A Week, Briefly (#26)

This week we did 5 days of math and 5 days of reading aloud from To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is a hard book to read aloud.  I censor the majority of the foul language and all of the taking of the Lord's name in vain, but I force myself to read the derogatory language of the time period in order to help the girls feel the hurt and horror of bigotry.

"Read more!  Don't stop there!" they call whenever I place the bookmark and move to put the book down.

"I have to stop.  My throat is hurting," I answer.

"Get a drink of water.  You'll feel better," they reply.

Sometimes I humor them; sometimes I stop.  Always I ask questions, searching their minds for what they understand.  Often they miss the nuances, the specific subtleties that are the most powerful moments of this classic book.  But they get the feeling overall.

They are experiencing it the best they can at ages 11, 12, 13, and 15.

I hope they read it again when they are older, and then again and again.

I think they will.

I keep catching them reading ahead during "non-school hours."

I act dismayed, but really I am delighted. 

We took a hike this week.  No pictures.  I forgot the camera.  It was a trail new to us, and it was something of a struggle to get there and enjoy ourselves--ticks, poison ivy, biting insects, feeling lost--but we began to learn a new place.  I think we will go back.  I'm sure we will.

We planted some flower seeds.  They're late summer and fall-flowering plants.  I hope they survived the storm this week (they might have all washed away).  Time will tell.

We played outside with water balloons.  I watched, holding Baby L while the kids ran around.  Eventually the temptation to get Mom was too strong to ignore.

"I've got the baby!  You can't get me!" I called in vain.

"We won't get him wet.  Just you," they said with smiles as they popped water balloons on my back and bottom and down my legs while I stood with baby in arms, unable to run away or fight back .  I couldn't help laughing . . . neither could they.

We ate popsicles.

The hammock had plenty of use.

The cat got a bath.

We spent the hottest of the day's hours indoors.

H5 and A8 spent hours one day using toys and Barbies to recreate each scene of The Nutcracker.  They numbered the stations, proudly taking me on a tour of each scene.

This is Clara asleep under the Christmas tree.  She's holding her nutcracker doll in her arms.

It's not so bad having school in the summer time.


  1. Each time I see your pictures, I am so shocked by the GREEN! I love it. We just don't have that here! But nor do we have ticks, poison ivy, or biting insects (except for mosquitoes, which they say are non-native imports, the result of artificial irrigation). I guess there are benefits! :)

    Love the pictures! Your wee one is such a darling!

    P.S. I haven't read "To Kill a Mockingbird" since 8th grade. That will be an interesting one to re-read! I didn't remember any foul language (but I'm always shocked when I go back to read a book with my children that I read as a child).

    1. The green is amazing, but it does come with a price. :) I dream of moving back to the west (my husband and I grew up in So. California) sometimes, but we've been here long enough for it to be home in spite of the insects and prolific poison ivy.

      I feel the same way you do about language in books that I read as a kid. I'm always shocked by it!

  2. Oh, I SO enjoy the pictures!: Beautiful shot of M. It seems like she has the makings of a professional photographer, right?--among her many other talents!... Baby L is absolutely squishy adorable! Thanks for sharing, and love to all...

  3. I always love when I'm reading aloud and they beg me to read more. Not that I always can but just love they are interested. I think it is so sweet that your children recreated scenes from the nutcracker. Their creativity is wonderful!


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