Home School Life Journal

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

This Moment: Bike Riding in Spring Edition and Snapshot Summary, March 19-23, week 22

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the sam
e, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments at SouleMama.   
Snapshot Summary, March 19-23

First Day of Spring
Easy First Day of Spring Cake
angel-food cake, lemon curd, whipped cream and fresh fruit
Steven's birthday
caramel cake and honeyed pear beehives for my beekeeper wanna-be

This week in school we did mostly reading and writing and since it was not hands-on or anything unusual, there are no photos of that. As far as more hands-on, this is what we did:


Quentin wrote his name on a sheet of graph paper and then wrote the names in his family on the next rows, then he compared the names. Who has more letters in their name? Who has less? Who has the same? How many more or less letters do each of the names have?

My first attempt at acrylics on left; Katie's cupcake on the right.

I had planned to do a acrylic painting activity using the tutorial at Hodgepodge this week. I had never worked with acrylics before, so Katie and I decided to do ours first to see what possible problems the boys might encounter. I am so glad that I do this sort of thing because we found the acrylics extremely hard to work with. Katie has some experience with acrylics and said that the acrylics that I bought were extremely thick. They did not wash out with water and they were hard to apply. I will pick up some paint thinner this week and give it another try. This is why I always at least do the art activities along with the boys, if not before I do it with them. 
Picture Study: Audubon
We had studied this artist briefly a three years ago, but we took a second look at his work in a historical context. He was painting in the early to mid-1800's, which is the period we are studying now in our history studies. He also fits in well with spring nature study.

We added Illinois to our postcard-geography album and enjoyed a wonderful Chicago-style dinner of... 
Chicago-style Deep-dish pizza and 
Chicago Dogs. 
We are so thrilled to be coming down to the last few states!


Our salt-dough map has come in very handy with our history studies.

Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, Part 3:
Through the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean

We have been doing some work with our next section of following Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. I will post about it when we have completed our work.

Little Log Cabin Model
James made a model of a little log cabin with notched popsicle sticks. It connects to Lincoln's log cabin for our Illinois study and the Little House books we have been reading as well as the pioneers which we will be getting to soon.

 Osmosis and Diffusion...what is the difference?
We put potato slices in plain water and salt water to show how the molecules travel in osmosis. We put sugar in a napkin, taped it into a bundle and put it in a glass of water. The sugar and the water passing through the napkin is an demonstration of diffusion.

The Fragility of an Enzyme

We experimented with fresh pineapple and pineapple cooked on the stove to show how fragile enzymes can be. The enzymes in the fresh pineapple prevented the jello from gelling but the cooked did not.

Nature Study
Signs of Spring
The boys are enjoying watching the signs of spring, like this snake in our backyard.


  1. Awesome! That hot dog looks so good. How do you do the post cards? Do you have a list of friends or did you adveritise for people? I would love to know the details of how you got started. We are thinking about doing that next year.

    1. Since a lot of people have asked, I plan to write a post about it this summer as a final post on the project. To answer your question now quickly, I began using Postcrossing, but people who saw these posts began offering to send me postcards, and since then I have just been requesting what I need on each post.

  2. Oh! Can we just come over to your house? All of the food looks so tasty. You guys are doing some amazing things over there!

  3. I LOVE your Friday posts Phyllis! What a great week. I love the first picture of the boys on their bikes!

    All the food! Makes me hungry. And the First Day of Spring cake! YUMMY.

    I have loved your postcard states posts this year. I think this is one of the coolest ideas ever. I know your family gets so excited to get a package in the mail. Kei would love that!

  4. Love the picture study! Nice ideas for Quetin to practice his name. All the food looks so good!! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Always such amazing weeks :) I am loving that deep dish pizza...it's funny, but I was just thinking about making one of those sometime soon. I've never tried making one before.
    Happy belated birthday to Steven!
    We really loved the book you talked about in your post about Audubon "The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon" when we read it.

  6. That photo at top is one to keep for always. I love the blur that surrounds it - captures the motion. And I love how you mention how the boys are enjoying nature and then casually say, 'like this snake' :) I think your cupcakes turned out beautifully but so glad you attempted them first yourself. We haven't had trouble with thickness with the brand of acrylics we use. Wonderful week all around!

  7. I lived (and taught) in Springfield, IL for years! Gave many fieldtrip tours to the Lincoln sites for family in town visiting and students. Took my kids on a whirlwind tour for three weekend in a row while we had people looking at our home that was on the market. I was able to give them the complete tour right before we moved to Texas. I always enjoyed the Lincoln sites!~

  8. What a beautiful snake! That picture honestly made me hope to see one (a nice one!) soon. I hope you are doing well, Phyllis. I can't wait to catch up :)

  9. I love your weeks...hands-on learning fun and lots of yummy food!! We might have to make that Spring Cake!! Can't wait to hear how you got started with the postcard states study. I think my girls would really get into that:)

  10. Selena just informed me that she loves All Things Beautiful, because it has a picture of a snake. Blogging is fun these days when she reads everything posted or commented.

  11. That's our boys' dream...to find a snake in the backyard! :)
    I love how you incorporated food-the-fits in your Chicago study. Great ideas here! Homeschooling at your place looks really fun :)

  12. Oh my goodness, you do so many amazing things in a week! I love all your experiments. The angel food cake looks delicious and now I want some!

  13. You guys are so brave with the snake! Here is you see a snake in the yard you have to assume its dangerous! Love the postcard project you guys are doing.If you even need any from Australia let us know:)


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