Saturday, October 14, 2017

Homeschool Notes Week 11

The kids were excited to learn that this week is only a 3 day school week. We're taking Thursday and Friday off for various reasons (doctor's appointments, friends visiting from out of state, just because we can). We got the week started right with a good solid Monday.

Kids had new math lessons or math review. This looked as follows:
  • Algebra 2 - Review for Makayla and I doing lesson 6 review pages. 
  • Pre-Algebra - Joseph and Emma had a new lesson. They met Pythagoras and were introduced to the Pythagorean theorem, which quickly made clear just why they had been practicing squaring and square rooting a number. 
  • Epsilon - Daniel's new fraction lesson was his first introduction to dividing fractions using the rule of 4. We'll cover dividing by multiplying by the reciprocal later on.
  • Gamma - Oliver's next lesson uses the skip counting by 9's he learned last week as a stepping stone to learning the 9's multiplication facts. 
  • Alpha - Caleb is on the last few subtraction facts: 7-3 or 7-4, 8-3 or 8-5. 
  • Hands on math - Mason is still not using a formal curriculum, just learning math concepts in a hands on way.
There were writing prompts to choose or writing from last week to continue if you were really engaged in what you had been working on. Caleb and Oliver had the drawing portion of Draw Write Now today. One drew a sheep while the other chose a squirrel. Mason and Samuel had fun with dry erase boards writing letters as Daddy called them out. Mason's handwriting is becoming legible and his fine motor control is definitely improving from where he was at the beginning of the school year.

Makayla and I finished Unit 1 in Latin Alive 1. That means we spent time translating the story of the Trojan War (a very simplified version) and reached the Unit Review. In the Unit Review we begin translating stories from the history of Rome, which we will start this week. In Chemistry she was looking at light spectrums using a feather - crazy interesting what our eyes can see when we give it the right kind of filter!

Kids did their history reading. Beginning reading lessons happened for three boys with a fourth boy tagging along. Fix-It Grammar lessons were new topics for Joseph, Emma, and Daniel today. As I said, it was a solid school day.

I made tacos for lunch and we sat down as a family (remember, daddy is home on Mondays too! He switches between joining in with homeschooling and doing his own college class work). As we finished eating we sat around the table and did our reading in the Book of Mormon. Dinner was pancakes tonight.

Tuesday morning I was a bit grumpy and the kids were a bit loud and chaotic so we had a bumpy start. I really needed some more sleep but the 5am seminary wake up call couldn't be ignored. After a while things settled down and we got through all our school work. Momma also got a better attitude going after some snuggles and laughs with the littlest boys.

Lunch was leftovers - kids could add taco meat to a quesadilla or just stick with tacos. It was easy and everyone could adjust it to what they liked best.

Every afternoon I spend about an hour and a half doing medical care for Mason. During this time kids are allowed to use their Kindles and Tobias naps. It is a quiet time in our day. We decided today that at least once a week during this quiet time we will listen to the Book of Mormon on audiobook. There are a couple reasons for this. First, I have several who LOVE audiobooks and listening. Second, I'm generally the one doing the reading aloud during our regular scripture reading time, which is great, but I'm getting short of breath as baby gets bigger. The audiobook can go much longer than I can in the read aloud department right now! We live in a time with technology like audiobooks so I'm going to take advantage of it!

We had piano lessons in the afternoon. We are really blessed because our piano teacher comes to our house. The kids adore her.

A rainy Wednesday started off our last day of school for the week. The kids got things moving, worked hard, and reminded me to get to the music store to pick up the next level of piano books for those who need them. One fun thing we did today was get out water beads. I soaked them overnight so they were ready to play with once school was over.

Wednesday evening was youth activities, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts. I'm doing preparations for this month's Pack Meeting. We're having a slingshots and catapults night.

Thursday was a no school day. It was great! I spent part of the morning at a checkup with my obstetrician and shared a pregnancy update on the blog. Everyone enjoyed the day off. There was a lot of playing, building, and reading going on. Makayla had her first day driving with a driving instructor (it's a mandatory 8 hours in Ohio, in addition to the 50 you drive with your parents while you have a permit).

Friday we were thrilled to host a homeschool get together with friends who are back for a short visit from out of state. They were part of our book club and art class last year before moving and we've missed them. We had a houseful (20 kids and not even all the kids in our families were able to come) and one mom was missing - but she had a really good reason. She had a baby yesterday, 9 weeks early, so she's still recovering and baby is stable in the NICU.

Saturday started out with the whole family attending a baptism for two children we know. Then it was home for a bit before the teens (because Joseph turned 13 today!) and two cousin teens heading out to a youth fall activity at a state park. I placed my first online grocery order today. Our local Wal-Mart just started offering free grocery pick up. I decided that because walking long enough to grocery shop gives me contractions every week that we should try the pick up service. We'll see how it goes! I pick up our order Monday morning and I'll report about it in next week's post.

Now I need to get into the kitchen again because Joseph (birthday today) and Daniel (birthday in 4 days) requested that I make sugar cookies for their combined birthday party tomorrow. I'm making one batch of sugar cookies and they requested one batch with andes mint pieces, so I'll do a separate batch with that. We keep birthday parties really simple. Generally we just invite family over for dessert. Occasionally a child requests a birthday party with friends, but most of the time we're just as happy to keep it a small family party.

That's it for our week! I'm off to bake!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pregnancy Update #9 - Weeks 21 through 25

21 weeks - Lots of tailbone pain this week. I've had a broken tailbone a couple times in the past so tailbone pain during pregnancy isn't unexpected for me, this is just starting earlier than usual. It makes it hard to walk much, sit for long, or lift and carry Mason. I've had the occasional bout of heartburn. They're pretty much my own fault - I'll eat and then forget that laying down is a bad idea until things digest. The laying down is happening fairly often again because I'm tired. I need regular naps! They're hard to come by but I'm making an effort.

22 weeks - Tailbone pain has been better this week but heartburn has been a more frequent visitor. I'm trying to remember to eat smaller amounts and spread my drinking liquids out over the day instead of guzzling a lot at a time. Baby girl is moving around often.

Something new I haven't mentioned yet - my feet have changed sizes! I noticed over the last month or so that when I wear my tennis shoes they're too tight, even in the morning when I haven't been on my feet all day. I finally gave in a used a coupon at Payless shoes to buy a new pair of tennis shoes. I have no idea if my feet will go back to their old size after this pregnancy, we'll see.

Weeks 23 and 24 - Heartburn is a regular visitor when I lay down at night. Or for a nap during the day. I'm having some aches and pains with my sciatic nerve, pubic bone, and tailbone. It's all part and parcel of pregnancy, just showing up earlier than usual. Baby is active and growing.

Today I had my second doctor's appointment. I am 25 weeks along in this pregnancy. I had an ultrasound to do measurements of baby and check to see what is going on with my partial placenta previa. Happily everything looks good. Baby girl is measuring about 1 pound 13 ounces, all organs look good. My placenta has moved up and out of the way, so I am cleared to have a vaginal birth. This will be my 3rd VBAC. I'm measuring on target and gained 7 lbs since my last appointment. Baby was breech today, with her head up behind my belly button and her hands, arms, and feet up by her face.

The crazy thing is I've already reached the point where my appointments start getting closer together! I go back in 3 weeks, then will go back every 2 weeks for 4 appointments, then it is every week until baby arrives.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Homeschool Week 10 Notes

Saturday and Sunday my family enjoyed watching General Conference. There were so many wonderful things about it that I'm going to try to get a separate post up about that. So let's move on.

Monday morning school was helping one child after another with new math lessons, listening to them read aloud, or helping them choose a writing project. Because Daddy is home on Mondays we were able to do our family reading in the Book of Mormon at snack time.

For science with the 7th grade and under crowd we talked about migration today. I started by asking them what migration means. We brainstormed different animals that migrate including some birds, butterflies, salmon, and whales. We read a book about how birds know where to go when they are migrating. I loved that in the end the book admitted that scientists don't really understand how birds know where to go. They have some ideas, have done some studies, know some possibilities, but they haven't figured it all out yet.

After school was finished 7 of the kids decided they wanted to paint. We pulled out oil pastels and tempera paint and they set to work. A couple boys created dinosaurs, others made pumpkins or bats, and one child made a pumpkin coach like Cinderella had.

Tuesday - A lovely cold morning (41 degrees F) started off with taking Makayla to seminary at 5:40am as usual. Most of the kids were awake before 6:45am. People ate breakfast and did chores. I convinced a few reluctant ones to get dressed instead of staying in pajamas all day. Then I settled into a seat at the table and did school with Mason. Samuel joined us for some of the fun. Before long the table was filled with kids doing writing, math, and grammar.

After lunch Mason and I spent 2 1/2 hours doing a bracing appointment. We'll go back in a few weeks when the orthotist is finished adjusting the braces to do a final fitting and bring them home. Makayla babysat, much to her delight, because she earned money she's planning to put toward a new tank for Olympia, her ball python.

Wednesday - I had an extremely long night with not much sleep thanks to a cranky Tobias. I think he's feeling a bit under the weather. When I got a text at 5am (after about 3 hours of interrupted sleep) cancelling seminary for the day I cheerfully went back to bed. Of course, Tobias woke up again so I really didn't get back to sleep until about 6am and slept until 7:30am. Still not a full night of sleep, but enough to get by on.

Here is part of Joseph's Secret Codes writing project.
He used Pigpen code to write a note (and I replied in kind).
He also used pictograms one day and created a cipher another day.
The wonderful thing is that we're solidly in a routine for school. Even when my energy is low or I'm busy taking care of someone who isn't feeling well our days roll ahead smoothly. Routine and habit sees us through. This is one reason why I'm so protective of our mornings. I remember early in my homeschool years that I was more likely let others infringe on our morning hours. Now, unless it is a medical appointment I have no other options on, I do my best to keep mornings set apart for homeschooling.

Everyone did their school work with a minimal of groaning. Makayla and I worked together to review her chemistry chapter. She is less than impressed that chemistry involves so much I remember feeling the same way in high school.

Thursday - There was a lot of math today. It just boggles my mind sometimes jumping between all the levels. We got it done and everyone is pretty comfortable right now, including the high schooler doing Algebra 2. Slowing down the course has been the best idea ever!

There was a fair amount of finishing happening today. History reading books were finished. Writing projects were finished. Beginning readers were finished. To celebrate I played a game of Settlers of Catan with most of the kids.

In the afternoon while Tobias was napping I pulled out paint and set the kids to work making up a stack of painted paper. We'll be doing some art projects that use painted paper in the near future. To make this doable I used just a couple of supplies:
  • Plastic roll of tablecloth - Clean up was a breeze because my table was covered. Just throw it away! This was the best investment ever. I found mine on Amazon of course (aff). It is 300 feet long and 40 inches wide. We use just over 8 feet of it to cover our table so it should cover my table about 35 times. I got it on sale for under $14 so that's 40 cents per tablecloth. You can't even beat that at the dollar store. 
  • Food services bowls with lids - These are great paint containers! We poured in some tempera paint and water, then added a nice fat paint brush. The base of the bowl is wide enough that they don't tip over with a big paintbrush and little hands messing around them. When we are done you just pop the lid on and the paint doesn't dry out. We can use it for projects on another day. Again, found these on Amazon (aff). They are 16 oz bowls with lids and I found 50 for $14. 
  • Cake scrapers - Once the papers had been painted and were rather wet the kids used these to add texture and interest to their designs. Amazon to the rescue (aff). This set had 10 scrapers for $8.
  • Pacon sulphite paper - I get this at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon when we need it. Our painted paper is 12"x24".
  • Tempera paint - We have bottles of tempera paint from Hobby Lobby, again, purchased with 40% off coupons. These have lasted a LONG time (we're in year 2 of using them). We will run out this year some time.
Friday - Yes, we made it to the end of the week! I challenged the kids to get school done early. Most of them got to work before 8am. Everyone loves that feeling of finishing a good week of work.

Oliver's most recent copywork.
I noticed today just how much Oliver's handwriting is improving by using Draw Write Now - and made sure to mention it to him today.

Joseph helped me bake 48 muffins for lunch today. We went with pumpkin chocolate chip for half and banana chocolate chip for the other half. Mmm.


This week and last I have been working on my Project Life album. I'm not a scrapbooker - at all. I just don't have time for that. For Christmas almost 2 years ago I bought the basic materials to do a Project Life album. Basically, all you do is print 4x6 pictures and slip them into page protector pockets that are just the right size and already in a 'scrapbook layout'. The smaller pockets on the page fit little cards where you can journal about what is going on in the pictures. I had done some pages in my album but then ran out of printed photos. I'm not super consistent at taking pictures, much less getting them printed, so this put a halt to my Project Life work just a few months in.

Last month Shutterfly had a quick one day deal where you could print as many 4x6 pictures as you wanted for free, all you had to do was pay shipping. Well, that and survive the abysmally slow website because everyone was trying to do the same thing. I printed off several stacks from the last year and sat around waiting for them to arrive.

Over the last two weeks I have tried to take 10 minutes most days to sort pictures, slip them into pages, and then journal about them on the little cards. The kids have been fascinated to flip through photos of themselves and reminisce about things they may or may not remember doing.

That's all my notes for this week! I'm linking with Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Homeschool Week 9 Notes

Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon were all about clothing shopping. It's exhausting buying clothing for 9 children! I was very ready to recharge my batteries by Saturday evening. It was perfect timing - it was the first session of General Conference, which happens to be the Women's session (for girls and women age 8+). My girls and I snuggled up on the couch with bowls of ice cream and paper for taking notes that evening and streamed it live to the tv. It was so encouraging and uplifting!

Sunday we packed in 3 hours of church followed by a double birthday party at my house for a niece and a nephew. The Bishop was one of our speakers in Sacrament meeting. He challenged us to use these last few months of the year to read the Book of Mormon again. There is just over 90 days until the end of the year. We're taking the challenge as a family. I love the Spirit I feel as I read the scriptures and talk about them with my family. For anyone who wants to read along, here are a couple ways you can break the reading down to finish in 90 days:

  • 531 pages = 5.9 pages per day
  • 239 chapters = 2.6 chapters per day
  • The audiobook version (free online or with the free Gospel Library app) is 26 hours and 29 minutes long = 17.7 minutes per day
Monday morning was a bit wacky. I had some running to do to prepare for Pack Meeting this Wednesday (I'm our pack's Cubmaster), as well as grocery shopping. I helped kids do school until about 10am, then spent 2 hours doing the running, and came home to help kids finish up what they had left of school. (Many had finished while I was gone.) In the afternoon Daddy took 7 of the kids to see the new Lego Ninjago movie at the theater. I finished up grocery shopping at one last store and Makayla kept an eye on Tobias while I did so. We did our family reading in the Book of Mormon over dinner.

Tuesday the kids got my attention when they needed help with school. The rest of the morning I was reading a book. Yes, really. I finished it too! The kids didn't seem to mind, I sat at the table and read. They worked at the table and sat beside me when they needed help. I promised I would give them an oral narration about what I read if they wanted me to... so I could call reading a book 'school' for me. I'm sure that is going to come back to haunt me when they realize I'll probably let them do the same thing sometimes.

Wednesday after school was finished the kids and I headed to the church. Tonight is Cub Scout Pack Meeting and I needed to do some setup. We pulled the crossover bridge out of the shed and brought it in to the stage, set up chairs and tables, brought in the flag materials for flag ceremony, and just made sure everything was ready. That made our meeting in the evening easy. We had awards for a number of boys, a crossover ceremony for one who has finished Cubs, and then it was on to the activity. All month our Cubs have been learning about germs, food, and cooking. We decided a fun way to celebrate that would be to do an Iron Chef themed Nachos and Sundaes night. Everyone brought ingredients to share and got to put together their own unique creations. Yum!

Thursday the kids only had history to do, then our book club friends came over. We had fun visiting and eating together. I was even extra productive in the morning before friends came over and put dinner in the crock pot. It's my own version of an Olive Garden soup I love, so here's my recipe:
  1. 1 lb ground sausage, browned
    4 cups chicken broth
    15 oz can tomato sauce
    15 oz can diced tomatoes...15 oz can kidney beanstwo 15 oz cans Great Northern beans3 carrots, sliced into coins3 celery ribs, sliced1 onion, diced1 T. minced garlic2 tsp. Italian seasoning1 tsp. oregano
  2. Dump all ingredients into a large crock pot and cook on low all day (8+ hours).
  3. Optional: Cook 1 cup of a small pasta like ditalini on the stove top an hour before dinner. Drain and stir into crock pot.
Friday was just a regular school day. The weather finally cooled back down from the upper 80s so all the windows were open and the morning started with blankets because it was only 44 degrees F outside. My favorite school moment today was hearing Daniel ask, "Mom, can I keep writing this story next week too? I'm not ready to move on yet." Yes, of course you can!

By early afternoon everyone was discussing what preparations still need done for General Conference this weekend. Where we live (Eastern time zone) the sessions go from 12pm-2pm and 4pm-6pm each day. That is right across lunch and dinner. We plan meals that are easy to prepare, like cinnamon rolls in the oven or something in a crock pot. As of right now I think the meals are going to be cinnamon rolls, chicken bacon ranch tacos, French dip sandwiches, and homemade pizzas. The pizza is still up for debate. The kids also decide if they want coloring pages, blank pages, or lined pages in a notebook to have with them during conference for any doodling or note taking they want to do. We print or gather those items today. Everyone also puts in a request for their favorite candy.

That's really our week in a nutshell. Now I'm off to make a shopping list.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Budgets and Clothing Shopping for Nine Children

We're a homeschool family so we get to skip the back to school shopping craze. We wait until it's time for fall clothing to come out of storage and do our shopping then. Living in Ohio where we get 4 full seasons of different weather we often get half a year of use out of long sleeves and pants. We aim for about 6 shirts and 6 pants for each child, though it varies some as they reach the age where they spend their budget or as they have specific needs. For example Mason tears through the knees in pants more often than most of my boys because he still crawls when playing out of his wheelchair.

We went through our bins of stored clothing in the attic earlier in the month. While we're good at saving clothing for use by future children things just don't last through 7 sons. Then there is buying for the oldest of each gender too. This year kids needed a variety of items, some just a few pieces, others nearly everything.

Paying for Things:

We set aside money in the months leading up to our shopping. Then we do our large shopping trip at one time. Money left over in the budget is used on an as-needed basis when a child has an unexpected growth spurt or ends up with holes in all their pants at the knees for the next several months. If the money isn't used it just becomes part of the next big seasonal shopping trip's savings.

Shopping trip details:

Pre-Trip Online Ordering: I had some Super Cash from my maternity shopping online at Old Navy so I ordered pajamas for the three littlest boys online using that (saving $40 off the cost of pjs that were also already on sale).

Trip #1 on Friday night: Me, Makayla (age 16), Emma (age 11). We went to a local Target and WalMart. They did their own shopping, I was along for the ride. It is so much fun to see their different clothing likes and dislikes and shopping styles. Emma had a list, tried on a variety of things, and found everything she needed except pajamas. She was done trying on clothing and didn't want to try on pjs. Makayla found a couple items, two of which she bought as 'maybes'. She said if she didn't find anything she loved more somewhere else she would keep these items, but if she loved something else more she would return them.

Trip #2 on Saturday morning: Me, Makayla (age 16). Resale shop day! Our first stop was Plato's Closet for Makayla, then Once Upon a Child (for Tobias, Samuel, Mason, Caleb, Oliver, Daniel). Makayla had a list she had been working from of needs and wants. She tried on a stack of things and made her choices. She compared a price with something at another store using my phone. Then she helped me shop for all the clothing for the 6 younger boys. It's so nice to have a good, helpful teen.

Trip #3 on Saturday afternoon: Me, Makayla (age 16), Joseph (age 12, or as he tells me now, 13 in less than a month). We went to WalMart for one exchange for Makayla, clothes for Joseph, and pjs for Emma and Caleb (because I didn't find their size earlier in the day). Joseph's shopping personality was agonizing for me. It was along these lines: Umm, what do I need mom? Will these work? Do I have to try them on? Are you sure?


Clothing budgets are a very personal and variable thing. Our general goal was to save $900, which works out to $100 per child. In reality, we then use that money based on each child's needs. We didn't need $100 to get the clothing Tobias needed (we didn't even need $50 for him this season). At the same time, we needed closer to $150 for the oldest two children, who are the first of each gender, and whose clothes cost more per piece than a toddler's, even at a resale shop like Plato's Closet.

What we bought:

Long sleeve shirts (tee shirts, sweaters, cardigans): 36
Pants (jeans, leggings, cotton pants, etc): 18 pair
Dresses: 1
Pajamas (long sleeve top and pants): 20 pair
Shoes: 2 pair

Total: 77 items

What we spent:

Between all 9 children we spent $567 for everything. We were $333 under our budget. That leftover money will be used over the next several months if needed or will roll into the next season's savings for clothing shopping.

Phew! That's our process. Do you have any questions? How do you handle clothes shopping for kids around the back to school or seasonal switch?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Homeschool Week 7 and 8 Notes

 Week 7 was our lovely break week which brings us to week 8 already. Here's how it went:

Monday was the first day back after a break. It's often hit or miss on how that will go, trying to get back into routine, facing math again, and so on. This was a pretty successful Monday! Over the course of the morning I gave six new math lessons. Makayla and I conquered the portion of lesson 5 in Algebra 2 that had us stumped before break. I spent an hour figuring it out myself over break so we were able to walk through it together today. We will practice lesson 5 all week to solidify things.

Joseph, Emma, and Daniel all started a new history read - Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin. I had offered them all four different books and let them each choose which one they wanted to read. Everyone chose the same book, so they're taking turns with our copy until the library gets us an extra copy. I also read aloud to everyone a chapter about Leif Ericson from A Child's First Book of American History.

I did Latin with Makayla. I went over writing options with Joseph, Emma, and Daniel. Each chose a writing prompt to work on this week. There was reading with Caleb and Oliver.

In the early afternoon I went for more thyroid bloodwork (things still look great). Mason and I headed to physical therapy in the middle of the afternoon. By the time we came home dinner was ready. I love crock pots! We put green beans and ham in the crock pot this morning so all we needed to add at dinner was some biscuits.

After dinner the girls and I made a quick trip to the grocery store for thing we are running low on (milk, bread, lettuce, etc).

Tuesday was a lovely morning working with my kids on their learning goals. Usually a day has at least a few complaints or a child who is less than chipper about getting their work done. Today was one of those rare won't-happen-again-for-months days when everyone peacefully worked through their assignments without grumps. I helped when needed, cycling through listening to beginning readers and doing math with each child as well as some chemistry review with the oldest.

Makayla did her usual shadowing at the veterinary office. The rest of the kids and I baked magic cookie bars with some changes just for fun. The basic idea: graham cracker and butter crust, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, coconut. Our version today had a graham cracker and butter crust, chocolate chips and Andes mints pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and crushed pretzel topping.

Right before bed Mason and Samuel decided they wanted to do some more reading practice with our All About Reading level 1 activities. Mason is sounding out CVC words pretty well and Samuel can identify letters and sounds but isn't blending yet. Samuel is also not doing ANY formal lessons but he likes to take a turn sometimes.

Wednesday was another writing day for Joseph, Emma, and Daniel. Joseph and Daniel each chose the same writing prompt on Monday, where they tell about an experience from the point of view of an appliance. Emma's choice was to write and illustrate a 4 frame comic and today she finished up two frames. Meanwhile Mason practiced writing capital letters and reading, Oliver and Caleb read to me, and all the usual subjects happened. It was a straightforward day. Nothing terribly memorable, good or bad.

Thursday had me wishing for Friday. Math with two children had me biting my tongue to keep from sharing my frustrations with their forgetting past learning or repeated mistakes due to not writing out their work in a readable way. Ugh. Once math was finished for the morning I celebrated by baking two loaves of banana bread and two loaves of pumpkin bread. We demolished over half of those for lunch. Yum!

Friday we got off to a good start, got derailed by a visit from grandma, and then picked up the pieces when grandma left. We had a great visit and then finished out the school week with a solid effort. Our afternoon was quiet, with a movie and snacks in the living room. Daddy was home in time for dinner tonight (yay!) and then the girls and I headed out to the stores to get started on fall clothing shopping. That was exhausting! I'm not a fan of clothes shopping but it must be done. This year the kids over age 9 have a budget and after going through their clothing are given the reins on their shopping. They get to make the hard choices about what to buy and where to save money. It's interesting watching their shopping processes.

That's it for our week!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Peek Ahead: Our Studies for the Next Six Weeks

I thought others might be curious what is coming up for our homeschool in the next 6 weeks. I'll try to share it here, with links to make it convenient for you to learn more about anything you may be interested in. None of the links are affiliate links.

Math - Each child just keeps moving forward in their Math U See curriculum. We've got everything from addition, subtraction, and multiplication to fractions, prealgebra, and algebra 2.

Grammar - For those using Fix It Grammar I've printed the next 6 weeks of work. Joseph and Emma are on weeks 15-20 while Daniel is on weeks 7-12.

All About Reading - Oliver is moving right along in level 3, currently on lesson 7 out of 54. Most lessons are taking him a week to master. Caleb is in level 1 at lesson 27 out of 49. His lessons take 1-2 weeks each. Mason is in level 1 but not in a specific lesson. Up to now he's simply been doing activities from the binder from lessons 1-18. We are going to begin more methodically going through the lessons this six weeks, starting around lesson 4. I know that some of these lessons will be quick (just a day) while others will take longer, depending on how well he has already mastered the topic.

Latin - Makayla is at chapter 4 of Latin Alive 1. We are doing this together and slowly getting in a good routine.

Writing - Makayla is in chapter 4 of 13 in Writing Fiction in High School. She stays independent in this. Joseph, Emma, and Daniel are doing some creative writing with Spin A Story (I got when it was free) and a writing prompt calendar from Write Shop. Oliver and Caleb are continuing copywork with Draw Write Now. Mason is still enjoying Handwriting Without Tears.

History - Makayla is finishing up her last book on the Civil War. Next up is reading Kids on Strike, a book or two about the Wright Brothers, a book on the Titanic, and then on to World War One. The rest of the kids are moving into reading about exploration and the American colonial days. We will meet people like Pocohontas, John Smith, and William Penn. There will be Puritans and Quakers and Pilgrims. We're not using a formal curriculum for anyone for history this year, just reading and narration.

Science - Makayla is almost finished with chapter 2 of Discovering Design with Chemistry. Each chapter takes about 2 weeks time. The rest of the kids will choose from a variety of books I've gathered on harvest, pumpkins, animals, why leaves change colors, and so on. We'll be watching our birdfeeder as fall sets in and we see flocks traveling south for winter.

Shakespeare - For this six weeks we are going to dive into one of the bard's comedies: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare was alive during the time period most of my kids will cover in history this six weeks. We will learn about the man himself, the Globe theater, and then use Shakespeare in Three Steps from Simply Charlotte Mason to study this play. I like the setup of this. You read a story version of the play first (in this case one written by E. Nesbit around 1907). Then you work through each act of the play reading along to an audiobook performance (we are doing one from Arkangel productions that is available on Audible). Finally, you watch a performance of the play (live or dvd) and the SCM book has reviews and suggestions for versions to watch based on ages in your family.

Phew! We will also do some art projects, look at art, listen to music, sing hymns, study scriptures, and more. Nature study will happen. Books will be read and discussed. Games will be played. It's a wonderful learning adventure!