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Life Without School - Entry #645

Life Without School!

Two roads diverged in a wood and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week 19 of 36 of the Oak Meadow Curriculum

This morning, Shawn got Melissa up and off to school. I got up shortly thereafter, showered, woke the other two and had them get dressed and ready, we made coffee and so on, spent a little time at our computers, and by around 9:45, we were out the door.

After a brief stop at the library to drop off and pick up books, we headed over to our TOPS meeting (weight loss support group). This week, I lost 2 more lbs, for a total of 28 ½ lbs gone. :) (See my “Weight Loss Stats” page under the “Just For Fun” section on the sidebar to the left for more stats and fun picture updates).

After our meeting, we made two short stops at two different stores and then came home to eat lunch.

After lunch, Shawn went to work, and Alexa and I started school.

We began by doing science. Today we just read a short section about the Grasslands Biome (prairie) in the syllabus, and Alexa made a list of five plants and five animals found on the prairie.

She did vocabulary next, using this week’s vocabulary words in sentences.

We orally reviewed spelling, chanting the letters of each word while tossing a throw pillow back and forth.

We did a lesson from “Sentence Composing for Elementary School: A Worktext to Build Better Sentences.” This involved reading a model sentence from children’s literature, unscrambling and combining a list of sentences to imitate the model, and then involved Alexa writing her own imitation sentence. She did four of these, and she did it with much more independence than she had the last time.

My favorite was this one:

Model Sentence: “Outside, the lights of towns and villages flickered in the distance as the Polar Express raced northward.”

Alexa’s Sentence: “Far off, the snowy tops of hills and mountains gleamed like crystals as the full moon hit them.”

Alexa read a chapter of “Ben and Me” aloud. We paused to discuss unfamiliar vocabulary words and to continue taking notes on “characteristics that made Ben Franklin great” for use in a report next week.

At this point, Melissa was home and reminded me that I had to take her over to the DMV to replace her non-driver photo ID card which somehow got lost. As she’s going on a plane next month, she’s going to need it, so I had to take her over to get a replacement. The DMV is probably about 15 minutes away, so I packed all three kids into the car in the freezing weather and drove over there…

…only to find that I have to show up on either a Tuesday, a Wednesday or a Saturday to do what I needed to do.

Ugh. This place has the stupidest hours ever!

So, I put all the kids back into the car and drove back home. A half hour or so of my life wasted. Blah.

Continuing with school, Alexa and I sat on the couch and took turns reading aloud from “Skellig,” reading six chapters to each other.

She then had silent reading time, reading a chapter of “Wright On Time, Wyoming” while I prepared today’s math lesson.

I had her watch the lecture and do the practice problems while I made dinner (and she got as far as doing two problems of the actual lesson), and then it was time to eat. And after we ate, it was time to take her over to Girl Scouts and drop her off.

At Girl Scouts, the girls learned about different cameras, while I came home and took pictures at Ben’s request of the various structures he was building with his blocks.

He was pretty cute, every time he finished one, he’d put his little hands on my face, turn my head to look at it, and he’d say, “Do you like that one, Mommy? Do you want to take a picture of it?”

Anyway, when Shawn came home, he got Ben tucked into bed, and when Alexa came home, she finished up today’s math lesson before going up herself.

I read my book for a while, and that pretty much summed up today.

More tomorrow!


Shawn - 40, Husband, Dad, Tattoo Artist, Body Piercer, Business Owner, Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiast, Cook, Mr. Fix-It.

Nance - 41, Wife, Homeschooling Mom, Bookworm, Writer, Field Tripper, List Maker, Planner, Chauffeur.

Melissa - 22, Special Needs. Is in a sheltered workshop/life skills day program. Likes music, movies, shopping, and reading.

Alexa - 14, Left public school in March of 2009 and has been home since, happily homeschooling with Oak Meadow and an eclectic mix of other things. Currently in 8th grade. Enjoys reading, writing, art, singing and music, theater/performing, doing her nails, and sleepovers with friends.

Ben - 9, Has never been to any outside school. Currently doing 3rd grade at home. Enjoys computer, video and board games, especially Minecraft and shooter games, silly jokes, soccer, rough-housing, and occasional cuddling and reading.

Adelaide - 15 months and my little ray of sunshine. :) Enjoys pointing at things, chasing the cat, trying to pull all the books off my bookshelves, eating, playing, and snuggling.

We are a relaxed/eclectic, secular homeschooling family living in Pennsylvania and thoroughly enjoying Life Without School!


Alexa is using: Oak Meadow 8 Civics; Oak Meadow 8 English; Oak Meadow Basic Physical Science; Story of the World Middle Ages; and Teaching Textbooks Math Pre-Algebra.

Ben is loosely using the Oak Meadow 3rd Grade curriculum (minus the math), Teaching Textbooks Math 3, and Reading Eggspress.

I've always been a fairly relaxed homeschooler. While I've buckled down more this year with my 8th grader, in general we do school around life, not life around school. We use mainly a fun, hands on curriculum that isn't overly time consuming and isn't dry or textbookish, and we're always willing to drop it for the time being if something fun, interesting, or educational comes up outside the house. Living is learning!


Welcome To My Blog!


The ABCs Of Relaxed Homeschooling

A Perfect Day

Affidavits, Objectives & Samples, Oh My!

A Kindergarten Dropout

Homeschooling, A Year Later

Preschool Or Not?

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

A Day In The Life Of A New Homeschooler

Homeschool Poem

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day?

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day Part 2

What About Socialization?

Why Homeschool?!

Dear Judy Molland

What I Really Mean When I Say I Homeschool


Funnix Beginning Reading Program Review

Getting Started With Spanish Review

Growing, Growing Strong Review

Insect Lore Negative Review

Life of Fred Math Review

Little Passports Review

Meet The Masters Review

Movie Review: Snowmen

Oak Meadow Review

Sentence Composing For Elementary School Review

Story Of The World Review

Teaching Textbooks Math Review

Times Tales Review

Typing Instructor For Kids Platinum Review


Alexa's Third Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fourth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fifth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 1

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 2

Alexa's Seventh Grade Book Log

Alexa's Eighth Grade Book Log

Ben's Pre-K Book Log

Ben's Kindergarten Book Log

Ben's First Grade Book Log

Ben's Second Grade Book Log

Ben's Third Grade Book Log


Oak Meadow Kindergarten Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 4th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 5th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Our 6th Grade Stretched Over Two Years Plan

Some Of Our Most Fun/Interesting Projects & Activities, Oak Meadow 5th Grade


Homeschool Affidavit

Homeschool Objectives, Elementary and Secondary Level

Homeschool Portfolio, UPDATED

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 1

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 2

Standardized Test Results


Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles A-I

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles J-R

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles S-Z

52 Books In 52 Weeks, Mom & Daughter Style, 2011

Homeschooling Quotes & Funnies

Our Fresh Air Fund Experience

Funny Things Alexa Has Said

Funny Things Ben Has Said

My Favorite Links

How I Got Alexa's Eczema Under Control!

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 1

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 2

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, Part 3

The Family Who Wouldn't Change The Toilet Paper


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