Yarn Along {School Along}

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I’ve been slowly easing Coralee (my 7th grader) into the start of school.  This is her second year of the Home School Assistance Program.  As part of the program, she participates in Concert Band & Jazz Band every other day at the local middle school, meets with a cooperating teacher from the district once a month to check progress, & receives the bulk of her instruction at home from me.  I think I have a better grasp this year on what is reasonable to accomplish in a year and what isn’t–I was much too overzealous last year.  Merritt started school last week Monday, but I don’t plan to implement the full schedule for Coralee until after Labor Day.  We worked last week Wednesday to clean the loft & go through all of last year’s materials.  Since that time she’s been working daily on Pre-Algebra & also started a G3 literature class online.  This is her first online course & she’s done very well navigating the quirks that go along with online learning.  Her first assignment was to read Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi & participate in a dozen discussion threads regarding the plot.  Math has never really been her forte, but her lesson this week on the Pythagorean theorem thrilled her!  I think it was the drawing aspect of it that she enjoyed the most–she excels at drawing–I included a photo of her notes from the lesson.  June is 3yo & not attending public or private preschool like her siblings did at this age, but she has managed to find some fairly “preschool” activities to occupy her time in the loft in the mornings.  The size of the scissor she chose to work with was a bit crazy, but she insisted she use the “real” scissors.  Cutting pieces of Sugar ‘N Cream yarn directly from the spools is now one of her favorite pastimes.  She filled my empty coffee mug with her work.

I’ve been mostly reading homeschool curriculum this past week.  I finished knitting a Wurm cap for a friend of mine who writes a wonderful blog here about being car-free  with a family in the Pacific Northwest (she is also an artist with a beautiful etsy shop).  She chose some very earthy, calming colors for her cap–Lost Lake & Forest.  I used Knit Picks Swish DK which I always find to be soft with a lovely sheen.  I’m also still working on Martin’s scarf.  Martin the Monarch did eventually fly away over the roof of our house with no issues.  Happy endings in daily life are to be cherished no matter where you find them.

Joining in with Ginny this week.

Pink Procession

Solanum lycopersicum

Solanum lycopersicum

This week marks the beginning of one of Coralee & my favorite parts of summer: the ripening of our German Pinks!  According to the Seed Savers Exchange catalog, this Bavarian heirloom (Solanum lycopersicum) is one of the founding varieties of Seed Savers, cultivated & donated by the founder herself, Diane Ott Whealy.  Coralee saved the seeds from our crop of German Pink tomatoes last summer as part of her fall homeschool science project.  She germinated the seeds in wet paper towels on top of the refrigerator this spring & we transplanted the leggy ladies into the garden in May.  It looks like we have a fairly average crop of fruit growing this year from two plants (I’m guessing about 12-15 tomatoes total).  Each heirloom weighs between 1-3 pounds & is so much fun to hoist off the vine!  We use only four of these lovelies to make our special ‘orange & honey’ tomato soup.  Recipe next week!

Fourth Grade

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Merritt, our second-born, started fourth grade today. He struggles a lot at school. He has diagnosed ADHD & Tourette Syndrome (motor tics only, vocal tics have subsided) & is not medicated for either condition–our choice based on MANY factors. He tests at the “Mensa” level in terms of IQ. He is creative & interesting & has a very, very large vocabulary….but he hates school. He tells everyone he hates school. The only part about school he will admit to enjoying is PE class. This year, due to where we live & the fourth grade schedule, he has to board his bus home halfway through PE class (along with two other students from his grade). So he will miss half of the only class he claims he enjoys. He knows this & seems surprisingly okay with it. He woke up this morning wishing school and summer were one whole year long EACH. Morning is often a very volatile time here for Merritt, but after telling me his wish, he proceeded to get ready for school with no fuss. He even let me style his hair (aka: comb his hair) without any complaints. He ate his breakfast of a bagel & cream cheese, took his fish oil pill, & then asked to finish a homework paper on division he had neglected to work on all summer. WOW. Way to go, Buddy. You started your first day of fourth grade like the amazing guy we all know you to be–thank you for a wonderful morning.

Happy First Day of School!

{Please ignore our front stoop–gosh, I did not realize how awful it looks until after I took the photo!  At least I managed to hose the chicken poo off last night.  Winning!}

Yarn Along {with Martin the Monarch}

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Joining in with lovely Ginny today. This is my Stone’s Throw scarf knit in Quince & Co Lark in the colorway Honey; I’m roughly halfway through the project. Lark is a thick, springy, cushy & squishy 100% American Wool.  Highly recommend it.  My new Cascade 220 (for all you knitters out there reading this).  I started the scarf over the past winter. It is such an easy knit, not sure why I haven’t finished it yet. I hear the Midwest is in for a cooler-than-average fall this year. The news seems to have spurred by knitting.

All three of my children (even June!) have been hand-rearing Monarch butterflies this summer by collecting eggs from Common Milkweed at Koutny as part of our work with the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project. Merritt’s last monarch emerged from its pupal state yesterday. It’s a male & he named it Martin after his favorite character from the PBS show Wild Kratts. Martin has a bit of a wrinkle in his lower right wing & has yet to venture out into the world….hoping he finds his way. Merritt thought he made a nice addition to my scarf progress photographs today. I hope you agree!

Currently reading The Red Badge of Courage as I prepare for Coralee’s History studies this year as a homeschooled seventh grader….my 33rd birthday is this Friday…how did the time pass by so quickly…