On The Trail

Homeschool Hiking

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How is school going??

I just sent in our second quarter report to the school district. I really must say I hate writing those things! They sneak up on me even though I set the dates for the reports. The good part is that it makes Brian and I pause and take stock of where we are in the school year and where we wanted to go! We are always very ambitious in August then the reality of toddlers racing about sort of sets in and we end up scaling things back a bit.

Maddie has transitioned into sixth grade work very well. She is coming along with math, always a difficult subject! Brian is working with her on Life of Fred decimals and we are doing some extra work on word problems. I have also been giving her my change from the grocery store to count. If she counts it correctly she gets to keep it, if not then it stays with Momma. So far she has been getting it right! Its been the best way to practice counting up coins that we’ve come up with so far. Writing with Skill is moving along easier this year as well. Maddie has started viewing the writing assignments as challenges to tackle. We just finished reading some poetry and both of us agree that we love to discuss the meaning of the poem itself but please do not ask us about meter or how many “feet” a line has. Its not our thing at all!! We finished astronomy and started working on Earth Science. Maddie and Brian did a fun experiment with a slinky and a jump rope last week to learn about different types of earthquake waves. History, as always, rolls along with no problems at all. It is, after all, a story of the world and who we all are and Maddie is a girl who loves a good story. We will be doing a unit on the Civil War over the next semester. Maddie loves Spanish quite a bit more than Latin but is doing well with both languages. Logic is another favorite subject. During the election this fall she kept pointing out “red herrings” when politicians came to the front door! Its hard to believe we are half way through the year! Today I sat down to write plans for the week and check some work from Friday. I found this note and have to wonder why on earth I would give this up to someone else.


In other news Maddie had a lot of fun at a friend’s birthday sleepover. They did a “paint and sip” and made butterfly paintings.


She also made a fort to read in on one of the icy days here and I loved looking over and seeing her toes peek out!


This weekend was a full one! On Saturday we traveled up to Saratoga National Historic Park for the Frost Faire. We saw a cannon demonstration, Maddie did a colonial craft and we took a walk/hike which ended up being more of an exercise in staying upright on the ice!

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musket demonstration

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sledding next to the musket demonstration!


The fields were beautiful! The chickadees and tufted titmouse were everywhere! They moved too fast for photos though.

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Maddie’s photos

Something fun happened this time while Maddie was taking pictures of the cannon demonstration. A young woman also taking photos with a similar camera accidentally stepped in front of Maddie to get a shot. She heard Maddie’s camera click and was instantly apologetic, making sure that she didn’t get in the way of the shot. Maddie assured her it was fine but I could see the glow that came from an adult recognizing for once that Maddie was working too! That was wonderful. Maddie said “Usually adults look at me like “what are you doing with that camera kid?” so it was nice!”. Our thanks to whomever that was!!




smoke after the cannon was fired!











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Last night I finished my first pair of socks that I’ve made for myself! After trying them on tonight I know why Maddie and Brian keep teasing for more! Wow they are warm and comfy.

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Now I am starting a pair of felted mittens….again for me! Hmmm….I have quite a few things in line for other people though. I’ll be back to making for others soon!


I am working on a prayer shawl for church as well so I guess it isn’t all for me at the moment!

I am still reading Outlander but am almost done. I am trying to decide if I am going to read through the whole series again or take a break and read something else. Since I just finished listening to The Black Count I wanted to listen to The Count of Monte Cristo. I am enjoying it quite a bit so far! Listening to The Black Count also made me contemplate re-reading A Tale of Two Cities.

What are you knitting and reading?


Prayer Scarves

One of my Christmas presents from Brian was a gift certificate to Etsy! I ended up ordering a new knitting bag from Drawstrings and some Jane Austen stitch markers from Knit Girl in Idaho. I love both items although I haven’t had a chance to use the stitch markers yet!

Currently I am working on a prayer scarf for Maddie to take to winter camp next month. I really love the whole concept of the scarf. The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in the blue jay colorway. This yarn is hand dyed in Uruguay and the woman who dyes it writes her name and village on the tag! I was able to look up the village on a map. Pretty neat! I also finished a simpler prayer scarf for a high school senior in our church. We are hoping to have more activity in our prayer shawl group. I thought a scarf might less intimidating than the shawl but wanted to try it myself first. It came out nicely I think!


Maddie, my mom and I stopped in to visit the store front for Darn Good Yarn in Schenectady on Friday. So many good things to see and touch and put on the wish list! I did get some silk roving yarn but am not too sure yet what I will make with it. Maybe a hat? Maybe a scarf? I need to finish up a couple of other things first! Isn’t the bag lovely? They gave us that with our purchase.


I am still reading Outlander by Diane Gabaldon. Its as good as I remember it being and I am enjoying it! I am also coming through history books to make a unit study on the Civil War for Maddie. We realized on our trip to Grant’s Cottage last fall that Maddie doesn’t know quite as much as she should about that time period. So its time to work on that!

Joining Small Things for the Yarn Along!