Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thought-Gathering Journal ~Along with Lots of Geography, History,Whovian, Math and Other Great Links From Our Week~9/21/13

Hi there and welcome to my little corner of the web!
I very much appreciate your visit....!

What fun to journal the week's events and to read others' journeys along the way as well!

The weekly routine of reflecting upon the week
 through the help of the daybook/journal prompts has been so helpful to me
in sorting thoughts and keeping organized!

In our homeschool this week~
Well, here goes.....
K: History~Fasicsm and Mussolini's rise post WWI, the Treaty of Versailles, Hoovervilles, the Bonus Army, FDR's 1932 defeat of Hoover, "Happy Days are Here Again," tenets of the New Deal ( a great book we are reading: New Deal or Raw Deal. Wow, talk about debunking the legend that is  FDR! Whoa.  Now Obama has some ELSE to blame for the ruination that he "inherited." Who knew that some economists are still reaching back 80 years to pinpoint the destruction of America's finances? Sheesh.
Also, Eleanor Roosevelt, polio research.  
Science: measuring density, volume, mass and rounding to nearest tenth, labs around the same.
Math: review ( so we can launch full speed ahead in to the algebra curr this week ) circumference and area of a circle, pi, pythogorean theorem, beating division and multiplication logic problems to death, operations with positive and negative numbers. Coming soon: a post with a cheat sheet on just that. Those pesky negative signs.
Literature: A unit on the American Short story. focusing on Stephen Vincent Benet's "The Devil and Dan'l Webster," which had us gripped this week..... and moving to Edgar Allen Poe next week.
Grammar.Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 9, Use of Strunk and White's Elements of Grammar as our spine.
Faith/Apologetics, Confirmation prep, writing for his tech site, blogging, creating code ( He is learning java script too and just loves it!) I've got to get a post up with our specific  materials. I have found numerous really good ones....well, he's found that great tech stuff...I'll share soon.
Latin: moving on in chapter 2

T: History. This week, Napoleon met his Waterloo after we mapped out his trek across Europe and into Russia and then being exiled to Elba. I'd still like to know why the French gov't gave him a 400 man army upon exile? I have to be missing something here.
Gotta say, Csar Alexander was pretty crafty, zipping ahead of Bonaparte and burning those bridges.
Math: fractions: fractional parts of numbers, adding and subtracting fractions with same denominators, equivalent fractions.
Science: matter...all about it: 4 phases, chemical and physical changes, etc....
Faith study, saint bios, cursive, Shakespeare study, lots and lots of spelling and phonics
T is dyslexic and I will be sharing here, once I get enough time to sit and organize a series of posts, some of the resources that I've used and rely upon with success.

~ fractions in pj's~


My best read  on the web this week...... 
Autumn Inspiration Week at  my friend, Becky's blog!  Please click over and ........prepare to be inspired!  I just know her  words will bless you as they have me. At Journeying Outside  My Box, Becky has joined an autumn series hosted by our bloggers' group,  Inspired Bloggers' Network, which is wonderful!  (I did not link up, knowing I'd not have the ability to commit to the series.)
In other blogging "news," my friend, Nancy, is organizing a  pro-life series which will go live on her blog this coming week. I'm thrilled to have contributed two posts and I can't wait to read the other bloggers' pieces. I'll definitely share the pro life links here when they are up. Until then, why not head over to Nancy's welcoming blog and enjoy her style and her craftiness? You'll be happy you did! 

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...
Geography, geography, geography......... I honestly don't have pictures of this, save this incidental one of the map behind my son ( opening his 'start of the school year gifts last week) 

 But my "tip" this week?  I have taken to hanging world maps and USA maps in pretty much every room.  It hit me last year ( and do I do anything about it immediately? No. It took me several months.) when my younger son came in 4th <woohoo>  in our county's National Geographic GeoBee and my older son was eliminated in <gulp> the first round  and this after drilling and reading and using these amazing resources: 

National Geographic Bee Ultimate Fact Book:Countries A to Z

AND despite him being asked questions about places WE TRAVELED TO  THAT PAST SUMMER.  Well..... I needed to bring my geography immersion up a notch.  Or a thousand notches. When I told my kids this, both said, "Even more geography than last year preparing for the Bee? Ack!" Never fear. Once at every meal, each of us takes a turn asking ONE question about anyplace in the world. A border, a capital, a body of water, a line of latitude, a landform. Overheard here at the table last week? Are you ready? This: "Wow, this is fun!" Ha! Also, I had no idea we'd incidentally refer  to the maps when discussing anything and everything: world events, a fun chat about our summer travels, etc..... 

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing...
The boys met their violin teacher this week for an evaluation so that he can form classes. They're so excited to join the orchestra this season! Their lessons and orchestra rehearsal itself begins in mid October and will run til mid May. T had a cooking class this week for "Overstuffed Apples," which I may link up at my friend, Lisa's, recipe hop. Giving the teacher, Chef Rob, the credit, of course.  Yum.   Lisa's got the most welcoming hop around!
The boys, for the first time, ever are age-wise on the same soccer team in our CYO! They are loving being together. I have to say, they are by no means star athletes. No delusions here. BUT. They are pretty strong defenders. They  ( humbly) call themselves The Wall. One other benefit?  Selfishly? When hubby takes them to practice Wednesday nights...          I. Get. To. Be. Home. Alone. Sigh. Don't know when that's happened before! Wow, it was nice. An hour and a few minutes beyond, of quiet. What to do first?


My favorite thing this week ...
Just some pretty nice, smooth moments where the kids were actually doing, getting along, life was balanced, the laundry was away and the dishes cleared before midnight.

I said "moments." This was not how my whole week went. Gotta be grateful for those moments of gold!


Things I’m creating...
Well, maintaining rhythm and balance and keeping my patience AND not overloading my kids in the process. When the eyes glaze over, I've come to recognize that it's time for a break. ... grab a snack, a cold drink, let them go shoot hops for a few minutes in the yard. Also, hubby's birthday's in  ten days or so. We're creating a photo collage of some sort of our summer's travels, Also, planning the birthday dinner menu, wrapping, etc...


I’m cooking...
Nothing fancy, though I did throw a whole chicken in the oven one afternoon this week which was scrumptious! I also got two more dinners and one lunch out of it, in leftovers! Chicken soup, chicken salad and chicken fingers...added roasted veggies and a couple of different styles of potatoes and we were set there for a few days with no fuss.


I’m grateful for... 
health. I never take it for granted. Ladies, a plea: Make. Your. Annual. Mammogram. Appointment. Now.  Go, I'll wait. Call now and book it.  I had my mammogram and ultrasound this week. Yep, it;s a pain int he neck and you need to take time out of your busy schedule to book it, drive there and wait, wait, wait. But.  You have many people depending on you. You must be proactive.  My hubby's mom  ( who died at age 56 of the disease) and his maternal uncle  ( yes uncle) had breast cancer.  Two of my  first cousins, too. One was beaten by the disease and passed 11 years ago.  Decades too young. The other appears to have beaten it.   I've had more positive mammograms and ultrasounds than I can count and been  aspirated and biopsied so many times, that, friends, if I can do it, so can you! Go.


A  quote...
"My superpower's  homeschooling! What's yours?" 
...stolen from  my friend, Denise! Go click over to Denise's absolutely lovely blog. She has sage advice for the homeschooling Mommy over there. Plus, she's Whovian. What's not to love about Denise?   And if you do click to that Whovian link, scroll to the bottom of my post to see the clip of David Tennant and Catherine Tate! Right now, time's of the essence;  soccer game time is quickly approaching. So it's easier to ask you to click here to  my own blog for the video than embed a YT link! 


My posts this week...

(please click over to enter!)


What we're up to next week...
Moving on through the curriculum, more soccer, art classes at the library, and choir practice  for my younger son. 

 I absolutely love  participating in 
The Homeschool Mother's Weekly Journal
Weekly Wrap Up!

Friends, thank you so much for stopping in and visiting!
Please click over to our hostesses for others' weekly wrap ups and journals
Catching a glimpse into each others' homeschooling journeys 
is quite inspirational ( and fun!) 
Isn't it?


For a how-to on my personalized back-to-school message boards,

And for details on our first day celebratory pencil cake,


Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.

Until next time,



  1. Pencil cake!! How awesome is that?! Mark would love that .....thanks once again for all the great inspiration, tips and sharing - which is so helpful ....just talking about how and what we use for home school, and how we are pulling it off is such a help to others out there. You just never know what tip or thought might truly help another to push forward or begin anew :) Many blessings to you my friend!

    1. It IS helpful isn't it? I love the weekly wrap up for peeking into others' HS to see how they run things...there are some great ideas out there....Also, the weekly journaling really keeps me focused on what we've done and where we are headed.

      Thanks for stopping in Denise and for your kind words!

  2. The maps are an amazing idea...and they're enjoying it?! Awesome!! (I'm going to try to not let a year go by before I implement that, too, although I totally understand 'cause I'm the same way!) ;)

    What a blessing that you can spend so much time pouring into your boys' lives - you are making a difference, dear friend!! Keep going!!

    1. Love your visit, Becky!! Thank you for taking time to stop in and say HI!

      And you TOO, friend....if not for so many of my friends, such as yourself, I would have thrown in the towel by now, I'm sure:)

      Take care Becky and thanks for the visit.

  3. Hi Chris,
    I love posts like this that help me get to know my online friends better! You are a busy woman. I agree homeschooling is a superpower! I have never done it but I am a fan. My son loves his school but I can definitely see the positives in homeschooling. It has been on my heart a lot lately.
    Congrats on your new Wednesday night moments of peace and quiet. I adore those times! It is so nice to have the house to myself for a little while. Great reminder for women and mammograms. We get so busy taking care of everyone else, our routine exams sometimes get overlooked. My appointment is later this week.
    I still haven't got to make that pencil cake!! Thanks for pointing me to it again.

    1. Candace,
      Always love your comments and the fact that you took time to write! Thank you for that.
      Yes, we do get busy and overlook our own needs, don't we? Happy to hear you;re taking care of yourself!
      And you know, HSing...I am just so blessed to have great support from friends or I may have given up by now! It is rather daunting at times, but so is every educational path when you're involved....

      Take care, Candace!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Have a great weekend.

  5. Hi Chris, wow you sound busy, I don't know where the time goes, my kids love chicken :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays...

    Have a lovely week

    1. Claire
      Thanks for stopping in to visit!
      ...and for hosting CMs!!

  6. Wow! This format is so comprehensive! I can't get over all of the geography immersion! That is amazing!

    1. Thanks Tricia~
      I really appreciate your visit and your kind words~!

  7. Haha! Love your assessment of FDR, but I think Obama has run out of fingers to point. ;)

    We have a Geography Bee coming up next month - thanks for the great links.

    1. Thanks Mary, for the compliment! Good luck on the geo bee!!

      Take care~


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