The Land of All Things Lewis

When I see birches bend to left and right…I like to think some boy's been swinging from them. -Robert Frost

Bird Unit

We are using Apologia Zoology and we on the first unit which is Birds. You don’t really need these book as a spine though. My Aunt (the Scientist) purchased these as a request from us. They are Charlotte Mason style Science books. Essentially they are written like a story. There are a lot of opportunities for reviews questions and notebooking. Vocabulary words are in bold throughout the text if that is important to you. If I could get my son to write more I would probably created a vocabulary book or something along that lines. But, I’ll take what I can get. Apologia offers free notebook pages, so we are going to use some of those plus other stuff we find on the internet. I like that we can just read the book and move on that week if need be. As the boys get older and are demanding more information I’m finding it nice to have spines for learning.

You could simply use books from the library and crated your own unit.

State Bird/State Map Coloring Pages

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Weekly Update, Rabbit Trails, and Personal Ramblings #2

I really enjoyed sharing all my finds last week. So, here we go again.

The question is…will I stick to this weekly? I think I might do a weekly update for education in addition to a Rabbit Trail one. I seem to read one blog and then order a book and then remember a book or another blog post…then I do some research through the library database or catalog and then well it’s a really long rabbit trail.

The question is…can I check off every single one of my categories?

Our School

I thought I would update the general, oh so large public audience we have watching our every move. This was our first week with a resource center that is supported by public funds. It’s been great so far. They have a nice big family room where you can hang out, little ones can play, big kids can hang out, school work can be worked on, and snacks can be prepared and eaten.

Language Arts

This is one I’ve been working on. I read The Well Trained Mind earlier this summer and got a bit overwhelmed with their suggestions. I really, really think I can do this one without a bunch of formal studies. So, I am relying on Charlotte Mason to lay this one out for me. For a lot of my answers I go to Ambleside Online. These women are all such lovely and giving woman. If all I can give back right now are some links now and then…then so be it. Here is the very simple Ambleside Scope and Sequence. I have a mommy notebook and this is the first page of my Language Arts section. If you dig around the Modern English version of the CM series you can find out some more in depth explanations of Language Arts as a whole. My second section is here, along with the actual print out of pages 199-247 from volume 1. Print it out, mark it up, and make notes.

For more Charlotte Mason inspired Language Art study you can check out these explanations of different aspects of study including twaddle, memorization, and Shakespeare study brought to you buy Charlotte Mason & Home Education wordpress blog. There is a twaddle free list of literature by grade level to add to your list or get you started. Print it out, start reading, and let me know when you finish. I’m just sure we can find you a whole lot more.

Nature Study

I really wanted to introduce Nature Study this year. So, it’s perfect timing to read

Why Nature Study? at Yielded Heart.


I had just received Nature in the City from our local library and it set me to remembering the following book…


After reading, Last Child in the Woods (check out this interview with the author) quite a while back and writing a Essay for one of my classes under a similar subject line I realize Nature is indeed everywhere and those who live in the “sticks” do not have a monopoly on our great outdoors. That’s not an insult it’s just something I’ve been wondering about and worrying about since we moved here. Could I still find nature here? Would it be the same for my children?

This post from Catherine Levison gives some practical ideas for those in city areas or rural areas. BUT, please note it’s illegal to pick plants in some areas. You can’t even pick a cherry blossom on the UW campus.


Shiver me timbers…it’s time for a new name. My new pirate name is…..



Cheatin’ Amora Hornigold

What’s yours? And, really could I have gotten a better name than that?


My dear sweet husband bought me personal size and family size bento boxes for my birthday last month. Finally today I took my personal one for a test drive. It was perfect. I had previously been on a plastic boycott. But, I really, really love Japanese anything. I wrapped it up in a sweet little kitchen towel and it worked perfectly. I carried it in my bag and there was no problem with spillage. I figure I can use my thermos for anything runny. But, there was plenty of room for a few extra snacks for my boys, too.

Waldorf Education

I, like many other moms, have been drawn to Waldorf education. I like the beauty, lack of tv, appreciation of nature and “her” rhythms. I found this article on Ancient History pretty interesting. This is pretty much how we “study” together. I did this naturally when the kids were younger. Then we got some KONOS studies to replenish our imagination banks when we petered out. Now we are going through The Story of the World and hoping to keep this up at a reasonable level. I still let my children do a lot of the leading though…


And, last but not least is Grammar Stage Memorization by Hannah Wilson.  These is one of those free gems from a woman who just shares her blessings.  It helps you realize that if you want to homeschool for nearly free, you can.   I’ve been searching for poetry readings and a list of memorization requirements…ugh is that word overloaded or what…not only do none of the boys knows their new address, but they don’t know my phone number. My oldest is 10 and he said (with that numbfounded digital age mentality) “don’t you just have a shortcut number I can call? Like when you call Dad?” He was referring to the fact that his parents have cell phones. No regular phone, just cell phones. If you want Dad you press and hold 2 on my phone. Now wouldn’t he be so lucky to have the short cut of 2 on everyone’s phone. The prophet was clearly surprised and overwhelmed at the thought that he would need to memorize two phone numbers.



Have something to carry and want to skip that bag…

Well the Government of Japan can help

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Today is windbreak

Originally uploaded by Mr&MrsLewis.

I was trying to get a better close up and I forgot to turn off the flash. Still I think you can see it much better now.

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A closeup of the end of December into January

Originally uploaded by Mr&MrsLewis.

This calendar goes by the Equinoxes and Solstices…so it started on December 22.

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Winter Calendar and Nature Table

Originally uploaded by Mr&MrsLewis.

I have desired to set up a nature table for some time. It’s on my long list of things I would like to do and that list is sitting right at the back of my brain just waiting to pop up at a moments notice.

Today it popped up when I remembered we got The Ecological Calendar for Christmas from my SIL and BIL.

I’m a creationist, so I’m not too happy about the Big Bang mentioned at the very top of the middle of the Calendar. I think it could be easily covered up or filled in with a dark blue pen. I just tend to live that stuff out in the open, so we have an opportunity to talk about everyone’s theories.

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Creating a bicycle culture

Creating a bicycle culture is an article I came upon doing some research. You know my love of the bicycle right. It’s a recent love. I used to ride my bike a lot pre-car with my friend Summer. We pedaled all over our small town and we often pushed our bikes uphill because neither of us had the woman power to get it going. I have a nicer bike now that I never ride. It sits in the garage with cobwebs on the spokes. I know there are bikers out and about this town I moved to a few years ago. But, I’m not that brave. No one sees you here. There are no bike lanes, heck there isn’t enough room for a person to walk safely along most roads. It’s not the riding on the road that worries me, it’s the lack of a safe place to pull off to.

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Gardens can change the World

Once you get to the permaculture site you can scroll down on the right hand side. Click on the picture that says Greening the Desert.

I’ve been working on a research paper that was fueled by the book…The Last Child in the Woods. It’s amazing how once you start something you love then all the things you have never noticed before start moving into place.

Since, it’s winter I’m working on getting my garden going for next year. I really want a living garden that goes all year long. A yard the just keeps on giving. I know I live in Washington State, but it would be nice if eventually I could be growing more cold weather crops. I do have my grandmother’s greenhouse and we have yet to set it up because we could never decide on a good place for it in the yard. I think I’m going to let my dh win. I think he picked out a nice spot. I plan to put it up in January or maybe February this year. I’ll have to talk to my Dad about what I need to do for electricity and such. I would love to start my plants out there. I remember going in that greenhouse when I was young with my grandma. It’s such a special memory I would love to be able to walk out there and play in it and think of her. We even saved the block that my mom and her brother’s and sister’s made when they bought it for my grandma. They have their handprints and names on them. So, I’m going to make some of my kids to put in there, too. (I’m all teary eyed now….)

Here’s some more gardening links:

  • GardenWeb…great regional boards
  • Vegan Organic Network
  • Scut’s Gardening Page
  • Plant a row for the Hungry
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    Bike lovers

    I love bikes and bike friendly cities. For some reason I forgot that when we bought a house here. It is completely scary to ride a bike here at all. No one is used to it and you won’t live long. So, I lust after bike riders who are so brave. Maybe I’ll get a fullbright and I can go to Denmark and bike my children around in one of these…

    Christiania Bikes

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