Home School Life Journal

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

Our Homeschool Weekly Report, September 7-13, week 2: Celtic Festival, Biology Introduction and the Transcontinental Railroad

September 7-13
week 2
On Saturday, we went to the Celtic Festival at Sycamore Shoals...

where they tried on all types of armor and held all types of weapons.

We dubbed her Queen Boadicea for the day.

They watched the trebuchet, the sheep dog trials, saw wool being spun, weavers weaving cloth and lots of tartans. 
I was pleased that they remembered from their studies that the Celts painted their faces blue before going into battle and so were not surprised to see some of the demonstrators had blue-painted faces.

The jousting tournament was a great end to a great day.

This week Quentin continued to work with number patterns and place value. We made this simple little teaching tool I saw through Pinterest.  He would pick a number on the hundreds chart and then tell me what   one more, one less, ten more and ten less would be and then check his own answers. 
I gave James some multiplication (with carrying) and division (with remainders) problems to solve as review and testing. Alex worked on simple multiplication problems. Once he understands what I am asking him for, he is able to answer the problems easily, but he still doesn't understand the math symbols. A page of mixed math problems is an impossible task for him.
Sam worked on consecutive integer problems, age problems and geometric figure problems in Algebra. He also worked on Obversion, Conversion and Contraposition in Traditional Logic.

We worked on adjectives and adverbs this week.  We made columns of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs and made silly sentences with them. We also made our own Mad-Libs.
Alex, like many autistic children, has always had advanced skills in spelling, so I have never really done spelling lessons with him. He does, however, have extremely limited understanding of language usage. I realized that I could use Quentin's spelling worksheets with Alex so that he could work on putting the words into the sentences to make sense. It is challenging for Alex, but not so challenging that he gets frustrated. It is wonderful when I figure out a new way to use the materials I already have.

 Alex and Sam learned the scientific method, the four criteria for life, how to do biological classification, the five kingdoms, what autotrophic and heterotrophic mean, the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and how to use a microscope. Sam also began learning about the Kingdom Monera.
Alex's notebook page on the telegraph made from elements from  Interactive 3-D Maps: American History, Donald Silver
The first transcontinental telegraph message was, "May the Union be perpetual."
We read and wrote about the Transcontinental Railroad and the Telegraph. The little boys will be helping to make a telegraph of their own next week.

For once I am experimenting with doing different things with the younger and older boys for their geography studies this year. Sam's geography began with South Africa because he is studying Imperialism and British Colonization and I wanted his history and geography studies to go together. He researched the Adire cloth made by the Yoruba  people of Nigeria and compared it with the cloth made by the Ashanti of Ghana, and learned quite a bit about the people in these areas prior to and after the arrival of the British.
The younger boys began studying Asia in general and we read some books about Asian countries that we will not be studying in depth such as Tibet and Mongolia.
Sam also began his Modern Language studies with his first French lesson, in addition to continuing his Latin lessons. We will add Greek back in as well once the other pieces of his school are in place.
 James and Quentin started a homeschool gym class this week. If they stick with it, the class promises not only to work on team-building, teamwork, sportsmanship, and fair play, but also the basics and fundamentals of sports including: Basketball, Football, Soccer, Baseball, Golf, Recreational Sports, Playground Games, Fitness Building, and Running.
 This week, in addition to some simple warm-up exercises and games, they also learned how to play kickball and competitive dodgeball.
They seemed to do well and enjoy themselves. I am thinking that this will be really good for them once the weather gets chilly.
 We have received some postcards recently; from Utah...
 from Missouri and
a whole package of goodies from Idaho! I updated these posts to include the postcards.



  1. Look at your week!! Love it. I LOVE the Celtic festival. We have a Renaissance Festival in October that is our favorite thing to attend. Love all the pictures of the kids. :) Tell Katie she makes a beautiful Queen! I always love seeing all you are learning and the great ways you incorporate fun into it. Thanks for the prayers sweet Phyllis!

  2. I've got that same math activity pinned to use later.

    Oh, I finally broke down and got the 3D maps, I saw it was available for $1 download.......... My printer is on overtime.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

  3. I sure wish we could of been at the festival. All of the science work is just amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Wonderful Celtic festival. You seem to have so many opportunities right around your home! Plus, I love the gym class. Another wonderful week my friend!

  5. I love Katie's title (and looks) for the day! LOL What a neat festival to see and a real jousting match at the end. That's cool!

  6. What a full week...lots of learning and fun! I always love reading about your weeks :) And, I agree with Karen, Katie does make a beautiful Queen Boadicea!

  7. Oh!!! I so hope we haven't missed ours! Yours was amazing.


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