to senegal


radianceGirl, my firstborn, is on the other side of the atlantic.
she has run on the shores of what could possibly her ancestral homeland.
she has sucked on salt from lac rose.
she has seen africans in their cosmopolitan glory.
she has looked through the door of no return.

she has been given the gift and challenge
of memorizing the Quran
in a blessed spiritual home of the tijani sufi order.

we miss her..her presence, singing, energy,
and the way she danced around the kitchen
as she added an aromatic slew of spices
to whatever she cooked
with elegant flicks of her wrist.

but this is the time for her to do hard things,
and rise to this challenge
which we pray will be her life’s foundation
from which we expect her to
begin to understand her strengths and weaknesses,
and start to use her talents in the service of Allah and humanity.

automatons and music makers

this is only our second time there,
but i really like KID museum.
my girls are always engaged during the classes
and they always come home with a project
that is a manifestation of their focus and efforts.

at this most recent homeschool workshop
signGirl made an automaton
— a device that uses cams, cranks, gears and axles to make it move —
from cardboard and other art supplies.


prayerGirl was in the wood shop
(i love it when kids use tools)
making musical instruments out of everyday materials.


all the while,
goodNewsGirl enjoyed the marble run in the play area.

i can’t wait to see what other ways
KID museum will help homeschoolers
“explore the world and invent the future”.

exploring portraiture at artReach

during the fall 2015 session at ArtReach
students explored portraiture,
learned about eight community leaders
and then created unique portraits of them.

here were just a few that my daughters had a hand in:


these portraits, student’s self portraits,
along with those of a few historical figures,
were on display at a fabulous exhibit last december.


ArtReach always seems to come up with
artful ways to strengthen community ties.
the community portrait project
will be going back on display in the ArtReach gallery
in February and, i’m told, will travel to
the corcoran school of the arts
a little later in the year.

classic egg challenge

when you come to homeschool day at the navy museum
you get access to a small collection of experiments & projects
within an area of study.

this past december,
signGirl decided to do the classic egg challenge with a twist:
design something using either
all pipe cleaners
or all paper
that will protect an egg if dropped from 50 feet (or so).

this was signGirl’s creation.


her egg ended up like humpty dumpty…

but, it’s the problem-solving design process that matters most.
i’m sure we’ll encounter this challenge again.