Sunday, January 19, 2014

Homeschool Mother’s Journal–January 18, 2014


I’ve decided that I need a new umph in my weekly reports about our homeschool journey.  Having seen the link up for the Homeschool Mother’s Journal at So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?, and after reviewing the suggested prompts, I think this would be a good way for me to document our 2014 hits, misses, treats and trials.  And adventures.  There are always adventures.

So, here we go!

Because our homeschool community (Classical Conversations) meets on Tuesdays, our weekly assignments begin on Tuesday and end on the following Monday.  After all these years of homeschooling and being involved in different groups, I’ve finally just had to adapt myself to unique 5-day weeks.  

In my life this week…

This was our second week skiing with a large group of homeschoolers – almost 300 this year.  It is  a fabulous deal for 2 hours of lessons and weekly mid-week lift ticket combo.  Ben and Dave have been participating in this program since 2007, and each of the other boys started skiing when they were six. Last week, I fell and tweaked my knew, but this week was Dave’s turn.  He did such a better job than I did – meaning, he heard the “pop” and thinks he has a little meniscus tear.  This is not good!  My poor husband had health problems last year that kept him side-lined for most of the ski season, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be skiing anymore this year.


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In our homeschool this week…

This was our second week back from Christmas vacation, but for me it felt like our first week and last week was just survive-until-the-weekend mode.  Christmas break ended a bit too abruptly for me and this girl just wanted more of it, so the week of Jan. 4-9 was a bit painful.  We did almost the bare minimum as the boys re-learned to wake up before 9:30 and we all learned to be productive human beings again.

Ben’s Challenge B class finished up and presented their science experiments.  I’m grateful Dave was able to swing by after patient care to see all three students and their projects.


Ben used the website to begin thinking of ideas for his project.  He was looking for something a bit more physics-y (not a word, I realize), and ended up doing an experiment to measure the force a hammer exerted on different sized nails and different sized wood.  He experienced the ups and downs of research (meaning:  everything did not go as planned).  He also realized that during the “research gathering” portion of the project, he should have more carefully considered what equations he would need to use to figure out the force, the mass, the acceleration, etc.  He certainly received a good dose of functional math this past week.

One of the improvements I’ve really noticed with the boys because of our involvement with Classical Conversations is that they are much more willing to engage in conversations, volunteer to speak and be in front of people.  This is a huge improvement for all the boys, but more so for Ben and Levi, who tend to be more introverted personalities.

The proof of that was during Ben’s last Boy Scout court of honor.  The boys were teaching the skill of knot tying and Levi shot up his hand to be the learner:


He was so pleasant and excited to be up with The Big Boys, and didn’t get frustrated at all.  What a wonderful change to see.

My favorite thing this week was…

Each of my boys showed true gratefulness to me this week, and I am blown away by their sincerity and love.  Ben, who is not a fan of Latin but has to take it this year as part of his English credit this year, and I were reviewing new vocabulary with flashcards he had just made.  I explained to him how to make effective flashcards for the five declensions of personal pronouns, and we then practiced and discussed their uses.  After putting them away, he came up to me and gratefully said, “Thanks, mom, for helping me.”  {he’s reading over my shoulder and rolling his eyes because I’m sharing this, but it warmed my heart so much that I am going to ignore his derision.}

Luke, who is smack dab in the middle of Math U See’s Delta program, is learning long division.  Last week we reviewed simple two-digit by one-digit division and this week we had to figure out three-digit.  It wasn’t pretty and their was crying, a couple time outs and finally – a breakthrough.  Luke is very tender-hearted and he gave me a big apology, a long hug, and a big thank you for helping him over his hurdle.

And Levi make this as an impromptu gift:

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My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Levi is the first review guinea pig of the year.  We have access to our first TOS Crew Review:  He’s already breezed through an eight lesson section in the span of about 30 minutes.  I’m so happy we are able to take this for a test run – he loves science.

I’m cooking…

This was our second week of skiing and I’m determined to try out some new recipes in our crock pot.  I love giving everybody a warm dinner after being on the slopes all day, and I especially love that I don’t have to do anything on Thursday morning except plug the crock pot in.

Last week we tried out Chicken Pot Pie Soup.  It was delicious, but salty (and this from a person who loves salty foods).  Next time I will not put in three bullion cubes – I’ll try only 1plus add a little more homemade chicken broth.  This will definitely be something I make again for the family.

This week we are going with a familiar recipe for chili.

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I hope next week to try something new and stretch the boys’ taste buds.  They are all so famished when we get home from skiing that I am taking liberties to try new things.

I’m praying for…

We have been going through some trials in business dealings recently, and I’ve been praying for God to help me deal with anger that I am feeling with the people involved.  I’ve been looking through the YouVersion Bible app and have seen several short Bible devotionals that I have started this weekend to give me some structure in dealing with my emotions and heart.  I know God does not want me to be angry and that his justice is sweetest and best.  I need to find rest there.

I’m also praying for a good book/ Bible study that Ben and I can do together.  We’ve decided on reading Case for Christ books and using them to discuss information.  I just need to get them ordered.

You can click below to read other journal entries from homeschoolers all over the world:

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?

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