Sunday, November 16, 2008

Week 13 in Review

Monday was not our best day of homeschooling -- one of those days when you wonder, "Why am I doing this?!" Thankfully, the rest of the week was much better. Anna even made a comment yesterday that this whole homeschooling thing is going pretty well. That's the first time in our almost three years of homeschooling that she has said that, so it was pretty good to hear.

Anna: I managed to squeeze in 30-60 minutes of private reading time for her each morning and she still got everything done, but she did complain that she didn't have any breaks in the morning. But we also started school late almost every day this week, so if I can just stop staying up late to read everyone's great blogs and wake up on time we shouldn't have any problems with our new schedule! Anna's pick of the week from her reading time was The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green.

The Mind Benders logic games continue to be her favorite activity. She did finally get stumped on one Wednesday and the two of us worked at it for way too long with no success. We finally gave up and decided to try it again Thursday. The next day we both took one look at it and had it figured out within 30 seconds. This just highlights one of the areas I struggle with in homeschooling. I have a hard time putting something aside if we're struggling. Clearly a short break can give one a fresh perspective and eliminates lots of frustration. Like all homeschool moms, I'm a work in progress.

Ryne: I have a link to StartWrite on my sidebar, but I don't think I've blogged about it. I love this software! It enables you to make you own handwriting worksheets in a variety of fonts, including the Handwriting Without Tears style. Every morning I just type up a quick page for Ryne's copywork alternating between Bible verses and passages from various books we're reading. Ryne has had such an obsession with the HWT series that I was afraid how he'd react once we started phasing out handwriting as a separate subject. These copywork exercises have been the perfect solution.
Ryne also started multiple digit addition with regrouping and had a little trouble, so we postponed the test. By Thursday he seemed to be getting it, so I don't think we'll have to spend too much more time on this lesson.

Grace: She is cruising along with her reading lessons and having a ball with it! Math was a different story this week. Her lesson introduced solving for the unknown and she struggled with the concept all week. So after I finish writing this I need to check the archives of the MUS yahoo group because I know this has been a topic several times before. She will be sad that she doesn't get to watch a new Mr. Demme video tomorrow, so we'll probably watch last week's over again.

Grace takes ballet on Tuesdays, and this week was "Bring Your Parents to Class" week. Let me just say I now have a lot more respect for what she does in that class -- it's not as easy as it looks! We had lots of fun and it's motivated me to add in an afternoon stretching time in our school schedule. We all loved it and Ryne and Grace both succeeded in making "bridges" (gymnastics stretch) for the first time. I'll have to take pictures and post tomorrow.

History: We finished SOTW chapters 22 (Marco Polo) and 23 (The First Russians). I was kind of disappointed in the literature suggestions for this week, especially for the chapter on the Russians. We still are waiting for a couple of books at the library that didn't come in on time, so hopefully those will be better.

Science: We started a new unit on the hydrosphere in Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space. We are really enjoying this book and the subject material in general. CKE gives literature suggestions much like SOTW, and we found a real treasure this week. Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling more than made up for the so-so history read-alouds.

Other: Thursday I led Ryne's Cub Scout den meeting. I think this will be my last time to lead for the year (sigh of relief). We discussed American folk lore and played a fun matching game I adapted from the manual. Mostly as a note to myself for SOTW 3 & 4, I found some great resources on American folk lore and folk songs (click on picture for more info).

Friday we went on a fun field trip with a group of homeschoolers to a couple of museums. We had a great time, as we always do with this group. Most of these homeschoolers are in a co-op together, which we've been invited to join. I don't know what to do, so I will probably blog about it soon!

Happy Homeschooling!


  1. Kellie, I don't know if you saw... but I have some maps on my blog for Paddle to the Sea. We have been working on that on in our co-op this fall. (Taking all fall is seems due to illness, holidays, breaks etc.!)

  2. Thank you so much, Donna!

    For anyone interested in Donna's maps go to


  3. I love Start Write. We use it for the exact same thing!

    I am writing down the folk lore suggestions b/c that is where we are right now!