flashback friday :: fieldwork

just a happy reminder that you can download and print all 4 issues of fieldwork, a zine i made a few years ago.  it’s an approachable way to start thinking about our circle ’round the sun and the church year.  enjoy!


once upon a time i made a zine called fieldwork.  i first imagined this zine when i lived in the jungle of Suriname and was reading books about Margaret Mead and the fieldwork she completed as an anthropologist.  i loved the idea of approaching even the most mundane aspect of my life as an investigator, as an anthropologist.  i loved imagining life with an unknown, uncivilized tribe of children yet to be born.

this wasn’t the first zine i ever made….there was thundermoon–small, handmade books of poems and pictures and lists, always lists, of books.  and when we lived in the jungle, we two made a zine called Rivers and Trees.  when i come across copies of this zine, filed in the wrong spot, i am always startled.  i love its look and writing with Andy.  and the stories!  how many times am i going to have the chance to write about fishing with your bare hands or the boy lost for days in the forest and then returned home safe.

fieldwork was the first zine made on the computer.  and i was never satisfied with that process.  there were always problems when it came time to print.  and there was none of the satisfaction of making something.  there hasn’t been a new edition in a long while.  and i just started thinking that the end had come.  but there’s no reason that has to be so.  i still have brown paper to print on and clear stickers to seal each copy.  so maybe there will be more.  maybe they will look a bit different.

for now, i wanted to make all of fieldwork available to you. there are almanac pages and suggestions for celebrating Advent and Pentecost and Michaelmas.  and always, books i think worth your time.   if you go to Scribd, you can download every edition as a pdf and print them as you will.  brown recycled paper, please!

i’d love to know that you are looking at these…printing these…that they are living a life past the one i had planned for them.


mother :: culture


what wonders do you have planned for yourself during these long, sunny days?  here’s my list:

Julie at Brave Writer has a new book aiming to help you “sustain your homeschooling commitment.” it’s coming out next week!

also next week, Brandy at Half-a-Hundred-Acre Wood is having a new baby and starting a book club reading The Core by Leigh Bortins.  it will be hosted on the forums over at goodreads, so i am excited to meet some new mama-readers over there!

The Motherhood + Jane Austen book club continues with Persuasion...what i would have called my favorite Jane Austin.  will the title stand?

and there’s ICAD of course! that’s a bit of art every day on an index card.  try it!  you’ll like it.

and Lori the Amazing from Project Based Homeschooling is teaching a free series of classes this summer.  the first one is about the journaling habit and begins next week!

what are *you* working on?


homeschool happy :: beyond Morning Time

2517719238_2fb6ab8a7c_bMorning Time’s getting a lot of press these days.  and truth be told, it’s been a staple part of of our homeschool rhythm. we usually call it Circle Time because we came at the idea from Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace.  it’s a wonderful way to mark out time, to set a boundary, to make space for learning.  we usually light a candle, sing a song, practice our memory work, listen to our history read aloud and then move into more project work.

but lately it’s been feeling dry and forced.  the children have become more and more reluctant to participate in this liturgy of learning.  what’s a homeschool mama to do?  well, we quit doing Circle Time.  instead we just dive right into our read aloud.  the children are always ready for a story!  this simple shift has meant that for the most part we are approaching our learning time with joy and not with dread.

call it looking to the child instead of the philosophy.  or maybe moving with the ebb and flow of tidal homeschooling.  or prioritizing peace and relationships.  or bringing a bit of Easter to our homeschool.  letting go of Morning Time has been a very choice for us.


herbs in time


i wrote briefly about how we’ve used the church year to structure our learning year.  during the two penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, we changed the focus of our studies. we also use the celebratory seasons of Christmas and Easter as an excuse to have one more cookie, read one more picture book, or enjoy some other bit of sweetness.  but why not let the church year spill out into other areas too?

at the beginning of Spring i decided to make some herbal tinctures.  it’s an easy process: just steep herbs in alcohol for 6-8 weeks.  then strain, bottle, and use!  i made tinctures on Ash Wednesday that would be ready during the first week of Easter!  i love letting the days of Lent count out time; it adds another layer of healing to herbs i think!


women together :: the visitation

File:Antependium Straßburg c1410 makffm 6810 image02.jpg

when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost


blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb


my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior


such a sweet feast day!  it dawned bright here.  the children and i were up and out early doing errands around town: bank, library, post office, grocery.  AP was home dismantling and reconfiguring our deck.  it will serve us better this season i think.  the children are planning s’mores around the fire to crown this festal day!  we’ll see!


three on a friday

8127907289_7cb5dec1bf_ba few weeks ago i mentioned how Mystie’s post on not-word-perfect memorization had thrown lights on for our memory work together.  only this week did i think to apply the same grace to my own private memory work. i’ve had these lovely little blue moleskines, but they had lain quiet in the drawer because my memory had stalled out.  well, no more!  i have added a few new verses to work on and i really like just having the tiny journals near to hand throughout the day.

i also printed out a heart-pocket gratitude list and the two have been fine company.  here’s a tutorial about folding the paper into a perfect little journal.

Mystie’s also posted about her homeschool scheduling for this last year.  they would school for 6 weeks and then take a week off.  they also took off more time in December and June.  it put me in mind of just how well our unique scheduling worked this year.  we totally changed up what we studied for Advent + Lent.  instead of our medieval history studies being the spine, we worked on Jesse Tree/Jesus Tree activities + readings.  it was a good change, and it made us eager to return to a “more academic” focus.  i’ll write more about the specifics again i think!