Friday, December 27, 2013

Our 2013 Show

As promised, 
here are some pics from our 2013 End-of-Year show. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Orange Peels, Chocolate Cakes, and Tests

December has been pretty random. We're finishing up the calendar year and the school year. Since we've finished most of our 5th grade stuff, we're doing little art projects here and there. Lu's been playing lots of guitar and learning more with YouTube tutorials, and other sites like Kids Guitar Zone.
Orange Peel Creation:

A little friend we caught:

One of the many baked wonders Lu's been whipping up:

At the end of the year, we practice testing.
I download whatever standardized tests I can find
for whatever grade Lu's in, print them, and hand them over.

Here, he's doing a California 5th grade Science test:

Lu knows that they're just for practice,
and to help us see which areas we haven't covered.

Not that we have to cover everything,
but it's good to know where we stand
in relation to the "standard".

Our social arts project is also finishing up,
and the kids are getting ready for our
End-of-Year show.

Pictures of the show coming next week!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dishes, Cats, Volunteers, and Islam

Lu really only has one established "chore"- dish-washing. Breakfast and dinner. If he cooks, we swap and I do the dishes (which sucks), although he does usually make yummier meals than I do (because he puts a pound of butter in just about everything he makes).

He does the breakfast dishes right before we start our homeschool day. And he feeds the cats. It's an important quiet time to get him grounded before tackling math or spelling. 

Speaking of cats,  
Lu has been learning ASL (American Sign Language) 
and today I turned around and saw this during his lesson:

That's Monkey. She's our very weird cat.

Happy International Volunteer Day! Cha and I both run projects that host volunteers at our center (which is also our home). Lu has grown up around hundreds (really, hundreds) of super awesome twenty-something-year-olds who are into permaculture, peace education, social justice, sustainable farming, eco-living, social arts, and a bunch of other cool stuff. So THANK YOU to all those wonderful people who have been a part of our work and family. Lu has also benefited greatly from the friendships and examples.

Here's Lu in the volunteer kitchen, 
making pancakes with all the gang:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We've been exploring the rich and fascinating world of Islam.

 Lu made a poster:

 And we watched some excellent documentaries:

We also drew Islamic tessellations with this tutorial 

It got pretty complicated.

Lu chose green.

I chose red.

We both agree that it was an AWESOME activity.
We didn't even notice that 2 hours had gone by.

And we had a gorgeous morning at the lake this week.

I can't believe it's already December!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Behind Our House

there is a mountain, and twice a week

we round up our 6-pack of dogs and head out for a hike.

7 minutes into our uphill trek, we turn around and see this:

Pic of a flower that Lu took:

18 minutes into our hike and we reach the first river crossing.
A few weeks ago we had to turn back because
the river had grown too much to cross.

But the rains are gone now, 
and the mountain is full of yellow and purple flowers.

At 35 minutes, we reach our destination:

 And back down we go.

I love our mountain walks.
They keep me sane.

We mostly walk in silence,
with some distance between us.

The silence is so good for both of us.

Sometimes there's also laughter
or discussion.

Sometimes there's even math practice
or science review.

Other times there is sharing of feelings.

 But there is always one foot in front of the other.
 So simple. So powerful.