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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Into the Groove

This was another good week, but I sure was a lot more tired! It is probably that the euphoria of the first week back wore off a bit and the reality of full homeschool days hit. Lots of activity. Lots of learning!

We had school on Labor Day because we has just come back from an extended break in August. Yesterday I posted about our Spiders theme day. It was a surprise to me that both kids said that they actually prefer a regular ol' school day to a theme day. I can really see how they are growing and maturing in their education. That's a good thing, but kind of makes me sad that a few bells and whistles doesn't do the trick anymore.

The Basics

Each week I'll give a quick update on the subjects where we pretty much just do a lesson set a week. In grammar we completed four days of lessons from IEW's Fix-it Grammar, The Nose Tree; we learned three-syllable words in spelling; math had us subtracting fractions with like denominators and then simplifying; writing had us finishing up main ideas and moving onto paragraphs and staying on topic (We are using JacKris Publishing's Soaring with Spelling and Winning with Writing); we read several more pages in The Miracle Worker and read passages out of McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader; and, we watched CNN Student News every day.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew

Like I said last week, the majority of what we glean from the unit study Further Up and Further In (other than just reading good literature) is science and geography. There is a lot of character and biblical study in the curriculum, but we just have some discussions as we are reading and move on.

Our science topics this week were: The birth and death of a star, particularly the sun. We did some new-to-us activities about sun rotation and sunrise/sunset.

Then we switched gears to learning a bit about Buckingham Palace and the UK House of Parliament by doing some virtual tours. I love when real life collides with what we are studying. This week also marked the establishment of Queen Elizabeth as the longest reigning monarch in England. We were also able to compare the House of Commons with what the Missouri Congress meeting rooms look like based on our tour of the Missouri State Capitol last spring.


We started getting more into the meat of WWII this week, learning about The Great Depression and the pre-war political climate and economy of the key nations.

In the car on the way to speech therapy, I had a captive audience so we watched the first half of Episode 2: "The Rising Threat" of the History Channel dvd series The World Wars. I was able to use the remote while driving to pause the show to discuss items with the kids to be sure they were understanding what was happening. (That is a great dvd series, by the way.) We have some of our best discussions in the car. I'm pretty sure I will be using this tactic more in the future!

We talked about Mein Kampf, the SS (Schutzstaffel), and Allies versus Axis. The kids are certainly starting to get the idea that Hitler was evil.

I picked up the game Battleship tonight for us to play. I thought that might be a nice tie-in to this unit, especially since we will be learning about submarines and u-boats in the next couple of weeks.

The Victory Garden

We are hosting an enrichment class on Wednesday afternoons for some of the kids' friends. Three of them are in public school (two in 6th grade and one in 7th) and one is a homeschool friend (in the 5th grade).

We read the first two chapters of The Victory Garden by Lee Kochenderfer. As an introduction, I discussed the Allies versus Axis countries and what was happening around the time of the setting of the book. It was happening just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

We just tried to make the first day more about fun, so we did a set of lessons on sunflowers. We talked about the life cycle of a sunflower and then watched a Time Lapse video of them from seed to seed. We observed some sunflower heads I pulled from my garden this year, all full of sunflower seeds. The kids decorated crafts sticks to use as personal garden markers and planted sunflower seeds along the edge of clear cups so that we can observe their growth. Then we did a fun batik sunflower art project.

We are planning to plant a fall garden next week, and then each week we will read chapters from the book and do some gardening and/or WWII related activities. I am hoping that the kids enjoy the topics and that they get some good, fun time together.

Other Happenings

This was our first full week having Rick working from home. I think it went rather well. It was nice to have him take breaks to come in and watch videos with us and to discuss science topics (science is my weak area so having him around to help with that is going to be awesome!). I did have to tell Brynne to leave daddy alone a couple of times so that he could get some work done. She really likes to spend time with her daddy.

(I didn't have any photos of him working with us this week. But I did come across this one from several weeks ago and thought it was too good not to share.)

He also makes a great sorority sister. He wears many hats!

I took the kids to a nearby Fall Festival last night to ride the carnival rides. That carnival is just their speed so we try to go every year. They had a lot of fun, as usual!

Kyndal had her first real prenatal appointment this week with the midwife at her doctor's office. It was just a general check-up. She is 6 weeks today so it was still too early to hear a heartbeat on the Doppler. She will have an ultrasound in the next week or so and we are hoping to hear it then.

We celebrated Dawson's girlfriend's 18th birthday on Tuesday with homemade tomato bisque, grilled cheese, and a delish greek yogurt and fruit cake. This weekend Dawson is taking her to Tulsa to stay at his friend Tonio's house and take her to the Tulsa Zoo. Yesterday he bought her a new iPhone. They don't do a whole lot in the ordinary days, but they do birthdays BIG! Have you ever seen Sleepless in Seattle? They are MFEO ... made for each other. Hard to believe Taylar was just a little 15 year old freshman when she started dating Dawson, and they have been dating for 3 years.

From the Kitchen

I thought I might share a new recipe with you each week, if I have one to share. This week I came upon an absolutely delish low carb, low protein smoothie called an Avocado Vanilla Almond Smoothie. Mine came out to be 306 calories with 11.7 grams of carbs (8.2 g if you count net), 7.4 grams of protein, and 26.6 grams of fat. It was smooth and creamy and filling!

Kitchen Tip: Buy several ripe avocados. Cut them in half and deseed them. Put them in a large ziplock bag and freeze. Then when you are ready for your smoothie you can just grab it from the freezer and drop it in. Makes it extra cold and creamy!

The Upcoming Weekend

It's going to be a quiet one around here with Rick spending the next week working in Tulsa, Dawson and Taylar in Tulsa at the zoo and visiting friends, and Collin and Kyndal at the Fall Festival all weekend. It will just be the young two and me. I am getting up super early to run in a 5K tomorrow morning. Other than that I think we'll just hang out, read, watch some t.v., and get some lesson planning done for next week.

2015-2016 Hours Logged - 64 hours (5 hours 30 minutes outside home)
Plus 167 Summer Hours


We are linking up with Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Mary at Homegrown Learners.


  1. Lots of fun and exciting times in your world.
    Blessings, Dawn


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