Thursday, November 12, 2020

Read Aloud Moments

I snapped this photo of Avril all wrapped up in a quilt listening to our family read aloud, since she looked so adorable and cozy.  We're on the last book in The Wingfeather Saga. We read a chapter or two several evenings a week first thing right after dinner.  Sometimes our parrot, Arcus, will join us and he'll choose someone to favor and allow them to pet him.  Tonight he perched on Norah's shoulder and shirt collar as she read and tried to imitate her voice by making a rumbling noise. When she's reading, he makes a noise just like an a.m. radio station that hasn't come in clear yet. When she pauses, he stops. He's a huge distraction, and we all laugh, just reinforcing his behavior.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


On Sunday afternoons, I usually find myself done with all my Circe, Challenge 3, or graduate school work for the week and I realize that I can do whatever I want for the first time in many days. It feels incredible to be so free for a few hours.  I usually always indulge by reading something I choose that's totally unassigned or unrelated to anything I need to read. Today, I chose to read an essay by Montaigne titled "On Books." With so much course work, there are several books on my shelf I am being kept from and this book of essays is one of those.  Sometimes I post here on the blog, choosing pictures taken throughout the previous week/s to write about. I'll clean something I don't normally get to. Today, I listened to a podcast and organized several bookshelves. I'll add events, people, or important book titles my timeline. I'll fill in my common place book with quotes I've read all week.  It's a lovely few hours and it feels truly restful, meditative, even celebratory.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Directing Challenge 3 Update

I'm directing a Challenge 3 class this year for our Classical Conversations group.  Since I'm in my first year of graduate school for Classical Education and in my third year of the Circe Apprenticeship, I have to manage my time really carefully. Therefore, one or two days a week, I'll just devote myself to working through the Chemistry and Music Theory, etc. as my daughters are doing their schoolwork.  Sometimes I'll do the Chemistry experiments ahead of time just to ensure I know how to guide the students through the lab safely and effectively. This picture was an experiment designed to calculate and compare the various densities of liquids including maple syrup, vegetable oil, and water.  Really digging into the material as if I am a student is one of the best things I do for myself as a tutor. From that place of understanding, I can ask better questions.  

Monday, November 9, 2020

Graduate School Update


I am always reading a few books at any given time. 

I just outline a reading plan for the books, so many chapters a day, etc. 

That way, I can get through the books in time to incorporate the content in meaningful ways into my assignments. 

I am constantly using all the ink up in highlighters and needing new ones.

I'm almost always reading related articles or books, too. 

It's not uncommon to be quoting from multiple sources in one same assignment and to have to have them all open and strewn everywhere. 

I live in the midst of stacks now.

I can't remove the stacks, either.  

I am bound to need the book I put back on the shelf soon enough to regret cleaning up.    

Almost as soon as a new concept is learned, it has to be applied to some assignment, so my brain is always at work processing and applying even in the shower.  

Sometimes it's as much as I can do to just engage wholeheartedly in the singular, next task set before me without reflecting on what is actually happening or what I am retaining. 

But there are moments when I realize that I am learning so many new things and even truly mastering topics.  

I am sometimes weary, sometimes overwhelmed, but always grateful.  

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Ginger-Tumeric-Lemon-Honey Tea

Ginger-Tumeric-Ginger-Honey Tea


Fresh ginger

Fresh turmeric




Cutting board


Cheese grater


Tea kettle

Measuring Cup

Tea Mug


Paper Towels


1. Heat water. (I use an electric tea kettle.) 

2.Chop fresh ginger and turmeric into small pieces (approx. one square inch each). 

3. Slice the skin off these pieces of ginger and tumeric. (This is similar to taking the skin off potatoes or cleaning the rough outside off of carrots.)  

4. Use small cheese grater to grate the tumeric and ginger into the bottom of a glass measuring cup. (I hold the tumeric with a paper towel so that it doesn't stain my fingers.)  

5. Add a slice of lemon.

6. Pour the hot water over the grated ginger and tumeric and the lemon slice.  

7. Cover the measuring cup with a plate and let it sit for several minutes.

8. Clean up the cutting board, etc.

8. Strain the tea through a fine strainer into a tea cup.

9. Dispose of the ginger, tumeric, and lemon in the trash or garbage disposal and clean the strainer, etc. 

10.  Add honey to taste. Stir until its mixed.  Enjoy.  

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Consistency Leads to Progress

It's that time of year when everyday is basically the same, but it is also that time of year when we make a ton of progress.  Adele's reading is improving quickly. Avril is writing two essays a week for Essentials by choice. I only assign one, but she wants to do two and finds that easy. Additionally, she will often research a topic and read or deliver another short essay, basically, to use for her Foundations class presentations.  She will most definitely be Challenge-ready next year.  Norah is getting As in college for her Challenge 3 work.  I'm thankful and I do enjoy spending my life teaching (and learning with) these girls.  

Monday, October 19, 2020

This Season

Every season of homeschooling is different.  

This is a common scene in this particular season. 

When the chores are all done and everyone is showered and settled down to work, the girls are usually all in the same room for a while, working quietly together. 

I am usually also at work in same room on something of my own.  

I quietly give thanks when I hear the rustling of bodies and the scribbling of pencils and the turning of pages.

This last time it happened I looked up and captured this picture. 

I've disciplined and nurtured them in the same daily routine and I've set expectations for years and years and years and years.

And years. 

So moments like these are the fruit of that. 

I'm grateful for this season. 

Right On Track

She was doing the advanced quid et quo for one of her Essentials sentences. 

"Jesus" was the subject noun.  

From across the room, she asks,"Mom, Is Jesus a concrete, abstract, or collective noun?"  

I looked up as my mouth dropped open, because Norah had asked the same question at the same age while doing the same thing. 

When she saw my face, she asked, "What?"  

I laughed and told her, "Great question. You're right on track. Norah asked the exact same question." 

"Really?" she asked.  

And then we discussed theology a bit. 

I have had several more years to think about it since Norah asked that question. 

The Trinity is all still quite a mystery.  

But I told her the answer "concrete" is safely substantiated, since Jesus was incarnate, He was raised bodily from the dead, and He is still human as He sits at God's right hand. 

The fact that she asked the same question shows me she's getting dialectic in much the same way her sister was at the same age.  

And it's just delightful to be on this journey with another daughter. 

May God give me the grace to do the whole thing again with the second and then again with the third. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

We warmed some apple cider and drank it after dinner while we read a few chapters from The Wingfeather Saga.  We are almost done with the last book and this will be our second time reading the series.



Saturday, October 17, 2020

Advanced Quid Et Quo

It's year three of Essentials.

So we've started advanced quid et quo with every sentence.  

She'll be ready for the more advanced grammar that comes with Latin beginning next year in Challenge A.  

Note: I'm enjoying this journey through Essentials differently with my second daughter. 

I have much less anxiety and much more confidence. 

I've seen where all this is headed and it's good.