Let Me Explain. No, There is too Much. Let Me Sum Up.

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Cleaning out the school shelf after fourth grade.


Changing my eating habits. I got nothing but FAT following the “Nourishing Traditions” book. I changed to a whole-food plant based diet almost four months ago and lost 24 pounds! It feels awesome.


Pintail turned eleven!!


Teal spent a week at Girls’ Camp. I got to go up as a leader for two days. So fun!


Wigeon enjoying the neighborhood pool.


Summer Solstice fire jumping.


Lagoon with cousin Max.


I planted climbing roses on the porch and they actually bloomed!


Baseball! That’s how we spent the first half of summer. Pintail is the fourth from the left.


Wigeon and daddy kayaking at the lake.


Teal doing the SUP board.


A presentation on the Civil War by a neighbor/enthusiast for our Young Men/Young Women activity.


Playing with cousins in Granny and Grampy’s creek.


Cousin races on the Fourth of July.


Doing the zipline with family at Sundance Mountain Resort.


Hiking to Stewart Falls at Sundance.


A sink full of yummy home-grown greens.

And the change I have been least wanting to put into writing; Teal will be attending public school this fall for eighth grade. My plan all along had been to homeschool the “grades” (Waldorf 1-8) and then see what Teal wanted to do for the high-school years; homeschool, dual enrollment (part home/part public school) at the High School, early college classes? I thought it would be a good transition in eighth-grade to let her take one or two electives at the Jr. High and then come home for academic subjects, but as she looked over the Jr. High class list her eyes welled up with tears and she said she just wanted to go to Jr. High full-time. I could have said no. I kind of wish I had said no. But, I felt a distinct impression to let this be an opportunity to help her learn how to make decisions in a faith-based way. We talked about making a decision and approaching Heavenly Father through prayer to receive either a confirmation of the decision or an impression to do something else. I won’t lie, I knew she would choose to go to Jr. High, but I helped her through the process. The next evening she was very shy about telling her dad and me her decision because she didn’t want me to cry. I didn’t cry then, but that night when I laid down with Wigeon the tears started flowing. Wigeon said, “There are tears leaking from your eyes.” I said it was because I was sad Teal was going to school, and Wigeon said she was sad, too.

It has taken me all summer to adjust to this change. And though I have only been supportive of Teal’s decision, I do feel a loss. There just wasn’t any closure for me. I won’t get to do eighth grade. I have to cram reading Kovacs’ The Age of Revolutions over the summer, so when she takes US History with a stranger this fall, she will know what led to the formation of this lovely country. I was helped one day while reading the Christopherus Homeschool Curriculum Overview for eighth grade. Donna Simmons titled the Section “Eight Grade – Taking Responsibility.” She goes right on to say, “If you haven’t already begun to treat your child as a partner in terms of his education, then now is the time…It is important that your child be able to take responsibility for his choices and that he be increasingly aware of how his decisions affect and shape his life.” I’m sure she probably didn’t mean public school in eighth grade, though it’s mentioned for ninth, but it was something that made me feel better.

I can’t help but wonder if I had never had her in public school (K-middle of grade 2) would she have wanted to go back? Does everyone’s teen want to go public school and they just say no? Should I have fought harder for just one more year? I’m sure it’s different for every family, and I recognize that part of the sadness I’m experiencing is that I feel like I’m losing some of MY identity.

So, there you have it; the summation. You can thank me for leaving out the back and forth between my husband and me regarding the whole thing. ;)

Thanks for coming back to visit me here after my five month hiatus. Now that I’ve gotten this out. I hope to be back more frequently.




Seventh Grade: The Age of Exploration and Discovery

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Ocean Currents

Ocean Currents

Watercolor of Africa

Watercolor of Africa


Routes of the Explorers


Teal did the cutest little gold blocks for Pizzaro and then we noticed she had spelled his name wrong! It was still a great effort.

Teal did the cutest little gold blocks for Pizarro.

I used Charles Kovacs’ book The Age of Discovery as the main text for our Age of Exploration and Discovery block. I also liberally used the internet to find background information, maps, etc.  The Kovacs books are excellent for short biographies. They really seem to capture the spirit of the historical figures, which is important because in the Waldorf pedagogy during grades 1-8 the teacher brings history to the child using biographies. In reality, for children aged 7-14 there is far too much to cover if you look at history as events only, but if you can capture the “feeling of the age” by studying a few notable people who lived during that time, you help your child develop a sense for how the human race is unfolding.

Here is a list of what we studied and did during this block;

  • Henry the Navigator with summary
  • Because Henry’s sailors were mapping the coast of Africa, we had a nice segue into a short study of Africa. Teal painted a watercolor of Africa as suggested in Creative Pathways by Auer and wrote a summary of some things we studied about Africa, including the geography of the land: deserts, jungle, mountains, etc. We also located places we had already studied in earlier history blocks.
  • This led to a discussion about why it was so darn difficult to sail down the west coast of Africa and northeast to India: ocean currents! This was a very fascinating part of our block and it was easy to see why it was so hard to sail from Portugal to India.
  • Vasco da Gama with summary
  • Amerigo Vespucci with summary
  • Christopher Columbus with summary
  • Pizarro with summary
  • Magellan with summary
  • Teal made another map of the world and mapped the routes of each of the explorers we talked about. We compared their travels to the ocean currents map, which was cool.
  • A title page drawing of a ship which was inspired by a main lesson book I saw at a workshop several years ago.
  • We made a little backtrack to talk about Marco Polo who was an explorer on land. Teal read a story about him from a book I found on mainlesson.com and wrote another summary.

Teal did a lot of summaries during this block! They were each fairly short, but our goal was to have beautiful main lesson book pages. We picked her favorite work to showcase in this post, and after all of her effort she was very pleased with how her main lesson book turned out saying she thinks it’s her best one yet. :)

Thanks for stopping by!