Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

This Beautiful Moment (A Sailboat of My Own) & Snapshot Summary: September 4-11 {Week 1} Our 15th Year of Homeschooling

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments at SouleMama for all to find and see. Snapshot Summary September 4-10
Last of Camp and First Week of School

Saturday, September 4: Camp was still in full swing last Saturday. We started off the day with Steven making more sandcastle clay because the little boys wanted to build more things with it. Then we all made dragonflies out of twigs and maple seeds. Then we had fun with bubble painting. Then we went Letterboxing, which is something I have been wanting to do for year, but just never got around to, and played the Indian Paintbrush game, a cooperative game which they all loved. Hungry after all that outdoor time, we enjoyed a teatime with Argentinian Submarine Hot Chocolate, in which pieces of chocolate are submerged in warm, sweet vanilla milk until it turns into hot chocolate.

Sunday, September 5: Besides the usual Sunday activities, we still were having fun with camp activities. We made juice box boats, and sailed them in the swimming pool, which of course led to swimming. While Steven went out for groceries as our provisions were low, we played another round of Indian Paintbrush in our backyard. In the evening we made funnel cakes.

Monday, September 6: (Labor Day) Today was our last day of family camp. We made firefly lanterns, beach memory keepers, and potato printed T-shirts. We made frozen chocolate covered frozen bananas, and then ate them at teatime. We grilled for dinner, and then made s'mores. The boys played with glowsticks and we lit the firefly lanterns.

Tuesday, September 7: Today was our first day of school and the day opened with the boys opening their school cones. They got a chance to look at all their new materials that they will be using this year. We had a teatime with soft pretzels and melted cheddar cheese.

Wednesday, September 8: On our mostly math day, we began by the younger boys working on their word problems of the day. {Quentin's: A seal baby weighs on an average 22 pounds and a human baby weighs on an average 8 pounds. Which one weighs more? James': Ian's birthday is today. He is 10 years old. How many birthday candles has he had on all of his birthday cakes so far?} Then they played store and learned about coins and adding. Sam multiplied fractions. Alex and I played a game. Quentin and I worked on writing numbers. I asked him which numbers he had trouble writing, and we worked on those. I would have him make "snakes" out of Play-doh and he put it on his Roll-A-Dough number cards. Then, looking at it as a model, he would write the number on paper. Then I would take the model away, and have him write the number. We would do this a few times until he was making the number correctly. Katie worked with James by having him read a story to her from Cobweb the Cat.

Thursday, September 9: Mostly English in school day. I started All About Spelling with Quentin. Both James and Quentin worked on their Explode the Code on the computer. Sam read Beowulf. I picked up where I had left off with Alex's Association Method program, with some more work with prepositions and then some work with present tense verbs. I quickly packed lunches and they took them to the park where they were to meet friends. Steven also had quite a few errands, and so wasn't back until late. While they were gone I made Quentin a surprise reading Cootie Catcher. After dinner the boys went in the swimming pool and played on the trampoline. There is a fall chill coming into the air, so they are cherishing the warm moments to sneak in some final summer moments.

Friday, September 10: We started off the day with calisthenics, which we have been meaning to start again long ago, but just got around to it. The boys love it. I had a routine doctor's appointment, which took up much of the morning. Katie rescued a butterfly from the pool, which of course led to investigation of what kind it was. I made Senate bean soup for dinner as it is on the menu in the Senate's restaurant every day, and we are looking at Washington DC as our next destination for our post card/geography album. I had planned to complete some science experiments, but found I was unexpectedly out of some of the household supplies. I will get them over the weekend and do them soon. At least I have the plan ready.

Saturday, September 11: Steven took Katie, Sam, James and Quentin to Outlaw Days at Tuckahoe Park (yes, the same place we camped in the first cabin.) They had a wonderful time. They enjoyed roping wooden cows from wooden horses and played in a corn box. They panned for gold (well, really small semi-precious stones. James did get some fool's gold.) They took a horse drawn stagecoach ride and were part of a wild west show. They played in a hay maze and enjoyed a display by Tails and Scales which featured turtles (remember them from our canoe trip?) and raptors. They brought back some beautiful marbles and a laminated Pocket Guide to Eastern Seashore Life. here

Join us at A Pilgrim's Project with a Snapshot Summary of your week or at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers with a Weekly Wrap-Up.


  1. I love the juice box boats...I think we will make these before tub time later today! :-)

  2. Fun week! I like how you focus on one subject a day.

  3. mine is 21months old....we are goin to get a lot of activity ideas from this blog of urs. thanks.regards

  4. I like the way you focus on one subject (mostly) a day. I am thinking of shifting our schedule so that it gives us more time to explore one subject in depth. You inspired me to make some changes! Thanks!

  5. I do the hands-on stuff for each subject on those days. We do some table/book work for other subjects as well. I try to keep in mind Miss Mason's suggestion to vary the subjects and in the younger years not to do a single subject for more than about 10 minutes at a time because you are asking for the child's complete attention and they cannot give their complete attention for more than that length of time. I also note, though, that Miss Mason's concept of a single subject and our concept of a single subject are vastly different. For her, recitation of poems, spelling, English grammar, copywork,dictation and composition were all different subjects whereas now we would call them all under the heading of English. Likewise,

  6. Oops, I accidently pressed the button too soon. I was saying, Likewise the different histories and geographies and the different sciences were under sepearate subjects according to Miss Mason, but we tend to group them under one label. In this way, you can be doing varied subjects and still be under one subject heading. Just make sure that the tasks set before them are varied enough to refresh them instead of bogging them down and you will have a happy and successful schooling time.

  7. Phyllis! you are always full of such good ideas... is this three posts in one day?! you are amazing!
    thanks as always for posting with me. it is so much fun knowing I have a friend... :)
    amy in peru

  8. Jessica -I forgot to mention that I got the idea from Amy in Peru. She has lots of good ideas. You should check out her site as well.

  9. That's a busy week! Camp looks like it was a lot of fun!


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