Home School Life Journal

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

Our 21st Year of Homeschooling: April 2017

April 2017
We are finally back to our normal activities. The college kids are back to their classes and have even caught up on their work from being out with the flu.
We are back to enjoying the healthy and economical lunches we can get at the college cafeteria, such as this Chicken Taco Salad.

Katie is doing well this semester and has surprised herself with how well she is doing in her math class. 

One morning before we drove to the college, she had to swing by the beach to snap a few photos as she is working on a landscape for her Painting II class. She picked this photo to base her painting on.

One evening, we went to the college early so I could get a picture of her working in her art class.

I love the way her art teacher has set up the room so that the students can each work on their individual projects. It is such an inviting and warm atmosphere, it made me happy to be there.
Both Sam and Katie are ready for the summer break however, and they will get their wish soon as they have only one more week of classes and then final exams.

Quentin is back to his activities, too. He goes to fencing twice a week, which I am counting as his gym class.

He has also begun weekly individual lessons.

He is enjoying his weekly voice lessons, which have become regular and he is beginning to see the fruits of his labor. His voice is soft right now as he figures out how to handle the fact that his voice is changing. He is currently working on White Winter Hymnal and Vincent.

In terms of book work, the younger boys and I had a look at where they are at in terms of the fact that the end of the year is nearing. We tend not to work through any one book in any particular subject, but rather taking rabbit holes as we see them and switching up materials as we see the need or desire. For this reason, we never know exactly where there is an ending point. One thing just tends to lead to another and so on, making knowing where to stop for the summer a bit difficult. We looked, instead, at what things we could work on or what natural conclusions we could meet before summer rolls around. We decided that Quentin should finish the paper he is working on for English and stop there. He will continue to work on writing his role-playing games, as it is for pleasure as well as credit. We will pick history back up where we leave off as that is an on-going process.
 We are going to stop progress in math and make sure that he has all the basics down before starting Pre-Algebra in the fall. We will probably be working on his Biology in fits and starts throughout the summer, so we will continue on with that. We will also continue reading Shakespeare and Economics (Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?) throughout the summer.

We decided that James will finish up Treasure Island for English and then stop for the summer. We will take up writing papers in the fall. We will stop Integrated Physics and Chemistry at the next chapter and pick it up again in the fall where we leave off. Meanwhile, he will probably participate in the biology work Quentin is doing through the summer. As with Quentin, we are going to review basic math concepts by playing math games throughout the summer and pick up Algebra where he leaves off this month in the fall. We finished up Maryland History as well as started a new History program, covering  Native Americans: food, families, government, communication, sports, transportation, dwellings; Columbus; horses and cattle introduced, Jamestown, John Smith, Pocahontas, slavery introduced, The Mayflower Compact, and The Bay Psalm Book.

Oh, and in case you missed them, I have posted a series entitled Pioneers, a Renaissance Role-play and History Curriculum for Middle and High School Students. This series will continue through all of May.

I have also answered the question, What is the Difference Between Middle School Level and High School Level Learning? by discussing teaching high school students about how to analyze arguments in the articles they will be reading and how to make good arguments for their own papers.

I have been less faithful about writing the posts for the High School American Government course, but I do promise I will finish all the posts in this series throughout the summer.

My other summer posting projects are a Maryland History and Geography curriculum for middle and high school students (plus some for elementary level students),
and a series of posts for a Civil War curriculum for middle and high school students. The title picture is an old picture of Quentin. He looks so adorable in that picture I just had to use it even though he is so young and the posts are for older kids.
I am also going to sneak in a post on Grading High School Essays and Papers in May before my posts turn more summer oriented.

As you can see, the blog posts have turned more toward high school and less and less toward elementary and middle school level activities. I do hope to write some more posts on the younger level activities, but I have high school level work on my brain right now as I am writing that level curriculum for my boys now. Once I am through writing those posts, however, I do plan to go back to some things I have not written about before on the elementary and middle school levels.
While I am talking about writing, I just wanted to mention how proud I am of my sister-in-law, whose article, Belvedere Mystery, was published as a front page article (and continued inside) in the newsletter for the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum where she volunteers as a docent. For this article she did extensive research and uncovered some really interesting facts about a mysterious Tiffany glass screen. This type of thing is great encouragement for how research and writing skills can be used after graduation and on into the rest of your student's lives.


  1. I'm quite enjoying your high school posts and saving them to read again as we get closer to high school each year, which both excites and scares me.

    1. I remember being scared, but it really is no different than the other stages they have been through. You will be able to meet this next stages' goals.

    2. I remember being scared, but it really is no different than the other stages they have been through. You will be able to meet this next stages' goals.

  2. Katie is such a great artist! Is art what she wishes to pursue for a career?

    1. Yes, it is. Her goal is a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - visual Arts. From there, who knows?

    2. Yes, it is. Her goal is a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - visual Arts. From there, who knows?


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