Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Raizel Story

I took Raizel shopping with me after an afternoon when she had been supremely sweet and helpful.

Checker, to Raizel: I have a daughter about your age. How old are you?

Raizel, with all the pluck she could gather: Seventeen!

Everyone in line burst out laughing, because you could tell by the way she said it that she does indeed at times behave like a 17-year-old trapped in the body of a 7-year-old.

Then the checker said that she must be going into second grade. "No, third," I corrected her. "Oh, wait, yes, 2nd, no 3rd. Oh, no, 2nd. That's right." Real homeschool mom speak. Most of her books are third grade books, but I usually just respond with the age-appropriate grade. And I really have drifted very far away from thinking in terms of what grade they are in. They're just doing the next thing they are ready for, and I also know there are (BE"H) no areas that cause concern. So, I don't know what the checker thought of that, but hopefully she just chalked it up to mommy brain!


Summer is zooming by in a half-hearted garden, summer camp in Atlanta, heat and sweat, chemistry experiments, sign language, packing and unpacking and repacking, decluttering, teaching one kid to knit, Anne of Green Gables and of Avonlea, piles of weeds, quail and chicken eggs, Big Band music (Eli's new favorite), sea shanties (Amirah's favorite), hairdos (Raizel's favorite), playground acts of derringdo (Avi's favorite), rollerskating (Eli's least favorite), 2-1/2 noses buried in books, beach trips, loads of morning snuggles, fulltime hammock sleeping (mama's favorite), air force museum camp to come (Eli), making new friends (yay, P family!), camping to come (Vogel State Park), preparing a new learning year (hours poured into ancient history, especially), and sleeping! I just can't figure out why I still feel so busy doing 3-4 things a day instead of 20. The same jobs are still hard to get to. I guees what I love most comes first! And mazal tov to anyone who is actually reading this after months of neglect!

On the docket for tomorrow - breakfast, $1 movie, lunch, laundry put away, library, pick up DH at work, chicken for dinner, prepare for camping trip (w/o DH again... Hopefully next trip!), and SLEEP!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Menu

Well, my renewed commitment didn't really amount to much, did it? Between learning with the kids all day, making dinner and doing chores in the early evening, and getting ready for the next day after the kids are in bed by 10:00 doesn't really leave much wiggle room. Phew! I imagine next year will amount to pretty much the same, with Amirah needing my guidance a little less, and Avi coming along and needing me more.  I need to strategize ways to have Amirah, Eli, and Raizel doing learning activities with their younger siblings to free up a small amount of my time to help them as needed. It's quite a tap dance, one for which my entusiasm has not waned one whit since we began. Exhausting and hard, but oh, so very rewarding!

So without further ado...


We're out. OUT. O-U-T. Out!!!

AND FOR LUNCH -21 people!

Roasted red pepper salad
Crunchy rosted chick peas (w/spicy berbere and without)
Gravlax w/sweet onions and capers
Adafina w/eggs, potatoes, and kishke
Polenta w/sun-dried tomatoes
Spaghetti w/meat sauce
Bread pudding w/rum sauce


Friday, January 25, 2013

The Menu

For dinner:

Lamb roast
Mushroom gravy
Mashed potatoes
Roasted cabbage
Roasted lemon zucchini
Carrot ginger puree
Spinach salad
Lemon bars

For lunch:

Homemade bagels (garlic and plain)
Homemade lox
Fixings: cream cheese, cukes, tomatoes, sweet onions
Curried carrot pear salad
Spinach salad
Fishless shuba
Apple tart
Vanilla ice cream


Okay, so I didn't do so well with posting about our week, but I'm determined to spend five minutes sharing SOMETHING!

Let's see...

Yesterday we finished reading aloud Caddie Woodlawn's Family. While this wasn't quite as good as Caddie Woodlawn, we enjoyed it. This sequel takes the focus off of Caddie and includes adventurous stories of her siblings. Very sweet. Now we've started Outcast by Rosemary Sutcliffe. It's about a shipwrecked Roman orphan baby that is rescued and adopted by a Celtic family. I've wanted to read some of Sutcliffe's books for a while now. We just read an excerpt in our grade 4 Writing with Ease book, and felt it would make an interesting readaloud.

What else? I pooped out on learning an hour early today, much to everyone's delight, and Amirah and I totally decluttered her room (one of my favorite things to do!). That was nice. Raizel blissfully hauled away her hand-me-down treasures.

I started 16 tomato starts today. Hoping our tomatoes will do better than last year...

There's my five minutes. Wish I could sound more energetic. Zzzzzzzzzzz...

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Menu

Yes, Friday's ten minutes will be devoted to the all-important shabbos menu.


Challah (experiment #7)
Matzo ball soup
Roasted asparagus
Baked potatoes w/pareve sour cream and green onions
Roasted chicken leg quarters
Roasted zucchini/carrots/onions
Sweet potato kugel
Brown rice
Raspberry chocolate brownies
Strawberry kiwi sorbet

Stovetop-smoked salmon
Raw vegetable tray
Spinach salad
Chopped liver
Veggies and dessert from dinner

Good shabbos, all. I can't believe how much I'm needing this one!

Long Time, No Blog

It seems that as soon as I got four full-time learners on board, my blogging time evaporated. But I want to blog for selfish reasons... I often refer back to this to see what materials we used for a particular subject, or what the recipe was for a certain item I made four years ago, or the name of a park we visited once when we first moved here. It's a sort of storage box for me. I didn't start up again, because there were so many things I wanted to make notes about, so many activities we've done that were great ideas, or meals we've eaten. It was overwhelming, and I couldn't bear to start putting it down on paper.

So, tonight, I decided to just pick up as if I'd been blogging all along, and to try to just do 5-10 minutes a day to jot down the highlights of our learning day. Today I just had to share what the best idea of the year has been so far!

I got each of the kids a 3-inch notebook, with 12 subject dividers.

Secular: penmanship, math, spelling, Writing With Ease, First Language Lessons, poetry, history, science


Kodesh: chumash, Chayeinu, Yahadus, Lashon Hatorah, tefillah, parsha, chagim, and other

Every Sunday, I put in any worksheets, charts, pictures, supplies (2-dimensional!), etc. that we'll need during the week. In the morning after breakfast and davening, they do as much work as they can do independently while I get a few things done around the house. At 11:00 or so, I'm available for answering questions, and doing a couple of the subjects that require my active involvement. After lunch, I have Avi, then alternate between Amirah and Eli/Raizel two times. They complete half the subjects they have left in each of their two turns, and VOILÁ! we're done.

For them, it's mostly grab-and-go, and for me I have one small shelf of books that accompany our lessons. Pretty efficient, and it has worked well for several months now.

So that's my promised 10 minutes, and it really seems to be all I have these days. But if I just do 10 minutes per day, it's a WHOLE lot more than I've been doing! :)