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, December 14-20

pictures by Katie
The weather has turned a bit nippy at night, as Katie captured in these morning photos.
If you have a post with an winter theme, we'd love you to link up at our All Year Round Blog Carnival: Winter, which is open for new links until March.
December 14-20

week 14.5
Things have been crazy with us lately, so we only managed a half-week's worth of school.
Spinach and Mushroom Quiche, Fresh Honey-Lime Fruit Salad and Artichoke Hearts with Lemon-Mayo sauce. Not pictured, French Bread.
We had our French Dinner in celebration of our completion of our study of France.
 I attempted to make a Eiffel Tower out of cookies and icing, but the result was this...
 then my builder son took over, and despite the fact that the icing was too runny (you really need to use royal icing if you are going to do this)...
he managed to make one that stood well enough for Quentin to put on the French flag without collapsing.
Sometimes I wonder if all these hands-on activities are worth it. I mean, what does it teach them to make a edible model of the Eiffel Tower? Then, I see them actually do it and even if you don't count all the building and perseverance skills that were put to the test, think of all times they looked at a picture of the Eiffel Tower to make this as much like it as possible. I certainly think that they have that picture in their heads forever and have a greater appreciation for what it took to build it. Discussions of what the building is really made of and how it was built went on during the cookie construction.
We also began our study of Germany.
  In addition to our usual mapping and reading about the country, we decorated Gingerbread houses, a tradition that comes from Germany.

We have been learning about hydra and other invertebrates.

We have been using the unstandardized measurements that we have been taking with graphing activities.
The girls didn't stand a chance against the boys in tug-of-war. : )
The little boys also enjoyed their gym class twice this week.

related posts:

  • JRR Tolkein, Alexandra Wallner
  • Charles and Claudine, Harold Berson
  • Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, Margot Raven
  • Gingerbread Baby, Jan Brett
  • The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Jan Brett
  • Grimm's Fairytales, Grimm brothers
  • Pete the Cat, I Love my White Shoes, James Dean and Eric Litwin
  • The Story of Christmas, Jane Ray
  • Mary, Mother of Jesus, Tomie DePaola
  • Hattie and the Fox, Mem Fox
  • Katie's Sunday Afternoon, James Mayhew

Glimpses of Christmas Advent Celebrating...
This isn't the actual luminary display as I didn't get a chance to snap a picture, but it is close to what it looked like. source
We went to a luminaries display in one part of the town we live in. For several blocks all the neighbors set out luminaries. It is quite magical.
I made a advent calendar out of a couple of Playmobil sets, the nativity and the three Kings, and as it grows, it has been so fun to see them setting up scenes and playing with it.

Katie and James made birdseed ornaments for the birds.
 We also made Gingerbread Houses, a conjunction of our study of Germany with Advent activities.

My friend Howard showed us how to make paper snowflakes just in time to make them for Newton.

We have a tradition of all our family members drawing names for a Secret Santa gift and us all going to Cracker Barrel to shop and enjoy a meal together right before Christmas. It is a wonderful way of taking a calming break between the hectic lead up to Christmas and Christmas itself. With space being very limited this year, it also helps to keep the abundance of presents down. (If everyone in our family bought just one present for each other, that alone would be 56 presents!)

On The Menu This Week
Lasagna Soup

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce from Martha Stewart Recipes
I usually don't like Martha's recipes, because they are too complicated for what they are, but this one is surprisingly simple. I just tweaked it a bit and subbed cilantro instead of the parsley because I so love cilantro.
pesto chickpea salad
Pesto-Chickpea Salad from Budget Bytes
which my vegetarian husband liked a lot, but suggested that I add a bit more pesto next time.

Angel Chicken at Cleverly Inspired
This went over well, even with my family members that don't really like mushrooms. The sauce is heavenly.

Tomato-Tortellini Soup from Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen
A particular favorite with my vegetarian husband.

Join me at...


  1. Always full of fun stuff! I've asked myself the same question about handicrafts: are they worth the time and money? And I think they are! The kids had homemade gifts to share this Christmas and they were excited about that! What did you think of the lasagna soup? My kids loved it!

  2. Another wonderful week. Are you using a particular unit study for your country study? Thanks for telling me about the snowflakes for Newton.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. No, we just review what we have already done on that country, both in terms of history and geography. We add some new studies where we left off. I particularly like cultural studies. I use Pinterest a lot for hands-on activities.

  3. I had to smile at your Eifel Tower...still looks like you had fun trying. :)

    What a busy week!

    I love cilantro too...must try the recipe with it.

  4. Love the hands-on fun all week long! We've been wanting to make birdseed ornaments for a while...think we'll do that today. Thanks! Blessings for a beautiful Christmas!

  5. I love your Christmas Cracker Barrel tradition.

    I struggle with that too for hands on learning, and then they'll sit there with the books we've made and act out things and tell me about a story we read ONCE 2 years ago.

  6. I laughed when I saw your pictures of the Eifel Tower. We had a similar experience when we tried to make them earlier this fall while we rowed Madeline. So, my kids decided to make completely different buildings :-)

    Looks like you guys had a great week!

  7. You managed to get quite a lot done so close to Christmas! Merry Christmas!


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