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Friday, August 30, 2013

Our First Week Back---the Wrap Up!

I’ve already talked a little bit about how things are going logistics-wise, but how did the actual learning go this week?

1st Week Wrap-Up at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Our learners:

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David (age 13, 8th grade)


Mary (age 9, 4th grade)



Peter (almost 8, 3rd grade)

Emma (age 4)


We started back on Monday with a 1/2-day schedule focusing on math, science, spelling, copywork, religion, Bible, and Spanish.  Whew, that already seems like a lot!

What’s working:

Flip Flop Spanish (review coming next month) is a hit with everyone!  Even 4-year-old Emma is learning some Spanish.

David is enjoying Exploring Creation with General Science, VideoText Algebra AND Rod & Staff Math 8.  Believe it or not.  The kid who has fought math instruction tooth and nail for 6 years is enjoying math.  Well, sort of. 

The complaining has been minor and I haven’t had to remind him of how important is is for him to take his education seriously.  Let’s hope it’s not just because the first few lessons are easy.

He really is grooving on the science and taking ownership of it, including changing some of the scheduled experiments…


…here he distilled a “ph indicator” from purple basil because we didn’t have red cabbage (that’s called making a hypothesis based on observation and testing it to see what happens).  Then he used it to compare the relative acidity of various ingredients from the kitchen.

The copywork I created for my Picture Book Club is a perfect fit for both Peter and Mary…he’s doing the HWOT print version and she is doing the Cursive Italic version.  I NEED to create more pages (more coming!). 

Click on the pic to go download my free copywork pages of Ephesians 5:19-20 in several handwriting fonts:


Faith and Life is our old stand-by for religion and I’m always amazed by how the lessons we are doing in it any given year seem to touch on exactly the areas we need to touch on.  We are using both year 4 and 8 this year.

Mary and Emma attended this year’s first meeting of our local Little Flowers Girls Club…and loved it.  I was worried that Em would turn timid, but she did great.  At the same time, the boys attended Creation Nature Study Club for Boys, the brain child of one of our local homeschool moms.  They’re looking forward to next month!

What might require some tweaking:

We are using Come and See: Genesis all together for Bible study this year.  Technically this book is designed for adults, although the writers do suggest using for a family study---I’m finding that I do need to modify it somewhat to work with my young audience, but that’s ok.  This seems like an idea time to do this study as the boys will be participating in a Creation Nature Study Club with our local homeschool group this year.

Mary and Peter are not thrilled with Syllable Savvy for spelling.  I’m not sure that I’m thrilled with it, either---thinking about making some minor changes.

Mary and Peter are also not sure about Mr. Q’s Classic Life Science, but I think they’ll enjoy it more as we get further into it.  They are learning from it and I think changing the suggested schedule will help some.


003Peter investigates the “feely” box for living and non-living things.

Rod & Staff Math for Mary and Peter has required some adjustment, but this is primarily because the first few lessons have a lot of review and apparently my kids haven’t suffered any brain drain over the summer---or at least they think they haven’t.

One of the great things about 1/2 days is the kids have plenty of free time!

And what have they been doing with that free time?

Peter is scripting and planning to produce a Batman movie…I’m mum on the details, but he’s got everyone in the family cast and working on costumes and sets.

Mary has started her first “real” needlepoint project with wool yarns (she’s been doing a lot with plastic canvas needlepoint, including creating her own designs).

David is working on the forestry badge in preparation for an upcoming workshop for Boy Scouts.  He’s also working on building a “Colonial Viper” from Lego and writing a stop motion animation Firefly short.

And Emma?  Well, let’s just say it’s hard to keep up with her.


How was your week?

Linking up with:


  1. looks and sounds like a great time!! :) stopping by from the blog hop. Thanks for the great art/music resources listed. I am looking forward to looking through them.

  2. We use Soaring with Spelling because they can do it independently, except on test days. My kids seem to like it and their spelling has definitely improved over the last year. It's cheap too!

  3. You're welcome, Kara! Thank you for stopping by. :)

  4. Thank you for the suggestion, Modest Mama. I'll keep it in mind in case what we are using doesn't work out. Syllable Savvy is designed in such a way that it can be done mostly independently (probably completely independently except for weekly tests once we get the hang of it). We're just getting into the groove of using a new thing, I think.


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