Education Intentions: Week 8

This week, we will spend one day at Classical Conversations, one morning at the dentist, one afternoon celebrating beautiful things with our Charlotte Mason friends, and a morning at programming and electronics.  I honestly don’t know if we can do it all, but all this stuff doesn’t usually happen on the same week. We’ll do our best.

Rejoice: I will be starting my early mornings with scripture, writing morning pages, and often a walk with my neighbor.

Relate: We’ll cook, clean and eat together several times a day, and apparently there will be plenty of time for conversations and audiobooks in the car.

Remember: We are aiming for reviewing our memory work four days this week. I have one kid who needs to memorize a paragraph from the Declaration of Independence, and two kids planning to recite Hilaire Belloc’s “Rebecca who Slammed Doors and Perished Miserably” next week in class. We have all been assigned to memorize the first few lines of the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish. One kid has a new violin piece to learn and needs to be familiar with the first Chorus speech in Henry V, and one needs to learn all of the songs from Lion King Jr. 

Reason:  We plan four days of math and four days of grammar (English or Latin depending on the student). One also has homework for his electronics and JavaScript classes.

Read: We’ll read about an hour a day silently, broken into chunks. That will include reading the assigned ready for the older kid and free reading for the younger boys. We’ll aim for most of our ongoing read alouds. We’ll read bits of The World of Captain John Smith, Wild Animals I Have Known, Pilgrim’s Progress, Plutarch’s Publicola, Trial and Triumph, and Treasure Island. (Short lessons mean that we’ll be spending 15-20 minutes on each of those, so that list isn’t as long as it seems like.)

Record: The younger boys will do copywork and and IEW lesson. The older guy has an essay to write on The Scarlet Letter, and we all need to add to timelines and such.

Restore: The beautiful things we’ll look in this week include Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait. For me, this will include reading and teaching Latin to some moms. I will also be intentional about being home most evenings. For my boys, this means having free time after lunch (for the younger boys) and in the late afternoon and evening (for the big kid). It will mean going to bed on time.

It is going to be a crazy week…. the second one in a row. Next week, we have more margin, and I am grateful for that.

Week 7 Reflections

This week was just as busy as I thought it would be.  We had a great week, but we accomplished more Good Things than scheduled schoolwork. Some weeks are like that.

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We did Latin and math and grammar and some writing. We continued some read aloud (Rossetti’s poems, Treasure Island, The World of Captain John Smith, and Wild Animals I Have Known). We skipped (intentionally) some rather beautiful topics (Beethoven, Rembrandt, Plutarch’s Poplicola, Pilgrim’s Progress). Next week, we will get to them.


We managed a science lab about the brain for our friends we are studying Science in the Scientific Revolution. There were brains made from popcorn balls and playdoh and rice krispie treats and paper. It was quite a variety. We looked at my friend’s MRI pictures from an episode of bleeding in her head from which she is recovering. We also talked about the digestive system.



The boys and I ate my homemade birthday pumpkin scones before we went out for the day. We did a fun service project for The Little Light House. We are the head of the prize procurement team for two major events (Laps for Little Ones and MiniLaps), and we had a great time getting the prizes for MiniLaps. These kids were the muscle and runners of the operation, and they were a great help. The eight alumni moms were the decision makers. It was the best way to spend my fortieth birthday.


Week 6 in Review and Week 7 Intentions

I don’t know what happened to last week. I had a migraine for three days, and it really slowed me down. I took a lot of naps. I really feel like we half did most of our studies for the week. We did some work every day. I just wasn’t nearly as into it all as I wanted to be. Last week was supposed to be a heavier schoolwork week as we prepared for this coming week.  That didn’t work out for us.

This week holds an annual project that is near and dear to our hearts, but it will take us away from our books and off to community service for a day.  It will be a great day of hard work and celebration. We have outside classes on two day and violin lessons on a third. Windows will be replaced one morning, and the exterminator is coming another morning to quell the ants. Next week, I will be purposing to have less activity around here. For this week, well… some weeks are like that.

Since we didn’t manage to get things together last week, I will be scaling back Week 7 to keep my sanity. We will have a goal of accomplishing most of the things required for classes, but once I look over it all, I will intentionally choose what we will leave undone. I don’t worry about that too much because I know that there were days this summer when it was too hot to breathe outside, and on those days we did a little schoolwork.

We’ll aim for our Morning Meeting, one silent reading half-hour, one read aloud (instead of two), math, grammar, copywork, and spelling. They will dictate their IEW papers, and I’ll type them. We’ll edit them together. For my Freshman, he’ll still need to do his work for class.  That is just how it is. I will look for ways to help him along: only the odd numbered sentences to translate for Latin (or only the Latin to English exercises), only half of the review section of each math lesson, a timer to help keep him on task, an audiobook to help pace reading of a more difficult piece of fiction, and that sort of thing.

I also have classes to prepare for and things to read, but those things will have to wait their turn.

Week 5 Reflections


Overall, I am pleased with what we accomplished this week. We accomplished the reading we set out to. We had interesting discussions about how the printing press and the Protestant Reformation changed the way people thought in the sixteenth century. We also were curious to see how Copernicus fit into that time too. Christian finally made it through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. We also read about the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  It was all very fascinating, especially when we looked at how those ideas fit into the map and the timeline.

Four weeks in, our Morning Meeting is just a routine again instead of a grueling hour in which everyone has to participate. This is our fourth year to have a Morning Meeting in which we read the Bible, go over Memory Work, take in some beauty in art or music or something, and read together for a few minutes. For the first four weeks, there was a lot of Naysaying – not because anyone was being tortured, but because we didn’t have a Morning Meeting four times a week during June and July. Our routine was severely broken, and my little men were challenging me as we trying to get this good habit going again. The first ten meetings of the year were hard as these people mastered their wills and remembered that Meetings are short if we just take care of business.

There was a rocky moment (hour) when one son decided that he “hates math. (He) really hates math. (He is) terrible at math. (He is) never doing math again.”  And then he read the instructions aloud AND remembered that 6×7=42, and all was right with his world. He took back all of the things he had said against math, and declared that he IS good at math after all.  I needed a nap after that, but he was just fine.  (Just imagine! A world where reading the instructions makes something easier!)

Plans for School, Week 5


  • Daily reading from Bible
  • Continue to memorize Ephesians 6
  • a few pages from Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Hymn to learn: The Solid Rock (My Hope is Built on Nothing Less)


  • Rembrandt’s The Night Watch
  • Plutarch: Publicola, reading 5
  • Christina Rossetti: one poem daily
  • Beethoven, Ecossaise and some of the biography
  • Intro to Shakespeare’s Henry V


  • Genevieve Foster’s The World of Captain John Smith, 10 pages
  • Science in the Scientific Revolution, lessons 1-4 labs with friends; read 5-8 for next week
  • Treasure Island, five chapters
  • Seton’s Wild Animals I Have Known, “Lobo,” finish chapter.
  • Morning Meeting x4 with memory work review
  • Folk Song: You’re a Grand Old Flag
  • Thinking about What Makes a Hero?
  • Golf, JavaScript, and Electronics classes for Micah
  • Taekwondo for all the boys


School Journal Week 4

The plan for last week was to stay home as much as possible and try to get  a full week’s worth of assignments done. We mostly managed that. And then we had a busy weekend of preparation for the next several weeks, which are going to be insanely busy. But some seasons are like that, and we can work with it for a short time.

We did some serious grocery shopping and made 25 meals and put them in the freezer using a meal plan from The boys caught up on the yard work, and we caught up on the laundry. We did some cleaning. I did some school planning, and I set up the memory work notebooks for September.

And then we intentionally took a day off to be together and not work. Because it was Labor Day, and Jon was home for the day, and we needed to play. There was baseball and Jungle Book and nachos and cake.

And today, there was a new month, a new week, a new chance.