Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Until Daylight...

I still have not forgotten about posting Taliesin's and Nathanael's story and artwork. My migraine finally subsided on Friday and was completely gone yesterday (thank you again for your prayers and well-wishes). I had two big college assignments to get done on Friday, plus a couple of minor ones for the weekend. So I finished them up on Friday and Saturday. They are a lot of fun, but I hated pushing it that much. I just could not get online that much with the horrible headache I was having, so I had to make the decision to wait it out and work on college all at once.

Friday night, Kelsey brought home some glitter glue and silk leaves for Taliesin and Nathanael. I cannot believe Nathanael is getting so much into his art here lately. Taliesin made a beautiful glitter glue picture (will post it, too) to take to his art class and give to his art teacher on Tuesday. Nathanael made a beautiful one, too, but we get it to hang on the wall (after posting a picture, of course - lol). :^) They both made some really pretty leave collages from the silk leaves. Yesterday, I was finally able to sit down and read to them again. Friday I was a little too nervous to read too much - felt like if I read a lot, the headache would come back. So I passed the reading over to Kelsey so that I could concentrate on college. But we are definitely back into the reading swing of things again now. :^) Right now, their big book interests are the earth book, the sun book, and the space book. We have to read them almost daily here lately. Even Nathanael now can name the parts of the earth - the crust, the mantel, the outer core, and the inner core. Usually the earth book leads back to the rainforest book we checked out from the library recently. Taliesin is still really into drawing. Yesterday he went across the street to play with a neighbor and came home with some more drawings for me. :^) They are so beautiful. And we had a neat nature lesson yesterday, too. Nathanael picked a morning glory from our flower garden in the front yard. Well, it had a bumble bee in it that was pretty covered with pollen. So we watched him for a while before shaking him out to go on to pollenate another flower so we could get the morning glory in water. They were able to see up close the little baskets on his legs with pollen and how he took it from one flower to another.

I'm still trying to get everything ready for the Not Back to School Days next week. Should be lots of fun. Oh, and we bought Nathanael's ballet shoes on Friday. He is really ready for dance lessons but does not like the idea of having to wear special shoes. Any suggestions on that? He would like to wear just socks, but he would slip and fall, and thus ballet shoes are required.

Anyway, I think I'll do some reading and get a headstart on college for next week. I did submit my interview questions to Marc Newman for his interview. I'm excited to see his responses. He has an awesome website and awesome ideas.

God bless.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have had a horrible migraine for the past two days, so I have not had as much of a chance to keep up with all of my online activities. Tonight after work, I do want to post some neat things Taliesin and Nathanael have been working on; such as today, they wrote a story about a dog, a horse, and a dragon and illustrated it. Right now, they're downstairs building with different shaped rocks and watching The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss - art day edition. :^) I hope my migraine stops soon. I have another three short essays due tomorrow for my church history class.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fun Day

Well, this morning was such a nice, cool morning; we decided to deliver The Buyer's Guide early. We got started by 9:30 and, since it was just Taliesin, Nathanael, and me delivering while Kelsey was at work, we were finished by ten after 11:00. We took our time. On the way to deliver, we passed several kinds of trucks - concrete trucks, garbage trucks, trucks that pick up scrap metal, dump trucks, everyone seemed to be out today. That led to a fun discussion about workers. Then we took a picnic lunch and some books to the park! On the way, we passed two grade schools. Taliesin asked me about them. I explained those are places where some kids go to school. At the first one, some of the grades must have been out for recess. Some children were out playing ball. Taliesin asked me if they get to play ball for school. I told him not all day. They get around fifteen minutes to go outside and play and then they have to go back in to do their school work. I asked him if he preferred to go to a school like that or if he preferred to do what we do. He said he prefers to do what we do. Then we passed the second a few streets away. He saw kids bikes' parked out in front and asked why they put their bikes there. I told him some of the kids probably rode their bikes to school and had to leave them there while they are inside. He said again that he prefers to do what we do. On the way, they also began talking about the street signs. Taliesin talked about different speed limits and spelled the word "STOP" on a stop sign, telling me "I spelled stop!" Nathanael talked about what color of lights we stop, wait, and go on. When we got to the park, we played a while, ate and read a patriotic primer book and played some more. Then we said some poetry and sang some songs while we swang. (They love the poem "The Swing" which led into other songs and poems they enjoy). Then we read a boat book and a snake book. Then they spotted the stage where various summer concerts are held. So they got up onstage and did a dance for me (yesterday, we went to dance class orientation, so they're really looking forward to dance class and learning new dances) as I watched and cheered from the bleachers. It was a very fun day. And look at what all we covered without even attempting to. :^) I shall say it again - I LOVE UNSCHOOLING! :^)


Monday, August 25, 2008

Feeling Better...

Since Taliesin has not been feeling too well for the past few days, he's been drawing a lot! Here are some of his newest creations. This one is a baby bird and her egg.
This is a picture of Talieisn (the small figure) dancing with peacock.
This is Batman. Taliesin told me he has a lot of shields around him.And what Batman would be complete without the Joker?
This is really cool. This just proves to me that kids will learn at their own pace. It's kind of difficult to see, since it's written in green colored pencil; but this says "Pizza Hut" and there is a check-mark beside it. A few nights ago, my sister ordered pizza from Pizza Hut when she was babysitting. Taliesin and Nathanael had fun with their pizza night and kept one of the coupons (never know when you will need a picture of a pizza for art, you know). Well, yesterday, Taliesin was sitting on the floor with his "art book," and this is what he did: he looked at the Pizza Hut logo and said, "P," then wrote "P" in his book. Then he looked back at the logo and said "i" and wrote "i" in the logo. This continued until he had completed the words "Pizza Hut." Then he checked it, since they did have their pizza night, after all. Like I was telling Kelsey, this is a good step in his learning to read. He read a logo that he was familiar with and knew what said and copied what it said into his own book.

Well, today seems to be a better day. Taliesin and Nathanael are both fever-free and appear to be over the virus they had (thankfully!). Taliesin's rash is gone, and, so far, Nathanael has not gotten it. I'm not feeling too wonderful today, but still going strong. This afternoon, we have Taliesin's and Nathanael's dance orientation, and this evening we have the homeschooling meeting (not unschooling group, the homeschooling group). I think while Taliesin and Nathanael are playing this morning, I will draw up some questions for Marc Newman of Movie Ministries. He has agreed to an interview for my Heath Ledger book (one of the chapters on The Dark Knight). I think he will have some interesting things to say that would fit perfectly in the book. What I really want to do is print different ideas about the movie from different people. I have a couple of other people in mind to contact as well. His interview is definitely a good start! Also have a college essay due on Wednesday over whether the Book of John is a Gospel to the Gentiles or the most Jewish of all. Of course, I have to back up my ideas with ideas from other sources. Should be fun!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Crazy, Mixed Up, Good, Bad Day

Today has been one of those crazy days - you know, the ones where you have to sigh, "Wow!" when you sit back to think about what happened. First of all, yesterday, one of my CCU friends posted and asked if I would be interested in writing an article for a homeschooling magazine she is content editor of. Boy would I! So after work last night, I wrote an article entitled "The Second Generation" and e-mailed it to her. I got an e-mail this morning telling me she had sent it off to the editor for proofing. Yay! I'm so excited!

After this, things just kind of went down-hill, if you know what I mean. First came my annual "check-up" at the doctor. Definitely not my favorite thing to do. Then Taliesin, who appeared to be over a virus he has had for the past couple of days broke out in a rash. It started on his cheeks, spread to his chest, then to his arms, then to his legs. I called the doctor, whom we had visited yesterday. The nurse told me it's probably part of the virus, but he could have hands, foot, and mouth disease (and, of course, Nathanael may get it, too). This evening, after Nathanael finally went down for a nap after four hours of trying to get him to do so, he was awaken by the sound of Princess, our beagle, barking at one of the neighbor kids who pulled up in our driveway on her bike. Before I could let her know that Nathanael had just fallen asleep and Princess's barking would wake him up, he woke up, saying, "Mommy, I don't feel good." I took his temperature; and, guess what - 102 degrees. Needless to say, I gave him a dose of Motrin; but, try as I might, he would not go back to sleep. Finally, I talked both of my sons into going downstairs and watching a DVD. (Yes, I had to talk them into watching TV - shows what unschooling does -hehe). Their Kidsongs DVD was just about finished when Nathanael yelled up the stairs to me (who was in the process of making them some soup for supper), "Mommy, come here!) I went downstairs, and Taliesin was crying and holding his head, "I have a headache." So I gave him a dose of Tylenol, we all came upstairs (Taliesin still crying), made a phone call to the doctor's exchange, and waited for them to call me back. In the meantime, I post something on CCU asking if they know anything about hands, foot, and mouth disease; and they let me know it doesn't sound like what he has. After viewing pictures of hands, foot, and mouth that my CCU friends posted, I had to agree. What his rash was much more similar to is Roseola. So the doctor's exhange calls me back just after Taliesin has fallen asleep, agreeing that it probably isn't hands, foot, and mouth and telling me to watch to be sure he doesn't run a fever and have a headache at the same time and that, when he does have a headache, to be sure that he can still touch his chin on his chest. So, I've been stirring Taliesin off and on all evening to be sure he's still as responsive as he should be. Nathanael, still not wanting to go to sleep, but tired and not feeling that well, decides to do everything he knows he's not suppposed to. In the mean time, Princess who wanted back out for the fifteenth time this evening spots a loose St. Bernard. He decides he likes her and comes into our yard. Princess starts barking and barking and howling, which makes Riley (our beagle mix) run to the door. Of course, he wants in on the action, too. But I won't have any of that. So I chase Riley into a bedroom and shut the door, grab Princess's chain, pull her in the house, and try to see if I can see the St. Bernard's tags to see who owns him. He will have none of that and runs the other direction. Finally, Kelsey arrives home. Nathanael, still not ready to go back to sleep because he's, by this time overly tired, decides he wants to play with Riley. But his idea of playing and Riley's idea of playing aren't the same thing. Finally, we get Riley's toy away from Nathanael so Riley can have it, get Nathanael's jammies on him, and finally he falls asleep. It's now almost 11:30 P.M., and I still have not had a chance today to get to those college videos I need to watch.

Yeah, it's been a crazy day....


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wall-E Pictures and Cookies

Cookies! Always a fun lesson. :^) Today, per request from two special little boys, we made cookies from a recipe in their Disney cookbook. We didn't have brown sugar in the kitchen, so we compromised by combining white sugar and molasses. And we didn't have blueberry cereal, so we stirred in Honey Bunches of Oats. They turned out pretty well. Taliesin and Nathanael both are having so much learning about measurements. Cooking is a fun avenue! (For them, anyway. I've never been a good cook, but Taliesin, with his dad's cooking interests and abilities, is definitely teaching me. LOL).

...And, as promised, Taliesin's sidewalk art. The top is a spaceship. The bottom is Wall-E and Eve from Wall-E.
The past couple of days have been a little hectic with college starting. But I am really enjoying these classes! Kelsey is getting used to his, but I think secretly he is liking them better than he lets on. :^) My first assignment for my church history class is one of my favorites. I have to read scholarly journals over topics including the persecution of the early church, early church heresis, and how the Pax Romana helped further the cause of Christianity and write an essay over each one, describing what the article stated. I Love History!

Monday night, Kelsey and I went to see The Dark Knight for the second time. I noticed so many things about it this time that I didn't the first time. I now have even more to write in my book in the chapters on this movie! It is definitely a movie that makes one thing, not only because of Heath Ledger (who, btw, deserves an Oscar for his brilliant performance); but because of the real theme of the movie - terrorism, spying to catch the terrorist, anarchy vs. established authority. It really is political in its own way. But seeing it a second time gave me some more ideas for the Heath Ledger book - a new way of interpreting and conveying ideas. Right now, I'm writing down notes until I get my college assignments done for the week so I can really write about it!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Wow! Five Days Since I've Posted...

I didn't realize we had been so busy - just living. Taliesin and Nathanael have just had fun this week. We've been doing a lot of reading and playing, going to the park. We still need to make our weekly library visit (although that will probably be tomorrow or Wednesday. Tonight Kelsey and I are off to see a movie). I need to get a picture posted of some of Taliesin's sidewalk chart art. He and Nathanael were playing with the kids next door the other day. Taliesin drew Wall-E and Eve, from the movie, on the neighbors' sidewalk. Then he drew their spaceship. It was so cute, I had to take a picture. Today, their big adventure was finding cicada shells on the rocks at the park. Oh, and we finally did get them enrolled in dance classes to start next month. Taliesin will be taking ballet/tap. Nathanael will be taking a creative, free-type dance class. They're pretty excited. And Taliesin also begins another art class a the art center next month. I love their classes. They are really unschool-y, encouraging creativity. Other than that, we're planning for our second annual Not Back to School Day for the unschooling group. That should also be lots of fun. Other than these things and my college and book, there is really nothing else new. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to post....


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Back to School and Back to College

Well, we've been having a wonderful time with Not Back to School. I say Not Back to School because, as unschoolers, we learn all the time, not just during the public school year. This week has been nice and relaxed. I think Taliesin and Nathanael need a relaxed week after the fair last week. We went to the library on Monday, played, and checked out some books about China, about rainforests (Taliesin, my conversavtionist's request), some books about counting by twos and fives, some alphabet books for Nathanael, and some good storybooks. Yesterday, we went to the park and played, read, and looked for early signs of fall. Today, we've been reading. Taliesin is really enjoying learning how to count by fives. He's excited to continue on his telling time adventure once he has counting by fives mastered. Yesterday, his big thing was why people are cutting so many trees from the rainforests. I explained to him that it's not a bad thing to use wood. But sometimes we just take too many trees, so we need to put some back so that the animals and the birds there have their homes. He has decided we need to plant an apple tree and a "pinecone" tree in our yard. LOL

The 18th officially marks Back to College for Kelsey and me. But, as of today, we have access to our online lessons. I'm sure we'll both be getting a head start. LOL. I'm excited to go back. My first two courses are one covering the Book of John and a history of Christianity course. Kelsey's is an introductory Bible class and a business communication class, if I remember correctly. His major is business management, mine, of course, is religious studies. I love college. I know I've said this before, but when I'm taking the classes, I truly know I'm doing the will of God - much like with homeschooling/unschooling and writing my book(s). And, thankfully, we got our VCR working again. I ordered video tapes for my lessons instead of DVDs because the remote control for the DVD player has not been working, and I need a remote control to get to the second lesson on DVD. Then, low and behold, the VCR quit working. But it's up and working again. :^)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blog Award continued...

And he seventh nomination:


Blog Award

I received this award from April - Thank you, April! I love it!

The rules for this award are: The winner can put the logo on his/her blog. 1) Link to the person you received your award from. 2) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. 3) Put links to those blogs on yours. 4) Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

Here are my first six nominations:
I still have one more to nominate as soon as I'm sure she doesn't mind me posting her blog address publicly. As soon as I have her answer, I will know my seventh one. I will have another posted by tonight.....


Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's Time for the Fair

Some of Taliesin's recylcled art projects he entered in 4-H this year. He's very proud to have his art displayed!
"I'm the king!" This is Taliesin in front of the 4-H float for the parade (before we got rained out).

Images from the fair...
This year was Taliesin's first year as a Clover Bud in 4-H. He just turned five in January. He has really enjoyed it. He enjoyed telling the judges this year all about his recycled art projects - his crane and train station (pictured above... that's shaving cream that makes up the lake), a recycled wooden house he made at one of his art classes (also in the picture... it's the one with the hand holding the magic wand), his chocolate factory, and his tornado/siren set-up. All of the Clover Buds this year received beautiful, rainbow participation ribbons. The judge did tell him he is very imaginative. :^) I hope he never loses that imagination and creativity. I think that is my biggest qualm about this year's 4-H events. I love 4-H. I think it is a great opportunity for the kids. But now I finally see what people mean about rewards. I've blogged about this before. I have no problems with kids receiving rewards; but now I can see how kids can become so focused on the reward that they lose the love of what they are doing. Some of the kids and adults there were so focused on winning a purple ribbon that they became upset if they got a blue or red. They were so focused on winning that they did not truly enjoy the projects they were making. I was just talking with our group's leader about this today. I do not want Taliesin to become so competitive, so needing to win a purple ribbon, that he no longer enjoys his art. Art is a passion for Taliesin the way many things are for me. I have seen him sit for hours working on an art project because he truly loves it. I do not want him to lose that. I think it is great that kids win the ribbons for their hard work, just so long as that ribbon remains a reward for the end result, not the reason for their work.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dragonfly Story

Yesterday, in The Salina Journal had their weekly kids' bug section. One section of this week's activities gave the kids the beginning of a story about dragonflies to finish in their own way - "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful dragonfly..." Here is Taliesin's and Nathanael's story: (Taliesin wrote most of it, but Nathanael contributed the name "Dazzle").

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful dragonfly called Blue and another called Dazzle. They were sleeping one day in their eggs. The eggs jumped and jumped and jumped. When they hatched, they were nymphs. They said, "Where is our mother? I will look for her." And away they swam. One day, Blue said, "Let's stop swimming," and their wings grew. Suddenly, there was a beautiful butterfly called Maya there. Blue and Dazzle said, "Stop, Maya!" But she flew away, and they were sad. Suddenly, there was a giant that said, "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell Blue and Dazzle. Be they alive or be they dead, I'll grind their bones to make my bread. Where are they?" He was out of his castle, going to the grocery store when he saw them! Blue and Dazzle said, "We're stuck in this jar!" The giant wouldn't let them out! Then he saw a big Goliath spider. The spider told the giant, "Let Blue and Dazzle out!" The giant said, "No! I won't let them out! They'll stay in there the rest of their life!" Then the spider let them out, and they went home. Then their mother came home.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homeschooling Products

Well, I have entered the screening process for a focus group reviewing homeschooling products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I have been some wonderful products to review via e-mail. I have received the digital magazine itself. I enjoy the way many of the magazines focus on hands-on learning and even some child-directed learning. I was also sent a digital copy of The Old Schoolhouse Planner. What I really liked about the planner is it has all holidays listed in one place, which is fun for celebrating those special days. I also did like the way it has a page to list any "curriculum," which we would list books and activites, on. That really would be a good thing to keep track of, just in case any questions are ever asked. But a lot of the planner was way too scheduled and structured for me. Some people are able to keep a tight schedule of events in the day - from chores to education to play. I am just not one of those people. I, personally, get stressed if I try to keep a tight schedule. But for people that do like a tight schedule, this portion of the planner would come in handy. I do also think the planner would work better for parents of older children. Since my sons are only three and five, there is some of what is included that does not fit our days. But it is a wonderful product, particularly if you do like to stay on schedule. Other information I have received so far has been a homeschooling book co-op, which, I think, could come in handy for anyone, regardless of homeschooling style or age of children. And the best part is it's free to join.


Kelsey's Birthday

The Birthday Banner (made from beans).

The Birthday Hat (Kelsey had to wear this everywhere we went on Monday).

Taliesin's picture of Oatmeal the Snowman he drew, using his compass, for Kelsey.
Nathanael's rainbow he drew with a compass and protractor (and a little help from Mommy).

Taliesin's picture he drew with a protractor (that's his handprints over top of the drawings; and, if you look closely, you can see his name in one of the handprints).

Taliesin's sun made from beans.
Taliesin's house made from beans

August 4th was Kelsey's birthday. We had lots of fun, although we have yet to make the cake. We're doing that today (a pizza crust with sugar mixed in, topped with banana pudding, crushed Life cereal, and fruit). But Taliesin and Nathanael had lots of fun making things for Daddy for his birthday.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not Back to School Shopping

Taliesin and Nathanael have been having a fun time doing not back to school shopping. You know, the time of year when everything is on sale really cheap, so that even unschoolers buy some stuff. Their backpacks from last year are worn out from taking them so many places, so backpacks were definitely on the list. Taliesin picked a green and black Hulk backpack. Nathanael picked a blue and pink cat one. (He named the cat on his backpack Flower). My husband, who has always loved fairies, even got one for his birthday, which is tomorrow - a turquoise Tinker Bell one. I would have gotten one, but they didn't have any Pirates of the Caribbean ones this year, and the only Dark Knight ones they had were Batman (I would want a Joker one, of course). So I'm still backpack-less until the right one comes along. LOL. Two things Taliesin and Nathanael wanted this year - that I would have never thought of getting them at such young ages - were a compass for each and a protractor for each. They really enjoying drawing with them, and I cannot complain about early geometry for each of them in the form of art. Today, Taliesin drew Kelsey a picture of a snowman named Oatmeal for his birthday tomorrow. He drew it using his compass. Yesterday, he drew a picture of a birthday cake using his protractor. I'll post those tomorrow after Kelsey sees his artistic presents. :^)


Taliesin the Knight

Taliesin had fun today making armour and a knight's helmet from construction paper and paper sack paper. We would have made more, but we ran out of tape. :^)