Home School Life Journal

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

Our Not-Back-To-School Week, August 25-September 3, summer week 5

Snapshot Summary, August 25-September 3

 Aren't these great notecards made up from one of my photos of the boys?

The weather has been beautiful this week, so we have spent some time outside.
 Quentin found an empty egg shell in the backyard.
 We went swimming at the neighborhood pool.
(Can you see the mountains in the background? The ever-present mountains are such a joy.)
 We went bike riding.

 We attracted the attention of some local residents.
 We gathered willow branches for future projects.
 James has such an eye for art in nature.
 They played spy missions on the 90 degree day.
One was to get to the little tent in the backyard without being seen by the guard with the hose.
 "Oops, I have been spotted. I better hide."
 "Did I make it to the tent without being spotted?"
 "No way!"
Forced out of the tent by the hose guard.
Quentin painted gnomes.
Quentin and I needed glasses, so we took this opportunity to learn about the eye.
It was Quentin's first time to the eye doctor.
Here are the glasses he picked out...
and here are mine. They should be here in about a week.
Katie has been keeping a journal of her adventures this summer.
 She puts all sorts of things between its pages such as pressed flowers and origami...
sketches she has drawn and even beach glass! I just know she is going to treasure this one day.

Sam finished reading the Hobbit to us and we decided to read some interesting picture books for awhile.
"Mark spends a busy, noisy day helping out at Gram's seaside hot dog stand. After the last customer is served and the grill is scrubbed to a silvery shine, Mark sails off with Gram for a promised surprise -- and finds a nighttime sea full of shimmering moonjellies." ~ from the front cover
I read them The Night of the Moonjellies since we had so recently studied jellyfish. We learned, however, that the moonjellies are not traditional jellyfish after all.

The following is a description of the moonjelly from Mark Shasta's(the author) website
The Moonjelly is a small sea creature about the size of a child's hand whose scientific name is "Ctenophore" (pronounced tee-ne-for.) Ctenophores, like many sea creatures, are bioluminescent. This means they are able to give off light through a chemical process in their bodies. It looks like a blob of clear, colorless jelly. Like true jellyfish, ctenophores are invertebrates and made up mostly of water. But ctenophores are not true jellyfish because they do not have stinging cells. The harmless moonjelly is actually a species of zooplankton. For those who really know their sea creatures "Comb Jelly" is the most common name for these discreet creatures. There is a true jellyfish in the sea with the name “Moon Jellyfish," but these are not the moonjellies of the book.
"Along the beach I picked up pieces of sea glass, worn and rounded by the ocean. Then I found something that felt like jelly. I put it in the plastic bag with the sea glass, poured in some seawater and ran the rest of the way to Mar-Gra's." 
What better treat to have with this book than sea glass candy?

We also read Truman's Aunt Farm
Truman sends in a coupon, which was a gift from his Aunt Fran, for an ant farm, but instead of ants, he gets aunts! He feeds and cares for them, watches them work and play, and finally finds homes for them. In the end, he and his very own Aunt Fran share a special day. 
We have studied ant on a few different occasions, (the class I did for Sam at co-op, our garden mural project, ant farm nature study) so we decided not to do any ant studies...
 but we did have jelly sandwiches and rice pudding for lunch...
 and a picnic dinner featuring little hot dogs...
 overlooking the lake at Warriors Path State Park.
 We had ant hill cupcakes for dessert. Quentin made the little toothpick insects.
 See the chocolate sprinkles ants.
 Then we went to my very favorite place in the whole world...
 and walked in the stream...
 while everyone else attended to their individual pursuits.

 Quentin's glasses came in on Friday, which has opened a whole new world for him.
This is his first look at the world with his new glasses.
We had no idea that he couldn't see well at a distance. It was just picked up at a regular check-up screening.
He was amazed that he could see individual leaves on the tree in a distance as before it was always a shapeless blob of green.
 On Saturday Katie and Sam took Quentin and James paddle-boating...
 while Steven, Alex and I enjoyed the stream and playground.
Later that afternoon, the same four went bike riding on the Kingsport Greenbelt, a paved biking trail that runs  beside a stream.
 The kids to the Covered Bridge to feed the ducks and geese.
 Afterwards they came back to to make buttons.

Join me at...


  1. Our post titles are similar this week- only your not back to school week looks far more educational than ours. The pictures are lovely! And that one of the squirrel is hilarious.

  2. Wow! Gorgeous photos! The biking photos remind me of The Sound of Music scene. Love the glasses too!

  3. I like your very wholesome week! What a great mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Just being together as a family is wonderful.

  4. Oh Phyllis. I love so much about this I don't know where to start! I love the bike photos especially the first one that is a little out of focus. Beautiful. And Katie under the Willow..LOVE it. Do you already have Fall leaves???? I want to come there. Love the pictures by the stream too. What an amazing week. Keilee is on the couch and she said, "What are those cool cupcakes" so we are off to look up how to make them. :)

    1. They are regular vanilla cupcakes in which I stirred in chocolate sprinkles in the batter before baking them. I frosted them with regular buttercream frosting and then sprinkled crushed up white Oreoes on top and some more chocolate sprinkles. I only had the new strawberry and chocolate filled double-layered kind so my "dirt" came out multi-colored...all the more festive, eh? Quentin made the insect toothpick additions.

  5. What a busy week! I love that you get to spend so much time outside reading and learning. We also loved The Night of the Moonjellies.

  6. Love all the outdoor pictures - such fun!!

  7. What a beautiful week! So many amazing moments here!
    Have a lovely weekend :)

  8. I love the stream going through the park. We love the outdoors as much as you. Enjoy the mountains.
    Blessings, Dawn

  9. What an absolute joy of a post! Congratulations on joining the ranks of glasses wearers. And fall leaves... we have a few yellow ones we've noticed around here. Yours are beautiful. Love your photos - but it's your eye that captured all the fun. What a wonderful week you've had tucked up there in the mountains!

  10. Oh what a beautiful, joyful week, Phyllis!! Such wonderful pictures! I love your new glasses, by the way :)

  11. Ooohhhhh, I can't wait to see what you do with willow leaves.

    And I love the spy mission! I think we might have to make use of that :)

    1. So far Katie has made a mobius strip and has started a basket. She is the one with craft talents, remember?
      The spy mission is a game that they came up with, but it did entertain them for hours. Or, maybe it was just the hose on a hot afternoon?

  12. Wow! What a tremendous week.

  13. Action packed week!! It is always a pleasure to see photos of all members of your beautiful family. The note card is just stunning. The glasses you picked out are just perfect. So much fun to be had with you all. If you are ever in Michigan please contact me, you guts know how to enjoy life. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. What a wonderful week - so busy but it looks relaxing and fun too. You have some lovely autumn-coloured leaves already? Still green here in the UK.

  15. Whenever I'm reading your posts I start thinking I'm going to comment about one thing and then by the time I've looked through everything I realize I have too many things I could say. It's all lovely, I learned, and I admire all of the time spent outdoors.

  16. You live in a lovely area!So green and full of nature!


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