Happy Friday! They’re flying by, these weeks, aren’t they? Or is that just me? This year marks the most I’ve probably ever eased into the school year. With so many extra activities this month, we’ve logged school days as much as we could.
I know, I know. There are those of you wondering why I’m even talking about school in July. We’re very fond of our six weeks on/one week off schedule. That coupled with the fact that we like to take off all of December, means that we have to start early.
When I took the dogs out Sunday morning, I noticed that Charlotte was back. Who is Charlotte, some of you newcomers may be wondering. Several years ago, we had a writing spider build a web between the corner of our house and the bushes. It’s worth noting that I hate spiders. However, this was a writing spider, like Charlotte of Charlotte’s Web fame. So, I asked Brian to take care not to knock the web down and we observed the spider for several weeks.
She eventually created an egg sac, but, unfortunately, the web got knocked down (by a well-meaning relative, I believe) before we could see if it hatched. The following summer, about the same time, another writing spider appeared in the exact same spot. She didn’t stay long enough to create an egg sac – or maybe she was a he – and we haven’t had a writing spider in that spot since.
Lest you think I was lying about how much I dislike spiders, I was using the zoom feature on my phone and Charlotte is only allowed to stay if she stays in that spot. I don’t need any spiders spinning webs across my doorframes at night while I’m sleeping, thank you very much. I would most likely have a heart attack if I walked through her web and she got on me – or even if she didn’t get on me. Walking through the web would probably be enough to do me in.
You can see in the one photo on the top right that something made its way into her web to become dinner a couple of nights ago. Creepy, but very fascinating.
On Sunday afternoon, Megan left for a local mission trip. It’s the first time that our church has taken a group of middle school kids on a mission trip, so they didn’t go far. It was a good experience for them, though. They served at a soup kitchen, picked up trash, did some painting at a school, and basically just helped wherever they were needed. I’m so glad Megan and the other kids had an opportunity to go and so thankful that our church encourages serving the community to the point that the middle school kids don’t want to wait until they’re high school age to get their turn to serve.
Monday, Brianna and I had breakfast together. Then, we came home and got to work. She voluntarily bathed the dogs, then, cleaned the bathrooms (not voluntarily). Meanwhile, I vacuumed, dusted, and worked on laundry. It was so nice to have time to get the house back in order after a busy weekend of working at the curriculum fair and getting Megan ready to leave on her trip. I can’t think in the midst of clutter.
Wednesday, I spent some time working on lesson plans for next week when we start adding more of our core classes. It turns out, though, that it was something I really shouldn’t have spent so much time on. The history curriculum we’re using this year, Ancient Civilizations and the Bible, has suggested lesson plans written out for you, but I was trying figure out how to make it work with the block scheduling that we’ve been doing for history and science – alternating two days a week for each.
Turns out, after asking the kids, they’d like to try doing a little bit from each subject every day rather than doing them in blocks. I suspect that they might wind up preferring block scheduling, but, hey, it’s their education. I’m game to give it a try. They think getting away from block scheduling might help their attention spans. They might be spot on with that.
Megan got back from her mission trip just in time to head to gymnastics – well, she did get to come home for a little while. She was really tired, but it was evaluation week, so she didn’t want to miss. It’s pretty cool to see her have the kind of drive she does when it comes to gymnastics. It’s fun to see her find her passions.
Thursday, it was back to school. The kids worked on math, grammar, and reading on their own, while our time together was primarily focused on working our way through the Victus Study Skills System. I’m really enjoying it and, while it’s still school to the kids, I think they’re finding it interesting to get some insight on how they study best and pick up time management tips.
I’m looking forward to putting what they’re learning into practice as we get into our full course load this school year. If all goes according to plan, we’ll finish Victus today and be ready to hit the ground running on Monday.
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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.