Category Archives: general

Let’s Resume Blogging!

Hello, my few fans! I’m currently recovering from an episode of Extreme Burnout, which sounds way more fun than it actually is. My beloved children all managed to go through a difficult phase simultaneously, coinciding with my health being not quite so good, and just about everything seeming to go wrong.

Science this week has been all about cell biology. I found a very nifty little game called Cell Craft that introduces the player to some of the cell’s organelles and lets the player practice fighting off a viral infection. We then printed out some pictures of different types of cells (bacterium, cyanobacterium, animal cell, plant cell, yeast cell) from the Biology Coloring Book and compared and contrasted the structures. We proofed a packet of yeast and looked at the yeasties under the microscope. My son even practiced drawing some yeast and other tiny cells. He especially likes cillia and flagella.

We’ve also spent a good deal of time discussing The Lord of the Rings. My daughters are completely in love with the story. Most of their exposure to it is through the Lego video game, but we’ve watched the first movie, as well. They spend a lot of time playing out scenes with a plush Frodo and Legolas, their favorite characters. The LK has also invented her own character, named Candy Golumn. We also just started reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (free from Project Gutenberg, because it is out of copyright).

In history, we’re studying two different time periods. The MK is studying ancient Greece, specifically the difference between the city states of Athens and Sparta. We read a children’s adaptation of The Odyssey written by Mary Pope Osborne (the author of The Magic Treehouse series). The BK is covering the world in the late 19th century, setting the stage for WWI. This week we read about the Irish potato famine (and grandma provided some lovely family history) and the Boer War, which was interesting because he loves the idea of finding diamonds laying around, and he had no idea what Lord Baden-Powell did before the boy scouts.

In math, the MK is investigating fractions, usually in relation to food and cooking (how typically homeschoolery!). The BK is still obsessed with conic sections, especially circles right now. He learned how to graph equations that describe a circle and is branching out into other forms of graphing equations, such as lines. He is really enjoying the new “intuition” activities at Khan Academy, such as Parabola Intuition 2. The three year old likes counting things and making patterns. And, of course, a lot of games at The Family Game Store in Savage.

In health this month we mostly learned all about respiratory infections. Whee.

PE is mostly playing in the back yard, laser tag, and parkour classes. The LK just started her own little gymnastics class, which is helping her learn how to take turns and follow instructions. She also has a beautiful forward roll.

For music, this month I began teaching the kids about about song structure using Mixcraft (like Garage Band only for the PC and pretty amazing!!) and the radio. The MK
played with loops (that is, short bit of a song you can mix together)
while I defined what a verse, chorus, and so forth is. Then we analyzed the rock
songs on the radio while we drove places. Finally, the MK wrote a few songs.

They have also been hard at work learning “life skills”, such as how to clean the dishes. That is probably my favorite lesson. I sprained my thumb and came down with bronchitis for two weeks, so it was really born of necessity! I’m glad they managed to step up and help out the family.

Quick Notes…

Just a note that I updated the Making Cream Cheese post to point out you should sterilize your tools before beginning. No sense in making anyone sick.

Also no, my Don’t Break the Chain isn’t broken, I still haven’t exercised
this month — but really, we had to deal with Derechosaurus Wrecks and
the week of Swelter in Place, and the AC breaking and now a sick 2 year
old, so I think I’ll let myself off the hook!

Perhaps today will be the day I finally start the chain. I hope.

Maybe instead I’ll clean all the dirty things again. I really have been unpleasantly tired so far this month. Sleeping in weird houses, all the heat, sick babies, and trying too many FODMAPs challenges, I guess (I usually fail them…).

Anyway, I just made my second cream cheese (well, half and half cheese). Yay! What cheese should I try next? Something lactose-free. Maybe a farmhouse cheddar?

Sorry For the Lack of Posts….

But we were sick for basically five months, and I needed all my spare time just to keep up with the laundry. Hopefully I’ll get back to some sort of regular posting soon. Also, The Boy may start publishing his own posts. Which means, get ready to hear a lot about worms.

It’s a New Year!

And what’s a new year without a resolution? So, I am resolving to get back to writing, just like a million other people. I miss it. I used to write a lot more than I do now. I’ve written manuals, help screens, tutorials, essay-style emails, blog posts,animal care guides, game instructions, real-time role-played stories, and countless other things… until recently. Something about three kids just sucks up way more time than you might think.

Anyway, I had a previous “Home is Possible” blog that I ran out of time for, but what the heck, let’s try again. Maybe this one won’t sink into the swamp.

The original Home Is Possible began just after I quit my full time job, pulled the kids out of daycare and decided to homeschool them. I was completely stressed out and decided that being home — not at work, not at school — was possible. It wasn’t something I ever expected to do growing up. I thought I’d be a judge or a scientist or something. But I wasn’t. And kids change everything.

Anyway, I was gardening, baking bread, and doing it all… at home. So that’s what this one will be about, too. Hopefully I’ll know what I’m talking about, even.

I expect to post about:

  • cooking — now with gluten-free baking, too!
  • gardening — I’m starting my new garden soon, easily the largest I’ve ever had, since we now have a yard!
  • homeschooling — I’m just about to put together our first portfolio (here in MD, they do two portfolio reviews per year. Bleh. Oh well, it’s nice to make a list of everything you’ve accomplished. Makes you feel like something actually got done!) and it sure would be nice to have some blog posts to look back on to put it together. Also, the kids are welcome to post things here, too.
  • crafting — I like crochet, knitting, and sewing. When I have time.
  • building — hopefully we’ll have our wood shop together soon! (We moved 3000 miles this summer, and with the baby and kids and stuff unpacking is taking forever!)
  • geeky things — we’re all geeks. So video games, interesting programs, gadgets, space, chemistry….
  • anything else that strikes my fancy. But probably mostly about not-school and not-work. 

 Welcome. 🙂