10 days down, 170 to go!

Posted by in celiac, classical conversations, family, food, homeschooling, menu planning

we have just finished up the first two weeks of school here. it’s been absolutely the best first two weeks of school, ever. perhaps it’s because i was focused a lot on the all-day 8th/9th grade class that i’m tutoring and got those first two classes down before sending my own kids to the same all-day co-op (but for their levels) this coming week. perhaps it’s because we started every school day at the kitchen table together, and then broke out into individual subjects? i think starting at the table…read more


reading. and the guilty conscience.

Posted by in books, family, homeschooling

I have always read to the boys. From the time they were infants sitting in my lap or toddling around the local library, and during preschoolers library story hour. When their kindergarten curriculum didn’t include “book time,” I added it to our daily routine. So when I hear a parent say, “We have instilled a deep love of reading in our child” and see their child with a book in their hand, or sitting in a corner with their nose in the book, I ask them, “How did you do…read more


friday stream of conscience…

Posted by in homekeeping, homeschooling

we’ve been going at full speed all week long. i feel a bit like a drill sergeant at times keeping the boys just one little step ahead of our full schedule this year. i need someone to keep me ahead of the schedule too, but nobody applied for the job, so i’m on my own. this morning is friday, and i’m dragging. i’m feeling the need for a recharge of my batteries. i snapped at the boys because they can’t keep their room clean and they keep dragging dirt in…read more


beautiful numbers

Posted by in homeschooling

We checked this book out of the library this week based on some research I’ve been doing since being introduced to the idea that math is cool. I never thought I’d actually think that, let alone write about math and numbers on my personal blog where I usually talk about meal planning, love of theatre and literature, homeschooling, and sheep. But last month, we traveled to the east of Pennsylvania (a lovely, gorgeous drive on the PA turnpike. If you’ve never driven as far as Harrisburg on the PA turnpike,…read more


Smithically Schooling: Year 6

Posted by in classical conversations, homeschooling, organize

This is the year when homeschooling starts to get more difficult. But I also know that things are about to get even better. No longer are we all in the lower-elementary years of lots of crafts, cutting, coloring, and pasting, filling in the blanks, and learning to read. Math will be getting trickier (but I’m totally ready for it!), writing assignments and research will be part of our curriculum, and school will definitely not be done by lunchtime on most days. I do have a 1st/2nd, 3rd-grader, and 4th grader,…read more


this has been a pseudo-summer

Posted by in classical conversations, homeschooling, seasons

autumn is slowly closing in on us. this summer has been cool and wet. it’s as though spring has overstayed its welcome and summer decided to take a year off.  if you’ve been reading smithical for a while, you know how much i love summer. i love the heat, the humidity, the natural vitamin D, the long days. at least the sun is keep up its end of the bargain this season! the heat, however, is nowhere to be found. i’m working on being okay with this. autumn was my…read more



Posted by in bees, family, family fun, farm, friends, gardening, homeschooling

it’s been so long since last i blogged that i actually forgot my login password. january was my last post, and it’s been the longest time between posts, ever. i’m always thinking of blog posts, always churning ideas around in my head, but never sitting down to write. this was a particularly long and tiring winter. this spring has been unusually wet and cold. memorial day weekend marked the beginning of the longest stretch of warm weather, and it started out with a cold frost. i guess i could fill…read more


the interview

Posted by in homeschooling

the reporter and i: we sat on the deck and chatted for about 45 minutes before the photographer showed up. the boys had been in the pool when the reporter arrived, so i suggested we talk on the deck so i could still keep an eye on the boys swimming. because even though they’re great swimmers, i still need to keep an eye close by, or my ears open for all three of their voices while they swim. it was a gorgeous afternoon – sunny and high 80s, no humidity…read more



Posted by in homeschooling

the local newspaper is coming to my house tomorrow with a photographer to interview me about homeschooling. i’m a bit of a nervous wreck: the house is in shambles because the homeschool room is under construction. what if i say something totally stupid that doesn’t reflect our heart for homeschooling?  what if the boys say their teacher is mean and there’s way too much homework? i haven’t given much thought to what i’m going to say because unlike big politicians or celebrities, i don’t have an advanced copy of the…read more


first week of school, 2012

Posted by in homeschooling

we started a week early with lots of review, and playing games that reminded them of what they learned last year. i was pleased to see that the didn’t need much refresher. we’ve been going out for lunch on the first day of school for as long as i can remember. this picture is from this year’s first day lunch outing. but last monday, august 27th was our official first day of school!  i have two boys now, that i’m responsible for reporting to the local school district and i wanted…read more