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.


First night outside

May 18 is the first night that Liam and Reid are sleeping on the back porch this season. last summer it became a nearly constant phenomenon. They slept out basically every night for weeks upon weeks. I look forward to seeing how long they will do it this time.

Pandemic. Snow Storm. Power Out. Heck, Yeah!

It was a beautiful morning. The snow stuck to everything, walls, trees, branches, everything.

The snow stuck to everything.
A few branches in the driveway.
Katie and I explore the brand new same old woods.
It was stunning.
Liam and Reid’s fort survived a tree fall, and kept the snow out.
White and brown stripes.

We shoveled the drive. I used the chainsaw. I cooked bacon and eggs on the campstove for lunch. We heated tea water on the woodstove. I had cold instant coffee. We did a 4 person exercise routine. We sat around by the fire and read. And blessedly, we couldn’t do a lick of computer-based work. It was glorious!

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.