Projects Projects

I’ll let you know what I’m working on.

  1. I’m researching how best to teach reading. Fascinating that whole Whole Word – Phonics war. So much of the history and psychology of writing is involved, and then throw your own toddler and her talents and interests into the mix. I love a complex challenge!
  2. In advance of my making up my mind about the letter vs. sound approach, Amie and I started a consistent project with the sounds-letters she already recognizes: a, b, g, m, o, s, and t. We’re having a blast! The moment the fuller than full memory card on my camera can be emptied, I’ll take a picture of our “Corridor Project”.
  3. Two weeks ago we inaugurated the cash box. At the end of the month we were always shocked to find that we had saved nothing. Where did it all go? So we are taking out $200 in cash a week and from that pay for our food, gas and small purchases (so not the fixed costs like mortgage, electricity, cable, etc.). It is so much easier to see it going-going-gone. Two weeks now we’ve made it!
  4. I’m writing the final chapters of my novel, the ones where everything comes together. It’s so exciting, too exciting sometimes. But Amie has been home sick all week, so I haven’t been able to work all week. The suspense is killing me!
  5. I’m dreaming again of the ole homestead… but keeping it small: a little structure to build. What will be its function (live there, guest space, study, workshop, kids’ house), structure (how big, how many floors, windows, what kind of roof and floor), materials (I’m leaning towards cob), energy source (solar, wind, composting toilet). We don’t have any land yet to build it on, but we’re looking! I got the magical Home Work Handbuilt Shelter book from the library and will accidentally leave it on the kitchen table to once more entice DH to share the dream.

Cover of Home Work, Handbuilt Shelter

I’ll report on all of these (but 4) soon!

Join the Conversation


  1. What great timing for me! I want to build a small structure in our yard and this looks like a great book to investigate. Thanks. I am also so impressed that you are at the end of a novel! Didn’t you just start that? I am going to try the one month novel challenge this year, some time…

    About the reading – one of mine didn’t get any training at all. All we did was read, a lot, every day. He started reading on his own at four and now reads and rereads large chapter books like Harry Potter. So you may not need to decide. My other boy read at 8 and did use some phonics. He really did benefit from not being pushed at all. Not that you asked! : )

  2. Hi Madeline,
    I know about your addition and I can’t wait to see what you decide and what you will make of it!
    I’ve been working on the novel (part-part-time) for quite a while now, about 8 months. I’m still having fun and my intrepid readers are still having fun too!
    About the reading, I should write some more on Amie and reading soon. She has expressed interest but I am cautious not to force her, to let her find her own pace. We’ll see how she guides me. In the meantime, as always, I want to be prepared. The prospect of Harry Potter books is quite daunting!

  3. Fortunately Montessori schools are very popular (and consequently very common) both in South Africa and here in Ireland.

    You can really tell the difference between children who have been schooled using the Montessori approach and those that have not. The former are more confident, generally more secure and know their own mind to a far greater degree than the latter.

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