Friday, March 31, 2017

Pushing through and Relaxed Schooling is too Difficult....

This was such a short, but long week.  I have had continued back pain for months now.  I have been seeing a chiropractor, but haven't felt much relief.  So I went to my family dr out of desperation.  He offered muscle relaxers or physical therapy.  I chose the physical therapy.  So this was my second week of therapy.  He told me that I am losing physical strength in my legs, so I need to build that back up and strength the muscles that are causing the trouble.  Or so I think.  Last week he said I might not run again, but this week he said go ahead and try a light jog.  Joe and I have been going on nightly walks.  So I tried a light jog next to him while he was walking fast.  WOW!!  I felt a little better physically, but not those muscles.  I just need to keep doing these exercises he prescribes and then go back to see my family dr. in two weeks to decide what to do.

But the PT and stupid cookie delivery has been driving me crazy.  It's so time-consuming, and the girls didn't even sell that many boxes.  But its a matter of delivering all over the place.  I didn't plan very well for the delivery.  More to think about for next year.

I continued to give a more relaxed schooling approach to things though, to see how it goes.  It didn't go great.  So I will be changing some things up again starting next week.

But this week, between projects, appts and deliveries, the kids worked on 4H projects.  They played Prodigy math and also the boys played on MobyMax.

Over the weekend, the girls worked two Cookie booths at area malls.  This was their favorite part about selling cookies.

We ate lunch at the mall one day, since the girls had soccer clinic shortly after we finished selling.

Joey got to eat pizza at the mall for the first time since he was very little.  He seems to have healed from his dairy sensitivity.  He couldn't get enough.  We had to have a talk about overeating.

Caty loved this popcorn display.

After this, the girls were invited to participate in a soccer clinic at Bowling Green State University.  They were excited.  The Women's soccer team put on the clinic.  They met students from around the world.  And practiced some great soccer skills.

On Monday we had American Girl Club.  Lea was the girl this month.  We learned about rainforests.  We made terrariums and animal masks.  The girls also each gave a short report about an animal.  Caty talked about one of her favorite animals, the Okapi.  Lydia spoke about the coatimundi.

Monday, Caty worked on more knife skills.  It's in one of her 4H cooking skills books.  Dicing, slicing, and chopping.  She got some yummy bread from Costco and I sliced the first loaf and then told her to work on the next one.  She's learning the differences in the knives that we use.

She also got to bake some more oatmeal raisin/chocolate chip cookies for a friend of ours.  She ended up making so many that she gave a plate to her grandfather and her Uncle too.  They both love this kind of cookie too.

Sunday at the mall, we encountered a homeless man.  We bought him some food, and it brought up a lot of questions from Caty.  We had a lot of discussions for a few days about helping the homeless and why some choose to even remain homeless.  I had bought these books a few years ago at the recommendation of a friend.  So we pulled them out and this was part of Caty's reading time this week.  They all feature an animal who was homeless, and how they were able to be helped.  She thinks she wants to do something for the homeless for her bronze award with Girl Scouts.

Both the girls continued their miniature garden projects.  This week, they researched the plants in their gardens.  Lydia attempted to make her doghouse for her Dog Park theme.  But it didn't turn out very well.  She got frustrated, so I told her to step back and return to the drawing board.  They drew up plans.  Caty decided on a Candyland theme now for her garden.  So she is thinking of what she will be making for her garden.

Lydia finished up her first year of Zoology Level 2.  This is a three-level project.  Each level is two years.  So she is on track to finish well before she ages out of 4H.  It's giving her a great overview of what veterinarians really need to know and all that is entailed in owning larger animals, like horses. Now she will work on her scrapbook of experiments and poster board for judging.

Another of Caty's projects is the 4H Getting Started on Art.  This week I worked with her on the color wheel.  We were surrounded in magazines creating charts about the different categories of colors.  She has known how to blend colors for a while, but it's a matter of remembering what colors are in each category for when she goes to judging.

Since Joey, Brayden and Caty have typical cooking projects, I literally included a bunch of projects on our menu plan for the week.  Lydia won't be starting her books for a couple weeks.  She chose a party planning project.  Here's an overview of the week....

Veggie pizza with Caty - slicing, dicing, chopping.

Brayden ... How to make homemade meatballs....

Brayden .... made baked tortilla chips, bean dip and made nachos for dinner.

Joey created his own muffin recipe.  But first he had to do an experiment in what happens when you overmix muffins.

It wasn't pretty at all!

His final creation was.... bacon cheddar garlic muffins.  He said they were awesome!!

Brayden told me he wanted M & M cookies.  I said, "There's the oven....make them."  So I just had to keep track of him and give him a few reminders.  He made cookies two days in a row!

Another dinner Brayden made (His 4H book is Race Around the Clock Dinners - teaching them to look at what you have and you can make a quick meal without take-out).  He made Pour-A-Pan pizza.  It was really easy and everyone seemed to like it.  This will go on our meal rotation, but we decided to make a few tweeks to it.  The crust needs more flavor we decided.

Another meal that he made.  The project was to pick items from a list and make a casserole.  So he picked them out.  I don't encourage the use of canned soups in our cooking.  But he did use the cheddar cheese soup in this recipe.  It was potato, ham and cheese casserole.  Everyone liked it and the leftovers were a hit the next day also.  But we discussed using canned soups, versus just using milk and cheese to make the exact same thing without all the additives.  So this will go on meal rotation also.

Joey is working on a Halo book he found at the library.  It's taking him a bit to make it through.  He's enjoying it.  Brayden finished another Geronimo Stilton and found a new series called Commander Cheese he liked.  I also found him a series from Scholastic called Stick Dog.  He seems happy with the Geronimo Stilton series a lot.  Brayden is also reading an adult Star Wars book too.  This one will take him a bit to finish.  Lydia finished up Matilda, and continued on Fifth Wave.  Caty read comic books all week that we bought last week at Fantasicon.  She has fallen in love with Heathcliff!!

The boys aren't doing well with science coop, so we worked on their work independently throughout the week.  This study of the Periodic Table is confusing me.  I am walking that fine line of, what do the boys really need to know about the Periodic Table.  Are they ever going to use the information?  I never learned this much detail.  Neither are going to college and neither have any interest in Science.  So we are glazing over some of the more in-depth subjects....since they are staring at me with glazed over - confused eyes already.  But the girls will keep studying in our coop and looking at the subject in-depth.  This week in science we learned about valence electrons and played this game to learn the amounts that each element has.  It also helped to continue to know the elements.

Last week's science project introduced atoms (I forgot to post it).  They kiddos created atom cookies.

Lydia has been working away at her volunteer job at the stable.  She really enjoys it.  She rides when her work is done, and she is starting to practice or "train" for the riding show she is going to in May in Columbus Ohio.

Lydia is also taking a American Sign Language Class.  She has finished three weeks and absolutely loves it.  She is progressing well, I think.  I hope this teacher continues.

I'm still kicking around how I'm going to change things up.  But the boys are definitely not doing well with the relaxed schooling.  Even the girls struggled.  I kept finding them gravitating toward their video games.  So that is what I will be fighting again next week, and see what will work in the house.  I can't wait to finish PT...I hope it doesn't last too long.  It's a huge disruption to the kids and their schedules.  That doesn't help the stress level in the house.

I hope everyone had a great week!!  See you again soon!!

Linking up with other moms at:

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. We can't be relaxed homeschoolers at our house. We used to be, but our newest family members need totally reliable structure and routine in order to not fall apart. Sometimes I want so badly to chuck the order and just go with the flow, but they always fall completely apart and everyone ends up miserable. Even when we're tired, it's better for us to stick to our routine.

    I do admire how much creative, scientific, hands-on work you all get done in a week! That's just tremendous!!!

  2. What a wonderful week. You all did so much. The American Girl doll club sounds like so much fun.
    BLessings, Dawn