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Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Freedom (Prairie Primer: Silver Lake Week 3)

I didn't realize what a big hit "Freedom Friday" would be. The kids were actually excited to get started with school on Friday. Not only that, but the prospect of the upcoming day propelled them through each school day of the week. They had already decided that one of their freedom activities was to play chess. It's been a while since they have done that and needed to brush up on their skills.

I was happy for Friday to get here because it tends to be a slower paced day and allows me time to get some much-needed housework done. My floors were especially in need of some attention as it's been super muddy this week and there have been constant doggy prints all over the hardwood floor. Mopping was a must-do activity today. But then after cleaning up prints two times in an hour, I decided to just clean as I went and mop when the ground dries up. Instead I deep cleaned my kitchen and got caught up on laundry. It felt pretty good.

The other Freedom Friday activity chosen by the kids was playing outside. We had a rare, sunny day on Friday so the kids went out to play "Lord of the Rings". They are pretty obsessed with the movies right now (including "The Hobbit") and like to put on their rings and fight the orcs and dragons surrounding our house with their swords and spears.

We had great intentions of doing some migration activities this past week, but with a rabbit trail, slow moving attitudes (mine), and a greater desire to learn about the states than anything else, we just didn't do much of it.

Warms my heart to see them sitting together, talking.

Brynne did do some research one day about different birds' migratory routes. Then we gathered to play a migration game. It was a little lame, the truth be told. Oh well. Some topics grab our attention and some just don't.

We did spend some time on Tuesday restocking bird feed and suet cakes and getting them hung outside in anticipation of a really cold couple of days. We are trying to concentrate on attracting our bird friends again over the next week so that we can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this coming weekend. I hope they haven't abandoned us completely because we haven't been as diligent in keeping their habitats stocked.

Brynne did decide that we needed to provide some shelter for them so she spent one afternoon making a birdhouse out of a milk jug. (aka the "rabbit trail" I referred to earlier)

The kids are just really into learning about the states from our The States dvds. And I can't deny them some delight-directed learning. I love how things always tend to work out because we have been studying a lot of southern states this week and there was lots of mention of the racial discrimination of the 1950's and 60's. On Thursday we learned about the Little Rock 9 which got us talking about the movie "Remember the Titans". I actually started crying when I told the kids about that movie. It is a favorite around here. They have never seen it so we are going to have to buy it soon. It's just good stuff. I love homeschooling. I really do.

Our regular studies are moving along as well as I could possibly hope.
  • We finished up long division this week in Math U See. I am SO PROUD of the good work they are doing on this concept. It is tedious work but they have held strong and completed their assignments without much problem.
  • We are still working through "The Nose Tree" by IEW for grammar. The kids have learned to identify articles, nouns, verbs, helping verbs, adverbs, adjectives, who-which clauses, new paragraphs, capital letters, end marks, quotations, and how to change a phrase into a possessive phrase. I noticed that they were getting a little sloppy in their copywork so we read everything we had written so far in the story and did a little reboot for the next few weeks.
  • Writing has now been limited to a Friday activity, but that's okay. This week we worked on the body of our letter of invitation (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How). 
  • Brynne is half-way through the first book in the Warriors series. She really, really likes it and told me that she is so glad I introduced her to it. This week Eli started and finished The Long Haul from Diary of Wimpy Kid. We have also almost completed By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Next week we will move onto The Long Winter.
I realized this week that De Smet, South Dakota, is only 8 1/2 hours away from here. What a cool place! We can go there and actually see Silver Lake, the original Loftus' store, the rebuilt home and barn on the actual homestead claimed by the Ingalls', ride in a covered wagon, spend the night in a covered wagon, attend a one-room schoolhouse, and more. I talked to my friend from Oklahoma and we are trying to plan a quick trip for the end of August. It would be a pretty inexpensive trip if we shared the gas and lodging. What a field trip!!! (I think this might have to take the place of a St. Louis trip to ride on a steam locomotive. The kids were much more interested in going to De Smet!) I wish I had unlimited funds to just do everything we want to do. The United States is a cool place.

On Saturday Dawson took the ACT. Brynne's basketball game got cancelled so I drove him there since he had to find the testing location at my Alma Mater. (He was very nervous about making it there.) I am sure he did well on the test, although he was a nervous wreck. I spent some time browsing through a great consignment shop, picking up a cool wood box for a decoration for Kyndal's upcoming wedding.

Speaking of Kyndal, last week she was driving home from work and hit a patch of black ice. Of course she hit the only culvert on the highway and tore the bumper on her car. But Collin was driving in front of her so was right there and she wasn't hurt. My dad had a friend of ours go pull her out. You know, sometimes real life just stinks. She took another day off from her salon because of the roads. But when she worked on Friday and Saturday she had a couple of pretty full days. She is gaining a client base at her new salon. I am very proud of her.

Yesterday Eli and Brynne bowled in a youth bowling tournament. Because of a miscommunication about scheduling, their team bowled all three of their events yesterday .... nine games of bowling in a row. We could have spaced out the events over a couple of days and even a couple of weekends, but didn't realize that. Although they had some pretty great scores here and there, the exhaustion of doing so many events back-to-back really hurt their overall score. Eli even had a pretty sore thumb. But they all pushed through and did as well as they could. I was proud of them.

Today is Monday and it's time to get back at it. But I am having a grumpy Monday. How about you? We may watch some videos and do some extra reading today. Sometimes you just have to know when the day is not going to go how you want it to and embrace it.

Linking up:


  1. Oh, we used to do the Backyard Bird Count, but I stopped filling feeders several years ago. I found out that wild birds carry a bacteria? that if chickens consume the fecal matter of can kill them! Since our flock free-ranges I decided to stop feeding wild birds one summer. We had a blast watching the birds though!


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