Week In The Life (Epistolary, Gothic, Asylums)

Well, we are way over our 180 days for the year. I am trying to close any loose ends we may have, so we can enjoy the upcoming holidays. Looking back over the year, I am pleased with everything we accomplished thus far. Considering I was recovering from back surgery, and the injury that leads up to the back surgery, both girls are right where I was hoping they would be before we start our next year of school. I’m really glad we used Sky’s 8th-grade year as a test run for high school. She’s prepared and understands what’s in store for 2016. It also helped me see how much time was needed for each of her credits.

At first, I was completely overwhelmed. Being that I am keeping a journal of our homeschooling journey, I want to make sure I am portraying homeschooling accurately, and honestly as possible. So, I want to make it perfectly clear, homeschooling high school scared the shit out of me!. After listening to some very helpful webinars, seriously I highly recommend catching them when you can, from Lee Binz, my confidence grew tremendously. That, and being able to see what combining some classes together might look like. For example, combining composition and literature classes together works really well for us. So does combining (world, American, art, theater, and music) history and geography together.


Basically, we are considered the same as a private school (again, always check your state’s/ countries homeschooling laws), and can call all the shots. We do not need to follow public school’s requirements for graduating our children. However, there is a catch. If your child plans on attending college, they will need a transcript. (Community colleges do not need one, but I would still prepare one because plans can change.) It’s the colleges you want to make happy. That should be the most important goal for homeschooling high school. What courses the college wants your child to have before attending there.

I thought I would post Sky’s plans, in case they might be helpful. Of course, we will try for every scholarship opportunity possible, because honestly, we can’t afford college. Both girls will need to work while attending. Sky wants to go to art school, she will need to complete a few basic courses before she can apply. She plans to attend our local community college to complete those courses, then has them transferred when she applies to the art school.

Since she wants to attend art school, I need to know everything the school wants my child to have before applying. I want the art school to want her as a student there. Her transcript will have lots of art classes, and she will need a portfolio. So, this is what high school will look for her. For Little Sis, high school might look completely different than Sky’s.

To me, this is what makes homeschooling completely worth it. We can custom fit each child’s education around them. Not only are we able to see the individual, we are able to focus our attention on them, one on one. A personalized education.

Language Arts


We started Dracula by Bram Stoker this week (chapter 1-8, book found free at Amazon).


We also watched a video ( from Shaun Kunz, YouTube) about the first 8 chapters of the book.

I have stayed away from this story personally because the sight of blood and I don’t have a very good relationship. The thought of someone sucking my blood makes me nauseous. Then, I thought what the hell? Both girls had requested we read it, and you know what? I really am enjoying it a lot! I am kicking myself for waiting so darn long.

Little Sis finished Catching Fire and is reading book 3, Mockingjay.

I read a short bio on Emily Dickinson from the book Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull.


The girls listed 10 things they learned about her.



The girls watched videos explaining what both Gothic and epistolary (from Shaun Kunz) literature is.


They added the explanations to their composition journal.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis learned list 2/


Sky learned the first week of words from Dracula (Quizlet)

desecration, congealing, anemia, genealogy, bereaved, hell-hound, ferocious, credence, trinket, hale, contagious, craggy, brandishing, fluttering, headland


The girls copied the poem Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson.




We also watched the Crash Course Literature video on Emily Dickinson.

Speaking of Crash Course, we finished up our Shakespeare study by watching their videos on Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet (YouTube).

We watched videos about Shakespeare from TEDEd too.


Did Shakespeare Write His Plays? (Science, learning about linguistics)

Insults By Shakespeare, and Poetry, Pentameter, Pirates (This was a wonderful visual. I’m sure I will use it again).


Warming up with XtraMath.

Little Sis, Math Math Easy 3rd Grade workbook.

Sky learned percents from the Pre-Algebra Kumon workbook and watched a video.


Little Sis had her STEAM class this week. They played board games while the parents talked to the librarian. The library is really interested in making sure they have all the resources we might need to homeschool on hand. They are very open and want to help us with our homeschooling needs.


World History

We watched a video on the history of vampires from TED-ED.


We watched the Democratic Debate.

The Arts


We watched the musical, West Side Story. The girls were able to pick out all the similarities between Romeo and Juliet.

We watched a video from Brows Held High( one of my favorite YouTubers) on the musical West Side Story, as part of his Shakespeare week.

We watched the movie Lion King (Hamlet), and Lion King 2 (Romeo and Juliet). Then, we watched the Brows Held High video about the similarities between the Lion King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (YouTube).

We discussed Waterhouse’s (another favorite artist of mine) paintings of Ophelia.

We also watched the movie Catching Fire.

We attended a homeschool field trip this week, learning what goes on behind the scenes of The Asylum House haunted house.








The girls had a blast! We are very thankful to the owners of the Asylum House for allowing us to do this, and giving us the tour for free. Sky loved learning about all the work it takes to run a haunted house.

Peace for the journey.


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