How to get out of the Public School Mindset

When we first started homeschooling, I knew that I did not want to follow the “school-at-home” model.  The school-at-home model is essentially what you would think of when you think of public school – kids sitting at their desks with a teacher at the front teaching them.  I’m not saying this model is wrong, I’m not even saying setting up cute little old fashioned school desks is wrong (I totally did that!), but rather that I wanted to try something different in our homeschool.  Our relaxed, year-round, literature based model appeared.

You have most likely come to the same conclusion.  You decided to homeschool for a specific reason, and realized that there are so many amazing ways that you can teach your children – you did not want the traditional school model to be picked up from public school and placed in your living room (or wherever you may choose to do school).

How to Get Out of the Public School Mindset in Your Homeschool

What is the problem then?  The problem is that even though my kids have never attended public school in their lives, we have, and because of that, we look at the traditional school model and constantly wonder what we are missing at home.

I remember my first official year of homeschooling, and trying to figure out how I was going to fit in all of these subjects  Then I realized that we did not need to do history five days a week, and science five days a week, and all the other subjects five days a week.  What a relief it was to figure that out!  I should know that in the traditional public school model the kids are not doing every subject every day, yet I still felt the need to do that to myself, and to my children.  Why?

The reason is because we were always trying to “keep up” with the public school, even if we weren’t doing their prescribed curriculum.  We would add in extra, just to make sure that we were “on track,” but what good was that for our homeschool, or our sanity?

How do you shift your thinking from traditional public school to a homeschool that works well for your family? 

One of the most wonderful reasons parents choose to homeschool their children is the freedom it brings.  Not just the freedom of a schedule that works for that individual family, but also the freedom to be able to teach in a way that is meaningful to each individual child in the home.

How amazing is that?  You get to choose what is right for your family!

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That isn’t to say that it is easy to figure out what that is for your family, and there is definitely trial and error, but you have the freedom to make that choice.  Whereas at the public school there are set parameters that need to be followed.  These parameters are not bad in any way and are often needed to measure progress for large groups of students.  You may even find that you want your children to still continue to learn within these parameters in your own home, but you have the freedom to make that choice.

If you, like me, are not deciding on the “school-at-home” model, but you still need to fight against that public school mindset, here are some practical ways in which to combat that.

First, sit down and look at everything you are studying on a daily basis – everything.  Include life skills here as well because those are an important part of any day, especially as we are raising the next generation, and want them to be productive members of society.  Now sit back and look at the list and breathe.

Mama, you are doing a lot.  Even when you feel like you aren’t getting through all of your lesson plans, you are still reading, you are still engaging in conversations about all manner of topics with your children, you are still teaching them  Be encouraged in that.

There will be seasons where you think they are falling behind, or perhaps you were too ambitious with your homeschool plans for the year, and you aren’t nearly close to completing what you planned out and expected, but you are still doing amazing things for your children!  You are showing up for them, and that is just as important as grammar in my book.

Second, have a conversation with your child.  Talk to them about their homeschool experience, let them speak and just listen to all that they have learned.

I am amazed to listen to my older two kids.  They are always coming up to me with new facts that they have learned, entire experiments that they have created in their minds and now need to physically do to see if their hypothesis is correct, the stories they want to write – even if they don’t finish them.  I’m sure your kids are the same way, if you step back and listen to what they are saying, you will realize they are learning so much!  And you may even figure out some areas of interest that you could delve deeper into during your homeschool.

One of my primary goals in homeschooling is to give my kids an immense love of learning.  I want to give them the tools they need in order to learn whatever it is they set out to learn, whether that is baking a cake, writing a book, or building a computer.  In order to do that we have to let go of a lot of the public school mindset and instead let our kids follow their interests, and then work as the teacher to show them what we feel they need to learn through these great interests.

Often I have to get out of my own way, since I can hinder that love of learning by trying to get them to shut down a project so we can move onto the next lesson I have planned out for them.

Getting out of the public school mindset is not an easy one, especially for those of us who went to public school.  But, it is essential that we not use the same mindset in our homeschool because it is not the same thing.  We are not sitting with 30 kids for 6 hours each day, trying to teach them the main subject areas.  Our schooling does not stop when we put a math workbook away it continues all day, every day.

Kids naturally love learning, and it is our job as parents to foster that, no matter what type of schooling they attend.  But, as homeschoolers we have the unique opportunity to dedicate more time to the individual child’s learning style and passions.  We help them shape their ideas, ask questions when we know something isn’t going to work the way the child expects, and guide them on their path.

This doesn’t mean that homeschooling is easy, or that we don’t need to teach our children what an adjective is, but it does mean that we have the ability to change the way our school looks, as often as needed, in order to encourage our kids in their learning.

No teacher will be able to teach every single thing they think the student should learn, not in public, private, or homeschool; but if we give the students the tools they need in order to problem solve, and to research, and to understand, we have done them a great service.

Do you fall into the trap of the public school mindset in your homeschool?  What ways do you try to combat that mindset?

knitting and reading

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February was not a very good knitting month for me.  I had grand intentions at the beginning of the month (I always do!) and then ended up with kids who were sick most of the month.  I thought we were in the clear, finally, but then this weekend the littlest among us got sick as well. 

All that to say, I didn’t make much progress on my scarf.  In fact this cute little 3 year old really likes to unravel it.  Even if I think I am making progress, I really am not, so I figured it best to set it aside for a bit since I was getting a wee bit upset about the whole thing!

I do love knitting scarves though, there is something about being able to pick out any random pattern and make it into a scarf which appeals to me, and so I decided to cast on a new scarf. 

Lucy has been wearing some of Emma’s scarves out and about, and I realized they are actually better sized for Lucy now, so I thought I would knit Emma a new scarf.  You may think, a scarf, in March, why bother?  It’s almost Spring!  Ah, not so, at least not in Maine where we are expecting another foot of snow…

I also have this little bolero shrug that I need to finish.  It was a really easy project essentially just knitting a rectangle, and then I have to tack the arm holes together.  It is for Emma for Easter, now I just need to find a dress that will go with it – does anyone do that?  Knit something and then look for the main part of the outfit?

As far as my reading, I had a much better month of reading purely based on the amount of time we all spent cuddled on the couch.  You can see all of my February reads here. 

Currently I am reading a fiction book called The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay.  I am about halfway through and enjoying it quite a bit.  A couple of the characters are a little grating on my nerves, but I think that is the purpose of them, and so I am ignoring my feelings and continuing on with the story, hoping that things turn out the way I want them to. 

I started Side Hustle at the beginning of the month, and then pretty much immediately put it down because I needed to be able to concentrate on it, and couldn’t with the kids, so I need to start that again.

The other book on my “to-read” pile right now is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  I bought this book for my husband a few years ago, and have referred to it several times, but haven’t read it all the way through.  I love anything about habits and routines and rhythms, so I think I will like this, plus it has come up a few times on different podcasts I listen to, so I take that as a sign I ought to sit down and read it.

What are you working on this week?

Recent Reads

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Last month I shared my recent reads for the month of January, and I have to say, having that small idea to share the books I read each month definitely kept me accountable to stay on track for my reading goal for 2018 – 100 books read.

I am back today with February’s reads.  As I have gone through my list, I realize that I am a huge fan of non-fiction.  In fact, I think that I more often pick up non-fiction than fiction.  I’m not entirely sure why that is.  Maybe I am in a big self-help phase, or I really connect with memoirs as of late.

Without further ado, here are my February reads.

Home Grown – Ben Hewitt.  I had originally picked this book up because I was planning on taking a homeschool course with the author and one of my favorite bloggers, Heather Bruggeman, on homeschooling.  Unfortunately, the class didn’t pan out, but the book was really quite wonderful.  It was a quick read.  I thought there might be a little more about their version of homeschooling, but there were just snapshots here and there.  I did really enjoy it however, and it reminded me why, so many years ago, I wanted to have my own little homestead to live and work on.  If you are into unconventional you will probably enjoy this book.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling.  This book was one I was reading with the kids, and it was so much fun.  I don’t know how you can go wrong with the Harry Potter series.  My kids loved it, and immediately wanted me to start The Half-Blood Prince, but we are taking a break from the books for a while.  Reading this book aloud with my kids did make them want to start reading the Harry Potter series themselves, so they both started on book one.  Thankfully I have many versions of it found about my house…it makes sharing much easier.

On sale on Kindle for $1.99 right now!

TheYear of Less – Cait Flanders.  I am a sucker for books on minimalism and less stuff, however I find that as a mom of three kids, I often look at the stories of minimalists as unrealistic.  That was not the case with this book.  I loved how she weaved her individual story into the book, and it didn’t make me feel like I was doing something wrong, instead it was motivating.  It is part of the reason that I decided to do another 31 Bags in 31 Days Challenge.  What is truly important in your life?  What is weighing you down, financially, emotionally?  Those are the questions this book made me think about – definitely recommend.

Reading People – Anne Bogel.  This books is all about personality types.  I love anything that talks about my love of the Myers-Briggs (I am an INFJ by the way), and I also love the Ennegram (a 4 here – the Individualist, who would have thought?).  I really started getting into personality types several years ago trying to figure out why I was the way I was.  When I finally realized that being an introvert really means that I get my energy from quiet and solitude and not that it means I am an awkward shy person (I’m not shy, awkward, well, that is debatable), I felt like my life opened up.  Learning the cognitive functions of my Myers-Briggs type really helped me piece together parts of my life, and kind of gave me permission to feel the way I felt.

This book is definitely a great introduction to many different personality types – beyond Myers-Briggs and the Eneagram.  I thought the book was well done, and definitely showed how even if you know your own personality type, you need to also understand that others may have completely different types than you, and you need to react to and interact with them differently, and that is OK.  Definitely recommend if you are interested in delving deeper into the different personality types.

Do Over – Jon Acuff.  I have read one other book by Jon Acuff, Start.  I really liked them both.  Start is about the author’s time working his “dream job” for Dave Ramsey, and Do Over is about when he realized that he was really an entrepreneur at heart, and left the Dave Ramsey organization.  I love business inspirational books, books that will actually get me to act on the decisions that I think about constantly.  Thinking is a big strength of mine, doing, well, that takes a little more time.  But, books like Do Over really get me into the frame of mind that I am the only one holding myself back.  If you are wondering where to go next with your career, or have been contemplating changes but are not quite sure, definitely pick this book up.  There is a lot of encouragement to be had.

My last book is Leadership Education – The Phases of Learning – Oliver and Rachel Demille.  I’m not sure if this is the book you should read first when learning about Thomas Jefferson Education, but it definitely was helpful.  This was the first book I read on this type of schooling philosophy.  I know that Jamie Martin, of, follows a lot of these principals.  I really liked how it was laid out, each phase of learning with not only the education side of things, but how it fits into the family as a whole.  I love to read about different education philosophies, and grab tips from many different schools of thought.  This is a book I had started a while ago on kindle, and it was kind of hard to read with a lot of interruptions.  I think that if I were going to read it again I would want it in print form. 

The premise of the book is that you want to grow leaders, and not let them fall into line in the conveyer belt model of schooling.  This book is geared more towards homeschoolers, but the author really is able to show how any type of education setting (public, private, or homeschool) can incorporate leadership education into their days.  This is definitely a good book to keep on the shelves with many ideas on how to work through each stage of learning.

Recent Reads - February 2018

You may be asking yourself why I only have books listed that I really loved.  Or maybe you do not, but I am going to tell you.  I finally came to the realization that there are so many books to read in the world, that it makes no sense to slog through books that I don’t absolutely love.  My time is too precious for that, and so is yours, so if you pick up a book that I read and don’t love it after the first couple of chapters, put it down and move to something else!

I used to try and get through any book that I started, but that is not the case anymore.

What have you been reading lately?  Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

31 Bags in 31 Days - Day 1

It is here!  The first day of the 31 Bags in 31 Days challenge!  Are you ready?  I certainly am. 

Get rid of 31 Bags of *stuff* in 31 Days - Day 1

This is how the challenge will work.  Each day throughout the month of March your goal is to get rid of one bag of “stuff.”  Now, that bag can be any size you would like.  Some days it may be the size of a grocery store plastic bag, or it could be as big as an outdoor leaf bag.  It doesn’t matter the size of the bag, only that you are working to get rid of the extra that you no longer need.

How do you know what to get rid of?

First off, I would recommend that this challenge is not the challenge to start with going through memory boxes or pictures, or anything sentimental really.  You may realize as you get towards the end of the month that you are at a place to start doing that, but I would focus on the easier stuff, papers, old toys, clothes that no longer work for you or your family; at least at the beginning of this challenge.

Where should you start?

I mentioned in my last post that you should start with trash.  I know that sounds so funny, but it is where you should start.  I am not talking about kitchen trash, although it is always good to get rid of that as well.  I am talking about excess paper, toys that are broken, games missing pieces, pens that no longer work.  We all have a junk drawer, start there. 

While I did say don’t go through the sentimental stuff first, you can start with the drawings and other papers that you have on your fridge right now.  I’m sure there are things that have been there far too long, and you no longer need.  I just noticed that I still had Halloween pictures that Emma made on our large freezer in our entryway…probably can get rid of those now.

As we move throughout the month, I will be checking in here to let you know how my progress is going.  I will also be checking in on Instagram.  I hope that you will join me as we declutter our homes, and get ready for spring cleaning!

What is one area of your home that needs a good decluttering?

Homeschool Day in the Life with ages 9, 7, 3

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I don’t know if it was because I knew we were going to do our day in the life today, or if my body thought 5 hours of sleep was plenty, but I was up at 4am this morning.  Now, I don’t make it a habit to get up this early every day, but I do know that my days go so much better when I do – granted I am about done with life by 7pm!

I thought about going back to bed, but then realized that if I did, I would be mad at myself later, so I dragged myself out of bed.  Thankfully I had set the coffee pot the night before, so I could just turn the coffee on, and away we go! 

When I get up this early I most definitely do not take the dog out.  Nope, no way; I do not want her getting used to me letting her out at 4am…5am…or even 6am to be honest!  So she curls up at my feet and I start on my morning time routine – coffee, Bible, and journaling.

I know that everyone has a different morning routine, and mine can be more involved depending on when I get up, but every morning I read a little of my Bible, journal a little, and drink two cups of coffee.  I know a lot of people like to start with water or tea, but to be honest I just need the caffeine drip in the morning.  I blame my mother.

Because I am up so early this morning I have plenty of time to read the Bible.  I decided a couple weeks ago to try and read through the Bible chronologically, so I am in Job right now.  I also love to use my Write the Word journal – mainly because it is undated which means if I miss a day, I don’t feel badly about it, I can just pick up where I left off.

Since it is now only 5am, I have plenty of time to get a blog post up – something that I have not been very good at in several months.  I have this strong desire to share everything we are doing in order to encourage other moms, but then I realize that my kids have had the flu off and on since Christmas, and I feel a little better about letting things slide.

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It is only 6am, and I decide that the dog has waited long enough.  I put her out, and then I decide that I have enough time to get on the elliptical.  I know everyone loves to rave about working out early in the morning – I hate it.  I have always hated it, and more often than not I will not try to work out so early.  I need a good long time for my body to wake up, and I prefer to workout in the afternoon.  But, since everyone is still asleep, now is as good a time as any.

Surprisingly it is 7:10 and no one is up yet.  This is pretty much unheard of.  My people love to be up early (except Jack, Jack will stay in bed until 8 or 9 most mornings, and I am fine with that).  I decide to use up some bananas that are overripe to make muffins for breakfast.  I get everything put together and then comes my oldest, ready to help get the muffins in the pan, followed by my youngest who is now throwing a fit because I am not making chocolate chip banana muffins.  I cave and the kids put chocolate chips in three of the muffins.  Into the oven they go.

At this point in the morning I try to get everything ready for the day.  I had already made my list in my bullet journal for what we needed to do, and I run through my lesson plans to make sure I know which books we are using. 

As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, Jack comes running down the stairs.  He loves bananas, and proceeds to tell me all the ways he likes to eat bananas.

The kids eat and listen to the latest audio book, Little Britches, and I jump in the shower.

We try to “start school” by 9am, but I am late today, which is funny since I was up at 4am.  Jack is reading Harry Potter and Emma is starting on her math facts practice while I get pot roast in the crock pot for dinner (I don’t watch This is Us in case you were wondering).  Jack also has to do math facts, but he wanted to finish his chapter first.  I haven’t quite figured out how to tell the kids they need to stop reading in order to do something else, and they use that against me a lot of the time.  Both kids use for math facts practice – it is free and I don’t have to have flash cards. 

Our mornings run pretty smoothly and are very much the same day to day except on the day that Emma has saxophone at the elementary school, that day we start school earlier so that we can get most of our school out of the way before we leave for her lesson.

The kids know they need to do Bible, handwriting, math, copywork, and reading.  This doesn’t take all that long, and then once those subjects are done, the kids move on to a break and snacks.  It might take Emma a little longer to work through math, and sometimes we also do spelling and grammar during this time as well, but mostly they are done by 10:30am and then I try to get them outside if it is nice, or they will do Cosmic Kids Yoga or run around like crazy wild children (the last one is pretty much an all-day occurrence).

I use this little break time to make and eat a salad.  I am not one for breakfast (besides my much needed coffee), and usually am reading to the kids during lunch, so this is my unusual meal time.  It works.  I have been eating a mid-morning salad for several years now. 

After snacks and a play break I spend some time reading to the kids.  My kids love to listen to me read books, which is really nice because I love to read to them (also good since we primarily use a literature based curriculum).  We just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yesterday so I don’t have anything new to read to them yet, and decide to read stories to Lucy while Emma and Jack spend some time upstairs playing quietly.

Around noon we make and eat lunch.  I will either continue reading with the kids, or they will listen to an audiobook.  Today it was an audiobook. 

After lunch Emma still has some more school to work on, so she does her reading.  She just started a biography on Helen Keller and reads me some of the interesting parts she finds.  She has a spelling test, but I skip it because it is already quite late, and she spent 30 minutes working on her story this morning, so I figure she gets a pass today.

Jack and Lucy are upstairs playing at this point, thankfully.  I am very blessed that my two youngest have such a good relationship, and that Jack enjoys playing with Lucy while I finish up school with Emma.

Now it is 1:15 and school is officially done for the day.  Typically I will put Lucy down for a nap, but she hasn’t been napping the past few days.  She might really be giving it up for good this time, which definitely worries me since I usually take a self-care quiet time while Lucy naps and the kids have quiet time themselves.

Today Lucy decides she wants to watch a movie.  I put it on for her, she watches about 30 minutes and then is off looking for her dress up clothes and running around upstairs trying to coerce Emma and Jack off of their kindles to play with her.

I essentially get nothing done during quiet time today, nor is it actually quiet.  I try to read some of my book but that is short lived.  I do get a start looking through my Sonlight catalog from last year to figure out what I am going to do next year.

We will be done with school the first week in April this year (the perks of schooling year round), and so I know that I will need to place an order for new books soon.  I’m not quite sure what I am going to do yet, but I am getting there, slowly but surely.

Rest time is done by 3 and then the kids are playing again or listening to audiobooks or podcasts, running around, doing all the things kids do.  I am drinking more coffee because I am so tired!  And I also have to start peeling potatoes and carrots for dinner, although I might assign that task to my budding little chefs.

I had been reading Harry Potter at dinner every night for several weeks, so I need to pick a different book, so for tonight we chat and enjoy each other’s company – at least until Lucy decides that she wants to stand on the table, or when the dog decides she should most definitely lick any food that Lucy allows her to lick, and subsequently eat.

Lucy is in bed at 7 because of no nap.  Emma and Jack are in bed by 8:15, but they tend to read until whenever they fall asleep, it is usually by 9 for both of them, but sometimes Jack likes to stay up very very late reading…

This is just one day of many.  Some days are really quite good, some days we all have poor attitudes and decide to call it a documentary and art day.  In the winter we tend to do a lot more of our seat work.  In the spring and summer our days are spent doing science and more reading. 

I sometimes think that a day in the life is not a long enough time to accurately depict what we do – perhaps I will do a week in the life someday soon and then we can see how it all evens out each week, with good and bad days.  This day was a good day, and for that I am thankful!

What is your biggest challenge during your homeschool day?

My Previous DITL posts -

Homeschool DITL with 3 littles

Homeschool DITL with ages 7, 5, 1

Homeschool DITL with ages 8, 6, 2

Homeschool Day in the Life with ages 9, 7, & 3
Linking up at Homeschool Review Crew

31 Bags in 31 Days

Years ago I did a challenge called 31 Bags in 31 Days.  The premise was a simple one, get rid of one bag of junk from my home each day for the month of March.  The challenge worked out great for me, and I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff that we no longer needed, clothes that could be donated or handed to a friend, toys that were either broken or were no longer age appropriate for my kids, and so much paper.

I did that challenge back at the beginning of 2015, when Lucy was just a few months old.  But, it seems over the years I have let the amount of stuff we accumulate in the home get a bit out of control.

Cultivate simplicity.  That is what I want for you and for me, and so to continue to allow the amount of things into the house that we do is not sustainable, and it is driving me a wee bit mad if I do say so myself.

In order to cultivate simplicity, you always need to be aware of what you are allowing to fill the space, whether it is in your physical space, or in the emotional space you keep.

Clutter will affect both your mental state and the state of your home.

When you see so much clutter around your home, what happens?  Do you get overwhelmed and not know where to start?  Do you go on a rampage and just try to get rid of everything?

I experiment with both of those extremes.  Partly you want everything put away nice and neat, and partly you want to become a minimalist.

Where is the balance? 

As homeschoolers we have a lot more time to be in and around our stuff than most people do.  I’m not saying that homeschoolers are the only ones that deal with clutter, absolutely not.  But, we are the ones that deal with everything being clean for about five minutes until another project needs to be worked on pretty much all day every day.

The number of art projects you can have drying on the counters at any one moment can fill up all the space leaving no room for appliances or a spot to chop vegetables for dinner.  Or the sheer number of books that are on one of the kids can be overwhelming.

The first step in all of this is to change your thinking. 

We live and work in our homes on a daily basis, and that means that the items that we have on our shelves, in the kids’ rooms, in homeschool rooms, art bins; they will all be coming out repeatedly in a given week.  Even if you leave your home every afternoon to run errands, go to extracurricular activities, or a co-op, the bulk of your day will still be at home.

It took me a long time to realize that difference, and to be OK with it.

When you are a stay at home mom, you often feel pressure to keep up appearances of a beautiful space, whether they are outside pressures, or they are internal pressures. 

I have gone through stages of trying to keep my house always “hospitality ready” and let me tell you, it is impossible.  If you show up at my home, there will most likely be dishes in the sink, and toys on the floor, and please don’t even go upstairs into my kids’ bedroom (or mine for that matter), but I will have coffee and tea, and probably muffins.

Challenge accepted - Get rid of 31 Bags in 31 Days

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the challenge.

Why 31 bags in 31 days?

I went back and forth as to whether we should attempt challenge for Lent.  Honestly, I have spent so much time over the past few months getting rid of stuff that I wasn’t sure we would have enough to get rid of.  But we have a lot of stuff still, and it is still very visible (mostly because of the lack of closets), and so, we decided on a March challenge again, and hope you will join us.

Each day, starting on the first day of March, your goal is to get rid of one bag of stuff.  It doesn’t need to be trash (although that would be a great place to start).  It could be a donation bag.  In fact, donating as much as you can is probably the best option.  It keeps stuff out of landfills, and gives it a second life.

The bag can be any size you want, a grocery store bag, a trash bag, or one of those huge leaf bags, each day can be different, as long as you are trying to get rid of one bag each day.  That is the goal; to release the pressure of taking care of so much stuff can have on your life.

I am going to be posting my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #31bagsin31days – so I would love for you to join me! 

Do you struggle with clutter in your home?  Have you been able to let go of the feelings of “not tidy enough?”

knitting and reading

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It has been almost a year since I last did a knitting and reading post.  And actually, it has been about that long since I have been knitting as well.  Knitting is something that I really love, but I could not seem to find time to work it into my schedule.  It was a season.  

Now, with Ginny starting the yarnalong again, I realized that I missed those posts of knitting and reading, so I am going to try and post those a little more frequently.

Currently I am knitting a scarf with a really lovely dark pink yarn.  With all the cold we have been having this winter in Maine, the more scarves and cowls and hats we have the better!  

The yarn has a really nice texture to it, and has been a joy to knit with.  I had started this scarf ages ago, and then put it down after not too much progress, I found it in my somewhat small pile of unfinished projects, complete with an index card where I had copied out the pattern - so I have no idea where I got this pattern, but it is quite easy to pick up and knit a few rows at a time, which is always the way I need to knit it seems.

Lucy liked it so much that two days ago she decided to pull the needles out and unravel some stitches.  Thankfully there wasn't too much damage and I was able to pick it back up easily enough.  It was then that I remembered why I had stopped knitting last year - the addition of a new puppy as well as a then 2 year old was pretty much a recipe for disaster when it came to my knitting.

As for my book reading goes, I wrote a whole post about the books I read last month.  But, I do have a couple books going now.

First up is my umpteenth time through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I love Harry Potter, and was really excited this year when my kids wanted me to read it to them.  Of course they came to it at different times, so I was almost always reading two books at once, and it was driving me crazy!  But, we finally are now all caught up together.  It has been quite a while since I have read completely through the series, and I am enjoying it as much, if not more than the kids.

My husband got me the second book, which I haven't quite started beyond the introduction - Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days.  I absolutely love business books, probably why I majored in business and economics in college, but having the ability to work for myself has been a huge game changer in my life over the past eight years, and I always like to read about little tips and encouragement.  Definitely looking forward to getting through this.

As for my entertainment, my new taproot magazine came in the mail yesterday.  I really love this magazine, partly because there are no ads, partly because it is so pretty, and partly because it has so many useful articles in it!  I still knit from the mittens pattern that was in one of the earliest issues.  If you don't subscribe, you definitely should!  Or see if they have it at the library!

I am looking forward to linking up at the yarnalong today!  What are you knitting and reading at the moment?