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What We’re Up To In Our Homeschool Time (Weeks 3-4)

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We took a vacation the third week of school. That is the beauty of homeschooling, my friends. We can plan to do whatever we want, whenever we want. With Labor Day and my hubby having a vacation day, school would have been a bust anyway, so we had planned on camping. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the hottest weekends this summer, so camping was scratched and we found an indoor activity to keep us (slightly) cool, and technically we could count it as PE for the week. 


Incidentally, if you are wondering when the best time is to hit an indoor trampoline park, the answer would be a Friday morning before noon. Another tip, if you have birthed at least child, you may want to consider purchasing a ticket for the shortest jump time possible, unless you have taken stock in adult diapers. You’re welcome (and so the truth). You just remind your children it is all their fault. 

Very last minute, we decided to have the kids participate in swim team again this year. Our local team has new coaches and a new practice schedule, so we waited while trying to figure out how we were going to balance life and practice with four kids, and not lose our sanity in the process. We’re one week down and so far so good – but we’ll have to see how it is going in a few months. :) 

Monarch butterfly (c) Homeschool Creations
Butterflies are emerging from their chrysalis and those are moments we simply sit and stare. It just never gets old. Ever since I’ve was teaching preschool over 18 years ago, it has completely fascinated me, and now our kids too. This year we didn’t get to see the process itself, but did see something interesting. Aphids were all over one batch of milkweed we brought home and after one butterfly had gone into it’s chrysalis, the aphids were all over the thing. We were worried about it for a bit because we didn’t know what they might do. Yesterday when we looked at it, all of the spots where the aphids had been were little tiny golden dots – it was the most amazing and pretty thing to do – a gold polka-dotted chrysalis (and sadly we didn’t get a picture of it). 

Passport to Purity weekend with son

While there aren’t a TON of things to share that we’ve been doing during our school time, one of the more monumental moments came when my husband took Zachary away for his Passport to Purity weekend. Our initial plans for the weekend didn’t work out, so the two of them found a hotel, Rick planned a surprise football game trip, and the two had a great time away together. Rather than picking out the same gift as his sisters (because a tea cup just doesn’t do it for the boy), Rick and Zachary found him a great knife for him to have in the years to come, especially handy during his time with Scouts. If you’d like to read more about our weekend away with the girls, you can read more here. This is the only picture I have of their weekend – grins. :) 

In the meantime, we’ve been plugging away at school, adding in a new subject each week now that the kids are getting more into the routine of things, and overall it’s going really well. Most days. There are still major moments of drama (I will not name any names) and frustration, but there are also many moments of success that completely fly in the face of all the frustration (and those are worth their weight in gold, my friends). 


Reading for Kaleb is plugging along. We have picked up some various readers for him to read every other day and he is really doing so much better – which is an encouragement to both of us. This is again one of those times when I need to remind myself not to compare where his progress is, especially in comparison to his siblings. Zachary at this point was starting Level 4 of All About Reading and Kaleb is on All About Reading Level 3 – but progress is progress and we will take every little bit, especially the fact that he is wanting/trying to read other books to us.  


Our one computer is back up and running, which means McKenna can now work whole-heartedly on Latin. She is absolutely loving Visual Latin this year (and earning that credit). She and Laurianna both are trying to talk to each other in short phrases which is cracking me up. The first time I heard them trying to say something to each other I thought they were using Pig Latin and couldn’t figure it out, until they started cracking up and told me what they were saying. 

In an attempt to finally clean off my camera’s SD card, I managed to delete a slew of pictures I thought I had already uploaded of some of the other things we worked on the past two weeks: science experiments with Zachary, a few pictures of Laurianna and her artwork, but the good thing is – the pictures don’t mean that progress wasn’t made (thank goodness). And my SD card is much happier at this point too since the pictures from two years ago have finally been removed. 

That’s a really quick look at our past two weeks – what have YOU been up to? 


4th grade homeschool curriculum choices - from Homeschool Creations 6th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 from Homeschool Creations 8th grade homeschool curriculum choices 2016 10th grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations 2016

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  1. I just love reading your posts! Go Kaleb Go!! Do you have all your children do the same subject at the same time of day? Perhaps thinking back to when they were smaller and less independent. We are still trying to find a flow this year.

    • No – the older three are on their own routine (well, I wouldn’t exactly call what Zachary has a routine at this point. That boy has a hard time focusing. :) Laurianna set up her own block schedule, so she is working on a few subjects one day and then the remainder the next, so typically M/W and T/Th. Adding in co-ops for her in the afternoons rounds out those and then she uses Friday as a catch-up day if needed. McKenna is still getting into her groove as well and trying to figure out the best way to set up her day, especially since she has to share the laptop with the boys. She tries to work on her subjects that aren’t on the computer first and then as soon as she gets the laptop, she’s off on her own. The boys and I usually start with history and Kaleb has a few things he can also do independently (math and handwriting), then he and I work together based on his mood (i.e. reading first or possibly hold off). And as for Zachary, there is typically a lot of, “please stop playing with the dog, twirling in your chair” and “no, you don’t need another drink.” As long as they get their subjects done each day, I’m not worried about the order – and it’s strange not having all of them together doing the same thing, but some of them are able to work through things more quickly than others, so it’s hard to say “you have 20 minutes for math and then on to the next subject.” That type of a schedule never worked for us – it’s more an ebb and flow kind of day.

      Does that help at all? Or did I just make it all worse?

    • That is helpful! We only have one laptop too and that makes it a bit more challenging. I still have my 3 youngest working together as a family with as many subjects as possible. All 3 of them are tactile learners which makes things a little challenging on my part because most things that they love costs so much money! I love when you share the things your boys are doing with science, I try to get ideas from those! I remember one year you used Learning Language Arts Through Literature with the boys, did they enjoy it? Why did you discontinue using them? I am using one of them with my daughter who is 9 and she likes it so far. Not sure how my boys would enjoy it. We are doing Fix It! Grammar for the 2nd year and they love that! I supplement with Easy Grammar when needed. Thanks for sharing!

    • The year we used LLATL for the boys was when I was trying to meld their reading together. We did enjoy it, but Growing with Grammar has been a great fit for them and then we can also pick/choose his literature choices a little more and still follow a similar format with book reviews. I found the Center for Lit the following year and have been using their guide for book picks and really enjoying that. LLATL is a great program and we may use it with Kaleb again – we’ll see! He needs to be reading a little more solidly first.

  2. Looks like a great start of the year! LOL at the adult diapers.. I just go with the I don’t even need a ticket approach.. I will watch and take videos ;-) Yay Kaleb!! He is making great progress. I ordered another AAS level 2 book and we started it again SUPER slow and making sure he masters the concept before moving on! We need to get together soon! I miss seeing you guys now that the summer is over! Love the knife idea for Zachary!

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