Thursday, February 03, 2011

The House

When once I took a sorry stroll,
Sadd(e)ned by a tale untold,
that dreary night in mid-November,
(Why I was there I can't remember),
While I stood there watching, waiting,
Waiting, watching, while debating,
Dabating whether I should or not,
go home for a bun all nice and hot.
(new stanza)
I decided no and proceeded on,
proceeding to a place now gone;
to find the house still there intact,
was quite a shock for me, alack!
I had hoped and pleaded with all my soul,
Pleading it still be not there my goal,
To see it there was troubling to my mind,
a mind that needed saneness, and things kind.
(new stanza)
'Shall I proceed?' I asked myself,
'Should I proceed into this place of stealth,
Or turn back and attempt to forget?
But before my mind was set,
I heard a hoot from an owl.
Looking up I saw the feathered fowl and scowled,
scowled at that annoying bird.
And there am I still, breathing not a word.
-Hi, I'm Bookworm.
Something like 15 days ago was Edgar Allen Poe's birthday. So for class 2 weeks ago my mom talked about Edgar Allen Poe and read The Raven . Our homework was to read it again 2-3 times at least. In class we also talked about the elements of the poem. Alliteration, rhyming, and onomatopoiea(I just spent something like 8 minutes trying to find the correct spelling). So after we read the poem again our assignment was to write poem at least 3 stanzas long, or if poetry didn't quite work out we could write a short story. It had to have the mysterious 'mood' of The Raven. The House was the poem I wrote.
The paranthetical marks surrounding the 'e' in 'Saddened' was because I accidentally typed it 'Saddned' wothout the first 'e'. Mommy pointed it out in class.
Mommy wants me to do writing every day to be able to grasp my writing voice and style, which is what I will do so there will probably be more poetry.
They would not seperate the stanzas like I had done so that are what the '(new stanza)'s are for.
I did not change any spellings or words, add, or do anything than copy the original. I also did not change punctuation or capitalization in the poem.
Signing off,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Theory of Evolution

The Theory of Evolution states that all life forms can trace their origins all the way to a single common ancestor that existed long ago. Put simply, that means that fish evolved into frogs and so on, except all creatures are evolutions of one creature. Uniformitarians believe in Evolution and the geological column. It is hard to believe that God created all creatures individually, though.

The geological column shows the time periods in earth history and how complicated the life forms became. It starts with simple life forms like bacteria and goes to trilobites, sea life, then dinosaurs and mammals.

To explain how creatures might evolve, let's look at humans. There are small differences between parent and offspring. We know that two right-handed parents can have a left-handed child, for example. Imagine these slight differences piling up until you have a totally different creature. This is how evolution might occur.

If the Theory of Evolution is true, we would expect to find intermediate links in the fossil record between animals, like a creature that is half-fish half-frog. This isn't the case. The very few links that have been found are highly questionable. Take the archaeopteryx. It is a bird with teeth - reptiles have teeth, but birds do not; and claws on it's wings - reptiles have claws, but birds don't have them on their wings. There are a few other unusual features, but the creature seems nothing more than a bird with a few special differences. This can be said about all intermediate links found in the fossil record. These links are fossils; we can't see evolution today because it takes millions, if not billions, of years.

If evolution were true, some creatures would no longer exist, like fish and frogs. Even though we can't see them changing we still would expect to see things that are half one creature and half another. However, we do not. This, to me, is the biggest problem with Uniformitarianism.

Written by Bookworm
December 14, 2010
punctuation edited by mom


Advent is the season which prepares our hearts for Christmas and starts the liturgical year. It aids in preparing us by giving us a time in the middle of the frenziness of getting ready for the holidays to just calm down and straighten our lives out for the coming of our Savior. If we just jumped right into Christmas it would have no meaning for us whatsoever.
During Advent the priest wears purple except on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday, of Advent. On Gaudete Sunday the priest wears rose, or pink, because it is a more joyful color. This makes sense because "Gaudete" means "joyful" or "rejoicing" in Latin. The reason for all this is because Gaudete Sunday marks the halfway point in Advent.
The four Sundays in Advent begin according to when Christmas is. If Christmas is on Monday, the fourth week is a full 7 days, if it's on a Tuesday it's barely nothing.
My favorite part about Advent is the increasing suspense and preparation as we prepare our hearts for the coming of our Savior.
Written by Bookworm
December 14, 2010
unedited by mom

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Place of Magic

Strolling outside on a wintry evening, it is always pleasant to pass by a bakery shop window. Outside on the cold street, it seems that you are already inside this wonderfully warm, red brick structure. Watching the baker take the fresh-from-the-oven baguettes out of the large steaming oven, you feel the warm breads on your tongue, tasting the deliciousness of the loaves before you even walk inside. The pastries are good too, but never forget the most lucious and scrumptious of them all. The magnificent meringues are a sight to behold, dazzling, making all other pastries look as lifeless and hard as rocks. The large swirled delicacies melt in your mouth as soon as you take a bite. As large as they are, they disappear in moments, as if in a magic show. A baker's shop is truly a wonderful place of magic.

-This post was written by Bookworm for her creative writing class at our co-op. The assignment was to choose one of six items on a list and write a descriptive paper/paragraph. I teach this class, so maybe you'd be surprised to hear that I was floored when Bookworm read her paper in class. But I was - her mastery of language far surpasses anything that I could have taught her myself. Dare I say that she has a gift with words?

The reality is this homeschooling gig is getting more exciting every day. I see how both girls are learning things that I don't even realize. Their memories are sharp and while one is much more driven to succeed than her sister, they are both rather intelligent.

I'd love feedback on Bookworm's papers. I think it'd be great for her to know how others respond to her writing and learn ways to make it even better. I have a feeling she'll be posting here herself before too long. Stay tuned!

I did not alter her spelling or grammar usage in reproducing her work for the purposes of this blog.
September 29, 2010

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another School Year

I have been remiss posting on any blog in many months. But we are on day 1 of week 4 of the 2009-10 school year and I have had a request or two to post some things on this blog.
We are once again using Seton materials. Bookworm is technically in fourth grade, but all of her books say Grade 5, so she's adjusting badly to calling herself a fourth-grader for the second year in a row. I think I'll do a post on why we made this decision. And Silly Sally is in second grade this year, but her language arts books are all grade 3.
One of the things that has been easy about this school year, so far, is how independent the girls are in completing their work. Having used Seton for several years, they are familiar with the program and about what they need to do each day. I answer questions and I do some subjects with them, but they are doing most of their reading for history, reading and religion on their own.
Someone asked them yesterday after mass how the new school year is going and they both responded "I love it!", so clearly we're in a good groove.
For those who wonder what our schedule looks like, we get up in the morning and if we are all up in time, we go to 8:15 mass (I'd like to do this more regularly, but the last couple weeks, I've not been sleeping well and thus have dragged in the morning to the point where leaving the house that early just isn't easy enough.). Breakfast, then school work. The girls frequently start their work while they're eating because they've figured out they can do what they want (within reason, of course), only after work is done. So far, I haven't had to tell them which subjects to do when, as long as everything is getting done each day, I don't mind in which order they complete it. By noon, we're winding down and having lunch.
After lunch, we have a variety of things along with daily piano practice and finishing any schoolwork for the day:
Monday: schola (children's homeschool latin choir)
Tuesday: art class
Wednesday: piano lessons
Thursday: blissfully free afternoon, parish children's choir in the evening
Friday: finish up work for the week, take math tests, if necessary and free day for field trips and other activities like First Friday Homeschool Mass and Monthly Children's Adoration
One of the things I like about Seton is the set up for work. Most of the subjects are completed Monday-Thursday, so you can work on projects and field trips on Fridays. It gives us a flexibility to take lots of field trips and that will be extra fun this year because Bookworm's history is getting much more interesting and since we live in Maryland, we are close to lots of sites that were key in the formation of our government.
Both girls are playing soccer again this fall and we are blessed that they are in the same age group/on the same team this year. Games are any night of the week and on Saturday afternoons - usually two games/week.
If you have specific questions, please let me know. Otherwise, I think I'd like to start writing more about some of the things we are finding most fun and interesting. I also think I'll have Bookworm write a bit here for some of her assignments.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Still Excited

We're still enjoying our lessons each day. I love that Seton sets it up so Fridays are a light day - that's when we can review what we learned for the week and I've scheduled art for Fridays, so we can take as long as we'd like on our projects. Not to mention, that is when the majority of our field trips are scheduled.
Silly Sally continues to amaze me - she wants to do her work each day and is even doing more than one lesson at a time most days. [I have a feeling we'll be starting first grade at some point during this school-year.]
Bookworm cried harder on the second day of handwriting, so I ordered Handwriting 2 for her. It came this week, so she's catching up. She is not allowed to complain about handwriting now, since she is using the 2nd grade book. Believe it or not, she is concerned that she is always going to be one year behind in handwriting. I encouraged her to keep in mind that the level doesn't matter - everything else she is doing more than a year ahead.
Speaking of being ahead, I want to wish a successful start to her college career to this amazing girl, beginning her Ivy League career at 15 years old.
We are really enjoying Seton's curriculum and though the pace in the lesson plans is a bit slow for us, it's a great balance and variety of activities. On Monday, Dad was home, so Bookworm requested that he teach her for the day, "since he's smarter and knows more things". [I was offended that she thought he knows more things, but the reality is he does have a bachelor's degree and I do not. However, I do know a lot of stuff and we are about as equally matched as they come - but with widely different interests.] I was pleased when after an hour, he got antsy and was trying to come up with other things to do, while Bookworm encouraged him to sit back down and explain something to her. After a couple hours, he stood up and hugged me and whispered in my ear, "I appreciate you so much."
God has surely blessed us.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of School

We started out the morning with mass - absolutely wonderful way to start the day. I'm setting my alarm for early tomorrow so I can head to the wee hours mass before the girls even wake.
The school day went well. Some subjects, it was just an intro - no real lesson today. And others, Bookworm pushed to do some work, so I let her jump right in.
I don't know what to do about the crying, though. The kid cannot handle handwriting and it doesn't matter what kind of attitude I have, she cries. It is the weirdest thing. I thought for sure this year would be different, since her handwriting has improved leaps and bounds in the past few months. But, no go. She cried through half an hour of copying a poem about writing.
Other than that, the day was an absolute success. Even Silly Sally loved all her school work and didn't want to stop when the lessons were over. :) Maybe she'll surprise me this year!
If you are starting school now too, bless you. I'm thankful not to put my kids on a bus each morning for one new reason today - the bus was 45 minutes late picking up the elementary kids on our block. Those kids were standing outside for nearly an hour waiting (in 90 degree heat at 9 am)!
God Bless you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Getting Excited!

We have had our best summer ever. Seriously. We have had so much fun and since we didn't move this summer (can I get an "Amen!"?), we have been able to really just enjoy the school break.

Bookworm did complete the B&N Summer Reading Challenge and both girls are finished with the state Reading Program (we still need to turn in their last slips and get their prizes). Bookworm finished The Chronicles of Narnia, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Princess Tales and about 30 other books this summer. Those three I listed are all series and she has been reading the Narnia books since the spring. She's also re-read Charlotte's Web and some of the Little House books.

With one of her B&N coupons, she got A Wrinkle in Time and she read that rather quickly, in spite of being on another vacation. She wants to go to the library and get more books, but we leave soon to go out of town again. :)

I am formulating my plan for the school year and actually have spent some time in the past couple days on the phone with Seton getting things squared away. (The testing department didn't mark Bookworm's results as part of an enrollment, so she hadn't been processed!) Luckily, it's all been taken care of and we should have her materials tomorrow. Gotta love it when businesses take care of their customers.

I am getting really excited to start and the girls have been counting down the days until school starts. It's a neat thing to have together. And I am really looking forward to the change this year. We are also going to try something new: a couple days/week, we will get ready early and have breakfast, head to mass and then go to the library. I am going to see if we can use a small meeting room or if they have a place where the librarian can stick us for a few hours. It'd be great to have no interruptions and be able to knock out our schoolwork. I will see how it works out and I hope it will help us stay better on track. I know the one thing I am worried about is making sure we stay on track this year - particularly since I have to submit work to Seton each quarter for grades and records.

Well, the kids are asking for lunch, so I am going to sign off for now. I have every intention of writing more on here about how we're doing with school and what we find works for us. So, for Beth, the only reader here, you can certainly check this space occasionally and expect to see an update once in a blue moon. :)

Until next time, God Bless you.