Peek at Our Week: September 17-21

We started off the week a little differently… Hurricane Florence did not affect us over the weekend as much as we expected. It did however cause some flooding in our area that kept me home from teaching my English class. It was very strange to be home on a Monday! 

The main road leading from our neighborhood into town is now closed until a repair can be made, but that is the only lasting inconvenience. Every time we see the detour sign and have to drive about 8 minutes out of our way I take a minute and pray for those so much more affected. We are grateful that we are not currently in recovery mode, but are praying for those who are. As I said last week, we’ve been there. We know how hard and frustrating it can be. 

Photo Credit: NPR
 So last week my kids were all about making the jokes because we didn’t take off from school like our neighbor’s kids did! They had all of these, “Mommy makes us do school even when….” statements. We all laughed, but they aren’t wrong most of the time! We have school unless we have a reason to miss. 

Here is the rundown from our year so far with Heart of Dakota

Grace: Preparing Hearts for His Glory Unit 2
We are currently running half-speed and will finish unit 2 next week. I’m thinking this will be the last week of half-pace for her. She’s doing great and is ready to handle the guide full speed. 

She has chosen Anatomy for her personal study time and loves it! She has wanted to be a nurse since she was 5 and wanted to pursue this a little more. She’s reading one of the Chronicles of Narnia for literature and is learning about larger place values. 

Beth: Hearts for Him Through Time – Creation to Christ Unit 33
Beth is soooooo close to finishing! We are working hard and will be done really soon. She’s ready to move on and I think the next guide will be really good for her. She’s worked through ancient history more than once now through the various guides and she is just ready to get to some new things. 

Beth is reading A Wrinkle in Time for literature. She’s enjoying it, but I don’t plan on watching the movie with the girls. I’m not thrilled with what I have heard about the changes made to the original story. I don’t usually like the film version of books! She’s learning about converting units of measurement. 

Rose: Hearts for Him Through Time – Revival to Revolution Units 21-23
Yes, you read that right. We got slowed down last year for a variety of reasons and she really wanted to get through this portion of history. So we decided to go ahead and shift our way of doing things. We are skipping a lot. Yup. I’m not following the guide letter-by-letter! The important thing for me is that she reads all of the books, and she is. 

Rose asked if she could study a high school English course this year. I told her yes and we would see how it went. She is THRIVING! I’m so glad I listened to her and moved her into this course. She’s writing excellent essays every week and devouring books like Beowulf and Macbeth. In math she is continuing through our Pre-Algebra course. 

We had the chance to visit Old Salem! Click on the picture above to read more about it! 

I would love to hear more about your week! How was it? See what my Crewmates are blogging about here! 

Week in Review: April 9-13

(Pssst…read through this post to find a special offer just to my readers!)

This is what real-life homeschooling looks like! Sunglasses on her head inside, blankets all over from early morning snuggles, crayons from who knows what, doggy toys scattered around, and still learning happens. We have a schoolroom and the girls each have a desk, but honestly, most of their learning occurs elsewhere. One of my daughters likes order and chooses spots without chaos for her learning. This girl seems to thrive with a little clutter in her world. We have a group “clean up” time all around the downstairs after school is done and before I begin teaching piano lessons. 

Here are some more aspects of our week…

Grace (2nd Grade): Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 21
When Grace wakes up in the morning she often comes downstairs and snuggles under a blanket. This week was still pretty chilly in North Carolina, so she kept her blanket handy all over the house. This is actually one of Beth’s blankets, but it is super warm and snuggly so we all take turns using it! 

Grace enjoys grammar as much as her sisters with Rod and Staff. It usually only takes 10-15 minutes as we do the majority orally and I will often skip over some practice if I know it will be redundant. No matter what the current research says, I see great value in structured grammar lessons and diagramming. Understanding how the sentence parts work together does help in creating new sentences! 

In history this week she read about Andrew Jackson. I skipped a lot of this reading. It was violent and dark in a way I didn’t want to delve. I remember skipping most of it with my other two as well. I also don’t particularly care for how positively he is portrayed. There are so many things about this man that does not make him a hero of history. While I am careful about how detailed I present some of the horrible events of our history, I also am honest with my daughters about these events. 

Beth (5th Grade): Creation to Christ Unit 28

Here is a close-up of that same scene I have at the top. See what a little cropping can do? She’s working on giant numbers and learning how to use a calculator. Our tablets can do so many things! 

We are closing in on the finish line of this guide. She has grown so much this year physically, academically, and spiritually. Ten has been a difficult year for her after her unexpected and unexplained hospital stay in the fall. She is incredibly healthy now and hasn’t had any repeat episodes. We are watchful, knowing there could be an underlying issue, but thankful that at the moment she is living completely normal without any lasting issues.

I’m excited for her to get into the next guide which will focus heavily on the medieval period. I think she will really get into this! We will be reading abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays over the summer all together which will correlate with her guide next year. I have to admit, I don’t really love Shakespeare, but I adore this title from Usborne! It’s beautiful and I’m enjoying reading it myself first!

My dear friend and book consultant, Julie Kent, is offering a 15% discount just to my readers for any orders placed through this link between now and June 1st. Simply place your order through this link (make sure it says consultant: Julie Kent and event: Grace-Filled Homeschooling) and after you place your order, Julie will be in touch with you to refund 15% of your book purchase price (excluding tax and shipping) either through PayPal or check in the mail. All orders will help earn free books for our local children’s hospital where Beth stayed last fall.


Rose (7th Grade): Revival to Revolution Unit 13

Penny is usually hanging around of of my gals during their studies. She loves to snuggle right with them! Rose uses her tablet more and more for school. Since it is larger it works like a mini computer. On this day she was continuing through her Spanish curriculum. She asked to take this foreign language this year because she feels God is calling her to the mission field one day. 

She has decided to continue through her history over the summer. I am going to have her read the books and complete the notebooking pages although she may not finish the rest. This way she can be ready to start the next guide in the fall. We have also decided to go ahead and work through a high school English course next year. She’s quite advanced in reading and writing and she is quite excited about the prospect. I’ve been pleased with her diligence this year and she is often done with school early, leaving her time to pursue more interests. 

One goal I have given her is to read through our collection of 30 or so abridged classics by the end of the summer. This will give her a working knowledge of quite a bit of literature without needing to delve into all of the books yet. I’ve always been an advocate of abridged classics and think they are excellent ways to introduce these works to kids. I’m also struck that there are many “classic” novels which I think are just awful. Sometimes understanding the story is enough and I don’t think it is necessary to actually read them. I’m also left wondering, who decides what makes a classic? Why are some absolutely horrible novels considered must-reads? 

And I leave you to ponder those thoughts. I would love to hear what you think, so comment below! 

Take a lot at what some other homeschoolers are doing this week!

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Week in Review: April 2-6

Welcome Spring!
Well, kind of…
We are in the throws of So Much Pollen season!  On a side note, if you are in the South and you haven’t yet found. It’s A Southern Thing, you need to right now! This makes me laugh every time and so far it is all very family friendly, quite a feat for online content!

Anyway, on to our week…

We were back up and running with “Full School” as my daughter refer to it. Basically that means everything in our regular schedule. It is good to deviate from the norm whether it is for breaks or reviews. They don’t get bored with routine that way! 

Grace (2nd Grade): Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 20

Grace is enjoying working through a new study about the human body as one of our reviews. She is devouring the content! She’s very interested in being in the medical field maybe as a nurse or doctor…as long as she doesn’t have to deal with any blood! We will have to see how this works out. 

We worked through her other schoolwork without any trouble and had some excitement at the end of the week! I had noticed some thing about her vision that made me want to have her checked out by more than just the screening at our yearly pediatrician’s visit. She had a lot of fun at the appointment and it resulted in this…

Beth (5th Grade): Creation to Christ Unit 27

Beth also went to the pediatric ophthalmologist, but her eyes are fine. I’ve been really pleased to see her put more effort into her handwriting recently. I know all of my girls have the ability to write neatly, but that isn’t always their choice. I really have to keep on to them about this! Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me? 
She’s quickly growing up and I’m starting to see little glimmers of the young woman she’s becoming. She is very much enjoying the Bible study from Kid Niche Christian Books she asked me to work through. I was a little disappointed at first to set aside the study alongside Heart of Dakota, but I’m so glad I said, “Yes.” She is excited to dive into this study like I have not seen her before. If you are interested in what she is going through this study click here to learn more about it! Once she finishes I plan to buy the second part of the study for her. 

Rose (7th Grade): Revival to Revolution Unit 12

Rose is working steadily through her studies. As she is working towards finishing up her 7th grade year we have been talking more about high school and what we are planning. These conversations have been good because while her dad and I are ultimately deciding how to handle high school her input for direction is incredibly important to us. We’ve also been having more conversations about her goals and God’s calling on her life. It’s never too young to start these conversations!

We gave our girls some fun chalk supplies this year as Easter gifts. We had some nice weather even if I had to stay inside for most of the time. The girls had fun trying out chalk spray, powdered chalk bombs, and chalk markers. Our driveway never looked so beautiful! 

How was your week? You can see what my Crewmates on the Review Crew have been up to this week below!

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Peek at Our Week: March 5-9

 Other than ending our week with a few sniffles from a cold we’ve had a good week! Not thrilled with this VERY cold weather here in the south. We even saw a few snowflakes yesterday. This is crazy weather! The girls were all very focused this week and we ended school by lunch almost every day. This week was gloriously uneventful in my book!
 Grace (2nd Grade): Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 18
I LOVED reading about Robert Fulton and his invention of the steam boat this week! The second half of the Bigger guide is my favorite. Lots of wonderful peeks into the inventive progress of early America. We will also soon touch on some of the less desirable things about this age, like slavery. It is so hard to talk about these things, but so necessary for our children to learn. 
We have been working this year as well on improving handwriting. Grace does very well with her formal handwriting books, but it hasn’t been translating into her written work. Hopefully we can shore up this area soon.
 Beth (5th Grade): Creation to Christ Unit 25
 Beth is working on remembering what she reads for longer periods of time. If she is interested in a subject this is not a problem, but with topics she finds boring she reads just for the moment and often loses the information soon after. She does not have any learning struggle in any area and I think part of the problem is that school comes so easily to her she doesn’t really have to work for it. Using the Heart of Dakota notebooking pages gives her a chance to review what she has learned and be able to tell me more about it at the end of the week. 
She’s studying the Roman battles and conquest of territory, so honestly, I don’t blame her lack of interest. I think she will find the next guide to be more intriguing. In math she is studying factor trees which she finds extremely fun. 
Rose (7th Grade): Revival to Revolution Unit 11
Rose seems to find every aspect of history interesting no matter what it is. This year the Revolutionary War has captivated her imagination. I opted for a different book for storytime than the one suggested because I was having trouble tracking it down used and I don’t usually buy our materials new except for our guides. She is enjoying Johnny Tremain as a substitute. I read it when I was about her age and I’m glad to share the story with her as well. We will probably watch the old Disney move once she finishes. 
She is drifting more and more towards writing rather than art. I love to see her enjoy this, but miss seeing her drawings. It isn’t that she doesn’t enjoy art, but she seems more interested in crafting stories at the moment. She is an excellent writer and I want to encourage this pursuit. Interests ebb and flow at this age so we will see where this may lead. Maybe she will write and illustrate her own book one day! 
Our lives have really calmed down this week. No more basketball or cheer practices or games for either Rose or Grace. Now all three of my gals are participating in clogging like Beth did last year! They are excited to be doing this together and I will share pictures with our various performances as they come along. All three practicing at the same time on the same day is so simple and it is extremely fun to see them experience something new! 
What were you up to this week?

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Week in Review: February 12-16

Another week is in the books! Uneventful and that is just how I like it! 
Beth (5th Grade): Creation to Christ Unit 23
Beth has been memorizing Philippians chapter 2 this year. She has memorized verses 1-20 and I’m so pleased with her diligence. She did not like the idea at the beginning of the year. It felt overwhelming and she resisted learning the one verse a week I assigned. The way she works on this is to memorize the next verse in the passage on Monday and Tuesday while reviewing the previous verses. So this week she memorized verse 20 and reviewed verses 1-19. Wednesday is a day off from memorizing, then Thursday and Friday she recites the entire passage. She gets stuck every once in a while, but overall has done excellent work! 
She surprised me by getting up almost an hour before I did, completed most of her chores, and was finished with her Friday schoolwork by 8:00 am. Fridays are our “light” days so they can have some free time to pursue their own interests, but this is still a huge change for her. In the past she has been the last one to finish every day. She beamed with joy as she told me all she had accomplished so early! There are some really good lessons in this, not only for her, but for me as well! 


Grace (2nd Grade): Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 16
Grace has one unit left in her 2nd grade mathematics and then we will move on to 3rd grade. She, like her oldest sister, fully understands the mathematical concepts she is learning, but sometimes just rushes through and isn’t careful. Thankfully this has not yet developed a frustration in this subject. 
Today she will be completing her standardized testing for the year. It is a little early, but we have a friend who is now administering the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities. Her sisters have already completed it and I’ve been very happy with not only how the assessment has been administered but the extent of the information I get in return. She can’t wait! My kids really don’t mind standardized testing at all. It also helps that they know and greatly love our friend who has given it to them this year!  

Rose (7th Grade): Revival to Revolution Unit 9
One of Rose’s favorite parts of our day is writing. Writing Strands is our curriculum of choice and it is such a great curriculum! The daily bite-sized teaching has helped her learn how to craft beautifully written pieces both fiction and non-fiction. We have found a fun new way to go about the editing process using Google Docs! Since we gave the girls new, larger tablets with attachable keyboards she is using this to create her writing assignments. I now go through and make suggestions, then sit down and we go through each edit one-by-one. The great thing is we can see the changes as they are being typed even on different devices! I’m using an iPad and she has an Android based device. Technology can be really cool sometimes! 
In addition math has moved along smooth as silk. Oh what a wonderful thing to be able to write! 
Free Learning Friday: Olympics 

Don’t be shocked, but you will probably see the same thing next week! The girls are learning about how the events are judged, the rules, and all sorts of other things!

What have you been up to this week? Take a look at what my Crewmates are blogging about this week!

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Week in Review: January 29 – February 2

I’m pleased to say we are healthy and back on schedule! It’s such a relief for us all to be back to normal. Although I can’t say the same for the rest of our city. People are dropping like flies from 2 strains of flu, strep throat, stomach virus, and I don’t know what else! We were so focused on getting work done this week I forgot to take pictures. This is a rare photo op to be honest. The girls are rarely all working on the same subject and usually scattered throughout the house. All three were working on math here and decided to sit at their desks. Homeschooling is so beautiful in allowing them the opportunity to work comfortably! And now on to our studies…
Rose (7th Grade): Revival to Revolution Unit 7
 Rose has loved learning about the Revolutionary period of American history. As a supplement to our regular studies she has enjoyed watching several episodes of Drive Thru History available with our membership. I love having extra resources. All of us are watching the episodes. My husband and I especially enjoy them. We like watching documentaries, but it’s hard to know if we are viewing something factually trustworthy or with more of an agenda we don’t care to view. Drive Thru History appeals to our whole family because it’s not simplified, the girls understand it, and its both historically accurate and looks at history through a biblical world-view. 
Rose has also been reading Anne of Green Gables and very much enjoys it! This makes me happy because Lucy Maud Montgomery is my favorite classic author. We are planning to watch the mini series soon.
Beth (5th Grade): Creation to Christ Unit 21
Beth is moving right along with ease now in her studies. She likes learning about the Roman cultures and we too have had the opportunity to use Drive Thru History. We started with the Greek culture because she has finished studying this portion of history already. I’m so pleased to see her handwriting improving on her notebooking pages. Starting in 4th grade I require the girls to write (except spelling) in cursive. It’s taken some time for her to adjust to this but now writes with ease. I like reading her thoughts on her reading. 

She is currently reading an abridge version of Tom Sawyer. I want my girls to know the classic stories and give them exposure to this when possible, but still protect their innocent minds as much as possible. I realize this cannot happen 100% in our world, but that means my husband and I have chosen to not intentionally expose them to literature which contains words we would not permit them to say be it cursing or use of the God’s name in an unholy way. Not everyone abides by this and I am in no way advocating you should also take this course. What I do encourage you to do is make an intentional choice, know what the actual content of a book is before handing it to your children, and have very open conversations about that content. I don’t shy away from uncomfortable topics, just language which we would not deem acceptable. This will probably change as the kids grow older, but it does not seem necessary at this point.

Grace (2nd Grade): Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 14
Grace is also studying the American Revolution. It’s a very different feeling than how Rose is studying, however. It’s much less detailed and less intense at her age. She also enjoys the Drive Thru History episodes we have watched. She is very quick to say, “Mommy! That was in one of my books we read!” She has shifted back to asking me to read her history aloud to her which is always fun. When I was sick she happily read on her own, but I like having that time to discuss what she is reading, especially why I may change the wording of things like “Indians” to tribal nations/Native Americans or “whites” to colonists or settlers. 

Grace is currently reading another novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder by her own request. All of the girls ready Little House in the Big Woods first although Grace had the benefit of a couple of early reader chapter books we had acquired. She really enjoyed these stories and has wanted to continue through the series. Right now she is reading On the Banks of Plum Creek.

 Click below to see what my fellow blogging Crewmates are up to this week in their homeschool!

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Week in Review: October 9-13

We had a FULL week! One of our dear friends from when you lived in Florida came to stay with us for a few days. Mrs. Kate is a folk singer who is also a pastor’s wife in our denomination. While she was here my dear Rose was able to work for her as her roadie! She had a great time and learned so very much. We were able to be there for a couple of the shows and that was a great experience too. Our week was crazily off schedule, but we still got through all of our work. 

Grace – 2nd grade: Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit10

I know every week I say how easy Grace is to teach. She just really is! She loves to learn. Her latest “favorite” (according to her) is grammar! We are just using the standard Rod and Staff. I’ve used it with all three girls and it is incredibly solid. There aren’t frills, but that has never been a problem. We usually complete 2/3 of the lesson orally as suggested by Heart of Dakota. This is the key to its success I think. Too much writing and you just kill the lesson. They only have a small portion to actually write. For my older girls this is usually 5-10 sentences diagrammed. Now, current trends say that diagramming has zero value. I completely disagree! Current trends also say learning math facts shouldn’t be about memorization and I disagree there as well. And so we have an example of why homeschooling is beautiful for us. We don’t have to follow the trends! 
She continued with her history study of Benjamin Franklin this week. I’m pleased with how her oral narration is coming along. Of course this is my daughter who loves to talk so I’m not really all that surprised she is able to narrate beautifully. Her reading comprehension is off the charts so this is a super easy area for her. Handwriting is the only area she seems to dread. Although she never complains I can tell it is her least favorite part. We are plugging away at cursive anyway!
Rose – 7th Grade: Revival to Revolution Unit 2
This is what Rose was doing most of the day! She worked with Mrs. Kate at both preschool and senior shows and had a blast. I love that she is so comfortable with people of all ages. I’m not going to say this is because of homeschooling because I think it is much more from being a part of a multi-generational church that is small enough for her to get to know everyone. We also worship all together as families. These factors give her opportunity to build relationships with people of all ages, stations of life, and ethnic backgrounds. Homeschooling did, however, allow her the flexibility to do this where traditional schooling would not have. 
My girl also learned that she can work ahead if she wants. The history and literature portions were the easiest to complete ahead of time. She then asked if she could work ahead other times. I told her of course and she lit up! She is beginning this guide with early American per-revolutionary history, one of her favorite periods to study. This is also fun because Grace is studying the same period. 
She also got through all of her other language arts and mathematics work for the week! 
 Beth – 5th Grade: Creation to Christ Unit 16 
 Beth had a great non-complaining week! Perhaps simply being back on track wit our schedule is enough to keep her complaint free. We have been practicing better responses and that has helped. 
She is studying ancient cultures still and is doing very well. I think she will enjoy the next guides more having seen Rose go through them. She has particularly enjoyed that I’m scheduling foreign language studies. they all three work on sign language (pictured here) and a language of their choice. She has chosen French and is using DuoLingo. I can’t rave enough about how great that program is! 
Mathematics continues to be a breeze and she sails through her studies without any trouble. She has the mind of an engineer although she doesn’t really have any interest in it. I found out this week that in Sunday school class they used straws to see how high of a tower they could build while studying the Tower of Babel and she was able to build the tallest! Their class is mixed of all ages and several of the kids are older than her so that impressed me quite a bit. It’s a skill in which she succeeds, but since she doesn’t find it interesting it is hard to know how to nurture it. This is something I’m going to be considering.

Week in Review: October 2-6

I missed last week’s peek into our week, but it was a good week! It was just very busy. So here what this last week looked like!

With our new schoolroom setup I work with the girls in the living room or the kitchen. This is working really well and we have even done his with spelling! We still love All About Spelling and picked back up with it this week. I did the lesson with the girls individually then I dictated their words to them all together. We’ve been doing it this way for a couple of years and I have them trained pretty well to cue me to repeat a word and let me know when they are ready for the next one all with silent indicators. 
Grace – 2nd grade: Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 9
I am enjoying the guides with Grace so much more than the first two times around. I know exactly what to expect and because her sisters are more independent I can more fully enjoy the activities! This week she began learning about Benjamin Franklin. She learned about his childhood and life as a young man. One of the things she learned was how he and some other boys made a wharf in the water to make it easier to go fishing. This is her working on that. She had a lot of fun and made a beautiful little wharf! 
Rose – 7th Grade: Revival to Revolution Unit 1
 Yay for the start of a new guide! Rose is always excited when we begin a new guide and this is getting into one of her favorite periods of history. She is so good at staying on task now and studying on her own. Rose is usually very excited to share about what she is reading with whomever will listen. This week she settled in by beginning to read about George Washington. It’s really fun to see her growing into such a diligent young lady in school but also in other areas. She loved having fresh notebooking pages to use and shifted from using permanent markers to colored pencils this year for her timeline. 
Beth – 5th Grade: Creation to Christ Unit 15

I was so encouraged this week! Beth’s complaining has settled down significantly! There is no reason I can pinpoint or anything we have changed. I’m really just praising the Lord for the change! Heart issues are the biggest stumbling block to a successful school day. She’s doing well with her studies and is enjoying our addition of foreign language. I’m assigning them time each day with DuoLingo and a couple of days with Signing Time. She also really likes that I’ve added daily reading from a biography of their choice. We have a wonderful selection of these on a shelf and I just ask they read one chapter a day.
Really good week! This coming week will be interesting and we have quite a bit of

Peek at our Week: September 11-15

We are back to our full routine with school! Monday was my first day back teaching English to 13 homeschooled 12-14-year-olds. This is my 8th year doing this and I absolutely love my job! We are also back to our regular Heart of Dakota studies (Finally!). The girls also had their first day of their science class on Wednesday. After their class there was a great big welcome back picnic. My husband says I’ve been peopled out this week. I think he’s right because I’m exhausted! 

 Beth (5th Grade) – Creation to Christ: Unit 12

Beth has not been as excited about school this year. It makes me sad, but I know this is just a season and it will pass. She is really smart and school always comes easy. Since we started Creation to Christ there has been more complaints about the work. I remember Rose going through this as well. I don’t allow the complaining to go far and she knows better than to whine or gripe with a bad attitude. 

Overall she did very well this week even though I had to have Beth redo some assignments that weren’t completed quite as well as I knew she could. This did not make her happy as you can imagine, but she did redo them and they were much better! I do hope her grumbling attitude passes soon, but until then we will just continue on. 
Rose (7th Grade) – Resurrection to Reformation: Unit 34 
One more week and Rose will have finished this guide! She worked some over the summer and we are really close to finishing up. Our pup Penny has enjoyed having our routine back on track. She likes snuggling while the girls read. She is anxious to finish this guide and head into the next! 
She is continuing on with UnLock Prealgebra from Unlock Math. We reviewed this at the end of last year and it has been a good fit for her. She’s also finishing up some review work from over the summer. We will then pick up again in Principles in Mathematics. 
She’ll be completing the same literature course I teach to my class, but at home. We will give this a try and see how it works! So far, it’s been good!
Grace (2nd Grade) – Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 6
Yup, this is school with Grace! She’s such an eager learner and Heart of Dakota is the perfect fit for her. She’s always ready to jump into whatever the activity is and she makes certain we do the activities! This week she practiced playing jumping games like colonial children would have. She sure can get some height! She also learned about William Penn and Benny West. She has asked to read her history independently this year. I don’t usually encourage this until later on, but she is more than ready with comprehension and can narrate what she reads beautifully. I’ll happily read to her when she wants me to, but for now I’ll allow her to continue to read on her own.
Where Beth is complaining about almost every assignment, Grace always asks if there is more she can do. She eagerly completes her grammar, math, and history without any complaint. Hopefully her joy for learning will rub off onto her older sister! 
To end our week we will enjoy another day at the zoo!

Peek at Our Week: April 10-14

Happy Resurrection Sunday! 
We had a lighter week this past week. Each of the girls did half of a Heart of Dakota unit this week and will finish the other half next week. We had dentist appointments and a day planned with friend on Good Friday morning as well as services at church Friday night. The girls still had school work every day, but it was a little bit lighter on Thursday and Friday. 
Beth (4th grade): Creation to Christ Unit 10
One of the fun aspects of homeschooling is the various mediums the girls use for learning. One of their favorite things is when they listen to the What in the World? CDs from Diana Waring’s History Revealed. Both Beth and Rose listen to these as a part of their Heart of Dakota studies. They enjoy them tremendously. And of course they enjoy listening in their bedroom! It’s not always neat, but it is cozy and their favorite place to study when appropriate. Usually they listen to CDs or read up in their room.
Rose (6th grade): Resurrection to Reformation Unit 30
Rose is such a diligent worker these days! She has learned that if she just buckles down and focuses on her work she is easily finished by lunch. One of the fun things I’m starting to see is her retention of the history she is studying. There have been quite a few moments in the last few weeks when she would mention something she learned outside of our school time. We were playing a new game with my parents today called Codenames. The idea is to try and get your teammates to choose word-cards based on single-word clues you give. Several of her clues were related to her studies in history with Heart of Dakota! It is a joy to see her retaining, but also enjoying what she’s learning. 
Grace (1st grade): Bigger Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 4
Grace is significantly more independent with her schoolwork than her sisters were at her age. I have absolutely no doubt that this comes from watching her older sisters become more independent. Like most younger siblings she is always looking for ways to be more grown up and like her big sisters. I am still highly involved in her learning process, but she often likes to read her history on her own. Since she is reading 4-5 levels above grade-level this isn’t an issue in any way. She also is very good to ask about words she does not yet know. Is it any wonder she’s constantly amazing us with the vocabulary she uses?
Our sweet pup, Penny, is ever present with us during our studies! You can see Beth playing with her with her feet while she is reading! She is such a good little doggie and our girls absolutely love her!

 We ended our week by spending Friday morning with good friends who were off from their traditional school for spring break. They have three girls close in age to my own and we had such a great time with them. Their mom is a very good friend of mine and we often talk about the benefits and struggles of our different educational choices. She relayed the most interesting story to me about her daughters. She said that inevitably the topic of homeschooling comes up within the traditional school setting and most of the kids make comments about how weird homeschoolers are. She said a wonderful side benefit of the friendship our daughters have formed is when people say things like that they are quick to respond with statements like, “Weird? We have friends who are homeschooled. They aren’t weird!” I also love that my girls have friends from all different styles of education. We talk openly about why we homeschool and how they are feeling about their studies. They know we will always make the final decision about their education, but they also know their opinions matter to us and it helps for them to have friends from many different educational backgrounds. Inevitably, they tell us how much they love homeschooling and their friends sometimes ask their parents if they can homeschool. I know it may not always be like this, but I’ll take it for now!