Muzzles, Snouts or Beaks

  Yesterday, on the way to music lessons, there was a lively conversation in the car between my six-year old and my nine-year old about whether the word muzzle and snout could be used interchangeably. Ben is a huge reader, and he was saying that a writer will use muzzle instead of snout sometimes, and then other times talk about a snout. At first I … Continue reading Muzzles, Snouts or Beaks

Where to from here?

For the last week, I’ve been mulling over the reckless idea of a Singleness of Purpose. It floors me, the thought. I’ve been wondering about it almost nonstop – as if the quest for a Singleness of Purpose has been my purpose lately. Who are the people who seem to have one? People who dedicate large swaths of time to writing a book, who research … Continue reading Where to from here?

Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns

Yesterday, I shared this update on my personal Facebook page: I have a problem. I am not a civilized reader. I read like a glutton or a hoodlum – gobbling what I can from as many books as I can all at the same time. It’s a disaster. It is not calm. It is not ladylike. I’m a depraved book junkie. It is hopeless, I’m … Continue reading Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns

Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons

Normally, the boys get to sleep in on weekends. But today, we are meeting family for breakfast out at Patty’s Diner in Gold Hill, for the best Chicken Fried Steaks in the world. It is important to get there early to get a table. As Ben was still groggy, and just barely waking up, he said, “Hey Mom, have you ever wondered who invented writing? … Continue reading Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons

No Cookie Cutter Solutions

This is not a cookie cutter situation, where we can prescribe a common solution to a standard situation. This is Ben and this is me, and when Bean comes into the mix next year, it will be even more exciting. Ben is an artist, so our exploration of all things historical, scientific and literature-related focus on how art fits into these things. Bean is interested … Continue reading No Cookie Cutter Solutions

Thurston Howell, the Third, and the Study of Europe in the Middle Ages

It’s a bit of a stretch, yes? I mean, I know that I’ve heard Thurston Howell, III (of Gilligan’s Island fame, for those too young to remember) speak of his ancestors, but this is a bit ridiculous. Let it never be said that we tried to be remotely non-ridiculous in our approach to learning. Sometimes it’s the only way to make information stick in our … Continue reading Thurston Howell, the Third, and the Study of Europe in the Middle Ages

Freakiest Science Day Ever – My Hairs Won’t Stop Standing on End

To preface, let me say that some people will be offended by this. Others will be horrified. I was horrified, to be honest. I could barely watch. I got up and started folding laundry, but Ben watched intently through the whole first and second videos. But first, a little background. Ben has been building werewolves lately. In fact, he spent a solid ten hours on … Continue reading Freakiest Science Day Ever – My Hairs Won’t Stop Standing on End

Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters

Eloquence in words, and turns of phrase, must start with a reverence for the letters themselves; then the words, the sounds, the rhythms and rhymes, the haunting juxtapositions, the intertwining of heart within the lines. All this begins, I believe, with learning the tools, holding them each separately, seeing their singular beauty, and then learning to pair them together beautifully. * * * * * Tracing … Continue reading Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters

Leaning Towards Fear

Lately, Ben has been wanting to be scared, and scary. This morning, I stumbled onto Neil Gaiman’s Official Website for Young Readers, called There are a couple of stories there that I think Ben may be interested in reading, and getting himself all freaked out about in the process. I am not one to enjoy being afraid. If I see a scary movie, I … Continue reading Leaning Towards Fear

“Turn thou Hitherward” – Weekly Wrap-up

Our first week in to this Old-School Homeschool style has been a total blast. We are completely focused on art projects, and giving Ben something to do with his hands while we tuck the actual educational necessities around the edges. I even created a little weekly overview worksheet for lesson planning – with the giant Art Circle in the center to help me stay tuned … Continue reading “Turn thou Hitherward” – Weekly Wrap-up

Designing Castles without Plans

Ben and I were reading about Castles in the Middle Ages yesterday, and we decided to try to find a YouTube video of some of the greatest castles in the world. Sadly, we didn’t find what we were looking for. We found some with music, and some that were about haunted castles, we watched part of one about The Castle of Fear, but the video … Continue reading Designing Castles without Plans

Complicating Simple

Here’s how the conversation went with my husband earlier today… “I’m afraid I complicate things,” I said. “No, Really?” he laughed. “But first you simplify your complicated, then that seems too easy, so you complicate it again, and add layers and extra buttons, and some fancy widgets, then you scrap the whole thing and go for simple again, but only if it can be in … Continue reading Complicating Simple

The World at our Fingertips and the Challenge of Brevity

After a day filled with highs and lows, as I suppose is the standard fare of parenting, I got a chance to go to the grocery store on my own. That trip included a detour into Barnes and Noble for a quick look-see, and finding a table of Beyond Drop-Dead Gorgeous reference materials on sale for 75% Off!!! The Atlas is mind-boggling. It is a … Continue reading The World at our Fingertips and the Challenge of Brevity