Showing posts from August, 2017

A girl, her dog, and her mom

Sometimes, when your mother has been working on getting school ready for most of the day, and you really, really, really want to start school, you just need to go and do a bit of exploring.

Note the explorer's bad slung over her shoulder, complete with explorer's notebook for making notes and marking maps.

Pausing to rest, get a drink, and
catch up with the note taking.

L. is a good noticer, and discovered this large stick bug in the path.

She then named that particular bit of path, "Stick Bug Pass".
On the way home. Note the more drooping shoulders of a tired girl.

Children and motivation

How can I help my child become motivated? It's a question that I see come up a lot, and it doesn't seem to matter if you are homeschooling or not. The trouble with answering this question is that the question can mean different things to different people. It's not a straight-forward thing.

'How can I help my child become motivated?' can mean 'How can I get him to work independently?' Or it can mean, 'How can I help my child work diligently and not get distracted and waste time?' Or it can mean, 'How can I get her to care about things and take time with them?' And oftentimes, underneath all those different question is the real issue of, 'How can I get my child to do what I want and when I want it?' That doesn't always sound so complimentary to the parent, though.

There are really two issues here. One is of distractability and the other is of cooperation. Let's start with cooperation. I find that it is the rare child who is not…


I think I have finally been able to figure out what has been hard about this move. Don't get me wrong; there has been plenty of good stuff. J. and I are enjoying the feeling of not having the albatross of too high taxes combined with the second albatross of a house we cannot afford to fix weighing us down. We love the beauty of the area where we are living. We love that J.'s commute is so much shorter and that he is still enjoying his job and finding it both doable and challenging all at the same time. I have found things for the various children to replace what we left, so they are feeling more settled. The house is pretty close to being organized and livable and I'm in the process of giving away the last of the packing boxes. This is all pretty good for being here just over two months.

And yet...

For me, at least, it still has the vague feeling of being temporary; of being out of place and not quite settled. I knew that leaving a place I had lived for nearly 30 years, wh…

Studio progress

Yesterday, J. finished the last shelf in the closet in the studio. This means that aside from the actual sewing area which needs a counter made for my machines, the room is done. Everything is stowed away. I wasn't quite sure that it was going to be possible, but we seem to have made it work. Want to see? Here's the view of the closet from the door. The fabric shelves I showed you a while ago are on the left.

The shelves straight ahead, hold general craft supplies, plus my book binding tools.

Then to the right are the knitting, crochet, and embroidery things. I love how these shelves look with all my yarn tucked in by color.

The very top holds the amazing amount of stuffing I discovered I own, plus all my serger bobbins.

The other thing that the closet holds is all my hand spinning equipment. I was kind of excited to be able to get out my spinning wheel again. It has been a very long time since I have done anything with it.

In all of my cleaning out and sorting, I came across…

Looking for the humor

Sometimes you have to take the funny aspects of life where you can find them. I am actually still chuckling about this.

Last night was a dreadful... just dreadful... night for R. Sometimes her anxiety ramps up so high that she appears to be psychotic. She certainly acts psychotic. Insomnia, screaming, wandering, you name it. Most unpleasant. It started at about bedtime, and when we said it was time to get in bed, she ramped up immediately. I have mentioned that both her neurologist and I firmly believe that her seizures are not true seizures, but psychogenic ones, caused by extreme anxiety. They look for all the world like tonic-clonic seizures, except I can talk to her and the seizure will stop and she will acknowledge my presence. This is just not possible with a real seizure. Understandably, because of the psychotic aspects of the seizures (and because they were still believed to be true epileptic seizures), the adults around her before us were not anxious to start the seizure/psyc…

Friday bullets, Aug. 25, 2017

Feeling under the weather is not a pleasant way to end the week. Bleh.

I did get a huge chunk of school planning done while I was inert on the couch, though. So the time wasn't totally wasted. I can't say I enjoyed the process very much. As a result of putting so many books on hold, I now have my new library card number memorized. This feels vaguely comforting to me.Olive went to the vet two days ago and had a round of shots. She now weighs 19 pounds... a bit bigger than she was when she came home. Olive when she first came home
Olive yesterday Kenzie seems to have discovered that Olive is a dog. He wants to know where she is and what she is doing, and has started to play with her. The first few weeks, Kenzie barely acknowledged the puppy's existence.On my list of things I really, really do not like, are textbook publishers. P.'s textbook for her French class is outrageously expensive. Like half the cost of the class expensive. And, you cannot buy a used book, because us…

Geography resources

I'm drowning in books as I plan the school year. It's so bad, we had to eat dinner outside because I have the table covered in books. If the library didn't know who I was before this, they will by the time I'm done. I have put a lot of books on hold. A lot.

So since that is all I can think about, I thought I would share some of the books I've come across that I have found to be worthwhile. (Trust me when I say there are a lot of incredibly dull geography books out there. The world is such an interesting place, it really seems a shame that so many books about different countries are so fantastically dry.)

Here's my short list... so far. I will probably have to do a part 2 after all my books arrive.

My very favorite is Australia to Zimbabwe: A Rhyming Romp Around the World by Ruth Fitts. This book focuses on 26 countries, and does a good job of giving an overview of each one. What I love is that there are lists of resources, from music to film to books, for each …

Take me out to the ball game... or enforced family fun

Last night we all went to a Kane County Cougers ball game. It was fan appreciation night, so that meant Free Tickets! Who turns down that? And since the stadium is less than a half an hour away from our house, we decided that everyone would go and it would be a fun family outing. Some older people were not so sure this was their idea of fun, but sometimes we just decide that it is a required family fun time. J. and I were reminded of the ball game trip that J. took the six younger people on last year. Same place, but a lot more involved because of the length of time it took to get there. This was a lot more fun. Plus, the Cougars won... 9 to 1. A slightly closer game might have been a little bit more exciting.
K. and L.
J. explaining the rules of baseball to D. I was doing the same thing the row behind with TM. It turns out neither of these boys knew how baseball worked. They do now.
D., having done a little research during the game, was filling me in on the likelihood of ge…