Final ELA reports

We’re rounding off the school year and Reid and Liam have each recently finished off their final pieces of writing for English Language Arts. Liam wrote about political speeches, dating all the way back to Pericles, a famous Athenian politician. For this essay, we worked on thesis development, outlining, and substantiating arguments with quotes. I think he did a really nice job. His essay can be found here.

Reid dictated his synopsis of The Odyssey to me after we read an illustrated and abridged version of the famous epic. He then wrote a comparison between aspects of the Percy Jackson novels and The Odyssey. Reid places Rick Riordan well above Homer in his evaluation. Here’s a piece of art he made, messing around on the digital art tool Procreate to accompany his comparative essay:

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It’s been a ton of fun to work with the kids this spring.

Just when you thought you’d heard everything about our sculptures…

…here are a few more links to add to our family’s pandemic archives.

If you haven’t heard of the sculptures, here’s an essay I published in The Washington Post about our neighborhood art, as well as a very similar version of that essay in The Bangor Daily.

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Our neighbors Herb and Judy made a great video documenting yesterday’s move of the sculptures to the next neighborhood:

Finally, some more photos of the sculptures are here.

We will miss running, walking and biking past them on our street every day (especially given the daily dress-up work our friends Jessica and Jacob managed with new outfits for the squatting man, which they then turned into the squatting family–amazing!).


But it is also fun to see the sculptures now traveling to a new neighborhood and even more fun to see the menagerie grow. This masterpiece (below) is Señor Scrapwood, the Cromwell/Lexington neighborhood’s addition. Our hope is that each neighborhood will add a sculpture to the set as it travels through Orono this summer.


Adventure Wednesdays

Everyone needs a break from homeschooling, including the kids. We’ve introduced a new pattern in our pandemic routine–adventure Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, after breakfast, the kids pack a snack and water and take the woods. Last week they came back soaked from crawling around in the snow. This week they came back muddy and full of stories about the fort they were building.


No headache!

Today Liam was doing his math homework when he popped off his noise cancelling headset and with a look of absolute wonder announced, “I don’t have a headache!”

Well, shucks, we may just have rounded the bend on his concussion recovery. I looked up his fall date–Feb 5th–and since then, until today, he had one long headache. It’s kind of hard to imagine.

We’re delighted he’s feeling better.

One of the silver lining of this concussion has been listening a bit more to audio books. We all loved Trevor Noah’s memoir. Here’s Liam report on the book:

Born a Crime Report


Liam and Reid have been hard at work homeschooling. Because Liam is in a protracted concussion recovery and is not able to use screens for hours at a time, we’ve needed to invent some of our own material. The kids have been reading a ton: currently Percy Jackson, Trevor Noah’s memoir (some would question the appropriateness here, but we sure have laughed a lot), and LeGuin’s Earthsea. The kids have been productive writers as well. Below is Liam’s review of the survivalist novel Brian’s Winter.

Brian’s Winter

Reid recently finished this report on the moon:

Moon newsletter

Life is busy with online teaching and work for adults, as well as homeschooling kids, but we’re having fun. Love to all!



Nordic Liam!

Liam is taking full advantage of middle school sports. Soccer was short lived, sadly, due to a concussion. But this season Liam has loved nordic skiing (he now has two races under his belt, including one in which his boot broke and he skied on one ski and then finished in his coach’s boots). He has also played on the basketball team here and there when he hasn’t been busy with nordic. Here’s the nordic team:


Salary Negotiation: RQ

Reid’s delightful teacher, Mrs. James, runs her classroom as a town, called Jamestown, naturally. The citizens of Jamestown each have a job which comes with a set salary, and occasionally they get the opportunity to spend their savings on provisions (candy, toys, etc). Some citizens–or at least one of them–are arguing for a wage increase.

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A favorite list

In case I haven’t posted this before…. A list Reid made early in first grade when he was learning to be literate in both Spanish and English. He decided he wanted to make a book of photos, so he wrote this list of photos to include.

Camp Reed

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By Liam

A few weeks ago, thinking our road trip adventures were over, Mom and Dad took us on a drive to Fan Lake in Deer Park to go to one of my favorite places in the world, Camp Reed. At first Reid (my brother not the place) was having some second thoughts about Camp (afraid he wouldn’t meet new friends) where as I was entirely ready to do archery, explore, stay up late, sleep in, swim, and have fun whether I did it with a friend or not.

Thankfully, I made many new friends at camp wether they were in my cabin or not. The kids in my cabin’s names were Brody, Alijah, Sparrow, Cody, Tristan, Christian, and Anthony. There were definitely some interesting children in my cabin so I’ll go forth to tell you a fact about each of my cabin mates.


Okay, so Brody has been to camp five times and his favorite counselor was Aztec (my mom’s cousin). Alijah is a newbie to camp like me and lives in Spokane Valley. Tristan is about 4 feet tall and claims he’s twelve; his mom is in jail and his dad smokes tobacco. Anthony is scary, always wants to get into fights, and has a collection of rocks that he will throw at random intervals (he also calls me Cricket for some unexplainable reason). Sparrow is entirely Native American, probably like ten feet tall and has long hair. Cody is bisexual. Christian is overweight and I don’t know much about him.

My best friends at camp were Brody, Sparrow, Alijah, and Sky. Overall at camp I had by far the greatest week of my life and will never forget it.