Reflections on Week 7 and Break Week

It is amazing how fast habits get ignored when life’s routines are broken. We’ve spent most of the last two week re-establishing habits that were broken during my 96 hours in Denver with my mom. It took us a full week to put our routine back together, and most of break week was eaten up doing schoolwork that should have been done the week before. This coming week is show week for Lion King Jr, and I am working on what to delete from the schedule to accommodate the added responsibilities outside of the house. Also, there is a birthday in our house this week. We might skip Morning Meetings entirely, but they will be back next week. Perhaps I can get ahead in compiling a few week’s worth of ideas again

Rejoice: I was quite tired and slept in more mornings that I should have. I’m working to get back to getting up an hour before the boys because I need the morning quiet and prayer time that I have been missing. I need the rest, and I need exercise, and I need prayer. Getting all of that in before the boys get up is hard.

Relate: Jon spent a good chunk of his week working towards the Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism Conference that he hosted on Saturday. The boys and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out together while he took care of that. I went to a large annual local book fair and brought home some treasures. We finished Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and started on Marguerite Henry’s King of the Wind (aff. links).

Remember: We had three successful Morning Meetings and one in which we all walked away before we finished after an argument at the table. Bad days happen. We moved on into the day, talked about it later, and did the work the following morning.

Reason: Math, English Grammar, Latin all done. We missed Chess Club because of a commitment, but the boys are looking forward to returning to it.

Read: There was a lot of reading. Josiah and Gideon realized that they are now behind in their Million Word Reading Challenge because they re-read a bunch of stuff that they had already read instead of starting something new. They enjoyed themselves, but now Josiah is halfway through Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Gideon is reading Pyle’s Men of Iron (aff. link).

Record: Both Josiah and Gideon finished a longer writing project (the Knights essay from IEW Medievals). Micah worked on a short story, a 1AC about the electoral college, and a research paper about police dogs (all long term projects). I wrote nothing, hence the lack of blog posts. But I did generate a short list of things I’d like to write here. It just might have to wait until the semester is over.

Restore: We resumed our habit of reading at bedtime, and Jon and I have still been ending the day with a half hour or so of Netflix. I have not given myself the brain space and journaling time that I crave, but that’s a work in progress.

Margin Report: We prepared for this week of having more hours dedicated outside of our home by staying home more than usual. Micah and I both wanted more time at home that wasn’t dedicated to work, but Josiah and Gideon need to be out with people more than Micah does.  This is a constant balance to strive for in our house. We are three introverts (who love our people but need some alone time to recharge) and two extroverts (who need more people to recharge). Sometimes the little extroverts have to make do with just each other. And sometimes those of us who would rather put on our headphones and hide from the world have to put on our big kid pants and deal with people away. Constantly, some of us are stretching and growing.

Reflections on Winter Term week 6

This will be short and sweet because I am typing it on my phone while laying on a hotel bed in Lakewood, CO. 

We had a good but abbreviated school week. My mom and I ran up to Denver for the weekend on Thursday for my nephew’s birthday. And we are going to zip home tomorrow. 

Monday was our usual crazy. I worked with the boys on Tuesday, and it wasn’t fabulous. There was a mutiny. I wound up eating chocolate in my closet. There was a little school work done, and chores assigned for wasting my time with whining. Eh. Some days are like that. 

We worked together on Wednesday with more success. They worked hard with their father on Thursday so that they could spend Friday at a friend’s farm doing meaningful labor. 

And I had a lovely weekend with my mom and brother and his family. I am going to puzzle out assignments for my Caesar and Cicero classes on the way home tomorrow.

Reflections on Winter Term, Week 5



Rejoice: I managed my quiet coffee and moment alone five mornings this week. The other two I had crashed the night before, and I needed to sleep in. I didn’t make it to the Y at all this week, and I only hit my step goal twice, though I was close two other times. But, I do feel a little more rested. I missed my morning quiet this morning because I slept for ten hours. I really have to work on this whole sleeping business.

Relate: I didn’t do so well in this area this week. I was tired and feeling very overdone. (Introverts who homeschool hit this wall every once in a while.) Micah was also at his max for interaction with people, and he didn’t have the greatest week either. I did manage to read aloud to and snuggle with Josiah and Gideon nearly every evening. We were generally nice to each other, but it was a week to draw in and recover in the quiet moments instead of constantly reaching outward.

Remember: We had our Morning Meeting two days this week. The schoolwork was done in general. The day that we missed Morning Meeting was because I fell asleep during a read aloud and napped for two hours. I didn’t mean to. I was just so tired.

Reason: Math, check. Science, check. Latin, check. Grammar, check.

Read: The boys read a few more chapters of Robinson Crusoe. We read aloud a few more chapters of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. We also read from or listened to the Bible, Age of Fable, This Country of Ours, and Trial and Triumph. I have a pile of reading material to conquer that is taller than me, but I did very little reading. That was bad since I am supposed to have A Tale of Two Cities finished by 6pm tomorrow night. I’m on page 100, and I have a pile of grading and planning to do before I can read. Sorry, book club friends. I won’t be done when I arrive.

Record: The younger boys each wrote started an IEW paper about Knights. Micah started an essay about Born Again. I wrote very little. I read very little. It wasn’t my greatest week.

Restore: So, the week was crazy, and I drowned in it. I watched a little television with Jon each night. I didn’t do a good job with planned self-care. It was rough. We did decide that I will go with my mom to my nephew’s birthday party in Denver next weekend. She needs a travel buddy, and I am pretty desperate for a break from the norm.

Margin Report: This week, there was no margin. There were extra classes to teach and a talent show to take part in and acts to polish and laundry to wash. I am not exactly sure where things went wrong, but I drowned in it all.  Next week will be better.

Reflections on Winter Term, Week 4


Rejoice: I managed my quiet coffee and moment alone five mornings this week. The other two I had crashed the night before, and I needed to sleep in. I didn’t make it to the Y at all this week, and I only hit my step goal once. But, I do feel a little more rested.

Relate: We spent time together flipping through scrapbooks. The boys spent a day helping a friend with a chicken project. There was a birthday dinner. We just hung out together one evening.

Remember: We had our Morning Meeting three days this week. The schoolwork was done.

Reason: Math, check. Science, check. Latin, check. Grammar, check.

Read: The boys read a few more chapters of Robinson Crusoe. We read aloud a few more chapters of Mr. Lemoncello. We also read from or listened to the Bible, Age of Fable, This Country of Ours, and Trial and Triumph. I have a pile of reading material to conquer that is taller than me, but I only finished a novel that I didn’t love but didn’t hate. It was The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, which was decent (aff. link).

Record: The younger boys each wrote an IEW paper about Cathedrals. Micah wrote an essay about To Kill A Mockingbird. I wrote very little. I read very little. It wasn’t my greatest week.


Margin Report: This week, I did allow for margin. We had no plans Thursday evening or Friday afternoon. I planned to just hang out at home. Those hours were occupied with visitation and a memorial service for a precious girl who made the world better with her smile. When our oldest son Danny was alive, she was his best friend. We were honored to stand by as her family said “see you later.”

Reflections on Winter Term week 3


Margin Report: This week had very little Margin. But we knew that going into it, as I had a rather unwise nine different class preps to do this week, and Jon had five of his own on top of our usual workload. We survived. And we don’t plan to do that to ourselves again. This week is only our regular load, and I hope to spend most of it at home with the boys.

Rejoice: I did manage to get up early most mornings and have a few moments to myself before the rest of the house was awake.

Relate: We stopped to read aloud everyday. The younger boys and I are ten chapters into
Christ Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (, and we are really enjoying it. I have playing the piano more days than usual (because the church pianist should probably practice), and the boys have been asking for piano lessons. I’ve said yes to that more often, but not every time. I’ve also given some cooking lessons. Those are tasty.

Remember: We did memory work and the rest of our Morning Meeting three days this week, and we were proud of ourselves. Having all the links all in one place is really helpful to Getting Things Done around here.

Reason: All expected math assignments and grammar assignments were completed. The boys had more success with just working than I did.

Read: Josiah and Gideon read their assigned readings and poured over The Action Bible (aff. link). Micah read and worked for his Challenge 1 class and spent a lot of time with his violin. I didn’t accomplish the amount of reading I needed to this week, but we knew that was going to happen. I have a commitment to finish A Tale of Two Cities by February 2, and it is time to get on the ball.

Record: I wrote a little essay this week that needs editing before it gets published anywhere. The boys did what I asked of them. Jon sent a book to the printer. We are excited to get the review copy back next week.

Restore: We did take a little time to relax every evening, but I failed in sleeping at least six hours a night. Again, we knew that would happen this week. Now I will play catch-up.

Reflections on Winter Term Week 2

We actually completely the work that was planned.  It wasn’t always pretty, and some of it was not done with quite the attention it deserved. But it was completed.

I think I owe the completion of our work week to the lack of crazy and the return to the liturgy of the morning.  I got up when I was supposed to, and I had time to myself with coffee and Jesus before the boys got up. I walked early at the Y with a friend one morning. We started chores at 8 and served breakfast with a side of morning meeting at a quarter to nine. Then we worked through the work.

I had planned this coming week before Margin became my word for the year. I am overbooked but determined to enjoy myself. Again, we have nothing scheduled before noon that is out of the ordinary. The liturgy of the morning should happen, and so should the rest of the schoolwork.

Reflections on our Winter Term Week 1

Margin did not allow me to get the links we used this week posted. I’ll get that done this weekend and maybe get ahead on writing posts. It was a good week, but a rather full one.

I did teach my first local Latin Clinic. We talked about nouns and their declensions. The rest of the week was interrupted by glasses. I broke my glasses on Christmas Eve, and since I am legally blind without correction, I had to wear an old pair until I could get a new prescription.

On Wednesday, Micah got a full eye exam and ordered unexpected glasses, and I got most of an eye exam and ordered my much-needed new glasses. I also got the broken glasses temporarily fixed because the older pair was giving me nasty headaches. The only way to fix the old pair until the new ones were ready was to replace the left temple with a temple from an abandoned pair of Hello Kitty glasses. It’s a good thing I’m comfortable being nerdy.

Today, we went back with my mother because I needed to have my eyes dilated, and I wasn’t allowed to drive home afterwards. We also picked up all of the glasses, hung out with Gramma, and ate Pei Wei. I didn’t expect that project to take quite so much time or cost quite so much money.

As for our Morning Meetings this week,  I planned to return to Ambleside Online as a morning time resource, and I did. They select an artist, a composer, a poet, a nature study focus, a Shakespeare play, and a Plutarch life for each term, and they choose a hymn and folk song for each month. I discovered that the artist and composer for they chose for this term are people that we have recently covered, so I went forward to their selections for 2028-2029 and selected Rachmaninoff and Degas. (If I am still looking at beauty every morning in 2028, it will be just for my own enjoyment, because the boys will be 21, 22, and 26 that year.) We also read from Year 4’s poets, Dickinson and Tennyson, last year, so I picked up Sara Teasdale, Hilda Conkling and James Whitcomb Riley for the next few poets because AO recommends them, but we haven’t read them yet.  We started learning Charles Wesley’s hymn “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.” I picked a folk song from 2011, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,”  and it was a total bust. It annoys Micah, so Gideon sings it over and over again, and that stressed Josiah and I out. So, I’ll pick a new one next week, and we will try again.

Josiah and Gideon both enjoyed the Year 4 readings that they did this week, and we will continue to work on those assignments. I bought the audiobooks for the history books from Audible or Canon Press, and we listened to one chapter from each book in the history loop over breakfast on the three mornings that we were home. We had some interesting conversations about the stories from each book: (aff. links) This Country of Ours, Trial and Triumph (audio from Canon Press), and A Child’s History of the World. Since we listen over breakfast, Micah didn’t lose time from his school day. He was sitting with us anyway to eat, and he can participate in the discussion afterwards.

Have you tried getting a subject done during a meal?

Week 13 Reflections

So, that was a particularly crazy week. There was too much in nearly every day, and the evening were also full. I hate weeks like that, and multiple ones in a row are really hard for me. I didn’t finish everything that I needed to, and I didn’t read everything that i needed to know. We had a few yucky things happen, but they all turned out ok.

For instance, last Monday, the water heater went out. On Mondays, I have Latin classes to teach for which I cannot find a knowledgable sub, but my husband was able to work from home and wait on the plumber and make a bunch of decisions that would have stressed me out anyway. It was an expensive endeavor, but it is another improvement that will make our house more marketable when we are ready to sell it.

Last Monday, we left our CC campus at the same time as our friends, and we were all headed to Costco, so all my kids jumped in the van with their buddy. Or so I thought, as I drove away by myself, enjoying the momentary bliss of no one talking to me. I got a phone call telling me that only two of my boys were in the other vehicle. Oops. As I rounded the corner of the church, I got a text from another friend saying, “I have your Giant. I’ll meet you at Costco, too.” Mom fail. I actually drove off and left a kid. He thought it was hilarious (such was his faith that I would come back once I realized my error.) We were still laughing when we pulled out of the parking lot to buy groceries and visit with friends.

He was still giggling a few minutes later when we got rear-ended. It was a slow-speed encounter, and no one was injured. None of the vehicles involved had any visible damage. It was raining lightly, and the roads were slippery. I stopped in a line of traffic. The person behind me failed to do so. She pushed me into the person in front of me. It happened in slow-motion because of traffic, and I hope she got her tires and brakes checked so that it doesn’t happen again.

The rest of the week we crammed in a little school around a rather abnormally busy schedule. In addition to the classes and lessons that we do most weeks, I also subbed in Challenge 3 on one day and worked at a new business that belongs to an acquaintance on another day. It was a little much. I am not schedule to do both on the same week again, and that is good.

Week 12 Reflections

Overall, last week was pretty good. I did make an unplanned trip to the Kansas City IKEA with my mom, and we bought a new bed that we still need to put together at her house, and some new cabinets that were assembled and installed in my dining room.

However, we didn’t get enough schoolwork done. This is one of the only downsides I have found to Classical Conversations. We needed to take a week off from school, but it would have meant sending my kids to class without their work. None of them like that, and I don’t want them to like being unprepared. So, sometimes we work when we’d rather not.  My freshman finished most of his because he went to IKEA with us and had a total of eight hours in which to ride in the car and do schoolwork. The younger boys (who are in Foundations and Essentials) did the bare minimum to go to class prepared.

In reality, we are all tired and ready for the six weeks off that our campus takes from Thanksgiving into the New Year. Just a couple more weeks, and it will be here. And we’ll be grateful for all those broiling days in August when we schooled during the day and swam in the evening. (August is not kind to us Okies.)

This week we have a group activity that was rescheduled from another week, violin lessons, Lion King rehearsal, programming and electronics classes, and I am substituting for a director in my favorite Challenge level. So, we know that we will be having school on Saturday to make up for a fun day playing with Gramma. I’m OK with that. I suppose that I’d better make a plan and stick to it, though.

Week 11 Reflections

We still didn’t finish everything that one on the list I made for week 10. But I’m ok with that. I’ll move it forward to week 12, and we’ll keep the memory work the same for November instead of changing it out. We’ll move on when we have conquered what we’ve got. The artist (Gainsborough) and the composer (Beethoven) aren’t changing this month either, so that is easy.

I am exhausted. I actually slept more than six hours last night for the first time in quite a while, and I am having trouble getting going. A goal for next week has to be some rest for me, so that my body doesn’t revolt. (I have some physical issues that flair when I am overdone and cause me pain, and my whole family would like to avoid that. It isn’t good for the mom to be down.)

I did finish the new Flavia de Luce book, and that was lovely.