Tag Archives: homeschool mothers journal

Week in Review

In our homeschool this week…

We studied Joshua’s leadership and the conquest of Canaan this week.  Our very own Joshua was quite excited about all his grand accomplishments.  It was a lighter reading week, so we had some life lessons at the local GoodWill and a couple consignment shops.  I also started getting our fall list of books ready and I get the kids involved while we are making these lists.  I hope it helps them ‘own’ their education a bit.

I am inspired by…

I have to share this blog post!!  This delightful mother of 6 has created a system for getting her kiddos to pick up!!  Go check her out at Madsens Memories.  I can’t wait to implement this!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We have two children with December birthdays and they never get parties in that month.  Tonight my oldest is having his birthday party.  I am excited, he rarely gets to spend time with these friends because none of them are home schooled.  He is quite excited as well.  The house looks amazing, I just hope I don’t bomb his cake.  He asked me for a battle scene from Star Wars, Lego version.  Yipes, right?? I know!!

What is working/not working for us…

This week we had one of those moments with the girl child.  She looked me in the eye and told me that school was lame and stupid.  I put her to work on her math and called Daddy.  I relayed the story to him and reacted “She just doesn’t get that not having an education will funnel her into a janitorial job, or house cleaning.”  Hubby wisely responded, “Do it.”

So I sat down with daughter, explained to her the importance of education, why we are doing things this way, and gave her the option to sit down and happily do  her work….or she could choose to experience a day in the life of a janitor.  My daughter chose janitor.

6 1/2 hours later I had shining bathrooms, clean floors, walls and doors that were clean, and a very tired girl.  She told me around 4pm that she hated cleaning more than school    and the rest of our week went very well.  I am going to blog more about this whole thing because there were so many more complex emotions involved with this particular day.  This version was short and sweet.

Questions/thoughts I have…

Do you have a challenging child at home?  I have always struggled with my daughter.  Our personalities are quite opposite except for one things… stubbornness.  A friend of mine suggested some things to help me appreciate my daughter:

  1. noticing her efforts when she is trying in a positive way.
  2. Verbally praising her when she is behaving well or doing things I admire.
  3. Writing down the things I do appreciate about her where I can reference them on the bad days.
Do you guys have anything to add?  How do you manage a challenging child?

Things I’m working on…

We will be doing our Pinewood Derby cars soon. This year we are going to make them ‘for real’ instead of getting a kit last-minute. We have a friend with tools who can help us do some cutting and such. I found a great article concerning tips and such for making cars go fast 😉 You can check them out here at Monthly Test Drive.

I’m praying for…

For my middle sister and her pregnancy.  She is just 4 weeks away from her first-born, a boy.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Beginning 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal Happy New Year!!!  We had a slow start to our school year, how about you guys?  We had the energy and desire to do some clearing out and clutter killing… so I went with it 🙂

In my life this week…

We have had computer problems for weeks now.  I had to unplug the newest school computer and do some hard thinking while plugging in the dinosaur to record grades and such.  I learned the hard lesson of needing to save photos and school grades to a disk.  God was gracious and allowed me to find the System Recovery on the newer computer, ask me about it… it’s a life saver!!

In our homeschool this week…

We are working on our second week of Ancient Greece.  I found it a great parentheses for our Christmas break.  We left off Greece and began again with Greece.  I will be doing something like that again for other breaks.  The familiar themes were good stepping-stones this week.

I will tell you also that studying Ancient Greece is pretty hard for my kids because of the artwork and sculptures of their day.  With Tapestry of Grace, you repeat years and I may have to adapt the reading material for my teenage boy.  It is history, he needs to understand their culture, however there are other things like purity that I want to teach him as well.  Any advice from the mother’s of teens would be appreciated. Do you let your teenagers view such things and just deal with whatever happens, or do  you censor a bit to limit what is viewed?

Our PE this week was a lot of fun and I wish we had pictures, but we were all just having too much fun.  I found at the library Dancing Basics 101 video.  So I brought them home and the instructors were so good, my 11yr old was happily dancing me around our living room.  It was precious!!!

What’s working/not working for us…

The computer is working now, YAY!!!  But what is not working is having an 18 month active boy.  There is really nothing to do about it except for attempt to keep him occupied and happy.  But seriously, he is the 5th, he has never known how to play by himself and I have a pre-schooler learning to read.  I feel a bit worn out at the end of the day.  I know you guys get that 😉

I’m cooking…

This stinking awesome dip!!  It was sort of an accident but it turned out amazing!
I used:
2 pkg cream cheese
2 cooked chicken breast, chopped
1/4 cup or so blue cheese dressing
Frank’s Wings Sauce to taste (I used half the bottle)

I used my food processor to chop up the cooked chicken, I placed the chicken in a skillet and tossed in the hot sauce over medium heat.  Once blended well I melted the cream cheese over the chicken mixture.  Once they were blended in I added some blue cheese dressing.  I poured this mixture into a small crock pot and served it with pita chips for our Church’s New Year’s eve party.  Needless to say I didn’t bring any home 😉

I’m grateful for…

January 1st was my 15th anniversary.  I am very thankful for my husband.  I really got a good one and the perfect complement for me!!!

I’m praying for…

A family in SC who are friend’s of my friend.  Their young son was just found to have cancer on his kidneys.  It’s a nightmare I really don’t ever want to live through.

A quote to share…

“A people that value its privileges above its principles soon loses both”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Last Week Before Christmas Break

The Homeschool Mother's Journal Ah, the week is over!!   We are taking a few weeks off schooling till after New Year’s.  I am personally looking forward to this break.  How long do you guys take off??

Unit Study

This week we started a 2 week study of Ancient Greece.  The kids enjoyed this study as much as they liked Ancient Egypt!  They dove right in to the kid version of the classic Greek tales and the Olympians.  I saw it during play time when Odysseus and Zeus came out to play 😉  I took a picture of the books they have really been into this week.  I appreciated the kid version because they cleaned up, or rather, covered up the folks in the illustrations.  The Ancient Greeks were quite into nudity.

I will happily share the titles and ISBN with you for any future Greece studies.  We hit up the local library, I mean, free books right??

I never thought I would ever HS via unit study.  I grew up in the traditional public school setting, my educational bend is classical education with its focus on rote memorizing at the young ages I have… but I truly am seeing a benefit to this unit study style.  It is really working for my kids!!  Now, we still do classical in many senses, but I really love homeschooling for the variety and the ability to be eclectic with the kids’ education.

What’s Working or Not Working for us

The blasted TV!!  The kids were getting so focused on the reward of TV or trampoline play that I was finding lots of school work un-done, or straight up hidden under binders…. or in  the trash 😦

So during our school week, there is no electronics use (except for our Latin DVD and typing program) until after supper.  I would love to say it make instant improvement, but we all know children and reality.  We have also had some fit throwing and problems with motivation.  It happens.  I remember this phase with my oldest boy, so I am not looking forward to the battle with my 3rd child, but we got through it once… I keep reminding myself about that 😉

Boot Camp

I am doing a mild version of Boot Camp with my 4 yr old son.  Both my hubby and I were military and we know what it looks like.  The whole theory behind Military School is discipline, control, and order.  When my hubby was deployed in 2007, I had to institute it due to bad attitudes and behavior.  It was rough, I got pretty exhausted (especially being pregnant), but it helps and works for my boys.

In a nutshell, Boot Camp means that my 4 yr old has no opinion, no free time, and lots of physical exertion.  There are push ups, flutter kicks, and lap running in between activities, and NO free time, whatsoever.  It truly is tiring, but with a very nasty attitude, and the normal forms of discipline aren’t working, this is a necessary step.

Video to Share

A blogging buddy has some great videos on napkin folding for a Holiday meal or any dressed up dinner.  You may want to turn the volume down, however, since her dog was adding narration along with her.  You simply need to watch what she is doing anyway 😉

The activities

We didn’t leave the house, per se, but the activity of the house this week is dealing with a toddler on top of everything else 😉  Noah has decided that he has a definite opinion about everything and apparently was given both hubby’s and my stubborn streak… all in one child!  So he wants a bowl of cereal with milk in it… and yes there is a lot of spilled milk as he works it out.  He really doesn’t know that I have been barely adding a pittance of milk into his bowl and I hand him a baby spoon so that he really can’t use it.  The bright side: he has decided that bibs are now cool, so he is wearing it during this whole ‘independent eating’ phase.  Woo hoo for mommy.

Book List

Classical Kids, Laurie Carlson  #1556522908
this is an activity guide to ancient Greek life, art, dress, food…. great book!

The Arrow and the Lamp, Margaret Hodges  #0316367907
this is the story of Psyche

Jason and the Golden Fleece, C.J. Naden  #0893753602

Theseus and the Minotaur, Warwick Hutton  #068950473x

Hercules, Robert Burleigh  #8015201667

King Midas and the golden Touch, Nathaniel Hawthorne  #0152428003

The Olympians, Leonard Everett Fisher   #0823405222
this is a great, short, little narrative on each of the Greek gods, with none of the gruesome details 😉

Odysseus and the Cyclops, Warwick Hutton  #0689800363
again, great little retelling with no gory details shown, though the one soldier does get eaten, it just doesn’t show the details, nor does it actually show the cyclops being blinded.

Post Holiday HS week

The Homeschool Mother's Journal Wow, what a week.   I am sure I am not the only one, but the week after an extended vacation can be so hairy.  Trying to get mommy and kids back into the groove of things can be so hard!  Not only do I really not want to do anything, I have to fake it enough to help the kids find their focus again.  It’s been a rough one for us especially because we had a nasty family situation during our Thanksgiving visit.

We did have a great field trip this week!!  We joined some other HS families at the Maryland Science Center.  Wow, what a great set up!  So many hands on things!  My kids excavated for dinosaur bones and saw/did so much more!!  The favorite part for my daughter was laying on a bed of nails that she really enjoyed! My son was fascinated by the digestive section (which was truly gross for the weak stomached).  We also enjoyed their display of a clogged artery because my father recently had a heart attack.  So seeing the difference in a clear and clogged artery and the challenge the blood has to move around was great for them!!

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We studied China this week, what beautiful landscapes and architecture!! I was also amazed at some of the history about the Great Wall and their political system. The kids just had fun making kites, tangrams, and the hopes of eating Chinese food tonight! One of our favorites!! I know, totally americanized, but still yummy! There is a foreign exchange student from China at our friend’s house, we are hoping to interview him tomorrow.

Summary of a Month

The Homeschool Mother's Journal Holy cow, it has been weeks, yes weeks since I joined in with the HS Mother’s Journal.  Been a busy month, so here we go!!


We have studied the history of Israel starting with Jacob.  An easy, fun way for the kids to keep these generations in order was a family tree!  We chose to fill it in reverse order having Jacob in the single space, Esau/Jacob in the double space and so on.  I found the outlines in the Word docs ‘new’ templates.  They are free online if you have Windows 07.

We studied their wilderness wanderings and their transition to warrior people upon entering Canaan.  This was an easy concept for the kids because we are a military family.  We wander about the country ourselves and have a military-minded daddy.  Though daddy is now a chaplain and technically a non-combatant, he was Infantry as an enlisted guy and still has a warriors heart 😉

We have also been studying other religions in history these past few weeks.  We studied the Jewish holidays, the Hindu and Buddhist religions.  It was an eye opener since I have not personally

We also went to the Homeschool Day at Mount Vernon, albeit a little late.  The kids enjoy walking the grounds and on this day they had “Lady Washington” to chat with and they had the slave quarters open for display.

Home Ec

We learned some Home economics this week.  We did some home repair with the kids help and had to teach them about keeping up on a house.  Unfortunately with our large dog this is quite necessary since he appears to be the only thing that goes through drywall 😦

My oldest son has begun that necessary step towards independence… he is cooking!  He actually told me that he wants to know these things because “Mom, you won’t be around to make me food when I live by myself.”  It made me tear up and I realize that I do not look forward to their leaving the nest.  I always said they had to be gone by 18, I was not going beyond that with motherhood, but I have grown myself in that area 😉

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I love this article and the fact that someone put it out there!!  8 Grammar Rules


WW with Patriarchs

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Happy Friday folks!!  Just a friendly reminder: clean the lint trap of your drier and the dryer vent cover at the exhaust.  You don’t want to burn out your heating coil/element like we did a couple of weeks ago.  Drying clothes ‘old school’ sure … Continue reading