Home School Life Journal

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

Our Homeschool Weekly Report, February 23-28, week 19

This week has been one filled with many appointments, so school was a bit difficult to fit in, but we did get quite a bit accomplished! We met with Alex's doctor on Monday and she prescribed a new medication to add with his previous medication to help calm him. We are very conservative in terms of medication, but when the problems interfere with their (and/or our) life functioning, we feel it is time to try a medication. So far the new medicine has worked very well, and Alex (and therefore the rest of us!) is even sleeping at night! On Wednesday, I met with my new surgeon and I am scheduled for surgery for Monday. On Thursday, I met with our priest and today I am meeting with my oncologist. Each appointment is about  1-1 1/2 hours away, so it seems like an all day deal. Fortunately we are very flexible!


Sam started learning about Phylum Chordata in Biology, beginning with those members that have a notochord like sea squirts and the lancelet, and then went on to learn about the subphylum vertebrata. He learned about sharks, rays, fish, amphibians and the lamprey eel. Most of this was review for him, so it went pretty quickly.
He worked on equation solving techniques in Algebra. In Logic, he worked on reducing syllogisms to the first figure.
In Greek, he began an additional program, Athenaze (pictured above), to increase his practice at reading the language, instead of just learning the grammar in isolation ( with Elementary Koine, year 2). In Latin, he has picked up where he left off after our trip to Tennessee, with active and passive verbs (Visual Latin).
In History, Sam reviewed the Civil War, and learned about the Taiping Rebellion and his writing is covered under is history work right now. We will pick back up with the Elegant Essay again soon.
Week 19


We worked with combinations and permutations again this week, while the boys added to the menu at the Rosada's restaurant with making combination plates.


Katie taught the boys about the job of a Zoo Curator while I was gone to one of my doctor's appointments and learned about more zoo animals.
Alex and Quentin finished up the Phylum Cnidaria by learning about sea anemones and coral.


We worked on verbs...helping verbs, linking verbs, subject-verb agreement. We also talked about the vocabulary for verb conjugation- infinitive. We also talked about irregular verbs (those that do not end with -ed in the past tense.)


We learned about the Progressive Era while we worked on our timelines and our ever-growing map of the US which shows when the states entered the Union.

Depression Era Cooking

We made Poor Man's Dinner. Ours is similar to the one in the video below, except that we did not add the tomato sauce. As I have said before, I am amazed at how competent they have become in the kitchen.
This meal was liked by everyone, but they did not rave about it either.

We also made Creamed Chipped Beef on toast (the recipe is on the bag of chipped beef), which had mixed reviews...about half of us liked it and not the other half.

Lego Challenge

The boys turned in these projects for this week's 2 x 2 bricks only challenge.
Quentin, age 8, Maryland, USA

James, age 12, Maryland, USA
The Windmill
James' was a windmill...
with movable arms.
And, for one final one, which James did not make for the challenge, but it fit in great, and I thought it might make you smile.
James, age 12
"The wait at this bus stop...
is sooooo long!"

Game Night: Learning and Fun From Games

We have been enjoying a weekend game night every week for the past few weeks and everyone has enjoyed them and look forward to them. It is a great family time. If the game requires too much reading I team up with Quentin and we work together.
Product Details
We enjoy playing Blokus. If you have not played before, you can find a description of it here and how to play here. Besides being a fun family game, Blokus has legitimate educational value as well:
  • Kids improve strategy and logic skills as they try to anticipate other players’ potential move and plan their own moves accordingly.
  • Visual-spatial skills are sharpened as they look at the board and mentally decide which pieces to play where, and how to orient them most efficiently. This is an important geometry skill.

Join me at...


  1. Love the Legos! What a great and productive week.

  2. I love it!! I especially loved James' bus-stop wait and also how Katie helps teach. I'll be praying that this new medicine continues to help Alex and that your appointments continue to go well too!

    1. Thank you all for your prayers. They really are a blessing to me.

  3. Phyllis, I am in awe of how much you get done in a week, on top of the numerous different outside appointments. Keep up the good work. :-)


  4. Phyllis, I'm sending positive thoughts your way for a successful surgery! I'll be thinking about you.

    It's also great that Alex's new meds seem to be working for him. We're pretty conservative about medications too, but something that benefits a person as directly as helping them sleep is defeinitely a good thing.

    I love the windmill, and I'm really enjoying following the restaurant posts.

  5. Can I second Hwee? Amazing! Who drew the picture under the maths heading? I like it very much. It must be a blessing to have such a willing helper in Katie? Take care of yourself Phylis and have a great weekend!

    1. James drew the Meercat. I liked it too, although he wasn't satisfied with it entirely. Yes, it is a blessing to have Katie helping out.

    2. I agree that meercat is adorable.

      I loved the Lego scene they made too, waiting for the bus is soooooo boring.

  6. You all just keep plugging along despite your trials. Our prayers are with you for Monday.
    Blessings, Dawn

  7. Great job with all the works you had with your kiddos. I am truly inspired. Prayers for you :)

  8. Congratulations on making the Top 10 Special Needs Blogs! That's wonderful!

    We have appointments next week. They do make for long days, and I don't handle them as well now as when we first started this journey. I'm just more tired now, I guess.

    I love the bus stop scenario. Waiting feels that way sometimes. When you're at your appointments, you can think of this: My Princess calls the waiting room the "wait-long room."

    I'm glad you're all getting some sleep. That will certainly help as you prepare for surgery!

  9. I love the "bus stop" Lego joke! :-) My kids love using their mini figs to make all kinds of interesting scenes too...especially various battles!

  10. Thaks for posting about your struggle to have your son take meds. Ours does too. We go back and forth between wanting him to be able to be med free and wanting ANYTHING that will be our miracle drug! Not sure about you, but we use Medications for our 14 year old's behavior and mood management due to autism. One thing we have learned over the years is that there is no "Quick Fix!" Now I'm going to check out the rest of your site. I don't think I've "been there" before :O)

  11. I'm glad the new meds for Alex are helping. I hope it continues to work out well for you.
    I love that the boys are enjoying cooking and becoming competent in the kitchen :) Their LEGO creations are great!


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