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Learning, Books, and More (Weeks 8-10)

Our family, by Miss 13

Our family, by Miss 13

Usually our days are fairly humdrum, to the kids at least.  We eat, do schoolwork, care for our animals, eat, take a break, learn some more, go outside, take a break and do chores, eat, hang out, and go to bed.  Yes, there are appointments, outings, and projects, but nothing huge.

Occasionally, though, things are different.   On Remembrance Day we and hundreds of others attended an outdoor service.  After lunch I read aloud a few more chapters of The Mouse on the Moon, a spoof on politics during the cold war and the race to the moon.  After that we watched the Unlocking the Great Pyramid and were reinvigorated by the fairy tale of a solitary architect solving some of the big problems of Egyptology/pyramid structure.  Then we took the dogs to the river, scrambling along an old fallen tree to sit above the water.  Oh, yes, we did a tiny bit of ordinary work: organ, Future Learn Dutch, reading, and catechism, but that was all.

Ordinarily, however, we are a lot more focused on formal academics.  We continued with our Apologia Physical Science and Biology, worked on math, read an enormous amount, took a few tests, and wrote hardly anything at all.  Both girls are taking a short online Dutch course and find it a pleasant break from what we were doing and a good review as well.  We’ve been faithfully spending a small bit of time on our once-every-few days learning: a drawing course, music history, and King Alfred’s English, and it’s amazing how much can get done in short snatches of time.

I have been experimenting with FutureLearn, one of the Massive Open Online Course providers.   The three-week ‘Introduction to Dutch’ course is the girls’ first online university course, and it seems to be a good fit for them.


Fall has been very pleasant here.  My girls still wear flip flops and shorts occasionally, although they have discovered that frosty grass feels nippy on bare toes.

Our bunny has developed a real personality.  Loving, opinionated, funny, and determined, she enchants and exasperates us by turns.  Watching her wash her ears should be enough to make anyone realize that a Creator must exist.  Watching her throw a temper tantrum and fling her food bowl across her new cage made us all laugh in in amazement at our gentle Bunbun other side.

Inspired by I Know How She Does It I kept a time log for a week.  All my guilt about not spending enough time on homeschooling disappeared; we spend huge amounts of time on it.  I suppose that time flies when you are having fun.  I’ve also become more intentional about doing the things that matter.

Other than that,

  • therapeutic riding volunteer work is over for the year,
  • there were various events (filming of LifeTOUR, a coffee house showcasing amazing musical talent, Hamlet, an Evensong with the most beautiful music, a phone call from China(!!), a wonderful book sale, and so much more),
  • the garden is almost finished (kale, beets, carrots, parsley, and turnips are left,) and
  • we enjoyed many other happy moments.


I’ve finished The First Fossil Hunters, 31 Days to a Clutter Free Home, Linnaeus, and I Know How She Does It and have started Prayers that Changed History, Money Making Mom, Teach Like a Champion Field Guide, and The Debs of Bletchy Park.  I’m also still slowly wending my way through King Alfred’s English, How to Really Love Your Child, Joy at the End of the Tether, Trial and Triumph, Tales of Ancient Egypt, Beth Moore’s Stepping Up, The Traveler’s Gift, and 2 Chronicles.  And I’m writing reviews of many of them….

The girls have been reading Don Aslett’s zany time and productivity books (How to have a 48 Hour Day and How to do 1000 Things at Once) and the novels of Louis L’Amour .

Reading aloud:

The Mouse on the Moon, Isaiah, and Romans.  We finished The Secret of Willow Castle.


  • National Geographics:  Unlocking the Great Pyramid (the fairy tale of a solitary architect solving some of the biggest questions puzzling Egyptologists, great to accompany a study of ancient Egypt or architecture, one of Miss 15’s top learning resources).
  • Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch (awesome, go see it if it is still available),
  • Irreplaceable (very worthwhile and moving, review coming up)

Recommended Links:

A wise look at truth, shame, and art, and another one about shame, the media, the gospel, and how to be kind.

If you want to see more carefully curated links, follow me on Google Plus.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up and Finishing Strong.


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