Sunday, September 9, 2018

Our first week - Back At Books 2018-19

We started out with a graduate and started working Back At Books.  I thought about it and realized, we may not "study books" over the summer, but we are always learning.  We do an entire summer of 4H, and I mean entire summer.  The kids also do the Summer Reading Program from the library and check out what feels like hundreds of books.

It really was a rough summer.  There were medical tests, dental work that had to be done, summer camps, competition cheerleading, riding competitions, a very exciting trip to TN with Grandma and their cousin, summer work schedules and that's on top of 16 days of fairs (for two separate counties).  I spent a few days in the hospital with a severe kidney infection also.  That completely messed up my schedule.  Most days I literally felt like I was in robot mode, just trying to survive the massive schedule.  There were several weeks where it was timed down to the minute where either of us adults needed to be.  I did the whole summer without coffee, but had to reintroduce myself to it.  It is very much needed for me to keep up!

We set up a surprise for the kids before Joe left for TN.  We gave them their new bags and items the day before we started Back at Books.

The night before we started book work, the kids and I played games

and they each decorated their own new clipboard to use this year.  I think they really liked this.

I even had paint markers for them to use.

They also got great treat bags full of candy grams and news writing utensils and notebooks, and even new backpacks for using at co-op and just out and about.

She wanted this backpack so bad...unfortunately we had to return it.  It was sewn poorly.  So she got a new one.  She was happy though with all her new cases and pencils for Co-op.

Lydia has quite the Squishees collection going.  She got a few more in her backpack.

 Brayden loved his candy treats and Mario Kart pencils I found for him.

Kohls to the rescue...Pete the Cat plush for Caty as a surprise in her bag!

Since Joey graduated...we made him a candy gram that was special to him.

I hung up a cool banner...

And made special breakfast items... like homemade chocolate muffins and blueberry muffins.  And pumpkin spice french toast.

This year....we have:

a 5th grader

7th grader

A Junior!

And our first graduate!!


This week we started talking about the Middle Ages.  We learned about castles and made a medieval meal of homemade bread and soup.

 We read lots of books and watched the David MacCaughley series on Castles from PBS.

These Progeny Press Study Guides are great!!  Be sure to check them out!

We learned a bit about knights and also Family Coat of Arms, and created their own based on symbols we learned about.

For grammar/language arts and spelling, Caty is using the new Reading Eggs workbooks.  She has always liked this program, and the book seems to be working out great for her.

For Health, Lydia is using Total Health - Talking about Life's Changes Middle School Curriculum.

Caty is using a combination of Vintage Remedies and library reading I have found.  She is also working on the Pantry Panic 4H curriculum.  All encourages healthy eating choices.  So we are working on that and pre-teen stuff.  I also got her some great American Girl "tween" Books about hygiene and health.

Pantry Panic curriculum was encouraging smart shopping and making lists.  It's an ongoing theme.  I found these great books at the library for her.

For her first Pantry Panic project, she had to make chicken soup for lunch.  She made breadsticks from a mix and served it with fruit.  She doesn't love the Alphabet noodles I bought for our first week Back to Books.  So next time she decided to just use regular noodles.

Another project with Pantry Panic was to make up your own quick cook oatmeal packets to have ready for breakfasts.  Caty chose to make Pumpkin Spice packets.  She said it tasted pretty good.

We have been really talking about safety in numbers and Stranger Danger issues.  We live in an area that is well known for Human Trafficking.  I took advantage of a local group that offered a meet up with law enforcement and prosecutors.  It is truly scary what we have to teach our kids now-days.

Lydia is working on a unit on Horses and caring for them.  Also learning how to perfect drawing them.  This is some of her reading this week.

We had to take our schoolwork on the road this week.  Brayden had a dental cleaning.  The girls working with much fighting on their independent work at the dentist office.


I'm really liking Teaching Textbooks online.  Both girls are finishing up review grade levels, so that they can advance on to their regular work.

Lydia loves projecting her math on the tv...


In Science we are starting a semester on cells and heredity.  We bought a new microscope, since our other one died after 10 years.  This one projects on my laptop.  So it's pretty cool!!  This week's lesson was actually just on recognizing the parts of the microscope, and getting used to using it.

Project Based Learning

Taco Truck

Caty is working on creating her own taco truck.  This week she picked out a name and logo and designed the outside of her taco truck.  It was adorable, but then we got into a big discussion about logos.  And how she wanted her logo media ready.  When she was designing it, think about how it would look on shirts and hats.  She asked why, and I responded honestly.  I said Smucks like us buy a t-shirt/hat from businesses, and usually at great expense.  Then we walk around wearing it, advertising for FREE!!!  Think about that cost marketing.  We are paying businesses to advertise for them!!  We also talked about a new business in our local town that is just going from truck to building.  It's a taco/tamale  How ironic.  We looked at their building this week and discussed what needed to be done before they would really look like a business.  Next week we are going to go in and get some food and meet them.

Animal Shelter

Lydia started reading books on Animal Care and also watching shows and videos on shelters.  I found an animal shelter book for her to go through also.

Video Game Design

This is a tough one for Brayden.  His ADHD for some reason is not allowing for this project.  But he likes it, and I think it will be great for him.  We may not end up taking it to full development like I planned, but who knows what the future holds.

Sports are starting up and wrapping up the next few weeks.

We started back to gymnastics.

And we are still busy with softball season.  The back of my van looks like a snack shack during most sports

And of course, horse riding never stops!

Picture I got at Cedar Point of a beautiful Monarch.

Joe's sister and her kids came to spend the weekend with us.  We went to Cedar Point, had a picnic, watched movies and even went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the girls free books from their summer program.  It was a busy weekend...but fun!

That was our first week.... Back At Books!  As everyone is winding into their "Not Back to School Times", we hope you all have a wonderful time!  Can't wait to see pictures and read about all your adventures!

Linking up with other Homeschool Moms at:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Homeschool Coffee Break

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