Homeschooling in slow motion

Homeschooling at ButterscotchSundae.comSome days the kids wake up cheerful and ready to tackle their schoolwork, and we sit down and knock everything out by lunchtime. Sometimes those days are strung together and we have a whole week of easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy schooling.

This hasn’t been one of those weeks.

It hasn’t been a terrible week, though, despite a couple of trips to the doctor for a mystery Pete illness — he seems to be fine now — and Rockford being out of town for a few days. It’s just been day after day of doing schoolwork in slow motion. I feel like I’ve been herding cats all week, and my brain is a little worn out from it.


Pete has nearly finished All About Spelling’s Step One, which is learning all of the letter sounds. I’m guessing we’ll be able to move on to Step Two sometime next week. One curious thing we noticed about the curriculum: They supply a sheet of paper listing all of the letters of the alphabet and some cute little bee stickers so you can mark your progress, but there aren’t enough stickers to cover all of the letters. We’re going to be one bee short. Which isn’t the end of the world, but it definitely struck us as an odd oversight.


OK, so one ink cartridge in my printer ran dry a few weekends ago, and last weekend I bought the wrong cartridge to replace it. And I haven’t been back to the store since, so I’ve been unable to print any of the kids’ history-project stuff. So we didn’t do any projects for the Inventors and Inventions section of the Time Travelers curriculum.

Instead, we read short biographies of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell. Did you know that Ford gave his son $1 million for his 21st birthday? Or that Bell and Edison were both homeschooled? Or that Ford and Edison (along with naturalist John Burroughs and tire magnate Harvey Firestone) used to go camping together?

I didn’t know any of that until this week. So I guess the week wasn’t a total loss.


It was a busy weekend, especially for Poppy. She tested for her yellow-green belt in tae kwon do on Friday, we went to the kids’ season-end celebration for basketball on Saturday, and on Sunday she had a piano recital.

Tomorrow is our only free Saturday between sports seasons, something I did not take into account when I signed the kids up for basketball a few months ago. It’ll be nice to have sports-less Saturday before soccer starts, at least.


We finished “The Penderwicks at Point Mouette,” and now the kids are eager to read the next Penderwicks book. Which is too bad, because it hasn’t been released yet.

Our next read-aloud is “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart this week, and so far it is very peculiar, as promised.

Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!

Kicking off the week with fish sticks

"Camp Scene. Cooks at work." photo by Matthew Brady, courtesy National Archives.
“Camp Scene. Cooks at work.” photo by Matthew Brady, courtesy National Archives.
Monday: Fish sticks & mac ‘n’ cheese
I have to go to a co-op meeting tonight, so Rockford is in charge of dinner. This is what he wanted to make.

Tuesday: Toasted sesame chicken
I was trying to use as much as possible from the pantry this week, so I’m using a couple of Campbell’s Skillet Sauces that were in the cupboard. This is one of them.

Wednesday: Chicken marsala
… And this is the other

Thursday: Take-out?
I’m uncertain about Thursday.

Friday: Pizza!
The best food.

I’m linking this up with’s weekly Menu Plan Monday thing.

We do not homeschool our cat. (Or do we?)

We homeschool our cat.

Our homeschool co-op starts back up in a few weeks, and we registered for classes this week. Pete is signed up to take a science-experiments class and a gardening class, and Poppy is registered for bookmaking and a DIY toy-making class. As of yesterday evening the science class had too many kids signed up, which could mean that Pete will get bumped from it. I signed up to teach an art class based on Mary Ann Kohl’s “Great American Artists.” We have to have at least four students for the class to “make,” though, and so far I only have two students. We’ll see if that changes after the overloaded classes bump some kids.

Here’s a little of what Pete and Poppy worked on this week:


Amazon Prime has completely ruined me for normal shipping. It took about 12 days for Pete’s All About Spelling to arrive, so we weren’t able to start it until Wednesday afternoon — and only after I spent a good long while punching out cards and setting up the system. We’ve just been reviewing letter sounds, but he’s been enjoying it so far.


This week we read about inventors and innovators like Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Henry Ford. There were several projects that we could’ve done, but I’ve been sick all week so we didn’t get them done. The kids have enjoyed the books, though, so we might stick with the inventors next week, too.


Poppy will be testing for her yellow-green belt today at tae kwon do. She didn’t have quite enough classes to test as of Tuesday afternoon, so we knew that she’d have to take two classes yesterday. Apparently we’d counted wrong, though, because we found out after her first class yesterday that she was still two classes short. So she ended up taking three classes yesterday! That’s nearly three hours of exercise, which is more than I’ve gotten in the last three weeks, probably.

Et cetera
  • Et claude osmium, we finally started Latin again.
  • Poppy has been diagramming sentences and learning about direct and indirect quotations, and today she will take her very first grammar test. (We aren’t big on tests around here, but the tests came with the book so we’re going to give it a shot.)
  • We’ve been reading “The Penderwicks at Point Mouette” aloud, and yesterday Pete guessed the Big Reveal a few chapters before we reached it. The expression of dawning realization on his face was priceless.
  • Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!