Home School Life Journal

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

Snapshot Summary, April 1-8, week 24/Easter Week

Snapshot Summary, April 1-8

April Fool's
Cupcakes and red juice for dinner?
We do like to have some fun on April Fool's day, but I am very particular about the kind of fun. It cannot be mean-spirited or make the recipient of the joke feel bad. There is no pleasure in making others feel frustrated or uncomfortable. We do like to have fun, however. 
This year we made meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting and jello "juice" as part of our dinner. Quentin really did think they were cupcakes at first and thought I had lost my mind giving them to him for dinner. No worries, he had Fudge Mocha cake for dessert.

Mostly Math
Comparing Greater Than/Less Than
We used our number crunching alligator to compare numbers on a number line (Quentin) and to compare fractions (James).
Bean Sticks and Rafts
Quentin and I made some bean sticks, for 10's and rafts, for 100's, to add to our math manipulatives. I think that having them count out the beans themselves and putting them in cups of 10 and bowls of 100 is very useful at first and I much prefer them to manipulatives that already have their amounts set. Once the counting becomes monotonous, they are ready to have some set-amount manipulatives to work with. I like to make bean sticks and rafts before using the blocks because they are so close to counting the beans themselves. These bean sticks and rafts can be used for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Sam is working on first degree relations with one placeholder, basic equations and inequalities in algebra. Math is not his strongest subject, so he is going slowly at this. Alex, because of his autism, is still working on basic math skills.
Bird's Nests Orange Sweet Rolls
We made bird's nest orange rolls. The cool thing about these is you put raw dyed eggs on the dough before you bake them and the come out hard "boiled.' For some reason, the boys always eat the eggs first and then the sweet roll, so I get some protein in them before the sugar.

Finally Fine Arts
and a little science, too.
(top left) James, age 11, (top right) Quentin, age 7
(bottom left) Alex. age 17, (bottom middle) Phyllis (mom), (bottom right) Katie , age 20
Acrylics Painting, Lesson 1; Cupcake
It has been a long time since we have done some art work. Katie and I made our pictures a couple of weeks ago but found that our acrylics were too thick. I picked up some paint thinner (and I do recommend the low odor paint thinner!) and had the boys try it this week. I was very pleased with their results, following the tutorial at Hodgepodge.

Planting Seeds
We also planted radish seeds for a science experiment/graphing project. We put 30 seeds in the dark and left 30 seeds in the light. They should sprout some time this week and we can finish our project on environmental factors in genetics next week.
Sam and Alex learned about sound and the nature of waves and completed a test for the unit. They also finished up learning about the basic chemistry of life (including a test on it) and began learning more about genetics.
Monk's Pretzels
We always like to make soft pretzels during Easter week because they used to be given out by monk's to children who memorized their scriptures. The dough's folds are supposed to resemble arms crossed in prayer.

Hands-on History
Lewis and Clark and The Corps of Discovery
We finished up our Lewis and Clark studies. We watched videos, played games, pretended to be part of the Corps of Discovery and orally narrated what we had learned. We are continuing to read The Little Town on the Prairie and Diary of an Early American Boy, Noah Blake, 1805 before bedtime. Sam worked on the Industrial Revolution and slavery in the Caribbean this week in history. We all will be completing a project on the Industrial Revolution next week.
I made bunny buns.
 We had a picnic dinner, but it was soon abandoned...
 in favor of rolling down hills...
 stick sword fights...
 and general mayhem...
until evening fell.

Generally Geography
 Postcard-Geography Album
We learned about the Hoosier state, Indiana this week and Quentin made another page for our Postcard-Geography album. We are getting close to finishing our album, having completed pages for 41 states. I am starting to complete pages for states we don't have postcards for yet, in hopes that we might get them someday. We still need postcards for these states: Alaska, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.  If you live in any of these states and would like to help us with this project, please leave a comment on how I can get in touch with you.
Sam learned abut the physical geography of Ohio and Tennessee this week and sketched maps of these states.
James and Quentin make Resurrection Rolls, which go into the oven with something inside and while they cook, you read about Christ's body being laid in the tomb and when the stone was rolled back the tomb was empty. By this time, the rolls are done and they discover that the rolls are also empty, like Jesus' tomb at Easter. We have done them before, so they knew what to expect, but it is a nice reminder, and a nice treat.

Reading, Writing and Dying Eggs

April 8, Easter
 Happy Easter!

Menu for the week


  1. What a beautiful, creative house you have! I've never seen the buns with the dyed eggs that 'boil' as they bake. I love this idea.

    Wishing you His joy this Easter!

    Blessings, Debbie

  2. What a wonderful week! How do you do all this in one week?!? I'm always amazed.

    I absolutely LOVE the April Fool's dinner. You are so creative!!!

  3. So, are you doing mostly one subject a day. This intrigues me. I'm thinking about trying something similar.

    I love the rolling down hills. Childhood is wonderful! You're such a great mom!

    1. Sam, since he is in high school, does half his subjects twice a week and the other half twice a week and Fridays are for any subjects that are not getting done quickly enough. For the younger boys, we do a little reading, writing and arithmetic each day, and sometimes other subjects as well, but we focus thoroughly on one subject each day. The subjects and the days vary according to what they choose to do. It gives us the time to set up and accomplish more hands-on learning.
      I used to follow the more Charlotte Mason 10 minutes per subject but it didn't work for my boys, who like to dwell on one topic for a long while.

  4. I love your week. You all have so much fun. The food looks so good.

  5. I'm not sure which day sounded like the most fun - they all had something special and wonderful - very inspiring!

  6. What cool April Fool's Day jokes! I saw a recipe on Pinterest for cupcakes that look like spaghetti and meatballs (with Rocher candy), but never did get around to making them. Fun stuff!

    Oh, soft pretzels! Great idea! The kids love them, but I haven't made them in a long, long time!

  7. Love the bunny rolls, and I love your April Fools food! I hate April Fools because I'm so gullible but I could appreciate this kind of humor. ;)

  8. I love the Birds Nest rolls...I have seen a similar recipe for an "easter egg challah" that makes larger loaves with a similar idea of starting with a raw egg on top. I had forgotten about those until seeing your picture. Maybe I'll still make one this weekend!

  9. I'm with Mary. One of the first things I noticed, after all the amazing things you do each day, is the one subject a day. We actually do that too but I try to do Math at least 3 times a week. I don't know why I think that is so important.

    Your week looks so great. I am loving the meatloaf cupcakes and wish I had seen that before April 1st! We don't do mean here either.

    Love the cupcake drawings and the rolling down hills. When Keilee was about 6 she told my Daddy that she had never rolled down a really big hill. Mother, Daddy, Keilee and I went to find one for her. It was the last trip we all took together. A precious memory.

    Happy Easter dear friend!

  10. I think we'll end up at one subject a day, but my attempts at doing something like that doesn't work for them. Right now they need it broken up more for their ability to wiggle.

    1. Our schedule changes as the boys change. We go with the flow around here.

  11. Joy! The joy on everyone's faces is what I noticed - and of course love the rolling down the hill and sword fights. Glorious spring (and your cupcakes are deliciously beautiful!)

  12. Love all the time spent playing outside! And the cupcakes you painted are great:) Happy Easter

  13. What a fun week! I love seeing all of your pictures next to each other!!! We'll have to try something like that sometime.

  14. Hi, I wish HAPPY EASTER to all the familiy! Have a lovely day. Ciao,

  15. Super week! I love the April Fools meal :) Planting the seeds in the egg cartons is a great idea!
    Hope you're having a nice Easter!!

  16. What an excellent week! Just to let you know: you can thin acrylic paint simply by using water. No need to use special paint thinner.

    1. We tried that, but the water would not mix in with the paint...it was like oil and water! Our brushes wouldn't even wash out. I don't know why mine seem to be different, but the paint thinner did work, so we are good to go now.

  17. Everything looks so fun and yummy! I am going to have to remember to get some beans, I think this msth sctivity would go over well with everybody. Thank you for sharing your week, and I have to admit learning about Lewis and Clark was boring for me until I read your postings. Thank you again!!

  18. What an amazing week! I love so many of the activities that it's hard to pinpoint just one or two to comment on. The April Fool's supper is a great idea...my kids would get such a kick out of that! The buns with the eggs are great.


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