This week’s homeschool life included Alfred the Great, Impressionism, dentist appointments, and new shoes for several of the kids!
Read all of the Large Family Homeschool Life posts HERE >>
Morning Time was a continuation of the Viking Age we started last week before I left for a bus trip with my mom. We learned about Alfred the Great and started taping our Kings and Queens of England timeline figures on the wall in the dining room.
These timeline figures are free here >>
After I helped my little kids with their work, I worked my older boys on their math. They are all needing some guidance, and I’ve decided to use Khan Academy with them to get them back on track with some of the things they seem to be struggling with.
On a positive note, my 8 year old is reading well enough to have earned what we call “typing time.” This gets them learning how to type on a computer and use their imaginations to create stories in a 30 minute block once a week.
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Later in the morning, 2 of the boys worked on their viking longboats made from sticks with the hopes of floating them in the creek.
Right before lunch, I took Mercy to the optical shop because she fell yesterday and popped the spring in her frames. One week with new glasses and we are already using the one time warranty. Ugh.
For lunch, I had a salad and the kids ate sandwiches. Then, I took the 2 older kids to the dentist because the three of us had our twice yearly cleanings. My 15 year old ended up with some cavities between the teeth that need to be filled due to him not flossing. Boo.
I also stopped by a local tea shop to buy a birthday present for my mom. I’d tell you what it is, but my mom reads these weekly updates and I haven’t given her the present yet!
And since I was in the shopping (and checking things off my list) mood, I dropped the older kids off and picked up the 4, 6, and 12 year olds and took them to the PX (the shopping center on the nearby military installation) to look for jeans and shoes. It was a bust for the little girls – there were no decent looking shoes. (Why, oh why, do kids’ shoes have to have cartoon characters on them?!). But, we did find shoes for my 12 year old son (size 10.5!) and 2 pair of jeans that actually kind of fit his tall and lanky legs (29×32 slims).
That evening after a dinner of nachos (if you read many of these weekly updates, you will notice this is my go-to meal on busy days!), the kids went out back to play swords in the “back back” – the vacant land on the other side of the gate and creek.
Speaking of knocking out my to-do list…
I’ve been keeping a running to-do list on a small legal pad. This is something my mom always did (and still does!), and I’ve found it to be quite helpful. I separate it out by day and cross things off as I get them done. It also helps me stay reasonable with what I can get done in a day.
Early in the morning, the kids went out to weed the landscaping for money. I have to be honest, I’m not a fan of extensive landscaping because I don’t have the time to keep it up. But, it does afford an opportunity for the kids to earn some money.
Before they came back in, I worked on an educational plan for my 15 and 16 year olds to finish out high school. My 16 year old is finished with all of her electives and only has math and science and any assigned reading and papers I might have for her to do as part of Tapestry of Grace. We do history, fine arts, church history, geography, and Bible during Morning Time, so she will continue with us to get those credits.
My 15 year old is just getting started with his electives, many of which will be from Compass Classroom – a video based company that has everything from history to Latin to filmmaking to creative writing!
During Morning Time, we did Grapevine, listened to the opening lines of Beowulf in Old English, and learned more about Alfred the Great and the “boy kings.” Afterward, I helped a couple of kids get set up on Khan Academy for their math and helped the little ones with their school work – handwriting, math, and phonics.
For lunch, I made a Sweetie on Steroids from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.
The big kids and I met in my bedroom to watch a Beowulf documentary on YouTube from the History Channel. We do this occasionally for things that aren’t age appropriate for the little kids.
I had a good talk with my oldest son (age 23) and then had my 12 year old rub my back because I had a terrible knot in it. I even managed a very short nap!
My 16 year old asked if we could go driving today, so I took an ibuprofen and we went driving for an hour. We drove to the apiary where she works and back so she can get used to that drive.
My mother-in-law has been here since Easter, so tonight, she treated the kids to McDonald’s. It was also our 16 year old’s Special Night. I mentioned in another Large Family Homeschool Life post that we are revamping Special Nights because it just hasn’t been serving the purpose it began as. So, these past few weeks we’ve been trying something different! Instead of sending everyone to bed as we used to do when all the kids were little, or taking them out to eat as we tried to do the last few years, we are bringing the Special Night kid into our bedroom, along with a snack and drink and spending time together there. The other kids are not allowed to come in and we get that undivided attention with one child at a time that Special Night was always meant to be. So far, it is working out beautifully!
Today for Morning Time, we added something new – Impressionism for Children.
This book is so neat! It is full of Impressionist paintings that are perfect for Picture Studies for children! So, if you are a Charlotte Mason homeschooler or just want to add in a fine arts element to your homeschool, this book is a really easy way to do that! You can read my review of the book on Amazon >>
We learned about the Apostles in our GrapeVine Bible Study and read the history leading up to the Battle of Hastings. Then, I had the kids grind wheat berries with a flat stone on the cement in the backyard. They loved this project because they were able to combine all of the flour they ground and make a “cake” with a bit of sugar and water. We then fried it and ate it with honey! They thought it was the most delicious thing they’d ever eaten! (Probably because they made it themselves!)
Ty came home for lunch and took Keian (15) and I out to run some errands with him, including mailing a letter of condolence to Queen Elizabeth II upon the death of her husband, Prince Philip. Our son is quite an anglophile, and even watches the Queen’s Christmas Address every year on BritBox.
After dropping Ty by work, I took the vehicle and picked up prescriptions and library books, and some mushrooms for Keian’s dinner meal tonight. He’s making Lemon Chicken with a Mushroom Sauce.
NOTE: We recently started having the 3 oldest kids in the house (ages 12, 15, and 16) take a turn or two making dinner. It has taken such a tremendous load off my shoulders! And they are doing a fabulous job!
When I got home, I helped the 8 year old get started on his Apologia Science project – a seascape in a box! We glued blue construction paper inside the box and I printed out an ocean scene for the back of the box. The, he made clay sea creatures, like a shark and a seal, using this clay.
Then, I retired to my bedroom to answer emails and order shoes for the little girls since I couldn’t find them any at the PX. I also read in my online book club book, Live Not By Lies by Rod Dreher and answered some of the discussion questions.
While the 15 year old made dinner, Creed (8) had his first Typing Time. He wrote a story about a boy named Josh who joined the Army to fight a dragon!
After dinner, Ty and I had a date night in our bedroom. The kids made us popcorn to go along with our movie. So sweet!
Melia (16) woke up with a cold this morning, so she didn’t do school with us. I sent some video links to her iPad so she’d know what we were doing for Morning Time. She’s very familiar with the things we are learning today, so I know she’ll be fine.
It’s my night to cook, so I put this Mississippi Pork Roast in the slow cooker. I always feel like a super star with I manage to put something in the slow cooker in the morning for dinner that night!
For Morning Time, we learned about the hymn Blessed Assurance in our Hymn Class. (The music lessons this site produces are the BEST!). We also continued learning about the Apostles in GrapeVine, and studied another picture in the Impressionism for Children book.
Ty and I decided to have a date lunch since he’s been gone so much this month. I did my makeup using this tutorial and we went out to eat at a local Thai restaurant. We always get Chicken Pad Thai with extra veggies – so yummy!
When I got home, I noticed all the dandelions in the yard and decided to take action! I grabbed a table knife and worked my way through the front yard, digging up dandelions while the little girls played beside me. The boys were out back playing tag.
When I came inside, one of the little boys asked me to help him with place value (I had promised him we’d get to it this morning, but I always tell the kids to keep reminding me until I do it because my day gets full so easily!). I got the Integer Blocks from Math U See out of storage and used those to explain it to him.
NOTE: We tried using Math U See long ago, but were not successful with it; however, I LOVE the integer blocks. They are so much better than your run-of-the-mill base 10 blocks! However, if you are looking for a cheaper option, try THESE. I prefer the different blocks to be different colors like these.
I had one of those weird moments for a large family mom when your little ones need you for school at the same time your college aged kids need you too! So, after the place value lesson, I read through Megan’s college history paper since she was worried it wasn’t cohesive. (It was, by the way!)
READ >> Large Family Life
Before dinner, I deleted 500 subscribers from my email list because they had not opened a single email from me the entire time they have been on my list since 2019! It’s always hard to delete subscribers, but when they have not opened any of your emails, they are not really subscribers now are they?!
Dinner was the Mississippi Pork Roast and a bagged Caesar salad. It was delicious!
After dinner, I sat at the dining room table and began planning through Tapestry of Grace’s Primer for my 3 youngest kids.
Primer is a chronological overview of history geared toward grades K-2. It’s a great way to get an introduction to Tapestry of Grace and/or classical homeschooling without all the overwhelming extras. You can get a FREE SAMPLE HERE >>
Later, I read in Live Not By Lies and answered some more online discussion questions. This book has been very convicting for today’s Christian living in a culture that is barreling toward a type of totalitarianism.
I sent all of the little kids through the bath since they’ve been playing outside quite hard due to the lovely weather! After they went to bed, I watched an episode of Cranford on BritBox with my 15 year old and then headed to bed.
This morning, we reset the house and then did our house cleaning. It’s always so nice to get the house clean before the weekend!
READ >> Homemaking Basics page
I do not have a specific job during our house cleaning time because I tend to deep clean or declutter or simply supervise the entire time! This week, I shook out the buffalo rug and put it away for the warmer months, took down the Easter decorations, and helped the 12 year sweep under the couches.
After lunch, I met a friend for coffee and shopping. When we were finished, I had planned to go grocery shopping, but the weather was so dreary and rainy, I decided to put it off.
After dinner, my mother-in-law brought out cake and ice cream because COVID kept her from being able to celebrate birthdays with us.
It was a nice way to end the evening!