{ Like an Eye-Opening Ride Through An Undiscovered Village}

alexander-sinn-DX5r6BNoWVE-unsplashWe are studying similes and we are trying to avoid the trite cliches that are “as old as the hills”, so we are making up our own. Everyone chose five abstract nouns and wrote two similes for each one. I thought these were some of the best:

 

  • He felt freedom like a feather in the open air.
  • Hatred melted away like a stream in the spring.
  • Reality is like a punch in the face. 
  • Forgiveness is like a safety net.
  • The crime was as big as a bonfire.
  • His anger was like a house-eating wildfire.
  • He was as dishonest as a killdeer.
  • Their romance was like a budding flower — ever changing.
  • His anger bubbled up like a volcano.
  • Accepting defeat is like trying to know somebody you’ve never met.
  • His adventure was as fun as a ride at ValleyFair.
  • The moonlit snow sparkled like a thousand tiny jewels.
  • Jealousy is like hair loss; it might take someone else to point it out.
  • He was as calm as a painting.
  • His hatred was as hot as a burning furnace.
  • Music is like a therapy session.
  • He was as fast as a full-grown cheetah in the desert.
  • The lion’s power was like a legion of angry dragons.

 

“Reading these similes was like an eye-opening ride through  an undiscovered village.” — Me

Feather photo by Alexander Sinn

Crazy Like a Fox

Crazy Like A Fox Simile Story

Similes Dictionary    |        Figures of Speech Poster   You’re Toast  – Metaphors

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{ Seasonal Me }

After a sun-robbed

Bone-bitten

Blanket-wrapped

Winter —

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I’m always ready for an Early Spring.

groundhog day

I’m an April snow-be-gone

Window-hoisting

Clutter-banishing gal

But wait – did someone say “Garage Sale?”

Drinking vernal sun

Through white Nordic skin

I’m an impatient trail-trekker

Lake-walker

Eager for

Jean-jacketed

Picnics-at-parks.

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I’m a teacher-on-summer-recess

Swimming-lesson-spectator-mom

An eye-on-the-sky weather-watching

Clothesline-addicted

August-birthday-babe.

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School? Already?

Pondering plans

While I’m apple-picking

Pickle-packing

Toes-in-dirt

Garden-gathering until

First frosty flakes.

Goodnight, garden.

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I’m a dark morning errand runner

Defying slick roads

Stocking up for the Big Snow

I can hibernate awhile

With coffee

Cream

Eggs

Milk

Bread

Cream

And coffee.

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Swadddled in a snow blanket—

Waiting for Christmas,

Birthdays,

And Valentine chocolates to

Usher me to the edge of winter

Where I stand

Toes on edge

Ready to jump

Into an early Spring…

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(I had the idea to write this as I labored with dirt-encrusted toes in a 90 degree garden yesterday.  In retrospect, the scene was so unlike who I am in the winter. If you ever write a seasonal look at yourself — please let me know.  I’d like to read it! )

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/one-way/

Photo credits:
Winter Cabin:  Jonathan Mast
Pool: Jay Wennington
Apple tree:Kelly Sikkema
Coffee: Nathan Dumlao
Frostbitten Garden: Nick Cooper
Lady on cliff: Samuel Scrimshaw
Early Spring? Photo from Groundhog Day movie

{ Today in School… }

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Every Monday or Tuesday, I view the WordPress word prompt and offer it up as an assignment to my little band of (homeschooled) students.

I know it sounds crazy, but most days, they really like this.

I’d like to think it’s because they love the writing process and the literary satisfaction of creative thoughts being visually voiced.

But, it’s probably just because I bribe them with the promise of skipping the usual boring workbook pages.

Either way, I guess it’s productive and beneficial for many reasons:

  • It’s good writing practice.
  • It’s good speaking practice.
  • It’s good practice being a gracious audience and
  • It doesn’t always come easy, but it’s good practice giving positive feedback to others.

One child sits in front of a computer, busily typing.  One child eeks out words sparsely, with a pained look on the face. Another is scrawling words with a pencil so fast, the work is barely legible.  Spelling doesn’t matter at this point — just write what you are thinking.

After about 20 minutes, we share our pieces.  And, I have to say…it’s incredible what they come up with.  Everyone has something unique to offer.

My standard response is: “That sounds like the start of a great story!  Next time we do a word prompt, why don’t you continue the story?”

But they never do.

Today’s word was “identical” and today’s excerpt is from 13-year-old Mo:

 Leopold Larry

So begins the adventures of Leopold Larry. Larry Hillenburger was born on Leopold street in southern New York City. He was an only child. And it was true that if he wanted to, he could take over the world with several clicks of several buttons. However, Larry did not carry out such a task due to his strong morals. Larry could only do such a thing due to several impressive computers. He had found a way to hack into all of the wireless nuclear defense & offense systems.

Now, enough of all the talk about Larry’s scheming. Larry, at the time our story takes place, is 14. He has just finished a grueling year of self-tutoring. The reason that it had been hard for him was because he was acting as both teacher and student. As the teacher, he had to deal with a stubborn and rebellious student, and as student, he had to adjust to the strict teacher, dull sessions and much else besides. Also Larry had no siblings; much less a twin, much less still, an identical one…

Photo credit: Angelina Litvin

{ Hors d’œuvres & Honor: An Evening at Hope Academy }

Last night, we attended a fundraiser for a school located in the toughest part of Minneapolis. It’s an unlikely place to find a treasure, but Hope Academy is a gem.

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I was welcomed by a young student who escorted me—yes, he held out his elbow and ushered me—into the school building. The entryway and halls were decorated with first grade art, smiling faces and glimpses of engaging classrooms.

Under the sparkling lights that crisscrossed the gym ceiling, I listened to the student choir sing and sipped my sparkling water. Finishing my plate of hors d’œuvres, I gazed up at the screen, which read: IMAGO DEI – image of God.

Founder Russ Gregg took charge of the microphone and explained the IMAGO DEI model at Hope Academy. Recognizing that every person is made in the image of God–IMAGO DEI– it’s important to honor each other.

When we do, we uplift the God who created each of us.

Then Gregg revealed the touching birth story of Hope Academy.

Russ and his wife Phyllis are devoted Christ followers.  When they started house-hunting, they knew they wanted to live where they could reach out to their neighbors.

They bought a house in the Phillips neighborhood – and got lots of neighbors.  They chose to plant themselves in the neediest neighborhood in Minneapolis, where they could generously give away God’s love and grace. They got to know and love their neighbors.

When their kids got older, they looked past the local public schools, and opted for a ten-minute drive to a private Christian academy.

Russ explained how he would drive past neighborhood schoolkids each day, waving good morning on the way to his kids’ private school.

“I’d pray: God, can’t You send somebody to help them?”

God smiled and said, “I have—and that person is you.”

So, in response to God’s prompting and providing, Hope Academy was born.

It’s a unique inner-city school, and I felt privileged to learn what makes Hope Academy special.

Uniformed, but beautifully diverse, Hope’s students radiate enthusiasm and love for their teachers. Hope Academy urges both students and parents to take responsibility for education. Teachers discuss educational and character progress with parents. Each family pays a portion of school expenses; donations provide the rest. Churches, businesses and families can sponsor individual students, tour the school and read to their sponsored student. It’s another way to connect, thank and encourage; another way to remind everyone of the IMAGO DEI mindset.

Students receive a quality education at less than half the cost of what the local public school uses to educate a student.  Sports, mission trips and other enriching activities are part of the package, and the common thread in everything is the honor-giving IMAGO DEI worldview.

As I funneled out with the happy crowd, I reflected:

  • The transformed lives, dedicated staff and noble school mission inspired me.
  • The radiant students, quality education and financial stewardship impressed me.
  • And, as I walked out the door, I felt involved.

Involved—not only in the mission of Hope Academy, but in the larger, awesome task of honoring the IMAGO DEI in everyone I encounter.

“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”—Luke 10:27

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/neophyte/

 

Word prompt of the day: neophyte –a beginner, a learner…

{ School Can Be….Interesting. }

school

 

The first report drafted by one of my students included this summary:

 

Iceland is truly an interesting country with interesting people and interesting traditions of which I will leave you to read about on your own.

 

As I sigh and circle the word *interesting* three times in red, I make a mental note to shun this overused word.

Four years ago, my cheeky son (then 14) wrote this farce report on Iceland just to shock me:

Iseland is cold.

Amarica is worm.

Iseland is a plas explowding with culcher and tradichin.

Maybee U wil visit som day.

 

What is it about Iceland? Maybe it’s one of those places you must see rather than write about 🙂

On a better note, we have had some school success thus far:

Last week, everyone earned at least 90% on the final spelling test!

Words like crumb, subtle and acquire were even mastered by my 8-year-old.

 

Note to self~ The 2017-2018 school year: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crumb/
Crumb“>

{ Education Anticipation }

IMG_20170906_191416768.jpgEvery August, I wait for a spark of inspiration to help me dive in to September’s back-to-school.

It’s amazing what tiny little event or conversation can give birth to the mysterious *muse* — brightening my dull outlook on the year ahead.

A conversation with my friend Pam recently put that spark into motion. The inspiration is there – finally.

ISLANDS: a unit study.

Unit study learning is a way to compel students to read and write about interesting topics while hiding the fact that they are actually learning.

I usually begin my year with an engaging unit study, and if we need a boost mid-year, sometimes I sneak one in around January.

So this fall we will plan to study islands, in addition to the other reading, writing, arithmetic, and history that we always do.

  1. Reading (aloud and independently) appropriate grade-level books about islands. (I have a growing book list: The Cay, Treasure Island, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Baby Island, Island of Dr. Libris, Surprise Island, Shipwreck and Nim’s Island are some of the titles)
  2. Making analogies and comparisons about islands.
  3. Learning to spell words that have silent letters.
  4. Writing reports about island nations.
  5. Studying general geographic terms. I like the picture book: Geography from A to Z: a picture glossary by Jack Knowlton.
  6. Anyone have any other ideas?

Though not every student will eagerly anticipate the writing-of-reports, a happy and enthusiastic teacher is contagious and helps classroom morale!

I think 2017-2018 will be a good year.

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Word Prompt of the Day: Anticipate

Anticipate“>

Photo credit: Sergio Jara