Home School Life Journal

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

September 18-24, 2015, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, Days 9-13: When There Doesn't Seem to be Enough Hours in the Day to Get it All in

September 18-24, 2015
days 9-13
I think every homeschooling family faces at some point the problem of how to balance out-of-the-house learning with table or book learning. How you handle it seems to decide what style of homeschooling you will take on. Over time we have settled into an unschooling type approach. What learning they experience from field trips and other learning opportunities seem to be far better and stick with them more than any book learning, so I don't worry if we don't get many days of table learning or even if we cover all subjects within the week. This was one of those weeks. We spent time learning out of the house more than at the table. And that is okay.

Day 9: Field Trip
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
Ronks, Pennsylvania
We hadn't all gone to Cherry Crest in a few years, and so we went with a bit of enthusiasm. Last year James had really wanted to go, but wasn't able to so I made sure we went this year, especially for him and made sure he spent all the time he wanted and did all he wanted there.The boys are old enough now to pretty much all go in their own directions, so I didn't get a chance to take many pictures, but I took a few, Steven took a few and James took a few, including some from inside the maze. We stayed until after dark. A beautiful sliver of a moon came out over the corn maze, as we waited for James to come out of the maze. He finally emerged and he had completed his entire map, picking up all 15 pieces of the maze puzzle! On the way home, as we drove through Elkton, Maryland, we watched a fireworks display as the town kicked off its fall festival.

A picture that hangs in the waiting room at duPont Hospital.
Day 10: Full Day of Testing
We spent all day at duPont Hospital for Children where
James was tested in all ways possible, but we won't hear the results until October. Meanwhile, we will be starting therapy Monday evenings so we can learn better ways of dealing with his language, learning, anxiety and OCD issues. We also celebrated Oktoberfest with a German dinner.

Our Oktoberfest dinner included Bratwursts cooked in kraut with caraway seeds served with beer-braised onions, German red cabbage and German Potato Salad.

Day 11

On Tuesday, we prepared materials that we would need for our co-op class the next day. We completed chromotography demonstrations on the ink in the pens found at the "crime scene." The class will then compare them with the ink in the note found at the "crime scene." We read about the Incans and answered some questions. Our focus this week was mostly on the social structure, particularly that of the High Inca and his Coya and the nobles. We read some of The King's Fifth by Scott O'Dell and The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster each day this week.

Day 12: Co-op Day
Forensic Science Class
Drama Class
In the morning, we took Midas to the vets to get him neutered.
In the afternoon, we went to co-op and in Criminal Investigations class we analyzed DNA sequences, compared shoeprints, used a method to develop fingerprints and completed chromotography demonstrations to determine which ink pen was used to write the note left at the crime scene.

We rehearsed the play, and Wendy Sardo showed us a great way to show PPM, or Parts per Million.

Day 13: Off to Gettysburg, PA.
Quentin left for Gettysburg for five days with friends. James, Sam and Alex all completed regular schoolwork. Sam worked on Fractional Equations with Rational Numbers (Teaching Textbooks, Algebra II). James completed Undoing and the Golden Rule of Algebra (TT Algebra, Lesson 3). Alex completed an art project and Sam continued with his regular schoolwork. 
When Quentin called me Thursday night, he told me they had gone on a Gettysburg Ghost Stories tour.

Join me at...


  1. Phyllis, I do hope the test results will give you some answers and a place from which you are able to help James. I hadn't realised he struggled with anxiety. We have a close friend who comes to our house each week who suffers terribly with it and we can all see how difficult it is. I will be praying for resolution for all his difficulties xx

  2. I almost got out Sons of Columbus, but ended up note getting it because of time constraints. Over on Tina's Dynamic Homeschool she has tons of lapbooking and notebooking pages for this.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I saw Cherry Crest Adventure Farm on our trip through Amish Country last year. Might check it out if we go back. I also hope you get some answers for your son. We have had periods with our own son of waiting for medical answers. It's never fun but God can bring peace!

    1. Thank you all for your kind comments about the help we are seeking for James. It is so hard to see him struggle about things that are nothing to most kids.

  4. Hi, I'm stopping by from Week In Review! I love the farm field trip. We've done a corn maze the past two years and really enjoyed it. The Criminal Investigations co-op class sounds like so much fun!

  5. Phyllis, most of us all know by now that your way of homeschooling is far superior than sitting at a desk all day!! The projects and learning experiences that you continue to come up with amaze me! I hope all the testing gives you answers to your questions and some real practical help for James!

    1. I guess I haven't fully accepted the unschooling style. I still make them write about it whenever they go on field trips and the like.:)

  6. Forensic science class sounds SO awesome!!

  7. I love your homeschool style - whatever you call it :)


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