Third Quarter – CHECK!!!



We have never, ever, EVER been this AWESOME at getting a great routine and sticking to it!!




Which is all good, of course.  Don’t get me wrong.  I can’t guarantee that our way of doing things would work for anyone else… hey, I don’t even know if it’ll work this great for us next year!

But, it’s what I’m going to stick to when planning, at least for now.  Because….




We are scheduled to finish up school the beginning of May.

May, guys.

The beginning.


*happy dance*

So what is this schedule?  I’ve probably mentioned it before, but in case I haven’t or anyone needs a refresher, I don’t schedule dates for school.  I have a starting date (the first Monday in August), and then I plan to take a week off every six weeks.

Then, when that week arrives, we take off five days if we haven’t taken off at all in the six weeks for any reason.

If we have taken off for whatever reason – field trips, sickness, just not feeling like it, whatever – then we make those days up in that week and take off whatever is left.

The fall schedule for us looked (pretty much) like this:

August 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-28, 31-Sept 4, Sept 7-10 – School days
September 11 – Field trip
September 14 – Makeup day
September 15-18 – Off days
Sept 21-25, 28-Oct 2 – School days
Oct 5 – Field trip
Oct 6-9, 12-16 – School days
Oct 19-22 – Off days (family in town)
Oct 23 – Field trip
Oct 26-28 – Off days (family in town)
Oct 29-30, Nov 2-6, 9-13, 16-20 – School days
Nov 23 – Field trip
Nov 24-25 – School days
Nov 26 – Off day
Nov 27, 30-Dec 4, Dec 7-11, 14-18, 21-22 – School days

We had completely finished up a semester before Christmas.  Second semester has been similar.

So.  What have we been up to?


She’s finished up through Chapter 33 of SOTW 1.   Here she’s doing some sand art from the Activity Guide:IMG_3509

This week we were on Ancient China, so I pulled out the ‘Ancient China Treasure Chest‘.  It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use it, and it was fun!  She tried some Chinese calligraphy:IMG_3909IMG_3911

tried our hand at Chinese chess…

and put some stickers on the map of famous places and artifacts:IMG_3906 We finished up our Artist Portfolio about Velazquez.  She chose Portrait of Philip IV as her favorite ‘because of the horse, because I like horses.’  😀IMG_3514She’s through Lesson 78 in First Language Lessons for The Well-Trained Mind.  Here she’s doing a picture and narration about a story we read.

Yes, she’s wearing her pajamas in a lot of these pictures.  She’s determined that she ‘gets dressed after lunch,’ for some reason, unless we have somewhere to go.  😛  Oh, well.  Not a hill to die on, kwim?  😉


As I already mentioned, each kid picked a favorite of the artwork in the Velazquez portfolio – Astro picked The Surrender of Breda – ‘because they have weapons and an axe’.  Is anyone surprised?
No.  No one here, anyway.  😀IMG_3515


As for this one, he picked Juan de Pareja because it ‘looks really realistic’.  He had also just finished reading a book of the same name, so..
(Oh, and I don’t know why Astro and Link both look so weird lol… facial expressions and 10-12 year olds and pictures… what can you do?)IMG_3513Here he’s doing his history.  Nothing special going on here, I think I was snapping a picture of Pink doing something and decided to get one of him working.  IMG_3781


Science is getting its own heading because, for this year anyway, the two boys do science together.  So I didn’t want to put it just under one name or the other.

We are through 4 out of 5 books in the Prentice Hall Science Explorer Earth Science series.  All we have left is Astronomy, which is what Link has been waiting for!

One day (while snow was still melting!  The yard was a SWAMP) while studying wind, we went out to try to determine the best place in our yard for a windmill (if we wanted one).  We went to all sides of the house, as well as each corner, and measured the wind in a very sophisticated way lol…

IMG_3639IMG_3636(for some strange reason, I have lost the pictures on the corner of the house with the best wind… the string was blowing out at least at a 45* angle.  Oh, well.)

We also, on another day, decided to do something completely unrelated and make this ‘lava lamp’ with salt, oil, and water (at this point, the boys had added pepper because they were curious about whether it would act the same).  It was pretty fun to do and watch!


Just this past week, each of us had a city (we didn’t know what city it was in advance) and plotted on a graph the average precipitation, high, and low temperatures for a year.  The boys had City A and City B and I did City C on the board.IMG_3885IMG_3886IMG_3887In the end, we used the data to determine which of the three cities was ours.  The choices were Reno, NV, San Francisco, CA, and Colorado Springs, CO.
We determined that Link had Colorado SpringsIMG_3889and that Astro had San Francisco.  IMG_3888

Other fun stuff:

As usual, we took a couple field trips and, as warmer days sneak their way in here and there, we went out for some fresh air.

We went ice skating the end of January.  None of the kids had ever been before (well… Link went at around age 5-6, but wouldn’t get on the ice lol), and they did surprisingly well! By the end, Link was getting pretty confident.IMG_3658Pink was even amazingly fearless!  After going around the ice once with me, Link took her around a couple times off and on, but she would also go by herself.  She even tried it without the walker-thingy once or twice.  (Sorry for the blurry photos!  I took them through the ‘glass’ at the side of the rink, so the quality is just not good!)

I couldn’t get any pictures of Astro on the ice – I took one or two, but he hugged REEEALLLLY close to that side wall, so there wasn’t much to see, and with the aforementioned blurriness, there was no need.
All three kids DID seem to really enjoy it though, despite a couple times when they insisted the opposite while we were there – Astro came off the ice more than once and was like, ‘I am NOT going back out there!’ …but then I’d turn around and he’d be gone back out again.  😉  When I asked about it later, he was like, ‘Well, there was nothing else to do.’  😀  And now all 3 are looking forward to going again!

The beginning of February, we went to a performance at the Children’s Theater of I Have a Dream, which was quite good.  It was our first show there, and it was a fun little theater with about 5 cast members for this show.  It was neat to experience a show on a smaller scale (the kids have seen a few different large-scale productions, so something smaller was a nice change of pace to see what else is out there).  I would go to the Theater again.

After the theater, we went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see the Rodin exhibit.  They were thrilled to see The Thinker lol.  We also walked through some of the other permanent exhibits again – we go every once in awhile, and revisited the ancient and Asian sections again, as well as a few others that correspond with things we’ve been learning about.


We also attended a homeschool day at Agecroft Hall.  I actually had no idea what Agecroft was (lol), so when the homeschool day popped up I was like, ‘oh, why not just go and find out what it is…’
We ended up liking it!  The view was excellent.IMG_3814And we would like to go back in the spring to see the gardens.  We think they’ll be lovely!IMG_3816IMG_3822IMG_3813

Lastly, just a couple shots from our nicer days!  The top two were taken on a walk when it was still a bit muddy – okay, it was more than a bit muddy!  It was much wetter than I expected – oops!  But the day was beautiful.  The bottom shot is of Astro and Kida on a walk just last week.


So, that’s been our third semester!   I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m SO GLAD it’s March!!!  Spring is coming SOOOOONNN!!!!!!  😀


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Remember Me
    Mar 07, 2016 @ 04:32:07

    Busy days for all. Waiting for warmer days here. I hope we are able to take some Winter Sun next year.


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