a lot of things happened easter weekend

The night before Easter, we went to the premiere of the documentary “The Sigma Kids” and learned a lot about the making of David Bowie’s “Young Americans” album, which was recorded here in Philadelphia. And the kids met guitarist Carlos Alomar — who is certainly the best thing about “The Sigma Kids”. They also sat…

martenitsi 2018

One more thing that, like Parade of Spirits, we’ve been doing since 2011. This year we just made them for each other and for one other family of friends — but we had found three new tutorials we really liked and so it was no chore at all, in fact it was more fun than…

claudia’s tenth birthday

Last year was Claude’s first homeschool birthday and it was really nice. This September was Béla’s first, and IT was really nice. This was Claudia’s tenth birthday, her second homeschooling birthday, and because it fell on a day when we had a lot of activities with other homeschoolers — well, it was just particularly great….

valentines, grey belts, and lupercalia cake

Oh, the whirlwind of the completely unconnected!!! First, Valentine’s Day. We don’t make much of it, but, why, Mom, why. As you can hear, Béla was a bit under the weather. This love-filled treat did not help. He was happier with the David Byrne valentine card he had snagged for himself — he and Claudia…

reedy jawns

Usually called “St. Brigid’s Crosses” for those who honor her — and something I’ve made for years, and for which I’ve even written a tutorial before, for a children’s craft column, in 2012. I remember making them last year in the last hours of my birthday, using colored zipties — also a fun way to…

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…