Our school year has been a little… unorthodox.  We do lessons when we can, where we can.  Sometimes I’m nursing Calhoun and teaching common denominators at the same time.  Sometimes we’re sitting at the kitchen table reviewing spelling words and I’m peeling potatoes for supper.  You just never know.  That’s the beauty of homeschooling.  

Since the baby has been born, we’ve pared down our studies a bit, to the necessities.  I am not too happy about that, cutting out the fun stuff.  Now that we are finally getting the ground back under our feet, I am slowly adding some bits back.  But, I can’t do it in the normal school schedule because there just isn’t time, I have to find ways to do it throughout the day.  So, ALL that to say, I’ve picked up some really great books by Holling C. Holling  (yup, Holling Holling), to start reading as our bedtime stories… but, dearies, it’s also biology!  Whoohoo!  The first one we’re reading is Pagoo.  

Google Reader gives this one sentence synapsis:  An intricate study of tide pool life is presented in text and pictures through the story of Pagoo, a her-mit crab.  

And it’s so cute.  Pagoo (short for Pagurus, a hermit crab’s scientific name) starts out as a tiny pencil dot of a creature, and each chapter takes you through his life and adventures.  The illustrations are awesome, and there is so much for them to pore over on each page.  Each chapter is about three pages long, and it has a lot of text to get through, so the little kids are learning to sit through longer readings.  (Which I’ve been eager for them to do, so we can start tackling bigger books, like Narnia, etc)  The language is a little advanced, but it’s pleasant, and stimulating.  I’m super excited about this book.  It appeals to the love of nature that children have, it is very educational, and is well written and presented.  The illustrations are vibrant and intricate, and I have to struggle to keep the kids from looking ahead to future chapters!!

Also by H. Holling are: Minn of the Mississippi (the story of a snapping turtle who follows the MS River all the way to the Gulf Coast!), Paddle to the Sea (a small canoe toy carved by an Indian boy floats down Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean), Tree in the Trail (a tree on the Santa Fe trail watches history around him).  There are some others, too, but I won’t list every one.  They were all written around the 40’s, and have that rich, detailed quality to them.  I can’t wait to read them all!

At this point in the school year, it’s more of an effort to keep things fresh and interesting.  These books will help to do that, and I’m excited to have found them.  All the reviews I’ve read have been great- these books have been the source of a lifetime love of marine or aquatic life for many people, so I’m hoping they will have a positive impact on my kids, too.

Anyway, just thought I’d do a quick homeschool update.  Besides these books, we’re getting along pretty good.  We’re a little behind where I want us to be, but I knew that would happen with the baby coming in the middle of the year!  We’ll catch up a bit over the summer.  HeroBoy is reading really well, and Czarina has started getting to some real juicy stuff in math.  I’m pleased with both of their efforts.  

Next year, I’ll be teaching the Duke kindergarten, and we’ve decided to have somebody come in for a few hours each day to help me out.  They can look after Calhoun and Chipmunk while I tackle the toughest parts of school.  It’s going to be a tremendous help!  It takes a huge weight off my mind, wondering how I was going to do it all.  Now, I just have to find the right person for the job.  Someone saintly.  (ha!)

Well, I need to wrap this up.  I’m SURE acting like I have nothing left to do today!  I’ll post again soon, though.  Starting to get a grip on life again, and I’m excited to be back to blogging.  🙂  Happy week, everybody.

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