Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

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

2013...A Difficult Year That We Made Beautiful


The year began with my first lumpectomy on the 3rd and by the 18th we were back in Maryland again after staying in Tennessee for seven months, but before we left we went to Warrior's Path State Park (the best park in the world), Bays Mountain Park, Elizabethton's Covered Bridge and the local Visitor's Center.

We celebrated Chinese New Year at a local Chinese Restaurant. We celebrated Mardi Gras, starting with Fat Tuesday's breakfast for dinner and then a King Cake. We had a Saint Valentine's Day Teatime.
I also got the results back on my Oncotype (cancer test) and learned that I did not have to have Chemotherapy. :)

In the Schoolroom
We started back to school after a long break. We picked up our history studies with Business Tycoons of the Gilded Age and went on through The Great Depression. James and Quentin studied cells and DNA and how zoos work in science. Sam and Alex studied Invertebrates. In math, we began a unit called La Tostada Sabrosa, in which the boys pretended to be a business consultant while learning all sorts of math skills. James also worked with Unstandardized Units.

I had a second lumpectomy because the first one did not get all the tissue it needed to.
We had fun with Suminagashi. We celebrated Saint Patrick's day with a treasure hunt. Steven celebrated his 50th birthday. We went bowling with friends. We had a great Easter with an Easter Egg hunt.

In the Schoolroom
We studied the disasters around the 1900's and we had A Night to Remember with a Titanic dinner.

We started off April with an April Fool's celebration with candy sushi and surprise playdough. We enjoyed our favorite park, Turner's Creek Park in the springtime weather. Katie began plans for her garden. We began going to the beach. We made slime and played games. We began meeting with friends at a local park.

In the Schoolroom
Quentin and James began their study of World War I and then the 1920's, The Great Depression, WWII, Hobo camps. In science, the began their study of the skeletal system. James began learning about Coordinate Graphing and Origami.

They made May Day baskets and delivered them to the neighbor's doors. Katie and her grandmother made homemade tortillas for Cinco de Mayo. Katie also learned how to cross-stitch from her. Quentin turned 9 and had a Spy Birthday party. We went strawberry picking. We went to the ocean beach at Cape Henlopen. Sam turned 16. We had a cook-out on Memorial Day. The garden was coming along well. The Grandparents from California visited for a week, and all 9 of us went to dinner towards the end of their stay. We went roller skating and to the Galena Dogwood Festival. We went to The First Annual Burning of Georgetown, a War of 1812 reenactmentI had a lovely Mother's Day.  I started daily radiation treatments.

In the Schoolroom
Because we were learning about WWII, we went to Fort Miles in Lewes, Delaware for their Firepower Tour. We learned about horseshoe crabs. We went to the cemetery and learned some history there.

We went to a Celtic festival, a Railroad Day. We spent lots of time at the beach. We had an Exotic Fruit tasting. We went to a Mexican grocery and brought how cactus to try. We went bowling with friends. We took the Utz Factory tour. We had a Carnival party for James' 12 1/2 birthday. I had lunch with an old friend I used to work with, Angela. I finished my radiation treatments at the end of the month.

In the Schoolroom
We finished up our study of WWII.and went on to study the 50's.

We had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration with games, a picnic at the beach, and fireworks, of course.We enjoyed weekly sports nights with friends at a local park. We went to a Bastille Day party. Alex turned 19. We began learning to whittle. Katie's garden flourished.

In the Schoolroom
We learned about types of clouds. James and Quentin began a unit called Oceans of Ooobleck about scientists and astronomy. We continued with our modern history studies. We read Watership Down.

We started out the month with our town's celebration day. Sam went to an elegant Sweet 16 party for his friend, Laurel. Quentin and James made some pocket change with a Lemonade Stand. We had a Gillian's Island Fun Night. The boys enjoyed Sport's Night. We went to a Pirate Festival. We had a family reunion at my mother's house. We visited a dear friend, Genevieve. We had a Seafood Boil and Tie-Dyed T-shirts. The boys flew in a plane with the Young Eagle's program and James got to pilot the plane this year. We made funnel cakes and went to Sonic for their half-price shakes.We went to Amish Country, Pennsylvania, rode in an Amish buggy and went to an Amish Village museum. We went to the Pennsylvania Train Museum and rode on the Strasburg Railroad. We camped. We played miniature golf and went bowling. We took a ferry to Pea Patch Island and Fort Delaware, a living history museum. We went to Alapocas Run State Park's Paw Paw and Folk Art Festival and the Can-Do Boundless playground. We had game nights and a sundae bar. We visited with friends.We went to the Air Mobility Command Museum and DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum. We went to Assateague Island where we saw wild ponies. We went to Ocean City and Frontierland.

We finished up our annual vacation, Camp Bergenholtz by going to the Salisbury Zoo, Ben's Playground, The Battle of Caulk's Field (War of 1812) celebration, letterboxing, canoeing and Renaissance Faire. We continued our sports nights. We went roller skating. We went to an Ice Cream Social. We went to a Revolutionary War Re-enactment. We went to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm with friends. Katie turned 22! We went to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. We met some really wonderful beekeepers.

In the Schoolroom
We began our first day of school with our traditional school cones. We began going to a Co-op with our homeschool group and the kids began classes in Drama and Art, so we called it Fine Arts day. We began our history studies at the beginning, including archaeology projects. We learned about Gilgamesh and the Fertile Crescent. Alex began studying Africa and we had an East African dinner to celebrate his learning.Quentin and James had a wonderful learning experience aboard the Schooner Sultana, a replica of a British schooner.  Quentin and James learned about angles.

We went roller skating, played at the park with friends, went to a pizza party. We went to a Fall Festival at Turner's Creek Park. We celebrated Passover. We went to Adventure Aquarium with friends. We celebrated Halloween. James had a seizure. 

In the Schoolroom
We learned about Babylon, the Sumerians, the Indus Valley civilization, Hittites and Assyrians and Base 6 math. James began learning about signed numbers

I had my 52nd birthday. We went to College Park Aviation Museum and reviewed some physics concepts. We went roller skating. We went to Turner's Creek Park and played Indian Paintbrush and learned about Willows. We had a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving snack time. We made rolled beeswax candles for Thanksgiving dinner. We went to a pizza party and game night with friends. We tried Peruvian food.

In the Schoolroom
We learned about the Persians and we began our study of Egypt. Sam balanced chemistry equations.

We celebrated Saint Nicholas day. We went roller skating and ice skating. We baked, we shopped. We made a gingerbread village. We went to a Kids Christmas Party where we made wreaths and salt dough ornaments and a Parent's Christmas party. We made all sorts of Christmas crafts. They went to The Nutcracker at the Maryland Hall of Fine Arts. Our drama class put on scenes from three plays, Macbeth, A Christmas Carol and The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We had a movie night. Katie made me a Kissing ball. Quentin and Katie made a Chistmas-Monopoly game for us to play. We made lots and lots of cookies at a Cookie Bake. Steven and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.  We had a blessed Christmas. James turned 13. Now I have 3 teenage boys in the house!


  1. Wow! That's quite a year. I'm so glad to "know" you and love to see your posts. I hope that your family's 2014 is amazing!

    1. Thank you! I am glad to have gotten to know you, too. It is so wonderful to meet people who are like-minded.

  2. What a year! So much has been done and experienced! Wishing you a fabulous new year!

  3. It does sound like a terrific year. Are you then all done with your treatments? Looking forward to more posts from your terrific blog in 2014!

  4. Happy Anniversary!! May you continue to be blessed abundantly in your life together. You have taught us all how to turn lemons into lemonade!! I love all of this. I think my children would much rather be taught in your "school" than mine! LOL I know I would! LOL I also read somewhere from another blog friend how their group had a Colonial period dance with their homeschool group. I would love to have one here, but only if you were the chairwoman! What an amazing year…good and bad.Wishing you a joy filled and peaceful new year!!

  5. What an awesome year you've had. It's been amazing following along and seeing how so many things change.
    So glad to get to know you more and more as time passes.

  6. Wow, what a year. You're an inspiration!
    Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

  7. Great look-back! It was quite a year for all of you - thanks for letting us be a part of it!

  8. wow ~ you did make the best of it.. thank you for the inspiration!!! Happy new year.

  9. Oh my goodness! When you put it all in one post, it is breathtaking!! What a year! You amaze me that you had the fortitude to keep up with all you did. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  10. You make learning so much fun! You all did some fantastic things this year, You really are so creative keeping it interesting for the kids : ) Prayers that the New Year brings all good things your way!

  11. Love this! What a great way to document your year!

  12. What a beautiful and full year.


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