I took a bunch of photos today, and here they are. I don't have a lot to say. I started out the day with a sad feeling in my heart and I just can't shake it.

'A' and I played outside today while 'H' took her nap. We had a good time. Today we had trouble walking around because the snow was heavy and icy on the top and deep and fluffy underneath, so as we walked around the yard, we sunk straight down! We spent a lot of time sitting down and building little houses.

Dinner last night was YUMMY! We had squash, black bean, spinach and goat cheese burritos. It was hearty and very tasty. Here is the recipe - straight from Martha Stewart:


Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 package (10 ounces) frozen cooked winter squash, thawed
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 flour tortillas (10-inch)
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup store-bought salsa, plus more for serving


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, garlic, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add squash, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in beans and spinach. Cook until warmed through, 4 to 6 minutes; season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Stack tortillas, and wrap in a double layer of damp paper towels; microwave until hot, about 2 minutes. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spoon goat cheese, then salsa in a line down center of each tortilla.

Spoon bean mixture on top of salsa. Fold side of tortilla closest to you over filling, then fold right and left sides in toward center; tightly roll up burrito. Cut burritos in half, and serve with more salsa.

I'm sad today because when I dropped 'A' off at preschool, the teacher was taking some time to sit down with each child and see if he or she could write their name. All of the children are 3, with the exception of one girl, who is 4. If any of those children were actually able to write their name in its entirety with no assistance (very few were able to, and 'A' was not one of them, I am happy to say), it was because their parents taught them how to do it. So, instead of testing these little kids and asking them to perform on the spot, why not just sit down with each parent and ask all of us if we teach our children how to write their name? Isn't that what this is really testing?

This was Phase 2 of the "evaluations." Phase 1 was last month, when the teacher sat down with each child and asked them to identify some colors. 'A' loves pointing out different colors - so far she's been introduced to little more than the basic rainbow colors, and for now it's enough. Over the past few months she's picked up on hues, so she can look at something that is dark pink and another that is light pink and see the difference. She learns this stuff by observing and then asking me about it. So, guess what happened when the teacher asked her about the colors? Her answers were either "I don't know" or she said the wrong color. Talk about an aversion to performing and being tested! This kid does what she wants to do, when she wants to do it. And I think that is a very natural thing for a child. WHO CARES if she's able to identify a bunch of colors? Don't you think that taking some time to watch her observe something and come up with her own conclusions is a better indicator of how her brain is functioning than quizzing her on color swatches?

Sorry to unload like this. It just makes me feel very sad and empty when I run into stuff like this.

Part of what makes me so crazy about how she's supposed to be educated is that I really want her to have a wonderful life experience, I want her to grow into a wise, mindful, giving, happy person, and I want her to always find joy in learning and growing. And I don't see how some of what is called "education" is going to help her on that life path. I'm not concerned about whether or not she learns enough to get into college or get a good job. She will learn enough, and then some. 'H' too. Both of my girls come from very intelligent families and I have no doubt that they will turn out to be well-read, learned, critical thinkers. I just want their path to be enjoyable.

And appropriate for their individual personalities.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!