First Day Back

Our first day of homeschooling a 1st grader and a 2nd grader was long, but successful.

Colin retained every bit of the math (fractions! multiplication! I love Miquon) and grammar kids are supposed to forget over the summer.

Mark is still being stubborn about reading (he can, he just resists it) but his listening comprehension is stellar and he spent half the day jumping in and answering his big brother’s review questions for him.

I was also reminded that a high protein breakfast is a MUST for all of us, lest we all get very grumpy around 11am.

More anon.

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A Story About Me: an oral composition by Colin, age 7

Story prompt: One morning, I woke up and found I had turned into a raptor.

I flew out the window. I landed on a tree branch.

Then I noticed I had turned into a tortoise. The branch broke from under me and I fell to the ground! I walked into the forest.

Then I noticed I had turned into a mushroom. I didn’t know how I would move.

Then I turned into a tiger!

Then I turned into a human boy again. Then I went home.

The End


One of the Seven Wonders

A modeling clay rendition of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

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Audiobook Greatest Hits

We have been utilizing our local public library’s excellent audiobook collection for the boys’ in car entertainment for at least the past two years. Who needs a DVD player when these classic stories are available for them to hear and absorb?

We started with Jim Broadbent’s wonderful renditions of Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. This was an immediate and permanent favorite, especially with our oldest. Whenever we check them out they immediately go into heavy rotation. I frequently have to declare, “It’s someone else’s turn!” and return them to the library before the boys will listen to anything else. Bonus: Broadbent’s reading, and the material itself, are so funny and well-written that even the grownups don’t get sick of them right away. Good thing, too.

Other big hits have been the Mrs. Pigglewiggle books, E.B White’s triumvirate of classics (especially the versions of Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan read by the author), many of Kate DiCamillo’s fine works, and The Chronicles of Narnia. That last is available in a series of excellent readings by august British actors like Jeremy Northam, Michael York, Kenneth Branagh and Patrick Stewart. Lovely.

All of these we have listened to exclusively in the car. It’s amazing how much better little kids are at listening when they’re strapped down.

But the most recent hit has been Mary Pope Osborne’s The Magic Treehouse series, read by the author. The boys loved them so much that they actually requested that we bring the CD inside the house because they just had to know what happened next. And they actually listen quietly while it’s on!

This is a major milestone, since even though we have a stated rule that videos are to be watched only on weekends, it’s all too easy to punch up Power Rangers or whatever on the iPad netflix app while I get the toddler down for her nap or focus on paying bills or check Twitter and facebook cultivate important interpersonal relationships. If we can switch that tactic to audiobooks instead of videos, I will be one relieved momma, and the decrease in visual stimulation can only do the boys good.


Marky in the Bathtub

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Marky in the Bathtub

by Colin Edman

Marky in the bathtub
Grampa in the chair
Gramma washing dishes
Lights in the air
Candles in the windowpane
Water running down the drain


Let the Good Times Roll

Apparently Jesus was wearing his Mardi Gras robe when he blessed the children.

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Colin’s Butterfly Journal, Day 17

I have observed that the caterpillar cup is on top of the oranges. I think it might be because the butterflies are so strong the lifted up the food cup on the oranges!

I also think that the butterflies bit on the cup and flew and dropped it on the oranges so the juice would squeeze out!

Asked for an alternate explanation: I think the cats pushed the habitat to one side and the cups slid.

Asked which explanation is most likely: I think the one with Shelby [Shelby is our naughty kitten].

The above was dictated by Colin and transcribed by his mother.


Crafty Time!

This is a “topographical map” of the Sea of Galilee. Our Bible story for the week is “Jesus Controls the Weather” and this is one of the supporting activities suggested in Telling God’s Story, the Bible curriculum we are using currently. We like it very much.

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The Train That Did Not Want to Be Turned Into Rust

an original story by Mark Edman

One day a train was chugging along when another train met him and gasped out,

“You are going to be turned into rust!” Then the train stopped and said to his driver,

“I’m going to be turned into rust!” Then the driver suddenly gave him full steam and they chugged away at a very fast speed. Then they screeched because somebody was on their track! And he was run over, but that was good, because he was The Junk Man. And the train would not be turned into rust anymore.

The End


Colin’s Butterfly Journal, Day 15

I have observed that the oranges are still in there, but they look a little dry. I think it means that they have drunk some juice.

The above was dictated by Colin and transcribed by his mother.


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