various (incomplete)

I know this kid who suddenly had a passionate desire to see the water bill be lower than it’s ever been. We talked to our neighbors and ours is, and has for years, been ridiculous compared to the friends around us. Béla’s very vested in this and he suggested that the fact that the third…

studying for the national mythology exam

“Persephone had to live in the Underworld for half the year and during that time Demeter stopped plants from growing but taught the farmers how to grow crops on their own.”   “The souls of the dead are lifeless creatures that live in Hades’ realm.”   “Hermes guided the souls of the dead down to…

mary, queen of scots

While still behind on the production schedule for the zines for our Capstone Projects, we did write in a good bit of wiggle room for that. And, while Béla begins studying Benny Hill, Claudia has moved onto Elizabeth Tudor. She watched both Cate Blanchett films (one during a day we all had a cold and…

io, saturnalia!

Like the one-hit wonder band of my early teen years, here’s a little Roman holiday for you. At the root of all midwinter revelry is Saturnalia — an opportunity to learn some Roman culture, a little astronomy, a chance to make a big Saturnian lantern, and to make some delicious — REALLY delicious — honey-sweetened…

two years of homeschooling

The two-year anniversary of our homeschooling life fell on a Saturday, but not a Saturday with nothing to do. Kulu Mele’s “Journey” was happening as well as our own journey. See if you can find Claudia (whose brother stayed with her five extra hours of rehearsal time): When we got home, it was ordering in…

no more writing on elephants though!

This happened a bit before “school” really “started”, but was still worthy of their first real journal entry of the year. The African-American Museum of Philadelphia hosted a showing of the documentary “Wall Writers: Graffiti In Its Innocence” with special guest, graffiti legend Cornbread. I had heard stories about Cornbread my whole life from my…

summer camps: japan, ancient greece and ancient rome

This summer, Claude and Béla had two non-consecutive weeks at Shofuso, the Japanese house in Fairmount Park, where they had gone for a week last summer as well; they also had a week at the Penn Museum for an Ancient Greece- and Rome-themed daycamp. They were happy to return to Shofuso, where we discovered that…

claudia takes the national mythology exam

I’m not even sure how we came to know this exam existed, but Tucker had taken it (and done very well) in high school — he had also taken the Latin and Ancient Greek exams (and I think had received perfect scores at some point). Wherever we found it, it was certainly within Claudia’s abilities…

the flail report (box battles and more)

With some other homeschoolers we hang with in South Philly, a bunch of kids had gotten very deep (at least for a few weeks) into the idea of “Box Wars” — very hardcore, everything ONLY cardboard and tape. (The house behind the mail truck is the house Tuck lived in at the time we met…

the terra cotta warriors and the sky-bike

Today we went to see the Terra Cotta Warriors at the Franklin Institute with our friend Deanna. But you know how it is with terra cotta warriors (and augmented reality)… one of them got into the house before we’d even called an Uber. Ugh. Once at the exhibit, we were able to take them in…