Homeschool History, Science, and More!

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It’s May, y’all! Not much longer before we’ll be done with the official portion of our school year (though we keep some of our studies going through the summer months).
Until then, a little of what we’ve been up to…

Preschool + baby Riley

Last week Jem’s preschool hosted Muffins with Mom. First time I’ve ever done anything like this, which is kind of funny with him being the youngest of my now five children! The kids had made little decorative tiles to give the moms as gifts, and the tables were all decorated with tablecloths and flowers. I am happy he is beginning to see me as mom, but adoption is a mighty BIG concept for a 4-year-old to grasp.

This is Riley’s I-just-woke-up face. Admit it: my grandniece is beyond adorable, and that grin lights up the room!


Riley’s mama has finished her semester of student teaching, so this was our last week of keeping Riley. I admit it has been hard meeting Scout and Jem’s needs with a baby in the house, but I asked my niece to keep us on the babysitting list so we don’t go into smiley-baby withdrawal!


I’m not a big TV watcher but I keep an eye out on Netflix for movies or documentaries that go along with things we’re studying. Kathryn and I finally had a chance (after the littles were in bed one night) to watch National Geographic’s documentary, Lewis & Clark – Great Journey West. It was well-done and we enjoyed it. Kathryn has been inspired to re-read her favorite book on their adventure, The Captain’s Dog. Also this week, Kathryn has been reading another biography in YWAM’s Hero series: Meriwether Lewis – Off the Edge of the Map. This girl is so much more interested in history than I ever was — but then again, we’re learning it in a much more interesting manner (living books!) than when I was in school.  {Giveaway from YWAM coming soon!}

Meanwhile, in our regularly scheduled U.S. history studies (America the Beautiful), we’ve finally made it up to events recent enough for me to have lived through, even if I don’t remember much of them. Again, I’m learning right alongside my kids, which is one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling!

Enrichment Classes

This was also the last week of Lindsey and Kathryn’s enrichment classes. Kathryn will continue Choi Kwang Do next year, and hopes to get in a more advanced LEGO class. Lindsey, however, is done forever! She finished up with a senior white belt in Choi Kwang Do, and did a cool final project for her interior design class.

I’m proud of Kathryn for doing much better about practicing her flute without my having to remind her. Her spring concert is coming up next week! (And little Riley was mesmerized every time she played!)


Literature and Composition

Lindsey has procrastinated on her online essay assignments but we’re working on getting her caught up. The anticipation of graduation and a celebratory party are exciting — but there are things she has to get done before any of that can happen!

Kathryn has been blogging about our robins, and that certainly “counts” as writing. She also does one other writing assignment each week, which varies according to what else we’re working on. I usually give her at least two choices; having options seems to help with her occasional reluctance to write.

Science and Nature Study

We would’ve finished up Kathryn’s Swimming Creatures science last week but she wanted me to break it up so it would last a bit longer because she enjoys it so much. She made a sea urchin for her ocean box last week, and will be working on more ocean-going critters in the coming weeks. This week, we studied jellyfish and anemones.

As for Lindsey, she’s working through The Human Body. I have her on a fairly fast pace with this because I wanted her to study anatomy before graduation but we didn’t have a full semester to do it. As a result, we haven’t delved into interesting experiments and such, but she’s getting a good overview of the subject.

Our back porch nature study is still going! The baby robins hatched last week (read about that on Kathryn’s blog), and now they are in that cute-but-ugly phase and their birdie parents are busy stuffing tiny beaks full of worms and things.



Although the pollen has been ridiculous, we’ve been playing outside as much as possible. Last Saturday the kids spent nearly the whole day outside digging in dirt, playing with worms, inspecting flowers, decorating the play set with naturey things, watching birds and lizards and chipmunks, searching for wild strawberries in the yard… this isn’t formal study, of course, but it’s getting up close and personal with nature and there’s all kinds of learning happening there.

Homeschool link-ups:

Homeschool Mother’s Journal at iHomeschool Network
– Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
– No Fear Homeschool High School at The Daisy Head
– Collage Friday at Home Grown Learners

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melissa newell

What a fun week with nature! Baby birds are the best to watch! They stay still and open their mouths a lot! Looks like a fun week! Great pictures!


Phyllis at All Things Beautiful

I love the baby-watched flute playing photo. What an active and fun week.

Lara M

It definitely “pollened” here, too! it sounds super busy but very fun at your home right now!


We LOVE America the Beautiful for history. Like you, I am learning so much!

Tricia @ Hodgepodge

Learning right along with my children is one of my very favorite things about homeschooling too! Wonderful week Jamie!


What a great week. You are a busy mommy right now! I am glad all is going so well.
Blessings, Dawn


Riley is beautiful!!!

I’m marveling at how well you seem to be transitioning to having 2 more children in the house, Jamie…. I hope you have a chance to get some rest this weekend!

THanks for linking!


Riley is adorable:) I love the picture of her watching flute practice! So cute!

Chris Tillley (@hhtales)

That is one fascinated baby and oh so cute! My wife plays the flute in an Irish Band and it our church choir.

Mai Bateson

What an awesome week you’ve had! The baby watching the girl playing the flute and baby Riley being stunned is priceless! 🙂 That’s a great pic!!!


What are your thoughts on the Essay Rock Star Writing Course? I am thinking of having my daughter (junior) do it next year.