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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Focusing on the Basics before Vacation

We hit a snag at the end of last week with Eli getting sick. That, coupled with having family visiting, put us a bit behind going into this week. So, I scaled us back some and made sure we made our basic studies a priority while adding in the extras where we could. The extras consisted mainly of reading, discussing, and watching videos. Sometimes we just don't have the time for hands-on activities.

It worked well for us as we had a nice, steady week of schoolwork.

The 3 R's

We slowed down our problem sets in math all week to make sure we were mastering the concept of subtracting mixed numbers with unlike denominators. Doing less problems allowed the kids to slow down and really concentrate on the problems making sure they successfully completed each step. We plan to review these concepts when we get back from vacation, spending a few days doing more problems before we move on.

She actually got this one wrong, so we are going to work
more on this. Another reason why homeschooling is
SUPERIOR ... we don't have to move on until we GOT IT!

Reading has become the kids' favorite subject, whether it be read alouds, group reading, or personal reading time. I have even been having them do a lot more non-fiction reading on their own this year to learn about subjects we are studying, primarily in science.

We finished The Magician's Nephew from The Chronicles of Narnia series and have moved onto The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I read this allowed to the kids each day and we do activities from it from Further Up and Further In by Cadron Creek Publishing. Other than daily discussions, the only activity we did this week was individual online research looking for 6 facts each about the North Pole.

We are almost finished reading the play "The Miracle Worker". This has been a new way of reading for us as we assign parts amongst us and read it together out loud. We have purchased tickets to see the play at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City on October 23rd, and are really looking forward to that!

Another type of group reading for us daily is from McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader. We read a selection each day, each taking turns reading a paragraph. We have been astonished at how relevant these pieces of prose and poetry from the late 1800's are to us as modern day Americans. I think we are all three surprised how much we enjoy reading out of McGuffey's each day. Then the kids copy a paragraph of their choice from the daily selection. I love that they are copying good literature with proper grammar and interesting sentences!

For personal reading Eli is still reading out of the How to Train Your Dragon series and is currently finishing up How to Speak Drangonese. Brynne is still reading out of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter and is on the 4th book, Rising Storm. These are big, meaty books, and she absolutely loves them! She is blasting through this most recent book.

Other than copywork we put our writing program away this week and will catch back up with it after vacation. It was just busy work that I didn't feel would benefit us this week. The kids did, however, finish the first level in IEW's Fix-it Grammar: The Nose Tree. They started the new level using Robin Hood this week. This is an excellent program, and we intend to continue using it. The kids continue to learn a lot about parts of speech, capitalization, and punctuation, and the lessons are quick and to the point.

Carl Azuz, Here We Come!

As usual, we started each morning watching CNN Student News. We are so excited because a week from today we are going to be in Atlanta and are going to tour the CNN Headquarters!! This is something the kids have had on their bucket list ever since we started getting our daily current events from Carl Azuz. We so wish we could meet him. He is awesome!

The Other Stuff

It seems our weeks just keep getting busier and busier. Brynne had volleyball games two nights this week, we viewed the lunar eclipse as a family on Sunday night, Eli had speech therapy, and Brynne was in the homecoming pep rally at the elementary school and the homecoming parade with her volleyball team.

These activities didn't leave a whole lot of time for our unit studies, but we did fit in some things:

As we are to the part in The Chronicles of Narnia series where the children have been evacuated to the country during WWII, I wanted to make sure we covered this time in history. We learned about the Blitzkrieg, and watched videos about gas masks, bomb shelters, and the evacuations of children.

In learning about the German Uboats, we watched a video about density and another one about the sinking of a famous Uboats in a suicide mission to destroy an American supply ship. We planned to work on making submarines that would have the proper density to hover in the water, not sinking or floating, but just did not have the time.

The Victory Garden

In our Victory Garden enrichment class, we were pressed for time as two of the girls had a volleyball game early in the evening. We spent our time reading three chapters from the book (while the girls colored gardening pictures). Then we went out to my garden and harvested the sweet potatoes I planted at the beginning of the summer. That was crazy!! We pulled out some whoppers, a couple the size of my head! When we meet next after our vacation, I am going to make a sweet potato pie and sweet potato fries for the kids to eat.

The kids brought back their eggshell heads from last week so that we could see their hair growth. They also shared their short stories and journals they wrote about their eggshell friends.

Freedom Friday

Yesterday I had to work on packing for our vacation, doing some housework, and making dinner for my dad's birthday dinner I was hosting last night. We also had homecoming activities in the morning and then later in the afternoon. This gave the kids the opportunity to work on their Minecraft class (Brynne) and Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 class (Eli).

Brynne pretty much does her classwork all alone. She learned all about the Great Barrier Reef, took a quiz, and then did some building in the game. (She always learns so much in these classes! It's $15 for a great, educational 6-week class, and I don't have to do a thing!)

Eli started his first "lesson" for his Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 class we have developed. I had him read the graphic novel Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion by Andrea Gianopoulos. Then he did the first lesson from the Scientific Explorer Amusement Park Science Kit. He learned about centripetal force, and did both balloon activities included in the set. He watched a video about centripetal force and looked up a Youtube video about the first amusement park in Denmark. Then he built a roller coast on Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 that included lots of loops to demonstrate what he learned about centripetal force.

And that was our week. We got so much done, and I am exhausted. We have worked hard for five straight weeks and are looking forward to our 9 days in Pensacola, Florida. We will relax, read, hit the beach, and go to the National Naval Aviation Museum (probably a couple of times). We are making our side trip to Atlanta to visit CNN and then to Mobile, Alabama, for a day to tour the USS Alabama Battleship. We'll likely see dolphins, pick up shells, ride some waves, and stand in awe as the Blue Angels fly over my parents' house. Boy, am I ready!

In the Kitchen

I mentioned in my Daybook post this week that I was planning to make an Italian Cream Cake for my dad for his birthday. Well, I did, and it was amazing! It's not an easy recipe, in my opinion, but I just followed the recipe to the letter (except I used 1 cup applesauce instead of vegetable oil). My layers weren't exactly equal in size, but it turned out much more beautiful than I expected. And it was moist and so delicious! My kids even ate it, and it had coconut and walnuts in it! It was a nice cake for a great celebration!

2015-2016 Hours Logged - 154 1/4 hours out of 1,000 required hours (19 hours outside home)
Plus 167 Summer Hours


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


  1. I hope Eli is feeling better and I hope you have a great time in Atlanta! That's so exciting!


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