Friday, August 25, 2017

Homeschool Week 4: Feeling Like Fall

Saturday daddy had a driver's meeting at work. The kids did chores and then their Saturday game time. Makayla and Mommy went to the reptile show to pick up bugs and rats for Makayla's reptiles - and Makayla drove the hour to get there in the big city! Grocery shopping was done in the hot afternoon. A thunderstorm rumbled and poured later in the afternoon and into the evening. We met another family with a child who has spina bifida like Mason and were able to pass his outgrown dynamic stander on to them in the evening. Everyone played and relaxed the evening away and then it was up to bed for some sleep before Sunday.

Sunday is always my favorite day of the week. Why? It's my day of rest! Now, as a mother to nine children my definition of rest isn't quite the same as it was when I had no children. There are still mouths to feed - but we try to keep preparations simple and work together in the kitchen. But the regular chores don't happen beyond keeping up with dishes. We wake up and everyone gets ready to be out the door at 9:30am for church. Church is from 10am-1pm.

The first hour and 10 minutes of church isn't as restful with children - it is Sacrament meeting, where the entire congregation sits as families to partake of the sacrament, sing hymns, and listen to the speakers. Today, for example, we had 3 speakers, a youth, a missionary serving in our ward, and the father of one family in our ward. (A ward is a local congregation.) Keeping all the children in Sacrament meeting makes a little more noise but less than you would think. The second and third hour are classes.

Hour two is Sunday School. There are classes for adults, youth, and children. The youth are divided into classes with two ages together in a class (12/13, 14/15, 16/17). Joseph is in one of these, Makayla in another. The children's classes have just one age per class, so those turning 4, or those turning 7, or those turning 11. Samuel, Mason, Caleb, Oliver, Daniel, and Emma are each in one of these. There is also an optional nursery class for children ages 18 months to 3 years old. Tobias enjoys this because they have toys, lesson, snack, music time, and lots of fun.

Hour three all the children meet for Primary where they have a sharing time lesson and singing time. The youth meet separately as young men or as young women, ages 12-17. The adults meet separately as well, women in Relief Society with men in their own class.

After church we come home, make lunch as a family, and spend time together. We take care of the usual afternoon medical care for Mason (takes about 1 1/2 hours) and Tobias naps. We often will play games as a family on Sunday afternoon. We talk and laugh and rest. Today we also made no bake cookies. Yum! On this particular Sunday there was also a Stake fireside for youth ages 12-17 with their parents. (A stake is a collection of congregations in a larger area.) I attended with Joseph and Makayla.

Monday started extra early for some of us because it was the first day of early morning seminary for Makayla. Up at 5:00am, out the door at 5:40am, Monday through Friday for the entire school year. At the moment she doesn't have her driver's license (she's got her permit) so we're still driving her. We share rides home with another family right now, until their daughter or ours get their license. Makayla is home around 7:10am from seminary.

Monday was also eclipse day of course. It was a school morning as usual for us. Kids got their work done and then we spent the afternoon in the backyard to view the eclipse and eat popsicles. It was really neat to watch the progress of the moon over the sun. It made me grateful again for a God who has set in motion the planets and planned every tiny detail to work together. Amazing!

In the late afternoon I went to the hospital for blood work. The doctors are monitoring my thyroid every 4 weeks through the pregnancy. Things look great so far, my medication dose is doing it's job.

Tuesday most of the kids got to work early. As in, Oliver was doing school at 6:30am! Three of us had eye checkups scheduled for mid-morning. I really don't like having our school morning broken up by appointments but sometimes it just can't be avoided.

Makayla decided to tackle chemistry early today so this is what was going on in our kitchen. Any time there is a fire the kids are drawn to it like a moth. I think almost every child stopped in to see what was going on.

I made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for lunch today and we listened to Tuesdays at the Castle (aff). The day went on as usual and we finished off our evening listening to the last two chapters of Tuesdays at the Castle with Daddy. Hooray for finishing the book!

Wednesday morning was chilly and held the promise of cooler fall weather. It made me so happy that I baked biscuits and made two soups for lunch. We spent our morning doing school work as usual. Latin, math, history, writing, astronomy, reading, chemistry, art, grammar -- we worked through it all. I will go through it by child:
  • Makayla and I are almost finished with chapter 2 of Latin Alive 1. We've started conjugating verbs. We're making our way through lesson 4 in Algebra 2 and surviving. She's reading history on her own. For writing today we discussed motifs and things appearing in 3s in fairy tales, as well as discussing those things in the movie The Princess Bride. She did chemistry on her own today. 
  • Joseph read his history chapter book. He's doing well in PreAlgebra and Fix It Grammar. He's started typing his report on the San Francisco earthquake in preparation to do edits. In science he created a piece of art related to our theme of space.
  • Emma is also doing well in PreAlgebra and Fix It Grammar. She's on country 3 or 4 in her writing about an imaginary island chain. She was thrilled to have art included in science today - and couldn't resist adding a small starship Enterprise and a Borg ship to her space scene. She's still reading her history chapter book too.
  • Daniel moved on to a new writing project this week. He finished up the letter writing last week and now he's researching bald eagles and writing a report about them. He has decided he likes Fix It Grammar, which doesn't surprise me. He's in Epsilon for math so this week has been learning about equivalent fractions. He read another chapter in his history book and did an art piece for science today too.
  • Oliver is working with oa and ow words this week in All About Reading level 3. He is multiplying by 2s and converting quarts to pints because there are 2 pints in every quart. He did a drawing of a cactus today from Draw Write Now and tomorrow will add the copywork to the page. His art project for science was the solar eclipse seen through the glasses we bought. 
  • Caleb did two pictures of the solar eclipse for science. His reading is working on beginning blends in words. He's on subtracting nines, lesson 22 in Math U See Alpha. He also drew a cactus today from Draw Write Now and will do the copywork sentences for it tomorrow. 
  • Mason chose to use a dry erase book today as part of his handwriting/fine motor skills work. He used pattern blocks for math. He also worked on naming the sounds different letters of the alphabet make. Each letter was covered by a chocolate chip and so he would pick a chip, move it, say the letter sound, and eat the chocolate. He drew the solar eclipse as well today. 

I remembered a dvd we have called Your Backyard: Identifying 18 Common Feeder Birds (aff) and we watched about half of that today. It's all about identifying birds by sight and by their calls. What surprised me the most was that Tobias, Samuel, and Mason loved it. There is another dvd in that series about Monarch butterflies. We've not seen that one. We have noticed a number of butterflies lately though.

Thursday started with a doctor's appointment for two kids before gathering up everyone to head to book club. We made it there and the kids played, had fun, and talked about Tuesdays at the Castle. Some decided they would like living in Castle Glower, while others thought it would be weird.

Our afternoon and evening are kind of a blur in my memory... I was so tired. 18 weeks pregnant on this day and growing a baby is hard work.

Friday schoolwork was finished by lunch time. I tell you, the kids are super motivated on Fridays, and I love it! We started reading our next title for Homeschool Book Club over morning snack. We're doing Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton (aff). So far it has some fun word play and hints at favorite books we've read in the past.

As I type this I hear several kids playing upstairs together - that means Legos. I also hear Joseph and Daniel debating over a game of Gubs. Tobias is laying on the floor chewing on a Duplo vine.

I'm going to go read a book just for myself until it is time to make lunch. What book? Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors(aff). I'm so excited because my launch team copy just came in the mail this week and I've been counting down the days for it to arrive. The book officially releases on October 3rd (and you can already pre-order it on Amazon). This is by the author of the wonderful book Kisses from Katie (aff), a book I reread every year.

That's it for us this week!

Linking to Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. Love the eclipse picture of you all. :)

    I don't blame you for being tired. I'm not pregnant, and I'm so, so, so tired, too.

    What a lot of good learning took place this week. I can totally picture all of the kids gathered around the chemistry flame!

  2. Yes, the eclipse picture is awesome. What a great week.
    Blessings, Dawn


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