Wabi-Sabi

At Skate Day a couple of weeks ago someone had some FREE magazines.† I picked up a copy of Mother Earth News to take home.† I would pick it up and glance through it at different times of the day.† Then I saw an article called ìWabi-Sabiî and started reading.

You can find the article online I am sure if you search for it.

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese philosophy of appreciating things that are imperfect, primitive and incomplete. ††It means finding beauty in things that at first glance, arenít beautiful.† It is old not new, antiques not mass market, old quilts ragged but still beautiful.† It is walking down a old street and seeing beauty in things most people would walk on past.

The strange thing about this wonderful word is that my Mother and Daddy have embraced this their whole lives.† How many times growing up did I long to have a brand new dresser, not one that was made 100 years ago.† Everything in our house was antique, and while my brother soaked this up, learned and appreciated, I did not.† How sad for me.† When I first got married years ago, Mother and Daddy almost completely furnished out house with ëold thingsí.† I had beautiful oil lamps, old furniture, a sleigh bed, churns and quilts and so much more.† I figured they would do until I could get better.† After a few years we were able to buy our ëdreamí house.† A totally modern 2 story with rounded walls, aqua and pink and black throughout.† Of course none of my furniture and things would match so we had a garage sale.† Everything must go!

We sold it all and bought all new, all modern, lots of glass and black and Mother told me, ìOne day you will come back to the beauty of old things.î† ìBahî I said.

As with most things she was right.† I do love old things now, old chest of drawers with pegs instead of nails, quilts made lovingly by hand, churns that were used to make butter so long ago, chairs that were made on front porches, aprons hand stitched, old jewelry that hides secrets of long ago events, old gloves, hats and purses.

I read the article to Kei and we have been finding Wabi-Sabi all around us.† It is our new philosophy.† I love it.† And NO Kei, leaving your bed unmade and messy is NOT Wabi-Sabi.

Here are 12 ways you can Wabi-Sabi† [Taken from the article in ‘Mother Earth News’]

1. Cultivate Slowness. Rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to a loved one and ask him or her to dry dishes while you rinse. Take 10 minutes to sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom rather than filling your space with the roar of the vacuum.

2. Cultivate Vision. Start with the container you use to hold your morning beverage. Treat yourself to pottery that feels solid and heavy in your hand. Admire your mugís shape, textures and colors every morning to strengthen your ability to find beauty in the rest of the day.

3. Cultivate Craft. Making and growing things yourself is a gentle rebellion against globalized mass production. Spinning wool, making pottery and weaving baskets provides a tactile meditation almost impossible to experience by any other means.

4. Cultivate Cleanliness. An ancient tea master described wabi-sabi as ìputting oneís whole heart to cleaning and repeating it several times.î Every time we sweep, dust or wash, weíre creating clean, sacred space.

5. Cultivate Solitude. Find a space in the attic or a spare bedroom that you can dedicate to solitude and meditation. In tight quarters, designate a quiet corner in your bedroom or even living room as your meditation space.

6. Cultivate Space. Clutter smudges clarity, physically and psychologically. In wabi-sabi, space and light are the most desirable ornaments.

7. Cultivate Silence. To cultivate what Quakers call the ìstill, small voice within,î slowly reduce the noise sources in your life. Less is more.

  • Leave the television off for one night each week.
  • Turn off the radio during your morning or evening commute.
  • Practice a few moments of silence before eating a shared meal.
  • Make time in the afternoon for a quiet cup of tea.

8. Cultivate Sabi (the beauty that comes with age). Antique doorknobs and radiator grates give your home soul. Building with salvaged materials gives a new house depth and history it couldnít otherwise have.

9. Cultivate Soul. A piece made by hand holds the steady, solid vibrations of its maker rather than those of the jarring, impersonal machine. Surrounding yourself with things made by real people invites a tiny piece of each craftsman into your space.

10. Cultivate Imperfection. Real people leave mail piled in the entry, let the flowers go a little too long in the vase (if they have them at all), allow the dog on the bed and have unpredictable cats. Wabi-sabi embraces these flaws.

11. Cultivate Hospitality. Give every room in your house a soft seat, a blanket to curl up with, gentle lighting and a deep, delicious rug. Invite people to stay, curled up in afghans and sipping tea.

12. Cultivate Simplicity. Less stuff means more time to spend with family, friends and nature ó a philosophy simple enough for even the most complicated lives.

I honestly think the homeschooling families I have gotten to know over the years practice Wabi-Sabi much more than other people I have known in my life.† They know that simple is so often better, that there is beauty all around, that imperfection can be so perfect.†

So find Wabi-Sabi in your daysÖEmbrace it.

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

ìAny intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.† It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite directionî.† ~E.F. Schumacher

ìEverything has its beauty, but not everyone sees itî† ~ Confucius

‘To Kill A Mockinbird’ and Flight…

Scout on her Front Porch

What an experience.† Each play that Kei does is special for different reasons.† This one had some hiccups from the beginning.† Kei and I were both much more stressed than we usually are.† ButÖit was an amazing play.† I know it sounds like ëoh yeah youíre her Motherí but she shined.† I had so many people come up to me and tell me how great she did and she had even more.† Kei worked very hard on her role as Scout.† Memorizing comes a little easy for her.† But ëactingí takes work.† She worked long hours on perfecting this role, understanding Scout, understanding 1935 Alabama and the things that were going on at the time.† A couple of people told me I should get her a talent agent!† I just said thank you and laughed.† I want Kei to be everything she wants to be, but I want her most of all to have a childhood.

Scout, Maudie and Stephanie
Scout and Atticus
Tom Robinson's Trial
Scout and Miss Maudie
Scout Finally Meeting Boo Radley

We didnít do a lot of ëschool workí last week.† But let me tell you what she got out of this play.† First of all, she read the book; a requirement in Alabama for 9th graders.† Second of all we discussed every aspect of the story.† I doubt there are many 11 year olds with as much knowledge of ìTo Kill a Mockingbirdî.† We learned about Harper Lee, who is from Alabama for all you non ëBama readers. :)† She was a childhood friend of Truman Capote and ìTo Kill a Mockingbirdî was the only book she ever wrote.† Many aspects of the novel were autobiographical.

Scout, Jem and Dill
Scout and Dill
Scout and Jem

We also discussed protagonists and antagonists and who we thought each was in this story.† We discussed Atticusís parenting style.† We talked about how different the outcome would have been if it took place now, the role of Calpurnia and so much more.† She has such an amazing understanding of the novel now.† I am hoping to soon visit Monroeville, Alabama and the Heritage Museum.†

Voila...
Scout and Boo Radley

Usually there are mainly children in the plays Kei does.† This play had 3 children roles; Scout, Jem and Dill.† She worked with some super talented adults.† The oldest was 71 and Kei loved her, as well as all the adults she worked with.† The woman who played Miss Maudie gave her a Mockingbird necklace.† It was so beautiful and will always mean so much to Kei.

At the Friday night show there were about 25 people there to see just her.† Our family and friends.† I felt like I was just going to burst right open with pride and happiness.†† Saturday my Motherís best friend, her neighbor for 40 years and her sister all came.† I felt like a little piece of my Mother was there.† My daddy told me he was blown away by the job Kei did and that Mother would be so proud of her.† My Mother never got to see Kei in a play.† When she did her first play, Mother was not walking so she never saw it live.† I always showed her the DVDís.

Our Great Friends...
Kei, Aunt Betty, Billie and Patsy
Getting Ready ...

Kei also had her first class at Space and Rocket Center.† Now these classes sounded unbelievable but the 1st one was the one I thought she would like the least.† It was on Aviation and she has never shown an interest in planes.† She LOVED it.† I mean, it is about a 40 minute drive home and she did not stop talking about it.† All the different kinds of planes they actually saw; T-38 Falon, Tomcat, Phantom and several more.† They got to get in the cockpit and have hands on contact with the gear and equipment used.† They learned about lift, thrust, weight and drag.† I am so thankful that I signed her up for this.† Next weekís class is about Strategic Communication and Teamwork.† They will conduct a ìSearch and Rescue Missionî to retrieve a downed pilot and secure Top Secret documents!† How cool is that.† I wish homeschool MOMS could take the class.

So now I am a bit exhausted.† Kei is actually sick and I am afraid it may be strep throat.† Her throat is hurting so badly and she has a fever.† The doctor may be in our plans for tomorrow.

I am looking forward to a quieter week, less hectic but involving lots of learning!† I know I mention this every time but I just love homeschooling.† Feeling very blessed right now.

Homeschooling Rocks!
Karen

ìI didnít have to stand in Boo Radleyís shoes to know him. Just standing on his porch was enoughî. ~ Scout from ìTo Kill a Mockingbirdî.

ìYou never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in itî. ~Atticus to Scout ëTo Kill A Mockingbirdí

Mockingbirds, Mockingjays, Skating and Fiddling…

Another great week here in ëBama.† Doncha’ just love Fall?† Even though as soon as we dragged all of our fall/winter clothes out and put up the sleeveless things a heat wave hit!† You would think after living here all my life I would realize that October does not mean COOL weather!†

Kei has been practicing so hard for ìTo Kill a Mockingbirdî.† This is the most line intensive play she has ever done.† She has 218 lines!† She knows them all but it is still nerve wracking.† Not knowing exactly what the actor is going to say that goes before each of her lines is making us a little stressed [yes probably ME more than her].† This is show week so it is going to be CRAZY.† These pictures are really bad because the lighting in there is horrible until the show.

Scout, Jem, Dill, Miss Stephanie and Atticus

We had been enjoying so many things in our homeschooling.† I found this site that teaches Life Skills. † It is mostly a little easy for Kei even though it is for High School kids but it may get harder.† It is different skills that Kei has already learned through osmosis I guess.† Things like ATM transactions, how to write a check, checking receipts and so much more.† We are doing Everyday Life right now.

We are loving Real Science 4 Kids Physics.† I had bought this last year and just started using it.† I have found some really good activities to go along with it here.††† We are using the ìForce and Motionî but there are tons of cool things.

We are on Chapter 9 in SOTW 2.† We love SOTW.† I know people have mixed feelings about it, but I am really glad I decided to use it.† She is still loving Teaching Textbooks.† I have used several different Math programs and this is her favorite so far.† Thanks again Theresa!

Friday we had our 2nd Skate Day of the year.† Kei has been working hard on her ìKnit Witsî.† She took about 15 items to sell; scarves, bracelets and hair extensions.† She sold everyone of them and got orders for 14 more things!† She was so excited.† She doesnít sell them for enough I think, but there is no way she can sell them for her ëtimeí.†† But she loves doing it so much and she just canít believe that people buy them.† I saw all these girls skating around with Keiís scarves and hair extensions.† It just tickled her to death.

Kei's Knit Wits Basket
Kei's Halloween Outfit for Skate Day
Girls at Skate Day

We spent Saturday at the Fiddlers Convention.† We have been going to this for years.† There are people who enter this from 30 states.† There are 18 different categories, including several fiddle and guitar categories, harmonica, mandolin, bluegrass banjo, dulcimer, old time singing, banjo, and buck dancing.† It feels like you have stepped back in time to walk around and hear people playing fiddles and banjos and more.†† There was craft booths with everything imaginable.† We ate lunch under the trees and had a great day.† Helena, we thought of you and your family.† I wish I could have blinked you all there for the day.† It was so fun!

We love to watch the groups and their various instruments...
Awesome Metal Works. I would have loved some of these!
Kei had to have a Sock Monkey Hat. She even bought him a pair of earrings!
Kei and I at Fiddler's Convention

We also went to see “A Dolphin’s Tale” after church.† It is a wonderful movie.† I love the way it shows how kids learn so much when it is interest led.† We were so excited that the girl was homeschooled.† We still feel very privileged and lucky to homeschool.† We are proud to say “We homeschool”.

We are on the 2nd book in the Hunger Games.† To say we love it is an understatement. We go on rides just so we can listen.† Yes I know we can listen in the house but it is our CAR book. :)

The weeks are flying by and we are having such a blast.† Kei has decided to be either The Cheshire Cat or The Red Queen [punk version] for Halloween.† We love Halloween around here!†

Hope wherever you are, you are loving life, learning and giggling and having the times of your life.

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”†† ~George Eliot


 

 

Trainspotting…

We had the most magical, wonderful, FUNTASTIC day on Saturday.† We got invited to go on a train ride.† Our friends, Kathy and Sophie, had 4 tickets and shared with us!† We were seriously dancing Friday night we were so excited.

Saturday morning at 4:30 AM when the alarm went off there was still excitement but not much dancing.† Man that is early.† Dark early.† Middle of the night early.† “Why did we wake up this early” early.† But we stumbled around and got ready.† We were supposed to meet them at their house, about 30 minutes away, at 6:15.† We would have made it too however we got stopped by a TRAIN.† Ironic yes?† We got there about 5 minutes late, which is early for us. :)† Kathy and Sophie were waiting in the car and off we went.† We were headed to Chattanooga.† Now Chattanooga is one of my favorite cities but Kei has never been there.† I lived near there briefly in another life time and always loved it.† We were all raring to go!

Headed Out!

We had a blast on the trip up there.† We talked and laughed and listened to Mama Mia!† Hey we are all show girls!† We arrived right on time and went into the train station to join the group.† This was the Chickamauga Turn trip.† They have all sorts of ‘trips’.† We definitely want to go back soon.† We got our tickets and boarded the train.

Boarding

It is an older train that has been restored.† It looks just like a …well, a TRAIN.† This was my first train trip and Kei’s too.

Our Train
Pulling Out of The Station
The Mommies

The trip took almost 2 hours.† Our destination was Chickamauga, Georgia.† We had a uniformed Civil War reenactor with us telling us interesting facts and pointing out the places we passed.

Old Bridge
We passed the Chattanooga Zoo and learned the first animals there were 2 Rhesus Monkeys

This cemetery was built in 1863. By 1870, more than 12,800 interments were complete: 8,685 known and 4,189 unknown. The dead included men who fell at the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. There were also a number of reinterments from the surrounding area, including Athens, Charleston and locations along the line of Gen. Shermanís march to Atlanta. A large number of menó1,798 remainsówho died at the Battle of Chickamauga were relegated to unknowns during the reinterment process.† It was beautiful and I would have loved to get out and really explore it.

Chattanooga National Cemetery - 2nd in size to Arlington
We got a kick out of the bathroom sign... The girls went "EWWWW".
We passed some really cool Sculptures.

After the almost 2 hour trip we arrived in Chickamauga, Georgia.† This town was founded in 1891.† The 1863 Battle of Chickamauga occurred just east of the city and Gordon-Lee Mansion served as a hospital during that battle.† It is a lovely little town with shops, cafes and more.† We meandered down the streets and into the wonderful shops.

The first shop was filled with all things old and new. We loved this collection of "Opolys"
Some shops had food and drink set up for us.

We saw several really cool things.† A skirt that just screamed Kei, a pillow we both loved and paint cans for Trick or Treating.† They had Velcro fabric so you could change them out.

Oooohhhhhh....
Resting

After looking all over town for a Diet Dr Pepper I finally found one and happily boarded the train. We went straight to the dining car for lunch.† It was so nice, linen tableclothes and so much silverware I had to laugh at Kei and Sophie’s questions.† In all honesty, we DON’T use settings like this EVER.

Decisions, Decisions

It was a yummy meal.† Nothing fancy, croissant sandwiches, potato salad, cole slaw, potato chips, fruit salad.† We enjoyed it so much and we were ON A TRAIN! That was something I can cross off my Bucket List!† Before we were able to eat dessert we had the 2nd stop on our trip.† We stopped at the†Wilder Tower in Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.† I forgot my camera and had to run back to the train while the girls climbed the tower.

See Kei and Sophie up there?
See them now?

I was about to climb up there….got about 90 steps up and they passed me coming down.† I decided I had gone far enough!† Our guide was doing a speech about the battle that took place here.† He was very dramatic.

Battleground

And of course Kei found a dog.† Kei ALWAYS finds a dog.

Doggie Spotting

When we got back on the train it was time for dessert.† There were 3 to choose from and we each got a different kind.† Yummy!

What would YOU choose?

Kei and Soph decided to be silly.† They do silly well.

Theater Girls

We went back to our seats and the girls wanted to explore the train, so off they went.† They saw some graffiti that they liked.


Graffiti everywhere
Some Graffiti is just ART!

We saw the bane of the South’s existence – kudzu.† I love kudzu but I have never had to deal with it.†

Kudzu

We all went to the back of the train and stayed for about 30 minutes.† It was so very cool.

Waving at Passerbys
I just knew she was going to FALL out the back!
Train Girl
We had the BEST time!

There is a tunnel we had to go through.† On the way back we were outside when it was coming up.† It is such a tight fit, they tell you to NOT stick your hands out or they will hit the sides of the tunnel.

Dark in the Tunnel!
Leaving the Tunnel
I felt just like a Hobo...riding the rails

It was almost time to return to the station.† None of us were ready for it to end.† I can’t believe this was a 6 1/2 hour trip.† It just sped by.

What a day!
Kei with our Guide who refused to smile!
Back at the Station

This was seriously one of the best days we have ever had.† We are still talking about it days later.† We want to go back.† Thank you so much Kathy and Sophie for letting us come with you.† I want to take everyone and go again!† It was that amazing.

I love our life.† Right now, this minute in time…it is so perfect† I love that I finally get it.† I finally understand what is important.† It is all the things I have right now.†

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

“Life is just like an old time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Dams, Doughnuts and SPACE…

Another great week last week for these Homeschool Girls.† We did lots of fun learning things and took some amazing field trips.

Kei is loving Teaching Textbooks.† She has always liked Math but less and less as the years go by.† She is really liking TT though.† She doesn’t complain at all, just does it every day.

She is writing in her journal daily too.† I wish she would blog but she just doesn’t do that with any regularity.† We are using mainly this site for Grammar.† Kei doesn’t love grammar but I never did either.† Really, who does?†

†We are learning tons in SOTW.† We finished Islam and Muhammad last week.† She used a resource in the activity book and put on a play about Sinbad.† We also watched a video about Sinbad.

Monday she had her first Life Group at church called “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.† It is for middle schoolers and she loved it.

Sinbad and Valley of the Snakes

We have also been using Stossel in the Classroom for Current Events.† It is a great DVD that is FREE.† There is also lesson plans on the website.† Check it out if you haven’t!

We have had “To Kill A Mockingbird” practice twice a week.† Kei knows all her lines and I am so proud of her.† It is such an inspiring, sad, poignant play.† I am so happy she has this great opportunity.

Kei with Jem and Dill

We went on a great field trip Friday. We got to tour Wilson Dam. This is the FIRST time they have allowed this since 9/11. We learned so much. We got to see a barge actually enter the lock and exit on the other side. The barge was carrying metal, sand and rock. It was actually 3 barges locked together. With a little tug pushing the entire thing.

Tug and Barge 100 feet down

The tug boat had to move in beside the barge in order for the gates to swing close.

Tug Beside Barge and Gates slowly Closing

The gates are 118 ‘ tall and there is almost 20′ of water under them. As soon as the gates closed the lock filled up with 50,000,000 gallons of water! It took about 20 minutes. That is a lot of water!!

Dam Girls ;)

After the water levels are even, the bridge on the other end closes and the barge is pushed out into the river. It takes about 45 minutes total. It was really amazing to see this in action. The Tennessee River is a huge water highway. There are 14 dams scattered all over the river.

See how high the Barge is?

The barge was finally on its way. The captain even tooted at us and came out to wave.

On the Way...

Someone, I am NOT mentioning any names [cough Karen cough] thought it would be a good idea to toss a penny on the barge for the trip. Chandler thought Flat Stanley would be better but we had to make do with what we had.

The Traveling Penny

After the barge went past they raised the bridge and let us all walk over it.

Crossing the Bridge

”]”]After the dam we all went to Krispy Kreme.† I am not a huge fan of doughnuts and neither is Kei but it was cool to see them being made.† After eating a doughnut we felt a little yucky.† Too much sugar for us.† Several of our group felt the same way.

Doughnuts and more Doughnuts
Kei's first Doughnut Hole...we don't eat stuff like this much.
Got Milk?

Saturday was Free Museum Day.† We are so lucky to live near The Space and Rocket Center and haven’t been in a few years so us and everyone else in a 100 mile radius set off to enjoy the day.† I just put our pictures in a slide show because I took so many!† We learned some very cool things.† We felt the way it felt on the day they tested the 5 rocket boosters, we saw the food the astronauts eat, saw the trailer where they decompress and are checked for infections, saw space suits, tried out a pair of moon gloves and so much more!† Kei is taking a class here in October and she and I are both so EXCITED about it.†

Sunday at church we began having FIVE services!† Kei and I went to the 9:00 am and back to the 6:00 and watched another one online! Epic’s growth is unbelievable.† It is something few people experience in their lifetime.† I am constantly blown away by it.† We had Baptism Sunday and during all 5 services 111 people were baptized, including our dear friends, Brit, Bobby and Cody. It was an amazing day.† We believe in throwing a party to rival the angels in Heaven and it was definitely that! † I know most people really love their church but our church is truly life changing.† You can watch any of our online services on Sunday here.† We have people watching from all over the world! †

Blessings abound in our life.† I am so thankful for all the wonderful things happening.† I pray all of you have an amazing Autumn [or Spring as the case may be ;)].

†We are also going to be able to go on an amazing trip this weekend.† More to come!

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.† ~Charles Dickens

Readin’, Writin’ and ‘Rithmetic

We had another crazy, awesome week last week.† We did SOTW Chapter 6, The “The Rise of Islam”. † We learned about Muhammad and watched Muhammad- The Last Prophet from Netflix.† Kei is very anxious to get to the knights and castles.† She also wants to learn about jousting because as she put it, ‘You never know when you may need to know the useful skill of jousting.”

She is LOVING Teaching Textbooks [thank you again Theresa] and has gone from doing Math last, to doing it first!

She wrote “InkBlot Poetry” where you take a piece of construction paper and fold it in half.† Then you squirt 5 or so drops of different color paint on it, close it and gently rub.† Then you write a poem about it.† She wrote 2 and the first one was about how she couldn’t think of anything to write!!† I love her imagination.† If you want to read her ‘creations’ just click on the picture for a bigger copy.

InkBlot Poetry

†In Science we have been learning about Reptiles.† Kei really, really wants a reptile of some sort.† Last week she began researching.† For 2 days she read, listed questions, called every pet store and vet in a 40 mile radius and decided on a “Crested Gecko”.† She found out the total cost, she called bait shops for cricket prices, priced tanks and food and all the extras.† I am not very excited about this, but I will probably let her get one soon.† I am sure Nomad will eat it!† This is the one she has found that she wanted.

The Crested Gecko Kei wants

One of the best ideas I have stolen borrowed lately is from Jessica at Teachable Moments.† She blogged about her girls working on their Girl Scout badges and how she was using the Girl Scout Badge book for writing.† I bought this book off of Ebay even though Kei is not a girl scout and she loves it!!† She has already done the requirements for 3 badges!† She worked this week on “Wildlife” badge.† She found out about endangered species in Alabama and called the Governor’s office and several other departments to ask what they were doing about it.† The 2 species she focused on was the “Alabama Red Bellied Turtle” and “Alabama Beach Mouse.” Both are in South Alabama.† She found a man who explained to her all they were doing, from making ‘turtle fences’ to donating land just for the Mice.† I was really proud of her how she talked to everyone.

Friday night the Princess Theatre in our town was showing “Gone With The Wind”.† The Princess is no longer a movie theater but they set up a huge screen for this special showing.† We went with Kathy and Sophie and had a blast.† What made this even cooler was that I went to see this movie when I was in the 6th grade!† It was a great time even though Kei had seen the movie several times.†

Kei at Gone With The Wind

Saturday we went to a local festival called “Hartselle Depot Days”.† We have a great day looking at all the booths, listening to music and seeing friends.† Kei got some awesome crocheted hats and a cool scarf.

Kei and her new hat

“To Kill a Mockingbird” practice is going really well.† Kei has bonded with the other kids in the play.† The boys playing Jem and Dill have both never done plays before.† Kei has 218 lines and knows them all!† I am so proud of her.† She has worked really hard on her role as Scout.

Sunday after church we took pictures outside, went over to my brothers to borrow “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”.† We are almost finished with “Hunger Games” and we both love it like we haven’t loved anything in a long time.

Swinging from the Tree

Kei has known this “1 Minute Sermon” for about 1 1/2 years.† I have been meaning to video her doing it but keep forgetting.† We finally did it yesterday.† She kept laughing because I was making faces at her.† I guess I could have moved the garbage cans but I guess they add ambiance.

My Mother’s birthday was Thursday and she was on my mind so much.† I still miss her everyday but I know she would be so happy that Kei and I are living here and so proud of us both.

Isn’t Fall the best?

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend.† ~Author Unknown

Indians, Art, and Friends…

What a week!† We have been doing anything butHOME“schooling.†† I love this opportunity to teach Kei at home in the real world.† September, October and November are the best months for finding cool things to do.

Friday we went to the Oka Kapassa Festival.† Oka Kapassa, a special Native American gathering, is held in Spring Park, Tuscumbia, Alabama to celebrate the culture and traditions of American Indians who once thrived in north Alabama.† Friday was Kid’s Day and also opened to the general public.† There were school children everywhere, most in matching shirts and standing in lines.† Did I mention I love homeschooling?

Homemade Dolls in Native American Clothing
He made beautiful things from shells...and takes Master Card and Visa!
I wish you could "Hear" this dance...the women have on turtles shells or tin cans with pebbles inside. Only the males 'chant'
She used tin cans. Did you know that Pet Milk cans have been around since the 1800's?
Kei watching the Dance
Kei was all giggly with this guys 'ball headdress'
Beautiful dancers
The children's dances were so great

This man said the coolest thing to Kei.† The PS kids moved from station to station while we just wandered around.† After a group left Kei sat down and said ‘hello’ to this man, Freeman Owle [isn’t that the greatest name???].† Then he asked her and her friends where they were from and they all said something different.† Kei said, “We are homeschooled” and he said “I KNEW you were homeschooled when you sat down and said ‘hello’.”† Come to find out he is a PS teacher who left to homeschool his kids until they graduated.† We heard stories all day about homeschool kids.† The lady who led the dancers homeschooled her children.† The Park Ranger who showed the animal skins homeschooled her kids…it was just a homeschooling lovefest. :)

Indian Story Teller

 

Lunch with great friends...

 

This was so cool! All the dancers got the kids out in a huge field and did an Indian Dance. It was very 'hokey pokey turn yourself around' in an Indian sorta way. Kei loved it.
Kei with one of her favorite dancers. She laughed about how authentic her costume was with a Dr. Pepper bottle. :)
This was AMAZING. The man had over 50 hoops going all over the place. The little boy is his grandson and he was just beaming. It was so beautiful.

Kei with Hoop Dancers...Grandfather and Grandson
Animal skins...Kei was delighted about the furs and horrified that they were dead
There was playing at the Falls and posing on a rock.
And the Mommy and Kei shot. :)
They called this, "How many Homeschoolers Can you Fit on A Tire Swing"
I wish you could really 'see' all of this. Hundreds of children and Indian dancers holding hands and weaving all around the area. In and out like snakes. It was so beautiful.
Our awesome kids

It was a great day.† The weather was perfect, the sky was beautiful, there were costumes and music and laughter and learning and friends.† On the way there and back Kei and I listened to “The Hunger Games” which we are L O V I N G!†

Saturday we woke up early to go to the Athens Art on the Square.† We go to this every year.† Athens courthouse is beautiful and it is a true center of a square.† We love downtown Athens and visit there often.† Saturday they had tons of artist from all over.† Ahhh I wish I was rich.

There was hula hooping. The instructor was amazing. She could hula hoop doing ANYTHING! She also made her own hula hoops. We talked a bit about a day class for our homeschoolers. Sounded interesting.
Do you see the picture in the left side? Red brick background with 2 little girls getting water? The artist told us he saw that really happen in 1959. In case you can't see the fountains are marked "White" and "Colored" but the little girls are drinking from the 'wrong' ones. What an amazing picture. I loved it so much.
We loved all of this lady's things. She told us she made all the shawls on a homemade loom with nails. Kei and I are already researching how to make one.† I told Kei that Karisma probably knew how to make things like this!
Kei loved this too. It reminded both of us of our friends Helena and Karisma over in Oz. I just love saying that..."Oz" :)
This is ONE bedazzled carrousel horse. Ok I know it isn't really BEDAZZLED, but isn't it tre's cool?
This is for Jessica. It is called "Strawberry Fields" I wish I could have gotten a better shot. It has all 4 Beatles on it and the lyrics down the handle.
Look at this! I wish I was this creative.
Read this
I would have LOVED to buy this. It was made from debris from the April 27th tornado. It has the lyrics to "Sweet Home Alabama" down one side. We loved this. LOVED it.

Sunday after an amazing church service we went to visit with Kathy and Sophie.† We had a great day.† We rode around and saw their neighborhood and Sophie’s school.† She goes to private school in Huntsville.† We then went to Providence.† Providence is like a small village in a big city.† It has its own school, shops, grocery, restaurants and more.† And the houses are awesome.† You can chose from a house, a townhouse or a loft.† I promised Kei as soon as I won the lottery we are moving here!

Lunch outside at The Mellow Mushroom. What a cool, hippy place. Kei and I loved it.
Kathy and I enjoying lunch. We have been friends forever.
After lunch we walked around and Kei and Sophie played in the fountain.

It was such a great afternoon and we left with promises to come back soon.

Now before you think we only played† this week, think again.† There were Math lessons and India and Mohammad and watching videos about India’s beginnings.† There was Science and writing and grammar and book reading and play rehearsal and timelines and lizards and reading parables and so much more.† It is amazing what you can accomplish when you aren’t in a brick school for 8+ hours a day.

 

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

“I have used the words “home schooling” to describe the process by which children grow and learn in the world without going ….to schools, because those words are familiar and quickly understood. But in one very important sense they are misleading. What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth in the word is not that it is a better school than the schools but that it isn’t a school at all. “

~John Holt~ Teach Your Own
 

It’s Been That Kind of Week..

The kind where we slowly wake up…

And eat ice cream…

And play in fountains….

And go to a World Kid’s Festival and have a blast learning about solar energy, lights and lasers, dances from different countries and so much more.

Kid's Festival

There was jousting with a best friend….

And hiking in the 100∞ weather!!!

And surfing to do…

Rocks to be skipped…

Pinwheels to watch….

1st Day of School Pictures to take…even though we really aren’t starting until next week….

Friday was the 1st Homeschool Skate Day.† Kei was so excited and so was I.

We had a blast!† I loved seeing everyone that I hadn’t seen all summer!† I also sold $20 worth of our old curriculum…of course I bought more…As if!† Kei sold some crocheted hair bows and made money too!† Her company is called Knit Wits.† Isn’t that clever?

Photo by Esther Crawford

Afterwards we all went to Cathy’s to chat for a bit.† It was so great to see everyone!† [We missed you Heather!]

†† My adorable friends!

All in all it was a fantastic, slow moving, laughing and talking kind of week.† My favorite kind.

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.† ~Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge {Live} in the moment

 

A concept I try very hard to live by….

in the moment…

THIS moment….

Now…

Yesterday is gone…

Tomorrow has not arrived yet….

No silly worries….

what may be [but probably won’t]

just this beautiful, amazing moment.

Learning...
Discovering....
Giggling.....

This post is linked here – Home is Where You Start From

Homeschooling Rocks!

Karen

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present†moment.† ~ Buddha

 

It’s a Tea Party Dahling, Fairy Abodes and Swimming…

This past Saturday, Kei had a Character Tea Party.† She was reprising her role as Horace in “101 Dalmatians”.† It was a completely different script to learn and it was interactive with the audience.† Lots of ad libbing which she LOVED.† There were 16 different tables, beautifully decorated, twinkle lights everywhere, little and big girls in hats and lace gloves, 2 extra rooms where the puppies and dogs of London ‘lived’.† The tables mainly had a red, white and black color scheme to go with the Dalmatians theme.† One of our favorite tables was the Eiffel Tower one.† Isn’t it adorable?† People could walk around before the lunch and interact with the characters.† It was an amazing experience.† Quite unlike anything Kei had done before.† I bought Liv a ticket so she could see Kei’s performance.† We had a great time.

Aren't These Tables Gorgeous?

It was a lovely Tea Party.

101 Collage

Kei also built some fairy houses.† You would not believe how much time she spends doing this.

Building the Stairs to the 2nd Story

We also went swimming yesterday.† All the pools around here close after Labor Day and we spent a great day with 24 homeschoolers/unschoolers.† Fun times.

Kei's World Famous ...???
Kei and Ben
The KEI Jump/Cheer / Phote by Heather Woods

Kei noticed this shadow on her leg on the way home and grabbed my camera.

Shadows

We did school sort of things too, but I am finding myself more and more drawn to less structure in that.† I mean really, when she is 77 what is she going to remember?† That we spent a Wednesday conjugating verbs or that we spent an incredible day with some of our best friends, playing in water.

Homeschooling Rocks,

Karen

Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?

Alice: Well, I haven’t had any yet, so I can’t very well take more.

March Hare: Ah, you mean you can’t very well take less.

Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing. ~Alice in Wonderland

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ― A.A. Milne