Check out what went on in our large family home and homeschool this week in August!
Read all of the Large Family Homeschool Life posts HERE >>
Got up and made coffee and had breakfast on the deck, then I walked a mile around the neighborhood.
When I got back, I put away the applesauce I canned yesterday. The jars joined the sandhill plum jelly I made last month. So satisfying!
Around 10 am, I called everyone to the dining room table for Morning Time. We started with GrapeVine Bible lessons as usual. As everyone is coming to Morning Time, I print off the 2 page weekly lessons and pass them out to the kids. (We actually usually end up going through 2 weeks per week because we do 1 page per day.). I get out my whiteboard and expo markers and eraser and while the children take turns reading the Scripture, I draw the corresponding stick figure. Then, I lean the board against my laptop lid so everyone can see what I’ve drawn and they can add the stick figures to their sheets.
READ >> GrapeVine Bible Stick Figure Lessons Review
to learn more!
After Bible lessons, we studied a map of the British Isles from Tapestry of Grace, focusing on the Scottish Reformation. I like to read from Story of the World or Our Island Story while we work on the maps because these books give context to what we are putting on the map.
I worked with the little kids on their individual school work. If you are curious how I start teaching the kids to work on their own from a very early age, read the post below:
I also assigned new literature books to the high schoolers and set them up to go through the How Should We Then Live videos from our Compass Classroom Membership. There are so many subjects included in the membership, it is well worth the monthly cost!
Find out what is included in the Membership HERE >>
We had lunch and then I worked on Tapestry of Grace planning (we are getting ready to learn about the 13 colonies!) and Desert Guide planning. Thankfully, this doesn’t take me long because I have refined the skill of planning quickly and easily.
To learn more about my planning method, get my book:
After that, I did some of the lessons from Desert Guide with the youngest 3 kids. I leave it up to Creed as to whether or not he joins in with the girls. He is 8 after all and already does Morning Time with us. Sometimes he joins in with the little girls and sometimes he doesn’t. Either way, I don’t mind.
Today, we did several fun activities including “Iceberg Jumping!” The girls LOVED this exercise!
5 pm snuck up on me, but since it was Melia’s night to cook, I put her on to cooking the chicken thighs – a crispy recipe from Briana Thomas Burkholder’s Convenient Food cookbook. We also had broccoli and cauliflower and mini muffins Megan made to use up a few overripe bananas I had sitting on the counter.
After dinner, Ty and I took a 4 mile walk that was hot and exhausting, but very satisfying because we hadn’t walked that far together in a long time. We talked a lot and sweated a lot!
The little boys had made a board game, so Ty played it with them while I got the little girls ready for bed. As I sat with them while they were going to sleep, I ordered their black shoes for Ty’s aunt’s wedding next month.
I woke up this morning to a thunderstorm…and the little girls taking refuge in my bed! I went to WW – down 1/2 pound, so I finally feel like I’m back on track after 2 months.
I get home shortly after 10 am on Tuesdays, so school is a tad bit later than usual on those days, but because we have an anchor to our day, it doesn’t matter – we all still stay on track.
Get my 4 Steps to a Better Homeschool Day Cheat Sheet to learn more!
We started Morning Time with GrapeVine and then I read in Our Island Story about Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth.
We also did a lesson from Music in Our Homeschool’s Music Appreciation class on Music of the Reformation. This lesson will lead us into the Baroque period we’ll be learning about for the next few weeks. We really enjoy everything MIOH produces, and this class is no exception! And yes, we are using it with EVERYONE during Morning Time even though it is listed for High School ages! I just pare it down a bit and we don’t always listen to an entire musical piece.
After lunch, several of us headed onto post to get new ID cards. They are in color now, so everyone was in a tizzy about what to wear!
When I got home, I recorded a video on “5 Hacks for the Large Family Homeschool Mom.” I don’t have it edited and up on my YouTube channel yet, but I do have a corresponding podcast:
Then, I ran to the library to pick up holds and return books. My 15 year old son begged me to take him, so I did. He found several books on World War II he wanted to get. I found a couple of books too!
When I came home, I worked on some more blog stuff and read a bit in The Amish Cook at Home (a book I picked up at the library while I was there.)
A friend who came to visit a while back brought us some short ribs, so I had those in the crock pot for dinner with some fresh rosemary from my herb garden. To round out dinner, I boiled some Yukon Gold potatoes I had on hand (“in the jackets” as my mother-in-law would say) and put together a Caesar salad from Aldi.
That evening, I flash froze 4 sheet pans of apple slices. I have 1/2 a bushel left to process. I’m not sure if I’ll flash freeze them (that was pretty easy) or try to make some apple pie filling.
Megan made an apple cake for breakfast tomorrow from a bag of last year’s apple pie filling. I now know for sure that I don’t want to freeze the pie filling again if I do end up making it this year. I don’t like how watery it becomes when thawed, and I like the idea of not having to thaw it out before using it.
Tonight is Micah’s Special Night. While he played a computer game, Ty and I watched Maine Builders on Discovery+. We got the college student deal because it’s one of the cheapest places for Megan to watch all of her beloved cooking shows. And the little kids love the show Too Cute, so they are thrilled about being able to watch it on Discovery+.
This morning, I took a 2 mile walk. The heat index is supposed to be 110 today, so I don’t want to venture out too late in the day.
I had breakfast on the deck with Megan (20). She goes back to college for her junior year this weekend, so I’m trying to spend as much time with her as I can.
For Morning Time, we did GrapeVine, then read in Our Island Story about Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. We also did some of a lesson in Music Appreciation on the instruments of the Renaissance leading into the Baroque period. I rounded out Morning Time with a couple of chapters from The Second Mrs. Giaconda. (Yep, still not liking this book, but now I’m committed, so time to hard-charge through it.)
I sent everyone on to their individual school work. Science and Math for the older ones with a few electives thrown in, and Science, Math, and Spelling for the middle ones. They also have literature books from Tapestry of Grace they are reading.
Mercy worked on her Rod & Staff workbooks. Aspen did her Math and Handwriting and then we sat down to read in her new Phonics book. She also did some lessons on the Reading Eggs app.
READ >> Preschool and Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum for the Large Family to learn more about our curriculum choices for this age.
Creed learned about syllables and the -tion sound in his Phonics, and then finished up his Handwriting before heading upstairs to do Teaching Textbooks on the desktop computer in the nook.
READ >> Elementary Homeschool Curriculum for the Large Family to learn more about our curriculum choices for this age.
I gave Garin (10) his new Cursive Handwriting book (Book D in A Reason for Handwriting) and Micah (12) got his new Science book – General Science from Apologia. I can’t believe Micah is in Middle School already. *sigh*
READ >> Middle School Homeschool Curriculum for the Large Family to read more about what he will be doing this year.
Micah took a while with his math today, so by the time he was finished, everyone else had had lunch. He decided to make himself pancakes and bacon for lunch. He’s pretty handy in the kitchen for a 12 year old!
I did a bit of the Desert Guide with the littles. They wanted to play with the Arctic animals and artificial snow, so I made them some to play with in a container on the dining room table.
Later, we read a book from the library and then, I gathered all of the library books that need to go back, including The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden.
I made up a menu and grocery list so I could go shopping tomorrow. My mother in law is coming for a week, so I need to shop before she gets here.
Then, I bagged up the frozen apples from yesterday into 6 cup bags. This was certainly a nice way to process apples!
At 6pm, I took the 15 and 16 year olds to Youth Group. Megan (20) came home from work and the gym. She brought a friend home with her to hang out for the evening.
It is Meg’s night to cook, so she made nachos. Ty and I went out for a date night at a local Jamaican place we really like – their jerk pork is amazing! Megan went and picked up the middles from Youth Group for us so we wouldn’t have to interrupt out date.
That night, I worked on the Middle School Homeschool Curriculum post and wrote an email for my newsletter subscribers. If you want to join the newsletter, you can sign up below!
Megan’s friend asked me to braid her hair before she headed home. I had been braiding Megan’s hair for work and her friend really liked it, so she wanted something similar. She has extensions, so it was a bit tricky, but it turned out well and she liked it, so that made me happy.
Before heading to bed, I watched a little Chopped with the big kids. Such a nice day!
Walked 2 miles this morning and then came home and put away my laundry and took a shower. It is so hot and muggy out right now, I am often tempted to NOT walk, but I always feel so much better when I just go out and do it!
Ty made coffee since he’s home this morning. He paid bills out on the deck and I tried to join him, but between the humidity, my morning walk, and the coffee, I couldn’t hack the heat!
I got the kids started on individual school work because Ty and I need to go to AT&T to straighten out a bill. When we finished there, Ty headed off to work and I picked up Megan at home to go to Aldi to get groceries. I like to have a helper with me, especially at Aldi where I have to do all of the bagging myself.
When we got home, we unloaded the groceries and Megan had a quick lunch before driving herself and her younger 2 siblings to work at the bee farm.
A friend came over with her 8 year old daughter to play. I needed to finish processing the apples, so she and I worked all afternoon on them. We flash froze 3 sheet pans of apples and canned 12 jars of apple pie filling.
I got a text telling me the plums at a local shooting lodge are ripe and ready for us to pick, so I am really glad to get these apples off my plate before Ty brings home the plums tomorrow.
After our friends left, Megan put together a charcuterie board for an easy supper. When we were at Aldi this morning, she asked me to buy some meats and cheeses because that sounded like something she wanted to have before heading back to college. We always love a spread like this, and it sure does make it easy on everyone.
That night, I gave Mercy a bath and then Ty helped me get her dressed for bed while I repaired one of his Army uniforms. These uniforms are new, so I’m little irritated they already need some stitching.
Ty’s mom showed up this evening for her week-long visit. She brought a lot of produce from a roadside stand she stopped at on her way here.
As the kids were going to bed, a thunderstorm hit and they were worried by all the lightning and thunder. I love thunderstorms, so I could sit and watch them all night, but my kids do not agree. The girls wanted to sleep in my room on palates and the boys made palates on their floor so they could huddle together with the dog.
Ty and I talked long into the night with his mom – something we don’t get to do often. When I went to bed more thunderstorms were raging, so I opened my blinds and laid there watching the lightning show. I hope my my wind chime and fern make it through the storm because I am certainly NOT going out in it!
Today, it is MUCH cooler – makes me long for Fall!
I walked 2 miles and then threw together an apple crisp with the last of last year’s frozen apple pie filling. I am so glad I canned it this year. It is going to be so much nicer to use in recipes!
Megan got up and made cinnamon raisin bread – much to her sister’s dismay because she has to clean the kitchen for Friday House Cleaning! But, it’s Megan’s last day at home, so I let it slide.
We started the tidy up of the house, and while the kids cleaned, I decluttered and helped Aspen tidy up the coat closet. Then, I went to my bedroom and worked on a new Home Blessing chart because I have younger kids who are needing new and harder chores. We’ll start the new chores next week.
Ty took his mom with him to pick plums, and I mowed and edged the front yard. I also trimmed the hedge by our porch a bit. It still needs some work, but I was worn out!
That afternoon, the 3 older kids went to work at the bee farm. The power was out there, so they picked and arranged flowers for Farmer’s Market tomorrow instead of working with the honey.
The younger kids played video games as they always do on Friday afternoons after we clean. I took a welcome break in my chair. It is always so nice to just look around my home on Fridays and revel in the clean slate.
When Megan got home from work, she packed up her stuff for college. She is really sad and overwhelmed this time. I hope she does ok while she’s there.
For dinner, I made Granny’s Pizza. I remember the first time I had her pizza. It was so weird! The crust was biscuit mix. The sauce was a ketchup base. It wasn’t “normal” pizza and I didn’t know what to think about it. Now, it’s grown on me and we often make it because it is a good memory of Granny.
Ty brought me half a cooler of plums from the shooting lodge. Melia washed and destemmed them for me and put them in plastic bags in the outside refrigerator so I can wait a bit before processing them. These plums are a lot different from the ones I grew up with. They are bigger, sweeter, and yellowish, but they make delicious jelly!
That evening, I took the little girls on a Sunset Nature Walk. We picked up acorns, pecans, leaves, and sticks. We played with what we found on the back deck until well after dark.
The boys asked Daddy if they could have “fake” mustaches, so they had me draw crazy mustaches on them with an eyebrow pencil! Even the girls joined in! Then they put on funny clothes and did a bunch of acting for us. It was hilarious!
Before bed, I gave them all back rubs with lavender oil – always a nice way to calm everyone down.
Read all of the Large Family Homeschool Life posts!