Precious Memories Week Three

Remember how we were going to do one week of schooling, followed by one week of unschooling?  This was our first week back and boy have we been busy!  My goal is to work the children really hard for one week, and then follow it by a week of pure, adult free, hands off interest led unschooling.

I have to admit, I love being in a routine again and I love the behaviour and joy I see from the children when they are in a routine.  It has been an almost blissfully busy but happy week.

Monday the children started their new devotional books to use just after getting up in the morning.  Being the incredible mother I am, I had promised them all fresh coffee in bed whilst they did their devotions.  Being the absolute failure as a getter upper in the morning I wasn’t able to keep that promise.  At least, I did make them a latte but they were definitely down stairs, fully dressed and out of bed by the time I finally got round to it.

I don’t feel too guilty though, because I am seeing an improvement as I have been up and about by 7.30 most mornings (it got harder as the week went on).  But still the earliest since the operation!  Yay me!


Another rather special addition to our day has been to go for a walk each morning.  I leave the house looking half asleep, clothes barely decent (by that I mean rumpled and pulled on hurriedly in order to make the coffees….I don’t mean with everything on show!), hair sometimes brushed but hat always worn.  Within 10 minutes I am bounding along, thoroughly enjoying the teasing I get from my older children and the wet slippery hand holding I am blessed to have from my littlest two:

Ribbet collagepond


We visit our old friends at the pond:





Climb trees.  I don’t climb trees you understand.  No that wouldn’t do at all.  The children have fun up them though.  By the time we return home we are a merry party of six, ready to hunker down and begin maths:


A6 has been working very hard this week, and as usual I can hardly keep up!  She has at last finished level one of All About Reading and is very excited to be beginning level two.  She has been reading at least three books with Granny each day as well as with me during her curriculum time.  We are definitely moving in the right direction.  She now has a sticker chart which she has a lot of fun choosing Frozen stickers to stick on for each book she reads.

B3 has spent a lot of the time cuddling in my arms.  She seems tired and lethargic but without any other symptoms.  Teeth maybe?  Anyway, I’m enjoying the cuddles time as much as she is.  She has joined in with any school as she has felt able and I have postponed proper 1-2-1 school for her until she is feeling more herself.

Schoolwise the older children have completed four hours of maths curriculum, three hours of writing curriculum and finished Chapter one of their bible curriculum ‘Who is God?’.  I have read five ‘Body Works’ magazines, am half way through reading about the explorers of the Antarctica and have had many chats about their unschooling week next week during our morning meeting time.

Quiet time has led to much reading by the older ones of all their Tudor reading books, as well as some wonderful (but quiet) imaginative play by the littles in their new room.  Speaking of which, one of the biggest benefits to my little ones having their new bedroom ajoining ours, apart from the warmest of snuggles from my littlest every morning and being woken up by the butterfly kisses of my six year old (honestly, I can not think of a more pleasant way to be roused from ones sleep each morning), is watching the two younger ones play together with their toys:


In general we have never had toys in bedrooms, mainly due to a lack of space, but now they have all been separated out the little ones have a small amount of room under their desk to house three plastic boxes with their big Lego, Thomas the Tank and their dollies and plastic animals.  Quiet time in their room now just consists of two little girls playing quietly together simply enjoying each other’s company.  What more could I ask for?

Afternoons have been all about fun school.  The little ones have been working their way through Owl Moon from the excellent FIAR curriculum.  They have completed an owl lap book as well as a huge variety of activities all linked to the Owl Moon book:


The older ones spent Monday learning about the renaissance and what it means and how it came about.  They also spent over an hour plotting and planning their project based work, writing an elementary curriculum and we all made an Antarctica cookie map:


On Tuesday we talked about where we would like to take our anatomy and physiology studies.  We have decided to continue with them slowly as we had last year, using project based learning and the biology IGCSE curriculum concurrently, along with the Body Works magazines.  We did a quick demonstration from the magazine that showed how strong something can be even when it is light and full of air, thus demonstrating just how light yet strong bones are:

Ribbet collagegardening2

We learnt about the different types of joints and I had the children create examples of each.  So long as they could explain their models I wasn’t too worried what they looked like.  Here they are with a saddle joint, a hinge joint and a ball and socket joint:

Ribbet collagegardening3

On Wednesday we focused on Tudor Explorers, made a huge paper mache map of the world and created our first explorer’s journal page:


C12 had her singing lesson whilst T13 fenced for a couple of hours in the evening and came home very pleased with himself for beating every opponent!  Wednesday night I spent a happy couple of hours with my older girls journalling our way through the Bible:

Ribbet collagewog

Thursday brought about a dentist appointment for T13 and an early day for Gary.  We had thought T would be getting his braces fitted but that wasn’t the case.  They just wanted more x-rays and a he had to bite into some disgusting green stuff.  He was disappointed because he had been a little nervous for nothing.

Friday the older ones will be spending most of the day ice skating.  I hope to get both maths, writing and Bible done before they are picked up to go.  When they return we will all be going over to Lorna’s for our weekly ‘Keepers of the Faith’ club and a bit of dolls house making from the girls and bird house making from the boys.

We have also been out in the garden this week.  Gary is slowly sawing our laurel tree down to make way for T’s greenhouse.  This week we were chipping the branches into wood chips for the hens:

Ribbet collagegardening

Because of the orthadontist appointment and the party I feel like we haven’t got done as much as I would have liked, given that next week is their unschooling week.  Speaking of which the children have a vast number of plans which include sending off a cover song to Capital Radio, writing to the BBC about radio-active bananas, creating a video to send to my brother and starting a blog about first aid.  I shall be school planning for the following week and I am looking forward to seeing how much I am able to get done in that week.

I have also managed to give away six books this week in the great book bonanza:


Keep your eyes on my book page next week when I will be giving away another five or so books!  These are the books that will be posted to new homes tomorrow:

Ribbet collage

I hope you all have a lovely weekend filled with love and laughter.

linking up:

Weird unsocialized homeschoolers

Homegrown learners

Faith, hope and Love


  1. You got an amazing amount done – and don’t worry, the unschooling weeks are still school weeks 🙂 I’m not sure trying to fit an entire school year’s worth of work into every other week, and fitting an entire year of unschooling into every other week is really what you started out going after…is it? Oh, and that map! I know you said it was huge, but wow! It’s HUGE. I want to make one, too!!!

    1. Yes, it is a bit big isn’t it? I didn’t really think the whole thing through very thoroughly because I somehow missed the fact that it would be large enough to cover the dining room table (8 foot by 4 foot) and really the only place large enough to store was….the table. Duh! Now we have no-where to eat!!

  2. Sounds like a great week! I especially love the picture of the little ones playing together. I look forward to seeing how your unschooling week turns out next week because it sounds like they have big plans 🙂

    1. I’m looking forward to next week to see if I am in deed capable of taking a completely hands off approach. I literally shuddered when the girls asked me if they could stay in bed and have a lie in every day next week! Eeek!

  3. Can I just say that I love your blog :-)! I am always sharing your posts with my husband. My heart’s desire is to make our homeschool full of learning and life moments to remember. So thank you for blogging and sharing, inspiring others, and especially for being real! Blessings to you and your family!

    Brenda from across the ocean 🙂

    1. Thank you, Brenda, so much for taking the trouble to write such a lovely message. I so appreciate it and I am glad something I share inspires some one else – what a blessing it is to know that.

  4. Love the pictures! I’m visiting from Weekly wrap up. Trying to switch up every other week sounds fun and is a lively way to keep the kiddos engaged. Oh, I love the morning walking idea.

  5. Wow, Claire! I have to copy your straw-bone, it´s perfect! I like all activities. But don´t stress yourself in getting up early, sleep is very important for your health!!

    1. I know, but I have so much I want to squeeze in and I’m still not used to sleeping almost half my life away. It seems such a terrible waste….!

    1. Thanks Audria. Are your children enjoying Who is God? Mine are, although T could do without the extra writing (we got the children a journal each)

      1. I got the journals too and yes it is a lot of writing for boys. We do like it so far and I think my children enjoy all the discussions that naturally come up.

  6. Sounds like a really nice week. I love your photos of the pond. Do you miss your pond study? Have a great week of unschooling next week!

  7. You have such wonderful times and I’m still curious to see how the unschooling weeks go. Congrats on waking earlier; I’m still working out how that happens here. I just have to say your yard always sounds like a fun place.

    1. Thanks Christy. Getting up is still a huge effort here too. I just want to snuggle back down and fall back to sleep again – but it’s such a time waster! I could sleep and it seems like 5 minutes have passed and a whole hour has gone, just like that and I have no recollection of it at all!

    1. He did give me more information, but I don’t seem to have retained any of it! He’s now talking about making his own music. They are very excited about next week, I’ll give them that!

  8. What a great week. I would love to be one of your students. The fun and learning never ends around there. We are trying to add in a walk each day too. It makes a world of difference when I pull it off.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I so agree. We didn’t make it on Friday and I went around really tired all day and just wanting to have a little snooze! A bracing walk makes all of us wake up a bit more!

  9. You’ve had an extremely busy and productive week. It is nice to see the pond again. I do wish we had one close enough to walk to in the mornings. It looks like the girlies love their new room. It is nice they can have their toys in their room. We have so much Thomas stuff. It was moved to the garage a few months ago. Oh, growing up. Great bone project. It really does show the strength of them. I am looking forward to all your Tudor projects and I just love the map. We must do one soon. I am glad you have found a good plan for your Bible time. We have devotions each night together except for Saturday. Then we divide girls and boys. It is a very special time together. Tell T not to worry too much about his braces. He may be a little sore, but it is a great chance to have pudding and ice cream for dinner! Gracie has been there and she knows how he feels. We could have used Gary here a couple of weeks ago;)
    By the way, I love these posts!

  10. Starting your day at the pond sounds absolutely blissful – a good dose of fresh air & family giggles is just what we all could use for a head start each day!

  11. It sounds like you are really making this schooling/unschooling weeks arrangement work – thanks in a large part, I suspect, to the fact that you are all naturally filled with energy and zest for life! You probably fit more into a fortnight than many families do a year. 😀

  12. I love the idea of the morning walk – I wonder if that would help my son get ready for his day. I am impressed with your unschooling – I can’t wait to hear what every one days. I am scared to do it with mine as it seems they need structure.

  13. What an awesome area you live in! I love the idea of going for a walk first thing each morning! How invigorating! Just not sure I want to brave the cold temps over here!!! You always come up with such cool hands-on projects! I’m so glad the little girls are enjoying their new room!

  14. What a wonderful and productive week you have had! I am with Sylvia I love the idea of a walk first thing in the morning, it is invigorating and gets out some of the wiggles so they are ready to focus!

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