This year I am homeschooling only my youngest 3. My oldest graduated high school with his two-year degree from the community college last year and my second son is currently taking full time dual enrollment classes at the same community college.

Ilse is 14, in 8th grade, and in Math-U-See Geometry, Antiquity from Compass Classroom for history, Novare Earth Science, Visual Latin 2, Calvin’s Institutes for Theology, plus an essay writing and ancient literature class mom teaches with friends.

Knox is 11, in 7th grade, and in Math-U-See Geometry, Antiquity from Compass Classroom, assorted books for a study of botany, Visual Latin 2, reading Spurgeon & Bob Schultz for Christian Living, plus an essay writing and ancient literature class mom teaches with friends.

Geneva is 9, in 4th grade, and using Math-U-See Epsilon, Child’s History of the World, drawing from field guides, studied dictation, Picta Dicta Latin, and Starr Meade’s Wonderful Works of God from which she writes narrations.

Together during Morning Time we listen to the Bible Reading Challenge assignment, sing from the Cantus Christi, pray, read the chapter of Proverbs that matches the date, recite a section of the Heidelberg Catechism, and practice our current Scripture memory.

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Homeschool Update: January 3-7, 2022

Although no one felt prepared and ready to begin school, we jumped in with our classes with friends for this first full week in January because it was our last full week in our hometown and we wanted to take advantage of our last opportunity to do classes in person.

I did not assign math for the week to try to keep the school day short and simple, but Knox was sad with this decision because math is his favorite subject. However, after 6 weeks of no math, I knew this was not the time to jump back to our standard math books. So I let him to 30 minutes of whatever math he wanted on Khan Academy. When Ilse saw he was going to do that, she, too, volunteered for Khan Academy math so that her brother wouldn’t get ahead of her. Geneva, on the other hand, gladly took the week off math.

We did no Morning Time this week due to packing and disruptions.

Homeschool Update: January 10-14, 2022

Tuesday was our moving day, so we did no school this week. Being the silly optimist that I am, I thought maybe we’d do a school day Thursday or Friday, but that was an unfounded hope. Our situation at our small rental was still pretty chaotic by the end of the week, requiring all my time and attention to sort and order.

However, we did make it to the library one afternoon and not only did we get everyone a library card, the librarian also gave us a lovely tour. The kids checked out some Ranger’s Apprentice, Hank the Cowdog, and Nancy Drew books to while away the cold afternoons.

Homeschool Update: January 17-21, 2022

We had a full homeschool week with Morning Time every day except Thursday when we took a day trip back to the Tri-Cities for orthodontist appointments and packing up another load from the old house.

Turns out that school takes longer when you don’t have your accustomed cues and rails. Habits are tied to location in mysterious ways and everything seemed a bit clunky and prolonged because the normal rhythms were disrupted.

Our classes that were in person are now on Zoom, and that went tolerably well. It’s definitely not as good as being in person, but the kids are all old enough and tech-savvy enough to do the give-and-take needed for Zoom to work.

Homeschool Update: January 24-28, 2022

We completed an actual full week of school this week, complete with daily Morning Time. I started playing the audio for the Bible Reading Challenge to start off our morning time instead of assigning it to us all individually. When the first thing we need to do is just sit and hit play, it seems to make it simpler and easier and more motivating to just get started.

I didn’t get to checking everyone’s work until Friday, so there was some assignment catch up that had to happen Friday when it was revealed that not all assignments had been completed. Inspecting is always important.

Homeschool Update: January 31-February 4, 2022

We completed another full week of school, only missing our every-other-week Coffee and Calvin date with friends (now on Zoom) because I was too sick. I’ve been fighting off a cold for a month now and it finally took me out for a day on Friday. Lots of water and sleep finally did seem to help.

Although school has been going well, we’re all looking forward to a break week, as is typical in week 5. Week 5 is always the week I start thinking it’s feeling like a long stretch.

Homeschool Update: February 7-11, 2022

We made it through another sixth week of a term! Only two terms left to go for the year – 11 weeks of school left, not that anyone (or everyone) is counting.

We continued our tradition of using the last day of the term to make all corrections on all math sheets to “clear” them and then get donuts. Matt went to pick up the donuts for us from the nearest grocery store, Rosauers, because grocery store donuts are the only kind our new town has. They were not great, but it was good to keep up the tradition. We’ll try a different grocery store next time.

After all the schoolwork was done and checked and put away, we all took an extra cleaning job also and then finished off the dozen box. Subpar donuts still are donuts, after all.

Homeschool Update: February 21-25, 2022

Spring Term might be a misnomer. It’s a hopeful name for a term that begins in February. Perhaps what begins in snow will end with daffodils. It will back in our hometown, but probably not here. I might have to rename it to Snow Term.

We incorporated some new-to-us music into our Morning Time this week, pieces that seem like familiar ones in the church we’re attending but are unfamiliar to us. We used the “Sing Your Part” app to accompany us. We also met and signed up with a new piano teacher for the three younger kids and so their practice was much more directed this week.

Plus, Knox turned twelve this week! He did Morning Time with us but didn’t have to do any of his schoolwork on his birthday.

Homeschool Update: February 28-March 4, 2022

Well, a stomach bug ran through the family this week, so all told I think everyone got about one day of school in for the week. Such is the way of life.

Homeschool Update: March 7-11, 2022

It was a pretty typical week this week as we got back into the full swing after the stomach bug. Everyone did seem to hit a math wall all on the same day, which was fun. Most of Friday morning was spent coaching people through both the math processes and also in handling life and responsibilities when you don’t want to. Math, as I have said, is the best character curriculum.

Instead of giving a new sheet to everyone on Friday, we all simply worked through the accumulated errors and got all the pages corrected so we can start Monday with a clean slate – and hopefully also a clean attitude.

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  1. What do you think of novare science? I’ve looked at them before but just not sure for this math-science rich house where I’m looking hard for living books. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    1. I think they are the best written of high school level science books I’ve seen. We just read them and make a journal entry from the reading, and that’s worked well for us. Ilse is kid #3 on this plan. We use Earth Science in 8th grade, Riot and the Dance biology for 9th, and Novare Physics for 10th. So far my 11th graders all went to the community college and did a lab science there after that. Now that we’re in a new state, we’ll need a new plan, but I have a few years. :)

      1. I love getting to do the labs, and I’m doubtful that any science that doesn’t have a lab component is adequate. Can you tell my background is in an aspect of science? But I’ll be looking at all this as my oldest gets there!

  2. Hi Mystie! Do you have a reading plan somewhere for how you go through Calvin’s Institutes with the kids?

  3. I think this is a great format since you’re not on social media anymore. A quick way to keep in touch. I hope you include links to these update posts in your email newsletter each time.

  4. Hi Mystie! I have a couple of questions. Do you think it possible to adapt Novare Earth Science for a middle school co op setting? Or what would you recommend as a precursor/introductory earth science book? Also I’m very interested to see what you are reading for your ancient literature class. Thank you.

    1. Science is not my strength and we’ve never done the experiments, so I’m not sure, but it is a good program and fitting for middle school. For ancient literature, we’re reading Gilgamesh, Theogony, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid.

  5. I also would like to know how you like Compass Classroom for History? Are you doing the paid subscription? I just ordered their Genesis in History Set for some science.

    1. I just purchased the Dave Raymond class to use. My previous high schooler used Raymond’s Modernity, too. We enjoyed both of those and the RC Sproul Jr. Econ for Everyone class.

  6. Do you have a post about the Christian living books? I’m struggling to find something appropriate for my 7th grader. I would love any recommendations. Thanks!

    1. I don’t have a post, but that’s a great idea! I’ll work one up. I do have some great recommendations now that I’m on my fourth middle schooler! :)

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