Week 10 and Break Week Reflections and Intentions for Week 11

So, the week before our break kind of went … and we didn’t make it through anything except the bare basics for my younger kids and about half the assignments for my Freshman. And I just went with it. We did some other projects: shopped for prizes for Laps for Little Ones to help our friends at the Little Light House and completed some cultural studies with friends.

I suppose the good news about that is that we will cover the stuff I planned for last week this week. My Freshman will play catch-up and also accomplish this week’s work (including debate prep). However, I am pretty tired from our trip, and I hope for some time on the couch with books and discussion and maybe a nap.

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We spent our break week on the front range of the Rockies with my brother and his family. We soaked up the mountains and streams and relaxation. We shopped and fished and walked and slept and just hung out together. And we ate a lot of really tasty stuff like pot roast at home and ice cream at Lik’s. Yum. Yum.

Now we are home, and we miss my brother’s laugh and my nephew’s giggle and my sister-in-law’s quiet presence. But we’ll see them at Christmas. Until them, it is back to schoolwork and tutoring and cooking and cleaning and Mt. St. Laundry.

During the twenty-four hours we spent in the van coming and going, I finished up four books that were just for me (several of which I had been reading bits of here and there forever), and that was fabulous. The first one, I had laid aside two years ago (The Lost Pearle), and like all Lamplighter books, it turned a good tale. Pearle was forced to marry an evil man, and she worked her way out of that and back to a good one. I read a new release that started out interesting, but had a ridiculous ending, and I am not even linking it (Everything, Everything). I finished up The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, which spoke to me, a recovering perfectionist, about being worthy of love and acceptance in spite of my mistakes and brokenness.

I also completed a review copy of Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way, which was a poetic read about how our brokenness is healed not through holing up and waiting for God to heal it, but by continually giving hope to others in His name. We are all our own form of broken, and as we serve others, God uses that very brokenness to help them find healing. He heals us in the process. While I wish this book pointed the reader even more to Scripture for these facts, I have experienced these truths in my life.

I also started Alan Bradley’s new Flavia De Luce release, Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mew’d, which is a rollicking good time. I’m looking forward to our Drop Everything And Read moment today, because I’ll get to see what happens next. (If you haven’t met Flavia, you should. She’s a twelve-year-old chemical genius with a knack for discovering dead bodies and for solving their murders. She has a quirky and macabre wit that I find highly entertaining.)That was our Fall Break. Now it is over, and we are getting back to normal. (I hope.)

Week 9 Reflections

No pictures this week. I forgot to take any. We were fairly successful in completing the educational plans for the week. We did have a few adventures, planned and unplanned. But most of the activities I had laid out got done anyway.

We had a laundry emergency that demanded a visit from our favorite appliance repair guy. (That we have had enough of these issues to have a favorite is another story for another time.) He restored the function of the washing machine, and we continued in our quest to conquer the mountain of laundry that accumulated quickly. We also lost a couple of hours to getting new tires put on the van on another day. But it was absolutely necessary, and so we had lunch at Costco one day.

Keeping up with the educating and the homemaking at the same time is harder than it sounds like it would be. Since we are at home more than the average family, we make more messes at home, we eat more often at home, and we simply live here more. Our appliances seem to break more often, but they are also probably used more often.

A major downside of my week was discovering that I had been deceived by one of my kids. We’ve dealt with the issue, but the road to rebuilt trust is long. We’ll continue to develop his conscious, and he’ll be a good man when he is older because he got caught and redirected. But in the meantime, he needs prayer and a lot of oversight. It will be a long couple of weeks over here as I work my way through that.

Our much more fun adventure of the week was a trip to the state fair. We went and visited a friend who had chickens entered in the chicken show, and we walked around and looked at all the art and photography and exhibits. We sat in cars in the exhibit hall, played all of the pianos, and the kids ate some junk food.  It was a good local adventure.

Week 8 Reflections

That was a pretty good week. We did manage to do most of what was planned, but that was somewhat miraculous. There were a couple of things that got canceled, and I also spent a couple of days fighting a migraine. Migraines stink and make me rather cranky, but they do make sure that I stay home. As long as we are home, things get done.

One thing that I did differently this week was to help my high school freshman put all of his work into both his planner (creating daily lists of work for each school day) AND onto a schedule for the week, assigning each subject a block of time on each of the four days. I’ve resisted this forever (more on that later), but do you know what?  It worked. He knew both what he needed to do and when he needed to do it, and he didn’t need me to tell him what to do.  That is a fantastic thing because I can only keep so many to-do lists in my head. If his is on paper and assigned to hours, I don’t have to think about it. Decision fatigue avoided again!

Because we all had all of the work due on Monday done and packed on Friday afternoon, we went to Science Museum Oklahoma for the day on Saturday, hence the pictures.





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!)