Home School Life Journal

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

A Day in the Life of a 13 and a 17 Year Old and February 2018 in General

A Day in the Life of a 13 and a 17 Year Old (plus their siblings, ages 26, 23 and 20)

8:30 My day starts like most others, with me being awoken by the getting ready to go to college noises my 26 and 20 year olds make. My husband has been up for some time and has taken the dog out as well as several morning activities such as paying bills, picking up the house, and starting his work day. He works via a computer in the family room. He also greets me with a good morning and a cup of coffee made just as I like it as soon as he realizes I am awake. I will be the first to tell you that he is the cream of the crop husband/father. While I sip my coffee, I read the blogs I like to follow, my Instagram account and other such social media.

9:45 I finally get out of bed and begin my day. By now the college kids have left. Thankfully someone has emptied the dishwasher, do I begin to fill it and otherwise clean the kitchen and do whatever morning chores that seem the most urgent. While I was doing my wake up routine, my autistic 23 year old has gotten up and I see that my husband has already fed him breakfast (my husband and my 23 year old are the only two that eat breakfast in our household). I go to put on a load of laundry and see that my husband already has a load completed and hanging on the indoor clothes line we had to get recently when our clothes dryer finally died. We will have to wait until the Income Tax check comes back before we can replace the dryer.

11:00 I get a text from my 20 year old saying that they have made it to college.  They indulge me with texts ever day because the college is almost two hours away, in a good bit of traffic and over a large bridge. They know I worry about them when they are in the road.
Since everyone else (ie: my two students) are still asleep, I decide to finish the painting I started yesterday using The Art Sherpa's video Acrylic Painting lessons. It is of a Zen Garden and I have really been enjoying painting this tranquil painting. My 23 year old is now watching The Magic School Bus, which is currently his favorite show. My painting goes well and I finish it, snap a picture of it and send the photo to my college kids via text. 
I set up an art project to do with the 23 year old. Since he has graduated, it is one of the few things we do together. 

11:45 Time to start lunch. Today I am making a Kale and White Bean Soup for Steven (the vegetarian) and myself (the hopeful Dieter). I am also making frozen chicken nuggets, both regular and gluten free, and french fries for the boys. Some time while I am making lunch, my 13 year old makes his appearance downstairs. I call up the stairs to my 17 year old once lunch is ready. Turns out that he has been awake, but was watching videos on the computer in his room.

12:15 We decide to watch an episode of The Andy Griffith Show as we eat out lunch. Many days my husband has to work through lunch, but on this day he joins us for a bit of the show.
1:00 After lunch, the boys complete some household chores. I decide which dinner off our weekly menu we are having and take the steaks out of the freezer to defrost. My 23 year old plays with a present he received for Christmas, a cardboard castle with stickers.

2:00 My 13 year old and I work together on the parts of school in which he wants my help. We discuss how he will work out the mechanics of the Oregon Trail board game he is making. I help him go through his Latin flashcards. We discuss what work he needs to do on the paper he is writing on the development of weapons. I quiz him on the chapter he just finished in his biology book.

3:30 While the 13 year old begins working on his own, I begin helping my 17 year old. He has severe learning disabilities and has a lot of trouble reading. Despite this, his is very intelligent and already knows 85 percent of the material we are covering, so I use this time to help him work in his reading skills, while making sure all the material is covered. We get through history, science (his favorite subject), geography and English. He does some math on his own, but when he reaches a point where he needs help he puts it away until the weekend when my 20 year old does math lessons with both boys. The college kids send me a text that they are on their way home.
Coffee-Rubbed Beef with Red-Eye Beans
4:30 I am grateful that tonight's dinner is an easy one to make as it is getting late. I am making Coffee Rubbed Steaks, Red Eye Beans and Cucumbers in vinegar. Normally I have to make three separate main dishes to accommodate the dietary needs of the entire family, but this is an easy fix for tonight.
Katie's Birch Bark Vase

5:00 The college kids arrive home and we all have dinner. Everyone talks about their day and it is a lively conversation, jumping around to all sorts of topics, from politics to art to the Civil War. My 26 year old tells us a bit about her Small Business class she is taking. She wants to start her own Ceramics shop. She also asks for my help with formatting some photographs of a piece ( a ceramic vase made to look like a birch tree) she has made that she wants to enter into a contest which has a cash prize.

6:00 After dinner I work on a menu and shopping list for the next week, while the college kids settle into completing their homework.  Mid-terms are approaching and the are particularly busy finishing up multiple papers and projects. My 13 year old gets his fencing gear ready and the 17 year old works on deciding what cards he will include in his Magic the Gathering deck for the game he is going to this weekend at his gaming club.

6:30 My husband and I take the 13 year old to his Fencing Academy (an hour from our house) and then go on to do the grocery shopping.

8:30 We finish in time to catch the last couple of his bouts. He is doing well and notice that he is making the more advanced students he is bouting work harder to get points on him than they used to. I enjoy talking to a couple of the adults we see there regularly. The 13 year old decides that he is finished after completing five bouts and we leave. He is drenched with sweat.

9:30 We arrive home, bring in the groceries and put them away. My 17 year old tells me about some interesting medical videos he has watched while we were gone and we watch a couple before it is time for me to go to bed. I watch a couple more of the medical videos before Steven comes up, bringing the dog and a steaming cup of Chai tea for me.

During the other days in February, we...

Quentin, 13 years old, 8th grade

American History: Quentin has reached the Pioneers period in American history, and is working on a game with that theme. He will be continuing on in his history reading an writing while he is working on the game.

Biology: He has just finished the section on biological chemistry.

Physical Science: We finished up our study of the atmosphere and air and are beginning the study of water.

English: We are working on writing, writing, writing. Mostly he has been writing various types of papers.

Middle School Math: We are plugging away with fractions.

Voice: He went to voice lessons several times this month.. Quentin is auditioning on Saturday for a part in Pippin and he has been working on his audition pieces, which are to be sung acappella.

James, 17 years old, 10th grade

American History II: Key topics: Colonial housekeeping, molasses, newspapers, the first Twelve Amendments, War of 1812, the Santa Fe Trail, the National Anthem, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams; national symbols, pledge and creed; Second Great Awakening, mountain men, windmills, Cornelius Vanderbilt, steam engines

World Geography: Key topics: Latin America Mexico, South America, Central America, Caribbean Islands, Sierra Madre, Andes Mountains, Darien Gap, Mount Aconcagua, Guiana Highlands, Amazon River, Panama Canal, Strait of Magellan, Sao Francisco, Iguazu Falls, deforestation, Amazon Rain Forest, Atacama Desert

Integrated Physics and Chemistry II: Key topics: organic chemistry, hydrocarbons, black gold, benzene, organic acids, ethers, plastics, alcohol, changing molecules, carbohydrates, nitrogen compounds, fibers, vitamins, protein, colloids, Pasteur, Baekeland, Eijkman

English 10: Composition Skills: Key topics: verbs—action, linking, helping, present tense, past tense, future tense; present perfect, past perfect, future perfect, present progressive, past progressive, future progressive; participles—present and past, phrases, dangling; sentence fragments; parts of speech: noun agreement; simple sentences, diagramming, coordinating conjunctions, compound sentences, subordinate conjunctions, clauses; verbal: gerunds, infinitives

Basic Math Skills: Key topics: graphs, negative numbers: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; grouping, operational symbols, associative and distributive properties, exponents, PEMDAS, square power, square roots, cubes, English weight, fractional measure, interest

The College Kids


Katie is enjoying all her college classes...
but she particularly loves her ceramics class and we delight in getting her pieces!

Other Happenings This Month

After finally getting our health back after being sick for the whole month of January, we had much to celebrate. We had a Saint Valentine's day dinner with friends in which I made heart shaped individual pizzas and Pots de Creme.

We celebrated Mardi Gras with the traditional pancake dinner. I colored the pancakes with the traditional Mardi Gras colors.
We had a (month belated) Paint and Sip Birthday party for Hope.

How was your February?

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