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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings...

Another month is flying by! I swear I don't know where the time goes.

What We've Been Up To...
Yesterday, Cyrus tried out volunteer work at Community Bikes. M took him there (on bicycle, naturally) and hung out/volunteered too. Cyrus came home looking like this...


So I think it was a success! He also smelled of grease -- apparently he spent the hour and half taking apart hubs.

Cassia found out yesterday that she made the roster for the teen derby team. She may or may not play in the game later this month, since she is new to the roster, but just being on there made her a happy girl! She and I also watched 13 Going On 30, which was a lot of fun.

Outside My Window...
Cool, overcast mornings lately, and then fairly cool afternoons with some sunshine. The apple tree is still blooming, but the cherry tree has finished. There's no rain showing up in the extended forecast, much to my dismay.

In the House and Garden...
Our dwarf peach has baby peaches already! The Swiss Chard also made a sudden comeback, and my artichoke plants, put in last year, are thriving. We're cleaning out the garage these days, and I am getting myself mentally prepared to clean out more of our books. We're hoping to put in tomatoes, peppers, and maybe some squash over the next couple of weeks. I also want to get going on building a salad box for mixed greens.

In Our Homeschooling...
We'll be reading about Buddhism this week in The Human Odyssey, and I have a couple of Demi's beautiful books to compliment this chapter. We did start The Adventures of Rama, but it wasn't quite what we hoped, so back to the library it went! We started enjoying a fairy tale each day from The Blue Fairy Book, after I read this post. And starting with a fairy tale is a lovely way to start each school day! Cassia will be moving on in Knowing Mathematics, and I have to say, if you want/need to make sure a child's 4th/5th/6th grade math skills are pretty solid, this is a great, and fairly quick, way to make sure they are! I can actually see the facts getting cemented somehow. Cyrus will keep going with Challenge Math, though he also wants to work with Alcumus this week. And there will be writing, and reading work, etc.

Reading and Watching...
Of course we'll watch the next Cosmos episode this week, and I want to start watching our HHMI videos. We're continuing with The Wind in the Willows, an absolute delight, and perhaps finally finishing those biographies. I think we might watch Little Buddha (again) for family movie night.

What I Am Thinking About...
Getting ready for fall! Well, homeschooling in fall specifically. I am looking longingly at Journeys Through Bookland, specifically volumes three and five, and am trying to decide if I really need them or not. Would that just be too much?

On the Agenda...
I have only five weeks of classes left this semester. while I have certainly enjoyed this semester more than the last one, I am also relieved that my break is coming up soon! Fencing, school, maybe more derby practices (she should be going twice a week soon)... the action never stops!

Have a good week!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Being Involved...

As my kids (gulp) get older, I think a sense of community involvement is important. So recently we started looking for volunteer opportunities that would suit each of them. Yes, I know many schools around here don't require community involvement until high school, but when there are great opportunities, why wait?

So for Cassia, whose dream since age 2 has been to be a veterinarian, I found this. A service-dog, puppy-petting project. What animal-loving child would not want to pet puppies? I emailed them immediately, and we've been placed on the list for the next litter or two, which may not be until summer, but it is still something to look forward to! And yes, since she's under the age of 16, I get to pet puppies with her (no complaints there!).


And then for Cyrus, there was no interest in petting puppies, which I understand. He likes animals just fine, but isn't the type to get all hyped up about them. Instead, M suggested he try volunteering at a local non-profit, Community Bikes, which offers bicycles and all their parts at low prices, along with training in bike maintenance. We went in, and talked to the owner in person, and he said Cyrus can just come in any time they are open to volunteer! Cyrus is really excited about this, and has been studying bicycle repair ever since, with the aid of a library book.

Do you volunteer in your community? Is community involvement part of your homeschool plan? Eventually, Cyrus hopes to do some automotive-related volunteering/an internship, when he's older, and Cassia would like to volunteer at the local wildlife rescue facility. We've done some work at a food bank, baked cookies for a women and children's shelter, donated clothes to homeless shelters, and been Secret Santas most years, but this feels different, more targeted at what my kids love while still helping out.