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Homeschool Highlights

Although we’re officially ‘doing school’ now, this week’s highlights are, as usual, more about life than formal learning. 


One highlight was the church picnic in the rain.  While adults bundled up in coats almost thick enough for winter, the little children swam.  They said the water was warmer than the air!

We took the puppies through the woods and into the river.  Rivers are scary for puppies, especially when they get their tummies wet.  Something else happened, perhaps a bee sting on his paw, because Rex screamed so terribly that I thought a bear must have gotten him.  Since then we’ve researched the ‘bear droppings’ we’ve found, and they may be a communal raccoon toilet instead.  Phew!  Here’s hoping.

Miss 12 started making bookmarks, and in a short while, Miss 10 and I were also at the table, writing and snipping pictures from old gardening catalogues.  Working together like that and chatting makes any activity special.

Yesterday, we picked up a second-hand dehydrator, 1/3 bushel of peaches, a bushel of red peppers, and also an entire bushel of eggplant.  (OK, so I hadn’t counted on getting the egg plant but I was starved, and they cost only $8.)  We chopped up 52 cups of the peppers and froze them, another sit-around-the-table-and-chat activity, and Miss 12 dehydrated peaches.  Today I froze the eggplant, something I’ve never done before, using my microwave blanching method.

This afternoon, the girls and I went to a wonderful Fiber Fest with a friend.  We enjoyed the most amazing rug hooking, beadwork, doll-making, knitting, and more.  I especially loved the brilliantly died silk and mohair blends—very expensive, but gorgeous.  I love seeing it all, but I’m never tempted to buy any supplies since there are already enough unfinished projects around here.  And we all love to feel the alpaca fibers because they are so amazingly soft.

Miss 8 was enthralled by the alpaca fibres.  When we went outside, she fed an alpaca, Henderson, and then almost got spit on by Henderson’s buddy. 

Formal Schoolwork

Besides all the fun stuff, we did formal learning as well.  Mr. 15 concentrated mainly on reviewing Algebra 2 using ALEKS, four hours a day.  Although it was tiring, it was a lot more satisfying than doing geometry.  Miss 12 worked hard at all her subjects, even though she took a morning off to volunteer with the local therapeutic riding program.  The Little Misses did some 3 R’s as well as Dutch, made title pages for their binders, and colored a map of Canada in preparation for the Canadian history reading we plan to do this year.

And Miss 17, who’s far away in Manitoba on a dairy farm, reported good progress in chemistry, history, and her animal physiology course, among other things.

Yard and Garden

Miss 8 harvested more onions while I snipped off flowering broccoli tops and gave them to the chickens.  Tucked in a far corner of the garden, I found a cauliflower that had succeeded!  It was huge and snowy-white. (A second one was crawling with earwigs and was given to the chickens.) Meanwhile, Miss 10 and Miss 12 were closing up the last gaps of the fence so that the puppies will be able to run free. Mr. 15 attacked the jungle that is our fall raspberry patch, hacking a path through the middle of it so that I will be able to pick it.

Finally our tomatoes are ripening, but we may not get several wheelbarrow’s worth as we used to do.  This year we ran out of salsa; it would be a pity to run out next year, too.  Other things we need to work on: preserving the basil, finishing off the corn, harvesting the broccoli, picking the rest of the elderberries, and keeping up with the raspberries.  I also have to learn how to harvest amaranth, a gluten-free grain we tried for the first time this year.  We also tried quinoa, but it didn’t grow at all.

To see what other families have been up to, visit Canada Girl and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. Looks like a fun week. I love chatting while doing activities together, like you mentioned. 🙂

  2. Stacy's Page says:

    The health beat segment of the local news was just talking about amaranth this week. I hope you like it.

    I just posted on my blog about a neat blessing for my dd. It’s at the bottom of my Sunday post.

  3. Jenn 4 Him says:

    Amazing! You got a lot done this week. 🙂

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