What Homeschooling Looks Like

March 29th, 2015

At least at our house… sometimes. One of the fun things about homeschooling is that it can be so varied. It’s still easy to fall into ruts, but it’s just as easy, really, to mix things up and try new things.

Here are some snapshots from the past couple of months showing what Sam’s day to day life sometimes looks like:

Rocket

Messy

Sam and AC built a rocket this winter. It and its various parts sat on the dining room table until they found a suitable day and time to set it off. They ended up launching it in late February at a nearby park in the snow, which made it really easy to find, apparently!

Taming of the Shrew
Cozy

Here we did a live reading of The Taming of the Shrew with another homeschooling family. Sam loved this. We’d read a couple of a narrative versions first, so she knew the characters and story very well. We later watched the 1967 film version (starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) before going to see a live performance at the American Shakespeare Center.

History Club

Crafty

Once a month we participate in a history cooperative. March’s theme was the early medieval kings of France, including Charlemagne. Sam led a craft booth where kids made their own crowns.

Chec winter 2015

More Crafty!

Sam shows off some her projects and artwork from the classes she took at the Community Homeschool Enrichment Center. She took classes in cooking, art, and African drumming.

Bookish

Bookish

If I left her alone, Sam would read all day long. In winter her favorite spot is on top of the heat vent in the bathroom. I usually have to coax her out of there in the morning to do her least favorite subject (math).

The Math of Sarumom

Silly

At the height of her Lord of the Rings obsession, Sam took to calling me Sarumom (instead of Saruman, the white wizard who joins with the dark lord Sauron– get it? Math is evil.) So Sarumom imprisoned all improper fractions in the tower of Isengard.

post French club

Collegial

This is what our back yard looks like minutes after I release my students from French Club. The noise. Oh my. Our poor neighbors.

Next time I think I’ll cover Dirty. It’s spring and time to garden.

Foot Update March 2015

March 23rd, 2015

Cast removal
The fiberglass cast was removed (with a big saw!) on January 29. I was sad to lose all the artwork but happy to wiggle my toes and bathe my foot for the first time in six weeks. There was no swelling, and I was cleared to move into the walking boot and to bear weight on the foot, only 30% of my body weight the first week, using crutches.

The scar in late January

That was a hard first week. Bearing weight on the foot hurt. And I seemed to have forgotten how to walk. Lurch, I could do.

Scar in early February

But it was wonderful to be able to remove the boot and sleep and bathe unencumbered. I began physical therapy to regain my range of motion and to start to strengthen the tendon. After another six weeks I had abandoned the crutches and was getting around okay in the walking boot, though my first walk to the park (two blocks and back, maybe) exhausted my foot.

Scar in mid February

I was able to clear the car of snow and shovel a bit when AC was out of town for work. Kind neighbors used their snow-blower on the driveway, and Sam and Susie pitched in. Notice my fancy water-proof boot cover! ABC liquor store bags: they’re strong.

Snow boot covering

On March 12 the surgeon said I could start to transition out of the boot slowly, and changed my PT orders slightly. There had been a miscommunication with the PT, so there was a tendon exercise I was supposed to have been doing but only just started in the last week or so. Hopefully that will strengthen the tendon so that I can handle walking in normal shoes more and more.

Scar in mid March

Three months post-surgery and I am now spending about an hour in regular shoes a day. The rest of the time I am in the walking boot. And I am on my feet nearly all day anyway, having resumed all of my pre-surgery activities. I still have a LONG ways to go, but at least there is progress. I can’t wait to be able to walk and run and jump and dance and move like I used to. I do struggle with impatience. And sometimes I worry that I’ll never be completely pain free.

But at least I can stand on two feet again in the shower. And the lurching is approaching something more of a walk. I could definitely hold my own in a zombie race.

Sunday Outing

January 19th, 2015

It was above 50 degrees outside and since it’s January and since I hadn’t had unfiltered sunlight bathe my skin since, oh, I dunno, sometime last year in 2014, I decided to tag along with AC and Sam to the soccer pitch. And by tag along I mean: make them carry all my stuff while I hobbled the long walk from parking lot to field on crutches. AC set me up with a special chair for my foot so I could watch his pick-up game.

Foot in chair

(AC is on the far right, in white shirt).
AC pickup

Sam played with the 11-year old sister of one of the players and had a grand time exploring.

Sam and new friend

I enjoyed the sunlight while it lasted, but then every part of my body froze to ice except for my foot and leg wrapped in the cast. Note: fiberglass is good insulation! Fiber glass winter coats could be maybe a thing?

After it got too cold to play and I hobbled back to the car (didn’t warm me up as much as I’d hoped) we stopped at Trader Joe’s. While AC ran in for a few things, Sam offered to drive me a few other places.

Sam driving

My Fancy Cast and Living in the 18th Century

January 12th, 2015

My Frankenstein foot
A week ago today I traded the splint and bandages for a fiberglass cast. The cast is much lighter than the splint, but very stiff and snug. I often wake up at night with pain in some area of my foot other than the incision site. I suspect it’s just the squeezing action of the cast. About three more weeks and I’ll be free of it!

Sam Sistine Chapel cast
AC sole
sole
But fiberglass makes a nice canvas. Sam went all Sistine Chapel on me and decorated the underside. AC did the sole, and recreated the accessory navicular (reimagined as a heart) and purple stitches on the incision site. My leg feels quite fancy now.

AN heart and stitches

In other news, Sam sewed a doll on a rainy Sunday and today prepared a chicken curry stew for the crockpot with only a little help from me. “Mom,” she said yesterday. “It’s like I’m an 18th-century girl, helping with the cooking and the sewing and making my own dolls!”

doll
Sam makes dinner

Mom has surgery and it’s like we’re living in the 18th century. Just so.

End of Photo365

January 10th, 2015

I’m done. I think five straight years of Photo365 is a pretty good run and I am looking forward now to a break. Who knows, maybe Sam will consent to smile for the camera now that I won’t be snapping pics of her everyday? It was an interesting experiment, especially the last couple of weeks of 2014 when I was a) recovering from surgery, and b) recovering from the flu, and c) sleeping all the time. It was a struggle to photograph anything and most often I just went with whatever was right in front of me at the moment I remembered the photo project.

Now I get to see what this blog will turn into next! I hope I’ll include more stories. I’m sure I’ll continue to post photos. I hope, actually, to return to chronicling more of our lives, especially since I am going to be housebound and in a non-weight-bearing cast for three more weeks. I’m sure to get into a lot of trouble…

31 December 2014 Poetry

January 10th, 2015

Poetry
Granddaddy and Sam write poetry on the last day of the year.

30 December 2014 Sinus Infection

January 10th, 2015

Sinus Infection
It just doesn’t stop…

29 December 2014 Locks of Love

December 29th, 2014

Locks of love

She did it! Sam is donating 11 inches in two pony tails to the cancer charity Locks of Love.

28 December 2014 One of the Books I Read This Week

December 29th, 2014

Book

27 December 2014 Hairdresser

December 29th, 2014

Hairdresser
I get my hair washed and trimmed at the hairdresser! Clean hair goes a long way toward making me feel human again.

26 December 2014 Sorry

December 29th, 2014

Sorry

AC, Uncle John, Mom-Mom, and Sam play a game of “Sorry” while my sorry self (still very sick) watches on.

25 December 2014 Merry Christmas!

December 29th, 2014

Merry Christmas

24 December 2014 Christmas Eve

December 29th, 2014

Christmas Eve

23 December 2014 How We Roll

December 29th, 2014

Riding North
All three of us are sick, but Christmas is coming. We pack up the sleigh, me in the back, and ride north.

22 December 2014 Mad Men

December 29th, 2014

Mad Men
“Mad Men” is getting me through the hours I’m not sleeping.

21 December 2014 Flu

December 29th, 2014

I came down with the flu

Four days post surgery I came down with the flu. Hard.

20 December 2014 Greek Salad by Sammy

December 29th, 2014

Sammy's Greek Salad

The day after my surgery, Sam came down with the flu. Today she was well enough to make me a salad, though, while AC went into work for a couple of hours.

19 December 2014 Bedside Table

December 29th, 2014

Bedside table

18 December 2014 Healing

December 29th, 2014

Healing

17 December 2014 Splint

December 17th, 2014

Splint
The good news: all went well with surgery yesterday. They gave me a nerve block which is supposed to last 12-24 hours. As I write this, my foot and lower leg are still completely numb. I’m on pain meds already, though, for when the block subsides, which it can apparently do quite precipitously. Foot will remain in the splint for two weeks, after which they will examine the incision and then put me in a fiberglass cast.

The bad news: just this morning, Sam woke up with headache, cough and fever out of the blue. :-(

Unsurprising news for which I am quite grateful: AC is an amazing caretaker. Now he has two girls to look after.