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Settling In, Finally (Weeks 6 and 7)

First Snow

First Snow

Finally, our homeschool is humming along somewhat as I want it to.  It always takes time to get into a groove, to accept that the work needs to be done, and to find a system that works.

Well, it’s working now.  One key element has been changing the way I give daily and weekly assignments, and I hope to write about that next week.  Instead of allowing my young teens to organize their own daily work and fill in their own weekly list from a larger list, I now write them both out in great detail.

We are also focussing on short lessons, and that gives us time to cover many different topics each day.  The other advantage of short lessons is that we can return to each topic each day, and that really enhances learning.


Duolingo is a real treasure and makes incremental language learning almost painless.  Miss 15, especially, is benefitting from it.

King Alfred’s English, part history and part grammar, is my personal favorite resource this fall.  The kids enjoy it too.  I’ll be reviewing it sometime next year.

Our Canadian election is over, but not our civics curriculum, Voting Rules.  Studying it during an election was a great idea and made it much more relevant to the girls.

We’re moving along in biology, history, math, literature, Bible, and so much more, but probably the most effective part of our daily to do list is the new item, daily reading.  We never used to need this; the children would read whenever they could find a moment, but now that we have screens it is a different matter entirely.


We wore winter coats for the first time, had our first real snow, put most of the garden to bed, and enjoyed the fireplace.

There are various health issues.  My husband bought 5 enormous packages of kleenexes, we are stocked up with cough medicines, and we have bendy straws for those who need to drink while lying down.  We are very grateful for our medical system, healthy food, sleep, clean air, vitamins, and medicines.

I spent some time learning how to present a message effectively.  There are practical things to do, obviously, but the background basics often seem to be about attitude and beliefs.

Last week I downloaded Windows 10 and now I can no longer compress my photos inside the photo editor.  Hopefully Mr. 20 will have time this week to show me how to solve this problem, or I’ll be tempted to go back to Windows 8.


I’m still hugely enjoying The First Fossil Hunters.  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, Tales of Ancient Egypt, Beth Moore’s Stepping Up, The Traveler’s Gift, and 2 Chronicles.  I’ve completed and reviewed God Did Say, a refreshing reminder of Truth.

The girls have been reading Louis L’Amour’s novels and books about Champollion, the man who deciphered the Rosetta Stone.

Reading aloud:

The Secret of Willow Castle, Isaiah, and Acts.

Recommended Links:

If your to-do list is longer than your today, you might find some inspiration in the habits of successful young entrepreneurs.

That link reminded me that if you want a quick way to improve your health, try cold showers.  I’ve read about their benefits often over the years and have been trying out a wimpy adaptation for the last few weeks.  Even though I use cool, not cold water, and only use it at the end of a warm shower, it does seem to add some energy to life.  I suppose those who go for seriously cold water or for a longer time of cold water would feel the effects even more.

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.



  1. Looks like a lovely week! How awesome to have snow! Although I’m sure you’ll be tired of it in several months. Visiting from Weekly Wrap Up!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, the first snow is always amazing. And the second…. I’m thankful that it rarely stays until December and very occasionally we’ll even have a green Christmas. Driving is so much easier without snow!

  2. Jenn says:

    Finding your homeschool grove is the best. I am sorry you have illness going through your home. I have either a little virus or terrible allergies this season. It has not been very cold here, yet. I am ready for the first frost. Sadly, I have to set aside screens myself in order to read as much as I used to.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I hope you soon feel better. If it’s allergies you will probably feel better once it gets cold.

      I know what you mean about screens. They are very useful, but I’m always so happy when I can unplug and read. Although I do read from screens, too, and having a Bible on my phone is so handy!

  3. Aritha says:

    De eerste sneeuw: ja hoor! Jij bent de eerste. In Nederland we hebben nu twee mooie nazomer dagen. Morgen kan het zelfs 20 graden worden! Bijzonder!

    Mwah, een koude douche. Nee, geen zin in. Ik deed het als tiener, om mezelf klaar te maken voor mijn poolexpeditie, die nooit kwam 🙂

    O, ik hoop dat jullie gezond blijven dit seizoen. Veel sinaasappels eten. Geniet van je van het Bijbelboek Jesaja? Sommige hoofdstukken heb ik “stukgelezen”. Nu heb ik een nieuwe Bijbel en is het niet meer zichtbaar welk Bijbelboek ik vaker lees dan de andere. Maar ik bewaar mijn eerste Bijbel.

    Heb jij een daglichtlamp?

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Geniet maar van het heerlijke weer! En, nee, die koude douches zijn niet zo leuk, maar ik zou zo graag weer sterk en gezond zijn, dus als iets makkelijks een beetje helpt, doe it dat. 🙂

      Leuk van die poolexpeditie. Heb je ooit Frozen Planet gezien, van de BBC?

      Ja, wij genieten van Jesaja. Het is niet zo dat ik het “stukgelezen” heb, maar er zijn zoveel prachtige hoofdstukken. En heel vaak lezen wij een paar verzen die wij geleerd hebben. Dat is ook fijn voor de kinderen.

      Nee, ik heb geen daglicthlamp, maar hier is het niet zo grauw als in Nederland, en wij hebben heel veel ramen in ons huis en ook heel veel sterk licht van ‘natural light’ lampen. Dus niet hetzelvde, maar wel zo veel licht mogelijk. Ga jij een kopen? Of je kan naar Manitoba verhuizen, waar m’n ouders wonen een waar de zon haast altijd schijnt. 🙂

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