Assessment Record

1/5/17 Math Test. 100%



T.V. Treasure

Science: Last night our plans to go watch a movie didn’t pan out. Daddy took off work early to go with us and we started down the highway. It was 22 degrees and the snow was coming down. He turned to me and said, “I’m thinking this isn’t a good idea.” And I knew he was right. We thought quickly about what we could do instead. We decided to go watch T.V. together, to watch with the kids what they wanted to watch. As soon as we had decided, shouts came from the back seat, “How about Nickelodeon, can we watch some Nickelodeon??” I had been hoping we would watch a movie together, but the point of the evening was to spend time with them, entering into the same world, so we agreed. A demonstration of force and motion ensued when our van slid past the driveway on the very slick highway.

Socioemotional: First we watched two episodes of The Loud House, which was quite entertaining. Then we watched two episodes of Henry Danger, which had my oldest and I laughing heartily together. It was wonderful. There were so many valuable lessons presented throughout the course of the programs. Accepting your friends and family for who they are and not trying to change them, how family helps each other out, identifying con artists, sacrificing our immediate wants for ultimate good.

Math and History: We came home and did a worksheet and an assessment from Saxon 2. And began reading about how New Amsterdam became New York in our book, This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall (which I love).

Literature: Amy has also rekindled an obsession with Little Red Riding Hood. She wanted me to read it to her, I found the version by Charles Perrault online and read it while she cowered beneath my back into the chair. Then we found a YouTube version of the story and she has been watching different versions of that. This led to Rapunzel and American Girl and Frozen toy videos.

P.E.: The kids have been playing in the snow constantly. Making snowballs, putting them in the freezer, prompting conversation on states of matter and physical properties of matter.

Socioemotional: Lots of Caillou.

Mom’s mental health has been improving, by the way. Yesterday I joyfully cleaned my house, joyfully did the dishes. I feel very calm and unrushed, almost zenlike, helping the children put all their winter clothes on and off, anticipating their food needs. I feel joy. Joy is rising. When I wake up in the morning, I am calmed and relieved to remember the direction we are taking. It soothes my spirit.




This morning I struggled with the desire to whip my kids into shape. Make them eat what I want them to eat, so I can be organized and manage my day. Study what I need them to study so that I can feel like we are going in the right direction.

My six-year-old son, Walker, asked for string cheese. I actually told him no, that he could choose a fruit, because of my need to adhere to our pre-planned menu. I then struggled with my own desire that, instead of oatmeal, I really wanted a banana with peanut butter, but how could I allow myself to eat what I want when I’m dictating to my son what he can and cannot eat. So after some time dedicated to thinking this through, I gave him the string cheese.

I really wanted my kids to do their list of tasks, such as math lessons, etc. Walker wanted to watch Wild Kratts. He learned about China, panda anatomy, geography, climates, biomes. Then Arthur, where he learned about citizenship.

I know how very controlling my own parents were and how insidiously hurtful and damaging it is and was to me. I struggle to learn a new and better way. My mother still hurts me with her need to constantly control and put boundaries between us. It feels as though one is being treated as a commodity, to be enjoyed for a short period and then whimsically disposed of. There must be a better way. I don’t want my children to feel that. I don’t want to feel that way about them. There is so much self-work that goes into parenting it is amazing.

From a book I am slowly reading: Real Boys Voices by William S. Pollack, Ph.D., Introduction, “We still live in a society in which our boys and young men are simply not receiving the consistent attention, empathy, and support they truly need and desire.”


Beef Broccoli, Mummies, Treehouses

That is a yummy recipe. And we are having it for dinner.

I have already moved onto our January 4th!

This evening, the hubs and I are getting reflexology treatments!

Yesterday was a blur of my attempt to diffuse the mounting anxiety that stepping outside the box always brings. I may have even forced a math worksheet. Baby steps.

We learned about mummies, ancient Egypt, Rameses I, archaeology, ancient burial and preservation, ancient Egyptian religion and social structure. My six year old was still talking about it, with amazing evidence of detail comprehension, I might add.

Thoughts turned quickly to treehouses. We learned, through reading reviews and research, that perhaps our best plan is to purchase Treehouse Attachment Bolts (something called TABS) and there is a website with plans and everything we need that looks very helpful. Following our research we knew that we would have to find a way to raise the money because this will be an expensive venture. The boys immediately dispersed to the belly of the house to unearth abandoned coins and add them up in their room, on their LeapPad 3 and paper. I see lots of coin rolling in our future. Today they want me to go by the bank to get their account balances and ask for coin rollers. We also intend to watch Pete’s Dragon at the library and have popcorn. I feel pretty certain they will play in our dusting of snow.

There has also been talk of lemonade stands, selling our toys, selling our chicken eggs. James even found his old teeth that I was saving and thought he could trick the tooth fairy into giving him money twice!

The boys learned a little about attachment parenting and Mayim Bialik.

Fred cleaned and organized his things.

I made pumpkin bread, everybody loved it.

Yesterday, I really struggled, as I have said. I worried I would make my kids spoiled. Fred was grumpy yesterday and I pondered if my indulgence had a role. Did he feel too unrestricted? Is it beneficial for a child to be tightly hemmed in, as society and some educational theories suggest? The last thing I want to do is damage my kids.

Fred also had his piano lesson, and J.W. and Fi played in the sandbox.

James wants to change his middle name to Walker, after Walker Texas Ranger.

I love my job; I get paid in baby smiles.

Today, I am so thankful that my eighteen month old woke me up early. I get to see the kids faces when they see the first snow of this year!

Egypt, Garage Cleaning, Bologna and the Best Day of School Ever

History Resource: Nova: Mystery of Pyramids and Sphynx (53 min.). “Riddles of the Sphynx” by Gary Glassman.

Questions to explore: What were the pyramids made of? Egyptian desert snakes. Mummies. Wonders of the world. Mammoths and dinosaurs. Can you eat elephant?

Words to remember: sphinx, Egypt, pyramids, 2500 BC, Kufu, archaeology, 3000 BC-Dawn of Egyptian Civilization, Pharoah Aha, Egyptology

Jobs to explore: Ancient Egypt Research Associates

History Resource: “Unresolved Secrets of the Pyramids” Illuminux

Science Resource: “Desert Snakes: World’s Deadliest Animals” by National Geographic, “Sidewinder Rattlesnake-Dangerous Serpent in the Desert-Wildlife Documentary Films” by National Geographic

Words to Remember: Sidewinder, African desert dweller, six-eyed spider, camouflage, human anatomy, western barred spitting cobra

Geography: Namibia, South Africa, Pangea, South America

Math concepts: Metric system, 2 and 2.5 meters

Questions to explore: Sahara desert

Practical Arts: Room organization and making the bed.

Unschooling struggles: Not bossing the kids around.

Unschooling amazingness: Happy kids, talking with James on the couch, Freddie and Amy hugging

Groceries: chips, mac and cheese mix, bologna, soda

Interesting subjects: Sphinx cat, What does snake taste like?

Freddie says he’s going to build a treehouse. “Great Sphinx of Egypt: Its True Age Revealed and Tunnels Below”

“Sidewinder: Deadly Desert Snake”–Discovery

“The Sidewinder Snake Slithers at 18 MPH” Smithsonian Channel “Dinosaurs”

“Hammerheads can hear injured fish from miles away” Smithsonian

History Channel- “Great White Shark: Most Terrifying Predator on Planet”

Monster Quest

Winter-hibernation-rattlesnakes-survival hunting-snake handling-primitive cooking

Sharks: ancient monsters, pressure, ancestors, bubble wall, species, seal carcasses, underwater cameras

BBC Dinosaur Documentary of Century

“Grilled Rattlesnake Squirming on Grill”

Bob Hansler “How to Kill, Skin and Cook Rattlesnake”

Upside of unschooling: My kids are excited to be with me rather than avoiding me

Drawback: Sometimes I need space and feel frustrated.

Resource for unschooling parents: Leo Babauta’s zenhabits on frustration.

LeapPad 3 Resources and games have been used today

We also used our GeoCards and played a round using land area, so geography and math using kilometers. Then we played two rounds using population to determine who won each hand.


Pushing with Timidity

I can’t tell you the exact time I first read about John Holt, Sandra Dodd, democratic schooling, etc., but I can tell you I didn’t learn it along with the other pedagogies presented to me in my university education classes. Maria Montessori was as far out as it went in my southeastern Missouri education, and I thought that I was on to something. I dreamed of wearing colorful skirts and chunky, handmade jewelry that testified to my love of happiness and joyful learning. I listened to my teacher, a graduate student who, petite, blonde, and quivering with a passion to parent and teach in a respectful, mindful way. She brought us a woman who was willing to breast-feed her child in front of the class (There was one male student; he didn’t protest.). She spoke of child-led weaning and the La Leche League. She looked as if she was about to crack under the pressure of pushing in what was then, in our area anyway, a new, unconventional direction. What I was sensing in her demeanor then was the weight I have now experienced after eight years a parent with unconventional dreams of my own. Well, perhaps the substance of the dreams is not that different from anyone else’s. I want my children (and myself and husband) to be happy. To live every day of our lives. To be humans and not machines, or drones, or droids, or robots, or depressed, broken, fearful exoskeletons afraid to think, “What if?” My teacher trembled beneath the crushing weight of her mother-in-law’s unabashed, outspoken criticism, her husband’s fear of her new ideas, society’s side-eye as she nursed on a park bench.

I now push in a new direction. Every morning, I ponder what to do with my stay-at-home mothering, homeschooling luxury. I reject the idea that a passel of educators cares more and knows better what my children need to succeed than I do. I doubt they research, observe, and consider them any harder than I do.

Who We Are/Why This Blog

This is the post excerpt.

We are a family. We live in a state where we have to keep a record of what we do everyday in order for it to be legal for us to homeschool our children. We also have to keep a record of assessment and a portfolio of their work, so this blog is our medium to meet those requirements. The brood is led by a stay at home mother who, progressive in her theories of education, guides bravely the intellectual growth of her brilliant and beloved family.