All About Us; Growing Up In New England

Today we are linking up with Simple Homeschool as they wrap up their summer book club; Give Your Child the World.  Each week we've been reading about different countries through our reading and Simple Homeschool has been featuring different homeschooling families from around the world.  Today we're all invited to link up and learn about homeschooling around the world and through various parts of the U.S.

Here's our responses:
– Tell us about your family.  My name is Joanne and I am married to my high school sweetheart, Ben.  We are a family of 5 with three boys ages 12, 10, & 8. 
– Tell us about where you live and how long you’ve lived there.  We live in a small rural town in southern New England. I have lived in this area all my life; moving only a town or so away from where I was born.  All three boys have lived in this house their whole lives. It is a single family home that my husband and I worked to build together (with the help of a building crew) as our dream home beginning on it just after we were married.  
– What do you think is unique and special about living where you do? We love the changing seasons and the quiet peace of the outdoors.  We live on a lake and enjoy all those past times that come along with it; fishing, boating, swimming, ice fishing, ice skating, etc.  We are close enough to three different large cities that we can drive in and enjoy them for a day while still getting to enjoy the open spaces of non- city living.  We are an hour or so away from the beach and also the mountains so with a little driving we can experience just about anything.

– What languages are spoken there? If it’s different from English, can you help us learn a few common phrases? Everyone we know speaks English but we do have some words and phrases that are unique to this area: 
Bubbler--drinking fountain
Soda-- a carbonated drink that the rest of the U.S typically calls pop
Grinder-- also known as a hero or a sub in other parts of the country
Packie-- also known as a package store is where we buy liquor and alcohol.
Nor'Easter-- a huge snowstorm that stalls overhead and dumps tons of snow on us all at once.  It's not uncommon to wake to three feet or more of snow after going to bed with spots of the lawn still showing.
Coffee Milk-- Milk that is flavored with coffee syrup sort of like chocolate milk.  
Fluffanutter-- a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff
Jimmies-- the sprinkles we put on ice cream
Just to name a few... 
– What are some traditional foods there? I'm not sure what traditional foods would be considered unique to our area but I do know that there are some iconic New England foods that can't be missed!
Lobster roll-- Made with fresh Maine lobster and lots of butter on a hot dog style roll.
Clam Chowder-- There are a few varieties known to this area; red chowder, RI chowder that has a clear broth or thick, creamy, milky New England clam chowder
Many local orchards offer fresh made apple cider donuts that are just amazing!
The Hamburger was said to have been made in our state (though I prefer mine with cheese). 
We have maple sugar shacks so all sorts of wonderful maple treats are around-- maple butter, maple syrup, maple sugar.  We discovered maple flavored cotton candy a few years ago and I would have to put that on my list of iconic foods of our area. 
– Tell us about the climate where you live. With four seasons our climate is always changing.  We have a saying... "If you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes; it will change." Temperatures range from below zero to over 100.  We have dry spells and other times the air is so humid and wet it feels sticky.

– What does school look like for the majority of kids where you live? Most of the kids go to either public or small, private, catholic schools where we live.  They start school just a few days before Labor Day (so this usually means the last few days of August) and school lets out in mid- June. The kids have two months off before starting up again in the fall. There is a standard curriculum across the United States so each school teaches mainly the same things each year.  Children typically start school as young as 4 in preschool and then spend Kindergarten through 4 in elementary school, 5-8 in middle school and then 9-12 in high school.  
– What does school look like for your family? We blend unschooling with some traditional school subjects.  We try to take in as many fiend trips as we can while working through a yearly math book, spelling workbook, and the occasional writing/ cursive assignment.  We spend and hour or two 5 days a week on reading, math, and a few book type assignments then spend the rest of our days filling in subjects, activities and field trips as we please.  
– Are there any special festivals or traditions you’d like to tell us about related to where you live? Most of our festivals and traditions surround national holidays like Veteran's Day (November), Memorial Day (May), and Independence day (July).  Most towns have parades and fireworks.  Veterans day celebrates all those veterans who have ever served in the military.  Memorial day is to remember those in the military that have given their lives for their country in the line of duty.  Independence day celebrates the birth of our country when the colonies broke away from Great Britain.  Or else they are more global holidays like Christmas and New Years. 
We do have several large agricultural fairs that crop up in the fall with rides, games, lots of food vendors and contests for judging animals like cows, sheep, rabbits and goats. 
– If you ever had to move away from where you live, what do you think you’d miss most? The beauty of the fall foliage for sure!  Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors of the leaves, the fall activities like picking apples, and going through corn mazes.  I love the crisp feel in the air and the comfort of sweaters and jeans (without needing a jacket).  Pretty much our entire family is in New England so we'd miss them too.

– Do you have a favorite book that takes place in your region/country?
Make Way for Ducklings
Blueberries for Sal
The Boxcar Children
Paul Revere's Ride 

Linking Up With:
Growing up around the world: A series



  1. I enjoyed hearing about this family's home school journey, the pictures, and especially the local words. I adore words, but then I guess I wouldn't be an author if I didn't, lol. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Such a gorgeous part of the country :) The pictures are amazing and those books are among our family's favorites. We are reading The Boxcar Children as our family read-aloud right now!

    1. Thank you! We have plans to go visit the Boxcar Children museum this fall.

  3. Oh some phrases from your area I wouldn't of had a clue what they meant except you explained :-)

    1. LOL! Yep we have some very unique expressions up here.

  4. Whoa! @weather! I *love* tropical weather- which is pretty much the same throughout the year (like in Mumbai & Jakarta) But moving to Chile made me realise that cold weather is excellent for my metabolism and I can eat whatever I want without getting fat! So I'm a bit biased now!


    1. I think all the seasons have their pluses and minuses. My favorites tend to be spring and fall but I love wearing flip flops in the summer and all those fun beach days... I also enjoy those snowstorms that allow us to bundle up and make snowmen/ go sledding. Though after the first storm or two I am usually ready for winter to end. ;)

  5. I love reading about what people love most about their hometowns. The weather for me (a Southern girl) is pretty much the same... and we have the same saying here....if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change :-)

    1. Funny that we'd have the same saying! But I've visited the south enough to know that storms can come up out of no where!

  6. The words are great, though very foreign to me. I grew up in Mississippi and have a dream to visit New England in the fall! I sure hope that I can before I get too old :) Thanks for sharing on Together on Tuesdays!!!

    1. I had such a hard time coming up with them... for me they're just normal words! Having traveled though I knew how "foreign" they were.

  7. Can we change houses? You live in georgia, and i will move up there. Yes? Yes, let's do it.

    1. LOL! Ask me that in Feb. and I'll jump at the chance! ;)

  8. Awe, I loved getting a glimpse into your area! New England sounds lovely.

    1. It is; we love it... we talk of moving every winter but know we'd miss the area so much.

  9. Also a New England girl! You nailed the description! Great to read your thoughts on home!

  10. I love these pictures! I am also from New England. I have often said I wanted "jimmies" when ordering ice cream, and get a confused reaction.

    1. OH yes, we always ask for jimmies and get a weird look too!


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