A Week, Briefly (2/4/19)

It has been frigidly, freezingly freezing cold here, and we had an ice/sleet storm that shut down everything for 2 full days this week.

But today is sunny (albeit barely in the double digits), and the kids are making the most of the icy yard by sledding without sleds.

Looks like a snowy yard . . . but it's not!  It's a sheet of ice.  The kids get running starts at the top of the hill and slide all the way down and across the street and into the ditch . . . even without sleds!

We're really in the season of finishing thing and being ready for changes.

Ladybug finished her first spelling book (above) and her literature book and all of the books that go with it (below).  She's now doing phonics review activities out of The Good and Beautiful Grade 1 Language Arts that I downloaded for free a few years ago.  I'm printing just a few pages at a time and dating them each time she reviews them. 

Done with this book--took a year and a half.  She could keep practicing what she learned, by doing included copywork verses in a journal, but this book doesn't teach true cursive, and I'm not actually fond of the style of writing taught--I just had this book and I though it would be good practice to help her control her slapdash handwriting.  She's now working in The Good and the Beautiful level 5 Handwriting in order to firm up her cursive and develop some simple line drawing skills.
In Academy we finished exploring the Rod and Staff grade 3 science book we'd been using as our guide, and now we've begun doing activities out of The Usborne Book of Science Experiments.

Building on a past Rod and Staff lesson on gravity, we did an Usborne recommended activity about centers of gravity; we made weeble wobbles.  The kids discovered that they made truly excellent tops, and after trying to knock them over a few times, they spun and spun and spun them across the table.

We also explored density by floating and sinking an orange that got lots of oohs and aahs.

Then we had a failed experiment trying to float raisins in carbonated water.

c'est la vie

We had 4 days each of Academy and Symposium.  We cancelled school on Friday so that Nature Angel could have her first visit to the temple with Mom and Dad. 

It was a delightful experience.

We're still teetering back and forth about co-op.  Pixie has 4 classes on the roster, but only 2 of them have met the minimum enrollment she set in order to make enough money to be worth her while.  I've signed up 9 of the kids for classes, but the schedule is not exciting, and if Pixie pulls out of teaching, then I'm reducing our enrollment to half days.

I don't want Pixie to not get to teach, but she still has her job at Menchie's, and half days at co-op sound so much better than full days.

We have until the middle of next week to decide.

We were rejected by yet another local co-op for next school year.  It meets less than 5 miles from our house, and it would have allowed us to make friends who live less than 20 miles from us, but we're not wanted.

That kind of hurts.

So I'm still looking.

We did get to finally watch the Colorado Ballet's production of The Wizard of Oz


It is a brand new production, created in collaboration with the Kansas City Ballet and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet.  It will be available to other ballet companies in the coming seasons, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The scene with the flying monkeys is etched on my brain as overwhelming beauty and creativity forever.

We've done a lot of reading.

Love these hatted readers . . . and the non-hatted one, too.  :)  The hats have been an almost constant presence this week.

Pixie studying
Emptying the dishwasher is the new exciting job for small ones. 

I'm sure not complaining!

Brother hurt his hand while sledding, and I was watching to see if I needed to take him to urgent care.  At therapy, he and his therapist called me in to show me a project he'd made, and then he discovered the big green hands.

When he slipped the big green hand on and took hold of the grip inside, I knew he'd be fine. :)

Beowulf has taken to Mister Man's How to Train Your Dragon Books.  He opens them and studies each page in the book carefully.  Then he announces to the family after an hour or so, "I finished this one!  I'm ready for another!" 

When asked, he says he's reading them.  Sir Walter Scott said that Beowulf seems to follow along and try to sound out words during bedtime reading, so I pulled out some phonics games this week, thinking I should take advantage of this ripe-and-ready behavior. 

Nope.  He's not reading at all. :)

I don't know what he's seeing when he spends all of those hours studying pages of chapter books, but I'm not going to discourage him!  He's developing awesome habits of engaging with books--in his own way.

I'll keep playing games with him.

He'll get it when he's ready.

I planted the milkweed seeds my cousin sent me from Ohio.  Turns out they need cold stratification which is (hopefully) why our last batch didn't turn out.  I got this batch in the ground after the last snow melted and before the new batch of ice fell. 

I hope we'll get some monarchs next summer!  We live on the edge of one of the monarch migration zones, so there's a good chance.

Baked potato soup is simmering in the crock pot.  It's dairy-free so we can control what toppings go on the soup once it's served into bowls.  It will be perfect for filling hungry post-sledding tummies.


  1. Brr! The icy yard just makes me cold thinking of it. Our weather keeps switching. It had a 90 degree shift last week (from subzero to 50s and even 63 one day) and from yesterday to today was a 65 degree drop back to snow and cold after two days of rain, tornado warnings, and fog that was thick enough schools delayed their start time by 2 hours so the buses could see to drive.

    The co-op rejection does hurt! We have a local one that isn't super welcoming. They don't want kids there under age 6, and because we're members of the Church we're a cult and can't I can't teach any classes, blah, blah, blah. Oh well. I don't have energy to take everyone regularly anyway - at least not if I want to stay sane.

    The finishing up season of curriculum is so nice. That is my favorite part of second semester. Looks like a good week of work. How are your kids liking TGTB, for the ones using things from them?

    1. They're enjoying what I'm giving them. We are not by any means using the full program for any of the kids because it is just too overwhelming for my special needs kids, and the reading/spelling never match for my "regular" kids. I'm picking and choosing what to do for each child based on what he/she needs; it's a lot of work on my part, but it's essentially free as I already have pdf downloads of all of the language arts levels K-3 from back when they were brand-new, and I'm printing in black and white only. For me the trick is to only print half a dozen pages at a time and skip the "done" check box. I'm dating the pages each time we review them, and without a whole book printed, I don't stress that we're not doing enough or "getting through the material." Ladybug and I have reviewed the "ar" phonics page at least 8 times because it does double duty as phonics and speech therapy.

  2. Good luck with the milkweed. We had to try for a few years to get some and what worked best is what you are doing . . . sowing a bunch when it was still very cold. Now we have lots and finding monarchs in our tiny yard is the best.

  3. I see a lot of happy, busy children. Good job.

  4. Wow! That sheet of ice looks like amazing and scary entertainment. I bet it was a real thrill for the kids. I so get the hurtful rejection from the co-op. Most of the co-ops around here are very reclusive and only let in folks who think just like them or use the same curriculum or have just so many kids or are vegan/unschoolers/super strict born again christian...you get the idea. A half day program sounds ideal. We attend a homeschool tutorial program that I often call a co-op for ease in explanation. You pay by the class a very small fee. We withdrew Dean from all of his art classes after my father died because he was experiencing lots of stress from the classes (social and he already knew what was being taught) and I knew he was going to have enough to get through with all of the travel and grieving process.
    Blessings, Dawn
    Blessings, Dawn

  5. My children would love that icy hill! We had over a 40 degree temperature shift this week, 2 days in the mid 70's then dropped to high twenties at night. No precipitation though. I love the season of finishing things up too, but when we are close to the end of something it makes me want to rush through just to get it done. I don't know why it would just make us start something else anyway. My Anthony loves the How to Train Your Dragon series. Emmie often takes Lily's chapter books and "reads" them but shes not really reading them. Some of the words she does but she's really just pretending to be like all of the big kids and that's ok. Her reading is coming along and she'll get there someday. I hope the co-op works out for you whichever way ends up being best for your family :) Have a great week!

  6. I hate that co-ops are like that.

  7. We've had frigid temps here, too. Brrr! I've become a hermit this winter and that is not like me.
    I don't understand some co-ops. Rejection really does hurt. It's their loss.
    We like How to Train Your Dragon books at our house. The love of books is what matters most.
    I love reading about all your homeschooling.


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