Seven Quick Takes Friday

1 – Well my writer’s block is gone. I actually wrote a couple of posts this week and have drafts of a few more started. Not too shabby. Thanks so much for your help. The comments really got me to thinking.

2 – We have been listening to Little House in the Big Woods in the van and recently got to the part where Laura talks about making maple syrup at Grandpa’s. That portion of the book goes into quite a bit of detail about getting the sap from the trees for the syrup making. At one point I had to stop the CD while Olivia shared a bit of knowledge she had learned while I was outsourcing nature study.

“Mom, the sap is like the blood of the tree!” She continued with a few more tree facts before she was interrupted by John.

“Wait! If the sap is like the blood of the tree then why are we putting it on our pancakes!!”

3 – Matt will be home in seven more days! Yay!

4 – Another John-ism:

“Sister, if you want to talk about a girl and a dude you have to call her a ‘dudette.'” I laughed so hard at that one I think I embarrassed him.

5 –  With great power comes great responsibility — which is why I still need my binkie when I fight crime. Bet you never guessed what really goes on under that mask.

6 – I feel like I need to start thinking about planning some things out for “next year.” I started and then got sidetracked, but need to pick it up again.  Things that are in place: reading and handwriting for Olivia, math (though I may depend on something like the Math Mammoth topical books a bit more for grab-and-go days), poetry memorization, art, Spanish, faith. What I need to plan out more: what and how much to do with John (reading- and math-wise), geography/cultures study. I also want to be more consistent with the Bravewriter Lifestyle, and I would love to have some consistent, meaningful interaction with BFSU, but ugh, it seems so hard to pull that together. I’m sure I’ll get in the mood soon.
7 – In the meantime, we are in what I call “streamlined school” mode. Maybe it is because Dad is gone or maybe because it is spring, but my goal each day is to do a few things and be done. So Olivia and I muscle through some reading, spelling, handwriting, and math at a fairly quick pace. Then we sit with a stack of books and read (not all on every day): Faith and Life, a picture book or two, our space book, Life of Fred Apples. We discuss and/or maybe do a related space experiment. We go over our poetry memorization for the day and then call it done. The past two weeks we have not even done art or Spanish other than listening to the audio in the van. I plan on putting those back in our loop next week. The kids come up with their own writing and art projects on a fairly regular basis. Not too shabby. I imagine it will streamline even a little more as we go into our busy camp season. Not sure how many weeks we will take totally off. I know if won’t be many, though. Not because I am a horrible task master, but because it is so hot we will need something to do inside.

For more quick takes or to add your own go visit Jen at Conversion Diary!



  • I’ve loved geography since I was a little kid. My mom bought me a big “washable” plastic map that I could color on and somehow from it I absorbed the names, capitals, and locations of every state from there.

    Drwaing your own maps is also a really good way to learn geography and make it personally interesting.

    For example, you mentioned your kids are listing to the “Little House in the Big Woods” which is set in Wisconsin. On a US map, they could draw a house and trees in Wisconsin, because Laura lived there in a little house in the woods. If they watch “Old Yeller” they could draw a dog and a kid in a cowboy hat in Texas, etc.

    If you have friends or relatives in multiple states, obviously draw them (or tape pictures of them) where they live.

    Hope that helps…

    • Pam says:

      Thomas, thanks for stopping by. I love this idea! Now I just have to find a place to hang that map.

  • Sarah says:

    Dear Dudette,

    Your hschooling mojo will come back soon. Don’t sweat it. 🙂 What do you think of Life of Fred?

    • Pam says:

      Hmmmm… LOF. The kids are not loving it. Their not hating it either, but I am not sure it is worth $16 for each book in the elementary series. If the library had it or I could get it cheap used, then yes.

    • Pam says:

      they’re, not their!!!!!

  • Erin says:

    I believe we have been ‘streamline’ hsing for a good season or two now. Not a bad way to be, basics and thorough basics is my motto at this season in life.

    • Pam says:

      Ah yes, these seasons. The two-year-old season especially!

  • Michelle says:

    I decided this year to have seasonal homeschooling rhythms, because spring is usually like this for us also. It’s worked out great. We plan for lots of time outside, gardening, park days, and just some basics for math and spelling or cursive practice. But I did push too much math last month (tsk, tsk, I knew better), so we’re relaxing and sticking to Life of Fred this month.

    Also, I really appreciate your description of us-schooling. 🙂 I have always been a piece-it-together homeschooler, with unschooling leanings in many areas, but the semantics debate really annoys me.

    • Pam says:

      Thanks for stopping by Michelle. I think those living-life days offer so much to learn and experience — especially for our younger kids.

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