Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Homeschool Mothers' Journal ~ Week 3

The Homeschool Chick

In my life this week... replacing boxes of tissues, filling humidifiers, sipping hot tea, traipsing through snow, sounds of sneezing, lip balm, thermometers, and rescuing my husband when he locked himself out of his car in a snowstorm.

In our homeschool this week... we started WriteShop Junior Level E with my 4th and 6th graders.  What? You haven't heard about level E?  That's because we're beta testing it.  We also started Who is God? And Can I Know Him, which we're reviewing.  We're tying up loose ends in Ancient Greece before moving on in history.  Except the next portion of Tapestry of Grace is mainly Bible reading.  I think we'll pull out Mystery of History to use for a few weeks.

My favorite thing this week was... having Steve home for TWO days in a row due to a snowstorm that closed his work, as well as the usual Friday he gets off every other week.  It was cozy to all be home together, with Steve working from home, me writing reviews, and the kids all doing their schoolwork.  I wish he could always work from home.

What's working/not working for us... the new set-up for school is working well. My 10th grader works at a small table in the kitchen, the 8th grader works in the dining room, the 6th grader takes her books to the girls' bedroom, the 4th grader works in his room most of the time, and the 1st grader usually sits next to me to work.  No one sitting beside someone else chatting or pestering a sibling during their textbook time.  We still work some subjects together, like writing, Bible, and sometimes history.  It's been much more peaceful since we set up the table in the kitchen so everyone can spread out better.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... We've used Tapestry of Grace for 5 years now.  We're on our second round of the 4-year rotation.  But my 8th grader thinks she'd rather switch to textbooks.  She's not fond of reading, and my 4th grade son isn't either.  We've struggled to find the right books some years, and can't buy them all, although it's better since our library joined together with others and went online.  So I've been trying to decide what to do.  Should I switch only the 8th grader to texts?  Should I switch everyone to something else?  Would Mystery of History be "textbook" enough for my 8th grader?  If we did that, would it be enough for my high schooler, or would she stay in Tapestry of Grace alone?  Total Language Plus sounds appealing as well, though.  But we can't do it and the literature portion of Tapestry of Grace.  And my mind just keeps going around and around.  I thought we were settled with Tapestry of Grace, but now I'm not sure we are.  I know I wouldn't do well with everyone in a separate set of textbooks.  So I'd want to combine some of the younger kids into multi-level multi-curriculum studies as much as I can, even if I do change what the older two are doing.  I don't like change.  It "throws off my groove."

A photo to share... We were trying to get a photo of me in my new glasses.  I chose the map wall for a backdrop.  My son thought he'd join in the fun, and threw some balloons into the mix.  Does that mean school is just a big party at our house?

Enjoying our homeschool life,
April E.


  1. April, thanks for sharing your week. I've been rethinking who works at the table when lately, too, as one child in particular does not like noise and distractions.

    About Tapestry, as I recall, the literature suggestions for Year 1 Redesigned were often hard to get through my library, and some were just not that wonderful. I think I had to use Streams of Civ, DK and Usborne books and so forth to cover a lot of that period anyway. As I am looking at moving into our own second cycle through history with Tapestry, I am considering doing something very different. Much as I love Tapestry of Grace.

    I am planning to follow the history of Tapestry, but use Literary Lessons From the Lord of the Rings for my (then) 10th grader and 7th grader, then use The Prairie Primer for my (then) 4th grader and 1st grader. Although I could come up with something to do with the younger ones with LOTR, my 4th grader will be reading Little House in the Big Woods this spring with The Phonics Road, and I simply think I will combine that with a study of the Little House books.

    I also think I will use all of Year 1 and may try to cover all or most of the middle ages. That would solve a lot of the book difficulty problems, anyway. ;)

  2. Testing curriculum sounds fun! I have to spread my kids all over the house as well in order for us to get anything accomplished, but the toddler still manages to disrupt everyone.


I love to hear from you. Thanks for your comment!