Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up

Happenings in our own small world these past few weeks:

Something new: our teen group had a volunteer training session at our county's animal shelter. My kids now desperately want to volunteer there. Laurel, who is 16, can volunteer there on her own, but Duncan (13) must have an adult with him. Honestly? I don't really want to volunteer at the animal shelter. I am hoping his Dad, who would love to do this, will work this out with him somehow!

Something in progress: Laurel is still working on writing up her final project description for her Stars and Stripes project for American Heritage Girls. She finished the project itself in January, but other things keep coming up and preempting the final report writing. She's sooo close!

Something new I've taught: I've had my English Prep (middle school English) class do an approach paper this year, which I've never done before. I've gotten lots of positive feedback from the parents saying that they love this exercise. For me as a teacher of these future high schoolers, I have found it to be a fantastic preparation tool for writing literary analysis papers. I broke it up into three parts and am looking forward to seeing what the kids turn in next week as their final drafts.

Something useful: My awesome roundtable buddy and I just facilitated a roundtable for our support group called "The Middle School Years." It was quite well attended and we got some good feedback from it. We had a few other moms there who have homeschooled middle and high school with their kids and had some great suggestions and insight. I love roundtable discussions, love the feeling that maybe we are providing some encouragement and help.

Something awesome: I just wrapped up a unit on The Book Thief  with my World Lit class, and my class made the most awesome projects. Check out my post Teaching the Book Thief: Repurposed Pages.  Here's just one example:

Something sweet: my daughter and her date for the annual black-and-white dance. She's so pretty. She almost makes me want to be 16 again. Almost.

Something happy: Our oldest is home from college on spring break. Yes, I know it is still February. go figure. I'm just happy to have him home.

And besides all that, life goes on as usual in our homeschool for the most part: reading, writing, lots of algebra (1 and 2), chemistry, languages (French and German), and all the bits and pieces that make up our lovely life at home.

How're things in your neck of the woods? Link up at the Weekly Wrap-Up!


  1. I'm with you on volunteering at the shelter. I'd come home with critters :) Your English lessons look awesome!

  2. Your family is beautiful and your post makes me feel far less afraid of having teens ;)

    1. Thank you. And I l-o-v-e teenagers. They are SO much fun and so much less physical work than little ones! Don't be scared!

    2. My daughter wants to volunteer at St Vincent de Paul but their minimum age is 16, she's only 9. She helps Grandma occasionally to pack food hampers but that is a slight bending of the rules. I understand their reasoning but I wish there was a youth version.

  3. Love this! I used to work at an animal hospital. I know they're always grateful for volunteers. I'm going to be following you. As someone who is really just a baby homeschooler - albeit second generation I'd like to see your approach with teens! I love to get as much advice as possible. :)

  4. I've never heard of an approach paper before. Definitely something we'll be using soon.

  5. I love the sound of your life - it sounds so balanced. And like Tina I love reading posts like yours - it makes me look forward to the teen years rather more! Your daughter looks beautiful in that pic.

  6. We just started volunteering at the local animal shelter last week. Here too 16 is the magic age, but I don't mind going and helping out. My first career for 17 years was in an animal hospital so I am quite used to it all. Just hoping we don't come home with anymore animals.


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