Home School Life Journal

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

Snapshot Summary, January 9-13, week 15

Snapshot Summary, January 9-13
A Day in Our Homeschool
A couple of you have asked how a homeschooling day goes for us. It is true that I don't include everything in my posts, and often I will switch things around so that they make more sense to the reader. I will give you an example of one of our days here, and tell you how things get switch around a little.
Since it was Monday, Katie made a large breakfast intending to have leftovers to last the whole week. She made scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and eggnog muffins, both gfcf and regular. In fact, she was still working on them when it was chore time for everyone.
Sunday night we somehow got to talking about how the sense of smell affects our sense of taste and I remembered the classic How Scent Affects Our Taste experiment and told them about it. They wanted to do it right then and there, but since it was bedtime, I told them we would do it on Monday.
First thing in the morning, they reminded me of my promise, so right after breakfast, we started off our back-to-school week with a little experiment. Even though we failed to get the desired results, it did get the boys thinking about the connection between taste and smell and they recognized how that when they get a cold with a stuffy nose, it affects their sense of taste.
We learned about Oklahoma and created two pages on this state for our Postcard-Geography album. Alex began coloring the map, but began doing a sloppy job, so I passed the task on to Quentin. I am working with Alex on doing neat, thorough work instead of just completing it quickly. Since he loves to do school, not letting him finish the task was the best thing to do to discourage him from sloppy work.
We then had a lunch of leftovers, and everyone completed their chores.
 Quentin warmed up his math skills after our break by playing what we call the funny counting game. We use number cards above the appropriate sections of our place value board and he counts either forward or backwards, adding or subtracting beans and changing the cards to match the amounts of beans. All this practice will make regrouping for subtraction problems and carrying over for addition problems easier.

James reviewed acute, obtuse and right angles. He then worked on a  worksheet in which he was to find various figures. We then looked for the various angles in them with a protractor.
Meanwhile Sam worked on Logic, read a section in George Washington's World, added some to his timeline, and completed a lesson from Draw Squad. Alex worked on a section of his Basic Math book.
We checked on our weather station and noted any changes.
The UPS man then arrived with a couple of school books, one of which was a history/handwriting book. I hadn't bought any in the series before because it taught cursive handwriting and both the younger boys are still working on printing. I decided to buy one for the drawing lessons and the history sentences. I decided I would just copy the sentences over for them in manuscript for them to copy. 
I had also bought Quentin a tablet the previous weekend for handwriting. He had been using paper in which the lines were too far apart, so I bought one for 2nd/3rd graders and in the front there was an example of both manuscript and cursive handwriting. Quentin became interested in cursive writing right away and practiced a little on it Sunday night on his own. This got James interested in it as well, and he practiced some on his own as well.
Quentin's sketch of Napoleon
So, today when the history/handwriting book arrived, Quentin began working in it right away, even though we have not yet gotten to that part of history yet. I will just slip it into the appropriate place in his history folder and add it to the Napoleon post when we get there in history.
Meanwhile, Sam and I discussed a section from his Physical Science book on Einstein's Theory of Relativity, The Graviton Theory as well as some review of some astronomy topics. James listened in, seemed to grasp at least some of it and enjoyed learning about it.
By this time it was time to make dinner and Quentin helped me snap the asparagus that needed to be roasted for Penne and Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter. I also heated up some leftover ham to go with it.
The Boxcar Children was also in the box of books that arrived today, and James said that he thought that he could read it and was anxious to try. So, after dinner he and I took turns reading to Quentin the first chapter.
Then they settled down to watch some Netflix and play with Legos. Quentin also pretended to be Buzz Lightyear with a large plastic bowl over his head. Then we all completed our evening chores.
Then I read two chapters from On The Banks of Plum Creek and Steven read them a section from the Bible, and then it was bedtime for the little boys. Steven completed a reading lesson with Alex, and then read him a story before it was Alex's bedtime. Sam, Katie, Steven and I had tea and watched Netflix for an hour and then we all went to bed. A bit of reading for me about what school I plan to do the next day was all that was left before turning the lights out.
A day in the life of our homeschool.
I normally would only post about the science experiment and the geography, with a mention of our math in this wrap-up. I probably would include the picture of Napoleon with the post on Napoleon when we get there in history, and the rest I would not have included. I hope this gives you a more full picture of our days. Back to the bare bones posting for the rest of the week...
Today we learned about the French Revolution. James and Sam were not feeling well, so they rested. Quentin was still interested in the new history-handwriting-drawing book, so he sketched another picture of Napoleon and one of Sacajawea. Alex sketched and wrote about the Alamo (yes, he is a bit ahead).
They watched the pilot of Little House on the Prairie in the afternoon and declared that even though they liked it, the show wasn't as good as the book, which made this momma smile.
Today Quentin started back with Learn To Read in 100 Easy Lessons which we had dropped last year in favor of a more relaxed approach. I am having a problem with him catching on to reading despite the fact that I have not seen any obvious signs of any learning disability. I keep thinking that perhaps he is just not ready for it, or perhaps that he doesn't want to compete or get ahead of James, who has lots of LD issues and is years below where most of his peers are. It is easy to get worried about those who don't even have LD's when you see so many others beginning to read at four years old and younger. I caution others about it all the time, and yet I fall prey to it myself from time to time. At any rate, I thought that some structured lessons wouldn't hurt either of us a bit. I started him off about mid-book and he did fine with the lesson, which made us both feel as if we had accomplished something. James read me some poetry from Surprises and then told me a story, which I wrote down and he illustrated. Alex and James finished up some math work leftover from Monday, and we had to clarify for James how to measure angles of an object as he kept moving his protractor too much and not measuring the angles correctly. It is tricky business, especially since both he and I have to fight our dyslexic/dysgraphic tendencies, which sometimes distort perceptions. We read a bit from Quentin's Human Body book he got for Christmas.

We learned about whale migration. We are ta;king the Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures book at a very leisurely pace. The book only has a small section on this subject, but it is very informative. We also found a bit on migration in Considering God's Creation and used the pictures of whales to show the migration patterns of the Grey Whale (north pole to the shores of Mexico) and the Humpback Whale (south pole to the equator.)
Alex's page on whale migration
notebook page from Apologia, click on Course Notebook (It is free!)
We also took another stab at making Molasses Candy to celebrate our finishing Farmer Boy,

this time with some moderate success.
We took a look at a Vermeer painting that is a little different than the ones we have been studying.
38 1/4 x 46 1/4 in.
Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis, The Hague
I wanted them to know that he didn't just paint indoor scenes. Isn't this just beautiful?

What we are Reading

Our Favorite Resource This Week
This is an interesting supplement to our history program. It has instructions on how to draw Napoleon Bonaparte, The White House, Sacajawea, a grizzly bear, a steamboat, the Alamo, log cabin, Queen Victoria to name a few and has a page of copywork in cursive mixed in. It also has small write-ups at each of the drawing instructions, giving a brief overview of this point in history.


  1. What a great week! I love seeing everything thing written down. For me, when I am having a 'we don't do enough' moment, it makes me realize we ARE! Love the molasses pull. Do you find yourself learning too? I DO!!! All the time and I love it. :) Great wrap up Phyllis!

    PS. I would be happy to teach you the rules of football. Got any jellybeans? ;)

  2. What a great week. I enjoyed you day in the life edition.

  3. Your favorite resource this week looks very cool - like something we would enjoy here.

    I also enjoyed seeing how your days went - makes me see that you have learning going on CONSTANTLY in your home!

    Thanks for linking today!

  4. I agree with you that the Little House books are better than the TV series, but those shows do hold a special place in my heart anyway :) We plan to watch that series when we complete The Waltons.

    It was neat to see a overview of a whole day from your perspective.

    Thanks for linking with Favorite Resources. That looks like an interesting resource.

  5. Oh I so enjoyed the peek at your 'day in the life' and a fun, full day it was - as I suspected! I love how the meals and chores are all interwoven with learning and how everyone helps. I just might have to incorporate Katie's cooking a big meal for breakfast for the rest of the week! I also like how the new handwriting tablet encouraged and your evening routine of readings. Yet another beautiful week. I love stopping by here.

  6. I love Quentin's sketch of Napoleon! Love the Little House books =)

  7. And thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  8. I have always thought about homeschooling. I love the natural flow of your day and how your children's curiosity proms learning activities! Wonderful!!!

  9. It's always interesting to get a glimpse in how other people do school. Thanks for joining WMCIR with your book selections!


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