A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers-Weekly Highlights- 4/21

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It’s been about two years since I’ve written a weekly review post, and there has been one major change since then- we no longer identify as unschoolers and have settled in as relaxed homeschoolers. While unschooling can and does work for many families, the lack of structure and direction created some chaos in our lives.

I’ve learned a lot from our stint with unschooling, however, and feel that while some book work is necessary, it is hardly the most important part of our homeschool. Having said that, I’ve decided that if I am going to resume these review posts, for the most part I will not be focusing too much on our seat work and will instead focus on the parts of our weeks that I truly consider to be either highlights or developments that made this week different from the last.

Since I know so many people are curious as to how homeschooling can work with ten kids in the house, I have written a post that better addresses the technicalities of our daily routine.

Now on with the show!

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week has been one of those weeks that we really let life take the lead and backed off a bit on doing much structured learning. Our week started with two of my children taking their state-mandated standardized tests. (One on Monday and one on Tuesday)

We are really blessed in that our state only requires standardized tests in grades 3, 5, and 8 and in that my children were able to do these online at home, but it did not take away the stress that both of my children felt from doing them. After having one child in tears and another loudly complaining that she hates “school.” I am dreading having to go through this again with two more of my children next year.

While I’d be perfectly happy if we never had to see another test like that again, it was so refreshing to watch my son outside playing with the water table during his breaks. It just absolutely reinforced my beliefs in the benefits of homeschooling, because how many school children get to do things like that during their testing time?

Earlier in the week, Sunday to be precise, I went out to get the newspaper and found a headline glaring at me, stating how unsafe our city’s schools are. Apparently our school district had almost 3,000 incidents of violence by students that had to be reported to the Department of Education in the 2014-2015 school year alone. Add to that the fact that during that school term, the police had to be called 500 times and students were arrested 300 times. And the cherry on top was the story of a third grader who wrapped his hands around another child’s neck during breakfast in the cafeteria, and it turned out that this was the child’s 14th discipline report in seven weeks. Again, all I can say is, hallelujah for homeschooling.

Wednesday I helped take my disabled brother to a doctor’s appointment, so we actually did not do anything school-related that day at all. It was a well-timed break, though, after the stressful testing days. The rest of our week has been mainly activities-based, which is how they like it. Since I break my kids down into three groups in our homeschooling routine, I’ll do the same here to give you a picture of what was accomplished this week.

The Littles- Ages 7, 6, 4 (and sometimes the 2-yr.-old)

We’ve been reading the book Lentil this week and did some accompanying activities from our FIAR curriculum, such as mapping, coloring the US flag, and learning some shading techniques for an art project. We also talked about uniqueness and jealousy and worked on some character trait issues.

The Big Kids- Ages 11, 10, and 8

We’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone together, and the kids have been reading books from the Encyclopedia Brown series because they work well with the research/reference unit study we’re doing right now. We’ve been practicing looking for information using library resources and actually took a field trip there today, so that they could choose books for their upcoming reports and better learn how to tell the difference in the placement of fiction and non-fiction books on the shelves.

As an aside, I’ve got to say that I was horrified when I found out today that a young boy was assaulted in the men’s room of our library. Our library. Add to that the fact that our mayor is being investigated by the FBI for bribery charges, and you’ve got a pretty clear picture of the state that our city is in right now.

Anyway…

The Teens- Ages 16, 16, and 14

My oldest daughter has been reading a modern English version of Dante’s Inferno, while my younger daughter just finished The Book Thief. My son isn’t much of a reader, so he’s just been reading through some non-fiction books about WWII from the library and taking some notes from them. The three of them actually did get the vast majority of their assigned work done this week since they mainly do it on their own (with exception to math, of course- sigh). Otherwise, my oldest daughter’s been painting quite a bit with her acrylics. She hopes to sell some of her work online in the future and has been working at perfecting her artistic style. My son has been out and about with his friends quite a bit, bike riding, playing basketball, and watching a volleyball game at the middle school. My younger daughter has been going through a phase where I pretty much have to force her to come out of her room and get some fresh air. She does go for walks with her sister and me, and we’ve been lamenting the fact that the cherry blossoms have already turned green! Sniff.

The Oldest- Age 22

Okay, I know he’s technically the 11th kid I’ve mentioned and the title of the post is “A Tale of TEN Homeschoolers,” and I know that he isn’t homeschooled (he’s actually in college), BUT I felt like I had to include him because he’s still one of my children, and, with all the editing and proofreading I do for his college papers, sometimes I feel like he IS my 11th homeschooler.

He has been having some issues recently with conflicting responsibilities because he has a huge workload right now for school, and he also has some classes he needs to take for the army (he’s in reserves) because he’s supposed to be going to Germany this summer for some training thing. (I don’t know the technical term). Hopefully, he’ll be able to figure something out that will satisfy both needs.

***************************

And that’s about it. I’m looking forward to a beautiful weekend and can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

How has your week been?

Linking up with:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Homeschool Linkup

Friendship Friday

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Pin Me Linky Party

Make My Saturday Sweet

Friday Features

Making Your Home Sing Monday

Inspire Me Monday

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Mommy Monday

Practical Mondays

Literacy Musing Mondays

Social Butterfly Sunday

Monday of Many Blessings

Tuesday Talk

Modest Monday

Sitting Among Friends Blog Party

Homemaking Linkup

Wise Woman Linkup

 

Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

13 thoughts on “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers-Weekly Highlights- 4/21”

  1. I’m loving all of the books you’re reading! It’s scary all of the happenings in the world and the public school systems. I am thankful we have the option to homeschool. Thank you for sharing your lovely week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s sad that school children have to go through the things they do today. And you’re right- gotta love that freedom to homeschool. I have a feeling it’s going to grow exponentially in the near future. Thanks for visiting!

      Like

  2. I had to smile at the image of your son playing in the water table during testing; it may seem like such a small thing but that is HUGE! My kids often pity the public school kids having to take their tests.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish we could do away with state testing. We’re lucky that it’s not a requirement for homeschoolers here on AZ. Your kids are blessed to be homeschooled. I know mine appreciate not having to deal with the crazy public school system anymore. I hope you have a relaxing weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I wish we could do away with it, too. One good thing is that the only person other than us who sees the scores is our homeschool evaluator, and she doesn’t care about the scores, since she leans towards unschooling. So far, my kids have always performed very well and are advanced in several areas, but it’s still stressful to them. You have a great weekend, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s good that they require standardized testing only because if they want to go on beyond high school – it’s a skill that is necessary.

    I also love that you are open to trying different things and finding what works for your family!

    Love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so grateful for homeschooling. It is crazy the things going on in schools lately. I love all of your book selections! It sounds like you all had a wonderful week! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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