Friday, September 7, 2012

NOT Not Back-to-School, and Other Adventures (Week of Aug 26-Sep1, 2012)

I'm posting this Weekly Wrap-Up about last week (August 26-September1, 2012) instead of this one.  Perhaps the delay will make it so I can actually do it more often?  We'll see. 

Last week I continued to work hard on scheduling, planning, ordering, reading, etc. for the upcoming month/rest of the year, and also worked on more organizational attempts.   I kind of alternated between feeling "how-can-I-ever-do-this?!" and feeling glad for things I got accomplished, but I have to admit I was more heavily leaning toward the first one during the week.  There are times when I think I can see why some people think homeschoolers are completely crazy.  Last week had more than one of those times.  
I have to thank John for making it possible for me to have some uninterrupted work time and for helping me get some other things done around here that have been really needing attention.  More on that later.  Right now let's see what the camera captured because we know that's what you really want anyway. :) 
Random photo of Liberty, with Violet the singing puppy, a birthday present from Grandma that's been popular.  (Linking so you'll know what I'm talking about and in case anybody's looking for a birthday present -- am I the only one who often has big difficulty figuring out presents for little ones?)   
The photos below were the ones I thought I would put in my "Not" Back-to-School post introducing my students. The trouble is, that post doesn't exist yet, except in basically blank draft form. I may still use these if I ever make that post, but I only got four out of six children photographed so far, and the last of them only sorta and not really like I wanted (you'll see, keep scrolling).  But I am glad I at least got these. I think they will be really nice to have in the future.  Oh, I didn't do a line-up of all of them yet, either.   Got to remember to do that! 
Bethany is getting so tall!  She's growing up on me.  And she's not the only one...

This guy is clearly not a baby anymore either.  He passed Pre-Algebra last week with an A (for Algebra, ha), which pleased him greatly.  Pre-Algebra took him less than a month, except for some extra Honors pages that he needed had yet to finish up.  

 Can I still claim Zion as a little one?  Not sure.  She's such an independent spirit; one of her first words was "self," as in "Frankly, Mother, I'd rather do it myself." 

The three oldest wrote their own names and ages.   
 Amadeus the rescue dog, with Zion.  Amadeus' favorite pastime lately is running solo around the neighborhood.  I think our neighbors are getting used to seeing him.  Bethany wants to write about Amadeus and our other animals at some point for you.  Amadeus is an interesting case, probably especially if you're a dog person.  I'm not really.  But he is a pretty little dog. 

Bethany and Zion wanted their picture taken together.  They were laughing at Amadeus' antics. 

Now, this was fun.  But not a tremendous success.  I was kind of pleased with some of these photos in spite of the fact I was sort of testing it with him and he hasn't any clothes on except a diaper.  Then when I got inside John said, "Almost Abraham?"  Oh.  Um...  
Back to the drawing (chalk) board...

And you can see what a smashing success Take 2 was.  He didn't break that back leg -- that was done by a sibling some time ago -- he just tipped it over.

And messed up the new lettering a bit.  And charged forward victoriously, on to new territory.

Oh, well.

"Check out this hammer."

"I found a great place for it!"

He turned one last weekend.  We haven't really celebrated yet, though.   Think I can get another (better) picture of him without the "almost"?

We ended up finally getting some good rain over a few days during the week, which didn't make for the best photo weather, after I missed fitting everybody in to the sunny days.  But I was probably obsessing over books and such then anyway, and I'm certainly not complaining.  I was thankful for the much-needed rain and end to the drought.

Here are a few photos Bethany took and said I could share.  We'll call it Science.  Usually the children find toads frequently in the summer around here, but they probably aren't a fan of droughts.  This one was the first we've seen for some time.
Most of the other school the children did last week was pretty relaxed, except for Peter, who plugged away at his math of his own accord.  Bethany and Zion did some math, too, but Bethany would rather read.  She continues to read and reread the things I have available at home, and recently she checked out some books on specific dog breeds from the library, which she's also been enjoying.  Zion is also reading on her own time, and is working her way through Little House in the Big Woods

John has been reading Heidi aloud (linked to my review/children's narrations from some time back).  I read it aloud years ago to them, and they loved it so much that they revisit it often.  I've put The Prince and the Pauper on hold (again) and am almost done reading aloud The Boxcar Children, a fairly early childhood favorite of mine, which while very simple (and perhaps a bit twaddlish) has been quite popular, and is a good one especially for some of the younger ones, who don't feel quite as involved with some of the reading we do lately.  I let Bethany read it last week when she was wanting something new, as I'd never shared it w/the children before.  She finished it in an evening and when she found out it was a series and that they were mysteries, requested more, so I got a few more from the library.  I also got A Bear Called Paddington, another from my youth.  She made quick work of it too, but found it hilarious.  If you think this reading is a bit light for someone in junior high, realize that she's about to delve quite deep in her reading selections for the year, and that she's been reading unabridged versions of classics such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Children of the New Forest for some time, and counts them as favorites. 
Speaking of books, here's one of my projects -- collecting and arranging everybody's books for the upcoming term (most will be used for the whole school year and possibly beyond, but some will be replaced by others in perhaps around 12ish weeks, assuming we're able to cover ground that quickly, which is something I've learned should not be assumed).
The mantel makeover into a bookshelf has been fairly successful. It's probably not the most attractive use of the space, but it's pretty practical, and I like it.

I made a rule that no one can take the books off there for now without asking, and the little ones can't reach it anyway (yay!), so things actually stay where I put them for the most part!
Most are organized roughly by who is supposed to use them -- some are to be shared.  A few are still in the evaluation phase and it's uncertain whether we'll even use them at all, so please don't think that just because you see a book here we're necessarily using it.  Several of these are library books, some of which I had to get on interlibrary loan (for instance, Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels, The Brendan Voyage, and Hillyer's Child's Geography of the World-- I linked to where you could see some reviews on these -- don't pay that much for Halliburton or Hillyer!!).  Some of them I've recently purchased, and some we've had for a while.  If we decide to use the library books, I will probably try to buy most of them eventually so as to have them easily on hand for however long we need them, and hopefully to last through all the children. 

Last but certainly not least... John made this shelf for our garage last Saturday! He did a great job, and he's making another one like it! The garage has been needing some serious help in the way of storage for some time.   If you know how much my husband hates projects like this and thinks he's not very good at them, you will be especially impressed. :)

Stop by the Weekly Wrap-Up  at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what other home school families have been up to.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Thoughts/opinions are my own.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post--the pictures of your blessings, your honesty in being overwhelmed at this task set before us (right there with you! phew!!), John's handiness, and the mantle/bookshelf (great idea!). I think it's just smart, btw, to allow our children to read books "below their level" just for the sheer pleasure of reading. A good children's book is good for all ages!! (and the original Boxcar Children--no, not twaddle!!! surely not!! What a fun and imaginative book--I enjoy it every time I read it still. smile)

  2. Thanks for sharing the news around your house I love to read posts like this. We too are starting school and getting everything worked out. Your kids are sweet looking. I'm not the best at homeschooling but I try and each year we learn something new. Have fun, Amber from the Harrods.

  3. Awe, I love all the pics, especially the one of little Abraham! I love how organized you have all your book shelves and books. I'm so impressed with your young son doing algebra...way to go! I absolutely love the books on top of the's like a little book nook. ;)

  4. I found your blog from a comment you made on someone else's blog about pumpkin oatmeal. I am homeschooling as well and enjoyed your pics of your kids with the name and age. I really like that chalkboard. Where did you get it? Your husband must be a perfectionist thinking he isn't good at things like that because that shelving in the garage looked good! :)