Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Astray {Prairie Primer: Big Woods Week 2}

What do they say about the best laid plans? Yeah, they are right.

After such an amazingly successful week last week we were a tad disappointed with all of the obstacles of this week. First off we had a holiday on Monday. But even had we not I likely wouldn't have been much of a teacher as my arthritis was flared up and I was in bed all day (and had been on Sunday, too). That day Brynne really started feeling bad with the second virus the kids have all had, so she slept with me that night. We had a fitful night sleep and were neither one feeling good all day on Tuesday, so we had our first "Couch School" day of the year. We eeked out a full day of lessons, minus any projects that required much energy.

On Wednesday we slept in a little later and didn't even start school until 1:00 p.m. I felt like Brynne needed some extra sleep to help her battle her virus and Eli needed some also to, hopefully, keep him from getting it. We were still not feeling too good but managed to get in a solid three hours of work. On Thursday we were feeling better and ready for a full day, but then Brynne and Macie were deep in the process of watching a movie and playing with playdoh. Sometimes you just have to let kids be kids. We did start school at 11:00 a.m., got in a full day, and even made it to the library for our Gardening class.

This week Eli had turned up with some bug bites. He had one on his neck that developed a large, inflamed itchy rash. And then on Thursday morning he woke up with a blistered bite under his right eye that was painful. As the day wore on it became swollen and inflamed and I was worried it might be a spider bite. So I took him to Urgent Care. They couldn't conclude that it was a spider bite, but put him on an antibiotic just in case.

On Friday we did finally have a consistent day and put in all of our hours. At least we ended the week with some accomplishment.

I lay all of this out to show that some weeks life just gets in the way of traditional schooling. I am forever grateful that we have the freedom to get some extra sleep when we are suffering from a minor illness, can do school in pjs from the couch when we are feeling cruddy, and can do some learning through play when the situation warrants it. I am not sure what this week would have looked like if the kids were in public school.

We had a whole list of things we didn't get to this week, like whittling soap and learning about animal tracking. But we will get to these things in the next couple of weeks. I promise.

So what did we do?

We completed a full set of lessons in Math U See Delta. We have zipped through some review lessons and are ready to start Lesson 9 next week. We worked steadily on our grammar lessons, which I am really loving. We watched CNN Student News every morning and discussed our world's current events (this is becoming a daily favorite). We read five chapters in Little House in the Big Woods and watched four episodes of Little House on the Prairie (and this is definitely our new favorite way to end our school day).

We learned about Maple Syrup. We read a couple of great books and watched a video on Youtube called How to Make Maple Syrup and Sugar. We have friends at church who have started doing this so are planning to go watch in February.

Then we had a blind taste test to determine if we liked real maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup. We unanimously chose the maple-flavored syrup. We discussed how we would love pure maple syrup if that was all we knew, but really we prefer the store-bought. But even Ma and the pioneers preferred store-bought sugar over maple sugar. They only bought small amounts of store-bought sugar and only used it when they had guests for dinner.

We learned about Osmosis. We tackled our first science experiment and science notebook assignment on the topic of osmosis. We learned about hypertonic and hypotonic solutions.

We learned about the gastrointestinal system. This was a fun one as we learned all about digestion. We saw an activity where you were supposed to eat sesame seeds and then keep track of how long it took for it to come out in our poopy. But my friend said that they did it and it made them constipated. So, I remembered that we made some cupcakes one time with Pillsbury Funfetti Aqua Blue cake and cupcake mix and a few days later our poopy was a dark blueish-green color. So, we made some cupcakes and ate them and we are going to be on potty watch for the next few days to see how long it takes to get through our gastrointestinal system.

Then the kids made the digestive system with playdoh.

We learned how to knit. Well, Brynne and I did. We just watched a video on Youtube and we were off. Brynne spent most of the evening knitting and even took it to bed with her. She was up first thing this morning knitting, too. She is making a small blanket for her rag doll. She loves it!

We learned about Square Dancing. We watched some pioneer style square dancing on Youtube (okay, seriously, what did homeschoolers do before Youtube?) and daddy told stories of his childhood when his family was in a square dancing group. He was the youngest member of the T-Town Teens and has some fond memories!!

Macie learned all about the letter B, and helped us make cupcakes. She has been such a joy to have at home with us. She just soaks in everything we are learning and brightens our day with her four year old silliness.

And now it's time to get to planning another week. Hoping this one has a few less bumps!

Linking up ...


  1. What a great week! Although I'm sorry you had to deal with viruses and bug bites--that's no fun:( We have had sinus issues at our house this week and even a little bit of tummy issues, but nothing too bad--thank goodness!

    I'm totally pinning your digestive system in play dough idea! We are studying human anatomy this year and that would be lots of fun! Thanks for sharing about that!

    Also, we are a maple-flavored syrup kind of family, too :) In fact, our fave (Griffin's) isn't even sold in KY so we bring big jugs of it from AR when we visit...haha

    1. I just used a printable off the internet as a playdoh mat. I would share that link with you but I can't find it again! It was fun for my son to do, especially. I plan to do that with the other systems as well. Hope you guys have a great week next week!

  2. I'd say you did quite well with everything going on! I hope everyone is feeling better! I can't wait to knit again. I wanted to make some reusable bags, but I developed tendonitis in my wrists...or arthritis (they aren't sure yet). I'm a bit stiff! But it's getting better!

    1. I don't know if I have the patience to be a big knitter, but Brynne really wanted to learn so I learned with her. I would like to make myself a bunch of washcloths. I love using them in the kitchen! Hope you are able to get back to it soon!

  3. Wow! That is a better week than we usually have without illness, bug bites and arthritis. I love all the great learning. Little House in the Big Woods is a favorite around here!

  4. So sorry you are still battling sickness and praying it's gone for good and you can all feel 100% soon. Even with that, what a week. You're such a trooper.

    I used to sweat those unplanned days off, but not anymore. This is the freedom of homeschool and it will all be ok. ((hugs)), friend.

  5. Looks like a week packed-full with learning. Love the playboy digestive system project. Gonna have to remember that.

  6. I hope everyone feels better this week, but it definitely sounds like you were productive despite illness. I can't imagine either how school would go with all of our sick days if we didn't homeschool. I'm sure my child would never pass a grade.

    I am a maple flavored syrup person, but Amber preferred the real stuff. She can have neither at this point. The real stuff just doesn't taste as sweet and I use the stuff that's as fake as it gets because of my diabetes.

  7. I love how you shared the interruptions to your plans, but that you also recognised learning did happen. That is the blessing of homeschooling - the flexiblity and the variety of learning opportunities. Hope you have a good week this week - regardless of what you've planned!

  8. ah man, I hope everyone is on the mend and next week is awesome! At least you still got some work done. Enjoy the weekend!

  9. We had a very similar week 2 as well. Our first week was probably the best 1st week of school ever and then the 2nd week ushered in some sickness and threw us off our groove. But I'm so thankful for grace and flexibility in home education.
    I hope everyone is healthy this week in your home.
    I love the playdoh digestive system and our family loved it when we went through the "Little House" series. Such wonderful memories!
    I'm just stopping by from Homegrown Learner's link-up. :)

  10. You accomplished SO much! Wow!!! And, with not feeling well, to boot. It is definitely a blessing of homeschool to be able to be flexible, sleep when we need to, and to get well. I hope everyone is doing better! Thanks for linking up with "My Week in Review." I hope you can join us again this week.


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!