Home School Life Journal

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

September 2017, Our 22nd Year of Homeschooling Begins

The Homeschooled Kids


James, because of his severe learning disabilities, needs a predictable curriculum, and so I have drifted away from creating my own studies and from hands-on activities. My other students all needed variety in their studies so enjoyed all the rabbit holes we traveled down and all the hands-on type of learning we engaged in. This was stressful for James because he spent so much time and energy in figuring out what was expected of him, all the joy went out of the experience. His favorite subject was Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum's Integrated Physics and Chemistry, which is written by one of my favorite authors, Hudson Tiner. He liked it because it was in a predictable format of reading a section and answering questions in a workbook. At the end of the section was a quiz and at the end of the chapter, there was a test. I liked it because it always focused on reading comprehension, which is one of his weaknesses. So, we decided to just go with it and I bought Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum across the board for all his subjects. So, he is taking:

English 9 using English 1: Language Skills
American History using People, Places and Principles of America
Physical Science using Integrated Physics and Chemistry
General Math using Basic Math Skills

Soon after we had ordered the material, I got a call from the president of the company, thanking me for ordering and asking me about why I picked the curriculum and any suggestions I might have. I was so impressed by how much this company cares. 
So far James is enjoying using the curriculum and so I plan to write a review of it, giving more details about it, in the future.

In American history we went over Spanish explorers, astrolabes, Spanish missions, Mayflower Compact, foundation for America’s economic system, Pilgrims and Indians, William Bradford, the Puritans, homemade medicine, seeds of independence, early lighting, soap-making, Anne Bradstreet, early colleges and universities, and military conflicts between French and British.

In English 9, we went over verbs—tenses, active and passive voice, transitive and intransitive; shall and will, may and can, other confusing twins, contractions, adverbs and prepositions, negatives, antonyms, synonyms, simple and compound sentences, complex sentences, and writing better sentences.


Quentin wanted to take more control over his education this year and is working towards the goal of taking some college classes at the local community college when he turns sixteen. To that end, he has written up his own schedule and decided on his own subjects this year. Happily for me, it follows a Charlotte Mason style format.
Hours Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:30-9:50 Bible Shakespeare Bible Shakespeare Bible
9:50-10:20 Biology Physics Biology Physics Biology
1:30-2:00 Math English Math English Math
2:30-2:50 Latin Greek and
Latin Greek Latin
3:20-3:50 Reading History Reading History Reading
7:00-7:20 Sheet Music Fencing Sheet Music Fencing Sheet Music

He got my assistance with curriculum choices, so we are using  the following curriculum (As some of the material is high school level, he'll be getting high school credit for this once he has completed it.) :
Math: Basic Math Skills, Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum supplemented with hands-on activities such as the ones at Mathematics, a Way of Thinking.
Latin and Greek: Level 3 at Greek and Stuff
Reading: Books of his choice
Shakespeare: How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, Reading, memorizing and watching Shakespeare's plays.
English: Ambleside Online's Pre-7 program with writing assignments
Physical Education: Modern Duelist Fencing Academy

"I would make them all learn English; and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." 
--Sir Winston Churchill
He has started back to fencing, which counts as his Physical Education, but he really does it because he loves it. He is not interested in doing tournaments yet but stays to bout for two and a half hours twice a week.

The Kids Who Have Graduated


You can be read Sam's first article in whole at TheCampusCurrent.com
Sam is taking Political Theory, First Aid and Statistics this semester for his Political Science degree. He is also writing for the campus newspaper. His first article, Ideas don't go away if ignored; colleges should give all a voice, came out this month. 


Katie is taking Drawing, Ceramics, First Aid and Statistics this semester for her Art degree. Some of her artwork is trickling home, like this sketch of an egg done in charcoals...

and these examples of the first projects she completed in her ceramics class, pinch pots.


Simple Floral Lilacs with Q-tips in Acrylic Paint on Canvas Step by step tutorial at The Art Sherpa.
Alex also enjoys art, and despite the fact that he has graduated, we do complete some art projects together, like this one of lilacs...
and this one of Baby's Breath, both done with Art Sherpa tutorials.


  1. I should look into the PAC stuff for math, I tried it a few years ago for the kids and really enjoyed it, and have kept it around to go back into it again (their science curriculum).
    I like the article Sam wrote, that's a hard topic to discuss right now.

    1. It drives Quentin crazy, but James likes it's predictability. Each student seems to like something different, right?
      Thank you, I will pass on the comment to Sam.


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