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, March 15-21, week 22

March 15-21
This has been a very busy, fun week.

Collecting Bamboo

We had great fun this week when we went to the library. Beside the library is a stand of bamboo, which is quite beautiful. Some of it had blown down in a previous storm, so we picked some up from the ground. I am not sure what projects will come out of them, but I am sure they will be used in some way.


Katie and Quentin made some marbled paper. If you haven't tried this before, you must sometime because it is so much fun and the results never disappoint.

Click here to see how the paper looks when it is finished.

Game Night

Game Night has been so popular we had it two nights this week. We played backgammon, Blokus, Apples to Apples and Parcheesi this week.

Out and About

The boys got to play at Chick-fil-A and at McDonald's play areas this week while Steven worked using their  Wi-Fi and Sam and I went grocery shopping. They are a little old for the play areas but this is the last winter they will get to blow off some energy at them, so they had fun.


Katie, Sam, James and Quentin went bowling with our local homeschool group. It is the first event with them we have been able to get to since we have been back to Maryland. They had fun bowling, eat lunch and socializing.

Saint Patrick's Day Celebrations

We had a lot of fun celebrating Saint Patrick's Day with our annual treasure hunt and tea time.
The boys also enjoyed Lucky Charms and green milk for breakfast, 
and we had corned beef hash and green pasta with green Alfredo sauce for lunch.
 Later in the afternoon, the boys had their annual St. Patrick's day treasure hunt which took them all over the house, and outside, too, finding origami shamrocks along the way that Katie had made for them. The treasure was at last found in the vanSt Patrick's Day Cupcakes with gold coin toppers.
Dinner of Shepard's pie, cheese and potato soup, colcannon and beef pasties.

Shamrock shakes

and potato candy for desserts.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

The First of Spring

March 20
First Day of Spring!

Steven's big 5-0!

He seems to enjoy the Hnfatafl game I gave him.
Week 22

High School

We are now into our third semester out of four, so it is time to re-evaluate how Sam is doing with his high school goals. After my diagnosis (and the moving back and forth), we reassessed his schedule and narrowed his subjects down to what we felt were the basics. He is just now becoming comfortable with doing his schedule on his own.
Science: Biology: He is finished except for the two chapters on botany, which we have saved to do this summer as a family. He still dislikes biology very much, even though he always learns something he finds interesting in each subject we study.
History: Modern History: He is behind in this subject as we stopped and restarted this with various programs, trying to find the right fit for him. Right now we are doing our own thing. I wrote down a list of topics -some of them events, some of them people -that I felt he needed to know and he is researching them and writing about them one-by-one. He will probably be working on the list all summer.
English 10: We have struggled finding the right fit for him in this subject as well. We finally settled on him completing The Elegant Essay at a co-op in Tennessee and then we had to move back to Maryland for my treatment. We are now casually working through the book, applying what he is learning to his other subjects that require papers from him.
Math: We have finally found a math program he likes (Teaching Textbooks) and he is really doing well, but will also be working on finishing up Algebra I all summer as he is about half-way through and we want to start Algebra II next year. He is working on a paper on enthymemes in Logic. He is about half-way through book 2. We hope that he will start Classical Rhetoric next year as part of his English, which requires him to finish Logic, book 2 by then.
Foreign Languages: Sam, Katie, Steven and I are meeting together on Saturdays to review our Greek (Elementary Koine Greek) as we have been away from it for awhile. Sam and Steven have also been working together on reading Greek (Athenaze).
Sam is working through Visual Latin and enjoying it. We had hoped to add French in this year, but that was one of the subjects we had to trim this year. We plan to add it in next year.


Colorful Combinations

For some people, it is natural to see how combinations expand, but for others, it is not as easy and it helps to work with colorful combinations. For my two youngest boys, I had one in each of those categories.


In English, we have mostly been working on reading and writing, as we transition from oral narrations to written ones. We have also been working on key word outlines and small reports. You may have noticed my recent Book Club posts. They are a little sensitive about this new territory they are entering into, so I don't have any photos to share with you, but I will post about it more once they are beginning to feel more confident.


Zooland Displays

 The younger boys have been working on the zoo habitat displays. I have been surprised at their dedication, attention to detail and creativity they have had during this assignment.
 This is James' Meerkat habitat, so far. He was struggling with a concept of how to make it until Katie offered to take him to the beach to get some sand. He picked up some other plant life while he was there and when he came back he worked diligently on it, without any more problems. I am not sure whether it was getting outside on the walk or if it was the new materials to work with, but whatever it was, it turned the whole project around positively. We have ordered plastic Meerkats to go in the display. They are a bit big in terms of scale, but we will overlook this issue.

This is Quentin's Bat Cave. We could not find plastic bats small enough for his project, so he made some out of clay and suspended them from the ceiling of the cave by transparent jewelry thread. It is actually hard to see them in this photo. He was very happy with his stalagmites and stalactites. I will be making a post about this project once they are completed. 


Katie researched and found this star chart and put it together for the younger boys. It is interesting to see how the stars change as the months go by. 

History and Geography

Interest-Led Study: Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii and Herculaneum

We took time out of my planned history lessons to follow some interest-led studies on Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii and Herculaneum.

World War I

 We began our study of World War I...
and we made these nifty little lapbook page that looks like an ammo bag when you are finished. It will hold the work they do on this unit.

Depression Era Cooking

We made Tuna-Macaroni and Cheese Casserole, which I am guessing was the precursor to Tuna Noodle Casserole I was used to as a child with condensed mushroom soup. This had macaroni, minced onion, a white sauce made from flour, butter and milk, cheese, tuna and crushed bacon on top.

The boys did not expect to like this dish, but they liked it fine.


related posts:


  1. I love your St. Patrick focused day. It looks like it was a lot of fun :-)

    1. The annual St. Patrick's Day treasure hunt is something the younger boys look forward to each year.

  2. OK, the paper is BEAUTIFUL! What will the kids use it for?

    So, did the kids like colcannon? We made it last year and my kids did not enjoy it at all. This year we made Irish Soda bread and they didn't like that either. Good thing we're not Irish! LOL

    Awesome zoo habitats!

    1. Thank you. Katie wanted to make some to make origami cranes. She is trying to make 1000 paper cranes as she prays for my recovery. She has made 205 so far. They also use them for stationery, and for decorating notebooking/scrapbooking pages.
      The colcannon is for us adults Katie likes it now that she is older. They like the Soda bread.

  3. I just love coming here each week! There is so much going on always in your house and I can tell it is an ebb and flow of days, studies, meals, celebrations. You are showing beautifully how adjusting and tweaking - that homeschooling allows for catch up time (us too!) and finding resources that work best for each child. Loved all of this Phyllis!

    1. Yes, my friend, and I have learned a lot from you how to adjust and tweak. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for Linking up at Living and Learning With Our New Normal this week. I appreciate your support! As usual, you astound me with how creative you are! Even my husband was raving about the marbled paper! I'll get a post written up for you this weekend and email it. Thanks for asking!

    1. Thank you for hosting the link-up. We love making the marbled paper...you should try it. You will love it. Thank you for the post.

  5. I'm astounded by how popular St Patrick's day is in America! Is there a particular reason for this? My husband is Irish and we lived in Ireland for four years but I've never seen anything compared with what I am seeing all over blogland!
    Great week as always Phyllis, take care and have a great week!

    1. I am not sure. My husband says that it is because 1) there are more people of Irish decent in America than in Ireland, 2) people who miss their heritage homeland tend to celebrate more than those who still live in their homeland and 3) drinking holidays always remain popular.:) Of course that is not why we celebrate, because we don't drink or have any Irish blood. We like to 1) celebrate Saint's days, 2) any excuse for a celebration is good by me and 3) my kids insist on it. I think it is the hunt they most adore. I like to have feast days of all sorts.

  6. Can you do St. Patrick's Day over so I can come and eat all that wonderful stuff? Wow!

    And, Happy Birthday to your hubby! :-)

    1. Thank you. And, yes, if you could come, we would make it. Just for you.

  7. Can you share the potato candy recipe? That sounds yummy. We missed Saint Patrick's day this year. There was just to much going on.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Sure, It is over at my recipe blog, Household Ways.

  8. So much going on that by the time I got to the end of the post I forgot what I was going to comment.........

    Happy birthday to your hubby! and this looked like a fabulous week!

  9. I really wish I could of sent my kids to your house for school. What an awesome week!! Another post to bookmark, so many great ideas.

    Thank you for sharing.

  10. It looks like it was a wonderful week, Phyllis! Love the St. Patrick's Day celebration and the Depression era cooking. The boys' zoo habitats are great! Happy Birthday to your husband :)


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