Homeschool Update | Week 24


If you read our week 23 update, you know that it was a rough week. That’s life and there isn’t much we can do about it. Homeschooling isn’t perfect and we all have our fair share of good weeks and bad weeks. Luckily, our bad streak didn’t last for long, and I’m happy to report that week 24 went pretty good. Maybe it was because the boys were excited to do their school work, or maybe it was because I promised I would take them to see the LEGO Batman Movie if they were good. Nevertheless, they did their work as expected and in the end I did take them to the movies.

So what’s been happening? Let’s get started….

First off let’s talk about the fun things before we get into the curriculum and learning. As mentioned, we did head to the LEGO Batman movie. While talking to the boys, I accidentally led them into the wrong theater. We were suppose to be in #2 and I lead them straight into #1. Wanna know what #1 was? It was that 50 Shades movie. Now I’ll be honest here. I’ve never read the books or even watched the first movie and thank goodness I realized that we were in the wrong theater before it actually kicked off. I tell my husband that the 50 shades is too adult for me, and I could only imagine if the boys were to see that on accident. In the end, we did end up at the Batman movie and they laughed the entire time through. Now those that know me, know that the reason I’m not a fan of movie theaters, other than the fact that they cost an arm and a leg, is it drives me insane listening to people that laugh extremely loud, and those that crinkle wrappers. Lucky for me we had the entire theater to ourselves with the exception of one couple. So even I will admit that it was rather enjoyable.

After the movie ended, we had to hurry home and get packed for a weekend away at Pigeon Forge. My mom had been wanting to take the boys to enjoy the Dixie Stampeded since Christmas and our schedules made it impossible. We were finally able to make it work and they had a blast. We spent the earlier part of Saturday just walking around the Island, and then that night she and my dad took the boys to the show. After the show ended, they headed back to the Island so that the boys could enjoy the lights and music.

On the way back home on Sunday, there were cars all lined up on the side of the road. Since the bears are suppose to be hibernating, we weren’t sure exactly what people were looking at. While driving by slow, we realized that it were the elk. Several years ago, elk was reintroduced into Cherokee, NC and they are really thriving. Every time we go by the general area, we always look for them but have yet to be able to see them. Talk about some excited little boys when they were actually able to real elk!

Also, this week we did take the boys on a little hike. Luke had been learning about beavers in science and we have a pretty good sized beaver dam below our house. The boys enjoyed checking out the beaver dam and learning even more about them.

So what’s going on with our curriculum:
If you remember, Davis has almost wrapped up his 4th grade Teaching Textbooks, so I have been checking out tons of math to see exactly what I wanted to use with him. While I love Teaching Textbooks, it just wasn’t working out for us. Davis doesn’t do all that great with computer work, and it was taking him about an hour and a half to do his math every day. He would just start day dreaming and never get it completed. After much thought and looking at tons of math options, I finally decided on Abeka 5th grade math. Luke is really enjoying his Abeka 2 and I was really liking the look of it. Davis’ Abeka 5 arrived and I think it’s going to be a great fit for him. More work for me since I won’t have the computer there teaching the lesson, but I’ve already realized that I have to sit down with him one on one for him to get his work completed.

We also have been learning about ladybugs and other garden helpers and even pests in our science and I have to say that I’ve been learning right along with him. While we love seeing ladybugs in our garden, I had no idea of their life cycle. Now that I know, I think it’s going to make a huge difference when it comes to our gardening techniques. Here are a few films we watched on that:

As always, his favorite subject in school is his language arts. He looks forward to doing the Well-trained Mind First Language Lessons Level 4. It blows my mind on how much he loves sentence diagramming.

Luke is going right along with his Abeka 2 math and still continues to love it. It’s broken up into sections and he kept saying that he was sad he was leaving the “pond” section and heading into “transportation”, but luckily he has adapted. He decided that the animals were much better to look at than forms of transportation.

In his Abeka History, he’s been learning about different areas, which he is loving. This week we covered:

Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Geothermal Features of Yellowstone National Park

Along with these studies, we added additional learning. Here’s the site we used for that.

• Animals of Yellowstone
• Making Tracks
• How Geysers Erupt
• PBS Yellowstone Teacher Resources

Stay tuned, because we are going to be doing even more geyser stuff next week.

Additional learning resources we used:

The Kid’s Guide to Grand Teton National Park: The perfect companion for a child visiting Grand Teton National Park! The story of this park is told clearly and colorfully – from the rise of the Tetons, to American Indians, to the establishment of the park. It is also a field guide, with pictures and information about common animals and plants, geology, and historic landmarks. The photographs by Henry H. Holdsworth and text by Charles Craighead create a wonderful resource for children to learn about the richness of their national park.

Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure: Butterflies flutter, birds soar, and geysers burst into the sky. Join Buddy Bison and his two new friends as they explore the majestic Yellowstone National Park. Breathtaking photographs of Yellowstone serve as the backdrop for the wacky adventures of a curious pair of twins, Elena and Christopher, who are spending the summer with their aunt Rosa, a park ranger.

Who Pooped in the Park? Yellowstone National Park: Watch where you step! Sometimes the animals that live in Yellowstone National Park are hard to find–but you can always find their poop!
Come along with Michael, Emily, and their family as they learn about the animals in the park from their scats (poop) and tracks (footprints). This delightfully illustrated children’s book follows Michael–who is afraid of bears–and his family as they encounter signs of bison, moose, elk, deer, rabbits, wolves, mountain lions, badgers, and more.

Yellowstone (Wonders of America):Bubbling mud puddles, shooting steam, and majestic bison make Yellowstone National Park — the world’s first national park — a magical place to visit!

The Beavers Busy Year: Along a stream a dam pops out of the water. Beavers are busy at work! These aquatic mammals have unique traits that aid them in building the perfect lodge to raise young beavers and keep predators away. Mary Holland s vibrant photographs document the beavers activities through the course of a year. Do these beavers ever take a break? Follow along as they pop through the winter ice to begin the busy year of eating bark, building dams and gathering food just in time for winter to come again.”

Nature: Leave It to Beavers:

Are You a Ladybug? (Backyard Books):Beginning with its title question, “Are you a ladybug?”, this accessible book is perfect for reading aloud and tells young readers how they would experience life if they were a ladybug.

Weekly Wrap-Up


Samantha has been blogging for over 8 years and is a wife and homeschool mom of 4 from North Carolina.

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