Home School Life Journal

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

Our Homeschool Weekly Report, October 12-18, week 7

{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. 

Week 7
Snapshot Summary, October 12-18

The view outside the car window last week.
Fall has come to our area...
James' (age 11) fall leaves he has pressed.
and with it an increasing interest in the leaves.
We have spent our time playing all sorts of games...

At Cootie Brown's.
time out with friends.

 On Thursday we had to prepare for our field trip to Oak Hill School in Jonesbourough, TN.
The students come for a day-long field trip and enroll in the class of 1892-93. Reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography – even the pledge of allegiance – are all as they were prior to the turn of the last century.
 For their lunch at the schoolhouse, they wanted the children to bring lunches that ares authentic as possible and provided us with a list of possibilities...
Cornbread with butter
Biscuits with butter or maybe a piece of country ham
Molasses, honey, applebutter or jelly to put on plain biscuits or cornbread
Baked sweet potato kept warm in the winter on top of the pot-bellied stove
Baked Irish potato kept warm on the pot-bellied stove
Homemade beef jerky
Hard boiled eggs
Block of homemade cheese
Raw carrots grown at home
Apple or pear from trees at home

 So the day was filled with making biscuits and cornbread, boiling eggs and baking potatoes.

Children at Oak Hill School brought lunch to school in tin pails with handles. These could have been syrup cans, coffee cans, lard cans, cans milled for that purpose or cans ordered from the country store. We made ours out of a number 10 applesauce can and some rope.

Advanced Addition with Beans, Cups and Bowls
I favor working with beans, cups and bowls on a place value board as a beginning for all basic math. Quentin is working with multi-digit addition with and without carrying. This day I gave him the problem 28 +54 = 
and so he set out 2 cups and 8 beans on the board.
and then he added to them 5 cups and four beans. He quickly saw that there were more beans than available spots in the beans, or ones column and so he set them to the side.
I had him fill up the ones column...
put them into a cup (or trade them for an already filled cup) and then put the remaining two into the beans/ones column.
We then filled in the answer on a chart. He will do this hands-on regrouping for a time and then when he feels he wants to fill out the chart without using the beans, I will show him the more traditional way of carrying. By this time, it will seem obvious or second-nature to carry, or change the ones into tens as needed.

Advanced Division with Beans, Cups and Bowls
James is brushing up on his advanced division. Sometimes I give them the problems and sometimes I will have them randomly make up problems using a die to roll out the numbers and sometimes I let them make up their own problems. This day I had him roll a 10-sided die to make up the problems. Here is the first one and how we worked through it using beans, cups and bowls. The first roll was for the beans, or ones column and he rolled a 6. The second roll was for the cups, or tens column, and he rolled a 0. The third roll was for the bowls, or hundreds column, and he rolled a 1. The fourth roll determines the number of groups he will be dividing the beans, cups and bowls into. In this case, he rolled a 4. We set up a little chart in his math notebook that holds this information. It looks like the above picture. He draws columns with four lines to them to represent the fact that we are dividing by four.
He sets up the board with the appropriate amount of beans; for this problem, 1 bowl (containing 10 cups with 10 beans in each cup), and 6 beans, equaling 106 beans in total.  For his own explorations, I give him ample time to make his own discoveries by trying to solve the problems in any way he wishes, but for my teaching sessions, I show him the method that I find is the easiest for me, which means starting with the bowls.
It is easy for him to see that the 1 bowl of 100 beans must be broken down into amounts of 10 in order to divide them, so he takes the cups out of the bowl and begins sorting them into four groups.
He notes at the top of the bowls column that 1 bowl cannot be divided without breaking it down by putting a zero above the bowls. He then breaks down the cups of ten into the four rows on the chart and sees that they break down into four groups, each containing two cups of ten and that he has two cups of ten left over, which he notes on the chart. It doesn't show it in this picture, but he also noted it  with a two above the tens column.
He then moves on to the remaining cups, or the tens. He cannot divide that by four, so he must take the  beans out of the cups and put them all in the ones column to be divided there.
He discovers that the two bean cups, once the beans have been taken out and the beans already in the beans column divides into four groups of six beans, with two beans remaining.
He writes the six above the ones column and puts the two for the two remaining beans as the top part of a fraction, with the bottom part as the divisor, or four, in this case, making 2/4. He didn't finish the re-drawing of the beans once they were put in the ones column because he didn't need to. He could see the answer without drawing it, so I did not insist on this for this problem. He may see the need for it in future problems, but he has to see the need for it himself for it to be useful to him. I also don't worry about simplifying the fraction at this point. That is to be done at another time.
Now that he has completed the process, he can begin making up his own problems and working them out, using the chart and board as much or as little as he wants to.

The boys wrote in their English journals (I will post more about them in another post) and we went over putting words in alphabetical order to the second letter and we reviewed rules for plural nouns.

Physical Education
The boys are continuing to enjoy their twice a week gym class.

Our Favorite Resource This Week
James noticed this stamped on one of his five dollar bills, and Where Is George? turned out to be our favorite resource for the week. If you find a bill with this stamped on it, you can go to the Where's George? Home Page and if you register there, you can enter the denomination, series (year), and serial number as well as your current Zip Code and then hit the 'SUBMIT' button and you can see where the bill has been and you can go back and track where it goes after it leaves you. You can also mark your own bills and track where they go, but the site no longer sells the stamps, so you would have to get one made up yourself.



  1. Always a fun-filled week, Phyllis! Love the lunch pails! Such a great idea when doing a living history museum tour and you'll have a picnic! Interesting, hands-on way to do division! I'll have to check back for a refresher when my youngest starts learning division. Now I'll have to check out our money! LOL It will be interesting to see where that bill goes after its spent!

  2. The leaves are gorgeous Phyllis! Oh my goodness. The Oak Hill field trip is something that Keilee and I would love. How cool is that? I am about to call her in here to see it. She would honestly ADORE that! Did your kids love it? We have gotten a "Where's George" bill before and tracked it. :) Happy weekend!

    1. Yes, the boys enjoyed it very much. I had fun, too!

  3. The picture at the top of this post was a great choice for your "single moment" - it's precious! And, that lunch pail - are you kidding me? How much fun!

    1. A whole group of kids are bringing them to the field trip. You will enjoy the post about the field trip, too.

  4. What an Awesome Week! Thank you for sharing your photos. The first picture is so beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing,

    1. That you. They hug like that often, but I usually don't have the camera in my hand when they do.

  5. I just always learn something when I stop by here. How neat is the Where's George? Your leaves are gorgeous!! I imagine it's beautiful in your hills. Love every bit of your week.

  6. What a wonderful week! I love the first photo and all the beautiful leaves:)

    What an awesome living history experience! Did the kids enjoy it?! I know the lunch alone would have made me happy;)

    And as always, I am inspired by your hands-on math projects! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, the younger boys and I loved the living history experience very much.

  7. I love the same photos as Jenn mentioned...that first one and then the one of those pressed leaves. I also think that living history day would have been such fun, and the authentic lunch looks great! Tracking the 5 dollar bill is very cool!!

    Thanks so much for linking up at Favorite Resources, Phyllis. I hope you all have been having a good weekend :)

  8. I'm very excited to find your blog- so full of history- just my cup of tea! I know I'll be coming back for lots of ideas in the future.


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