Well, I’m trying to get back in the saddle again with our weekly reports. The holidays always get me off-kilter. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from our home to yours!

Sassafras (2nd Grade):

We started studying Colonial America this week with Jamestown, John Smith, Pocahontas, and John Rolfe. She began reading Pocahontas and the Strangers for literature.  We made a little 3D map of Jamestown, showing its triangular fort. Both Sassafras and the Z-man made cornhusk dolls as well. (Yes, I was feeling very motivated in the “arts & activities” area this week!) I’ve included pics of our creations, as well as a picture from last week’s Shakespeare study.



In science Sassafras continued her study of the solar system with Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. She and the Z-man also started painting their model of the solar system. (Like I said–I was VERY motivated!) Latin focused on the “to be” verbs, grammar was about adverbs and adjectives, and writing dealt with direct quotations. Our artist study was about Leonardo da Vinci. We were also supposed to do a watercolor wash painting, but it didn’t happen. The cornhusk doll won out. For music, we continued studying Beethoven. (I love Beethoven!) Sassafras was also back at the piano this week after a long break over the holidays. She was finally able to use the damper pedal. Yes, she’s totally pumped about the pedal!

Basketball is going pretty well for Sassafras. So far, she’s made one goal. She has a game at 8:30 in the morning. There really should be a law against that. It has been worse. A couple of weeks ago she had to be there at 7:30 AM….for pictures. Oh my word!

Z-man (Kindergarten):

The Z-man had a big accomplishment this week. He lost his first tooth! I didn’t even know it was loose until he started crying while eating. The drama was high for a couple of days, and he kept insisting on a soft diet. He went through a lot of yogurt! It was barely hanging on, so I finally told him that if his tooth came out by the end of the day, we would all go to Purple Penguin for frozen yogurt. He pulled it right after supper. Behold the power of sprinkles!

While I was highly motivated this week, the Z-man…well….was not.  All of his seatwork was a struggle. He managed to do some math, phonics, and handwriting, but it wasn’t pretty. We’re a little ahead in our Sonlight reading, so we didn’t start a new read-aloud this week. Instead I let him listen in on his sister’s history reading. I’m going to have him learn about the 13 colonies along with Sassafras. I’m hoping that sometime this year we’ll get to Williamsburg and Jamestown, and I want him to have a clue when we get there.

In science this week, the Z-man started studying the human body. We made a lift-the-flap digestion poster and did a muscle-pulling craft. (Again, I was motivated….or possibly feverish?) In geography, he studied about lakes and rivers. He colored a nice page about the parts of a river, but his baby sister decided she would dip the dry-erase marker in my coffee and then wipe down the table. His geography page was a casualty. Sigh.


Little Man (3 yrs old):

Little Man was totally pumped about his school this week. I started him on the Explode the Code primers (beginning phonics) this week. He already knows all of his letter sounds, so now we will be practicing phonemic awareness. So far, so good! He also continued to work on fine motor skills with Kumon workbooks.

I had a meeting with Little Man’s speech therapist this week to authorize testing his articulation and language. His testing will be next week, and then we’ll know if he’s ready to exit out of the program. He’s made great progress!

Doodlebug (22 months old):

I have great news to report about Doodlebug! She had hip xrays last week and received a good report. Both of her hip angles were well within the normal limits. So, we were able to say bye-bye to her brace. Woohoo! She sees the orthopaedist again in 9 months to ensure there aren’t any reversals. I hope we’re home free!! In the meantime, Doodlebug is growing up too fast. Sniff.



Merry Christmas to me! I pooled my monetary Christmas gifts and bought a Kindle Keyboard. I really like it! (Unfortunately, my hubby and  Sassafras are big fans, too. Excuse me. May I have MY kindle please?) I’m mainly interested in free, older classics. Right now I’m reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of the Four. And speaking of Sherlock Holmes, I’m a big fan of Jeremy Brett. So, I was pretty miffed about Netflix taking that series off of instant streaming. However, I’ve recently discovered the new BBC series Sherlock. I was very skeptical at first, but I really enjoyed the first two episodes of series 1. There are only 3 episodes (90 min each) in each series. Series 2 will air on PBS in the US in May. Good stuff. I hope.

In other news, this past weekend we pulled up the carpet in our hallway and living room. The hardwoods underneath look great! I don’t have real before and after photos. The picture below was from five years ago when we bought our furniture. Since then, the piano and the tall bookcases are in the room. But regardless, it’s clear that we have a huge improvement!