Saturday, November 30, 2013

School, a Holiday, Outside, and More ...

School, a Holiday, Outside, and More ... A Week in Review

The last week of November has flown by. We had lessons through last weekend until this past Wednesday. Visited a sick family member Thursday morning (they're doing much better now) and came home to fix a Thanksgiving Day feast for the five of us. The phone calls and texts that come with any holiday. Our friend's from over at Learning Life with 3 Sons came by on Friday to help us paint Peanut's room and visit. And here it is Saturday again. The end of a week and the end of November. Where has this year gone?

In our lessons this week we managed to get everything on the lesson plans done. Five lessons each for ABeka Math and Language Arts for the Cracker Jacks, around seven lessons in ABeka's K4 curriculum. All of our Easy Peasy lessons for all three grades. Several free worksheets I'd found online along with a Pre-K - 1st Thanksgiving lesson that I'd found for free this year. We watched Charlie Brown's voyage on the Mayflower and the Cracker Jack's discussed how accurate it might be according to their recent lessons. We had a few nature walks this week, read some more out of our nature books from the library and from our Michigan and Kentucky books we'd gotten in the same trip. We ended our lessons on Wednesday afternoon, allowing ourselves a four day weekend. ECJ is still working on his rough draft for his report on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He has to have it into me by tonight or his grade will go down on it. He's been given since almost the beginning of the school year to read it and write a report on it, having finished it a little over a week ago (maybe two weeks now?) that rough draft should have been given to me already.

PreK/K lessons went over very well this week. Peanut is starting to fly through her letter lessons, counting lessons, and writing lessons. I delayed the beginning of the phonics lessons until this past week and am really glad I did as she got the first one with no problem. She's right on track to begin her Kindergarten lessons sometime within the first two months of the new year. After having her do some play dough shaping of the letter "T" this week, it has been determined that this is a must do part of our lessons. We use play dough (or it's off brand) all the time to strengthen her hands, if she doesn't get an hour of it a day then it really hurts for her to write and color. So, on our longer days with her this is a good way to sneak in about 15 minutes of strengthening before moving back to more writing.

Third grade is going swimmingly for YCJ. The process of learning times tables is really beginning to stick. She's also mastered looking up words in the dictionary this week, a task that terrified her before she discovered that she can read. Some days it's still like pulling teeth to get her to write things out, but all in all her handwriting is improving and I believe we'll be able to move on to cursive work after the new year. As she tends to "draw" her letters instead of writing them cursive may just come easier to her than manuscript. Her green slips of paper are still doing the trick when it comes to reading and keeping her numbers straight. She's tucked one of them into each of her text books after the end of her daily lessons so that she's ready to tackle them the next day.

Sixth grade has caused many of us a headache or two this year. ECJ enjoys the work and the Independence, but isn't enjoying the fact that he's got more to do this year than ever before. Some days he flies through his lessons with absolutely no problem and some days he's still working when it's almost supper time. The days that take him longer are honestly due to him losing his concentration on a particular subject, or because he gets busy learning a life skill and doesn't start his "school" lessons until later in the day. I honestly think his delay in getting the rough draft of his book report to me is a delay tactic on his part, as he knows that the next book he's reading is Little Women

In our home we've been busy working on Peanut's room re-model. The process of emptying the room, mudding the walls, sanding, washing, sweeping, and putting the base coat on the walls and ceiling was an all week project. I literally put my foot in it earlier this week and caused a hole in a weak spot of the floor. Daddy had to patch that up, after adding a lot more insulation. Then began the process of finishing patching up any cracks in the walls and sanding the whole room down. By the time our friends from Learning Life stopped by on Friday we were almost ready to paint. They helped us wipe down the walls and get the first coat of paint up. I'm really liking the color that's up on the walls now, which had been decided as being the base coat. Depending on how the Barbie Pink color looks is going to depend on if we simply wait a few more days until we get to the store to purchase another can of the color we have now. We'll just have to wait and see. 

ECJ learning how to
clean plaster dust
off of tools.
This is actually a
really pale pink though
here it looks white.
Until the paint is all finished and the new flooring put in over the sub floor Peanut and YCJ are sharing a room again. This has made for long nights of girl talks and arguments that have driven all of us a little batty. Peanut's toys are in ECJ's room, her television is in the living room, her bed is taken apart in my room, her dresser is also currently residing in my room. The house will be back to normal within a week or so and will remain that way only until January when we'll begin another project.

For those of you wondering about the kitchen it remains as you last saw it. We are attempting to decide on if I will faux finish the counters to have them all match, or if we'll be using a new tile counter top that will wrap up into the back splash. Depending on what we decide will depend on when we finish the kitchen. Chances are it will be in the spring sometime and I will be sure to share all I can with you.

We spent a good amount of time outside this week. Most of which was in the yard and a couple of nature walks. The "J's" joined us on our last nature walk this week while the walls dried from being wiped down before we could paint. You'll see orange taped to the back of all of the boys jackets for safety reasons, it is hunting season and even though the time we were out there wasn't prime time for shooting, safety always comes first. ECJ discovered, after punching a hole in the ice, that below the ice there's an air pocket that's a few degrees warmer than the outside air. The eldest J boy discovered not only deer tracks but the tracks of a coyote that was tracking the deer. 

Coyote tracks
Deer tracks

Everyone spent a few minutes looking around one of the deer's old spots for bedding down. I took a couple of pictures of the J family for their Fall and "fall" pictures. I did those on both Mamma J's phone and my camera. We did head back to the house shortly after that as the sun was getting close to the horizon and dusk was approaching. During hunting season it's a good idea to be back home or on a well known human traveled trail when those hunters are going to be attempting to get themselves their deer meat.

Cooking lessons went wonderfully this week with the main event being the campers making Banana Pudding all on their own!! I only took out one measuring cup (a half cup measuring cup) to facilitate the use of multiplication for YCJ, Peanut counted the cups of milk poured into the pudding, and ECJ read the directions on how to make the pudding. They made what must be five pounds of it!

Other miscellaneous items from the last few days include a lot of crochet, reading, and learning.
Mamma J taught me how to make Granny Squares
something that had alluded me for over 20 years.
(Her's is purple made with a K hook
and mine is the green made with a F hook.)

I found a pattern online and taught myself this pattern
this weeks as well. Mamma J is also learning to do this
pattern now, after I shared my new knowledge.

ECJ finger crocheting.

YCJ looking at her project book...

YCJ beginning a Christmas gift project

Peanut working on her braiding...
A beautiful veggie turkey was brought over by the J's
and was nearly gone by the time they left a few hours later

This little cutey came by for a visit early in the week.
He walked right in as pretty as you please, ate dinner, warmed up,
then asked to go back outside.

I finished reading an ADHD book that I'll be writing a review up for this week, I'll be taking a break from my non fiction reading for the month of December. We'll also be officially starting YCJ on a new typing program sometime during this new week.

Posts from this past week include:
Tearing My Hair Out
Last Week of November 2013 Menu
Nearly Finished Fall Bucket List
You Can Homeschool the Holidays
Tired of Yelling

This week we're linking up with Great Peace Academy

You can find us on Facebook here , where on Wednesday the campers did a special video for everyone. Tonight or tomorrow there will be a long-ish list of things going on throughout the nation (and possibly the world) in December.


  1. I love all the hands on stuff you do with your kids. Isn't it awesome when you can go outside and in a matter of moments come up with an impromptu nature lesson! I forgot about Easy Peasy! I need to hop over and get some lanuguage arts materials.
    Thanks for linking up "This Week" at Great Peace Academy

    1. I really enjoy the fact that within minutes of my house it feels like there's absolutely no civilization around on our nature walks. It makes it so much fun. I'm glad I could remind you of Easy Peasy!