Home School Life Journal

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

October 3-10 , Our Homeschool Weekly Report, week 6: A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool

I haven't done a Day in the Life of Our Homeschool post in quite a while, so I thought I would do one this week.

Everyone wakes up when they naturally wake up, so it varies what order people wake up and come downstairs a bit every day. Steven and Alex, however, almost always wake up first. Steven begins cooking breakfast and Alex watches Netflix, usually The Magic School Bus. This morning Steven is making eggs (scrambled and easy over), sausage links and hash brown patties. I get up and check my computer and sip my coffee while I wake up. James wanders down and plays on the family computer, and Quentin comes to the living room to chat with me. By this time, breakfast is ready, and so Sam and Katie come down for breakfast and morning meeting and the television goes off for the day. At the morning meeting, over breakfast, we talk about any concerns, updates and the like. We also assign chores for the day. I read the list of what needs to get done that day and people volunteer to do them. After morning meeting and breakfast, we begin our after breakfast chores.

Then, I sit down and decide what we are going to accomplish today in school. I have a rough outline written down, but now is the time I gather things that we will be using and deciding how we will go about our studies. Yesterday we went to Walmart for grocery shopping and I noticed they had a scrapbook on sale, which was something we have been needing to hold all of our squished pennies pages we have been making for our US geography studies this year. So, Alex and I put those pages in our new scrapbook. We all decide we need to have a US map for the front which can be colored as we go through the states like we did with the postcard geography album, so I put that on my "to-do" list.
We decided to work on chemistry today, so we reviewed what we had learned about electron orbitals before.

In the chemistry text (Friendly Chemistry), it shows a section of the atom, that they have transformed into what they call a "Doo-Wop Board" (don't ask me why, because I don't know why they call it that.)

So we get out our "Doo-Wop Board" and I explain how the electrons go on the board...each magnet represents one electron, the yellow one going in one direction (let's say clockwise) and the gray ones going in the opposite direction (let's say counter-clockwise).

They learn that for the S or spherical orbitals, one gray and one yellow electron goes down, and for the P or pear shaped orbitals, they go down one on the x position, one on the y position and one on the z position and then the second is put in the x, y and z positions.

We work some atoms together, looking at their atomic numbers on the periodic table, and then making them on the "doo-wop board" and then they do some on their own. Sam informs me that he needs an algebra test, and so I print out one for him and he begins to take the test.

By this time, we have lunch (fish sticks, chicken nuggets, ramen noodles and sweet potato fries), complete lunch chores and the boys sit down to play some computer games together while Katie works on her job applications. She is applying to our local Natural Food Store today. She tries to complete one application a day, but the job market is tough. Steven tries to help me download the photos that I took on Katie and my shopping trip from my phone to my computer, but it gives him some trouble.
Then it is time to complete some English with Quentin and, reviewing nouns and adjectives and writing phrases using them, along with spelling. Alex keeps hounding Steven about putting on the television for him, but if Steven puts the television on for him, Alex immediately goes upstairs and the rest of us are left listening to a television show that we don't really want to hear until we realize he is gone and turn it off. Because of all of this, we decided as a family that there will be no television for Alex except in the morning, when he does watch it, so Steven tells him he isn't going to put on the television, and so Alex makes noise and thumps around the house because he is angry. Then they have a snack of apples with pumpkin caramel dip and I have a pineapple-ginger smoothie. Quentin then does a lesson on subtracting with borrowing with zeros and James works on reducing fractions.

By this time, it is time to help Katie with dinner. She makes Chicken Parmigiana Meatballs for the boys...

and I cook the spaghetti (gfcf and regular), mini sausages (for Alex) and a Bean, Tomato and Spinach Sauce (for Steven and I). We have some leftover salad to serve with it. Katie says that she is not hungry, and will eat later. After dinner, we complete our after dinner chores. Sam works on his government class work, which today means determining the differences between Federal and State responsibilities and laws. Alex seems particularly disturbed at this point in the day. He yells loudly and stomps around and is unable to tell anyone what he wants. Perhaps he is still angry about the lack of television. 

Good News New Testament
I read the Bible and history and work with James on his English. He takes an unusually long time at this, saying that he doesn't feel good, doesn't feel like writing, erases perfectly good work over and over again and in general distresses over his work. I try to remain calm and persevere until we finish, which takes about a half-hour. By this time, I am pretty done for the day and the kids have time to play on the computer or whatever they want to do before dessert. I had hoped to do some more with Alex, but I just don't have the energy to at this point in the day. I decide that I will put that first on my list of accomplishments for tomorrow. I search Pioneer Playscripts for a script for a play we will be doing at our co-op, now that I have the final number of students who will be participating. It is a bit of a difficult task as we have 9 males and only 4 females, along with five who need no lines or minimal lines because of their young age. It is almost unheard of to have more males than females available and to have more than twice as many is really unusual. It makes my task of finding an appropriate play difficult, along with the rather large amount of walk-ons. I am determined to find a play before our co-op meets again on Wednesday, so I continue my search. 
Tales of King Arthur James Riordan Victor Ambrus HCDJ
After dessert, which happened to be chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiches this night, I read to them from our read-alouds, Tales of King Arthur, Black Horses for the King and Norse Myths. Then it is time to brush teeth and off to bed for Alex, James and Quentin. Sam, Steven and I have time to watch some television and Katie plays on her computer. Steven and I go to bed, while Sam continues to work on his schoolwork. I don't know when Katie and Sam go to bed, because I am soon asleep after just reading a small chapter of King Arthur (more advanced version than I am reading the kids.)

What else did we do this week?
We went roller skating with friends.
We made fun Orange Creamcicle Floats.
Katie and I finally got around to going shopping for her birthday. We had so much fun goofing around while we shopped.

 We also had our last co-op class for this session. We worked on foreshortening in art...
and we finished up our teambuilding class. Next semester we will begin rehearsal on our play for this year, The Keeper of the Tales, 1001 Arabian Nights.

week 6

This was the last week of our first semester, so it was a week of finishing up any unfinished projects. Now we can start on new topics for the next semester. Next week we will be taking a week's break between semesters.

Science: Chemistry, Lesson 3

And so with our work this week, we finished up our chemistry lesson on the Building Blocks of Creation.

History: The Barbarian Tribes

We finally finished up our study of the barbarian tribes that moved in at the beginning of the Middle Ages.

World Geography: Tanzania, Kenya and East Africa

We finished up our study of East Africa with an East African feast.
We finished up our study of Africa, and will be moving on to India when we resume school week after next.
In English, we completed some dictation and composition in addition to the reviewing of nouns and adjectives. In MathQuentin worked on subtracting with borrowing with zeros and James worked on reducing fractions.


  1. I enjoyed reading your day in a life. The food looks so good as usual.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. As usual, your post is so encouraging! It's always nice to get a glimpse into a day of another homeschool mom, and know that we're not the only ones who don't get it all done in a day, that I'm not the only one exhausted at the end of the day, and wishing I'd spent a little more time with one or two of the children, and understanding that we all have bumps and grumps from time to time. Katie has my sympathy. The job market is tough. T found a job here in town already, but had to settle for fast food, and even so, had to put in a number of applications - and G is still applying her little heart out - no one is hiring 15 year olds.

  3. Wow, that's a very busy day, and a busy week! I get a good glimpse of how your day goes with so many people in the house, each with different needs. It certainly sounds quite challenging at time! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love you easy-going way with things! your chemistry lessons look terrific, and the chicken parmegiana looks amazing! do you have a recipe to share?

    1. Sure, I will share the chicken parmigiana meatballs recipe...it comes from here..
      I hope you like them!

  5. What a treat - thank you for sharing your day with us, Phyllis! It is so difficult to imagine life outside one's own family sometimes. What struck me most is how loving and co-operative life sounds in your home, even with the challenges you face. I love the photos of Katie's birthday. She looks so much like you in the one where her hair is covered! Good luck finding a play for your male-heavy acting troop, and good luck Katie with the job apps. A natural food store sounds a fun place to work. The Doo-Wop Board made me giggle.

  6. It was fun to read how a day in your life went. I hope Katie can get a job soon.

  7. It's so interesting to take a peek into someone else's life. Must be so different to grow up in a big family - I am a single child, and I cannot imagine so much activity in one day :)

  8. I just want to come to your house for dinner. ;-)

    I also like your relaxed approach to start the day -- everyone has a different way that they like to start the day, and you made allowances for that.

    Thanks for linking!

  9. I love Day in the Life posts! It's so fun to see how others spend their homeschooling and day-to-day lives! I'm hungry seeing your food and dessert! LOL PB on toast just doesn't measure up! Your Chemistry looks interesting!

  10. Enjoyed this day in the life post. Love seeing how your day flows so nicely even when faced with differences in ages, learning styles, and needs! As always, you inspire me:)

  11. I love using scrapbooks for our subjects too.


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