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Stuff we like

This summer, we've been doing a homeschooling trial run.  We wanted to be sure it worked for all of us before it was too late to bail if it didn't.  :)  We're three weeks in and so far it's been awesome!  When I took this Waldorf course, one thing that really stuck with me was that when you have your rhythm in place adding homeschooling on top of it really isn't that difficult.  That's definitely been true for us.  During the school year, Jude and Indigo had a fair amount of homework every night.  Getting them to do it when they were baked from being at school all day and during the witching hour, was no small feat.  This has been so doable, it might actually be harder to not be doing homeschool.  It's been so hot and there's not a lot we can do outside other than swim.

Jude's concentration face

Here are some things we've been incorporating into our days.  Homeschooling or not, I think these activities are a good energy burn for kids when those summer days get long.

* I'm doing journals with the three older kids.  Even if we weren't homeschooling in the fall, I would do these journals.  It keeps the older two practicing their handwriting as well as being a keepsake for them.  For Jude and Indigo, I'm using this journal, which gives daily prompts.  These journals have been so fun and the kids responses are hysterical.


This says, "My favorite hobby is soaking mom with the hose.  My second is going swimming.  My motto is 'Live for the moment!'.  You could step on the road and WHAM! hit by a cement truck."  (I asked where he got his motto and he said it's from Calvin and Hobbes.)


Tarikua's journal is a little different.   It's a three-year conversational journal.  You write down their response to a question each day.  After each year (365 questions), you start back at the beginning, asking the same questions again for another year.  I think it will be fun to see how her thoughts and opinions change.  Her journal has been so much fun.  It's honest.  And funny.

She talked about the ways Iris bothers her (so true!).


After answering my question one day, she ended with, "Can I eat my food now?".


She said I make her feel great!  (So sweet and random.)


The Oak Meadow curriculum has been sooo awesome for our family.  We bought Indigo's grade level but it's super adaptable so Jude and Tarikua do the science and social studies activities with us.  They are all hands on.  I think this would be worth purchasing in lieu of a summer camp.  I love that all the activities are laid out for me so I don't have to search the internet and piece together my own activities.  For how much stuff there is out there on zee interwebs, it's surprisingly hard to find good activities to do with kids (in my opinion).

We learned about Ancient China and made these masks (using this casting material).  The kids decorated them with feathers and gems.


Then they put on a play.  Indi, the director, was disappointed that Tarikua (or "Tia" as she calls her) didn't remember her lines!


Jude said it was boring and needed a little more action.


We have our very own ant farm as part of Oak Meadow Science.


We bought it here and our ants here.  These books (this, this, this and this) from the library were great.

The other day, Tarikua was taking a bubble bath.  We keep our swim gear next to the tub and when I checked in on her she was wearing her swim goggles in the bath tub!

bath time 2013 bath time 2013

Today Iris dumped 30 oz of bubble bath on the floor.  That was a real joy to clean up!

Dan and I were so helped by the rhythm section of the Waldorf class I took.  I saw her ebook on rhythm is on sale for $12 here.  Thanks to her exercises and tips, our bedtime routine is money now.  Our routine (for the three older kids) looks like this: brush teeth, light a candle for each of the kids, read stories in bed with the lights low, blow out candles, say prayers, tuck them in and say good night.  We've been doing this for three or four months now and our bedtime struggles have pretty much dissipated   So awesome.

Finally, speaking of classes, I am taking this class offered through Stanford University on helping students/kids have a positive experience with math.  It's free and it looks great!  One of the myths the professor will be dispelling is that there is no such thing as "math people" and "non-math" people.  I was told I wasn't a math person for most of my (student) life and didn't realize this was untrue until I was a junior in college!   (wah wah wah) Then I became a finance major.  Anyway, I cannot wait for this class!


  1. I love the journals! I might have just missed it in your post, but where did you find Tarikua's journal?

  2. oh Ashley you are so right! i totally forgot to link to that! i will go and fix that right now. thanks!

  3. Those journal entries are awesome! Those will be so neat to have later on. Glad to hear that OM is working out so well. Happy dance for your great start!!!

  4. I'm so excited to start the journals with my kids, thank you for sharing! And I'm going to look into that Stanford class, as I consider myself a "non-math" person and would LOVE to see what that's about. So exciting and inspiring to hear what you're doing.

    1. awesome! i hope you like it as much as i do! i think the class is definitely worth taking (obviously) and given it's free you don't have much to lose! :)
      happy weekend!

  5. I just came across your blog from a comment you left on Rachel's from Stitched in Color. Beautiful photos! We've just bought OM to start next year (I'm in Australia) in Feb, so I was glad to hear it's working well for you! I'll subscribe so I can keep reading your experiences. :)

  6. My dad, an engineer, always said, there is no such thing as a "math person." Learning math takes *work.* Some people do have some natural abilities, but mostly, it's work, and you just sit down and do the work.

    I love that. So much. I use it in my career all the time. And at home. Yes, there is such a thing as natural talents, but that's only the tip of the ice berg. You get good at things by working at them and practicing and general toil. Works for math, and lawyering, and sewing too! And gardening! Contrary to public belief, there is no such thing as "green" or "black" thumbs. Gardening is a *skill* that can be learned!

    *Steps off soapbox.*

    Oh my goodness, Tarikua in her swim goggles in the bathtub! Priceless! I hope her arm is all set now and she's feeling better. Also, kind of love that C&H motto.

    1. Inder, I think you are so right! And perhaps it has a little something to do with our teachers as well. I know I thought I had no sewing talent when I started out with McCalls patterns. But Liesl at Oliver + S writes patterns in a way that are doable and empowering. I'd say the same is true about math. And interestingly, I've noticed that there are a fair number of people who are into sewing who were/are also in math professions - accounting, finance, etc. I think that might have to do with attention to detail and perhaps even enjoying* the details. I actually really loved accounting, business law, and of course, sewing. Like you, if something doesn't look like I want it to, I get out my seam ripper and do it again. Yes, learning something like sewing or math requires hard work, practice and errors made along the way. :)

      Thanks for the well wishes for Tarikua. She's hanging in there- doing much, much better today!

  7. I do that little three year journal with my four's so fun to hear the answers that she comes up with sometimes. My favorite is when she has to tell me what she's proud of. So sweet.


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