Homeschool Week in Review, 10/10/15 – Lifestyle Learning

chess game in progress

Happy Weekend, friends! How did things go for you this week? This week was a very social one for all of us with new groups forming and new things to learn.


The kids learned stuff. I’m glad for that.

Science: We put the heart and the urinary system on our human body model, which were the last two pieces to call it finished. I’m still quite fond of that weird paper-pieced skeleton hanging on the door. I guess it works as Halloween decorations now. I’m excited, though, because being done with that means we get to move on to CHEMISTRY LABS!

Math: Both kids pushed forward on math. The girl finished the Life of Fred: Edgewood book and is on to Farming now. The thing I love about these books is that she already understands algebraic thinking thanks to the way concepts are introduced. She understands the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers, knows how to write sets, knows about matrices, and is getting a strong foundation in understanding how and why numbers work the way they do.

Writing: As I mentioned a week or two ago, we’re doing some projects on descriptive writing. On Monday, I gave the kids an assignment to write a paragraph about their main emotion (thanks to the movie Inside Out) using descriptions of how it makes them feel rather than words like “fear” or “happy.” They failed miserably. I have a lot more to teach in order to get them to writing essays by themselves. On Wednesday, I let them talk to me about it, and wrote down some of their main points (which were fantastic, honestly. The main gap is between thinking those ideas and being able to write them down at the same time). Next week, we’ll work on putting those ideas into paragraphs.

muhammad History: We’re studying the middle ages, and read a beautiful book about the foundations of Islam called Muhammad by Demi. I don’t know much about Islam, but I felt like this book tried to honor those who practice the faith. And the kids were quick to catch some of the similarities and differences between our Christian faith and the Muslim faith. It was also timely, due to the tragedy during the Hajj this year.

Spanish: Our apartment manager continues to allow us to practice our Spanish with her, and has been incredibly encouraging. Both kids were able to converse with her this week, even though they were shy about it. We finished Chapter 2 in Mango and will move on to Chapter 3 next week.


For some reason, I’m dividing things this way this week. It was a very social week for us, in a lot of good ways.

The Girl: Emma joined a new writing group this week that has about 10 other homeschool girls in it. Each of them brought a piece of writing to share, and they were guided how to offer feedback and then did a short writing exercise afterward. Em is my shy girl, but she told me that even though she was nervous, she wanted to participate, so she read nice and loud and listened as the other girls talked about her story. I’m excited that she has this opportunity.

She also spent most of our weekly park day making movies with her friends there. It’s fun to see her come out of her shell with them and just be free.

The Boy: My son has a lot of fears, which can often get worse around Halloween. I think half of it is that he’s scared of being afraid (seriously!), so he tries not to see anything. However, he had his first all-nighter and it was a costume party, so I dragged him to the Halloween store yesterday to get the scientist wig he wanted. We met friends there, and spent almost an hour trying on masks, triggering the jump scare props, and staring at all the gruesome stuff. By the time we left, I think he was feeling a lot less afraid of Halloween stuff. It was still spooky, even for me, but he did really well. It helped a LOT that he had friends there to help him work through it.

He also greatly enjoyed the all-nighter. He stayed up the entire night (it was 7pm to 7am). There were almost 60 kids there. He won the lip sync contest again, with another KPop song. He came home saying he felt like he’d only been gone a few hours and that it was really fun and they played a ton of great games together. Then he went to bed and passed out.

Me: I joined a new Book/Wine club. I’m excited because I haven’t had a thing that was just mine and not homeschool-related in a while. It was also hard because it was the first time in a long time that I’ve had someone drill me about why I homeschool. Several of the people in the group are teachers, and others are at high levels in their careers (doctors and such). It’s hard to explain that there’s not one single reason that I homeschool, and that I consider education a lifestyle. It’s such a foreign concept to those who are still fully part of the “normal” life.

I wish it was easier to be different, honestly. I get a lot of people who ask me, “What made you decide to {homeschool, go gluten free, watch Korean dramas, become a writer}?” Some people are honestly curious, but others seem to be asking, “Why did you decide to become a weirdo?” It’s hard to explain that some of those decisions came after years of journeying and struggling, until I drifted into a lifestyle that really worked for me and my family and made us all happy. It’s not like one day I woke up and thought, “I’m going to throw away everything I’ve ever known and become a weirdo today! And I’m going to make my kids weird, too!” Sorry, we were all weird to begin with. The life we live now feels the most acceptable — to all of us.

Fun Stuff

Not that academics and social aren’t also fun.

For our Friday games, we played Chess for math and Apples 2 Apples for language arts. The boy is still spending time every day playing on Minecraft servers with his buddies. He’s also discovered a new thing called Conway’s Game of Life.

The girl and I have been completely addicted to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.

when you reach me by rebecca steadI’m reading A Wrinkle in Time out loud to the kids at night. The language is bulky to read aloud, but the story is so wonderful. I’m reading this one so that I can jump right into reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead to them. Those are two of my favorite books of all time. If you read and enjoyed the first, you absolutely MUST read the second. It’s written for the middle grades, with a 12-year old protagonist, but it’s really one of the best books I have read.

That’s about it for us this week. How about you? What are your kids doing for fun?

muhammad by demi

This post is part of the weekly wrap up hosted by Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Got a blog and want to participate? Interested in seeing how others are going about this homeschool thing? Head over there to join in!

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