Adventures in DIY (while homeschooling)

I said we’d be starting to work into a schedule this week.

I lied.

Not on purpose, of course, but our DIY projects took longer than anticipated so I’m letting the unschooling happen and foregoing out any sort of more structured schedule until next week. So for now, let’s talk about the home improvement happening around here!

Goodbye old carpet; Hello, new floors!

Before the carpet could come up, we had to move everything. Even all my yet-uncounted books. {sigh} Kathryn designated Scout as her assistant and the two of them carried nearly every book in our numerous bookshelves upstairs to the spare room. That was a HUGE help. We moved out all the furniture we could, and just scooted other stuff out of the way. {Note: upright pianos are really heavy.}

Kathryn now knows how to install wood laminate flooring, and is going to be a crazy-handy wife and mom someday. Ken took Jem with him to Home Depot to get floor samples, and the one we ended up picking is the one Jem picked out. Guess he’s well on his way to his goal of building houses when he grows up!


The unschooling keeps going.

The whole flooring adventure took longer than we’d anticipated, but once the living room was finished, the kids could hang out there even though the school room and beyond was not yet put back together. On this particular day, I instagrammed this photo of an unschooling day as Kathryn sewed a sock doll, Scout read aloud with Kathryn there to help her with tough words, and Jem drew what he told me was a map to Africa, which is “a REALLY a long way away.” He’s very interested in Africa because he knows we went there once, and because our Compassion kids live there.


Pros and cons of wood laminate flooring:

In case you’re considering this type of flooring, I have a few thoughts on it. My mom, my aunt, and Diane and Brandon all have this type of floors, so I’ve seen the durability and various varieties of wood laminate in use. Ours are Pergo brand; we’d narrowed our choice down to two possibilities, and this color was on sale so it was the winner!

  • PROS: easy to install if you’re relatively handy and have a good saw; super easy to clean; already seeing a difference in our allergies (Kathryn hasn’t even had to use her inhaler); textured enough to look like real wood and to make it easy for the dog to walk without slipping; durable enough not to get scratched by dog toenails, etc.
  • CONS: the echo factor has me antsy to go rug shopping, but I planned to do that anyway, so no big deal. That’s really the only negative I have, and I know getting rugs and the rest of the furniture and books in place will help immensely.

New windows, too!

New floors are not the only DIY project we’ve been working on. During the week of Christmas, Ken enlisted Brandon’s help to redo our bedroom window. We had a door leading outside that we never used, and it was rotting and not at all sealed. {Gross fact: slugs sometimes crawled under the door and I’d find their little dried up bodies under my chair. Eww.}

Our house is [relatively] old and drafty, so we’ll eventually replace all of our windows, but we started with this one because it was the most rotted {had a woodpecker that loved to come get bugs out of the rotting window trim} and because we knew this would be the most difficult since they’d have to build a new frame.


This week, I spackled and primed that wall. Painting it and continuing to put the house back together are on my agenda for this weekend.

Coming up: a fresh start.

Next week the plan is to start Kathryn back on math and history, but I’m keeping things light for her because she’s learning big blocks of Bible passages in Hebrew for her bat mitzvah celebration in less than a month. I’ve been learning about the process and the ceremony since I’m not very familiar with the messianic Jewish traditions her dad observes.

For Scout and Jem, we’ll get back into more reading and very basic activities, and I’m hoping to start incorporating more crafts and art into their days. This is the year I hope to climb out of the funk and the overwhelm of life, but I’m being realistic about it. It won’t happen all at once, that’s for sure, but I’m thankful for the new year because January always feels hopeful and fresh.

I’m linking with:
– Mary’s “Collage Friday” at Home Grown Learners
– Kris’ “Weekly Wrap-Up” at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers