Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Pyramid Lake Fish Ladder

A few weeks ago my friend Tara and I took our gaggle of kids out to Pyramid Lake to have a tour of the fish ladder. It was a cold, windy, grey, and wet day without any fish ready to go up into the Truckee River but it was still a great outing! We learned about the native variety of trout, the Lahontan cutthroat trout (threatened) along with the native Cui-ui a lakesucker (endangered). 

After touring the fish ladder facility with an awesome Dept. of Wildlife Ranger we went over to Popcorn beach to see the pelicans waiting on the fish and to have a bit of a picnic. There were a ton of pelicans and we learned that one of the small islands there is the largest pelican rookery in North America! Popcorn Rock is a bulbous tufa formation like the pyramid in the lake that it is named for!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

2015-16 School Year Blogging Bust...

This school years blogging was a complete bust! School was not, thankfully! We are in our final 4 weeks of our school year which is behind when we usually finish up. But you know those "Homeschooling in Crisis" articles and posts. Well this year we have lived it. We have had plenty of hard years, some which could even fit the "crisis" label in the past, hard pregnancies and new babies, moves, unemployment, homelessness (without our own but family took us in)...we have run the gamut of life experience. Going into this year I knew we would need to be flexible, in April of 2015 my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She did treatment all summer, we went back and forth to help through those months, I expected to do that through out the school year. We pushed back starting school a couple extra weeks when she needed more care, I spent two weeks with her leaving my family behind at the end of August/beginning of September. With this in mind I was proactive and prepared everything ahead of time, including my handy dandy book I make each year. But I was not prepared for a phone call two weeks after retuning home saying I needed to come now. The three hardest phone calls I've ever had to make and an hour and a half later my kids and I were on the road for the 10 hour drive. And then she died. That was not the plan. The plan was to take care of her all school year. Not for school to be interrupted with death and estate needs and memorial travels. But it did. And we have four weeks left.

That said I have something more to share. All those crisis articles were good, it was stored up knowledge I had but there is something they did not cover. Homeschooling was an anchor. Yes I gave myself permission to be easy with myself, yes there were days I could not even muster enough to feed my family but schooling was an escape of sorts. We could compartmentalize the grief and open a book to escape and learn. I could be ok for that time I taught Leili the letter families, I could be ok while dusting off the parts of my brain that use to know how to do 5th grade math, I could be ok while learning about the beautiful art of the Renaissance. And those moments of being ok got us through. Homeschooling is an added responsibility when crisis comes but it can also be comfort and and anchor.

My handy dandy school book!
The kids on our first day of the school year.
This was an instagram photo of mine dated just 10 days after she died. I captioned it, "The tornado of a homeschooling morning and it's effects on my family room. Whew...I survived. This time." Looking back on any kind of journaling is interesting, I can see that I was not talking about homeschooling I was just surviving. But I was doing it through homeschooling.
A smattering of books from this week.
This weeks pages of schooling, Riley's are blank because he was taking online classes and finished the week before.
And the kids now...older, wiser, and more compassionate for the year we have had.