NaNoWriMo

November is NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month! Alongside my writing students, I have challenged myself to write a novel during these 30 days. Our goal is 25,000 words, which is the young adult version. (If I get really crazy I’ll try to reach 50,000). Is anyone else out there doing this? Have you done it before? Please share your stories! And don’t worry if I disappear this month: I’m just up here in my office, with co-sleeping bed hed, notebook and pen in hand, while my happy children run wild and free!

Studying Japan

In spite of a whole collection of challenges, this has been one of my very favorite weeks of homeschooling — studying Japan in all sorts of ways! We read “The Old Man Mad About Drawing,” a story about Hokusai the famous artist. We painted Japanese characters using a sumi-e ink block and learned to recognize a few symbols. We watched “My Neighbor Totoro” and a documentary about Japan. We read “The Big Wave” by Pearl S. Buck and ate sushi for dinner. Now if only we could squeeze in a little field trip to Japan . . .