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, September 29-October 4, week 5

September 29-October 4, week 5
Tipton-Haynes Historic Site, Johnson City, TN
We learned so much about the life on a farm in the 1800's.

My oldest...my first baby...turned 21 on September 30th!
We celebrated by going to her favorite place to eat, The Mellow Mushroom
(They have wonderful gluten and casein-free pizzas!)
Gluten-free, Casein-free Caramel Cake at home.
I hope she gets all she wishes for.

We have been studying Crustaceans and added this cool Barnacle pop-up page to their notebooks.
 We have also been learning about Monera (bacteria), including that part of the way we classify them is by their shape. We also set up a bacteria experiment to show how important it is to wash hands that we found in the Handbook of Nature Study. I will be posting about it soon.

Quentin, (age 8) making a products map of North Korea.
We have been studying Korea -both North and South. I will post about it when we finish our study. We have also begun a study of China.

 We looked at a different aspect of the Civil War -the happening on the sea!
Sam researched the beginning stages of World War I.


Quentin is still working on place value, reading and comparing numbers. We played a game in which we would roll a die and decide where to put that digit to make the largest (or smallest) number. We also worked on adding double digit numbers with carrying.
James is working on advanced division problems and the different ways to write dates.
Sam is continuing with his algebra.

 Physical Education
 The boys are learning a lot of new games and new skills at gym class.


  • We have been having fun with 24 Games You Can Play on a Checkerboard by Carol Williams. There are many checkers variations from around the world, as well as other games that can use part of or all of a checkerboard. James picked it out at the library. It really goes along with my philosophy that playing mathematical games can be just as important (or even more important) than teaching math in the traditional way.

"Play games! Teach them Chess and Go, Hex and Backgammon, Sprouts and Nim, whatever. Make up a game. Do puzzles. Expose them to situations where deductive reasoning is necessary. Don’t worry about notation and technique, help them to become active and creative mathematical thinkers."-Paul Lockhart, 

  • Nine-In-One Grr! Grr!, Told by Blia Xiong; a trickster tale told by the Hmong people of Laos. Illustrations modeled on the appliqued story cloths from the Hmong.
  • Traveling Man, The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354, James Rumford. This is a gorgeous book. Based on Ibn Battuta's own account of traveling from Morocco to China, from the steppes of Russia to the shores of Tanzania, is illustrated with pictures, maps and beautiful Arabic calligraphy.
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year, Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith. This is about more than just the Chinese New Year celebration, but shows many aspects of Chinese life and culture. Beautiful photos.
  • Old Japan (Make it Work), Andrew Haslam and Clare Doran. Beautiful to look at but impractical crafts, at least for this craft-deficient teacher.
  • Piecing Earth and Sky Together, A Creation Story from the Mien Tribe of Laos,Nancy Raines Day. Beautifully illustrated and features the embroidery style of the Mien Tribe in Laos.


  1. Are you sure this is only ONE week Phyllis? Wow. I can not believe all the great places y'all are going. Love the pictures of YOU! I know that was fun. Happy 21st Birthday Katie. What a beautiful young woman she is.

  2. Wow! I wished we could have all these farm experiences. Happy Birthday Katie!! 21 is such a magically number. So much fun!! Thank you for sharing.

  3. You continue to amaze me - all that in a week, and look how much fun everyone had! Happy birthday to Katie, too!

  4. Happy birthday Katie! It looks like she enjoyed the day.

    That books looks pretty cool.

  5. What a beautiful week, Phyllis!! I, too, hope that Katie gets all she wishes for :) Happy 21st Birthday!!
    That checkerboard games book looks very interesting...I'm going to see if our library system has it.

  6. I am impressed that you can teach so many different things in one week! Happy birthday to Katie!

  7. This is amazing... so many interesting things! You are really having a good learning time!

  8. I love Mellow Mushroom! We ate there several times on our TN trip. I get great ideas from you where to go the next time we are in that direction. Enjoy the rest of your week.

  9. Happy HAppy birthday!!!! Looks like some amazing work going on!


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