Thursday, April 30, 2015


7.00a    - laundry and self-care // She had put all of her things in the washer by herself and was taking a bath and washing her hair.  She was very proud that she did it all by herself.  Our little girl is starting to really starting to get and use her self-care skills.  (It's about time.. she has been so reluctant and at some point we really want to see her gaining these skills and using her own judgement)

7.45a    - Sims - building a palace with seventeen rooms, a hedge maze outside and ponds.  She is paying attention to lots of details and playing with little features of the game we hardly notice ourselves.

9.15a    - Spelling quiz, writing several sentences, going over words in the -ouse and -e changes to -ing families  Pulled up a couple of jazz songs on Spotify, which she disliked.. her taste in music is very narrow.  Pointed out that 'Everybody Wants to be a Cat' is Jazz.  She likes that song, but put her head down on the table and sulked while it played.

9.45a    - Labors of Hercules #7 through #9.  Man eating horses of Diomedes were quite frightening, so she was glad when the Gods on Mt. Olympus sent the wild beasts to make sure there weren't any around anymore.  She said she knew all about minotaurs from a cartoon - but I said we might add that on as a legend to look at after the Labors are finished.

10a    - gardening // planting her six celosia plants.  Some complaint, but when I said what she didn't plant (since she chose them) I'd give away instead of plant she dug the holes and put them in the flower bed.

10.45a    - fishing  - learning to cast on my fishing rod, she caught two leaves and a piece of duckweed, but there were several strikes and she was happy with her progress.  She picked these flowers all the way home from the lake.

11.30a    - done

//When I got home at night I asked her several math/measures questions while she brushed her teeth.  She passed them all, except she couldn't remember the word 'scale'- she said 'the weights' and made a hand-sign showing a scale balancing in air.  I asked her what things were measured IN - and she said grams, and pounds.  I asked what was heavier, 5 grams or 5 pounds, and she said pounds, and then told me she weighed only X in pounds, but it would be HUGE amount in grams.  We compared 5 grams to being measured in a few beans where 5 pounds would be several apples.  She knew there are 12 to a dozen, and 24 to two dozen.  I asked if there were 12 inches in a foot, and 3 feet in a yard, how many inches were in a yard.  She thought through and said 36 in less than ten seconds.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


7a    - sims
//Also, a discussion about how to play the game of marbles - and her request to get more marbles, a few shooters, and learn to play. 
8a    - break

8.30a    - Hercules - we did Labors 4 through 6, and I asked her to draw a picture of any of the labors to show she remembered what happened.  She drew the hydra - with Hercules standing on its back holding a torch to singe the heads - waiting for his nephew Iolaus to finish bashing the giant crab that had been attacking him a moment before.  She says it is happening in a cave by the sea, with waves rushing to the right hand side.

9a    - bike riding outside
9.15a    - break

10a    - cleaning up her play areas and the living room area
10.30a    - gardening - marigolds, snapdragons and morning glories
11a    - bike riding
11.30a    - more cleaning up- Daddy said some of this was self-directed.  She located her doll clothes and doll mattress with bedding and had a little bedroom 'dollhouse' set up in her room along with a meal cooking for her doll and a pet.

12.30p    - done

Garden Notes:  I planted okra, dragon's lingerie beans, blue black shackamaxon beans,  asparagus beans, sunflowers, crackerjack marigolds, coreopsis, evening primrose, dill, cosmos, zinnias, snapdragons, red yarrow and hyacinth beans in the garden.  I transplanted the comfrey and borage that had been started in the house (I will start some more as well, for backup).  I still need to sprinkle more basil seed and plant the onion sets and some shasta daisy (not in the garden) seeds with Esme.  She has her celosia plants and a Thai Basil to plant, as well.  I have to choose and dig the rows for the bush beans after we have planted her onion sets.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday flea market

8a    - preparations and town; math discussions
//what is a brooch pin - this was hard to describe, she wanted to say it was a needle with a spot on one side - although she understood it and knew it was jewelry, she didn't like the other names.
//she brought up the topic of negative numbers, and we continued while driving to the flea market - multiplication of negatives, negative and positive, positive and positive, some arithmetic and fractions.
8.30a    - flea market
//She learned geese have teeth, and saw piglets and ducks snuggling in cages.  We talked to our farmer friend and bought some of her wares for a graduation gift for a friend.  Esme found a plastic toolbench with toy tools and we scraped money up between the three of us to buy it.  She then carried the top half and I carried the bottom half out of the market.
10a    - store
//Looking at tomato plants, herbs, plants.. she chose some red celosia for us to buy and her to plant another day.  She asked questions about the cacti and other succulents she saw.  We shopped for food and discussed a lot.  She carried the cat food out to the truck saying she had muscles now.
10.30a    - break

12:15p     - Legend of Hercules - first three labors
Perseus project website, reading, listening and discussion, recapping to Daddy what she had learned about.  I stressed that in each of the labors we read about Hercules used not only his great strength and agility, but also his brain to observe and decide what the best thing to do was.
12:45p - Sims - She has been using my name dictionary to name her characters, it is quite cute to go in and find names like 'Esther' and 'Alvin' on her characters.
3p     - done

//Notes :  The other day I was brushing her hair out for town and she said that she was proud of herself lately, because she now understands the math of money and time much better and did well on her test.  She has worked hard on those - and did really do so much better this last time. 

Communication :  Sometimes it is still like we are trying to talk through a foreign language gap.  She was trying to indicate to me a certain scene in the movie John Carter that she wanted to ask a question about - but I thought she was talking about Sandlot.  She said the movie with the dog, and the lots of people, and the dog looked really weird.  And the man, who was the man in blue, he bashed at the same time.  Finally I worked around (with her getting mad I didn't understand) that she didn't mean Sandlot - not the kids with the baseball, the man with the amulet.  OK.  That helps.  And then I instantly knew the scene she meant - and discussed it was showing a flashback to a sad time (blue) where he buried his family and at the 'present' time he was fighting lots and lots of enemies and thinking about the bad old memories at the same time to draw his strength and anger to protect his loved ones now.  That was all she wanted to know - why the movie was connecting those two things together....

Monday, April 27, 2015


9.30a    - minecraft
10.30a    - Mythbusters: "Jet Pack"
11.30a    - Sims
1.30    - done

//I got home from work about 4:30.  We worked in the garden together - putting out the tomatoes, putting up the bean fence and planting corn.  We looked at all of the things that are coming up and surviving from the last time we worked out there.  I've been researching the Labors of Hercules to start the story for Esme - it has been a lifetime (almost literally) since I read them myself.

//I need to go through the beans in my collection and decide what to plant now that the fence is up.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


We did the carnival on Saturday - Esme and I rode rides while Mark watched.  She has gotten tall enough she can ride almost anything - but I still didn't feel comfortable with her riding alone on several of them.  We had to cut one ride short as Esme was not really as ready for it as she thought - luckily we went so early we were the only ones on it at the time and the operator was accommodating.  She bought a little sequined Chinese foldout fan at one of the booths and it is actually a very pretty and sturdy souvenir. 

I put the squash seedlings into the garden and transplanted almost everything else into larger pots.  The folklore here is you don't plant your things in the ground until after the Fish Fry weekend -- I usually break that rule because it is warm enough long before it.  This year, it is not.  It still feels cold out there today for such things...  And unlike any other year - we still don't have our corn in the ground. I imagine the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland screaming 'I'm Late' and running in circles because the garden is barren.

Esme spent this morning building this entire snow castle 'as a surprise to mom'.  I did a little embroidery, that is still not finished.  Then she drew a puppet show background and little cardboard 'sock puppets'  and put on a play for me.  We've had a relaxing day - all except for the coolness.  Mark and I both looked into the water heater wiring to test everything - and found it working properly..doesn't explain why we still run out of hot water halfway through a bath every time.  I learned a lot about something that I had previously only seen in picture instructions.  Aunt Dot has sent  Esme a beautiful book of space transportation and history with detailed diagrams.  Esme has read her letter and I told her we need to write one this week.

This next week will be long - it is my six days-on stretch.
The rabbit will probably still be complaining about the garden all this week *heh*.
On to laundry, some reading perhaps and Esme wants to make Ramen noodles with me later.

 Each villager's house as a 'mailbox' outside it for letters.  The house in the back she said is mine and has a diamond set of armor, a 'gold crown' helmet and a sword.
 Two towers for lookouts for the castle, and armored horses and messenger donkeys with chests on their back for delivering the mail.  There is a 'chair shop' in one of the small buildings where the villagers buy their chairs.
I added the little garden and tree grove in the front when she asked me what I wanted to do in my new city.

For later: Article: Simple Homeschool Baking  We had said we were going to bake bread one of these days... and we haven't done much baking in a few months.  I like the 'once with mom', twice while supervised, and third time on my own method.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday in Paris

8a    - dragon city
9a    - break

9.30a    - Town: Fish Fry Parade
11p    - break

12.30p    - Mythbusters: "Sinking Titanic"
1.15p    - bike maintenance; tire inflation
1.30p    - PE: outdoor bike riding
2p    - done

Mama Notes: I've finished the entire Liveship Traders series, and all but the last trilogy that Robin Hobbs is still working on completing... // Have started into the original Tarzan series free on Amazon.  spoiler:  Disney movie lied about how the parents died... been way too long since I read it and watched the movie in the same time period to have noticed that  before.

//planning for new schoolbooks
ISBN : 0792259351
Title : Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations
Authors : Jacqueline Mitton
Also, a copy of Mouse and the Motorcycle, and an original (not abridged or altered) copy of Winnie the Pooh - although I need to examine the ISBN of the one at the library and see if I can find it elsewhere in that edition.
Tall tales and legends - have several free ebooks to start from
I ordered her a pictorial dictionary for children that will arrive in a few weeks.
We watched the movie the Sandlot - and she focused on why they named the dog Hercules.  We tried to explain who Hercules was - but ended up deciding that we will find a book on the Twelve Labors of Hercules and reading through them as a philosophy lesson.  She is interested for now - wants to find out what he did.

Article:  Homeschooling gifted child (asynchronous notes) // The asynchronous notes on this hit on the head for our situation with Esme.  There are some things she just gets without problems - and other things she argues about and misinterprets over and over again until one day - when she gets it.  She is years ahead in some subjects, and a year or so behind in other things - especially her use of grammar and her ability to sit and focus on something that does not already have her interest.  I can put books in her path and she will ignore them for months - or pick them up and be absorbed for a day and have lots of new ideas from it.  Her fear of the bike turning into near mastery in a week and a half is more evidence she just isn't going to be on the same path as most of the kids her age - because she is wired differently, and has to come to things in her own time or - if it is very important - have it worked with her more patiently and not just bustled along on someone's schedule with no regard for if she learned it or not.  So, homeschooling is working for our 'asynchronous' girl because we put effort into the things she really needs to learn, let her explore to pick up other things she can where she is interested - and just generally try to provide all the opportunities and guidance we can.  Another goal of ours - that public school was not helping with as she was gone 10 hours a day and in a general bad mood whenever she got home - is to live life in the real world, know how to work for things she does need - self-care, exercise, planning ideas, how to shop, study, make things, draw/paint, cook, general basics of cleaning and laundry, taking care of animals, gardening, fishing, flying kites, music etc...  This comes naturally at home and she enjoys a lot of it.

Article  Math ceiling -- an article and comments for me to read later.. I cut up somewhere between dividing polynomials and differential equations... I get it, but not always the right answer - and I can't tell why... and don't have anyone to talk with about it as I'm not really in that field anymore - and polynomials come up very rarely while plumbing houses ;) or praseodymium crystals, for that matter...

Thursday, April 23, 2015


8a    - general Q&A: "why do we have eyebrows?" fridge letter rounds such as 'zany stepping prickly goat circus dinosaurs' and so forth changing one line at a time and seeing the new results.  She grabbed a small magnet to add an apostrophe to Zany's - saying it was a name now and it needed that 'shape' she couldn't remember the name of. 
8.30a    - break

9.30a    - PE, bike riding (explorations in pavement) Mark took her into the town for Grandma's dentist appointment, and she rode bike there and learned town riding rules with cars nearby and sidewalks.

10.30a    - reading math book Math for all Seasons, discussed dentistry and town life
11a    - break

1.45p    - Mythbusters: "Exploding Porta Potty"
2.45p    - Mythbusters: "Cooling a Six Pack"
3.45p    - done

// Esme has given the new chicken a name, now - 'Gennet', after the brave but lonely girl in her reading book.  It is actually a thoughtful name.  Her other chickens, acc. to her, are Beautiful Chicken, Miss Pretty, Chickenletta and Long Neck Chicken.  I thought Miss Pretty used to be Long Legs, but she says they all grew up now and that doesn't fit her anymore.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


9.45a    - Minecraft (survival mode, "first night" basics)
10.15    - writing heiroglyphs from Ancient Egypt book from library
10.30a    - Minecraft
12p    - break

12.30p    - Minecraft
1p    - PE, bike riding outside
1.45p    -break
6p - finished last four pages of North Dakota Standard first grade math tests // word problems were difficult for her..on one she got the right answer but filled in the 'number sentence' in a way not indicated in the words of the problem but shown in the picture... 
6:30 - done

She had told Daddy she would do the math when I got home from work - I held her to it after dinner.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


9.30a    - Grammar / English test - pages 11-14 of math test
//We will continue to work on capitalization and punctuation to emphasize.  For as little as we have really 'worked' on it up to now, she still was averaging more than 70% correct.  I found her an online video to reinforce.
10.30a    - PE, bike riding outside (training wheels are put away!)// riding uphill quite easily now until the incline gets very steep, then she gets off and walks it up and starts again at the top... amazing considering last week she was barely walking it along without her feet on the pedals.

10.45a     - Video: "Brainpop: Capitalization"
11     - Spelling primer, pg 40 activities, handwriting, sounds, thinking about word choice
11.30a     - Minecraft, survival mode shared world

12.15p     - gardening with Mom, marking rows, discussing plans, planting basil, radish and lettuce seeds.  We went up to her hilltop garden from last week and saw that the marigolds were coming up behind her little rock wall.  She was very happy to see the results of her work.

1:15p    - Minecraft, survival mode shared world
1.30p     -break
2p         - parsley planting, chickens, laundry
2:30      - done

She was 'grounded' from going to the fair carnival tonight - as her attitude of the past few days has been surly whenever she has to do anything she didn't plan or whenever she feels like arguing.  She slammed a door last night after one of the 'what did you say - no don't repeat it, why do you repeat it' arguments that are quite annoying to us.  She deliberately misinterprets something she didn't want to hear - and then uses it as an arguing point that she didn't mishear it, we said it wrong etc etc.. 

However, after the initial tears this morning, she has tried very hard to do what is asked of her with her work, and the gardening and to try hard at things.  She said she has a happy song to think of when she is about to be mad (about having to wash her bedclothes, which I told her she would have to carry herself to the machine and she was about to argue with) and then she is a little bit happy and isn't mad.  Whatever works, kid - in fact, I remember something similar from my days in public school, especially gym class.

We planted parsley in the garden for the rat - and she reminded me we needed a place for the onions.  We marked things out and she tied several knots in the yarn lines herself.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday - English tests part 1

9a    - English test, reading comprehension test
//two pages of counting syllable and comparing word sounds, and a somewhere near 8 page reading comprehension test that she did very well on (20/23). 

9:3a     - Minecraft, built 2 pyramids, horse rescue
11a     - break

11:45     - punctuation, capitalization in Minecraft
//I'm going to give her more testing on this once I'm sure I've covered it adequately.  I put up signs with the rules in Minecraft and quizzed her on how to fix other sentences.
12:45     - reading Stink book - Guinea Pig Express - finished for library due date
1.15p    - break

2p      - Library art show
//She said she liked the heron painting the most with the log frame - but in person she was very entranced by the needlepoint textured piece, the yarn baskets and kept asking again and again what the purple silk "Best in Show" ribbon on a pottery piece meant.

2:30p   - History Explorer computer program - She explored Ancient Egypt, the Incas, Imperial China and Medieval times.  I liked that this one made her answer small questions about the text she had just heard (or in some cases skipped) in order to earn the stickers.

3:30p   - PE at playplace - she got on well with four or five other little girls.  There was much screaming,  animal roleplay, running, climbing and comparing of Happy Meal toys. 
5p     - done

//We went to a little fashion outlet store and she bought herself a fancy pen and pad of paper with some of her Easter money and this week's allowance.  She is outside running her bike around after having slept all the way home in the truck!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

bits - homeschooling progress first grade

Mark and I counted up the days from public school, and the attendance calendar we keep for Esme's homeschool, and then added a week for good measure, and she should come out over and above her 180 day requirement for the year about May 15th.  Then she would be in summer vacation until August 1st.  That is a long summer for her, and she couldn't think of anything except bike riding she wanted to do with all her time.  We suggested there wouldn't be greenhouse duties to earn her money at - so she might work in the garden with us during the week and earn her allowance that way - she didn't think she could do that.  It might change once it actually starts happening.

She has grown up a lot this year - still things to work on, but she has become a lot more confident with what she can do.  We still argue a lot, and she still needs to learn to cut her losses in an argument and not keep digging deeper - ie: not get in a bad mood and make the best of what trip we do, or what we are going to buy and not buy etc. 

Her bravery on her bike is very good to see.  Yesterday she was riding uphill as well as downhill, and in circles - and we went up to the hard road for a bit.  *knock on wood* she didn't take any tumbles during that - and was taking caution to ride her brakes downhill to slow herself down.

I'm also glad to see her reading more on her own, and once in a while even writing something for fun again.

Some goals to shoot for this last month of homeschooling:
One last good field trip - been discussing options
finish out this math test and try to advance a little further in the K-2 Khan Academy (she was at 71%)
go over our spelling words one ore time

She still thinks/hopes she is going back to public school 'in June'.. we talked about that again - but she doesn't want to hear it, so she keeps forgetting and asking anew each time.  We still think it would be best to homeschool her one more year, see how much more natural growth she can show us, and then have her evaluated going into 'third grade' and see how well she has progressed. 

Friday, April 17, 2015


9a    - math test pg 8 & 9
9.15a    - reading with mom (power pack comic)
9.30    - Minecraft
10.15    - break

10.45    - Minecraft
11.15    - bike riding (circles and the importance of turning)
//She was able to ride up hill part way!  Coming along quite well.
12p    - Minecraft
12.45p    - Mythbusters "Border Slingshot"
1.45p    - Mythbusters "Escape Slide Parachute"
2.30p    - done

She helped Daddy make lasagna for dinner.  We rode more bikes after dinner and planted seeds in our roadside garden up by the mailbox.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday Parks and Gardens

8.30a    - cleanup desk and  toys. 
//She swore she wasn't learning anything several times during this - bossy and sass... but she found several things she had been complaining was missing - just gone - and I put them exactly here and they're gone... and she found an art kit she had been wanting to use and had buried.  She started picking up speed and cleaned her desk and our pool table and transported her things away to pile up downstairs and in her room.  Will tackle those another day when I am feeling like having the battle.
9.30a    - dinosaur and doll roleplays
10a    - math test pg 6 & 7
10:15 break
11a - drawing with art kit
11:3 - get ready for town trip / break
12:00 - walking city heritage parks (City beautification wetland bridge and Thomas park in Huntingdon, TN), pizza place
2:30 - break, drive home
3p - feeding chickens, starting photos for plant scrapbook, some of the pictures down below were taken by Esme, but I helped on a few as well.
3:30 - done - and off outside to practice bike and eat a picnic

 Climbing on Stuff
 In an apple tree

INDIAN PAINTBRUSH (Grandma's house)

Milestone today: she can ride her bike downhill with feet on the pedals and stop with her brakes with about a 80% accuracy rate. No go on uphill yet.. but this is big development for her bravery!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015



8:30 - greenhouse discussion/salt  crystals discussion / Minecraft
9:30 - breakfast making, Quantum Leap "Tess was Won"
//made peanut butter toast and apple for breakfast with cocoa - and talked about the premise of the show as it was playing.  At the end, she wanted to know if that song 'Piggy Sue' and the boy that sang it was real.. so I opened Spotify. 
10:30 - Peggy Sue and related music
10:45 - math test page 5
//no problems at all - we talked more about the definition of sum, difference and product.
11:00 - Minecraft building, pie shop, pool, school garden and a temple with a lava pit and arrow dispensers
11:30 - break
11:45 - greenhouse operations - peppers, planted Serrano, Cayenne and another unknown pepper from someone at my work - she was reluctant throughout this, but proud after she did it.  One minute she can't bear to get her hands dirty and the next she is splashing in mud..go figure...

Comfrey seedlings

12:00 - journal entry handwriting
//reluctant again, lots of sass about not being able to spell things right and making mistakes that are 'mistakes forever...see that, can't fix it.'  *sigh*  She did fix those and did a fair job trying to spell Peggy Sue.
12:30 - putting away clothes
1 pm - done

She fed the chickens, harvested asparagus and lemon balm with me and asked if we could make lemon tea with them.  She did a lot of running back and forth on the muddy roads.  She watched two more episodes of Quantum Leap and practiced making a lasso out of a long piece of flannel fabric and catching a cup with a rock in it on top of her barstool.

roping and wrangling for glasses of rocks

We watched the new version of Flubber - which she really liked.  She had watched the Absent Minded Professor earlier in the week (both Net'f'x by Grandma) and liked that, too - which was amazing, as it was in black and white and that usually turns her off.  But, at the beginning of Flubber the credits roll in mathematical symbols - she looked at something in there - a four leaf clover petal thing on a mailbox? and said it was just like from her dream.  I thought she was talking about the math.. not sure what she saw.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wednesday that was a Tuesday

8.30a    - math test pg 4
//She spent probably five minutes whining the page was going to be so hard before actually completing it - after she realized that the place value problem was a 5 and a 6 squeezed in would become a 56, and that 64 = 64 because '1 equals 1 and if that is equals than 64 and 64 will be equals, too.'  
8.45a    - sims
9a     - reading Pets and Promises Noisy Nancy and Nick - "ness"/"ment" section and vocab word pages
9:30       - sims - building a house from scratch, using cheat codes
10.30a    - break

11.45a    - Video: "the Engineering of Aluminum Cans"
12p    - science: salt crystals
12.15p    - break

1.30p    - indoor bike riding
2p    - domestic chores (scraps for chickens)
2.30p    - sims
3.30p    - Mythbusters: "Chicken Gun"
4.30p    - done

//We read another two sections in the Stink Guinea Pig Express book again tonight before bed.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday again

9.30    - math test pg 3
9.45    - bike riding (no training wheels)
//Mark notes that the rollerskating has helped her develop both a better sense of balance and also a good attitude towards try try again - she has been consistently gaining skills and getting braver about what she wants to do.  She was coasting down the hill and using our dog gate to catch herself on to test her balance yesterday - and continued to do so today with more and more attempts to use the pedals without the training wheels.
10a    - science experiment: salt crystals setup
10.30a    - lego engineering
//she built a second dollhouse that fits inside the first dollhouse she had built a few weeks ago...
11.30a    - break

12.30p    - dragon city
3p    - done

//When I got home from work at 7 she showed me her Lego, the salt crystals and bopped around asking lots of things.  She told me about her bike adventure, and said it was learned now, so she knew it... I compared it to the rollerskating she can do now vs. last year... and she finally begrudgingly agreed she would keep 'practicing' the thing she knew how to do...which to her was like saying two opposites.  We read the first two sections of Stink and the Guinea Pig express before bed.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Rat Cage and Math Test

 Mark and Esme have been working on this all week - Daddy helped with a lot of the really hard stuff today - and I did the wire reinforcement on the side of the platform inside.  Esme helped clear out the table to put the cage on and place the bedding (not shown) inside.

Esme says Rubles will live like a rat queen in a palace, now.


8.45a    - reading aloud Freddie Found a Frog in Pets and Promises primer book
---exclamation point, vocab word 'compete'
9a    - sims - the family has a new baby to take care of!
10.30a    - break

11a    - cage building and set up
12.30p    - break

1p - practicing dialing the phone, town errands, she asked for onion sets at the co op, said they smelled nice.  We plan to share some of them and the lettuce seed with Grandma.  She bought a toy at the store with her Easter money, a guinea pig - and she wants to learn more about them, now.
3p - break
3:30 - North Dakota standard math test 1st grade, first two pages.  Lots of handwriting - the hard 'math' comes a bit later in the test - up to question 60 she will have without true problems - after that she needs to read carefully on the word problems and understand what is actually being asked, which is hard for her sometimes.  I told her we would do the rest over next week.

4p - done, time to put the rat in her new home, play outside and work in the garden

//After planting some sprouting onions in the garden and her continued claims of 'I love the smell of onions so much - they give me energy!', we decided to make pizza with onion as a topping (and pepperoni and cheese) for dinner.  She ate most of a personal size one herself.  The rat is settling very comfortably in her cage - even sleeping out in the bed area in the open instead of hiding most of the time.  Considering it is a new environment and the other animals are here to look at her, that is a pretty good sign.

I planted the marigolds, a cucumber plant from the co-op and those onions yesterday.  I noticed a lima bean we had found in the ground when we dug for planting the green peas had sprouted all the rest of the way with the peas.. Esme and I had decided to put it back in the ground and give it a chance since it had been there all winter.  It took that chance!

Thursday, April 09, 2015


9a    - reading aloud - Gennet in Pets and Promises (1980 primer book, used for second grade at a local school district and discarded to library sale), finding Ethiopia on the map, discussing nouns, adjectives and verbs again.
9.30a    - cage building; geometry and measuring, cutting hardware cloth to a paper pattern
11a    - break

11.30a    - avatar
12.30p    - sims
4p    - done

She also had an adventure in the woods with the dogs that involved a flowering tree and holly bushes that were between the path and the lake.   She was using her logic skills to find the tree, the swamp, the lake and then head up the hill towards the house - but the holly penned her up and then she had to yell to Daddy that she wasn't sure what to do next.  He was outside in his chair hearing her- led her back to the path and ensured she had a full poison ivy bath just in case!  They have finished the main body of the rat cage - now it is time for the interior levels and the door and hasp.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


9a    - reading aloud - Goldfish story, Pets and Promises (1980 primer book, used for second grade at a local school district and discarded to library sale)  She got all the words without trouble and her meter was pretty good, too.  She said she learned some things about fish gills.  She spent the last few minutes of the half hour drawing a geometric pattern she saw in her dream last night and had been telling me about just as soon as she woke up.
9.30a    - Sims
11a    - Avatar
11.30a    - cage building - Mark and her are constructing a circular cage for her new rat Rubles - and have about half of the outside shell done.  Mark said he was very impressed by her assistance with cutting and putting the cage clips on the pieces.  She asked lots of good questions, but had trouble thinking about how to cut a circle that would fit the structure. We are going to try to construct the ends and the door tomorrow - that will be a geometry lesson, at the least.
2p    - Sims
//She says she can handle four at a time, now - and had made a family with identical twin girls.  'I can't say who is who, Mom - I named them Tiger and Tiger Too, so they're different.'  Uh huh.  You can't tell them apart, you mean?  Yes, that.
3p    - done

She did not help in the garden when I got home from work - she kept playing computer.  I planted six dianthus and weeded out some things that were definitely weeds.  I found the gladiolus peeking up through the surface and a mint plant that got transplanted last year.  We might get some work done out there tomorrow or Friday.  She watched a little bit of I left my Heart at Wounded Knee over dinner...she stopped watching after the little boy got his hair cut and had to choose a new name.  She continued playing Sims until bedtime and had a lot of sass when we told her it really was time to do her bedtime routines and sleep.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Tuesday is a Tuesday

9.30a    - dragon city
10.30a    - avatar
12p    - dog washing
12.30p    - avatar, summarizing descriptions, following storyline
---She needs to work on putting things she sees into her own words, finding meaning, and relating things in time.  She is doing that with this series, and there are other questions she has to ask about the themes and plot points, as well.  All of this is good for her language.
1.15p    - PE, 5x 500ft laps, swinging etc.
2p    - break

4.30p    - town: library; schedules etc.
//we got a new Stink book, not the one she wanted, but one she hasn't read.
5.30p    - gsrdening petunias, baseball
//I brought some petunias home from work - and she helped me plant them in a planter pot Daddy had helped me move earlier.  Our peas are up!  And there are pink blossoms beginning on last year's apple tree - and leaf buds starting on this years... lots of things to see and remark on :)
6p - done

Mama Notes:  Nearing the end of Mad Ship by Robin Hobb... chemistry book on crystal structure came in the mail - which is reason to find my glasses :)  Ordered Esme her own set of the first three Stink books to come in the mail.  Bought a pepper plant at work and am planting some more seeds...we are planning on reducing the tomatoes in the garden to one long row and tying them up with wire on both sides.  I have some serious thinking to do about what to do spacewise in the garden.  A bit worried that there isn't anything I can recognize except oregano in the 'perennials' section ...but it has been so cold this year maybe everything is still sleeping.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Monday, which is not a Tuesday...

8.15a    - Sun and Shadow book project, reading story, writing practice

Paper bag mask from this book

9.30a    - dragon city / minecraft
10.30a    - break

10.45a    - minecraft
1p    - break

2.30p    - Avatar; w/ episode summaries and discussions
7.30p    - break
8:30p - math teasers, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
9p - Manual transmission video, Penn and Teller magic tricks
9:3p - done

Sunday, April 05, 2015


 Hanging out on the porch with Columbus

 A Totoro toy I made for her this week while she wasn't looking...

He's going to eat her chocolate bunny before she does!

 Miss Rabbit has long ears
Puppet show in the back of the truck.

We hunted for plastic eggs with coins inside, went for a french fry and milkshake, and then came home to play a bit more.  We took a walk to the lake and kicked the soccer ball around some.

I've started some more tomato seeds today - and the borage and comfrey seeds.  I have one tomato plant up with second leaves and a few pepper seeds have germinated.  There might be a pea or two coming up in the garden.  I've started making a long skirt and found my summer sandals.  It looks like we might just be ready to say Spring is here - or will that jinx it? 

Friday, April 03, 2015


Esme had the day off from 'official' homeschool today - but that doesn't stop the creativity.
She got Daddy to help her with the cutting and made a house out of her dryer box (which had previously been folded as an 'L' shape with shop counters taped to the back of it, and had also been a horse stable in the same condition.  Now she has a little rug I made her last year in there with her toy dog Gingia.  When I got home from work she was tying the door on through small holes she had made in both items and using broken hair ties to tie the knots.

This is a habitat for her plastic swan toy (which she has had for years, and used to carry around with her as a toddler) - It is a beautiful garden and a pond, and a nesting place.

I have a few little projects I know I want to make for her Easter basket... just have to get the time to sit down and work on them when she isn't looking....

Esme's drawing tonight of Rubles the rat in her new cage (not yet built) with an exercise wheel, toys and food.  I was impressed by the feet :)  they really do look like that.

We watched My Neighbor Totoro, and she really liked it.
I had to make this one black and white because she had folded it as a secret note.
She really liked catbus ;)

Thursday (and Good Friday is a day off)

8.45a    - dragon city
9.15a    - klondike
10.15a    - break

10.30a    - Avatar ssn2; discussion of themes
1p    - PE: Forest and swamp exploration
//Mark and Esme told me all about going into the woods to track down a certain flowering tree - seeing heron nests, other nests in trees, looking at the roots that had been dug bare in a tree in the water and wondering what had done it.  Esme also said she saw a white bucket under a tree that was trash - and wondered where it came from.
2p    - more Avatar
4.30p    - spaghetti sauce construction
5p    - done

It's Friday now - we've given her the day off as it would have been an off day in her public school calendar.  She got up extra early, to stretch her extra day off into 'two weekends'.  She was rollerskating before 8 am...  I have been off of coffee (but with green tea) for a week now, almost?  Getting through it - tired though.  I fall into bed at night the past few.  I had some very detailed book dreams last night.. I wish I could make the one of the little girl and the swing and the forest..might sketch some for it, beautiful black and white drawings with yellow, red and green highlights and over drawings dancing through...It is so hard to believe these books I dream about reading don't exist in the real world, sometimes they even have titles, authors and copyright pages.  The brain is a strange thing dreaming....

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


8a    - minecraft
9.30a    - dragon city
10a    - PE: carrying water to fill animal dishes in the yard.  She kept carrying smaller and smaller amounts in the bucket despite she knew it would take longer -- was having fun doing it, mostly.  Xeno's Paradox, Mark says - and she began to get the idea eventually *heh*
10.30a    - break

12.30p    - PE: 10x 500ft laps - playing outside in the warm Spring day, exponetial rock collecting and carrying...gave up on it after a bit, but kudos for trying
1p    - reading, puzzle book
1.30p    - break

On her own she began watching the entire first season of Avatar again - in preparation for the second season we had purchased for her.  Helped me prepare dinner for the both of us out of fridge leftovers (Daddy didn't feel like dinner after his large lunch)  There was rollerskating during and after eating.

I couldn't resist the urge - and Mark urged me on - to start breaking the ground in the garden.  I have felt stifled by the weather this year.. I didn't even really want to start the 'real' seedlings yet.  After feeling and smelling the broken earth maybe it is time...but there still might be one more freeze.

7:00 - watching and helping with the tiller in the garden, investigating the tilled earth, stones etc.
7:30 - reading the last third of the Stink Moody book, pgs 75- 103. Incredible Shrinking Kid - she wants to try to locate the next one - the Supergalactic Jawbreaker.
8p  - check on dragon city, reading descriptions of dragons to me.
8:15 -done, off to a bath and bed.