Tag Archives: homeschooling

Homeschooling is three-and-a-half-foot-long library recipts.

Photo: Library-ing, homeschooling style. :D

My brother Joshua, shortly before the eight of us (counting Mom) took our seven or eight bags of books out to our elderly and temperamental nine-seater suburban.

And that, folks, is what has been keeping me busy lately, along with probabilities, square roots, negative numbers, essays on Mars, Moby Dick, a science module on the human digestive system, and a very cool book by Dierdre Le Faye (Could have some of that wrong, not sure) about Jane Austen, which has proved helpful for a Somewhat Complicated Project that I have appointed as a fill-in of sorts for history, as people tend to think that kind of stuff important. I’m not sure whether it’ll actually be useful in the long run, but at least I’ll know a lot about Georgian and Regency era fashion.

We’ve actually been doing really well about getting our library books back on time, lately, even if we return them the day they’re due after keeping them as long as is possible. And… I got Benjamin to read the Vesper Holly books, all six of them. I never expected to see my brother fangirl, Benjamin being the calm, quiet, capable person that he is. (Example: He killed three wasps for me this afternoon while I dithered and panicked just outside the room. He came out smiling a little bit and nonchalantly swinging the fly swatter. My dignity wasn’t wounded AT ALL) Nevertheless, over the past couple of weeks I have, quite frequently, walked into the living room and found him upside down in a chair, heels bouncing on top of the chair, clenching one of the books in a death-grip, and giggling/moaning/smiling/muttering/pumping his fists in an upside-down victory stance/shaking the book and lamenting about the fact that Dr. Helvitius (That most vile of creatures) has escaped once again. And, to top it off, just before starting the sixth book, he made sure that Vesper and Brinnie and Mary and Smiler and Slider and the Weed/Toby came back, and warily asked me whether Helvitius came back.

Yes, Benjamin. I know, Benjamin, he just won’t die. Sorry, Benjamin. Don’t worry, Benjamin, it’ll be okay. Don’t choke on your lunch, Benjamin.

And then, when he finished it, I thought he would never stop bouncing, let alone smiling. I think he’s glad I made him read them, which is good.

…On a side note, I just learned that America is best known for pizza delivery and software, which is sort of sad…

In other news, Dad has COMPLETELY FINISHED watching the Lizzy Bennett Diaries, Evelyn is going to enroll part-time in the local-ish public high school, mainly for an ACT-prep class, and Evelyn’s Arch Nemesis Matthew is moving into his college dorm tomorrow. Evelyn has been comforting him for the past half hour, assuring him that he will be fine, and that he will be the Matthewest Matthew they ever saw, and that when he struts in there, he is going to completely Matthew it up. All the way, I guess. Apparently he also needs eight-foot speakers to follow him around for when he introduces himself in a James Bond-esque fashion, so that dramatic music can play in the background. Funny that she’s having so much fun with this, considering they absolutely hate each other, and have vowed to be Arch Nemeses for all eternity.

Also, Maisy came back from the library with a Care Bears movie. It is quite possibly the weirdest and stupidest thing I have ever seen, before I ran away and hid with Going Postal. That rainbow syrup looks like it causes body-wide cancer. The wishing star looks like the kind of thing that is sweet in a kind of concerning way until you turn your back. Then it latches on with its stubby, brightly colored tentacles and sucks the life out of you. The whole plot (what there is of it) is ridiculous! It reminds me of Susan’s version of Jack and the Beanstalk in Hogfather:

And then Jack chopped down what was the world’s last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned, and all the giant’s children didn’t have a daddy any more. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done… Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you’re a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions.  – Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett

So far, in this cutsey-wutsey little movie filled with brightly-colored bears who live on a pale pink cloud, we have encountered: manipulation/mind control, depending on how you look at it, power abuse, overworking to within half an inch of the victim’s bright, cuddly life with no respect to the limitations of the victim’s abilities, resulting in ecological vandalism, civic unrest, attempts at enticement, and as a final, devastating result to crown the whole thing… (prepare yourselves, folks…)

There’s not enough caring in Care-a-lot!!!!!! Whatever will we do?!?!?!?!?! If we can’t miraculously conjure up a plan out of our practically empty brains, that big, scary storm cloud on the pale pink and blue horizon will engulf Care-a-lot in misery and damp despair!!!!!!!!!!!!! But whatever we do, we have to do it with unhealthy amounts of optimism, bad planning, and a few musical numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And most likely, NOTHING WILL WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!But don’t worry, because if we all care as much as we possibly can, and be the very nicest bears we can be (Even grumpy bear!!!!!!) then surely by the end we’ll be ready for a great big song and dance routine about how great things are when you care, with all of our friends singing and dancing by our side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see, I don’t have a high opinion of the Care Bears. That movie is cheesier than a block of cheese. I kid you not. I’m going to need a great big dose of Moist von Lipwig and Adora Belle Dearheart (the most unlikely couple I have ever encountered) before I’ve fully recovered from that. Blue’s Clues and the Wonderpets are all the world needs, really. I can tolerate those. In any case, it’s only ten days until Deep Breath, the first episode of Doctor Who series eight broadcasts. I live in hope of maybe sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot or something like that and watching it online or something. That would be cool. I’ve heard that the Doctor gets grumpy, and tells Clara and a dinosaur and everybody to shut up, and Clara gets annoyed. That’ll be interesting. I haven’t seen much in the way of annoyed/angry Clara yet. 🙂

Anyway, I’m sitting right by an open window, and it’s getting a little cold, and this is already 1,024 words long, which means I’ve probably gotten on my soapbox a little bit somewhere about something, so I’m going to shut up.


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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Yesterday I reenacted Moby Dick, with only one casualty!

And I have oddly mixed feelings about that casualty. I meant to type all this up yesterday, but Life and these obnoxious things called Siblings got in the way. 😛



Call me Eleanor. The day being a Monday, and the time having come for me to do my schoolwork, I was sitting on my bed subtracting a couple of decimals, when my eye drifted, and I saw upon my bookshelf headboard a most feared and dreadful sight:

Note: The author of this chronicle suffers from severe arachnophobia, and getting this picture off of Google made her start hyperventilating in about three seconds, so don’t laugh or judge, mm’kay?

Yes, a spider! Black it was, and furry-looking with horrid white marks across its cursed back. My mind immediately passed the word for the rest of me to get as far away from the horrible thing as possible. “Send everybody aft!” it cried, “Mast-heads there! Come down!” I threw my computer and notebook from my lap, and quickly took refuge behind a pair of scissors and a small blanket.

Yes, I’m a teenage girl. With hereditary arachnophobia.

I watched in horrified fascination at how quickly it moved and how unutterably gross it was as it scaled my bookshelf headboard, crossed the random groove that I’ve never known what’s for, but keep pens and pencils in. Then, clutching the scissors, a kind of maniacal panic came over me and I began to hyperventilate madly, and mutter to myself: “Ohmygosh. *deep breath* Ohmygosh. *deep breath* Ohmygosh. *deep breath*” Etc, etc, as the white-marked arachnid began to climb up Greenwitch. ( This book, in case you aren’t familiar with it. Third in a series, absolutely wonderful.)

By the time it was halfway up, it had dealt me such an awful blow to my senses that I thought I might pass out. Then, as it crawled out of sight, I gathered my wits and my courage about me, steeled my resolve…

…and ran downstairs to find one of my siblings that isn’t scared of spiders. Unfortunately they were off looking for a sheep, so I was obliged to throw a couple pillowcases on my arms, grab my scissors and the broom, and go after the furry black devil myself. After poking at my headboard for a few minutes, Benjamin and Elizabeth showed up.

“All ye siblings have seen a black spider with white markings before, or heard of it, yes?”

“Yes,” they replied with a shudder of fear, as Elizabeth had had an encounter with the selfsame devil I had just now seen. “He moves uncommon fast,” said Benjamin, “And his markings follow an odd pattern of sorts, do they not, Eleanor?” Elizabeth added.

“Pattern!” Cried I, “Aye, Elizabeth, the markings maketh a pattern on him; aye, Benjamin, he moves extremely fast, like all the others of his kind we hath encountered before. Death and devils! men, it is Scurrying Dick ye hath seen, a spider which hath escaped the combined forces of the Vacuum, the Sneaker, and the Boot. It is Scurrying Dick we hunt, somewhere by my bed.”

“Pardon, Eleanor,” asked Benjamin, “Where was Scurrying Dick last seen?”

I pointed with my broom, and explained what I had seen, and swore to turn the room upside down, and the house, and the country, and round perdition’s flames searching for the spider, before I gave him up.

Grim-faced, we set to our task, first searching amongst the books scattered where he was last seen, and among the random flash drives and pens and stitch markers to no avail. Then we looked in the other two shelves, hoping to find it, and do away with this dreadful ordeal.

“Mind,” I said to my assistants, “call out the moment you see anything.”

But they did not see anything, and so we tore everything from the headboard, from the bed, and from the window sill and received nothing for our troubles but a pile of books and blankets. At last, I handed the broom to Elizabeth, hitched up my pillowcases, and pulled the bed away from the wall.


And still nothing when we pulled the headboard out and searched through the random sentimental crap I had stuffed back there.

Yes, I know. Nothing is gained by being a sentimental idiot.

We searched everywhere in chase of Scurrying Dick, but discovered only old tissues and a copy of the Hobbit and Dodger, that both miraculously escaped packing.

Finally, dismayed and discouraged, and dreading where it might turn up next, we put everything back in order. We put the books back, the sentimental crap, the pens and balls of yarn, and still did not find that most horrible of spiders.


As I finished making the bed again, and was preparing to retrieve my laptop and finish subtracting those decimals that led to the half-hour of mad searching, my eye once again chanced to wander…

…And there he was, on the sheet of Evelyn’s unmade bed! Scurrying Dick! O, ye horrible miscreant, dost know how long we searched for thee? fearing ye, yet hoping to find ye that we may take your life, exact revenge for the bursts of fear and adrenaline you inflicted on us?

I raised my shoe-




And the harpoon that was my foot hit its loathed target. I twisted my foot like a corkscrew a few times before raising it, and letting the corpse fall away, only a smear remaining on Evelyn’s sheet.

I grimaced, and picked up the corpse with a stray plastic bag that I have absolutely no idea why was there at that moment, and discarded it into the nearest trash can.

And thus was Scurrying Dick removed from this good green earth, leaving behind only a legacy of fear, a wish of mine to sterilize Greenwitch and Over Sea, Under Stone, and a smear on a sheet.

Don’t worry, Evelyn. Your sheet’s in the wash, and I swear upon… Something that it shall be returned to its rightful spot.



Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


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