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Life Without School - Entry #765

Life Without School!

What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child. -George Bernard Shaw

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week 32 of 36 of the Oak Meadow Curriculum

This morning, I got Melissa up and off to school, being sure to put her in a button-down shirt as her class was going to a local beauty school to get their hair done today as they have their prom tonight.

I had my coffee and quiet time at my computer, and when Ben came down, he and I ate breakfast together.

I got Alexa up a few minutes after 9, and when she came down, I had her start her day by finishing “Snowbound, The Tragic Story Of The Donner Party.” I then had her eat breakfast (during which time I read a chapter of “The Long Winter”) and get ready for the day (hair, teeth, deodorant, lotion etc).

When we were ready, we went out to do the fourth and final week of our Biome Observation Project, which we started over the winter- we did two weeks in the winter and we're doing two weeks in the spring. On the way, we stopped at the library to drop some things off and so Alexa could select a book, and then we headed to the walking trail we use for our observation project. It's a pretty, paved path that goes through a wooded area with lots of different plants and trees (many of which are labeled with signs), and of course there are always lots of small creatures to observe.

The object is to pay attention to what you can see and hear and smell, what plants and trees and animals you can identify, what the weather is like, and things like that.

Today, we saw a rabbit there for the first time. We heard and saw several different birds. Of course, we saw the usual assortment of squirrels and chipmunks, and even met a couple walking along who were carrying a big bag of peanuts, and they offered to share some with Alexa (for feeding the squirrels and chipmunks).

We thanked them and enjoyed watching the squirrels and chipmunks come and gather the nuts. The chipmunks in particular would come very close to us to get them! The squirrels kept a bit more distance.


On the way home, we stopped at the bank drive through window to make a deposit, then picked up Shawn and Ben and went back out. First we got gas (ugh, it is SO close to being $4.00 a gallon!), then we went to Home Depot for a band saw blade, and lastly we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Ben and I sat on their rockers outside and played a game of Checkers afterward, and Ben did very well holding his own, getting in more than one double jump that I never saw coming!

Back at home, Shawn and Alexa finished their homemade puzzle, using the band saw to do the final step of actually cutting out the individual pieces. There are a few more pics of the process in yesterday's entry, but here is the finished result:


Shawn then went to work and Alexa and I went back to doing schoolwork. We read another chapter of The Long Winter, but that was as far as we got because then Melissa came home and I wanted to get her into her prom dress and take some pictures of her outside, and I wanted to do it right away because it was looking like rain was a good possibility.


Finally Alexa and I finished today's allotted pages of The Long Winter and I had her do a state capital review for geography.

When she finished that, she worked a bit on her cursive workbook and did a Sentence Composing For Elementary School lesson while I took a shower. For cursive, she had to write a thank you note and she wrote a really sweet note to me thanking me for homeschooling her and making school fun. :) It said:

Dear Mama,

Thanks for being the best teacher ever!! You made school so fun! Thanks again for homeschooling me! I love homeschooling, it is super fun! I'm never going back to school!


(Note: Alexa had been in public school for K, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and most of 3rd Grade before I'd pulled her out two years ago to begin homeschooling her).

By the time I got out of the shower, the girls were playing Rock Band. I left them to it while I got ready and made a quick, light sandwich supper for everybody.

We had a little bit of free time, and then we had to go. We went to Grandma's house first so she could see Melissa's dress, and we left Ben with Grandma for a little while. We made a quick stop at Aunt Denise's house next as it was on the way to the school, and Melissa showed them her dress and took a few pictures. Then we went to the school, where Alexa was dying to see the decorations, and we took some pictures of Melissa and her prom date.


We left Melissa to enjoy her prom and headed back to Grandma's to visit for a while and collect Ben (the kids played a few games of Hide and Seek on their own and Who Am I with Grandma and I before we left), and then we went home.

At home, I gave Alexa a spelling quiz and had her do today's Teaching Textbooks math lesson. While she finished that up, Shawn gave Ben a bath, and I went out again to pick Melissa up from her prom.

Back at home, Ben was already tucked into bed. We got the girls settled shortly after, watched a bit of TV together, and that about summed up today.

More tomorrow!

P.S. 32 weeks of school have now been completed, and there are only 4 weeks to go- but the 4th week is going to be extremely light, basically just some review and wrapping up unfinished projects, which may even be able to be consolidated into the previous week's to-do list, so, really, we've only got 3 full weeks of school left!


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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