A Week, Briefly (10/29/18)

I wrote my weekly post and somehow deleted it.


I can't find it anywhere.  I don't know enough tricks to pull it back out of cyberspace.

And it's for sure not in my brain because I wrote it piecemeal so that I'd be sure to remember what was important and what would be a blessing to document.

Sooooo . . .

Morning Meeting
We spent the week finishing our review of The Living Christ.  It got a little long to sing so much each day, but it was a blessing, and the kids are happy to review The Family:  A Proclamation to the World next week.

We finished our Bible storybook.  I like this one very much because it includes messages from the prophets and pieces of the epistles instead of focusing only on the stories.  We've been reading it every morning for at least a year.

We're going to re-read Book of Mormon Stories next.

We put away the October primary theme, scripture, and Article of Faith, and we pulled out the November set.

In addition, everyone age 6 and up passed off memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 82:10.


The teens are working their way through Unit 4 of their language arts program.  I assigned the art projects early, and I'm glad I did because they have been quite challenging, and the girls work on them daily as we listen to The Book of Mormon.

We did a little bit of counting and realized that we have less than 30 days to read The Grapes of Wrath for our next book club meeting.  It's a time consuming read, so we've decided to shelve our history lessons for a little while in order to make room for extra literature.

We are not following our Spanish curriculum as designed.  For that reason, I only this week administered the chapter 1 exam.  Everyone passed with varying degrees of success.  Most of our time is spent reading and translating scriptures and General Conference talks from Spanish into English.  It's a system that is working especially well for Belle, and this week, she was able to do a significant amount of translating correctly with neither dictionary nor help from me. 

We started our week off with (gluten-free) Oreo cookies and a study of the phases of the moon. 

We've continued to read poems and bits of classic children's literature.  This week we read 3 Brer Rabbit stories.  I loved them, having read them over and over again as a child.  My kids weren't too sure, but that tricky Rabbit did get them to ask a lot of questions, and they belly laughed when I acted out Brer Rabbit's attack on the Tar Baby.

We replaced I Walked to Zion with a chapter book biography about Harriet Tubman and we put form drawing aside for a season so that we can enjoy a nature picture book each week.  I'm reading the book several times each week, and it is clear that understanding comes with repetition--especially for my youngest ones.

In world history we're knee-deep into ancient Persia and Greece; the story of the Battle of Marathon and poor Pheidippides really captured their imaginations.

Individual School
Nature Angel is thriving with her Oak Meadow curriculum--so much art and writing!  She was especially proud of her Greek translations this week. 

Little Princess got a big change as we retired both Readers in Residence and Writing with Ease.  To take their places, Little Princess is choosing and reading a moderately challenging book (no magic mermaids or rainbow fairies) and responding to a journaling prompt. 

For the journaling, I compiled a list of seasonally appropriate prompts, printed them, cut them apart, slipped them into a plastic bag, and taped the bag inside of a composition book.  She draws a prompt, tapes it to the top of a clean page, and writes. 

We haven't fought once this week, and she's done every bit of required school work without reminders.

She finished up her math book and started a 4th grade review with Saxon Math 5/4.  I considered putting her right into 6/5, but I decided against it when I considered the challenges of changing programs and how I think a review of long division and fractions at this level will be good for her.

Ladybug continues to thrive with early morning school.  She's working her way through the same Book of Mormon storybook that we're going to read aloud as a family during Morning Meeting.  It will be good for her to hear the stories she's already read (give her a sense of ownership) and to get a preview of what is to come. 

Her negative behaviors flared up badly this week--it affected her schoolwork as she drifted away from her usual industrious state to breaking pencils and scribbling everywhere and throwing a number of tantrums.

Mister Man had a week full of accomplishments in spite of his hurt shoulder.  We did have to take a trip to urgent care to make sure it wasn't broken . . .

It isn't. 😃

But a few days of wearing the sling did help him heal up and reduced his pain

He finished up a bunch of work this week.

He had to do Shiller Math book 1 because it is one of those programs that has a really funky scope and sequence, and you can't just hop into it from another math program.  We skimmed over what he was good at, spent a bit of time on what was new, and he's ready to move into book 2.

I'm ready too, because book 1 was backed up at the printer's when I placed my order, and I got a cheap home-printed copy that was very poorly bound.  Though I'm still using book 1 for 3 kids, and I'll be using it for probably the whole school year, just the idea of getting to pull out a properly printed and bound book for at least one child makes me happy.

Brother is struggling with getting to do school.  He needs to do school first thing in the morning, too, but Ladybug already has that slot.  He's too tired and too unable to obey to do school in the afternoon, and I don't have a solution for him yet.  But our slow and gentle alphabet/phonics review has been good for him, and it is clear that the bits of work we did last year before the work got too hard and too fast for him are growing into fruition as I listened to him sound out words from Oh, Say Can You Say? while he waited to be tucked into bed last night. 

While manipulating numbers is a strength, for math this week he worked on weaker areas in understanding the compass and naming opposites.  Our long, long games paid off, though, and he caught on by the end of the week.

Beowulf, Lola, and Baymax started Easy Peasy All-in-One-Homeschool Getting Ready 1 together this week.  They did all of the letter A activities.

The Shiller program simply was not working for any of them.  I don't love how Easy Peasy is computer based, but I pull all 3 kids into (or around) my lap and I run the computer games/videos for them as they point and talk about what's happening.  Then we do a little paper craft together. 

While Lola and Baymax are really and truly learning the letter names and sounds, it is a review for Beowulf.  But I feel it is a necessary review as the letter names and sounds seem to come and go for him.  And the paper crafts are so, so challenging for him!  Shiller had a kinesthetic component in using playdough, tracing the Montessori shapes, drawing in grain, and manipulating letter tiles, but it wasn't the right practice for Beowulf.  The Easy Peasy crafts are forcing him to practice using scissors and following patterns as he glues shapes in place, and these are hard work for him.  But they're rewarding activities, and he's literally sweating with effort at the end of his little pre-school session.

And for me it's good because it cost me less than $10 in paper and ink to print everything for 3 kids, and I got to add Lola and Baymax into our school day at the same time I was already doing school with Beowulf.

We celebrated our last day of co-op this week!

We still have responsibilities for the End-of-Co-op Showcase this coming week;  Pixie's 3 ballet classes are dancing, and I have 5 kids dancing with her; as a teacher, I'm responsible for photo or actual work displays for my two classes.  I've already decided that I'm simply going to print a bunch of photos for each class and plunk them on display boards. 

Next co-op doesn't start until March, so we have every Tuesday free from now until then.

I don't really want to go back, but even though it was an incredibly hard 8 weeks for me and the young ones, it was so good for my medium-sized kids!   It may just be a sacrifice we have to make to allow growth for a significant part of the family.

I have ideas for 3 classes . . . but one is enough.  We'll see what craziness happens in the spring!

We had our last rehearsal, including a show run-through. 

We have shows scheduled for this Thursday and next, and then we're done until late January.

We finally found a formal gown for Belle to wear for Cheek to Cheek, but I'm still out 3 pairs of black Mary Janes for Ladybug, Little Princess, and Nature Angel.  I've been scouring thrift shops for weeks now, but I'm going to have to break down and buy new because our first show is in 4 days.

Pixie's choreography is incredibly fun--there's a clear difference between her numbers and the ones the director or I have choreographed--and I've told her she'll have to choreograph a bunch of numbers for us next summer before she goes away to school. 

She's still taking 5 hours a week of dance classes and working at the studio to pay for them.

Nutcracker rehearsals start this week, too.

Good thing she has a driver's license!

Life in General
Pixie's broken heart is mending . . . it's not whole yet, but she's trying very hard to look at the bright side.

Because of the end of her romance, she's been more present with the family, and I found her preparing lunch one day with Lola happily balanced on her shoulders!

Super Star has a blossoming romance.  She and the boy have known each other since they were 6 and 7 respectively.  It's rather sweet and awkward and everything a young romance should be.

I've started running in the late afternoons--just before I need to start preparing dinner.  I can only do this about 3 days a week right now, but it is better than nothing as I've got to defeat the depression and anxiety that are crippling me and my family.  Sir Walter Scott nearly jumped out of his seat to agree with me when I tentatively suggested that a return to running might help; he hugged me and said he'd been wanting to suggest this for weeks but he was afraid of hurting my feelings.

I must admit, it feels good to step out the front door and run away . . . and then come back a while later tired and sore but loose and happy, too.

I also got in touch with a post-adoptive resource specialist who has given me the contact information for an attachment therapist who takes our kids' state insurance.  I don't want to add another therapy to our weeks when we just barely are feeling the freedom from co-op and dance rehearsals, but if this can help (and I hear it can) then it is something we'll need to do!


  1. Sounds like you are doing some good work all around. So far, I've opted out of co-ops because I felt I couldn't handle the logistics. It is hard when you know it is really good for some people but not as good for others!

  2. You did a wonderful recap despite the loss of the original post. Creating balance and meeting everyone's needs is so hard. I am glad your middle kids got the experience of co-op and that you get to set it aside for a season. I do hope that running helps. It is so important to make sure mom is healthy and strong. All of the schooling seems to be going along great. I wasn't a huge fan of Easy Peasy school either, but it was a great resource for Goldilocks. She responded to someone else's lessons better than mine. I hope attachment therapy helps. We went through multiple therapists, but not that exact program was offered in our area. I hope it has better results for you all.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. So pleased you've found a schooling solution that seems to work for Ladybug and for the younger 3. Hopefully an idea for Brother will present itself soon. And really pleased that you are making time for running and that it is helping. You've got a huge amount on your plate but won't be able to do it if you don't take care of yourself. Finally I'm really relieved I haven't had to deal with teen romances and the fallout from them - so far at least. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be one of my parenting strengths!

  4. Love the Oreos moon phases...

  5. Yay for the end of co-op! It looked like such a a great learning experience and an incredible amount of work all at the same time! We have done the phases of the moon with oreos before, so fun. As we have been reading the Incorrigibles I have often thought it would be an outstanding audio book to listen to, because it is so much fun to read, but the reader would definitely have to be animated and in to the story. I wish our library had such things as audio books but they don't. In fact, a few weeks ago Christian wanted the 4th book in a Christian fiction series he is reading but the whole section of christian fiction books were gone. When I asked why the librarian told me no one ever checked them out so they got rid of them! I was stunned and speechless. It is a super small library and we do not have many resources there to choose from so I have to buy a lot of our books (hard on a budget.) But I did buy the whole series of the Incorrigibles because we have enjoyed them so much. I am glad you are able to run three days a week. I need to try and find some more exercise time for me too. Have a great week!


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