(The photos in this post most likely have nothing to do with what I’m writing, except that they were taken during the last few weeks with the intention of being used with all of the blog posts that have been rolling around in my head that will most likely never make it to the light of day.)
Unexpectedly and miraculously I find myself with two children happily occupied at the same moment in time, which gives me the opportunity to tell you what we’ve been up to. (Halfway through the previous sentence, one party became uncooperative.)
Also unexpectedly, I find myself teaching English (language arts) to a small group of high school students three mornings a week. It all began with a last-minute, late night phone call, and the past four weeks have sapped my mental and physical energy as I’ve delved into a wealth of new ideas, trying to combine the best of this fast-paced technological world we live in with more “archaic” ways of learning that encourage a slower thoughtfulness.
I’m trying to find balance between standard educational practices and my own convictions about learning. We’re writing in gratitude journals, reading aloud from fascinating books (see below), using a class blog (!), learning Greek and Latin root words, and discovering the value of putting words on paper before they ever appear on a computer screen.
All of this, while exciting and energizing, has made things a little dicey on the home front. But, babies cooperated with babysitters, meals made it on the table, and I can feel a rhythm forming.
And, before the storm that is the beginning of the school year arrived, we camped in the yard, picked blueberries and cherries, hiked, fished, and watched hummingbirds flit around the nasturtiums. The resident 15 year old got his driving permit; I’m excited that I’ll be getting some extra knitting time in the car, as I’m the one most often booted from the driver’s seat. We’re preserving tomatoes every way imaginable in quantities unimaginable, and eggplant and peaches wait in the wings.
Even though time for blog commenting has been almost nonexistent, I’m still following along with the goings-on in the bloggy world through a late-night haze, and a few things have caught my eye . . .
Food Blogs, plus 1 about the Brain:
- How am I just now learning about The Kitchn? I’m a little overwhelmed by how much content appears in my reader, but the quality and variety of ideas and recipes are worth it.
- Healthy. Happy. Life. (via OMSH)—fantastic looking vegan recipes. Through this site I found these prep-ahead oatmeal cups that worked really well and got rave reviews from one child (of course the others did not agree in keeping with the ‘I cannot like the same thing as you’ law of siblinghood).
- Also through OMSH I discovered The History Kitchen and The Shiksa in the Kitchen.
- Another favorite new read is The Brilliant Blog by Annie Murphy Paul who curates the latest breaking research related to the brain and learning. Teachers and parents alike are guaranteed to find something interesting and relevant here. This site’s content is also high-volume, so if you want to keep your reader under control, subscribe to her monthly newsletter, The Brilliant Report, instead.
- Just finished The Power of Habit by Charles Dhrigg—fascinating
- Working my way through Welcome to Your Child’s Brain
- Looking forward to tracking down three books on homeschooling:
- Project-based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert
- The Year of Living Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling by Quinn Cummings
- You Can Do it Too! by Lorilee Lippincott
- Anything by Joyce Sidman fabulous for kids (and adults, too)—we are enjoying Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature.
- And, it’s finally my turn at the library for A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kim Kight.
And a small, but growing quality site for free printables for the kiddos: Mr. Printables. Spud has enjoyed using their printable map of the U.S. (in progress above).
Hope your end of summer is treating you well!