Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Wrap-Up ~ A Week with Snow Tubing and Book Lists

This week found us snowed in one day with a combination of ice and snow covering the roads. It was a nice day to just be at home and catch up on some well-deserved rest. Some of us never got out of our pajamas! I feel like each week I say how busy we are. I think it is just the nature of having active teens. I welcome the busy and I am looking for more opportunities for our dear son. He is left at home on his own too much (which leads to too much media), while I run dear daughter from one dance activity to another.

More Changes ~ Our friend Rose who has been homeschooling with us one to two a week for the last 18 months has decided to go back to public school next fall. She was pulled from some of our classes a month or so ago. Her mother has changed her mind repeatedly about keeping her with us one morning a week or not when Rose will have to repeat what we are currently doing when she goes back to public school next year (since we are working ahead of the school system). Currently Rose's mom has decided to pull Rose completely from our lessons, and in a few weeks, the mother is stopping the art classes that she was providing in trade to Dean. I am disappointed that he will be losing a class (visual arts II) that I am counting for high school credit. I will have to come up with an alternative in a hurry to help him complete this course. There is a chance she will change her mind once again, but I need to be done with this roller coaster ride. Honestly, I need more stability for our family and for Dean, especially. Even if she wants to comes back at this point, I will have to say no. We will call them if we are going to go on a field trip and invite Rose along, but I can't keep trying to figure out lessons based on whether Rose is going to show up or not.

Snow Tubing ~ We had a blast snow tubing this week. Each child brought a friend along. It was a perfect day and the parents were the last off the hill...ahem! Who says we are old!

Yes, We Did Some School ~
  • We watched A Tale of Two Cities and discussed how the American Revolution impacted the French Revolution.
  • Four math lessons were achieved by each teen.
  • Dean did three Earth Science lessons.
  • They both did one biology lesson.
  • We read several chapters in our new family read aloud book, Facing The Lion Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna.
  • Anne attended about half of her dance classes this week. The rest were canceled due to weather and road conditions. 
  • Each teen worked in their English workbooks.
  • Dean went to art class and learned more about drawing proportions of the face.
  • Anne spent hours working on her sign language skills.
  • Dean spent hours drawing eyes, lips and skulls. 
  • Dean also did guitar on his own.
  • They watched CNN 10 daily.
  • We played games -- Sequence, Blokus, Mathological Liar, 10 Days in Asia, Cash Flow for Kids, Equate, Guesstimation, Buzz Word, Scrabble and Exploding Kittens.
We also had ample time for crafts, reading, watching episodes of The Crown and baking.
Homemade Bath Bombs
A Special Opportunity ~ Anne was asked to perform with the adult dance company in a festival coming to our city in a few weeks. She is very excited. They will be performing three tableaus each night for three nights. Now, she has added rehearsals and gathering several costumes to her already busy schedule. 

Books ~ As I have said before, my kids are not readers. They both can read on or above grade level, but Anne is a slow reader and Dean just prefers to gain his knowledge in other ways. I use audio books in the car as well as having nightly family read aloud time, so they get enough literature. I am hitting a bit of a wall, however. The kids, especially Dean, are sick and tired of "depressing stories where the characters are mistreated, abused or otherwise have to rise above impossible injustices". It seems most of the books for this age level are filled with challenges and abuses. So, I am trying to rework our reading list for a few months. You may remember our 100 Books for Middle School post. We have made good strides with that list, but now I need some more uplifting books without all the drama. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Here is what I have so far on the shelf:
  • Facing The Lion
  • Stig of the Dump
  • Jo's Boys
  • Little Mem
  • Mrs. Mike
  • The Search for Delicious
  • Jack and Jill (Louis May Alcott)
  • The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
  • Doctor Dolittle's Puddleby Adventures
  • The Quilt (Gary Paulsen)
  • Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Dragonwings
Blessings, Dawn


  1. An idea for continuing Visual Arts - has video classes that you buy and work through at your own pace. TONS of videos and today at least (not sure how long it lasts) their classes are all under $20. (*Exceptions are ones they get from places like The Great Courses, but really, there are over 1000 classes and each has multiple video lessons.)

  2. I'm sorry that you've had such a roller-coaster with your friends. That's rough. I hope it all settles down and you find the resources you need. I don't have any suggestions for you. Sorry. :(

    But snow-tubing looks fun, and congrats to Anne for her dance invitation!

  3. Snow tubing looks like a lot of fun! I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with your friend but I know that there are tons of wonderful YouTube art videos for middle school. I wrote this post for Bookshark that might help. I wish I had book suggestions for you but my kids are a bit younger than yours.

  4. Ugh. I hate it when someone else's plans wreck havoc, we have something similar with our co-op. I know Dean will really miss his art classes. I hope you find something comparable for him, he's very talented.

    Yippie on the snow tubing!

  5. Hi!! I'm sorry about Dean's art lessons. That is a difficult roller coaster ride indeed.

    As far as reading suggestions, here's mine:
    Swiss Family Robinson
    A Wrinkle in Time
    Wind in the Willows
    A princess Bride (I have not read this one personally....but have seen the movie)

    Good luck!

  6. Oh... Princess Bride. I've read it and my daughter read it over Christmas break. Be advised, it doesn't end quite as happily as the movie. But it's not dreary. And we loved it.