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Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Wrap-Up ~ Week 8

It has been an exhausting week. However, it was a good week. This was our first week with our full dance schedule included into our normal schedule. So far, that is going smoothly. Little Red Riding Hood has dance lessons for 2.5 hours twice a week. She is in the dance studio's Tween Company. Tom Sawyer is taking 2.5 hours per week and is considered to be a part-time student in the Tween Company. They are in classes at the same time so everything is streamlined. The only appointments that are causing me stress right now are the ones at 1pm or in the mornings. I am not ready to be done teaching school and feeding lunches in time to be on the road for 1 pm appointments. Luckily, we only have one day each week that we have a standing 1 pm appointment. I am really struggling to keep the infrequent appointments to later in the day. Goldilocks' school is not on board with my plans at all. Without consulting me, the school keeps making appointments for the middle of the morning. I told them I am trying to educate in the mornings, but they don't take my homeschooling seriously. Hopefully, if I cancel/reschedule enough appointments, they will figure it out.

Chinese Dinner ~ We made egg rolls for the first time this week. They were much easier than I expected them to be and came out nicely. We had some wrappers left over and made apple fritters the next day. Yum! Our Chinese dinner was our last activity with the book, The Cricket in Times Square.

What happens when your family's tooth fairy is a scientist? Little Red Riding Hood lost four teeth in the past few weeks. The tooth fairy has been working overtime around here. She is a science minded tooth fairy that doesn't want to miss any educational opportunities. So she set up a science experiment for the children. What happens when you soak baby teeth in containers of either water, orange juice, vinegar, or soda? It isn't pretty, folks.

Day One

Day three ~ coke tooth very discolored and vinegar tooth kind of chalky
Day 5 ~ vinegar tooth has no more enamel and coke tooth very discolored

We decided to see if mouth wash would clean up the teeth. In just 5 hours our baby teeth looked like this. I was amazed at how improved they were. I still would not advice soaking your teeth in any soda or vinegar!

Frederick Law Olmsted and Central Park ~ I do love Central Park and New York City in general. I hope I get to share it with my children during their childhoods. Tim has been to NYC twice, once as a baby and the other when he  was granted the trip by a wish organization for medically-fragile kids. Hopefully, we will get there in the next five years. Between the Melendy series (The Saturdays) and The Cricket in Times Square, we have talked a lot about NYC. I decided to do a mini study on Frederick Law Olmsted and Central Park. I found the official website for Central Park to be helpful, and there are lots of documentaries on YouTube about Olmsted. We also have a Cobblestone magazine about Olmsted. After looking over all of our resources and watching clips of people enjoying Central Park, we decided to design our own dream park. Each of the children designed a park that would have enough activities that one could spend the entire day there. I couldn't help but get in on the action, too. We had a grand time day dreaming about all that we would include ~ wave pools, duck ponds, statue gardens, beaches, fruit forests and on and on.

September 11 ~ We did not watch any documentaries to commemorate the event this year. Part of my overall plan for this year is to keep trauma and drama to a minimum. Our family needs to heal and feel more secure. We did, however, read the sweet book, The Little Chapel That Stood. This book covers the topic in a gentle way.

Physics ~ We covered lesson two in our physics program, Real Science-4-Kids. We learned about force, energy and work. We conducted a fun experiment with a slinky and some fruit to see how force and energy create work. We wrote down a hypothesis of which fruit would do the most work. Then we weighed our fruit. Next, we tested how much work each fruit did by how far it pulled down a few rings of a slinky.

Frugal Living ~ I really needed a new pair of sneakers and hadn't purchased a pair of shoes of any kind in nearly two years. Since I want to start walking during the kids' dance classes, a new pair of shoes was a must. So I found a pair on sale that was comfortable and then noticed that there was a mark on one of the sneakers. It was a small mark, like spilled oil or grease from the factory. Normally, I wouldn't care at all about such a thing. However, I asked for a discount, since it was damaged, and am so glad I did. They knocked an additional $10 off the sale price. What a sweet deal!

Blessings, Dawn

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Update On Goldilocks

If only this smile was a real reflection of how Goldilocks feels about us.

My husband and I attended back to school night this week. It was a hard night all around for us. We have been devoted homeschool parents for 16 years. To say we felt uncomfortable in the classroom of a day treatment program in the public school would be an understatement. However, for the most part we were treated kindly by the staff. When it comes to raising Goldilocks, all of our expectations, hopes and dreams as parents and knowledge about how to raise kids has been dashed.
Nothing...NOTHING that we have tried has worked with this child. It was disheartening and exhausting to hear this new brand of professionals carrying on about how they were "going to teach her the tools to help her come home and be kind and respectful to her family". Really?! Do they think she hasn't been taught those tools since she was two years old by her family, friends, Sunday school teachers, therapists, one-on-one workers, psychiatrists, caseworkers, and so many more? They also told us that she was doing well and was a delight in class. I know that this is what most parents dream to hear, but it broke our hearts. You see, when we were living with Goldilocks and she was abusing us and acting out with so many negative behaviors, we thought she couldn't help it. We thought she was unable to pull herself together and behave. We thought that there was something so wrong in her brain that she was unable to be calm and kind. Now, it has been over five months since she ran away from home. She is doing well in her out of home placement, did fairly well at camp and now is being successful at day treatment. Yes, all of these environments are incredibly therapeutic and have very small adult-to-child ratios. In fact, the ratio of adult to student is smaller in day treatment than my homeschool classroom was when she was here. BUT it is still a shock to realize that she (in some ways) chose to treat us the way she did. She has even told her caregivers that she could have behaved better -- if she had wanted to.

As for us ~ her family ... Now that we have escaped the chaos, screaming, taunting, hitting, pinching, biting, growling, death threats, destruction of property, stealing, sneaking, and hatred that Goldilocks treated us to everyday, we don't want to live that way anymore. Who could blame us? For ELEVEN years we did everything professionals told us to do and for ELEVEN years she treated us like that. We have discovered what it is like to breathe, relax, take a mid-day catnap without worrying about anyone's safety, and just enjoy each other. All of the children, including our adult son, have begged us to never let her come back. This whole situation is so heartbreaking. We can't make any promises to them. The state certainly expects to put her back someday. Even Goldilocks says she plans to come home someday (when she is ready but she's clear she doesn't want to come home at this time). Don't get me wrong -- we all love Goldilocks. We want what is best for her. We will fight for a long time into the future to give her the best opportunities we can. However, I totally can't imagine LIVING IN THE SAME HOUSE with her again. Our hearts are bleeding, and we are being stretched in ways that are so painful.

A few more changes and facts ~
  • Our private caregiver's license has finally come through. Goldilocks should be authorized for this service in a matter of days. All this means that we should be done with the phase of private paying within a week. Thank goodness. We are totally out of money and she was going to have to move, possibly out of the state in a matter of days. We look forward to only paying the co-pay which is still many hundreds of dollars every month. However, hundreds of dollars is better than thousands of dollars every month, and while we are struggling financially, we will find a way to cope.   
  • She should be able to stay in day treatment for six to nine months. 
  • We are hoping that she can stay in intensive therapeutic foster care for at least a year ~ hopefully longer.
  • Goldilocks and the rest of the kids saw each other at the state fair last week. Her class was on a field trip and we ran into them. It was the first time the kids had seen each other since that fateful night that Goldilocks ran away. Everyone was really stressed by the encounter, even though it was peaceful.
I just keep saying, "God is in control". This experience is way too big for me to deal with alone.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, September 5, 2014

Week 7 ~ When Learning Doesn't Include Books

What a busy week we had. When I looked at all that was on the schedule for this week, I knew it was going to be a tough week and that we were going to have to adapt and tweak our usual style of schooling to make it through. Obviously, we were going to have to rely heavily on the workbooks! While workbooks are not my favorite style of learning, they do work when life gets in the way of my Charlotte Mason unit study approach.

Long Weekend ~ We enjoyed an extra day with Daddy home this week, thanks to Labor Day. We managed to pull out and try on all of the out of season clothes. Tom Sawyer fit into about three items. He is just growing like crazy right now. He skipped a whole size! All the clothes that didn't fit him were organized and taken to the consignment shop or put on Ebay. I am really into reducing our belongings even more than usual. We also enjoyed apple picking with Dad. The kids shared the first caramel apple they have had since Tom Sawyer was diagnosed with so many food allergies. He did have some reactions but not as bad as in the past.

Our School This Week ~ We did lots of workbook pages this week for language arts and math. We also were able to finish listening to The Cricket in Times Square. We still have a few activities to do before we are done with our unit study on The Cricket in Times Square which we will get to next week. We also managed to complete three more chapters from the book, Paddle to the Sea, and the map work for those chapters. That is about all that we accomplished this week when it comes to book learning.

Real Life ~ Our lessons came more from real life this week. We attended psychotherapy, physical therapy, and dentist and doctor appointments. All of these appointments took lots of time but each had a lesson to be learned. We learned more about how to properly stretch Tom Sawyer, better ways to floss the dreadful hinge in Tom Sawyer's mouth and that Tim was having a terrible reaction to his asthma medications. The medications were making him emotionally distraught. His doctor removed him from all asthma medications. He has been on asthma medications for most of his life on a daily basis. We knew that they made him very uncomfortable and jittery. However, we did not know that other side effects are irritability and anxiety. Timothy is feeling much better. The last few days have been almost like having our old son back. We are hoping that he continues to feel better emotionally over the next few days as the medications leave his system completely. Now we must learn more natural ways of protecting him without medications. We also attended the special needs support group this week. We always learn something at these meetings. Lastly, Tom Sawyer attended his writing class and Little Red Riding Hood attended her first day of dance for this school year. Many lessons don't come from books but from living a very full (bursting at the seams) and active life.

The State Fair ~ We attended our state fair. It is always free for students on the first day. We went with some friends and had a lovely time. As always, the animals and vegetables were a real hit. Tom Sawyer loves to examine all of the winning vegetables. The kids also were able to choose one ride. They all picked the bumper cars. We completed our fun with a wood turning class. They were each allowed to make a spinning top, honey stick, or a bottle topper with cork. My kids each picked the spinning top. The volunteers that helped them use the lathe were great. There was no end to hands-on learning at the fair.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, August 29, 2014

Week 6 Wrap-Up ~ Baseball, Ice and Currency

Take Me Out to the Ball Game ~ 

We started our sixth week of school with a bang! We wanted to go to another baseball game before the season ended. Our local Goodwill joined up with the Tourists baseball team to give out free tickets. We were able to trade nine pieces of clothes for three free tickets to the night time game. The kids and I had a blast. We won three gift cards to a chicken joint. We don't know how much they are worth yet. They could be worth anywhere from $1 to $100 each! Little Red Riding Hood always wants to sign up for one of the games on the field. This time she got to do the pony hop game. She came in second and won two tickets to the state fair which starts next week! Lastly, we had funnel cake and cotton candy. Thanks to a few extra supplements, Tom Sawyer didn't have any reaction to the ingredients. The whole evening cost only nine bucks!

Paddle To The Sea

We are enjoying our unit study on Paddle to the Sea. I love the map that came with the unit study and the kids are slowly filling it in as we cover new geographical areas in the story. I plan on making a salt dough map of the Great Lakes with them at the end of the unit. We enjoyed reenacting the canoe sitting on the hill of snow waiting for it to melt. Our boat slid down the hill in the same way described in the story.

Cricket In Time Square

I have always loved this story and the kids can't get enough of it. We are following the Beyond FIAR unit study. This week we studied U.S. currency, the terrors of poaching elephants for ivory, New York City, and how to write a story from an animal's perspective. The kids really like this style of writing. We will be writing a story next week from an animal's perspective.

I inherited these ivory necklaces a few years ago. I imagine they were purchased long before the ban on trading or selling ivory.

Other School ~ 
We finished the book,  Then There Were Five. What a lovely story. We just have one more to go in the series. Little Red Riding Hood finished the first book in The Sister's 8 series. I am so glad to see her reading taking off. Tom Sawyer is doing well in his writing class out of the home. The class uses the Orton-Gillingham approach, which is very good for children with reading, writing, and spelling difficulties that are similar to dyslexia.

The Rest ~
This was a really hard week for our son, Timothy. He had a lot of anxiety and unfounded anger. Apparently, he is having a bad reaction to yet another asthma medication. It seems there is none that he can take without having bad reactions. So he stopped all his medication yesterday and is feeling much better today. It is such a hard journey to find medications that his body can handle.

Blessings, Dawn

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Day in the Life ~ August Edition

We are a homeschooling family with four children. However, we are only homeschooling two kids this year. Our adult son (24) is disabled and still lives at home. He attends a day program for brain injured adults that is a huge blessing to him. He was homeschooled from 3rd grade through graduation. Our 13 year old daughter has many, many special needs and emotional problems. We decided that it was necessary to place her in a very intensive special education program this year with our local public school system. She is also living outside of our home this year while she gets some much needed psychiatric care.

6:45 am - 7:45 am ~ I woke up a few minutes late this morning. I quickly made my way to the kitchen and made my husband and adult son (Tim) breakfast. I then packed their lunch. It is unusual for Tim to be awake so early in the morning. I talked to him about how he wasn't feeling well and got him some medicine. His seems to have a summer cold and it is bothering his asthma. After my husband left, I got into the shower. I then made all of my minions (washing machine, dryer and dishwasher) do my bidding.

7:45 am - 8:45 am ~ The kids woke up and started looking over the new goodies. This is the first day of our second five week unit. We have no budget for homeschooling this year, so I decided to add in new things each five weeks as I was able to earn the money on Ebay and Amazon. Fortunately, I had a great deal of curriculum already. It is fun to have "box day" every five weeks. Tom Sawyer (12) sat down with his Brick Shakespeare book while trying to avoid the camera. Little Red Riding Hood (10) was disappointed to see that her new French workbooks had not arrived in time for box day and went off to take her shower. Meanwhile, the WiFi started acting up and Tim, who hates anything that is not part of the routine, started stressing out. Luckily, it was easily fixed. The kids watched CNN Student News while eating apples.

Level 3 All About Spelling, Paddle to the Sea, Brick Shakespeare, Vocabulary Rummy,
and The Cricket in Times Square (from the library). 

8:45 am - 9:15 am ~ We got into the car and took Tim to his day program. One of the things on the table for box day was two free coupons to Chick-Fil-A. The kids were very excited about getting breakfast out and took their coupons up to the takeout window. Tom Sawyer stressed about going up because he couldn't believe it was really free. We made one last quick stop at the bank. While in the car, we listened to Then There Were Five. We listened to this audiobook whenever we were in the car today.

9:15 am - 12:45 pm ~ As soon as we got home, we buckled down to school time. I let the kids go back and forth, picking the next subject. Little Red Riding Hood wanted to start with language arts. She did three pages of Explode the Code Book 7 and Tom Sawyer did three pages of Wordly Wise Book 2. We moved on to The Cricket in Times Square (literature). We only had two chapters scheduled for today but the kids loved it, so we ended up listening to four chapters. We moved on to silent reading time. Tom Sawyer read How to Train a Dragon Book 11 and Little Red Riding Hood read The Sister's 8 Book 1. I also sat down and read a book during this time. Next up was Journal Time. I set the timer for 10 minutes and they wrote whatever they wanted. Their journals are not graded. I am just working on getting them to enjoy the flow of writing. We moved on to geography. We read about New York City, where The Cricket in Times Square takes place, and found it on the map. The kids then filled in a writing form about New York. They used the computer for extra research. By this point, there were many complaints about hunger and I had to force them to continue. We had only two more subjects after all. Math was next. The kids both picked out one of the six math workbooks we have at the moment and worked on some review problems. We will be returning to Teaching Textbooks for our next five week unit. We finished the day with Bible. We listened to the book of Luke from The Bible as told by Max McLean while doing a lesson in Draw to Learn the Life of Jesus.

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm ~ We all had lunch. We ate homemade potato soup, pickles and fresh baked bread.

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm ~ The kids had their media time. Little Red Riding Hood played on the Wii and Tom Sawyer played Minecraft on the computer. I talked to my Mom and continued doing laundry. I also called a few doctors to set up appointments.

2:15 pm - 2 :50 pm ~ The kids played outside and I did some weeding. I also started researching what is wrong with our 16 year old dog. She appears to have a hematoma of the ear. There is very little to do for it besides surgery so we won't be taking her to the vet. She is very old, blind and deaf. We are just trying to keep her comfortable during this final stage in her life. I did discover that she may have an ear infection, so I looked up homemade ear washes for dogs.

Our three year old dog Boomer
2:50 pm - 3:15 pm ~ We picked up Tim who was feeling worse even than this morning and was ready to go home for some more medicine.

3:15 pm - 5:00 pm ~ The kids went back to playing outside while I attempted to make fudge. The fudge did not come out this time. It is way too liquidity and has to be eaten with a spoon. The kids were delighted all the same. I also made up a solution of tea tree oil and olive oil to wash out our 16 year old dog's ear. Dear Husband came home and I started dinner.

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ~ We had tuna patties with rice, spinach, and cabbage apple salad for dinner. Then the kids headed back outside with daddy for some more swinging and trampoline time. At last they had to come in for a 25 minute chore time. The laundry pile was very high and needed folding. We had a family folding session and swept the main rooms of the house. Our Amazon order arrived so the kids got to have box night. Their French and Spanish books arrived!

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm ~ They are now watching a little bit of Family Feud with Daddy. Then they will have showers and story time. They can read in bed for a little while after 9:00 pm.

Well, this is a pretty typical day for when we don't have any appointments. We do have out of the home afternoon dance classes or doctor appointments about three days a week.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Planning and Progress

This was our first break with our new five week on with one week off schedule. I am so glad we returned to this schedule and wondered several times through the week why we ever gave it up a few years ago. The kids and I are sold on it. My week was spent jumping through the last hoops to get Goldilocks into school and planning my homeschool lesson plans for  the next five weeks.

Goldilocks Goes To School ~ Goldilocks was accepted to the day treatment program in our county for challenging children who have serious emotional and behavior problems. There are only 18 slots in the whole county, and our Goldilocks was the first kid ever to go straight from homeschooling into this program which is considered the most intensive program our school system has. I am not sure that is a distinction that anyone would ever want but it says a few things.... Goldilocks really is seen as a very troubled child to have gotten into such a program with almost no fuss. We had to prove that we had provided Goldilocks with an adequate education before she was accepted to the program. I faithfully pay for professional end of year homeschool testing. I'm always a person who wants to cross every "t" and dot every "i". Fortunately, we used a special education teacher from our county last year to tutor her in math. This teacher has twice won the county's teacher of the year award. After a year of her tutoring my daughter, Goldilocks' math scores on the end of year tests had gone DOWN noticeably, while her reading and language arts scores (taught by me) had gone up! The school system representatives were speechless! I was kicking myself a few weeks ago about paying all that money for tutoring and getting such negative results. However, those scores helped us tremendously in the long run. This is just another example in my life of God providing.

Goldilocks was delighted while waiting for the school bus. For years while living with me, she has wanted to go to public school and has done many things to sabotage my teaching her. We don't know if her current placement with her caregiver will hold more than a few more weeks. We are out of funds and the license is still being reviewed at the state level. Since our caregiver lacks this particular license, our insurance has not picked up the cost of her care. Goldilocks may need to move to another placement that has licensure. If she has to leave the county, which will likely be necessary, she will not be able to attend the day treatment program. I don't even know what is best anymore. I just keep praying and reminding myself that God is control.

Mother Culture ~ I got a bit of mother culture in this week. I completed two books, The Smartest Kids in the World and Freedom Writers Diary.  Both books are thought provoking and will enhance my thought process as I help the kids through this school year. I really want to raise the bar for the kids this year. I know they can do so much more than they have been doing in recent years. The stress in our family has been so intense in the last few years that many expectations have been lowered. It is time for a change. I also was able to watch the movie Freedom Writers. It was excellent. I also watched the movie, Dive. This was a good documentary that really left me shocked. It is about how much food is wasted in America. I had no idea so much food was being thrown away from grocery stores instead of being passed onto organizations that help the poor. We are hoping to start composting in the near future so that we will stop wasting food in our own home.

Planning ~ We will be starting our first geography unit study in our next five week unit. We will be studying Paddle to the Sea, using a Beautiful Feet unit study. I love the map they sent with the guide. It is on high quality card stock and is a nice size. We will also be looking at Europe after World War II for history. I will be using a host of picture books and some excerpts from The Story of the World  Vol. 4 to illustrate the devastation in Europe and the new divisions of countries around the world. Our literature plans include a small unit study with The Trumpet and The Swan and a FIAR  unit study with The Cricket in Times Square. In addition we will be listening to the last two books from the Melendy Quartet, Then There Were Five and Spider Web For Two. Little Red Riding Hood will be starting French and Tom Sawyer will be starting Spanish. I will introduce our workbooks and free online videos next week. We will be working more diligently through our Physics lessons during the next five weeks. There is also lots of plans in the works for Music, Language Arts, Math, and Art. I think it is going to be a grand five weeks.

In addition to all of our at home lessons, we will be starting back to our out of the home classes. Little Red Riding Hood will be in tween company for dance five hours a week. Tom Sawyer will be doing only one Modern dance class since his knees really can't do anymore than that at this time. They will both be attending Lego club and The Tar Heels historic club once a month. Tom Sawyer will continue with physical therapy and a writing class weekly. I am considering having them join a once a month Culture club but don't know all of the details yet. We will have to see how our schedule feels. It is always a bit different than it looks on paper.

All The Rest ~  The kids have enjoyed their break. Tom Sawyer had two play dates and Little Red Riding Hood had hours of crafting. We did lots of errands and meetings this week to try and get ourselves squared away for learning next week. The kids liked going to the labyrinth in the river district this week. I try to go walk around it whenever we are in the neighborhood because of the possible health benefits. I do find that Tom Sawyer is always calmer and more focused after walking through the labyrinth and they enjoy it.
Blessings, Dawn

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Week 5 ~ Wrap Up of Unit One

We are done with our first five weeks of school! I am so pleased with our school year thus far. I have already seen some great improvements in areas. We are even still on schedule, although that does not completely matter. As with every year, there are subjects that haven't been covered as well as I expected, but they haven't been dropped completely...yet! We have only covered one lesson in our Bible study with Draw to Learn the Life of Jesus. That is okay. We will plug along slowly. We also did not start our foreign language studies yet. I do plan on starting Little Red Riding Hood in French during our next five week period.

We celebrated our first five weeks with a unit review. We invited Grandma over for dinner and showed her all that we are learning. It was a roaring success and we will do this at the end of each five weeks this year. We started the evening with everyone ordering their dinner choices at the Pig in the Blanket diner. The diner was created by the kids and modeled after the diner in the book we read called Frank and Ernest. The kids learned diner language and as each person placed their order the kids called it out to the short order cook (me) using diner terminology.

Here are a few of the choices in our diner ~
  • Hot Dogs ~ Bow Wows
  • Ketchup ~ Make it Bleed
  • Veggie Platter ~ Walk Through the Garden
  • Soda ~ Drink the Bubbles
  • Apple ~ Eve
  • Coffee ~ A Dark One
  • English Muffins ~ Burn the British 

After placing their orders, everyone sat down to listen to each child give a presentation on what they had learned through the previous five weeks. Tom Sawyer went first. He read his 460 word essay on Sadako and the One Thousand Cranes.  He told us a little bit about Hiroshima. He then showed us all of the origami he had made. He has really gotten into folding paper and made many little figures. Lastly, he told us about the Lego Club that both children will be continuing to attend this year. Little Red Riding Hood went second. She read her 462 word essay about the Melendy children from the story, The Four-Story Mistake. This book is second in the series of the Melendy Quartet (first in the series was The Saturdays). She then showed us many of the crafts she had made through the previous five weeks. Lastly, she talked about the Tar Heels Junior Historic Club that the kids are joining this year. 

We sat down to our diner meal and continued talking about all that we had learned. After dinner and a short outdoor break, the kids showed their geography skills which is a troubled spot for both of them. Little Red Riding Hood, in particular, has a lot of learning to do in this area. We will be working hard on writing and geography this year. I am happy to see the vast improvements that Little Red Riding Hood has made in writing in such a short time so far this year. We also did a very short multiplication drill and the kids went through their notebooks with Grandma.

We had one other grand accomplishment this week ~ we were able to bring down a dead tree at the end of our driveway. We had wanted this tree to come down. However, it was entangled with phone wires, and we could not afford the prices we had been quoted to chop it down. To our good fortune, our neighbors were having a tree chopped down this week. While they were out at the neighbor's home, the lumberjacks asked if we would like to have this dead tree come down. They offered to do it at a fraction of the cost that we had been told it might cost. So we had it done because, every time there's been a storm, we've worried about whose car might be crushed by the tree. What a relief!

We have a week break now to prepare for our next period of study. We are completely done with World War II, much to the kids' relief, and will be moving on to another time in history. I will be busy this coming week getting Goldilocks enrolled in public school. She will be attending an intensive mental health program in our public school system. I hope it gives her the support she needs. There are 18 kids to 8 adults so there should be plenty of line of sight. We shall see.

Blessings, Dawn