Monday, October 13, 2014


It is finally official: we are homeschooling!  This has been in the works for several years but not official until this fall since my eldest would have started kindergarten if he was attending public school.  Although, based on our homeschool, this is his first grade year.

It is a huge amount of work but I really enjoy it and fully believe that this is the best decision for our boys.  Teaching one student one on one really allows for the curriculum to be tailored to their learning speed and learning style.  

And, it allows for a huge amount of hands on learning activities.  For example, in our science unit we've been learning about the states of matter and how the application of heat energy can transform something from a solid to a liquid, liquid to a gas, etc.  We first did this with ice which became water, then we boiled the water to make gas.  Well, after that we made plasma in our microwave! (Plasma is the fourth state of mater, an ionized/super heated form of gas, our sun is mostly plasma).

That huge glowing thing in the microwave is a ball of plasma - it only lasted a few seconds but it was amazing. 

We started homeschooling last year in full force last year.  Our eldest was really ready for school but not old enough for public school.  (There is a list of other reasons why we choose to homeschool but that is a topic for another post.) 

This is the curriculum we completed last year for Kindergarten:

Language Arts:
Explode the Code books 1, 2, 3, 3.5, and 4
Beyond the Code book 1
ZB Spelling Connections level 1
First Language Lessons level 1 (we only made it to lesson 60)
several lapbooks for favorite books

Singapore 1A and 1B
Lollipop Logic books 1,2, and 3

homemade curriculum with lots of note-booking pages and hands on experiments (planting a garden, 
hatching butterflies, tracking weather, etc)

soccer class
swim lessons

This year our plan is to continue with a lot of the same curriculum, add in a few new things, and we joined a homeschool co-op where D takes Lego engineering, Science Experiments, and Animal Encounters.

Language Arts:
Explode the Code books 5, 6, 7
ZB Spelling Connections level 2 
complete level 1 of First Language Lessons then move on to level 2
reading a chapter books a month

Singapore 2A and 2B
a ton of logic and analogy books from the Critical Thinking Co.

Social Studies:
lapbooks for monthly theme (Johnny Appleseed, Columbus, Pilgrims) 


soccer class
swim lessons

Based on our list, it seems as if we are doing work all day long but in reality we have seat work four days a week that lasts about 1.5 hours (we take 5-10 minute breaks between subjects to clear the mind and get the wiggles out).  And the we have science experiments or art projects that we work on for 1-2 hours twice a week and go to co-op classes on the fifth "school" day of the week.  (Although, with homeschooling everything can be turned into a lesson!)  We do school about 12 hours a week (including swim and soccer class) which is much less than would be spend in a classroom AND we are doing a lot more learning.  Homeschooling also does not mean we are home all day.  We have a weekly playgroup, swim lessons, soccer lessons, co-op, story time at the library, and regular playdates with friends in addition to the kids going on all the normal family outings (weekend family trips, weekly grocery shopping, etc). It's been an eventful and educational journey for all of us.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bainbridge Island

A few weekends ago, we headed over to Bainbridge Island for their second annual outdoor quilt show.  It was a lovely and beautiful day for the trip.  The sun was shining and the weather was just perfect.  I had submitted my quilt, 1+1=10, that I had made for the Seattle MQG Binary quilt show.  

Even though the quilt had been missing from his bed for two weeks and he had helped me wash it and deliver it, my son was very surprised to see it and said, "Hey!  How did my quilt get here?"  

And, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my quilt was on the cover of the local newspaper to advertise the show.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seattle MQG Secret Sewing Swap

The Seattle Modern Quilt Guild held a secret sewing swap for September. It was a lot of fun to make something for someone else and it was a good challenge.  My partner has slightly different color tastes than I do so I had to stretch myself and I decided that now was the time to attempt some curves.  I was inspired by one of my partners Instagram pictures to create this:

It was a lot of fun and hard work to get the free form curves right.  I'm very please with it and so happy that I finally tried it out.  I also used this challenge as an opportunity to jump in and try some free motion quilting.  I did a lot of practice before working on the quilt and I feel like I've really got it down well now.  I'm super happy with how the pebbles turned out.

I made my swap partner two items.  I made this zipper pouch in the same fabrics but just had one strip of wonky curved piecing and the rest was more free motion quilting.  I'm not sure what to call it - it feels and looks like sea weed to me. 

Here is most of the group who participated and all the amazing mini quilts, bags, and pouches that were created.  There were some really amazing things created.

And, my swap partner made me this awesome diamond star mini quilt in my favorite colors!  She got it spot on for me and it's now hanging on my sewing room wall.

This swap was a smashing success and will definitely be repeated in the future.