Friday, January 30, 2015

A Day in Our Homeschool Life ~ Wednesday

Happy Friday! J

How about another day in the life? This is how Wednesday went...loosely. If I recorded absolutely everything, there wouldn't be time for anything. J

7:30 a.m. – My husband's morning schedule varies by the day, but today I kiss him goodbye around 7:30 and head downstairs for some quiet time. I read my Bible, write in my prayer journal, do blog link-ups, and check email and social media if there's time.

8:15 – I begin to hear activity upstairs. That means the Bigs have been doing their devotions and beginning to dress and fix hair. Since I forgot yesterday, today is sheet-washing day, so they'll strip their beds (Bigs helping Littles) and drop the sheets and blankets over the second-floor railing in the general direction of the laundry room.

9:00 – As I load the washing machine, school begins. The 4yo gets out a toy while the 9yo lays on the sofa to wake up some more. The 6yo, who seems to never need much sleep, is dressed and ready to start his kindergarten workbook before I'm ready to help him.

The 15yo begins history, then math.
The 13yo and 11yo begin science, then history.

They are fairly independent, and I’m always available for help as needed.



10:00 – Breakfast, something fast and light like oatmeal or cereal. As the Bigs carry dishes up to the sink, I move the first load of linens from the washing machine to the dryer. {Maybe I’m on the second by now? I can’t remember.} I wash while a Big dries, then I check email and social media again...quickly. As in five minutes or less. J The 9yo gets her books out.

The 15yo continues with science, piano practice, then language.
The 13yo and 11yo continue with math, then language.



The 9yo begins with writing out her spelling words. For math, she's learning about money, so she'll count up amounts for five to six pages. In between all this, I lead the 6yo through a few workbook pages of handwriting his letters and numbers, sounding out the phonics of them also.

11:00 – I leave comments on a couple of blogs and head back to the laundry room. In between, I answer questions, check the 9yo's pages, check the refrigerator for lunch ingredients, go through phonics flashcards with the 6yo, and send a couple of the children upstairs to make their beds with clean sheets.



12:00 – This is usually when I start listing mentally what I still want to get done before lunch. J I retrieve the information I've collected on Louisa May Alcott for our literature study and get the 15yo writing a biography while I edit discussion questions. School continues for all {spelling, reading, extra study as needed} as the 9yo moves on to language and then history. Most work of the Bigs is independent, with breaks to set up a toy for a Little or snatch a few minutes of reading in their current book.

1:00 -- Our goal is to have lunch sometime in this hour. The 6yo and 9yo finish their work (except for some reading the 9yo will finish up during quiet time) and are rewarded with a half-hour of a video. Today, though, they end up spending half their watching time disagreeing over which video to watch. I end up climbing the stairs to decide for them before I put in the last of five loads of linens and then sneak in a few minutes of reading before the girls and I start lunch prep.

By 3:00, the little boys are down for a quick nap, and the rest of us scatter to quiet time activities. I usually write, although today I’m mostly reading. Today, the Bigs finish up whatever’s left in school, read for pleasure, and play a game.

My husband arrives home by late afternoon and heads straight into a house project. J

The boys are up by 5:30, and the rest of the day feels pell-mell to me – supper together, Wednesday night prayer meeting, ice cream snack, family devotional time, bedtime.  










How was your week? What does your Day in the Life look like?




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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A New Blog Page ~ Building Our Home

I’ve written of it before, promised it to you all a long time ago…a page full of photos from building our house.

Well, today’s the day! J

Our family has been so encouraged by your encouragement during our entire home-building process, that I’ve wanted, for a while now, to create a grouping of photos. A photo-journal of sorts, from start to finish. {Although we’re not really finished even yet. J}

To this end, I’ve created a separate page full of photos in chronological order with just a few notes. 

As we continue to finish both the inside and the outside, I’ll add to the page.

I’m keeping this post short so you’ll have time to peruse that page. Feel free to pop over there whenever you want. It’s a permanent addition to the blog site.


Building Our Home 









I’m always open to ideas and questions for blog topics. J Any suggestions?




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Monday, January 26, 2015

Why Study the Classics of Literature?

B-O-R-I-N-G.

Is that the word that comes to mind when you think of the great classics of literature? Probably not, since you’re here, perhaps as a result of my introduction last week of my ongoing series to create a ninth grade literature curriculum.


I know I’ve heard it plenty, especially when I was in high school, totally loving my literature classes while everyone around me fainted away with the exertion of lifting the book to read it. But there are many benefits to reading in general, including reading the classics.

  1. It increases the attention span. You know how long some of those classics are? According to Amazon, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace weighs in at 1,296 pages. {We’re not reading that one. J}
  2. It increases the concentration level. You know how big some of those words are? How long some of those paragraphs can be?
  3. You learn much about human nature.
  4. As you learn about human nature, you develop compassion. How can you not feel sorry for the Hunchback and commiserate with his deep need for acceptance and love? Did you wipe away a tear as you read about Beth in Little Women? You won’t look at people the same.
  5. You will improve your writing skills. Reading excellent writing improves one’s own writing.
  6. You will increase vocabulary. One could get absolutely giddy about all the big words! J
  7. It’s good practice in critical thinking and applying a Biblical perspective to different situations. 

One of the main reasons I wanted to create this study for my children is because I believe that reading the classics of literature is one of the safest ways to learn of the dangers of the world without actually experiencing the consequences. It can be an effective way to prepare our children for the potential pitfalls of adulthood so that they can navigate it successfully and with their faith intact.

I don’t have any specific timeline for this study, except that we plan to complete all the books, in the order listed, by the end of June. We all read at different speeds and have varied schedules, so peruse them at your own pace. We’ll start with Little Women, and next Monday’s post will be background information about the book and the author.




Let’s defy Mr. Twain’s definition and read…and praise…these classics. J










What are your thoughts on this study? Do I need more guidelines? Is it flexible enough? I appreciate your feedback.






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