On The Trail

Homeschool Hiking

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Yarn Along


I am reading Children of summer:Henri Fabre’s Insects by Margaret Anderson. Its about the father of entomology teaching his own children about insects and his childhood. Maddie read it first and really enjoyed it so I am giving it a try. Homeschooled children of a naturalist, why wouldn’t we like it? Its interesting to read about all the different insects and various experiments they tried together. I am knitting a dishcloth to go in our camping box. I thought we had one but couldn’t find it when we went last time. I am working on one now since we have some camping trips coming up soon! I am using this pattern from Homespun Living and dishie from knitpicks. I have been doing a lot of knitting and reading while Maddie is at camp this week! I have a long list of things to accomplish while she is gone but seem to be lacking the energy to get it done! I finally came to terms with the fact that perhaps Momma needs to recharge her batteries and maybe now is a good time to do it. So my list may not be getting done but I am feeling rested and ready to start school back up again in just a short time which is just as important.

What are you knitting and reading?


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Well, today was the day to drop Maddie at Camp Fowler for the week. She couldn’t wait to go! She told me it was about time “something EPIC” happened this summer which got an eye roll from me and a laugh from her! Maddie insisted that she would not be the last one there this year so we were on the road at 8:00 (check in time is 2:30 so this was a tad early!). We stopped at the Northampton Diner for breakfast. Its one of her favorite breakfast stops!!

On the way there the skies opened up with a downpour complete with thunder and lightning in the distance. But when we came out the skies had cleared and the mist was starting to blow off the mountains.


Then it was on to Charles John’s market in Speculator to pick out a comic book! Unfortunately the selection was a lot more limited this year but Maddie and Brian found a supergirl comic and all was well.

Sign on the way into camp!! I couldn’t resist. Aim high!!!

Then we drove down the road to camp. We arrived at 11:00 (remember check in was at 2:30!). Maddie immediately reacquainted herself with the buildings and grounds and showed us some of her favorite places she missed. We met the chickens and found a song sparrow nest in the tree outside the Lake House much to everyone’s delight.

Nature Center Porch


view off the nature center porch


Lake House


Song Sparrow Nest

Inside the Nature Center


Spider on Fenimore Hall’s porch taken by Maddie!

Here is the schedule for the week…

And we left her in the newly renovated Goose Cabin knowing she will have an excellent week!!



Book Sale Yarn Along

Joining Small Things today for the yarn along!

Over the weekend we stopped at a library book sale in Westport, CT. Wow! is all I can say about the size and selection. We have library book sales at home but they do not have the quantity or the diversity of selection this one did. If you love reading or are homeschooling like we are I would recommend searching this one or a similar one to help you find what you need. When we went into the tents we were handed a map so we could locate what we were looking for so Maddie and I made a beeline right for the nature section first! Maddie was pleased to find these two books but then we decided I should read the one called Wolves and Honey first.

Most of the books were $1 with some going up to $4 except in the children’s section where all the paperbacks were .50. So even though the stack got pretty high we still made out well with the cost of it all!

At the moment I am reading Notes from a Blue Bike on my kindle. I kept seeing it recommended as a good read but was skeptical of the title. Buzzwords like “intentional living” have a way of putting me off, but it was on sale for $1.99 as a kindle deal one day so I thought I would give it a try. It is really good and I am really enjoying it! It speaks to a lot of what Brian and I are trying to create in our own little house for ourselves and Maddie. I still won’t call it “intentional living” though! I am still working on socks for myself between other projects. The pattern is from Getting Started Knitting Socks which is my favorite book on the subject so far. Last week I zipped off some new washcloths for Maddie to take to camp next week. She likes a bit of Momma and home along.


What are you knitting and reading??

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Maddie, Lego Master Builder!

This weekend we took a trip to Connecticut to visit friends of ours. First we headed off to the library sale in Westport, Connecticut. Wow! It was much larger and had a better selection than anything we have been to before! There was a river next to the library where Maddie sat and conversed with Mute Swans, Canada Geese and a Momma Mallard while we waited for Brian to bring the car around (yes, we did have that many books!).



Photos by Maddie!

The next day, on the way home, we stopped at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester, NY. We stayed much longer than we anticipatedIMG_2565
patiently waiting while we purchased tickets

First we had a Lego “Factory” tour. This was really just a simulated way of showing the kids how legos are made. This was fun and would’ve been more interesting if we had not seen a documentary recently about the real Lego Factory! Maddie enjoyed it and got a brick at the end with LEGOLAND Discovery Center printed on it.





We paid a bit more so Maddie could have the special tags hanging down. As she went through the tour she stamped her cards and got a prize at the end which was a button to snap onto her lanyard.

Once we did that it was time to go save the princess!!!


I don’t think any of us could honestly say if we saved the princess or not but it was fun! There were video screens and laser guns for us to shoot at things. Brian said I got the highest score…I can’t imagine!

Then we walked through miniland. It was buildings in NYC scaled down in Legos. We loved looking at the minifigures. My favorite was the Star Wars Storm Trooper standing in line for ice cream.







And here is what was causing the giggles…


After that we went into a big room that had many things to do. First Maddie went for the Racers Build Test….and so did Brian. They had fun building and testing the cars to see how fast they would go and if they would stay together!





Then it was on to the Lego Master Builder’s Academy where Maddie took a class with a Lego Master Builder. He did not tell them what they were going to make but talked them through the steps. About halfway through they figured out it was a dragon but there were a lot of guesses before they got it! The Master Builder was very good and very, very patient with everyone from parents who were having trouble figuring out the steps to a boy who had a meltdown that would’ve done Verruca Salt proud. This was a favorite place for all 3 of us. Maddie got to bring her dragon home too! We made a donation to a non-profit that helps sick kids (too many kids talking all at once I don’t know what the charity was I’m sorry!) and she was then able to bring him home much to her delight!






People built from Legos were everywhere including one person dressed up as a minifigure! Maddie is still not fond of people in those outfits so we stayed where we were.






We also rode another amusement park type ride and watched a 4D movie! So we got very slightly wet and wind blown which was a lot of fun. On the way out Maddie went through the Ninjago Laser maze and loved it. She probably would’ve done that again if we had more time.



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Summer Plans

I’m finally getting to write about our summer plans. Maddie doesn’t have year round school like some homeschoolers because we’ve found we need the long break. We do keep working on some things though and she always needs something to occupy her hands if its raining or just too humid outside.

So we are continuing to work through Life of Fred which is fun math practice. I also got one of the books from a series called Math for the Real World. This one is about the Erie Canal. Later in the summer we hope to visit the Erie Canal Village so that is a fun something too! We are also working on All About Spelling Level 1 to see if we can improve Maddie’s spelling. I read about the program and thought it sounded like just the ticket but we have to work from the bottom up. I am assuming we can get through the first level easily during the summer. It will be an ongoing project just like math! Use it or lose it!

Then thinking about keeping hands occupied and Charlotte Mason’s idea to give a child 3 things every day: something to do, something to think about and something or someone to love I came up with the idea that she could make things for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. We always want to do more than 1 but we don’t seem to remember the project until too late. So I made her a bucket with ideas and materials in it. I will probably add to it as the summer progresses but this is a good start! Maddie loves Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty so his picture was a great choice for the front of the tub.

Maddie is participating in the local library’s summer reading program and will be going to camp as well! We also need to get ready for the Altamont Fair so there will be plenty to occupy her hands and mind this summer!


Yarn Along-Mrs.Roosevelt’s Knitting

Joining Small Things for the Yarn Along today!

Last weekend we visited FDR’s Birthplace and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Home, both part of the National Park System. You can read more about it here. One of my favorite parts was in Eleanor Roosevelt’s home. Somehow they had a piece of her knitting in progress in the bag she used to carry it! The ranger giving us the tour didn’t seem to know much beyond that it was indeed Eleanor’s own knitting. It was impossible for me to read the bag as it was upside down but it is done in crewelwork. I wonder if she did that as well!


In the library at FDR’s home we also discovered a copy of the Burgess Bird Book for Children. Something I read to my day care kiddos and Maddie at snacktime. Maddie was thrilled and took a picture of that too!


Both perfect for the yarn along I thought.

In my own knitting I am working on a shawl that is very slow going. I need quiet and time to work on it. Both are often in short supply! So I also have a pair of socks that I am knitting from my favorite sock pattern, Getting Started Knitting Socks. This time its a pair for me! I am also waiting on needles to start Maddie’s sweater from the last yarn along. I ordered the wrong size the first time around. I am re-reading Pocketful of Pinecones because I love the story. Its a good one to get my creative juices flowing for the next school year!


What are you working on and reading?