Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Calendar & Saving Eloise

"January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow."

One of the elements in Grade 3 is learning about time, which includes the passage of...hence the calendar. We are making our own calendar and each month, have learned a little rhyme about that month, and create a drawing that represents it. The girls are contributing more to the creative pallet, as they get older and we decided to draw a figure by a warming hearth.

This gives us the opportunity to introduce measuring, as well. So the girls are becoming more familiar with how to use a ruler and how the metric system works! Any sheet of paper will do, but I didn't want a tear away calendar, so I opted to use our larger drawing paper. We kept the top half for our drawing and in the bottom half, we measured out our ample squares.

This also allows for the writing of the 7 days of the week. Each day, a square is crossed off and the girls tell me what day it is. They take great delight in crossing off another day!

We hung ours in our school room so they are within reach. Over the summer, my husband and I attemped to lazure paint the school room, which was a spare bedroom upstairs that we weren't really using. I am honestly torn between using our kitchen table and having our own room. I have done both and like both for different reasons. But I had found that we had so many crafts and projects out that the kitchen table was never clean, so from that aspect, I like having a room designated to school where we can leave projects out while finishing them. I hope to do another post on our room, how we did it, and how it turned out.

We also made our own blackboard, which I will share, as well. I had a lot of great advice from Jenn of Our Little Nature Nest. Her blog was a great inspiration and I was saddened to hear that she had to close it down. In any case, here are our calendars for January.

And now for Eloise...

This is her impound photo...

While this blog is primarily about our Waldorf-inspired homeschooling adventures, a big part of that is learning about compassion and respect for all creatures, great and small. Yesterday, we were blessed with an extra special rescue that I wanted to share.

Almost two years ago, we rescued a dog who had been attacked and had his eye removed. He sat for 6 long weeks at a shelter and no one wanted him. When we went to see him, someone who was walking by even told us that he wasn't a good dog. We should adopt his kennelmate instead! That sealed the deal for me...With his time running out, we knew in our hearts that he was meant for us! Our Jackie has been the most loving and expressive furbaby. He has been a blessing in our lives. I will always credit him to leading us on this journey, for his save brought us to a wonderful small dog rescue organization who welcomed us with open arms. We not only jumped in with both feet, but we also jumped in with our entire hearts! I couldn't have planned a more important learning experience and life experience for my twins if I tried.

Eloise is one of thousands of dogs that goes through the local shelters where we live. She, like our Jack, had been attacked and Animal Control found her and took her off the streets. Her eye was too far gone to save, so it was removed and she was brought back to the shelter and given a standard 5 day hold to see if her owners would come for her.

They never showed.

On day 6, she had to get out or she was slated to walk the Green Mile and would be killed the next morning. Yup - they give most of the dogs at this particular shelter only one day to get out. Not only was her eye an issue, but Eloise was deemed, 'rescue only'. That meant that her only hope of getting out was through an approved rescue organization. Luckily for Eloise, she had several Guardian Angels.

In the usual scramble that is the rescue world, the director of our rescue said she had an open spot for her, after another dog got adopted to a wonderful family. One rescuer drove over an hour to get her out. The clock was ticking and her time was running out. By 2pm Sat, she was safe in Tammy's car and the girls and I were on our way to meet her. Tammy drove two hours to get her to a meeting point and we drove two hours to get her from that point to our Saturday adoption event. From there, she would go home with the Director and begin her rehabilitation process.

The girls named her Eloise...and held her the whole way to adoptions. She gave them kisses of thanks and ate treats from their hands. Once at adoptions, it was Charley's turn to hold her and she refused to put her down. The looks on my girls faces as they hold these forgotten and unwanted babies, I shall never forget. It is the 'juice' that keeps me going, when I am tired and overworked. 'Just one more life,' I tell myself...yet one more always turns into yet another.

But you know, I really wouldn't have it any other way...look at how relaxed Eloise is, compared to her impound photo. The worst is behind her. She will not die in the morning. Her new life is just beginning. She has been given a second chance at life. She may never know how many people it took to save her, how many animal lovers prayed for her when her photo was circulating, the individual people that gave pledges for the vet care required to heal her injury, or that she has helped form my girls into the next generation of rescuers, who will save more lives when they are grown because of dogs like her...

But the one thing she will know, is that she is...


If anyone has the interest or passion to help rescue shelter animals, good people are always needed. Even if you can't foster, transporters are always needed and appreciated. Many dogs don't make it out alive because the rescues don't have a way to get them the distance they need to go, so if you want to make a different in the life of a dog, cat, rabbit, horse, goat, chicken, pigeon, rat, hamster, guinea pig, you name it - even turtles and iguana's turn up at the shelters, research a good rescue (sadly, not all are good) - and see if you can help transport :) I promise you, the feeling you get on the way from the shelter is one you will never forget, and the lessons you teach your children through example are priceless...


  1. good on you for looking after these animals Jen. I'm fostering cats for the SPCA. Fortunately for us, they keep the animals indefinitely, so there is no time bomb ticking. Their rationale is that they spend quite a lot of money to get them into good health, (including vaccination and neutering) so there's no point wasting it by putting the animal to sleep.
    Anyway, thanks for your blog. I use your ideas a lot as I put together my homeschool units. :)

  2. So nice to see you back in blogging world!! I missed reading your blog so much.
    You girls did such a beautiful job with their calendars!!
    Sending you a warm welcome back to blogging world:)

  3. We have two dogs who were rescue dogs, and they have brought us much more joy than I think we could ever give them. We have also fostered several dogs and seen them go on to loving homes. It's been a great learning experience for our children.

  4. That brought some tears. I am glad you mentioned the transport part, because while we certainly don't have room for another animal, that might be an option for us.

  5. It's great to have you back! I was sad, too, that Jenn's beautiful blog was taken down.

    Did you start the calendars in January or at the beginning of the school year? Looks like a perfect 3rd grade project. :)