Thursday, October 13, 2016

Friday Mash Up: Dissection, Writing, and Menu Notes

We've had a nice week with lots of normal. I've kept notes each day and I'm sharing highlights from those. Enjoy this peek at some of our week!


Makayla had an earthworm dissection to do with mom. Kids had new math lessons. New history weeks. 4 middles did snowball writing (EXPLAIN). Oldest turned in a draft for proofreading/edits to mom. Vet class. Skip Bo. Time outside. A nap for mom. Wonky internet continues.


This started with Daniel complaining of a headache, which often means he's going to be throwing up shortly. He made sure to start increasing his water intake in case he is dehydrated and took some Tylenol. In other medical events for the day I had to call the pediatrician to get Mason in later in the afternoon. He struggles with eczema and the weather changes make it worse. Currently he's on a prescription strength cream that isn't coping. His worst patches are on his thighs and they are close to becoming open sores, which is really bad because he's paralyzed. He can't feel things but his skin is extra fragile and doesn't heal well. Something like this opening up could take months to heal, or could end up deepening to the bone or getting infected. It's just not something to mess around with.

We kept to our usual school routines, knowing we would finish up before the appointment time arrived. My first teaching moment this morning was spent with Oliver (2nd grade, beginning reader) and Caleb (kindergarten, learning phonics). Each child grabbed a lined dry erase board and I wrote 5 letters or 5 words on their board depending on age. They would tell me what a line said (phonetic sound or reading the word) and then they did copywork of what they just read, writing in their best handwriting. They love the dry erase boards and being able to choose different colored markers.

Makayla worked on a presentation for her online veterinary class. It is her report of the day she spent shadowing a local veterinarian. She will speak live and had to make visuals for her presentation as well. She chose to make a Prezi, which is similar in some ways to a PowerPoint presentation. Today she was doing editing and adding photos from her day shadowing the vet.

Our writing project today for Oliver, Daniel, Emma, and Joseph was to make our first grammar folder on punctuation (from Write Shop Junior level D). We're a pretty flexible family on the writing front and I pull from a variety of materials we've collected over the years depending on what sounds doable and fun for the ages I'm working with. We use a lot of Brave Writer principles. However my kids have been wanting some hands on games and activities to go with their writing in the planning process, which is something Write Shop Junior does well. It is also planned out for you, so I just print and we're off. It's a program I had laying around that I used years ago with Makayla. We've decided to run with it for as long as it is motivating us.


The morning started as it always does, a 5am wakeup and heading out the door by 5:40am to take Makayla to seminary. The other kids got up and going by 6:30am. Chores and breakfast happen early on, then kids are free to play until 8am or they can get a jump start on their school work. Most mornings they choose school work. Oliver finished reading Champ in his All About Reading level 2 reader. Caleb practiced counting backwards from 20 and adding zero to a number. Kids read literature books and scriptures. Makayla had me quizzing her on the parts of a chicken's reproductive system before she took a midterm test for her vet class (she aced it).

Writing with the four middle kids had us learning about the parts of a letter of invitation (date, salutation, body, closing, signature). Then I pulled out a pile of papers. They were 3 different letters of invitation that had been cut into their parts. The kids had to work together to find whose pieces made an entire letter. History and other subjects just moved along as usual.

Today we did managed to remember our book club read aloud! We are currently reading Rascal by Sterling North and while my kids are enjoying it I had to take a long break from reading aloud because of being sick and coughing so much. I'm just barely back to where I can manage reading our history books and add in Rascal too.


This week has been really nice because I have been able to sit down first in the morning with my younger school age boys, Oliver (2nd) and Caleb (Kindy), to work together. We've done math and copywork together. Then we read or they pull out playdoh with Mason and Samuel.

Today's writing activity had the kids cut apart robot parts and put together a robot that tells the parts of a letter of invitation. Then the kids got a writing prompt and journaled a letter of invitation for some event they came up with at a dinosaur park.

Okay, that's all the highlights I have time for this week. We are on the cusp of birthday season at our house. Tomorrow (Friday) is Joseph's 12th birthday. Four days later is Daniel's 9th birthday. Then birthdays happen less than 2 weeks later, 2 weeks after that, 3 weeks later, , then Christmas less than 2 weeks later, then 2 weeks to the next birthday, and then a big break of 6 weeks to the 7th birthday.

Have a great weekend!

Menu Notes - I decided to share some of the meals we cooked this week because I love seeing what others are eating to gather ideas. Meals here aren't fancy, but they are generally filling. Here are some of the things on our plates this week.
  • Apple crisp
  • Taco Frito - taco salad with corn chips.
  • Crockpot chili and cornbread
  • Bean with bacon soup
  • Crockpot Beef Stew
  • Grilled Cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
  • Polish sausages on hot dog buns
  • Hamburgers and oven fries
  • Cake with bacon and sausage patties. Yep, just keeping it real. I made a cake from scratch and added some protein one evening because if we can't have fun occasionally then we're being way to strict on food! The kids were not on board with putting the bacon on top of the cake, but I did it on mine. Yum.
Linking to Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. Oh eczema is a big deal in our house. We use lots of cocoa butter, surfer's salve (get it online) and shea butter. Also oatmeal baths and cocoa butter soap. It's kept things well maintained while in between medicine use. Love your menu!!!

  2. Cake and bacon? :) :) :)

    I guess pancakes and bacon go together, so why not cake?

    The Queen Eleanor book looks so interesting to me! I'm going to look it up.

    What a wonderful and productive week for you all. Here's hoping Mason's eczema heals up!!!!

  3. I'm going to look up the Queen Eleanor book to add to our Middle Ages study! Cake and bacon, sounds yummy to me!

  4. Enjoy reading about your large family style home schooling. I only have 4 and have trouble keeping up with all of them.


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