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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


{An attempt at catching up a bit}


We hiked to the top of Bald Mountain, the day after Thanksgiving. It was very chilly (lower 40s), but so beautiful! After a couple of hours of hard hiking, we made it to the top...

The views from the top were pretty amazing! We could see the ocean, San Francisco, even the Sierra Nevada mountains 130 miles away!

And then of course, we had to hike back down, making it to the car just before dark...

...Other than that...

The Boy is wrapping up his first semester of junior college, with actual finals next week. One class was hugely successful with/for him (3D art), the other not as much (Machine Tool Technology), which he said had too much lecture time, and too many quizzes, to the point that next to no students in the class finished their actual hands-on projects. He's even been going to extra workshops, as have many other students, but still can't quite finish. The teacher is new, so I think he will be making some adjustments in future semesters.

Overall, it has been a great process for The Boy, enough so that he's signed up for two more classes in the spring! He'll be taking Stellar Astronomy (with a totally awesome teacher that I had many years ago!), and has signed up for Intro to Engineering (non-mathematical, hands-on course), which he's not quite definitely taking. I don't want him to feel overwhelmed, which he did earlier this semester.

He and I are both excited for the end of the semester partly because it means we'll have the time to read books of our own choice again. I did manage to squeeze in, and enjoy, Circling the Sun (by the author of The Paris Wife... a really good book), and it got me very intrigued by Beryl Markham, etc. So, I have West With the Night and Out of Africa waiting to be read.

The Girl has discovered my stash of Harry Potter books late Monday evening. And yesterday, in ONE DAY, she read almost 50 pages of the first book! I know... some of you will be thinking that your kids read a lot more. But she's been such a reluctant reader, and struggled so much with reading, that this is HUGE! I'm hoping the momentum keeps going.

We've been doing some math, though not nearly enough, here and there. Both kids have agreed to keep up with math over the winter "break" so that we can attempt to get caught up. And a lot of other things have drifted by the wayside too. We're gradually figuring it out... I think. As long as math and language arts get done, plus some shared literature, I think we're okay. The Boy has science for spring (which, by the way, counts for both a semester of college, and a year of high school science!). Maybe The Girl and I will tackle some biology. I'm tweaking my instructional facilitator schedule a bit so that I can be more available for my kids.

In the meantime, we're enjoying Christmas movies and music. And some Dickens books as films/mini-series, as The Boy is interested in Victorian times. Our lights are up outside, and we'll get a tree this weekend with tutoring money. The Girl and I want to do some cookie baking, and we need to figure out homemade gifts for relatives. My dad will likely still be in the nursing facility, so we'll visit him there, and then do a late Christmas with him when he goes home again (he's making good progress, by the way). The kids are happily making lists of potential stocking stuffers, and we've panned out their big gifts already, to be purchased shortly. Can I just say how grateful I am for Amazon Prime shipping?

Hope all is well in your worlds!

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