Week in the Life (Patterns)

Surprisingly enough, even with all the current events swirling around in my head, I am feeling really positive about the start of our school year. I feel like, even though we were going through our same homeschooling routine, that I was extremely distracted by making sure we were covering all of our bases for high school. Somewhere along the way, we lost all our joy in learning. I found myself more interested in the novels I was reading instead of doing our lessons. My lack of enthusiasm was not lost on the girls. How many times have I written that if interest is not there, learning will not happen? Well, homeschooling parents are not excluded from that.

Though I am not one to break laws, actually I am a huge nerd (if you couldn’t already tell), I do tend to question arbitrary rules a lot. Just because everyone else might have done it a certain way, does not mean that I have to. I have never been much of a follower.

Homeschooling Kindergarten through 8th grade was great, you basically just need to cover all the basics. Can they read? Can they write? Are they building onto their mathematical skills? No problem. Then high school comes around with thoughts on college, scholarships, and competition (oh my). The stress of my child’s future rests upon my shoulders. I was not only making myself physically ill, I was impacting my daughter’s mental health. Creating your own path can be scary at times. Everything that I had observed of my daughter, over all these years of homeschooling, no longer mattered anymore; it was time for her to become another cog in the wheel. Over winter break, I realized that I could care less about the wheel anymore, and we focused more on our interests again.

All the times I tried to force activities (“got to list extracurricular activities on a transcript, no one likes a loner, especially if they are homeschooled”); in the end, it was the girls that told me what they wanted to do. Little Sis loves cheerleading, and Sky is loving her equestrian lessons. They both are interested in taking a self-defense class as well. If I had just listened to my instincts, and followed their lead in the first place (like I had been doing before the high school madness began), I could have spared the both of us a lot of stress.

Something else that I witnessed over winter break, was that the girls were going to be alright. They are fully capable of managing on their own. They have been listening and making their own observations too. They are both incredibly smart girls, with a good head on their shoulders, a solid foundation beneath their feet, and have grown a fondness of questioning arbitrary rules themselves. 🙂

I guess, it is all just part of my learning journey.




Language Arts


We continued reading Julie of the Wolves.

There is so much in this little story to discuss. I may have already mentioned this, but I read this story when I was younger. I remember liking it, but I can’t really remember why. I guess when reading reviews, there is a little controversy over an attempted rape scene halfway into the book. I sure didn’t remember any of that from reading it when I was younger. However, one difference is we read for discussion purposes. The girls know they can talk to Papa and me about anything, and we have and do. Second, Little Sis has read and watched the Hunger Games series, and Sky has read and watched the Game of Thrones series, so this wasn’t anything worse than what they have already read. In other words, you know your children best.

*Mama’s reads*

I finished The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. I give it 4 stars. (5 stars being I absolutely loved it, 4 stars being it was okay, I liked it enough, 3 stars being I didn’t like it, 2 stars, I have yet to give a novel 2 stars, complete rubbish.)

I could see the influences from The Shining and The Haunting of Hill House. The characters were well developed. The prose was nicely written. I think the pace just dragged a bit for me, which kept it from being a page turner, and 5-star novel.

I tried reading The Trap by Melanie Raabe but dnf it. I really tried to give it a chance, the prose is beautiful, and the plot sounded like it would have been a good read. However, the repetition was just too much.

I am reading The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon now.


Vocabulary Words:

This week, the girls had words from both the poem we are discussing and from Julie of the Wolves.

Poem: liberty, patriotic, mumbles

Novel: sedge, nomadic, peat, carrion, soliciting, ambrosia, undulating, bayed, vaulting, monotony, tundra, regal, cosmos

They also worked in their root word workbooks.


Sky worked in her workbook. Netflix had added mad libs to their DVD envelopes, so the girls took turns asking each other the questions. They had so much fun, that they asked if I would order them some more, so I did.

We continued working out of A Sentence a Day (loving this!). This led to a conversation about appositives.



The girls copied the next two stanzas of the Poem: Let America Be America Again, with lots of discussion of current events.


(Little Sis)

Creative Writing:

We discussed creating characters from the book: Seize the Story (loving this too!). They continued free writing 10 minutes a day; this time focusing on developing their characters.



The girls warmed up at Xtramath.

Little Sis: continued working on her division workbook

Sky: learned how to divide using variables.

*Slight detour ahead*

Something I have discovered on this learning journey of mine is it isn’t the algebra that is necessarily what’s so hard to grasp, but maybe that the steps leading up to algebra might not have been mastered well enough. I see this with Sky, granted she has just dipped her toes into algebra, she has been flying through her worksheets. Though Sky isn’t at grade level with mathematics, the fact that I have taken the time for her to master each step before moving on has been extremely beneficial now. Another positive side effect from me letting go of the wheel. What do I want, an educated child that has mastered concepts? Or a failing child rushed through the process because of someone else’s timeline?

*End of detour*

We purchased a new board game: Rubber Road.


I was wanting to purchase a geoboard for a project but didn’t want it sitting around collecting dust when we were though. So, I saw this game and thought it would be a perfect solution. The object is to get your color of rubber bands on the opposite side of the board without crossing over your opponents and only using three pegs. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and a great time filler when the family is waiting for me for whatever reason.

It was perfect for our project too.


I purchased a separate set of rubber bands to use the game as a geoboard. The girls took turns between the geoboard and the pattern blocks making snowflakes, snowmen, and other winter objects.




We watched :

See the Beauty of the Northern Lights From a Plane, and from Space -National Geographic

Why Seasons Make No Sense – It’s Okay to be Smart

Fun Facts About Groundhogs!- Scishow Kids

Lichen: Two Living Things In One -SciShow Kids

How does a jellyfish sting? – Neosha S Kashef -TedEd

(Where we took a detour and learned about lion’s mane jellyfish, holy crap!)

Giant Echizen jellyfish off Japan coast.BBC World News

All found on YouTube.



Colds, the Flu, and You- Scishow Kids

Cell vs. virus: A battle for health – Shannon Stiles…TedEd

The Surprising Reason You Feel Awful When You Are Sick…TedEd

Bacteria vs. Antibiotics….TedEd

All found on YouTube.



We Walked Away the Pounds: 3 miles, Yoga walked, Little Sis had cheerleading practice, and Sky had her equestrian lessons where she learned how to run a pattern.





We watched PBS Masterpiece Theater: Victoria.

Snowflake Bentley Read Aloud

The myth behind the Chinese zodiac -TedEd (Which fit well with the video: Why Seasons Make No Sense.)

Take a Tour of a Soviet-Era Ghost Town-National Geographic

Found on YouTube.


We watched PBS series Mercy Street.


The Arts

We watched Disney’s animated The Jungle Book movie. I waited a bit to watch this with the girls since we had seen the live-action version in the theater. I have to admit, even though I did not like the live-action version, it was way better than the animated movie. It really needed an update. I can see why it was never a favorite of mine.


We made Rapunzel from Dramatic Parrot-YouTube.


The girls have been working in their adult coloring books they received for Christmas.


This one is called: The Time Chamber by Daria Song.

(Little Sis)

Theater Appreciation (Small Screen):

We watched: Faerie Tale Theatre  – Rapunzel – YouTube.

Music Appreciation (Instrumental): We listened to George Winston: Winter (while making patterns)- YouTube

That about sums it up, peace for the journey.


3 Responses to “Week in the Life (Patterns)”

  1. Fox Says:

    I’ve found the same about algebra. I no longer have the firm foundation I used to, so I struggled in college level math. It’s far better to start with a strong background.

  2. Miriam Says:

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts about homeschooling high school. I haven’t been blogging lately so I haven’t written much about this, but it’s actually my first time homeschooling a high school aged kid. My older two (now 23 and 25) were homeschooled until 8th grade but then both chose to go to high school. I didn’t really want them to, but it was the right decision at the time since I was very busy with two babies and couldn’t really meet their needs.
    Anyway, my third child would be a freshman this year, so it’s a new stage of life and I’ve been busy. I’m liking it but it’s different, for sure. When I get too worried about how much he’s accomplishing, I remember my own high school years. I did everything I was supposed to do, took all the tough classes, did the work, made the good grades, etc. And still so much of it was just rote work, learned for the test, promptly forgotten. I think it’s one of those things where you have to have some faith, because you are taking a different path and that can be a little frightening. There are so many stories though, of successful kids who did it differently. Just depends on how you define success.

    • dkjsv05 Says:

      I think as homeschooling parents, we want to make sure we are not messing up our children’s education; especially when it comes to high school. It felt like I was starting out homeschooling all over again. As an unschooler, I understand how learning works. As a homeschooler, I’ve seen how learning works. I’ve seen it happen time and time again, but high school is different right? Like all the lessons I’ve learned since homeschooling, I needed to understand this one too. 🙂 Now, we are back on track. The girls understand there are some things we need to go over for the sake of checking off a box, now they just nod and we move on to the real learning.

      I have missed your blog. I know life gets in the way, but it was nice to read your thoughts again. 🙂

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