Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up: Back to the Normal Routines

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This was our first week “back to school” after our break and I wasn’t quite as prepared as I wanted to be.

But like any other week that feels shaky, I rely on our routines and let the pieces fall into place as the week moves forward. (And I promise myself to get it together for next week!)

Read all aobut our homeschool weekly wrapup.

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Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up

Some weeks feel more disorganized than others and this was one of those weeks in our homeschool.

I think responsibilities of work-life tipped the scales in their favor and homeschool life lost a little ground. But that’s the thing: There is never perfect balance. There is always give and take and my work life is partly what makes some of our homeschool life possible so sometimes the scales have to tip in favor of work-life.

Read about life at home during our weekly wrap-up

Homelife: The Dog

Let me be honest with you. I am the one who didn’t want a puppy because I didn’t want additional responsibility. But my husband and kids have wanted on for years, so I finally said I would be okay with it.

The deal was that the majority of the responsibility would fall to my husband and kids, and they have held up their end of that bargain as much as humanly possibly. It can’t remain completely off my plate because I am home the most, but while my husband is still working from home, he definitely carries the load during the day as well.

And yes, a puppy is a responsibility. A cute, fun, and loving one. But a responsibility nonetheless.

The good news is that the kids adore the puppy and he does make bring joy to everyday moments.

One of my favorite developments since the puppy joined our family is that my kids created a group texting chat to share pictures of the puppy when someone isn’t home. Adorable pictures like this one circulate randomly during the day when someone is missing the puppy:

If it takes a puppy for the kids to start a group chat with one another at this moment in time, then that works for me. <3

Homelife: Indoors

I did get the curtains hung at the end of last weekend, and I like the look. I wasn’t sure how the blue on blue would work but I needed the curtains in the back of the open space to match curtains and rug in the front of the open space. It looks pretty good as one large area now.

I also like the look of the curtain rod that doesn’t extend across the entire window. We never close the curtains in these rooms, so it works well and saves money! The only remaining project for this space is to create the hallway picture inspired by the colorful hallway makeover by Kaleidoscope Living. I am spray painting frames this weekend and waiting for my 8×10 black and white photos to arrive in the mail.

I’d love to replace the chair and sofa in the front part of this room, but that isn’t in the budget. And that’s just reality. Sometimes it’s hard to see the inside of everyone’s home on IG and FB. It can start to believe that everyone lives in gorgeous farmhouse-style Chip and Joanna Gaines created spaces while I am stuck with this “make do” slipcover and a second-hand peeling leather chair.

But the reality is while many people have an eye for decorating, not all of us do.

I am not great at yard sale finds and I don’t have the money to say “buy that room.” I suspect that lots of people fall into the same category and might have an ugly chair (or two) as well. So I am working with what I have and trying to create a home that makes everyone who comes in the door feel loved, valued, and welcomed.

A run down of our school life this weekin a weekly wrap-up

Back to School

Having spring break the week after Daylight Savings might sound like a good idea, but it isn’t. There was nothing on the schedule to force us out of bed every morning. Instead, we spent the entire week staying up much too late and sleeping in well past reasonable hours.

Unfortunately, that meant our return to school was pretty sleepy and slow this week, but we made it work. It may have taken all week but I think we are all finally adjusted to the time change.

When it’s typical week of school around here, I’ll just highlight 2-3 subject areas on this post if there wasn’t anything particularly “special” about the week.

School Life: History

We have entered the period of reconstruction in American History. I have to be honest, I am feeling a bit lost at the moment because I don’t have a book spine for history yet.

We just finished reading, Abraham Lincoln’s World from Beautiful Feet Books and it is the last one in the Genevieve Foster collection. It was a perfect fit for our studies and I LOVED the book. But now we need to find a core textbook.

In the meantime, I did what every good homeschool mom does and I requested ALL of the books at the library that are remotely related to the Reconstruction period in America through the early 1900’s. Right?

That IS what you guys do as well, right?

I’ll be digging through the stack this weekend.

In the meantime, I ordered a book the library didn’t have: Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule by Harriette Gillem Robinet. We started the book today and while it’s technically a bit young for my kids, I don’t think you are ever too young for a good story. I hope it helps them remember the promise of 40 acres and a mule, which we’ll do a bit more non-fiction reading about.

School Life: Time with the Youngest

My youngest child is in a weird spot. He finds himself alone (and bored!) during the day because his siblings are often working independently well into the afternoon, but he is usually finished by lunchtime.

This leaves him with a lot of free time that he would love to spend on the computer or playing games, so I try to find other ways to fill it. At the start of the year, I subscribed to the Young Woodworkers Club from Annie’s. It has been a ton of fun, but over the holidays the kits began to stack up. I paused the subscription so we could catch up and that is exactly what we are doing.

He and I built a skateboard park for a fingerboard. Not only was it fun to build together, but he enjoyed playing with it and showing it to his friends in the neighborhood.

School Life: The Lunchroom

So the lunchroom is obviously our kitchen and we have returned to our routine of watching a show while we eat. It’s a break for all of us and something we really enjoy. (Yes, we need a break from interacting with each other all morning…ha!)

We dropped the habit in the fall because we were still working out a new groove when Tricia began to work at Chick-fil-a. It was hard to watch a show during lunch when she was only here half of the time. We finally decided to watch Survivor (which we love) because it is okay if she misses an episode here and there. We can tell her who was voted off and she can just enjoy the drama of the current episode.

I love watching a show during lunch. It’s a break we all need and I feel zero guilt about it.

School Life: Book Club

Our Middle School Boys Book Club met this week to celebrate the book, Mananaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan. It’s been a strange year for book club, but we made it work because it was important to all of us.

We adhered to the guidelines that the majority of the moms preferred. As a result, we have met outside all year and the boys continue to remain masked. Whether or not I felt the precautions were necessary is not as important as it was for me to make sure every boy could attend book club who wanted to be there.

Thankfully we have lots of covered shelters at local parks so finding larger outdoor spaces that work even when it is raining hasn’t been an issue. This month, the weather cooperated and it was warm but cloudy. The boys had a great time building bridges and created textured art.

Our weekly wrapup about the books we read at home.

Mom Life with Teens

This week my life with teens brought a lot of financial stress. From braces to college bills to wisdom teeth. These years aren’t cheap.

So if you also feel like your bank account is a sieve that refuses to hold the money for very long, you are not alone.

That is all.

Mom Life: Sweet Moments

I am often the first one to bed in the house these days. It isn’t because I go to bed particularly early. It’s more about the kids going to bed much later now that they are older. I aim for 10 PM so I have some time to read before drifting off to sleep so, by the time I am finally settling down, my husband is finishing reading to my boys and putting them to bed.

My youngest son comes into my room and tucks me in if I am the one who hopped into bed first. It’s adorable and sweet and I love this moment in time in his life.

Mom Life: Unique Teens

My oldest enjoys cosplay and particularly for characters in the anime show, “My Hero Academia.” This week she mentioned that she wished she had an event coming up that she could wear cosplay. She wanted an excuse to design an outfit.

I told her she didn’t need an excuse or event. She might find one later, but if she wanted to design something, she should go for it!

After theater practice, she headed to the thrift store and a few hours later, she was ready to attend My Hero Academic as a student:

I love watching my kids do their own unique things. The world of anime and cosplay was a completely foreign planet, but because of this kid, I have learned so much! I love how my kids expand my own world in so many ways.

Information about our booklife and what we are reading in our homeschool

Book Life: On my Nightstand

FINISHED: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton – Turns out that I like historical thrillers. The book was a little confusing because there are a lot of people to keep straight, but I enjoyed the story.

STILL READING: Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope by Esau McCaulley – I am about 2 chapters into the book and I think I’ll enjoy this one!

The Searcher by Tana French: I began this book weeks ago and then it was removed from my Kindle by the library before I finished it. I finally was able to check it out again (long waitlist) so it’s a little tough to get back into. Honestly, it is a bit slow for me but I am interested enough that I want to finish.

The Making of America: Alexander Hamilton by Teri Kanefield: I just started this book and I already like it. It helps that I can sing songs in my head as I reach certain milestones in Hamilton’s life. Thank you Lin Manuel-Miranda for that gift! (I am reading this one for a middle school biography book club I submitted to Outschool. It is still waiting on approval.)

Booklife: In our Home

FINISHED: Mananaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan – We all enjoyed this journey!

FINISHED: Cogheart by Peter Bunzl – The boys didn’t want to stop but are glad to be done. This wasn’t a favorite.

FINISHED: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass – I am blown away every time I read it.

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew – My 14-year-old is reading this for his English class. I loved this one when I read it years ago.

The Wave by Todd Strasser – My 16-year-old is reading this for English class. I think it’ll be fascinating and certainly something you could not do in a school classroom today.

Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule by Harriette Gillem Robinet – As mentioned previously, we started this for history.

Work Life: The Blog

This week involved me finally taking some time to share our fantastic experience with WriteShop Jr. this year.

In addition to sharing our experience on my blog, I turned my Facebook Live video into a YouTube video. It contains a peek into the curriculum and I share all the reasons we have loved it this year:

I used to edit and create videos regularly LONG before the days of digital equipment. I don’t have a ton of time for it in my life right now, but I have started to get some basics down and I can’t believe how easy it is these days.

Work Life: Outschool

I taught my first classes on Outschool this week and had a blast. Four different groups of students joined me to discuss, Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. Returning to the classroom is so much fun and I am bursting with ideas.

I plan to offer classes in April and then take the entire month of May off (mostly) and return in the summer. This month I have a few spots left in my book clubs for Poppy by Avi and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. These book clubs are being offered to 7-9-year-olds and 10-12-year-olds.

I have submitted a Middle School Biography class for 11-14-year-olds but it is waiting for approval. If approved, we would read one book a week in the month of April. If your child is interested, they can start reading The Making of America: Alexander Hamilton.

If you are interested in ALL of the available dates and times, you can find them all on my Outschool Teacher Profile Page. Scroll to the bottom for current classes.

Work Life: Celebrate a Book

While I’d love to see your child in an Outschool book club, YOU are capable of gathering kids and hosting a fantastic, fun book club. This week I released the Celebrate a Book guide for Flora and Ulysses to assist you as you celebrate this book.

It’s still 20% off through Sunday with the code: TWENTYOFF.

I love how Alicia ends her weekly rundowns by listing things she is thankful for. This is such a good practice so I am going to adopt it here as well.

Grateful for…

Daniel tucking me in at night (as mentioned above). I can’t describe how precious this is to me.

Saturday morning runs with a friend. It’s been almost a year since we began our weekly runs and we rarely miss a week. I am so proud of us. It’s a highlight of my week.

my milk frother. It’s a small thing but I am making my own London Fog drinks at home as a treat. They are typically made with Earl Gray tea, frothed milk, and vanilla syrup. I use English Breakfast tea and honey.

sunshine. It still isn’t consistently showing up, but it is peeking out regularly and that’s a HUGE bonus.

Have a great week everyone!

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