when the crafty gets sidelined because we are too busy living

There has been a bit of time since my last post.  It's funny, but having a blog about doing stuff, specifically crafty stuff, means that when I get busy and really creative, I have even less time or even material to post about.

Not that I am producing any physical projects worthy of note.  Unless you consider the continued survival and even, dare I say, occasional flourishing of my children?  That's creative enough for any parent, I figure.

The childs have been busy.  Girl child, in particular, just had a series of big deal solo performances.  She did the Jabberwocky poem in Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, which, if you are not familiar with the piece, is a few verses of largely nonsense words that happen to include the beast-icide of one aforementioned Jabberwocky.

Girl child performed Jabberwocky for her drama class showcase, the local performing arts festival and then was invited to perform again for the arts festival showcase.  Because she's so awesome and rocked that bizarre Carroll nonsense!

Girl child, with vorpal sword in hand, in her (career total) forty-eighth public performance:

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(Why am I counting her public performances?  I don't know.  Is that crazy?)

Boy child, still mainly unsuccessful in sitting still and quiet through dramatic performances (especially without loud, weary sighs of abject boredom) has discovered at least one benefit of having a sister in the performing arts: post performance receptions.  With cupcakes!

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In related theatre news, I do have a costume assignment for the upcoming youth theatre production of Sweeney Todd.  Yes, youth production of Sweeney Todd, the butcher barber.  You did read that right.  I'm very curious to see the show and probably won't take my own kids. I have no pictures of costumes or even the Sweeney Todd poster, though, so I present this random peeled mango instead.

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See gory, but still appropriate for youth?

I will also show you this moth.  Because signs of spring are so exciting I have to share every one. 

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Speaking of signs of spring, I also managed to sunburn my legs today, but you do not get a picture of them.  Have a crow instead.

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The childs and I have been delving deeper into what can only be described as homeschooling lifestyle.  That's the point, I think, when every member of the house consider themselves to be homeschool students and everyday is a grand adventure in learning, no matter what we do.  (Even when we watch Adventure Time.  Someone is always learning something from that show.  Good and bad.)

I love learning along with the kids and have started using my downtime to read some classic literature.  Last week I read Thoreau's Walden and this week I've just started Cervantes Don Quixote.  Which should take a few weeks to wander through (I swear, hefting the book up put my back out - all the more time to read while I convalesce I suppose). 

Not every moment is a homeschooling treasure to hold but we are certainly finding our confidence and style.  Our style sometimes includes all day pajama wear.  Don't judge us too harshly.

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As for pictures of homeschool, however, you basically get a boring bunch of photos of the childs reading stuff or writing stuff or doing things that are quite ordinary like playing board games, riding bikes and staring into space.

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Boy child's book favorites this week in which delightful chaos happens and no one has to sigh wearily at theatre performances.  Because, according to boy child, being civilized is desperately tiring work.

I did get a pic of an experiment in progress though.  It's been several days and no one has accidentally drank the salt water experiment yet.  I consider that a successful project, no matter what else happens.

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Despite outwards ordinary appearances, you can be assured that sparks of learning are growing into ed-u-ma-cation fireworks in their brains.

At least, I hope so.  In my brain, anyway.  (I loved Walden - why did I wait so long to read it?)

Now, my own personal tendency is to try to keep my maudlin posts about my kids off this blog (which I have failed at several dozen times, I know) but I haven't quite made the personal rule yet about whether I am going to excessively post about our homeschooling or not.  I think I can handle some feedback on this particular topic, if you like.  On one side, our homeschool and children's development it is a bit private.  On the other, I have deep gratitude to all the bloggers who have shared their own homeschooling/unschooling journeys for, without them, I would be lost. 

To help you help me make a decision, here is some pictures of girl child with auntie trying out some bee keeping gear she will be wearing in her role as beekeeping assistant.  The bees arrive next weekend.

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Who wants to hear about bees?  And assorted topics of interest regarding children learning stuff?

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  1. I would love you hear about your homeschooling as, though mine is only 2 1/2 right now, it's a constant debate in this house. Mostly based one whether or not I think I can handle it, which right now, I just simply find the thought of it completely overwhelming and intimidating. :/ I was never good in school myself so I guess I just don't have the faith in myself to teach when I struggle to learn. But I love the idea of homeschooling so ... I dunno. I do love reading your posts, even though they are less about creating these days and more about living. Which is fine by mean, there are plenty of those out there but your blog has really become something deep and beautiful and contemplative and I love it. :) Love and light to you and yours.

  2. Well my homeschool child would like to know what the boy child is reading in the pic where he's lying on his back. She's currently tearing through the Harry Potter audio books and the final Hero's Guide book.

  3. I love your homeschool posts. I get to live vicariously.

  4. Crafty, kid related, or anything else you happen to write about, I love it! I recently went through and stopped following a bunch of blogs I was following to try to spend less time on-line, but I love your blog so it made the cut! I first found your blog for the crafts, then stayed because I love hearing about your kiddo's (specifically girl child as my daughter is a few years younger and similar to girl child) and as a homeschooling/unschooling mama, I LOVE seeing what you and your family do for learning.

    And yes to the bees. I want to know how it goes!

  5. Oh, and to Joanna, it doesn't take a college degree to educate your own child. By being aware of your child's learning style and passion, you can provide your child with the resources (be that books, curriculum, classes, mentors or tutors) to help your child learn what will be interesting and useful to him or her.

  6. Joanna, you've just given me the biggest compliment about my blog ever. Thank you! Though homeschooling is not for everyone, I wouldn't worry about feeling academically fit for homeschooling. (I suspect you are more than adequate in the intellect department.) There is so many resources available and, as Tina said, knowing your own child will be the biggest benefit. Attentiveness, patience, adaptability, the willness to learn yourself - these are important homeschool parent characteristics. That and sense of humour!

    ailikate, it's a Bone graphic novel. (And he's pretending to read his sister's book to bug her and, as I choose to believe, demonstrating reading readiness :D) Girl child would also like to recommend The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Grimm Sisters series and Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books (Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight).

    Laura, living vicariously is what writing stuff about my own life feels like sometimes :D

    Tina, glad I made the cut! I'll try not to let you down. I feel so damn lucky to have a kid like girl child - smart, detailed orientated, always right... The biggest challenge with her is when she starts worrying that she's not learning the same things as her peers in school. And then, when she talks to her regular schooled peers, trying to stop her from getting too smug about how much more she knows than them.

    For the record, boy child is such a different child than the girl. I think we are going to have to take a slightly different path with him. Girl child thrives as an unschooler but the boy looks like he'll need some more structure and guidance. I've been researching 'classical education' for him. Specifically at this resource:

    It is actually an intuitive way for me to homeschool, just given my own inclinations. I'm excited for September, when boy child's first official year as a homeschooled child.

    By the way, Joanna, if you are still reading, Susan Wise Bauer's book might be a good book for you to look at when you are making your decision for your wee one.

  7. ailikate, girl child wants to also add A Series of Unfortunate Events to her book series recommendations.

  8. I want to hear about bees!!!!! As for the unschooling, I love it, but for our family, on top of going to public school. (i.e. exploring our own interests on weekends, evenings, vacations, etc.)

  9. I would love to continue reading about your homechooling journey. I have three boys, 4, 2, and 4 months. Too young for 'school' but never too young to learn. I want to homeschool and the more ideas I get for teaching, the better.

  10. I think that your approach to crafts in general, including sewing, is linked very strongly to your homeschooling. Even if I don't homeschool my kids, I love reading about it, gives me ideas for my kids as well and it's just a full circle of life ;op (don't mind my French meanderings...)

  11. I first stumble on your blog when my kids were toddlers in need of awesome twirler dresses. When they became school aged and I struggled with the homeschool/unschool/public school decision, there you were too. As my older girl entered the theatre/dance realm, again you were there. I love reading your posts, whether about crafts, homeschooling, or lazy/busy days. I look forward to learning about bees :) Thank you so much for sharing your know-how and perspective!