Learning and Vacation

Autumn Hues Along Cumberland River below FallsThis week was amazing!  We took a much anticipated fall break.

We stepped away from our workbooks but not from learning.   The week was full of learning about new and interesting things.

Mammoth Cave 2We learned more about geology and cave systems by visiting Mammoth Cave National Park.

Blue CorvetteThe boys particularly enjoyed a visit to the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY to see sports cars being assembled and tested.  We also made a subsequent visit to the Corvette Museum.

We learned a bit about the distilling process by visiting Makers Mark Bourbon Distillery.

Cumberland Falls with RainbowThe week was also full of hiking and relaxing in Cumberland Falls, KY.

This week was part of our larger goal this year – “spend more time relaxing.”  The implementation included a goal to go camping each month during warm weather.  I’ll be sharing more about this goal in a separate post on intentional leisure.

For the moment I’m feeling quite accomplished that our bags are unpacked, laundry is almost done and there are meals available for tomorrow.  Hopefully soon I can work in a little more time to spend online.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Sharing at:

Weekly Wrap-Up WUH   Mary_CollageFriday

The Creek at Sunset


“Sometimes we must take a break to experience the world before we have anything to write.”



Beautiful Autumn Days


October is probably my favorite month to live in Northeast Ohio.  Sometimes I can’t get over how lucky we are to live near such gorgeous parks.  Even though much of this week was rainy, we still managed to spend a few hours hiking and biking around the woods.


This week at our house we studied how the microscope dramatically changed scientific knowledge of the world.  Did you realize the first microscopes used candlelight?  Or 175 years passed between the discovery that cork was made of cells and the confirmation that all plants were made of cells?  It wasn’t until 1858 Rudolf Virchow is credited with concluding all cells come from cells.  Of course people understood that animals give birth and plants come from seeds, but cells were thought to form more like crystals.

I enjoy studying science and history with an integrated approach.  It is amazing to think how inventions, discoveries, and innovations are shaped by the technologies, communications, and politics of their time.  When we read dates we try to think about what else was going on in the world and what daily life looked like.


We learned about so many things this week: animal cells, plant cells, gecko adhesion, trout, musk oxen, colony collapse disorder in bee hives, and white nose syndrome in North American bats.  We spent time using our microscope and programming the EV3 robot.


Of course we are following current events, especially cases of ebola.  We practice math and grammar nearly every day.  The boys are also using the Kindle’s immersion reading feature to read the first book in the Lord of the Rings series.


All this amazing learning is going on every day and still life is peaceful (at least mostly).  Our days have a flow and rhythm that suits us well.  This is what I love most about homeschool – the freedom to pursue our interests not in a sliver of “free” time, but as a natural part daily life.

Hope you are having a lovely season of learning!

Sharing at:

Weekly Wrap-Up WUH    Mary_CollageFriday



A Morning in the Woods

Ledges October


We traveled along a familiar path


past our favorite rocks and trees.

Along the way we reviewed things we’ve learned together and shared jokes.

October Mushrooms

“Why should you invite a mushroom to a party?”

“Because he’s a fun-guy”

The one about a mushroom going into a bar and being related to the yeast (in the beer) was a bit of a flop, but had potential.

October Ledges 2We talked about history and geology and chipmunks and Chronicles of Narnia vs. The Hobbit.

Red Leaves on GroundWe joked about me taking too many pictures of leaves.

These are the moments my mother heart will cherish forever.  Moments made possible by the courage to follow a different path.  I’m so glad we are able to share this journey together!

An Interest Led Week


The early part of the week was devoted to reading The Hobbit.   The boys pushed almost  everything else to the side while they devoured the book.   They took a break from reading to do math each day and go to soccer practice, but that was about it.   Personally that is my favorite way to read a great book, so I was happy they have space in their schedule to binge read.

This was their first book using the Kindle with Immersion Reading and I think it was a great experience.  Immersion reading combines a kindle book format with an audiobook.  The text is highlighted as the professional narrator reads.  I’m really excited about this format, especially as a support for dyslexia.

I will admit I was hoping to get out of reading The Hobbit.  I know a lot of people enjoy the Lord of the Rings series, but I’ve always felt like I was slogging through them.  I did try reading it myself again, but barely made it through the first chapter before setting it aside.  While the boys were reading and listening, I tried to tune in without success.  They loved it and of course want to discuss it with me, so I suppose I will give it one more go.  Wish me luck!


Zoo class this week was about zoo careers.  I had a great time doing a brief tour of the zoo myself and visiting with some of the moms.


This was the last week of a special exhibit at the Natural History Museum so we made some time to visit there as well.

Misty Soccer Field

The days are definitely getting shorter.  Wednesday’s soccer practice ended in a moonlit mist.  E observed that it would have been a perfect night for Trick or Treating.

This week we watched PBS Nature: Penguins – Spy in the Huddle.  The series is a fascinating look at Humboldt, Emperor, and Rockhopper penguins.  The researchers used a variety of hidden cameras including animatronic penguins to collect the footage.  The Rockhoppers in particular are completely hilarious.

Do your kids completely immerse themselves in books or projects?  Do you read that way?

Sharing at:

Weekly Wrap-Up WUH   Mary_CollageFriday