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Weekly Wrap-up ~ More Minecraft

In our regular life this week…

This week has been extremely busy and stressful as I entered the life of a college student. In order to teach an upcoming online college course, I am having to complete a three-week faculty orientation. But, it is actually a class with papers, discussion, assignments, group projects, and the like. It is seriously more labor-intensive than many of my previous law school classes! I am getting up at 6:00 a.m. every morning to put in two hours of schoolwork before the kids get up for the day. Then I am finishing up on work at night before I go to bed. My brain is absolute mush.

In our homeschool this week…

Grammar - We focused our attention on possessives.

Spelling - Our spelling words consisted of words with ir, ur and ear.

Reading - We are reading A Christmas Story by Charles Dickens as part of a Christmas unit study review we are doing. Eli and Brynne are still reading through the Diary of a Wimpy Kids books.

Math - This week we completed Lesson 14 in Math U See which involved multiplying by 6. They are doing really well with their multiplication lessons!

Handwriting - The kids completed five more lessons in Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success

Geography - We did manage to study Vermont one day, which wraps up our study of the Northeastern states. With all of the other unit studies we have going on right now, we are probably going to continue to take a break from moving onto another region. I think we will camp at the revolutionary period for a bit longer so the kids can finish up Liberty's Kids. They absolutely love that series!

Science - We made some homemade electrical circuits using a unit study by Susan Kilbride. I will finally be posting my review about it this week!

Extra - The Minecraft class continues to take up a good chunk of time during the week. Seriously my wrap-up posts may consist mostly of reports on the kids' Minecraft class, at least for the next couple of weeks. Much to their chagrin, they will be "kicked off" the portal in the month of December until the next class that starts in January. It will be a long month for me!

The class they are taking through Minecraft Homeschool is nothing short of amazing! They are taking the Castles and Cannons class and learning about the Middle Ages. They started learning about the peasants and built a peasant village. This week they moved onto the castle. We have been watching a really GREAT video by David MacCauley called "Castle" that is based on one of his books. We actually checked out Castle: How it Works by him from our local library that explains the ins and outs of a Middle Ages castle and it's villages. It's awesome! We are really enjoying what we are learning and the kids are building some crazy things on Minecraft! I would like to send a HUGE shout-out to Ms. Jody for all her hard work and sweet care of my kiddos while they are on her portal.

And lest you think Minecraft is not "school" … think again. I was making a list of the new classes we would sign up for next year and was adding up the cost. I asked Brynne: "What is 32 x 2?" She very quickly said, "64". I was astounded! She said, "Mom! We calculate that all the time when we are buying our materials." They are doing math, and lots of it, on Minecraft.

And the engineering and technology is so educational! They are building contraptions with "redstone". And they are complicated! They have to build them in such a way as to make them actually work. If they don't work, they have to go back in and figure out why. It can be frustrating at times, but when they finally figure it out they have such a feeling of accomplishment!

The quizzes they have to take each week to earn their money to buy their supplies are HARD! They are required to watch videos about the age and answer multiple choice and short essay questions. And the questions are not obvious. You really have to listen to the videos in order to catch some of the answers. We have had to go back and re-watch complete sections because they couldn't come up with an answer.

And the teamwork. Wow! They are put on teams with other kids their age and they have to work together to build certain things. Right now they are all working together to build the castle. They loan each other materials, help each other out, give opinions, hang out, give each other food, search for materials together, and more. I have loved the camaraderie they have formed with their teammates. I know the kids will miss their new friends in December.

Now, they might be a wee bit obsessed at this point, especially Brynne, but I guess I am okay with my child being obsessed with something so educational. She is getting the rest of her work done. She is just choosing to spend her free time learning and building. Believe me, we are racking up the school hours!

Homeschool Tricks and Tips ...

Look for hours to log in the unexpected. Brynne announced that she wanted to cook with her Easy Bake Oven this week. I got out all of the supplies for her and then left her on her own to do it. It required measurement, reading and following instructions, and home economics. You can bet we counted that as school time!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Basketball season has started for Brynne! She started practice on Thursday night. She is really going to love it, and seems to really grasp it so far. I am looking forward to the season. We also had bowling league on Saturday morning which continues to be a highlight of our week. And, Brynne's volleyball team had a swimming party. The kids got to spend a lot of time with friends this week!

A favorite thing this week was…

Family time. We had a full house this weekend and spent lots of time laughing and hanging out. We shared some good meals and some good times.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

We had to have some homemade chicken and noodles on Thursday night because Dawson was sick with a sinus infection and viral crud. Nothing cures a yucky virus like chicken soup! On Saturday night I made a homemade lasagna for the family. Then last night it was baked salisbury steak and homemade macaroni and cheese. We have a busy week coming up so we are making some easy meals. Kyndal did request some fried chicken strips and mashed potatoes, so I will be cooking a big meal one night. As I am still hosting Monday lunch for my aunt and sister until my mom gets back from Florida, we are having turkey burgers, fries and salad today for lunch.

What we're reading ...

Mom:  I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins. It's a good one, so far.

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney.

Brynne: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney.

Read-aloud: A Christmas Story by Charles Dickens.

Things we're working on…

Finishing up our final review for the year for TOS, wrapping up the Minecraft class, planning Thanksgiving, working hard for another month so we can take an extended Christmas break, our Christmas lists, the W. Children Christmas Fund, finishing my class so I can start teaching, enjoying the remainder of fall as winter quickly approaches.

I’m grateful for …

the generosity of so many with our W. Children's Christmas Fund. My little ladies church group has decided to take on a huge project in our town. The W. Children's Christmas Fund is an organization that provides Christmas for needy children in our town. We found out a couple of weeks ago that the group that has done it for years had decided not to do it anymore. We decided to take it on … that it was just too important to discontinue. I have been amazed at the generosity of our community toward this project. There will be some happy children on Christmas morning because of them.

What's coming up this week ...

more schoolwork for me and all the kids, basketball practice, an evening hangout time with one of my friends from high school, church and handbell choir practice, catching up on some DVR'd shows, and lunch with my aunt.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

My 4th-6th graders doing a skit on The Parable of the Talents. I was so proud of them!!!

We are happily linking up this week at the following sites:


  1. Looks like another great week. I can't remember if I asked before, but are the minecraft classes through Currclick? I need to look in to that for Nolan.

  2. Hey Nicole can you send me a link to your Minecraft classes please? I looked all over your blog and missed it.


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