School Is Cool!

comments: 55











We made it! We made it through the first week of school, and it was seriously awesome. I could not be happier, and Amelia is over the moon. She's asking to do school on Saturday and Sunday. How sweet is that. It's so much better than I expected. I haven't felt this much peace in ages. Our teacher came over on Wednesday. I could've sat and talked to her for hours. She's just so cool. Amelia can definitely stay enrolled in her school and participate in the school's distance learning, and this was such a huge relief to me. I didn't even know how big of a relief it would be until the moment of confirmation, and then I literally felt a weight lift. Her teacher said that they would have a Zoom meeting every morning and then have both computer assignments and assignments that she could do in an actual notebook. Group cheer! Let me just say, and those of you who have computer experience and small children right now know, it is trippy to watch them navigate the mouse and, like, place and resize objects (like stars and hearts) on their selfies, and write with pen tools, and just do stuff like that. I mean — does that not totally blow your mind? I definitely didn't teach her to do that. I think it's wonderful. Watching her morning meetings, seeing all the little kids on the screen wiggling, falling off their chairs, looking so much older, with their sweet little bedheads and their kittens and their bowls of breakfast cereal, my heart overflows with love for all of them, and I realize that I have missed seeing them all so much. I used read with many of them as a volunteer in the classroom every week. Since Mimi is in a 1st/2nd grade split class, half of the kids are the same from last year and I know them. The other half are new first graders, and we know some of them, too. They're all just so sweet and cute and wonderful. The teacher asks them to un-mute themselves, one by one, and tell everyone their favorite color. The second kid to go says "turquoise" and then at least half of the class follows by also saying turquoise. :) I text Andy as I'm watching, See, this is why they need this. They need each other, even if it's only on-screen right now. This is real, these windows of life, too. They are in this together.

After her class meets at 8:30 every morning, we then go into the dining room and do circle time, and then we start Queen Anne's Lace Homeschool. We've been drawing, printing, doing cursive, playing the recorder, painting, reading, and learning to crochet. Today Andy did social studies and science with her. Math starts next week. Also French (were using Muzzy BBC).  We worked on crochet for the first time yesterday. It's part of the Oak Meadow curriculum. It was your basic disaster. She got super angry when she couldn't make a foundation chain. I watched her hands and thought, "Hmmm, yeah, this is too hard. Her left hand is not coordinated enough to hold the chains and the working yarn, and she can't make her right hand manipulate the hook at the same time. It's okay. We'll try again another time, maybe in a few months." She was so mad she threw the hook across the room and then sobbed. I was cool — it's okay, honey, it's hard, it takes a lot of practice — and we put it away and went on with the day. And then last night after I got back downstairs after putting her to bed I found on the sofa her yarn and hook and a foundation chain of about seventy-five chains that she had done quietly while I was making dinner. She didn't even say anything. I couldn't believe it! And that moment was a gift that I'll never forget, and I think it will be a good metaphor for this year. Note to self: Don't underestimate this kiddo. She will surprise you!

Took the kitten to the vet today. The way they do it is that you come to the office, call when you get to the parking lot, they come out and get your animal and take it in, and then the doctor calls you after the exam. The doctor was adorable. I don't remember his name but I've never met him. He was gushing about Agatha: "Oh my gosh, she is adorable! She's just so cute, she has such a cute face, I mean it's like round, but fluffy, and it's just so cute! Everyone was freaking out she was so sweet. She let me do my whole exam without any problem. She's adorable!" I was laughing. He gave me the report (she's healthy, but has a slight heart murmur). At the end he goes, "Okay, they'll bring her out soon. The girls are taking selfies with her right now." Ha!

Such a proud mama of all my little girls!


Thank you for this beautiful post. It was a gift that I needed very much. Your happiness just spilled over. Thank you.

Reading this made me smile. The early years of homeschooling are such a gift. I guess, really it is the early years of childhood. Mine are 5th and 6th grade and there is a shift. I need to adapt to them, now. I'm all about bunnies and leaves and stars and Beatrix Potter. They are moving on. Sigh. I will try to keep up. Enjoy these precious early elementary years with your girl.


A lovely happy post, so glad home schooling is working out for you all.
A question: can you tell me the name of that glorious plant creeping all around your front door please - the photo with Mimi in it. Is it a type of hydrangea? I love that photo by the way, it makes me want to sit on that step for a while.

Wow, what a great update. I can hear the enthusiasm and peacefulness, and most of all the SATISFACTION that comes from a things working out as well as you’d hoped. Happy for you and your crew!

I was so happy to read this! I am a homeschool Mama of 3 kiddos and I just loved reading your excitement for what you were doing and how Andy was helping. I smiled at how Mimi got angry with trying to crochet, oh dear, we all do this when we are frustrated at learning new things. Thank you for writing. I always love to see your posts in my feed.

Kristen from MA says: September 04, 2020 at 08:13 PM

So glad that school is working out for all of you. Also, don’t be too concerned about the heart murmur. Obviously you need to follow her vet’s advice, but I had a dog with a heart murmur and it never bothered him. It’s not always a major issue.

I am so glad for all of these good things! May they continue to flourish!

Your happy has rubbed off on to me . . .
My final read of the day, night has me
thinking of your excitement , hope, fun
learning and surprise . . .
You can count on your gal . . . she carries on!
Happy school year!

I’m so glad it’s going so well! We’ve been letting our second-grader do Minecraft in the same “world” over Zoom while chatting with his best friend— this summer— and I can tell how much they both need it. His best friend is about to be a big brother but right now is an only child, and ours is the youngest of four but is so, so much younger than the other three. I watch these little guys interacting and am glad they have the practice for when they’re back with other littles one way or another this fall, because it’s so different from being with parents or much older siblings. The warmth, the disagreements, the hilarious little-boy puffery. :) I’m so glad Amelia has her classmates. And Agatha sounds like such a love!! She is so cute! They both are, :)

I'm happy to hear everything is working out better than you expected. Amelia is so young that I'm sure that's why she's adapting so well. And you are adapting with her! Have a peaceful weekend. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Well done Amelia, the school set up sounds brilliant. And so much variety in the learning, I love that. I did the same vet routine with Bertie, my little cockapoo. Oh how he hates the vets. As soon as he got out of the car and realised where he was he started shaking. But he was so brave, and sat in the car park and waited while I walked away and the vet came to get him. She had to carry him in though!

Honestly I cried when I read this because it's just so lovely. Thank you for sharing ... and please tell Amelia that I cried when I was learning to crochet too. And I was 40 years old!! Clearly she's going to be making blankets for your sweet kitten in no time. Re your vet - how adorable and how lovely that people are connecting so sincerely and wholeheartedly during COVID ... It's so encouraging! x Pip

I love every bit of this!

BTW, I am 61 and still have not been able to learn crochet - Brava to your sweet girl.

What a wonderful story! I am so glad this is working out for your daughter (and her parents!). I hope this experience continues to go so well for you all. Looking forward to reading more as you move through the school year!

I'm so glad school is going well!! That is exciting and the crochet story made my heart nearly burst! My college student came home in March and starting knitting up a storm to deal with it all. She learned as a youngster and never really stuck with it. When she went back to campus a few weeks ago, she sent me a first day of school photo (albeit in her room in a Zoom class), her knitting was in the background. It made me so happy. Your kitten is indeed adorable! I feel like I've seen her on the cover of a Golden Book. :-) I don't know about you, but the parking lot vet consultations are not my favorite. I don't like talking on the phone -- I always feel like I'm bothering the person on the other end so I rush through the conversation...not a good trait when it comes to dealing with my pets' somewhat extensive health issues. I need to get over it. ;-) Take care! Have fun with school and Miss Agatha!

Wonderful start to my Saturday to read this. As always, so heartwarming. Thank you.

charlotte m. says: September 05, 2020 at 07:22 AM

I was that kid, Like Amelia. Show me how to do it. I get frustrated, then go back later when nobody is watching and figure it out. She's a smart girl.

Good morning Alicia, I love your blog! When I see it on my email list I get my coffee and sit down to have a visit with a good friend. Your posts are always so heartwarming, thoughtful, and the anecdotes charming. Listening in a on regular basis to your daily life is a bright spot and a welcome respite. The photos are beautiful. A huge pat on the back for continuing and brightening so many readers days including mine. Thank you for sharing life with us!

So glad your first week of homeschooling went well. I have to admit I'm a little jealous that when I began homeschooling we didn't have Iphones because you will be able to capture so many more memories and special photos then I did. Of course having a blog helps with that as well I'm sure. :) But I do look back and wish I had taken more photos. And even though everyday or week won't be perfect -- having those photos will help to remind you of the days that did go well. I think even putting them in those "chatbooks" I've been hearing about -- is a great idea. I may just have to go and hunt old photos and artwork and to that too. :)

Love the kitty cat cookies. They are adorable!!!! And Agatha sounds like the best kitten ever!!!

I love Amelia's perseverance to learn to crochet. She sees something that her mom enjoys and even though she got mad at first -- to quietly go and work it out shows character and determination. That is wonderful!!! Have a great labor day weekend!!!

You tell Amelia, I have thrown both knitting projects and sewing projects. There’s nothing wrong with that. ; )

What a lovely post, how encouraging!
And I loved your IG post today, "...I'm laying on the couch now, but I did make ravioli a week ago..."
Enjoy your well-earned lazing.

Debra Marsh says: September 05, 2020 at 09:55 AM

I am so intrigued by the Queen Ann curriculum. Crochet is my love, I learned as a little girl from my grandma - and was expert at chain stitching - that's all I could do - or pursued (not sure which) until I was much older. I love the story of her coming back to it, and not mentioning it. Yes, indeed - never underestimate them. In fact, my daughter, now 21, bought a chalk board and chalk pens - and drew the most beautiful hand-lettered fall decor sign, as if she was expert in calligraphy! I was astonished! I've always been crafty, and tried to imprint that on her as a child - so am happy to see that it has stuck to some extent. Love your work, IG, and blog.

Congratulations on a successful re-entry for Amelia and a launch for your new kitten. Enjoy this fabulous season.

The kitten story was too cute. I once took my dog to the vet, and they took him back to do something, I forget what. I could just hear murmuring through the wall, and then suddenly muffled cheering. Then more murmuring, and more cheering. When the vet brought my dog back, he *pranced* through the door, and she said "He's so cute! He did all his tricks for us!"

Alicia, you are such a bright spot in my day. Thank you for sharing your life with us all :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at