Sunday, November 10, 2013

My homeschool mother's journal: November 9th

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?

In my life this week...

I spent most of the week still trying to get better from a cold that I had the previous week.  It was lingering, and making me feel run down even after the worst symptoms had disappeared.  My sore throat turned into me almost losing my voice completely, and I spent many nights coughing until the wee hours.  I still feel tired this weekend, but I think the congestion is finally clearing.  It's no fun for Mom to be sick, it's even worse when the recovery isn't as quick as you'd like it to be.

In our homeschool this week...

This week was definitely a big project week since I wasn't feeling well.  We made this Thanksgiving playset inspired by Creekside Learning.  It was a lot of fun to make.  Very involved, but I loved spending a few afternoons creating this with a few of the kids.  The Mayflower picture in the background was made by Aaron at co-op.  We still need to add in a log cabin, and some other things that would be fun to play with for Thanksgiving time.


We started reading The Boxcar Children together this week, so we made Crusty bread.  I found the idea at Delightful Learning, as well as the great Crusty Bread recipe.  The 3 little boys and I started it together.  They had fun each adding the ingredients, and taking turns mixing.  The next day we enjoyed eating bread while reading.  It was so perfect to go along with the part we were reading.  In this particular part they were eating bread, cheese, blueberries, and milk.

From the boxcar children:
 "Now Jessie liked to have things in order, and so she put the laundry bag on some pine needles for a tablecloth.  Then she cut the loaf of brown bread into five big pieces..."
Mixing up the bread:


The finished bread...


In our history this week we had a fun project.  We read about the Phoenecians, so we made some "fake glass" with crayon bits and melted them between wax paper as suggested in the activity manual. 


Here is what the finished project looked like. Aric's "glass" star...

  Aaron's glass star


 This is what our history time looks like while we are reading.  Usually everyone is coloring something while we listen.  We have come a long way in this process...

Do you notice the purple rit dye in this picture?  We are also planning to tie-dye some shirts purple, but haven't gotten to it yet.

Map work by Aaron.  Although everyone looked at the map at some point...


Alex's coloring page.  An old Egyptian coloring page I had in the pile is what he picked to color.


Aric colored the Phoenician ship.  I was very pleased with the time he took to color this, and how proud he was of it.


Of course ironing the crayons for the history project led to a little life lesson in ironing.  Both boys wanted to iron something for real.  So, that's what we did!  They got some white church shirts, and I gave them a little lesson on how to iron.

This picture is funny, but apparently the only one I got of Aaron.  I think I got him blinking.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...

Make laughter a part of your day.  Not always easy, I know.  Find something to laugh about.  Laughter is so good for you, and makes any situation light.  Your children love to hear you laugh with them, and you can even surprise them by laughing when they least expect it.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

On Monday we went to a homeschool friends house for book club, and watched a movie that went along with the book called The secret world of Arietty (a Disney movie).  Tuesday evening I went to ladies enrichment meeting at church.  We had a light dinner followed by a trip to the cannery to see the changes in how we can buy food storage from there.  Wednesday was co-op.  Thursday we had our get-together craft day with other homeschool friends.  Friday we tried out fit kids at the Kroc community center down in Salem.  After that we went on a little nature walk, and hit up the Salem library.  Saturday April and I did a cupcake decorating class at Jo-ann's in Salem.  That store was busy today!  Then we went out to the Willamette Humane Society to look at cats.  We may just be bringing home a furry friend soon!

My favorite thing this week was...

Looking at the cats with my family, hanging out with a few of them, and falling in love with a sweet little black and white kitten.

My kiddos favorite thing this week...

Aaron was very happy with his new Hexbug Aquabot Robotic Fish this week.  I could tell it was his favorite thing because he took a bath almost every night so he could watch it/play with it in the water.  He was excited to finally have money to go buy it this week.  He has been wanting one for a while.  They are pretty neat, such amazing technology we have today!


What's working/not working for us...

Everyday I'm asking the kids what they are thankful for, and they just verbally say it.  It is working for us because trying to write it down each day has not worked in past years.  I like the simplicity of just asking and talking about it.  I know it's still very meaningful to them.

Questions/thoughts I have...

What would you like to see me post more about here on my blog?

Things I'm working on...

We are going to do a nature study of woodpeckers this week, so I'm rounding up some fun activities and books. 

We're reading...

Have you heard of playaway books?  Well, we've recently discovered these at the library.  They are audio books that you just plug headphones into.  No mp3 player needed.  My little guys are so excited about these.

Well, Aric decided he wanted one too at the library earlier this week.  He picked out The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry, and has been listening to it all week. 


We also started reading The Boxcar Children together for a read-aloud this week.  This is my first time reading it, so I'm enjoying discovering this book along with the kids.

I'm grateful for...

A pantry, fridge, and freezer full of food.  So thankful we have plenty to eat.

Some photos to share...

These are pictures that are random and don't really belong in any of the other parts of this post, but I want to share them.

Aric wrote this story at church.  It's his first time really to write a whole story on his own (except for us helping him to spell).  It's a good milestone in his reading/writing progress.


Aaron came home from church on Sunday with this "poke" page that says "shine for others, CTR."  The image is on the other side, and poked through with a pin so you can see the light come through and make out the image on this side.  This picture didn't really capture it, but it almost looks like stars when held up to the light.  It was something that went with his lesson in class, I've enjoyed looking at it on the window all week.


Here are my dyed brown couches.  The lighting in this picture makes it look more reddish/pinkish, but it's not.  It's not bad, but I'm thinking of doing one more coat.  I was hoping for a little darker brown.  I'm very happy to not see every little dirt smudge though!


April really wants this polar bear from Costco to read with.  It's huge!


It was a great week!  How was yours?

I'm linking this up with The Homeschool mother's journal at So you call yourself a homeschooler.



  1. I love the playset! What a neat DIY idea!

    Visiting from the HMJ - have a great week!

  2. That thanksgiving play set is do cute! And your bread looks delicious!


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