Friday, September 27, 2013

Tossing the Schedule

 A few months ago,
 I tossed the idea of having an hour-by-hour schedule.

In it's place, I created a spreadsheet 
on which I record everything we do in the day,
at the end of the day.

To my surprise, I found that we do

This week, we played in the river.

A friend came and made mini-rafts with Lu,

and they sent them down the river to see whose design 
would go the furthest.

Lu finished the Narnia series and wrote a 5-page summary,
even though I'd only asked for a few paragraphs.

We finished our studies on the Byzantine Empire.

 Lu made a timeline,

and we wrapped it up by watching History Channel's 
Engineering an Empire: The Byzantine Empire.

In our studies of Religions of the World,
we learned about Taoism, and Lu made a poster - 

In math, Lu's been doing MEP worksheets
and lots of Khan. (both are free!)

 In science we've been learning about atoms and electrons,

 He loves these videos, and asks for them every day.

We've also been watching BBC's "Space" with lunch,
and learning about Super Novas and Black Holes.

He assembled a digital monitor,

 and has been cooking up a storm.

He's been making dinner a couple times a week.

He learned Potatoes Au Gratin

 He made a casserole, cheese dip, guacamole,
and pie to take to a potluck party
at our neighbor's house.

Everyone was very impressed!

 and he made his first cheesecake -

For creative writing,
Lu wrote about what he needs to be happy,
like peace and spending time in nature.
He also wrote about what his current interests are:
cooking (of course), music, and dance.

 And now he's reading a pirate story.

Not having a schedule makes for a lot less stress. We can do the things that fit in best with our day and our moods. We are finding more learning experiences in the day to day - running errands, housekeeping, pet training, walk-taking... I've had schedules ALL my life, so it's hard to think of a day where ANYTHING can happen.
But it's good. So good.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beauty in the Simple Things

I live in a beautiful place, with a wonderful man, and a son who would make any mother proud. I don't have much to complain about. But life wouldn't be life if it didn't give you something to complain about, right? Mine is anxiety since I can remember, mixed with a sadness I've never been able to shake since I first learned about war, racism, and inequality. I was eight.

My mother was an activist and my father a sociologist, and there were always political discussions at the dinner table. Passionate discussions.

They had lots of friends who were also very passionate about these things. Protest marches, fundraisers, newsletters, a radio station, meetings, parties... 

I was always hearing about the desperate state of the world.

In my 20's, I started getting active too.
Through art and politics, I got involved with different groups of people who were also very passionate and very critical of the way things are.

 And then I had a son.

I passionately tell my son about the state of the world, 
as my parents did, just not quite as often maybe.

And he is confused by war and hate, as I was,
because none of it makes any sense 
when you can see beauty in the simple things all around you.

 I hope that his understanding of the world gives him strength,
not fear.

And I hope that fear is never an excuse to not follow his dreams.

I hope his generation finds the answers.

And in the meantime, 
I'll keep on focusing on those simple things.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Puppies and Tomato Sauce

 Yes, we got ANOTHER puppy.
If you frequent this blog, you've seen three already this year.
Our pack is now 6-dog strong.

This is Izoxa, and she's a boxweiler.
 Bringing her home has been this week's main event :)

She's to be our only indoor dog and has extra-special privileges.


 Art School activities were wrapped up this week
as we'll be taking a two-month break for the heavy rains 
and our always exciting hurricane season.

The kids worked on putting together a performance in groups: 
Hula-hoop, juggling, flags, and drums.

Lu was the director of the hoopers,
and they did a great job.

 *   *   *   *   *   *

On this week's menu -

Our young chef learned how to make tomato sauce, and in so doing, 
discovered the gateway to a new realm of cooking.

Eggplant Parmesan on Sunday -

Going into the oven

 and coming out!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats on Wednesday -

On Friday he made mashed potatoes, 
and today he's making strawberry mousse for his mama :happydance:

He's really taking off with this, and asking for more time in the kitchen. He wants cooking to be a main subject in his homeschool curriculum, and I think we're going to do it - especially if it means more strawberry mousse :)