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 21-27, week 4

week 4

On Saturday, we went to an reenactment of encampment by the Overmountain militia before the Battle of King’s Mountain, September 25, 1780 at Sycamore Shoals, TN.
 Katie made Grapevine and Ivy Wreaths.
In addition to the usual reading and writing, we studied compound words, and made a flip book about subjects and predicates.
Quentin is working with manipulating four-digit numbers, and the two ways of saying them (for example: one thousand, five hundred twenty five and fifteen hundred twenty-five.)
James is reviewing advanced division. We began with work we have done before, with cups, bowls and beans but this time we worked with larger numbers. We started with this so that we could easily move on to the more abstract and versatile colored chips. (I will be writing a separate post that will describe in detail what we are doing here once we are finished all of our advanced division activities.)
 For our study of Japan, Quentin made a a Japanese Bunraku theater...
 Alex made a paper folded Kimono doll...
James' map of Japan
and they each made maps.
We celebrated the end of our study of Japan by eating at a Japanese Restaurant.

James'  (age 11) notebook page
 We also studied the Underground Railroad
 which led to our refreshing our memories about constellations...
 which led to us making star cupcakes to make constellations with.
 We also re-visited quit designs, this time looking at what secret messages they sent to those escaping using the Underground Railroad...
 which led to even more spy missions, this time with coded letters.
 We received postcards from Alaska, which we will be using when we get to that area in our geography studies. Aren't they wonderful for all the topics they cover?
Gym (twice a week) continues to be a highlight of the little boys' week. This week they played baseball and kickball.

Our books this week were about the Underground Railroad and Japan.
  • Follow The Drinking Gourd (Book on CD by Rabbit Ears)
  • The Underground Railroad, Raymond Bial
  • Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman, Dorothy Sterling (4th grade/age 9 and up)
  • The Last Safe House: A Story of the Underground Railroad, Barbara Greenwood (3rd grade/age 8 and up), has hands-on activities.
  • A Pair of Red Clogs, Masako Matsuno (Pre-K and up) the story of Mako, a little Japanese girl, and what happened when she cracked her shiny, new pair of red clogs while playing the weather-telling game. She wanted a new pair so badly that she almost did a dishonest thing to get them.
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven, Elizabeth Coatsworth (age 8 and up), fable from ancient Japan
  • The Master Puppeteer, Katherine Paterson, (age 13 and up), set in feudal Japan
  • The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (The Samurai Mysteries), Dorothy Hoobler, (grade 6 and up), While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a merchant's son who longs to be a samurai, joins a group of kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan.
  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, Rhoda Blumberg, (5rd grade, age 10 and up), the opening of Japan (1853-1854).
  • Shipwrecked! The true adventures of a Japanese boy, Rhoda Blumberg (4th grade and up), a 14-year old boy, Manjiro, is shipwrecked while fishing off Japan's shores and is not allowed back into Japan because of its seclusion laws. He lives in America for a while and then returns to Japan just in time to help with negotiations with Commodore Perry. Manjiro ends up rising in status in Japan to become a Samurai. Fascinating true story.
  • Wonder Tales From Around the World, Heather Forest



  1. My gosh you all do so many things. Tennessee is a GREAT state for history and nature isn't it? I love Tennessee. I also love the Japan study and the boys' paper crafts. Postcards from Alaska! How exciting.

  2. Those cupcakes look so yummy. Your soul is contagious Phyllis! Your children are so gifted in their work. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I love when FOOD can be incorporated in to the school day! The Postcards from Alaska are really cool!

  4. What a busy week! Tell Katie her wreaths are beautiful!

  5. The cupcakes and wreaths are very cool. Have a great week!

  6. What an awesome week! Coming over to visit from WUH. I just love how all of your activities are hands-on. I need to come up with more creative things like that in our homeschool! :-) Hope you are having a great weekend. Many blessings, Lisa

  7. Oh I love Katie's grapevine and ivy wreath! And I sure can tell the boys are having fun with gym - well, everything - every bit of this learning looks fun!

  8. I'll take any excuse to eat at a Japanese restaurant, finishing my studies there included :)

  9. We love Sycamore Shoals! Too bad we missed the re-enactment. We will be going to a re-enactment in November not far from us. Looks like you all had an awesome week.

  10. What a busy and engaging week you've had.

  11. Oh and thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!


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