[Submitted to Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners]

Homegrown Learners

Return of… the Barf Bug…

Someone breathed on my youngest son last week. And he began vomiting. For three days.

In between waves, he ate (because very little stops him from eating). Then he wished he hadn’t.

In the mean time, my husband started. Needless to say, I remained downstairs, away from them all.

Yesterday, my son decided he was hungry enough to eat. He ate 5 hotdogs (that’s not very appetizing to me, but he thought it was just what the doctor ordered). And then he didn’t look back.

So our homeschool week, and life in general, was a little  on hold this week. But we did get a chance to catch up on rest and reading, which is one of the joys of homeschool: so much of our “school” is reading, that we can just switch it to Mom reading aloud to the sick child, and the day can almost continue as regularly planned.

Have I said how much I love the new gallery styles?

We emptied our first batch of compost from our new composter — it’s rainy today, but our next step is to find a place for it to finish working so we can use it next spring. I did a review of this product on A Child’s Garden: “Adventures in Composting”, if you’re interested in more on this cool product.

A Child's Garden

We did two cooking projects for our study of the American Colonial period: homemade butter and Johnny cakes. We ended up adding salt to the butter, to appeal to the jaded palates of my guys, but the Johnny cakes were such a hit that I made them every morning, for three days in a row, just like Colonial women did! These two projects also showed the difference between a physical change (butter making) and a chemical change (Johnny cake making): an excellent connection to our October science focus on stability and change.


My trip to the hospital for radiation is next Monday. I found out today that my low-iodine diet will continue for another 2-3 weeks, until my full body scan. I have lost 10 lbs. But I have learned what foods pack on the weight: breads, packaged foods, snacks, and dairy. And we’ve also learned why Colonial Americans were not so often overweight: if you have to make it yourself, from scratch, sometimes you say, “Nah,” and just get a cup of tea, instead.

I put together a unit on the American Colonial Period, which I vetted to my youngest son, who pronounced it “Cool, Mom!” It includes our two cooking projects, as well as map activities, resource links and readings from various places. My son is enjoying the historical readings. I’m enjoying my son. Also check out my Pinterest board, “The American and French Revolutions”, for additional resources I’ve found.

We’ve had days in the high 60’s and nights down to 30’s, so I’ve been dragging plants in and out for about a week, now. The rosemary has taken up residence in the kitchen, but my humongous coleus has traveled miles just from the front sidewalk to the foyer, every day. I have enjoyed the beautiful fall color this year: last year, we had that incredible snow that damaged so many trees and homes, before any leaves had even turned, so this fall color, and the gorgeous weather, have been very welcome. My son and I stopped on the hill early yesterday morning to capture the sun coming up over the wooded horizon — outstanding.

On Planting Seeds...

Malik was inspecting our first apple experiment yesterday. He laughed and said that the peeled apple looked “elderly” and that the unpeeled apples were laughing at it because it was shriveling up and shrinking. Great imagination! Read this great article from National Review on the growing homeschool movement in the United States.

I was at a school yesterday, and a teacher shared my new favorite teacher tool, that I think would be great for homeschoolers, too: ClassDojo.com. The tool is set up to monitor the positive and negative behaviors of students in a classroom, but your “class” could easily be your family or coop. You are given a variety of icons to assign to whatever behaviors you’d like (I immediately thought of fruits of the spirit, and the works of the flesh, or character traits, or whatever else you are studying). I am adapting its use for a single child, to show my son areas of strength and areas for work. Each “child” then becomes a day of the month, and the whole “class” is really one child. You can even download it to your phone, so that you can monitor behavior while away from home, and it syncs the info to the main page via your cell phone service or Wi-Fi connection. It makes a great pie chart — you will love it.

Have a fantastic weekend. Make sure that you take time to play outside…

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