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School Basics and Spending Time Together – Homeschool and Life Happenings

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This past week was such a FUN whirlwind of activities for our family. Laurianna is wrapping up her semester at the community college (and came to us with a change she is thinking of making for the upcoming year – see below for more on that!), so she is deep in the throes of writing papers and studying for finals next week. 

School wise we are covering the basics for the rest of this month: math and reading for everyone, typing and handwriting for Kaleb, science added for Zachary, and McKenna is filling in what she needs to do based on the various schedules we have for her. Otherwise, we’re doing some fun things together each day: games, cookies, and enjoying ourselves. 

Creative Fun for Mom

Over the weekend a friend and I got together for some wreath-making fun. Last year she and I took a class together on how to make them and decided when we were finished it would be fun to do again the following year – but cheaper now that we (sort of) knew what we were doing. 

So we walked our properties, cut various greens, and used a simple $2 wire wreath and some floral wire to put together our beauties. I LOVE the different greens we incorporated (cypress, pine, boxwood, cedar, and a few other misc greens. I’m not a bow girl, so mine ended up with a few berry clusters for some color and all is well. It smells SO GOOD!! 

First Lego League

While we were creating our wreaths, two of our boys were off competing at the First Lego League States. Fun fact: this competition had 108 teams (over 70 in Division 1, which our boys are in, and over 30 in Division 2). The competition was held over two (long) days and is the largest competition meet in the world (what we were told). 

The boys robot, Billy Bob, performed amazing, and the boys have worked so hard over the last few weeks since their regional meet to shave time off their run by working more seamlessly together and lining up their robot so the runs go as planned. 

Just before their last run, they made a tweak to their program (and didn’t have time to run it to make sure it worked). But is was AMAZING!! If you watch the video to the end and see the faces of Caleb and hear the excitement of my Kaleb – well, they were THRILLED. They ended up with a score of 262 points for their run, the highest by 30 points in both Division 1 and Division 2. While they didn’t advance to Worlds, they did win two awards for their robot: 1st place for robot performance and 1st place in innovative robot design. 

We are SO proud of how the boys have grown this past year in their programming, teamwork, and confidence! 

Encouraging Relationships

Needless to say, the boys were in a Lego state of mind after the weekend competition. Here’s the thing: they haven’t played with them in a very long time. They were all dumped into two big bins and put aside, but Monday morning they hauled them upstairs. We had school to do, but quite honestly – I let it slide a bit. 

Yes, we have things we “need” to do for school, but quite honestly I want to do everything I can to foster the relationships between my kids – especially when they are enjoying each other’s company. :) That’s just a win in my book and there isn’t any way I’m going to tell them they need to focus on ____ subject at the moment. 

Bits of Random

While I realize this is COMPLETELY unrelated to homeschool, I just need to stop for a moment and share the cutest little plant that joined our household this week. Miniature plants are too cute and this one was begging for a home. Do you see the itty bitty sunglasses on the right? It made me smile, so mine it is. 

Wednesday morning we woke up to snow blanketing our yard. My parents, who live only 15 minutes from us, hardly had a dusting and we had several inches when all was said and done. The view driving up and down our road is one of my favorite things to see, especially when the snow has gathered on the tree branches. So peaceful. 

The (Soon) Graduating Senior

The last few weeks Laurianna has been working hard as her semester comes to an end. She has been working on college applications, writing numerous papers for her classes, took her nursing entrance exams, and is now studying for all of her finals. 

A short bit ago she came to us with a different option for next year. The last two years she has been very focused on working toward her nursing degree (her push, not ours), but she is feeling the desire to step back a little bit and possibly take a gap year since she has completed all of her pre-nursing work and already has a good headstart on her RN degree. 

She is looking into spending at least a year working with Mercy Ships, so we are meeting with her advisor next week to talk about how things might play out if she were to head this route. We’ve had some great conversations the last few days about it all – and can’t wait to see how this turns out. 

A Peek at School

Kaleb has been continuing with his typing (he is much more consistent than Zachary – ahem). He really enjoys the games that Typesy offers and seeing his progress (currently his “goal” is set at 90% accuracy and 30 words per minute). 

He is still working through the center row of keys (asdf and jkl), but it’s great seeing him NOT looking at the keyboard for help. His confidence is improving and that something great to see!

This girl – well, she is working hard to wrap up her studies so she can have a nice long Christmas break. She’s had a rough few weeks in some non-school related areas, but it’s great to see her smiling again. We’ve had some great conversations over the last few weeks – some really tough. 

For those of you with teens, I think you will understand when I say there are times that you are so frustrated with your teen and wonder if anything at all is sticking that you have been trying to model and teach them (in non-school related areas) over the years. And then you have these amazing conversations with them. And see them work through things (when you so desperately want to step in and make everything “all better” for them). 

Family Fun

Later in the week we pulled out an ugly Christmas sweater cookie kit (nope – we didn’t bake them) and had some fun decorating. I will spare you all the picture, but what a 14 year old boy thinks is humorous can be oddly hilarious. :) 

Games are the last way we are having some fun this week too. Kaleb received Jumanji as a birthday gift from a friend and it was a fairly quick play for us – definitely one we will play again soon! 

That’s about it from this last week! I hope you all are doing well and would love to hear about your homeschool time – feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you’ve been up to. 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings. 

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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  1. I’m excited to see how the Mercy Ships venture turns out! Congrats to the boys on their robotics wins! McKenna is simply beautiful!…glad her smile has returned.

    • Me too! We’re compiling a list of questions for both colleges since she will be out of the country when there are several deadlines, so trying to figure out how that will all fall into place (but it will!). :)

  2. Cathryn Johansson says

    We school year round, with the main goal being to take the month of December off. It has been a blessing to have that time to focus on Christmas, though as the kids get older (we have K-7th grade at home) and the “regular” activities don’t take a break for December, it is not as calming as it used to be. My 5th grader said yesterday, “I wish *everything* stopped for the month of December!” :)
    Your wreath is stunning, by the way! I love your weekly updates.

  3. What a lovely week. Your wreath is gorgeous!
    Blessings, Dawn

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