Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Teach if You Don't Want to Learn

Dave was a potter in South Carolina.  He created beautiful functional works of art and embossed vibrant poetry on the sides.

Dave was also a slave.

When I checked his story out from the library I thought it would be a great way to teach Laine about American history.  Until he asked what a slave was.  And if there are still slaves today.

Are there still slaves today?

Are elephants more important than children?

Do not go to this website.  At least put down your coffee.

I told you not to go.

How can we live in a place and time that forbids the sale of ivory while allowing the cute little onesies we dress our beloved children in to be made by someone else's beloved child?  I am looking at you, Carter's!

So, elephants > children.

Good news is we can choose what we buy.  No one dies without chocolate.  This is actually true.

But people do die making it.

I don't want to know these things.  I just don't want to know.

So, do we dress all in homespun while eating locally grown dirt and playing with only deadfall sticks?


But, I like underpants and my husband will not keep his job without clothes, so I am going to look for the good guys, Hanes, and pick a few areas new areas to buy responsibly.  We don't have unlimited resources, so we will have to eat, dress and play for a small planet.  This is just too important to shut off our brains and figure low prices and unlimited choice are natural and uncostly.  While I may be able to afford 50 pairs of socks, will I afford the blood price?  Just try to make a pair of socks and tell me if you would sell yours for $1.  We might just have to start mending again.

This is heavy stuff, I know.  I am easily paralyzed by the scope of the problem, but God calls us to obedience and love.  Sometimes loving God with all of our minds requires us to learn what we surely do not want to know.


Actually, not.

A few websites I dug up looking at this stuff.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I just realized that most of you are out there wondering how our homeschooling is going.  I am so sorry!  Well, don't you worry, here is the highly unanticipated, unsolicited update on Laine's first semester of preschool.

For those of you who do not homeschool, have no interest in homeschooling or were dropping by for gardening advice (snort) here is a funny picture.  We call this one, Melting Toddler.

Here are some of my discoveries and observations over the last several months.

First, homeschooling is a slow, organic PROCESS.  I find that over structuring (at this point) is overwhelming and unnecessary.  I am not really an unschooler, but we have embraced the joy of learning and life.

Second and perhaps incongruously, routine and habit are undeniably the cornerstones of our day.  Even if we don't do any discernible work, developing a flow to our day is vital.  I have incorporated some of the Oak Meadow terminology in my day alternating periods of expansion (exploratory learning) with contraction (focused learning) and I rely heavily on Charlotte Mason for most of my theoretical framework.

Third, there is nothing as amazing as watching a child learn.  Nothing.  I think chocolate covered cheddar Goldfish would be close, but those don't exist.

Tools I love:

  • Cuisinaire rods
  • Bob Books
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Anholt Young Artist's series
  • Musikgarten Cycle of Seasons curriculum
OK. OK.  I didn't link.  Google it.  

Lastly, I am so excited about this idea I just had to share.  Luke gets a bit glazed when I say the word Pinterest, but it is cool!  Really!  And, no DIY!  

Here's my 4 am inspiration (did I think about writing Pinspiration...yes...but I am sophisticated):

I set up a Pinterest account for our school, Fetter Lane Academy (Jennifer, stop!) Follow Me on Pinterest .  I have boards set up for each century and one for maps.  When we read a book, listen to a composition, or study artwork, we "Pin it" to the appropriate board.  Then we can see that Sergei Prokofiev and Robert Frost were contemporaries.  We can also keep track of places we have talked about.  I am not really sure that Laine cares, but I am totally geeking out!  

Also, Laine is reading!  Not fluently, but somehow, some way my little guy is growing up!

So, there you have it...homeschool shop talk.  Just wait until they ACTUALLY start school!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hi There!

Ouch!  It hurts to fall off the earth!

People (usually those with less than three kids) frequently ask me what the difference is between having three kids and a number less than three kids (usually the number he or she currently has).

Here are some things I have noticed:

  • I have approximately 1,000,000 loads of laundry per week.  This is up from the nine that I routinely had with two kids.  How is this possible you ask...milk.  It is drippy, stinky and necessary at every. single. meal.
  • It takes drugs to get three simultaneous naps.  I don't take much...just enough to take the edge off.
  • I spend 50% of my life waiting for small persons to navigate stairs.
  • I don't argue with those who wish to eat crayons.  Purple, blue and orange poop makes me giggle.
  • I still try to stop children from eating dog food...don't hate--it's expensive!
  • More kids means more friends without even taking off your p-jams.
  • When we wake up alone we...hmmm...don't know...never happens!
  • Someone is always in a good mood.  Which is great because usually someone is in a bad mood.
  • I drink coffee.  I never really did before.  I do now.  Always.
  • I never have clean clothes on.  Now I layer so that before I leave the house I can peel off the outer layer of snot and milk.
  • No one ever gets milk cups anywhere but at the table.  Not on the couch.  Not in your room.  And never, ever, ever (again) in my car.
  • Kids don't actually die if they don't have a snack in the car.  They don't even really whine.  Cuz you know I don't pack anything other than diapers in that bag.
  • Audiobooks keep me sane-ish.
  • News is theoretical.
  • I don't go anywhere.  Well, that's not true, but when we go places we make it count.  
  • We have home dates.  Carry out sushi + adult beverage = happy.
  • I should really make the stair wells more interesting.
  • Nothing replaces the joy of watching my children play together.  Three makes a happier, sillier, cuddlier bundle! 

As promised, our new lady, Jessie.

So, there it is.  Five people, one dog and no squirrels.  Anywhere.

P.S.  This photo is actual size.  

Just about.

Friday, November 2, 2012

{these moments}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Super Why! with added sweatshirt

Mom, what are these?