Skip to main content

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Stressed and Strained

In our regular life this week…

I like to think that I am generally good at handling stress. But this week I struggled. It's difficult to have so many things out of your control and to watch so much injustice happen. I caved to the pressure and had a couple of rough days emotionally.  But, I am finding my way back out of the darkness and putting my trust back where it should be. I am sure the cold temperatures and constant snow and ice have not helped matters either. It is so hard to feel motivated to do anything in these temps. And when I feel sluggish physically I feel sluggish emotionally. The greatest news is that the temps will be in the 50's and 60's starting tomorrow. It's already been 30 degrees warmer which has made a huge difference! Hallelujah!!!

In our homeschool this week…

We had a great week of school. I am grateful for the pleasure of teaching my children and getting to watch them grow and enjoy learning.

Bible - We learned all about the major and minor prophets this week. It was fun to draw them all a different way with our Stick Figuring Through the Bible with Grapevine. It's a great curriculum!

Grammar - In Logic of English we learned all about Irregular Verbs, Possessive Noun Adjectives and the -un prefix. I have said it before and I will say it again .. I love Logic of English!! I have always been a grammar nerd and it feeds my soul.

Handwriting - We completed another 5 lessons in Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success. Eli and Brynne have developed beautiful cursive handwriting and I am so glad that we made the decision to teach it to them even though it is no longer a requirement in public school. (An elderly gentleman in our community was telling a story at the post office the other day about how he recently tried to pay for a movie admission with some half-dollar coins and the boy working at the ticket booth kept giving them back to him because he didn't know what they were. This is how today's kids are going to act as adults when they see a piece of cursive handwriting.)

Spelling - We have decided to cut out our pre and final test in Soaring with Spelling. Brynne aces them every week and all they do is cause Eli stress because he is so worried about her doing better than him. I would rather them learn the words than to stress about testing over them. We are still doing the four days of worksheets because the kids really like doing them and they definitely have educational quality. But I have often thought about cutting out formal spelling lessons altogether and going to strict copy work and dictation. And then the creators of Math U See came out with a new program called Spelling U See that we are reviewing. It follows that premise. So, we have added it to our daily Spelling lessons. So far, AWESOME! And, without even meaning to, they memorized a nursery rhyme this week.

Math - We completed Lesson 22 of Math U See and are working on rounding and estimation. We are also reviewing a new 5th grade math program on fractions. It's going well and the kids are pumped about doing 5th grade work! We will complete the whole program by the end of the year and they will be a step ahead for next year.

Writing - We continued working on stories with problems and solutions, this time adding character and setting descriptions. We grabbed some toys to act out our stories to help us come up with some ideas.

Reading - We finished reading Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary and moved onto Ramona the Pest.

Literature - We have put aside Paddle to the Sea for a few weeks while we concentrate on the Olympics.

Geography - We are doing some studies about Russia as our unit study is on the Olympics.

Science - We completed another module in Science4Us.

Physical Education - We did our usual bowling and basketball. I cannot wait until next week when we can add in bike riding!

Unit Study - I outlined what all we would be doing in our Olympics study in a recent post. This week we completed some coordinate graphing worksheets, reviewed the Russian Alphabet, alphabetized Olympic events, did a word search of Olympic events, mapped the torch relay, and watched several events (Sage Kotsenburg in the slope style, the amazing 15 year old Russian skater in the team event, and Shaun White who did not win a medal this year! What??)

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

We have started to venture back out! On Saturday, after haircuts (finally) we went to see The Lego Movie. Dawson and Taylar took Eli on a special "date", so I didn't get any pictures of him. But, at home he gave it a "two thumbs up"! While they were at the movie Brynne went to a skating birthday party. Rick and I took Brynne to see the movie after the party. She loved it. Rick and I enjoyed it, too. I especially enjoying listening to all the dads cracking up in the movie.

A favorite thing this week was…

Wednesday. I got a good night's sleep (without heartburn) for the first time in about two weeks. The sun was shining in the morning. Brynne's hand and wrist were much better from her fall at basketball practice on Tuesday night when we thought she might have fractured her wrist. The kids were in excellent moods during our school time. Spring temps were just a day or so away. The birds were chirping outside. My heart just felt hopeful.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

I made some soothing potato soup this past weekend and we had some baked chicken and pasta. My weekly plan of cooking easy, kid-friendly foods during the week is working out famously! Brynne had basketball practice at 5:00 two nights this week and I was easily able to get her fed before, and the meals were there for the rest of the kids when they were ready to eat … Pigs in a Blanket, soup and grilled cheese, chicken sandwiches and fries, and special Valentine pizza for tonight.

Dawson made a homemade coconut creme pie for Taylar for Valentine's Day.

And I made TWO pans of my party potatoes for Kyndal to take to her potluck at school today. These are now a regular request and one pan is not enough.

What we're reading ...

Mom:  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. 

Eli: George Brown, Class Clown: Trouble Magnet by Nancy Krulik (finished) and George Brown, Class Clown: Super Burp by Nancy Krulik.

Brynne: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney (finished) and A Big Year for Lily (Book 3, Lily Lapp series) by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Susanne Woods Fisher.

Read Aloud: Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (finished) and Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary. (We planned to read Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine this week but our library didn't get it in.)

Things we're working on…

cupcakes and valentines for the residents at my Grandma's nursing home. We delivered them during lunchtime today, along with Valentines and stickers. The kids were absolutely amazing with the residents! Eli showed each one how to use the little stick to scratch off the black on their Valentine and reveal the colors underneath. Brynne placed a sticker on each resident's shirt. They gave hugs and said "Happy Valentine's Day!" They made lots of people very happy, especially my grandma. I was so proud of them!

I’m grateful for …

the fact that Brynne did not break her arm on Tuesday night at practice when she fell on it, but instead just strained her thumb down into her wrist. That was a scary couple of hours as I anticipated an emergency room trip and a cast, not to mention the cost of all of it. Some acetaminophen, ibuprofen and ice seemed to do the trick.

My progress on reading through the Bible in 2014 …

I have read through Exodus 40. I got a little behind at the beginning of the week, but caught back up easily.

Money saved this week …

No money saved into the cash jar, but I do think I am going to successfully save $75 out of my gas budget this month to go toward our trip to Florida. That will be $130 toward the $250, or so, that I need to save for gas. There are some positives to the cold and snow.

And I added $2.80 to my change jar.

I exercised ...

None, nada, not at all … but the kids and I are getting on our bikes this weekend if the temps are what they say they will be!

What's coming up this week ...

Rick is not coming home this weekend as he has another volleyball tournament to attend for his 13 year old daughter, Amanda. Brynne has a basketball game tomorrow, and we are hoping her thumb will be completely healed and she'll be able to play. She was able to practice tonight, so she should be fine. The kids have bowling league tomorrow morning … again, hoping Brynne can handle a bowling ball. And then we have church on Sunday. Otherwise, we don't have anything going on except, hopefully, enjoying warmer temps and melting snow!!

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

Linking up at the following ...


  1. Thanks for the heads up on Spelling U See. I just signed up for email alerts. This may be perfect for my older daughter.

  2. Thanks for sharing!! I popped in from Weird Unsocialized homeschoolers!

  3. I always enjoy your full and rich weekly updates! We too went to see the Lego movie. We are also reviewing the fractions program and I am so thankful for it because fractions is one of the things Nolan doesn't always "get." So far I really like it.

    Sorry you have had some rough times - praying for you!

  4. Sounds like a busy week! Excited to hear about Spelling U See as well!

  5. You seriously need to share the party potatoes recipe. Looks good! I hope you are feeling better physically with the heartburn (I suffer from acid reflux so I know) and also from the stress.

  6. Wow. You had a fantastic week, Nicole!! I am sorry you're feeling such stress though.


Post a Comment

We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!

Popular posts from this blog

Cells ~ It's What's for Dinner

Dawson made edible cells on Friday.

He made an animal cell pizza ...

and a plant cell chocolate chip cookie ...

He reviewed what he's learned about cells the past two weeks, and I had dinner made by someone else. Win, win!!

I am linking up at Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.

Ketogenic + Restless Legs = Insomnia ... Um, No!

Okay, I have been eating ketogenic for five days now. I have gotten through the carb detox headaches and have settled into a macro plan of 5% carbs (no grains), 20% protein, 75% fat.

The upside is that I like the idea of limiting my body of all of the glucose which will help my minor health conditions.

But there are definitely downsides!

The first is that I am having a hard time getting in enough fats under the strictures of the diet. Who knew it would be hard to eat fats? The real problem is that the fats I want to eat then include a consumption of protein and/or carbs and then throws off my percentages. Still working on that one.

The bigger issue is that for the past couple of nights I have had trouble sleeping, and I have had restless legs.

Sleeping is one of those things that I do well. I go to bed at the same time every night (for the most part) and get up at the same time each morning. I can fit in a 15-30 minute power nap in the afternoon and have no trouble going to sleep at n…

America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 3: "Westward 1" Lesson Plans

This past summer, when I planned our lessons for this year, I was enthralled with how much information was in Episode 3 ~ Westward. It couldn't be done in just three weeks, as I had intended for each unit. So, I broke Westward up into two separate units: Westward 1 and Westward 2. This week I will provide the lesson plans for Westward 1. We spent three weeks on this part of the unit.

We readThe Captain's Dog by Roland Smith. We read an equal number of pages each day to cover the three-week unit (Suprisingly, Dawson did not enjoy this book as much as I thought he would. With him being such a dog-lover, I thought he would appreciate it more. But it just didn't have enough action for him. You'll find that he's hard to please when it comes to literature. I actually really enjoyed The Captain's Dog and thought it was a great piece of historical fiction.)

We watched the entire Episode 3, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and the vocabulary words…