A Year in the Life of a Home Schooling Family: Day 63

I started the day listening to the end of Joshua. It has been so interesting for me to listen to the Bible for well over two hours each day. This is such a different experience to my normal chapter at a time, and moving from one book to another. This is the first time I have ‘read’ the Bible cover to cover from Genesis. It’s a great start to the day and to the night. I am even tucking down a couple of hours early each night to fit in more!

So today when I emerged, everyone was up and had breakfasted. Lillie was about to take Charlotte out to capture some photos in the gorgeous morning light. Her latest photography project is to capture a series of photos of Charlotte which detail the journey through ME. This is one of Charlotte where Lil has used the shadows to suggest prison bars and reflects how imprisoned Charlotte felt at her worse:

Thomas is working today and left shortly after. He works for a gardening/landscape company. He loves working outdoors, and very much enjoys the team he’s working for.

Abigail and Becca were do some science explosions. I went to take some photos and I was just in time to capture a rather large volcanic explosion:

So big in fact, it hit the ceiling:

Oh my. Only in homeschool!

Soon nine o’clock came around and we all settled down to do some school work. Charlotte went over to my mum’s:

I popped next door with her to grab a photo of the two of them. Mum plays such a vital part in our homeschool, especially with Charlotte. She is Charlotte’s leveller and keeps her focused on what is important instead of letting her get carried away by the minutiae in life:

They are very close, and I am grateful every day for my gorgeous mum!

Lillie began work on her maths:

I’ve been meaning to take a photo of some of Lillie’s biology drawings. She does these all in her spare time:

I love to see how she is incorporating her love of being creative into her psychology and biology

Then she sticks all her anatomy pictures around her so she can remember them

The little ones began their work books again. Y’know, I never thought I would say this, but I am so grateful to ACE for these workbooks. They give me a little time in the morning to concentrate on other needs, and they ensure the girls are getting the basic education they need. This frees me up to balance them out with stacks of fun school. It’s win win!

Over the half term, I had both of the girls do a bit of extra maths each day. Becca has now fully caught up and is now half way through the Grade three work. Abigail is still eight books behind on her maths, but it is only the division she is missing, everything else we have covered using the Life of Fred books. I will have her do a couple of pages extra per day until she catches up.

Abigail finished her workbooks by 10, and both she and the twins took a walk to our local charity shop. One of the ladies there had kindly offered Lillie her iPhone for free. Lil was over the moon. Her phone had ceased working a few weeks ago, and she was saving for a new one. This was a complete blessing!

I worked with Becca, who had got herself in a pickle over the workbooks. Having not done them for two weeks, she was struggling with everything. We managed to get everything completed whilst the others were out, and she also got some play time outside in the lovely sunshine.

Once they returned, I read some of their latest astronomy chapter on Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. After which they made some notes in their journals:

Next up was a lesson on silk worms, as part of our MOH lesson on Ancient China. I had prepared everything before hand for them to do a report on silk worms (Abigail) and silk material (Becca). I gave Becca an large print, easy to read article on silk, and two journal pages to fill in:

Each of the parts I wanted her to use to fill in the journal pages I changed to red to aid her somewhat. She did a great job on her first report:

Abigail’s was a bit harder. I printed out a report about silk worms and explained what I wanted her to do. This was her first report too:

and she also did a great job. I will be including one report per week in their homeschool, and they will get gradually harder:

The last thing I did before lunch was to gather all my girls and inform them of my intention to teach them how to cook. Oh my! I was expecting a reaction! Lillie can cook fairly well, Abigail and Becca LOVE to cook and are always spending their money on ingredients to create new recipes with. And Charlotte? Well, she would be fine if she listened and concentrated! Any how, when I informed them that today I would be teaching them to boil an egg… these photos sum it up nicely:

Becca tried her best to stop their teasing, but even a pillow to the head did not stop the constant interruptions, as I was told how easy it was to boil an egg, and they knew how to do it, and they couldn’t believe they were giving up serious eating time for me to teach them how to boil an egg!

But, let me tell you, once they actually got into the kitchen to boil their eggs they immediately asked for help! Delia Smith explains that to boil an egg one needs to release the air to stop it cracking by sticking a pin in. Could the older ones do it? No, of course they couldn’t:

I will be writing about their eggy efforts in a monthly home-ec post, but suffice it to say that not one of those eggs turned out how Delia Smith said they should. I guess my girls need to refine their egg boiling skills… not so simple, eh girls?! As a disclaimer, I have to say that all four girls know how to boil an egg well enough to suit their own taste buds. I am just wanting to take them – Charlotte in particular – through a basic cookery course before she goes to school in September. And boiling eggs is the first lesson in Delia’s ‘How to Cook’ book. I’ll not move on until they have perfected it though! I see a lot of eggs in their future…

Whilst I went to my room to listen to the Bible, Lillie had a bath, Charlotte took a quick break, and Abigail and Becca did yet more science:

After lunch, the littles played outside for a bit, making and decorating a mud cake for their mud café:

Charlotte back over to mum’s to continue working and Lillie did some photography work. Meanwhile, I set up the next Art Lab for the girls. This one was about large scale ink drawings. The still life was a little more complex than last week’s:

The first port of call was the sketch. I am trying to get the girls to do at least one sketch per week day. Because of Becca’s need for her drawing to look perfect, I have banned the use of pencils in the sketches for the time being. I want her to enjoy the process rather than rubbing out and starting again, sooo with this in mind, I gave the girls a sharpie for their sketch:

The girls reflected on their first sketch, what they did do well and what they didn’t do well, and how they could improve. Then the girls had an opportunity to use a brush and ink to, once more, do a sketch of the still life:

I was so pleased to see how much they were learning simply by taking time to reflect on their previous sketch:

I had planned to do some silk painting as well, but Becca was becoming tired. So we did a quick mapping Pluto activity and called it a day:

They are all now sat at the table eating dinner. Gary and I are not. I am beginning to miss eating actual food. Gary is eating breakfast and lunch and fasting dinner with me. Once I have finished this post I will make my third juice of the day. Speaking of the fast…

Lenten Feast and Fast

I am on my sixth full day of juicing. The head-aches have all gone, and I’m feeling remarkably good given I have had no solid food for almost a week. I’ve had no sugar cravings, but the juices are quite sweet depending on the fruit used. In fact, just a juice made with celery, carrot and spinach tastes quite sweet to me. I am drinking water like it is going out of fashion, in between juices. I am energised, and performing normally (I think) in all my activities, so juicing is not adversely affecting me in any way now.

I am loving listening to the Bible, and tuck down early every night now to listen a little longer. It’s quite incredible, hearing it over such a short space of time. I’ve really got much more of a sense as to why it is so important to the Israelites to have their own home land. I have read/listened to Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Number. Deuteronomy, Joshua, and am nearly through Judges.


  1. Those volcano explosion facial expression photos are just priceless! Liliie’s drawings are fabulous! What a fun way to bring a bit of herself into an ordinary school subject.

  2. You always seem to do such fun things in your homeschooling! And well done with the juicing – I hope now that the headaches have stopped you will begin to feel the benefits of it 🙂

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