Archive by Author | anne_sokol

Homeschooling 2020, 9th grade

I want to write down what we’re doing this year because experience tells me I will just forget it all 😉

I”m going to write about doing 9th grade with the girls.

I suddenly decided to do block classes. Which means, we’re doing less classes for double the time. Instead of doing chemistry for an hour a day all year, we’re doing it for 2 hours a day for a semester.

And geometry. 2 lessons/day, and they’ll be done in October/November.

And I scheduled Health class (online) to be daily from Sept to December.

So, three block classes.

Bible, I’m keeping that going all year– it’s a program that needs to be spaced out for assimilation. We do this three days/week.

Art– we do 2-3 hours a week. This week was 2.5 hours of pottery! Yippee 🙂

So here’s hoping we survive and thrive through 9th grade 😉 <3

I also want to mention the Guest Hollow Chemistry in the Kitchen class we’re taking. It has great books to read, lots of youtube videos to watch, and easy/neat experiments to do in the kitchen. I’m very pleased with it.

This is a neat book that I would not have the discipline/desire to read if it weren’t for this class. It’s just fascinating, how things like Vitamin C deficiency impacted the exploration of the world. Immensely. And how gold influenced history! And salt! and sugar! Really, it is simply fascinating.

Fitness 2020: baby steps

One reason I’m glad I go to Curves to work out is that just being there motivates me to take care of myself. It IS caring for myself, in that I exercise there, but also, just being in that atmosphere motivates me to care for myself.

So, a few days back, one of the trainers bugged me into doing their 21-day marathon (it’s an eating program for 21 days). I’ve done them before. I’ve done their Food School, which is even more educational and intense (weekly meetings, information, etc).

So I agreed and paid for the marathon. Then I wasn’t really happy I did that, and didn’t have energy to open up the info and look it over. Homeschooling just saps so much energy somehow.

But the night before I was to start, something bumped me to do open up the files, and so I did. I bought the stuff I’d need for the Day 1 menu.

So now I’m finishing Day 2, and I’m actually really glad I’m doing this. I’m not hormonally, emotionally glad. Just factually glad. I’m doing it. It’s good.

Here are my measurement results for today, Sept 3, 2020:

Body fat, for example, was 36.4 in March, 2020, and today it’s 36.5. My muscle percent was 28 in March, and now 28.3.

I’m happy that I’ve generally been holding OK these months of quarantine, summer, travel.

Also, I weigh like 165, and what I’m glad about that is that my “normal” weight used to be 175. I’ve spent most of my life around 175 lbs; my body always pulled that number. But now I’ve moved what I feel “normal” in down to 165. I feel normal at 165. I’m hoping to lower that ingrained perception of what is my normal weight, but I want to acknowledge the progress I’ve made.

Along those lines, I want to say how thankful I am that I have worked hard on keeping my weight down. I have done this very imperfectly and with such stops, starts, spurts. I’m thankful for what I’ve been able to maintain. It has not come easily.

It helped when when I accepted that I will not have a smooth linear downward weight loss, then a flat horizontal maintenance. I will quit, be de-motivated, be re-motivated, start again and again and again. It’s OK.

About my percent of body fat, Healthline.com gives these guidelines:

For women, an “acceptable” level of body fat is 25-31%. A “fitness” level is 21-24% body fat. They quote another sources based on age says that women aged 40-59 (I’m currently 44) should be in the 23-33% range. So I’m thankful that I’m close to “acceptable.” It would be nice to get into the “fitness” range, but I’m not sure I want or will be able to do that.

For muscle mass, the same site says that a woman 36 to 55 years old, should have a muscle mass of 29-31%. Wow, at 28%, I’m not too far from this– and for this I am also thankful.

Healthy visceral fat is under 13.

So, there we go.

midlife crisis: resolution

So, I’ve had a series about my “midlife crisis,” which for me has been a process of saying good-bye to some of the dreams I imagined being and doing and embracing the life I really have.

Congratulations, Me, I really like my life as it is! I can think about my unfulfilled dreams without pain and with appreciation that I haven’t lived that life by choice, and that I have a fulfilling joy about the life that I do have.

It’s been a long, wonderful journey of about 6 years, coming through all of this. I am thankful for the Lord’s leading, I’m thankful for His will for my life.

Also, I’m ready to embrace one of the major tasks of Older Life, as expressed so well by Marcia Sommerville in her book, Love the Journey:

One of my essential tasks for this time period is to maintain a loving, close, intimate relationship with God.

Her expression of that task has helped me not lose my bearings while I’m in this Long Middle of the journey– where neither the beginning nor the end is in view.

Thank You, God. You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake.

God’s motion, home school conference

So I wanted to record these two things. After many years of *holding* the idea of doing a conference for homsechooling moms, God made definite motions to initiate and fulfill the plan.

In the early days of taking steps of faith, He encouraged me with two places from Scripture.

One, I was reading the story of Samson, and while I dearly hope that God saves me from Samson’s moral failure and apparent lack of heart to glorify God, I was touched by the Spirit’s coming upon him to accomplish supernatural acts.

So, this conference is not a supernatural act, but 1. I want supernatural things to happen in our hearts, things that only God’s Spirit can do, and 2. I want to not work in my own power to plan this, but to work in the Spirit’s power. So Samson’s story impressed this aspect upon me.

Also, I was touched by Jesus’ words, when He dried the fig tree and the disciples wondered about it, and then He said, “Have faith in God…. Truly I tell you, if anyone says …., and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

This encouraged me because I know that God Himself it urging this conference to be done, and I am asking with my *hands off* and wanting with a clear heart to do His plan.

Fitness 2020: shifting identities

I heard or read someone not long ago saying that one needs to be flexible with one’s own identity– because they can come and go.

So I’ve been inspired to lose more weight and get back to the shape I was in back in 2016. I’m not very fat right now, for which I’ve learned to be thankful. That is, instead of just being dissatisfied with my appearance, I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have been able to maintain to date. It’s been a lot of work and effort.

But along with “getting in shape again,” I’m trying to actually change my identity this time. Let me explain:

When I got way in shape (back in 2016), it felt a little strange, like it wasn’t me, like it wasn’t my real body. Like, I’ve always been overweight, not a muscular, thin person. So, having a muscular, thin body was strange to me. It wasn’t normal. It was something that constantly surprised me.

So I’m trying, this time, to also shift my identity, from someone that is always slightly overweight to someone that is thin, fit, active, etc.

Our recent trip to the Carpathians Mtns helped me with this– it was fun being able to climb steep mountains and feel myself in good physical shape.

So I’m trying mentally to shift my image of myself–that Anne is a middle-age, super-in-shape homeschooling mom. 🙂

Being married to Vitaliy helps, as he is very active and has been from youth. He’s always taking us on active outings.

So anyway, this is one of my current threads in life.

week 2, progress

This week we finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We were doing a chapter a day, but about Tuesday, we got curious about how it would end, so we read the last three chapters to find out.

Una really amazes me. She loves “school,” well, what SHE means by school, which is basically doing pages in her math book and copying letters.

I’m surprised by her progress in writing because of her interest. She’s been writing her numbers a lot, learning from 0 – 20 in math, so she has fewer and fewer backwards numbers.

Her English letters are getting better, too, from all her copying.

Andre was supposed to start dictation this week, but I realized that he is not ready at all for hearing words out loud and trying to write them down, so we’re doing copy work instead.

We had the option of making a paper mache mummy, but I didn’t get that together– we did the flora and fauna of Egypt booklets. But we watched youtube videos about mummification and the monuments in Egypt. And Vika did a fast wrap-job on them both with TP, so they were “mummified.” However, we left the brains and internal organs in place, ha ha.

flora i fayna drevnego Egipta

флора и фауна древнего Египта

Теперь я хочу отправиться в круиз по Нилу.

Итак, для географии на этой и следующей неделе мы делаем небольшую книгу о растениях и животных древнего Египта. Вот несколько страниц Андрея.

Некоторое время я задавался вопросом, что такое «лук-порей». Теперь я знаю немного больше: он из семейства луковых, его сложно мыть, вы едите более светлые части – более темные, например, можно использовать в качестве приправы для бульона.

Папирус использовался для многих вещей в Египте!

Я был удивлена сегодня подумать на сколько их богов, искусства, и идей объединяет человека с животными. Как сфинкс, имеющий лицо человека, тело льва. Плюс многие из их богов имеют лицо животного на теле человека. Очень интересно их культуре. Я собираюсь посмотреть, делали ли это тоже другие древние культуры.

Falcon на самом деле означает нашу фамилию на русском языке. Falcon= Сокол. В Древнем Египте были культы соколов. Сокол был частью бога Хоруса.

Я счастлива, что Андрей, кажется, наслаждается всеми этими поделками, как и Юна – как и я! Я люблю учиться делая что-то руками. Я жду, когда Виталий совершит поездку в село, чтобы он принес нам глину, грязь и солому, чтобы мы могли сделать и испечь (в солнце) кирпич, как те, которые используются в их огромных постройках.

Вот Андрей в какой-то древней маске (я думаю, майя) из нашей книги рукоделя из музея Метрополитена.

Он также изучает местоимения и начинает диктовку на этой неделе.

flora & fauna of ancient Egypt

I want to go on a cruise down the Nile now, ya’ll. Sheesh.

So for geography this week and next, we’re making a little book of the plants and animals of ancient Egypt. Here are some of Andre’s pages.

I have wondered for a while what a “leek” is. Now I know a bit more: It’s from the onion family, it’s challenging to wash, you eat the lighter parts–the darker parts, one can use as soup stock flavoring, for example.

Papyrus was used for a LOT of stuff in Egypt!

I was surprised today to realize how much of their gods, art, ideas …combined human with animal forms. Like the sphinx having the face of a person, the body of a lion. Plus many of their gods having an animal face on a human body. Very interesting to their culture. I’m going to see if other ancient cultures also did this.


Falcon is actually the meaning of our last name in Russian. Sokol = Falcon. Ancient Egypt had falcon cults. The falcon was part of the god Horus.

I’m happy that Andre seems to enjoy all these crafts, as does Una– as do I! I love all this hands-on stuff. I’m waiting for Vitaliy to make a trip to the village so he can bring us back clay, dirt, and straw, so we can make and sun-bake a brick, like the ones used in their enormous constructions.

Andre in some ancient mask (I think Mayan) from our Metropolitan Museum Art Activities book.

He’s also learning about pronouns and starting dictation this week.

Egyptian paddle doll and game

I’d never heard of this game– 9 Men’s Morris. It’s an old game from Egyptian time– still played today. We made this from an art museum book and learned the rules and he played several times. There are YouTube videos explaining how to play it.

With Una, we made an Egyptian paddle doll.

Yegipteckaya igra i kukla

Египетская игра и кукла

Сегодня мы занимались рукоделием.

Андрей очень понравился сделать эту игру и учить, как ее играть. (На ютуб есть инструкции об этом.)

Старая игра– “мельница” (9 Men’s Morris)

Юне понравилась сделать куклу из египетской культуры.