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, November 9-15, week 11

Snapshot Summary, November 9-15
One evening some friends took James and Quentin out for pizza...
and raking the leaves turned into a fun fall time for James and Quentin!
Gym has been suspended until December because they are moving to a new building, so we took the little boys to McDonald's to play in the play-area to burn off some steam.

Week 11

History and Geography

 We learned about how Immigrants Flocked to America from the 1880's to 1914 and Presidents of this period, Hayes (19th) to McKinley (25th), noting what happened during each of their terms.

We also learned about:
Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute, 1881
Nikola Tesla and alternating current, 1881
George Eastman invents flexible film, 1884
Buffalo Bill present his first Wild West Show, 1883 and Annie Oakley joins in 1885
Chicago's Haymarket Riot, 1886
 We have also been studying Arabia, from it's beginnings, Sumer...
to more the more recent wars in the Middle East.


Sam, age 11, 10/2008
We finished up our study of microscopic organisms with the Kingdom Protista.


Measuring with Nonstandard Units
The boys have had experience with taking body measurements by using lengths of string, but it was some years ago. James Quentin and Alex again used string to measure body parts like wrists, neck, feet, fingers, ankles, chest, height...and then compared them in all sorts of ways and investigated them with questioning. They will then develop and test methods of placing these measurements in order by size. This will lead to representational graphing. I will be showing our investigations more in a separate post. 
Sam is working with integers and is really enjoying algebra, and with the grades he has been making on the exercises and tests, he is getting a lot out of it. We have switched our favorite high school math program to Teaching Textbooks.


I have been giving James and Quentin journal assignments every week. We use these to practice using concepts we have been working on, like, for example, adjectives or we use the paragraph to teach new concepts, like when to capitalize. We then use it as a first draft, and re-write it correctly. Sometimes they are to see what they remember from our previous schoolwork. I try to keep it as low-key as possible, but it does give me some material to work with. They vary considerably: 
Write about your favorite daydream.
Pick an object in the room and write five words to describe it.
In two minutes, write the names of as many states you can remember.
Make a list of three things you think all children around the world do.
Write five adjectives that describe money.
What foods, traditions and decorations are usually a part of your Thanksgiving celebration?
Write the date of your birthday, including the year, and then describe what you think the weather will be like on your next birthday.
Copy your favorite pie recipe from a cookbook.
Write an imaginative story that tells how the swordfish got his name, following the example of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories.
Draw a map that shows how to get from your house to a friend's house.

  • The Mystery of the Dinosaur Graveyard, Mary Adrian
  • James and the Giant Peach on CD, Roald Dahl
  • Lugalbanda: the boy who got caught in a war, Kathy Henderson
  • Gilgamesh, the King, Ludmila Zeman
  • The Arabian Nights, Tarnowska Wafa

Prayer Request

I am sorry that my last couple of wrap-ups have been a little scattered. Last Wednesday (on my birthday!) I was diagnosed as having stage 2, type A breast cancer. I will be having two of my lymph nodes on my right-hand side removed on Tuesday (20th of this month) to be tested to see if they also have cancer cells. If they do, the remaining three lymph nodes will also be removed when I have my mastectomy next month.On the positive side, it is a slow growing cancer with a good prognosis. I will also be having chemotherapy, but it is of a hormone-blocking type, so I will not have nausea or lose my hair. There is a 50 % possibility that I will also need radiation treatment further down the road. I am not sure how much I will be posting while I am going through treatment, so don't be alarmed if you don't see much from me, but please keep us all in your prayers.
Most of my future discussions on this subject will be posted on my new blog devoted just to this, On The Mend, so as not to take up too much space here.


  1. Phyllis, sorry to hear about your health problems. I do hope the treatment goes smoothly. You will be in my prayers.
    I can only imagine how much there is to organise before your treatment.

  2. Phyllis, so sorry to hear about your health issues. Do take care! You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  3. Phyllis, I am praying for all of you!!! I trust that the Lord will keep you in good shape and keep your family running smoothly - so that you can focus on getting yourself better and beating cancer!

    Thinking of you... and covering you in prayer.

  4. We are praying for you. I am so sorry to hear this news, but I am glad it is a good prognosis.
    Blessings, Dawn

  5. Oh, Phyllis! You will be in my thoughts!

  6. I will be praying for you Phyllis! May the Lord keep you and your family strong.

  7. Phyllis, Keilee and I pray for you everyday since we saw this on Facebook. You are such a strong woman that I know you will come through this wonderfully. I wish we were closer so I could help you in some way but know that you are in our thoughts and prayers often.

    Your week looks amazing as always. I love how you use index cards in your learning. Very cool. I see your boys are still enjoying the leaves. We are too. They were gorgeous this year. Hugs and love friend.

  8. I love all the leaf jumping! And your journal ideas for English are fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Please know that we are lifting you and your whole family in prayer - for strength, peace, provision and healing. Love from all of us!

  9. Phyllis, just know we continue to pray. They truly have come so far with the treatments for this ugly disease, and can do so much.

  10. I really like the way that you post your weekly wrap ups, and I am always making note of what you guys are reading. Your history lessons looks very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

    Praying hands over here.

  11. Beautiful week, as always, Phyllis. I love the leaf pictures!
    Know that I am thinking of you often and praying for you.

  12. Take care of yourself, and wishing you a quick recovery.

  13. I am really sorry about your diagnosis. Hope and pray that everything goes well with your surgery and treatments.

  14. I loved James and the Giant Peach as a child!

    Sorry to hear about your health issues. I will be praying for your upcoming procedures.


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