February Homeschool Plans

Things progressed more slowly in January than I anticipated, but I would rather go more slowly and ensure work is being done thoroughly and that Em is truly understanding things than speed along. I am trying to trust that once her reading level is up, things will progress more quickly, but that is not the case right now.

With that said, we are still working on Stuart Little and did not get to Charlotte’s Web yet. Em has the rough draft of her book report finished, and should complete the final draft finished this week. We realized when we read her rough draft that she really needed more English instruction. That’s the challenge of educating a preteen that we haven’t raised- we are constantly finding gaps in her learning that we have to backtrack to fill in. My husband has taken over spelling and English, and has begun working on sentence structure with Em. This month, we’d like to start her diagramming sentences. I never diagrammed sentences when I was in school, but I believe it would have helped me (English is not my strong point) because it is very visual, which I do well with. I think it will really help Em, too.

Part of the reason the book report is taking so long, aside from having to backtrack on sentence structure and tenses, is that we used a workbook from education.com on book reports which contained many worksheets on various aspects of the book. She identified and described the characters, did a story board of the plot, figured out where to find the book information, wrote an opinion piece, etc. All of that led up to writing the actual report. I think I will have her do the same for the next book report or two, but after that she won’t need to do all of that pre-work.

I still plan on having her do Charlotte’s Web next. After that, I am planning to have her read a book about Balto, and maybe the original Winnie the Pooh. We are also going to try out this website that is a free “Accelerated Reader” type program: Book Adventure. Em can take quizzes on the books she reads and earn points for prizes. The website offers a few prizes, or I can add in a prize that we will give her when she reaches a certain number of points.

We covered different kinds of graphs last month in math, and will be moving on to graphing on a coordinate plane. We will also continue working on multiplication drills.

In science, I had originally planned to cover anatomy this month after talking about living things last month, but we took a bit of a detour this month that I want to continue on for the time being. We began talking about biomes this month for various reasons, and so this month we are going to be covering the different types of biomes more in-depth. I saved several episodes of Planet Earth on our DVR when they were on, so we will utilize those. Em also really likes Minecraft, and I’ve seen lesson plans before about using Minecraft to teach biomes, so I will be looking into that. Education.com also has some worksheets on the subject, and I plan to check some books out from the library on the various biomes.

For Bible, we have begun using the junior lessons from My Bible First. I had seen the lessons before and was very impressed, so I was very glad to find some at our church in the children’s Sabbath School room. I found a set of Quarter 1, Year B. So, we aren’t starting at the beginning, but this set starts with Daniel, who is the Bible character Em is most familiar with due to a children’s program I did this past summer during an evangelistic series. She wasn’t living with us at the time, but got to attend with us. During our family worship we are still in Genesis, so Em will still be getting the earlier stories, but for Bible class the “My Bible First” lessons are working well. Our memory verse this month is from 1st Corinthians 13, and we will be learning the hymn “Jesus Paid it All.”

For art, we have been mostly incorporating it into other subjects. Eventually we will move on to different artists and art history, but we have other things I want to have in place first. She does attend an art class at the library every other week, which she enjoys, and she also paints and colors a lot in her free time.

That’s all for this month!



No Spend January Update

In an effort to save some money, we’ve been making a mess.


This room originally was clean and quite empty, but we decided to get all the rest of our items from the storage unit we were renting. So, into this room (and all over the rest of the house, too) the stuff went. The picture was taken a few days ago, and I’ve been working on going through everything. I found a couple of tubs full of old paperwork and cards, and found two $10 bills in the cards!

We are glad not to have to pay for the storage unit anymore, and we got our deposit back, which was a nice bonus. We don’t have any shed or garage at the place we are renting, though, so it has been a bit of a struggle to figure out what to do with all our yard/garden/tool stuff. I now have a table saw sitting in my kitchen:


My husband found a board to fit the top of it, so I can use it as a work surface for now, which is quite handy for cooling racks and groceries.

Due to having to pay a mortgage and rent right now, we will be continue our “No Spend” challenge into February out of necessity. We haven’t seen any huge savings from it, as we weren’t big shoppers to begin with, but it has still helped motivate us to do anything extra that we can. We sold a few things on our local Facebook yard sale site, got everything out of storage, and have really made use of the few pantry items we had. We’ve eaten a lot of oatmeal this month. It has definitely stretched my culinary skills to the max, which leads me to another little challenge I’ve made up for myself for February- “The Month of Potatoes.”

My husband and Em love potatoes, but I don’t seem to think of cooking them very often. While I ate them growing up, it wasn’t super often, and they aren’t my favorite food. I would like to have more ways of using potatoes under my belt, though, because they are: inexpensive, easy to grow, and beloved by the rest of my family members. We were a part of a gleaning club when we lived in Walla Walla, WA and ended up with quite a lot of potatoes one year. I struggled with what to do with so many potatoes, and sadly many went to waste. I don’t want that to happen again if we grow our own and get a bumper crop. For all those reasons, I’m challenging myself to cook potatoes once a day for the next month. I got an early start and have already made some potato chips, roasted potatoes with pepper and onions, potato wedges, and a frittata with potatoes. I plan to make lefse, mashed potatoes, my family’s “cheesy potatoes,” hashbrowns, baked potatoes, hasselback potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and potato bread.

Anyone have other (preferably vegan) potato ideas?