed the pan.
12.30p    - done

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Saturday in Huntingdon, at the One Way Music and Arts Festival

10a    - Huntingdon Arts Fair
//screenprinting participation, magic show
11.30a    - break

12.30a    - Arts Fair continued
//percussion band participation, pony rides, music on stage
3p    - break

4p    - Life in Cold Blood: ep 3 'Dragons of the Dry'
5p    - done

We counted this day as school - there was so much to do and see.  Then we continued with the last episode on our science disk when we got home.  Now, everyone can relax and have the rest of the weekend ;)  Well, except that I have to work tomorrow.



Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday week 8

 Marker drawing - black swan and fish

 Painting a Crocodile getting an apple from a tree

9a    - 50x jumping jacks
    - writing: 4 sentences
9.45    - 30x 10lb bicurls, 20x situps
10a    - art (Black Swan) from Australia booklet
10.15    - break

11a    - art, continued
11.30    - chemistry: gunpowder prep, they made a fizzy smoke bomb type chemical experiment and it really worked.  They also pulled MSDS sheets on each item in the experiment and read them before working with them.
12.45    - break

4.45    - quadcopter flying
5p    - break

5.30p    - painting
6p    - video: life in cold blood, ep 2, amphibians
7.15    - painting
7.30p    - done

Tomorrow there is a participatory music event we are planning on going to.  I hope it is as cool as it sounds!  I asked for the day off last month.

Quote: // So Mom, do we know yet what humans are turning into, for the future?  Are the scientists thinking about that? I'm thinking about that. And I don't know what it is!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Slow Thursday

I had today off and no big plans -- so we took it slower.  It's nice to do that once in a while.

8a    - Reading: "One Penny, One Pizza"
8.30a    - kahn math
//Went from 80% to 85%, on the K-2 set and practiced a few of the skills she had not touched yet. 
9a    - video: life in cold blood
//Documentary about how reptiles and amphibians live with 'cold-blooded' systems, and the vast array of them over the planet. This was episode 1, with David Attenborough.  We had a little discussion on this several times over the day.
10a    - break

11.30    - Masie's store: stock counting exercise
//I spent the break time setting up for this - making an inventory and pricing lists that 'Masie' had given us before she went on her trip, and pulling out the canned food from the cupboards to use in the game.  I also prepared an 'Internet Order' she would need to pack and packing supplies, complete with addresses to copy.  She sorted the tables into orderly rows of cans and marked prices on post-it notes from the pricing list.  We counted each item onto a spreadsheet paper using tally marks, then compared our 'cycle count' against Masie's list.  We marked down which quantities were off and by how much positive or negative.  We packed, checked and 'shipped' the order to our plastic elephant, who unpacked it and checked it against his order.  We made a fake call to 'Masie' and discussed our inventory report and also asked about ordering some of the things we were short on the list. // Another day we will do making change for customers coming into the store and stock orders coming in as well.
12.30p    - break

We went to town and bought some real supplies - planning on making a pizza and watching Walking with Dinosaurs for the rest of school today.  She has looked up and read a lot about her Goat Simluator game today, too...but I haven't 'counted' that as school.  Mark bought her a five dollar tablet version, and now she is quite obsessed with this game again.

4p : Video: Walking with Dinosaurs; Allosaurus (2 episodes, 'Ballad of Big Al' and making of special)
5p - done

Good quote today:  Those hay bales are not horse eggs, Daddy.  If they were horse eggs they would be smaller than the horse they came out of. //hmmm...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesay Wednesday

7.30a    - writing short story about a hole that goes to the past
---There was major friction here... we spent just the first half hour having a discussion about she really needs to do this even if she doesn't want to, and curbing attitude/discussing appropriate behavior to learn the things she will need to become an adult. (The birthday party last night was with a younger friend who does not use good attitude or proper manners and it is tough to get Esme to focus after being with her).  She used the dictionary and perked up, acting better and making good ideas after the attitude discussion.
8:30a   - English worksheet was/were
8:45    - Cereal break

9:00    - Human origins video and discussion
---We also discussed carbon 14 dating and isotopes in a general way, then the specific way that was shown in the video about dating fossils.  She asked many questions about the evolution of the foot.  She was very excited to see the Laetoli footprints, because we had studied that a few months ago when talking about volcanoes.
9:30    - Khan Math
----She moved from 71% to 80% on the K-2 math, concentrating on number lines and subtraction and addition mastery.
10a     - break

10:30   - Tornado game and math as art discussion
--We also looked at drawings by M.C. Escher.  I discussed math equations as being able to be graphed to make pictures (article about the new artist on CNN).  I also had her listen to a fugue by Bach, trying to explain that it was a 'math pattern in music'.  We need to touch that more in the future - but I wanted to start it out.
11a    - minecraft
--Building the thing from her short story.
11.30a    - game research (reading wikis); tornado game
1.30p    - done

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


8a    - School of Dragons
9a    - Gunpowder, making, history, uses; note taking
//She had been asking about this the other day and Mark told her some... they took time to investigate (on computer) some more of the details and historical significance.

10a    - Finding, harvesting, experimenting with charcoal
//we have a cedar tree that was burned a few years ago that still has charcoal inside it crumbling into pieces. Mark used that opportunity to discuss how it was made, how it can be used etc.  
10.30a    - break

11.45    - outside PE, half mile walk/run
12p    - bicycle repair
1p    - jacksmith game
1.30p    - done

I had to work early today, so Daddy took some time to do chemistry stuff.  We have a play date at a friend's house later tonight that she is already getting herself ready for, clean clothes and braided hair and et al.  Esme told me they also went over division and percentages and she understands that a lot better now.  I quizzed her a little, and she was right!  /We went to the birthday party for her friend G and came back home.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Focus Monday

I had been on at work for eight days straight last we decided to do a focus day today.

8a    - shoe tying refresher course
8.30    - break

We went to the library, exchanged our huge load of books for just a few, and then grabbed breakfast and came home.

11a    - reading aloud: "How to Train Your Dragon"
--trying to have her focus, read at a constant rate, try the big words and not fuss about having to read every page through multiple chapters. She started out in a bad mood and I gave her a '76' for reading participation and effort.
2p    - break

2.30    - archeology - digging in the yard, collecting shell-imprint chert in her bottle.
3p    - reading - she earned an 88 on this one, and tried a lot more big words.  Her discussions were on topic and not just for the purpose of stalling time.  We made it through the end of Chapter four.
4.15    - Kitchen Chemistry: whipping cream
--served on ice cream :)

She wants to go ride bikes afterwards - we did, but my chain broke on the second time around.
//She watched me doing algebra just before bed and I explained a little of it to her - she has the capability... she just needs to learn her multiplication and her subtraction a little more concretely...  When I told her that and showed her simple algebraic problems she was able to see how they applied.  She had the hardest time with 7x=7 and 4n=2...but I showed her how that worked out 'in squares' as she had asked, and she got it. 
//While reading George at night she made comments that you would be a skeleton waiting for an important phone call for three years (light year distances, sound and light travel faster than we do and it still takes that long for a  signal to travel from there)...and depending on how important the phone call you might wait that long and forget to eat or drink while waiting *heh*.  Also, if our bodies had no water (we discussed the 75% rule and where the water was) we would be a lump of coal in space.  She wanted to know if Earth was what was left from alien civilizations that lost their water, died and then was recollected back into Earth to start life again (we are on that chapter where the origins of life and chemistry amino acids is discussed)...  interesting questions.

//I finished reading the All-of-a-Kind family series.  Moved on to Apprentices (book 2) by Maile Meloy, and then found Apothecary (book 1) at the library. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday end of week 7 already?

7a    - typing Cats report on word processor
---and she learned to spell a few words better!
7:40     - 400 years of the Telescope docu + discussion about spectroscopy and listening for patterns in signals from space.  She related some of what we had learned in the Hawking book (George and the Secret Key to the Universe) to what we were listening to on the docu.  I stopped several times to go over what had just been said.
9a    - break

10.15a    - school of dragons
11a    - industrial puppy washing
--Mark set up an 'assembly line' between the two of them to wash the seven puppies in one continuous stream.
11.45a    - break

1p    - planning: puppy excusion
---writing a list, forethought, planning, packing
1.30p    - break

3p    - reading Dinosaurs book
---She showed me Iberomesornis when I got home and told me all about what made it cool.
4p    - done

I could use a break now!  But I still have to work the weekend before I get one.  We have another documentary coming next week about cold blooded creatures, and one about dinosaurs possibly living in the Arctic.  We have some more George to read tonight, cool stuff happening in this chapter!

On the way to work this morning Mark and I discussed how we are laying down a broad base of knowledge for her to draw on in coming years- knowledge that most kids don't even start being introduced to until they are in junior high (in this area).  She really wants to learn more about genetics...I found a cool article the other day that discussed how important it is to get the rock-bottom fundamental ideas of genetics, DNA and chemistry down at an early age, so kids will understand, even at the most basic level, the importance of what is being discovered in their lifetime.  It really struck a chord with me.. ideas build on ideas.  Building the foundation of science in the mind over the broad spectrum means she will have lots and lots of places to build connections - and maybe really help her get a good idea of what she wants to study for herself.

//going to go sit on the bed with my washcloth knitting and a cup of coffee.  Esme really wants to play LAN Minecraft with me and make things she has been talking about here and there...we'll see.

 Pictures I forgot to post from our volcano project the other day:

Measuring the ingredients
Pouring in the fuel (vinegar, food coloring and soap)

Putting in the baking soda


Thursday, September 17, 2015


8:30a    - Reading book about Cats
9:00a     - writing one page report about Cats
9:30a     - Minecraft : New Horizons -- costume shop and horse stables
10:30a    - Evolution of Birds video
11    - school of dragons and 'Learning to Fly' game
11.30    - math worksheet - 3 digit numbers, rounding to tens then adding or subtracting with carrying and borrowing
12p    - break

12.15    - Helen of Troy (2nd hour)
---She discussed this with me when I got home from work, telling me what she learned about the Trojan War and what happened afterwards.
1.15p    - done

We have a telescope documentary '400 years of the telescope'... which should play in well with the George and the Secret Key to the Universe we are reading for bedtime material.

I finished Tale of Desperaux tonight on my own Kindle - very very sweet.  Started on more of the All-of-a-Kind family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


7a    - School of Dragons quests and skills
8a     - Math worksheet - fair estimates
9a     - reading: If I was a Ballerina (outside)

9:15a     - Video: The Origin of Tetrapods (HHMI)
-----She really liked this!  We have another episode for tomorrow
10a     - reading and discussion: erosion, wind, water, ice
10:30a     - Video: Helen of Troy (first half)
----A little above her head, but she was getting some of the key parts.  Her comment before watching it was 'I know all about Helen of Troy (from Ducktales)..wait, what do you mean she was REAL?  This show is about a REAL lady?...okay, let's watch a little bit, just a little bit.'

11a     - Minecraft on Tablet
12a     - done

//She wants to go back to New Horizons Minecraft world tomorrow - it has been a while since we were there.

I am feeling a little runabout this week... there are so many things we don't have time to do but we are getting the necessary stuff done.  It just feels incomplete, though, and like there are things stacking up that we can't even look at yet, stuff that has to be acknowledged but we don't get to see how big the monster grows until we are over the hill of the 'week with no time.'  It is a depressing idea - but it is what it day off is next Monday.  I also keep adding to the books I want to buy for Esme to have for later...even though she isn't ready to read them all. I'm ready to read them!

Book List:
Blue Willow - Doris Gates
Tale of Desperaux
Green Kingdom Childcraft book
Trundle's Quest (Six Crowns series)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday science review

9a    - Science Review and discussion, GIMP practice (graphic editor)
-----------She looked at the page of topics we had discussed in the past few weeks and said we never talked about several of these words. I expected that - and went over each one again connecting the visual word to the discussion.  We reviewed the igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary as well as  volcanic activity, core, mantle, crust and started to talk about erosion.  We discussed monotreme / marsupial and placental mammals again, and touched on what evolution means again.  I drew some pictures in Gimp editor to give her visual examples.

She saw a graphic on my computer of all of the different eras of the fossil record, so she asked lots of questions about those.  She said she wanted to do that project - where we locate on the timeline where different animals first appeared and cut and paste them.  She really wants to talk about human evolution, how the 'first animal ever' came to be and also why some animals (like the nautilus in the graphic) have not changed, and why some do. I have a video series to start on this in the next few days.

10a     - Armadillo Cowboy book
10:15a     - Math worksheets - hard for her - she had to decide what place to round to, round the numbers and then add for an estimation of the sum.  She argued a lot and I had to help a lot.  We have the other half of that to do tomorrow.  pg.78 of Progress in Mathematics

She said she might write her report this week on how smart cats are and what they can learn.  Hmmm...

11:00a     - volcano eruption project
------------great fun :)
11:30a     - Reading: Eric Carle library book
           - Listening: Six Crowns : Fair Wind to Widdershins chapter one
12:00a     - tablet Minecraft & Toca Nature
3.30    - done

//read more George and the Secret Key to the Universe before bed.  Some big eyes as we discussed high and low temperatures in space.

Monday, September 14, 2015


7:30a    - Math worksheet
7:45a     - reading: When Jessie Came Across the Sea
8:15a     - Math worksheet
8:45a     - break

9:15a     - clay volcano project(setup)
9:30a     - Animals and people of Australia with National Geographic pullout map
-------------covered the three kinds of mammals and types of marsupials in Australia
-------------talked about the Aborigines of Australia, landforms of Australia and some major cities
10:00a     - reading: Balloons over Broadway
10:30a     - break

1p    - Lego building w/ Book of Ideas
-------------She built a two-story house with furniture in it based on things she saw in the book
3.30    - done

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Esme had a great time at a sleepover this past weekend.

I got a little done around the house, laundry and a new pair of pants made.  Half of her pants are creeping up three inches past her ankle, and winter is on its way.  I'm reading the Septimus Heap books... as I can get them, through the library Kindle system. I have another I've always heard of 'All of a Kind Family' lined up.  I wanted to find Esme a copy of Blue Willow by Doris Gates for someday... didn't see it available.  

Now there are pizzas in the oven, and Esme wants to play more Skyrim after that.  It has been a long weekend. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Catahoula Leopard Dogs at Shepard Lane Farm (KnitOwl)

By request, gratuitous puppy pictures.  And pictures of our adult pack at the bottom.
Questions please email at

  Hunter is spoken for, and will go to his family about 9/20/2015

 Chunks looks just like his Daddy, Spud.  See below in the adult pictures.

 Cutie has one black ear (see below) 

   Pearl on the left, Cutie on the right

 Lazy and Pearl are nearly twins, and sometimes seem to share the same brain.
Lazy has a longer line over one eyebrow and a larger black spot on her back.

 Turbo is a fat and happy puppy and enjoys cuddling up to an ankle.

 Freckles is excited about everything.

 Minnie looks a lot like her mom, Minerva, seen below.  She deeply wants to be someone's dog and is eager and observant.

 Nibbler is sweet. We are keeping him with the pack.

 Story time!
Despite best efforts, none have yet learned to read.

 Aunt Daphne with Columbus' sister from an earlier litter, Rosa.
She looked a lot like Turbo does now.

 Minerva, the pups mother.
 Columbus, a brother from Minerva's first litter.
 Columbus and Hunter
Spud, the pups' father.
Spud and his sister, Sweetie, when they were puppies.

Sweetie, grown up as an adult.

Friday homeschool

7.30a    - Report: How did the Earth get Water?
---We had quite a lot of resources from our academic group, a video and an article from a Unviersity to go through.  She then wrote a paragraph about what she had learned -and I helped her add specific details to expand it into three short paragraphs to print out.
8.30a    - reading "Pumply Dumpily Pumpkin"
9a    - School of Dragons
9.30    - break

10.30    - dragon city
11.30    - break

12.45    - PE (ball headstands & balancing, 40x 10lb overhead lifts,
      50x reverse sit ups, 5 push ups, 100x jumping jacks)

1.15    - reading "Leo's Tree" ("Leo and the tree were growing and
      growing at the same time")
    - reading "Strangers in the Forest"
1.30    - making pork spice (math, weights and measures)
2p     - done

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday - Lowe's Heroes

 We helped today with the Lowe's Heroes project at the Eiffel Tower park in Paris, TN
It started very early, just as dawn was breaking.
We started by digging and clearing out dirt in the area around the existing wall.
(See below).  The existing wall was cracking and needing to be reinforced.

There was a lot of digging.
Then it was time to lift heavy bricks and glue them in place.
Esme couldn't help lift the blocks..but I did have her pay attention to the process.
Shout-outs for J.B and Brian and receiving, who were also helping.
 Just one of the cracks that was threatening the original block wall.

We started to lay the bricks and test the level of the cleared area.  They also brought in an electric hand tiller to get some of the areas with gravel ground down to the right level.

 Miss Mary gave Esme a lesson on stability and why we were shimming the bricks as we went.

Miss Jayla was helping out from her school, too, with her Mom, Kia and our zone manager Tony.

Nibbler came along to act as the puppy construction supervision.


 We could finally lay the top layer of bricks on the front half of the wall.  Mr. Joe Martinez, in the background here, was our foreman for the Lowe's team and an expert in laying masonry.  He helped us keep things level and work with problems as they arose.

 Paris City Parks and Recreation were there to help supervise an lend their expertise, too.
Our store manager Brody is in red, and our Outside Garden specialist Tony is to his left.

There was playtime in between things.

The mallet was fascinating, apparently.
She was happy that Miss Leigh told her what the mallet was for, and the pry bar.
She wasn't as interested in how the blocks actually held together with the lip on the back edge.  I thought that was the fascinating part.  Esme thought it was just normal - of course they go together that way.  Goes to show everyone takes something different away as the most interesting part of the project.

 There were also sandcastles made in the extra sand and dirt they brought for the project.
But she really had earned some play after slinging dirt with the shovel like a trooper at dawn.

 A job well done, with a paw print of approval.
Well, we left about 11 am before the picture crew for the newspaper was coming in.
It was getting hot, and it had already been a very long day for us!
We had dog food to get at the co-op, and lunch to make.
We stopped by home for an instant, and then got back about an hour later.
Esme has been working on Skyrim quests (after her multiplication was done), and has felt very brave.
She is glad we went to help - but now we have one day (tomorrow, Friday) to do a one page report and a Spanish lesson.  That is crunch.  I'm wondering if we'll get it done.

6:30a - Community Service project with Lowe's Heroes
---We were helping build the block wall around the Eiffel Tower in the Paris, TN city park.  We got there pretty early, and helped remove dirt from the first course's path.  Esme helped a lot with that.  After a bit there wasn't much else she could do - so I helped transport some block and she took care of Nibbler and watched until it was time to get going.  Nibbler the puppy is deaf, and we ended up having to bring him with us today because he would not get away from the car.  But, he seemed to have a nice adventure, too.

11a - break
11:30 - math worksheet, doubles and triples
11:35 -break
2:00 - Skyrim quests - Dragonborn Temple of Miraak and Fate of the Skaal...also some book quest she is on right now.  I'm not truly counting it as 'school'...but she usually runs and hides and asks us for help and she is showing a lot of independence and decision making with it today.  She even stopped when her follower died, reloaded from the last save and fought three hard monsters again making sure he didn't die.  It was a tough choice - but she decided it was more important to make sure he was safe.  Little things.

4:30pm - still playing (with a brief stop at chicken time to feed,water and egg the chickens).  She's on 'Path of Knowledge' quest now.