day of the davids

We would have thought it was a bit less than a week ago that we got “back” to homeschooling (although the fact is, we did a LOT of learning over the holidays), but we didn’t get back to any sort of “routine” last week, due to extremes of weather — massive snow storms, ice, lots…

did you know you could make Ph indicator strips with poinsettias?

As they often say, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” But what the heck. It was fun, not too smelly, and did, to some degree, work. Seems to me it might be more practical to buy commercial test strips but, if you’ve got a poinsettia and NOT a desperate need to know the…

latin? check. fire safety? check .

Most people know we are the “Parade of Spirits” family (or, going back far enough, the “Krampuslauf Family”). Costuming, folklore, festal culture… soldering battery packs for LED lanterns… using big X-acto blades for cutting foam props… all part of our homeschooling experience. Claudia appeared this year as an amethyst geode — a costuming departure, to…

school is a drag

looking for an unusual and irreverent holiday gift?   School is a Drag is the photo essay book produced by Rich Wexler of New Castro Photo. it contains the entire shoot from the kids’ 2016-17 “homeschool portrait” session, as well as their sketches, and text from them, and me, about why we chose to participate in…

RITUAL

Months and months ago, we saw this call for single-sheet zines on the topic of “ritual”. The solicitation included a pattern for folding a single-sheet zine and this is, actually, what we used for the kids first zines — the “Six Simple Machines of Physics” and “Do Crystals Have Minds?” zines. But I really wanted…

homeschooling anniversary

I didn’t get to this post until after midnight — for obvious reasons — but our homeschooling anniversary is December FIRST, and here is what the kids spent it doing: Decorating Indy Hall for the holidays… Making God’s Eyes for Parade of Spirits, Liberty Lands with Lux Arati… Maybe a LITTLE nervous about doing the…

halloween whirlwind: more scares

I didn’t get in as much as the actual “storytelling” element of Halloween that I wanted to this season. They watched more “scary” movies than they ever have before (Claude in particular, who saw “Poltergeist” and “Sleepy Hollow”). We all enjoyed the old Disney live-action “The Watcher in the Woods” and while it’s only mildly…

more halloween prep (with uncle al)

Although he made it look like a much more foreboding experience than it actually was, Béla and Claudia went to Termini’s bakery for the infamous “dead bones” cookies. Of which I doubt they ate more than one. Claudia’s YouTube makeup tutorial searches landed us with a formidable shopping list, but we amended it to be…

halloween season begins (and it’s hot and muggy, thanks global warming).

Crank that AC and burn that pumpkin spice candle. Check out the Halloween displays before it’s even October. Order decorations online (like a “Village of the Damned” bunting.) Get a David-Bowie’s-Stages-of-Life-While-Trick-or-Treating pennant.   Beg for foods you would otherwise have no chance of getting. (Béla really impressed me by exclaiming over those “Frahnkensteen Papes”. He…

béla’s homeschool birthday

I had been worried last February, that Claudia’s ninth birthday — our first homeschool birthday — would feel somehow lesser. We are not a family that does (or enjoys) parties very much. Last year, Claude had taken a cake to Brownies, and she also made Big Mama Thornton cupcakes for the Blues show rehearsals at…

indoor skydiving

To celebrate the eighth anniversary of the night we picked Béla up at the airport after his very long flight from Korea… he and some of his fave people went Indoor Skydiving.   Béla’s close friend (from his former school days), Max, and his family, came along. Max demurred, but Max’s dad ended up getting…

the first homeschool birthday, and the annual martenitsi-making

I had wondered about this from the beginning. I knew Claudia’s birthday would be first-up after we started homeschooling. (Béla’s had been during the first week of school; in fact, Béla started kindergarten ON his sixth birthday.) And I worried: it was still going to be just a weekday, when Ben was working and Tucker…