Friday, January 11, 2019

Homeschool Week 20: New Beginnings and a Birthday

New beginnings are my happy place, even when I know they are going to be crazy, cranky, and chaotic. Welcome to our first week back to homeschool after Christmas break! Here are my notes for the beginning of our second semester.

Monday Notes:
School was an exercise in patience on my part. There are always children who would rather not get back to school work and decide to be cranky about at least a few of their assignments. I have two usual culprits and today was no different. Both balked at continuing writing assignments they had done research for previously, and both survived the experience.

Until everyone finds their groove our morning school time is chaotic for me. At one point I was helping kids do all of the following - at the same time:
  • Translating a story from Latin to English with Makayla. She translates orally and sometimes needs help or corrections. 
  • Reading spelling words to Oliver and Caleb from two different levels of All About Spelling. (By Tuesday this was delegated to Daddy, which made these kids happy.)
  • Listening to Mason read aloud from All About Reading level 2.
  • Overseeing Samuel and Daniel's math, checking problems for Daniel and encouraging Samuel to keep rolling the dice and adding up the dots.
While my husband is home, he had two college classes begin today, so he's busy getting oriented with those. He takes classes from BYU-I online. This semester he has macroeconomics and a communications class.

At 10am the majority of the kids gathered with snack at the table for history. We learned what happened to 12 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, as a result of their signing the Declaration. Tomorrow we will talk about some of the principles in the Declaration. 

By lunch time everyone was done with their school work, including the high schooler. It's another reason we love homeschooling - we can dive in and work to be done by lunch some days, or we can take the opposite course and slowly meander through our school work all morning, afternoon, and into the evening. 

Our afternoon was quiet play, reading, games, and more school for Daddy. Dinner was new for us. I made chicken nuggets and dipped the chicken in egg before breading. Today's breading was almond flour and seasonings, no real recipe, just playing around with the ingredients on hand. I baked them in the oven for 30 minutes and paired them with fruit, potatoes baked in the Instant Pot, and roasted cinnamon carrots. Yum!

Tuesday Notes:
We plowed through the morning school work in our big crazy group at the table. History was a hands-on exploration of a few principles from the Declaration of Independence. Mason and I headed to physical therapy today (different day/time than usual) and came home to grandma and grandpa visiting, and they had brought vegetable soup for lunch. It was yummy!

The afternoon was our typical medical care and quiet game time. The rest of the day went on as usual. Dinner was fried polish sausage and rice, or leftovers, depending on preference.

Wednesday Notes:
The stars finally aligned and our friends were able to come visit! Before they arrived at 10am my kids dove through their work, leaving our family history time to do later in the afternoon. I made no-bake cookies to go with salad and pizza for lunch. We had such a good time visiting with our friends and planned a poetry tea time at their house to happen in 2 weeks, with a Valentine's party planned for about 3 weeks after that.

In the afternoon after medical care/game time we gathered at the table to learn about General George Washington during the American Revolution. We had an audio story to listen to first. To keep hands busy we pulled out slime, thinking putty, and coloring books. Then I read from The Big Book of History Stories about a few women and children's contributions during the war.

As soon as history was finished some kids disappeared upstairs, Emma watched the last 30 minutes of Justice League, Oliver and Caleb painted their Pinewood Derby cars, and Mason, Samuel, and Tobias enjoyed painting on paper.

In the evening Makayla and Emma were able to go to the Columbus Ohio Temple. Joseph and Daniel had youth group and were in the kitchen cooking and learning about nutrition.

Thursday Notes:
I gave up on sleep at 5:30am and headed downstairs for my daily exercise. My body just was done sleeping and I hate laying around when there is so much I could be doing. After exercise and a shower Daddy and the minions were up and our day was right into school work. Everyone had scheduled a lighter day today, knowing Daddy had a checkup with the surgeon and Mommy is his chauffer for now. They worked steadily until 10am, then watched Night at the Museum while we were gone. A few last school things were finished after we returned. After lunch the girl cousins arrived to hang out while their brothers were at an appointment, which is always fun.

Later in the afternoon I made a quick library trip to pick up some new poetry books for the poetry tea time later this month. Each child needs to find a poem to share and so I thought new poetry books would be fun. I grabbed our library's newsletter and noticed a class for later in the afternoon about bookbinding for teens, which I mentioned to my teens once I got home. Emma decided it sounded like fun and so back to the library I went. While Emma took the class I sat and read a book in the quiet of the library. It was a nice break for me.

That evening's game with Daniel was just a quick round of Go Fish. We're trying to be consistent at playing a game every day still. We need that simple positive interaction! Makayla decided to apply to another college that has been reaching out to her. She did the application and sent it off.

Friday Notes:
Today Mason is 7 years old and thrilled that it is his birthday.

While he will have a party this weekend, he opened gifts this morning. He has been asking for  a magic kit for several months. His favorite present today was

this Deluxe Magic Kit by Melissa and Doug. (aff) He is working on learning to perform the different tricks and did a small magic show right before lunch for his siblings.

His other two gifts were this Kinetic Sand Dino Dig (aff) and

the Lego Juniors Cars 3 Florida 500 Final Race (aff). I've linked to Amazon and prices change regularly. I got each item for 60% or more off the current prices, thank goodness!
In general Friday has been a typical homeschool day other than birthday fun. Everyone finished up their school work for the week. The kids tried to hold or stand on ice cubes for as long as they could, to set the scene for our history reading. We read about the Battle of Trenton and compared some of the tactics George Washington used to battles in the Book of Mormon.

Over lunch we read some fun reverse poetry in the book Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer. I had never heard of reverse poems before! Basically, they are poems that can be read, and then if you read a second time with the lines in reverse order (from bottom to top) they make another poem all together. The illustrations in the book really help kids grasp the difference in the story being told when the poem is reversed.

The rest of our Friday will be family time, a gospel study about Mary and Joseph, dinner, and more family time. For now, I'm off to play Clue with Daniel and any other kids who are interested. 


  1. Happy, happy birthday to Mason!!!

    We had a kind of grumpy Monday, too, but like you, our week got better. You are very efficient homeschoolers. :) I'm impressed with how much you all get done in a short time. We are slower . . . such is life.:)

    And I love reverse poetry!

  2. Love reverse poems. They are so clever. You run such an organized and generally peaceful household.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. Hard to believe he's already 7!!


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