Friday Flashback: Projects, lapbooks & more!

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 In my life this week… it was non-stop action at the Gotcher household! A week ago today, I was driving down to Colorado Springs for a last-minute trip to see some dear friends from Durango who were in town for their daughters’ dance competition. We turned around and went back the very next day so the girls could have more fellowship time with friends they have really missed. That night we returned home just in time for a neighbor’s party celebrating his retirement from the Army.

 FriendsDurango

By Sunday, I was happy but exhausted —  and there was more to come!

In our homeschool this week… we successfully accomplished our day’s plan for school before “Dance Monday” commenced in the afternoon. Dance Monday is the day we drive all the way out to Littleton for all the girls to take Worship Dance, then drive back home in rush hour traffic so my eldest can attend ballet, at which time I also take a Zumba class. Lots of dancing!

However this Monday night, I also had a meeting with our local homeschool support group RIGHT after Zumba and ballet. I had to rush home to drop off Audrey and change clothes in 30 minutes. Our meeting focused on the ins and outs of standardized testing, including college entrance exams, and a half-hour of “resource swapping” (more on that later) — so although I was still exhausted, I was very thankful to have attended!

My kiddos favorite thing this week was… a long-awaited visit on Tuesday from more very close friends: A homeschooling family with three daughters who used to live around the corner from us, but moved to Wyoming almost a year ago. Because the girls have really missed each other, their three daughters spent the night at our house. I also had to complete work for a contract marketing research assignment I recently took on that was due Wednesday morning.

Needless to say, I was up very late, and… still exhausted.

Wednesday was our monthly project day with the girls book club co-op I started this past fall. Having completed Little House in the Big Woods earlier this month, we did THREE projects related to the book in celebration. We made clove apples and molasses “snow” candy… can you imagine what my house smelled like by the end of the day?

Homeschool Projects Snow Candy

The girls also started a lapbook that features many favorite lessons from the book. We all had such a good time, we wrapped up the meeting an hour later than planned. But… it was so much fun! I plan to share more details on these two projects in “Hands-on Homeschool” next week.

Homeschool Projects Clove Apples Lapbooks

By the way, I was still exhausted.

Thursday the girls had PE Plus, which is followed by an art co-op class for my 10-year-old Claire. They played one of my elementary school favorites, foursquare. I used to be really good at foursquare! As usual, my little one played with her friends on the outskirts while I chatted with the other moms.

Homeschool PE

Things we’re working on… This week, our garden seeds from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds came in, so we also planned to stop by a homeschooling friend’s house after art to learn how to start seeds for the first time. The past two years, we’ve grown our garden from starter plants purchased at Home Depot. The more we’ve learned about food in the past year, the more we wanted to grow our garden from scratch with heirloom seems.

Homeschool Projects Starting Seeds

Our friend generously offered to let us come over when our order arrived so we could watch her process for starting seeds indoors. Colorado presents a fun challenge of frosts late into the spring, so I was very grateful that she shared her experience (and Colorado planting schedule) with us.

Stay tuned for a progress (hopefully!) report on our first heirloom garden in the months to come.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… I already mentioned the “resources swap” held at my homeschool support group meeting on Monday. If you (like me) are new to the concept of a resources swap, read this Tuesday Tip I posted the next day for the scoop.

MomsResourceSwap

My favorite thing this week was… when my five-year-old Elise decided to reorganize the lower kitchen cabinets. We were putting away dishes together after the dinner load was done (because we had MORE dishes to go in, after making snow candy, clove apples, etc.) when she realized how disorganized the cabinets had become. Instead of shoving things into the mess, she began pulling everything out and reorganizing… cheerfully!

Homeschool Projects Clean Kitchen

She was so proud of herself for a job well done, I decided to give her $1 bonus for her initiative in restoring order to the kitchen.

Thankfully, this week was our final and review week for our Jamestown unit study in Paths of Exploration. The review week came at the perfect time, because it’s a lightweight schedule with time to catch up and complete enrichment activities. Guess what we worked on all day today? Finishing our Jamestown unit lapbooks!

Yes, it was an exhausting week! And by no means is this typical for our homeschool. I made a concerted effort this year to keep our activities manageable while still supporting our homeschooling goals.

As exhausting as this particularly crazy busy week was, it was also overflowing with so many wonderful memories, laughter, grace-filled moments and LOTS of learning. Isn’t that just what we love most about homeschooling?

How was your homeschooling week? What highlights warmed your heart? What struggles are you dealing with? Are you as exhausted as I am tonight? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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Renée Gotcher is a wife, writer, editorial consultant, and home-educating mother of three daughters. She has been married for 26 years to her best friend Kenny, whom she met while attending Oral Roberts University in the early 90s. Renée was homeschooled during her last two years of high school and started homeschooling in 2010. A former journalist, she is currently editor of NextGen Homeschool and blogs on personal topics at A New Chapter. Her family lives in Castle Rock, Colorado.

4 thoughts on “Friday Flashback: Projects, lapbooks & more!

  1. Hi there,
    I am not homeschooling but have written a book for the homeschool market – so I am finding so many wonderful sites. I am linking in from Christian Mommy Blogger.
    Sounds like a positive exciting week.
    Blessings,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

      1. Thank you for visiting, Janis! Fun that you found us through both places – look forward to checking out your blog as well. Have a great weekend!
        Renée

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