Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Monday in September

By "Weekly Report Friday" I've forgotten what we've done.  But this isn't so much about school as it is "a day in the life" of a homeschooling family of eight.

6:30am Wake up and head down stairs.  Boys are already up in the family room reading.  They are allowed to get up at 6:00am.  This is because I used to get up at 5:30am... Juice our "green lemonade" of kale, lettuce, apples & a lemon.
7:00am Make dh's breakfast of saute´d broccoli, mushrooms, onions & red pepper on a bed of baby spinach. Then pack his salad lunch.  Baby wakes up.
7:30am Make whole wheat pancakes for everyone else's breakfast.  DD15 cooks the pancakes. Nurse the baby.
8:00am Forgot to start with our reading of Psalms and Proverbs.  Do a hodge-podge of school with the boys while the girls are off doing their own schoolwork.
9:00am Read All American History and discuss with the 3 older ones.
9:45am More school with boys.
10:30am Decide to go grocery shopping...in the rain.  Take the oldest & the youngest with me, leaving DD13 to do school while boys play computer games.
11:45am Amid the unpacking of groceries, DD15 cuts up the watermelon for a snack, I cut up the butternut squash for lunch and decide to try making Peasant Bread using 100% whole wheat flour.  DD15 feeds watermelon to DD9mo and then gives her a bath.
12:45pm Hurry everyone to eat their squash & veggies.  Give DD15 & DD13 instructions for finishing bread, making their Barley Mushroom Stew, completing chores and of course, having computer time.
Leave for D&D.  Still raining.
1:30pm Enjoy myself sitting and chatting with with the other homeschooling moms who all seem to enjoy the fantasy genre and natural living...just like me!
4:45pm Come home to dinner cooking.  Ah, the joy of having teens!
5:00pm Try Peasant Bread.  Heavy, dry, little flavor.  Children declare it perfect for serving to weary travelers at an Inn.
6:00pm Eat Barley Mushroom Stew and fresh veggies and more bread. Some children eat outside.  Too rainy for me.
6:30pm Hubby finally arrives home to his cold stew and dry bread. Guess he gets to play the roll of weary traveler.  Then he has a conference call!
7:00pm Since we can't listen to Dad read, we watch a travel video on Switzerland in prep for girls' upcoming trip.
7:30pm Try my kumbucha tea (got the starter last week at D&D).  Fizzy & tasty!  Put into 3 jars on the counter.  One with nothing added. One with a little lemon juice added.  One with lemon juice and honey added.  Made more tea to begin process again.
8:00pm Put boys to bed. Let girls know they may have computer time.
8:30pm Put baby to bed.  Sit by hubby reading Book 2 of the Wheel of Time on his kindle and read The Wednesday Sisters. Ahhh...
9:30pm Baby crying.  Nurse her.
9:45pm Make stovetop popcorn to sustain the late night crowd.  Read more.
11:00pm Baby crying at being left out of the late night crowd.  Nurse her. Say goodnight to girls.
11:30pm Finish book, leave hubby reading his kindle and go to bed.
12:00am Baby crying. Nurse her.
12:30am Baby crying. Nurse her.
3:30am Baby crying.  Go in and she's quiet.  Go back to bed.
5:00am Baby crying. Nurse her.  Wonder when she will be done teething....
6:30am It's Tuesday morning!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My first Menu Plan Monday

I'm feeling inspired after reading Loving My Domestic Life! Here is my first Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie.

This week should make my boys happy...I’m planning THREE pizza-related meals!  And by doing that, they don’t complain about the raw vegetable side dishes...even the ones with celery! That makes me happy.

Monday: Barley & Mushroom Stew from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman (prepared by DD15 & DD13)

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza (whole wheat crust recipe from M/A2010 Clean Eating magazine)

Wednesday: Left over rice stir-fried with eggs & veggies

Thursday: Windy City Pie filled with zucchini, onions, spinach & mushrooms (deep dish pizza recipe from same issue Clean Eating)

Friday: Fire Island Penne made sans sausage

Saturday: Scarborough Fair Potatoes (Summer 2008 Clean Eating)

Sunday: Calzones (again that same Clean Eating whole wheat crust recipe...I double the recipe and divide into 3, one for the day and two for the coming week)

Now, I just have to go to the grocery store...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 3

The first 10 elements of the periodic table created with chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils!
  • Applied for passports for DD15 and DD13! They will be traveling with my parents to visit my newly married sister in Germany & Switzerland at Christmas.  
  • Played D&D...still getting used to our new characters.
  • Took a family walk to the elementary school playground. 
  • Went to Lowe's to look at lumber for building raised garden beds. 
The weekend was not what I had hoped it would be...which was a trip out to the Shenandoah Valley to a Civil War event. I have not yet come to terms with the fact that my family spends the weekdays working or doing school and on the weekend they want to do nothing.  Whereas I do the same and then on the weekend I want to do something...I guess because otherwise it is all the same to me.

School Week: 
DD15: Finished her Military History Battles assignment!  She did an excellent job recreating the maps. I'll post some of those soon!

DD13: Started All American History 2.  99/100 on first Henle quiz.  Moving along in learning German!

DS10: Attended his first non-family D&D group!  This is a homeschool group of boys who take turns DMing, I think it will be a great fit. (For me too -- I got to chat with the other mothers and came home with some kombucha tea starter!) Began All American History 2.  Worked on Real Science Odyssey Chemistry but without the recommended multi-color marshmallows!  See picture at the top.

DS8: Read The Little Horse...I told him to read 2 chapters a day and he read the whole thing!  And he was my latest reader!  Started Writing with Ease 1 and began reading Little House in the Big Woods.  Started Math-U-See Gamma and Jane Ervin's Reading Comprehension B.

DS5: Began yellow Handwriting without Tears book.  Began Singapore's Earlybird Math B.  Learned H-M in OPGTR!  Can't wait til we get to blending!

DD9mo: Standing so well!  She's taken a couple single steps.  So not quite walking...YET!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 2

Skinny-tail the Squirrel, one of the three to frequent our "bird" feeder

Highlights of Week 2

Five in a Row:  Make Way for Ducklings, using the book that had been given to my dad when he was a little boy!

Bible: Continued reading in Psalms & Proverbs.

MOM: Rainbow Resource box arrived!

DAD: Evening read-aloud Stonewall Jackson: A Life Portait by K.M. Kostyal

DD15: Staked out spots for her raised beds and arbor (horticulture credit).

DD13: Began Henle Latin using the MODG Syllabus.

DS10: Completed 15 pages in his brand new Liftoff Logic 2 book.

DS8: Memorized 7 continents & 5 five oceans in memory binder.

DS5: Learned B, C, D, F & G in Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.

DD9mo: Letting go and standing!  And still squirrel watching.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


We started a new D&D campaign this weekend with DD15 as our DM!  Using D&D tiles and bricks from DS10's "Brick and Mortar" castle set (yet unfinished), she created a wonderful little intro encounter to get us familiar with our characters.

In addition to playing D&D, we're participating in The Million Minute Family Challenge by playing board games!  Apples to Apples, Life, Uno, Blokus and Trivial Pursuit have all been played this month.

All this is part of my current "Less Computer -- More Life" mantra.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week 1

The 2010-2011 School Year has begun!

DD15 & DD13 are both working on course work for high school credit this year.  However, they are currently spending two weeks in the Midwest with relatives -- I've heard they've been horseback riding, clay oven building, jelly making, swimming, apple picking, concert attending, tractor driving...real living, real learning.

The rest of us got out the school books we currently have and got started!

Bible time: New this year.  A last minute addition.  This week it consisted of DS10 reading a Psalm followed by each of us (DS10, DS8 & I) reading a verse from Proverbs 10, a short prayer by me, and finally a singing of "Father I Adore You" while holding hands and walking in a circle around DD9mo.  It was a good addition to the week, but DS5 is not engaged (except during the song!) and none of us recalls much about what we've read by dinner.

Memory Binders: Also new this year.  Each boy has one with his work listed in the front in a page protector.  Following in page protectors are memory/copywork items including full name & address, days of the week, continents, seasons, etc.  They have the week to copy all in permanent marker (erasable with rubbing alcohol). On Saturday they recite what they know for Dad.  If they have something memorized it will go to the back of the binder.  If not, they'll copy it again next week.

Five in a Row: Peter Rabbit from Vol 2.  We listed all the vegetables Mr. McGregor grew and looked them up in seed catalogs.  Then DS8 made a graph of how long til harvest each one took.  While he was graphing, DS10 & DS5 attempted this How to Draw a Rabbit Lesson. DS10's two drawings are at the top! We made current buns...the recipe I found on the internet wasn't the best though.

DS10 began Math-U-See Pre-Algebra, Singapore's Challenging Word Problems 4 and Comic Strip Math. He orally completed the first several rules & exercises in Woolley's New Handbook of Composition (graciously borrowed from my mom's school days).  I think this will be a favorite!  He read aloud from CLP's Nature Reader 4, completed 2 labs in RSO's Chemistry, and read Linnea's Almanac by Cristina Bjork.

DS8 began Singapore's Challenging Word Problems 2, read And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz and started her The Cabin Faced West, and started a review of the rules from First Language Lessons.  When we get to where we left off last year we'll go back to the book.  He read aloud from CLP's Nature Reader 2 and started a Sound & Light science book.

DS5 learned the 5 vowels from Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and played 2 math & 2 phonics games.

DD9mo spent her time primarily squirrel-watching, but she also work on improving her crawl and trying out her two bottom teeth...