Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Seasons of Change (8/25-8/31)

In Our Life This Week
Our summer vacation months have come to an end. And right on schedule, Mother Nature has dropped our 80s and sometimes 90s down to 70s, and we have a few leaves turning color (although I think that might be the drier weather we've been having).


It's been a great summer! The Saplings and I have been super busy (as usual), but we found a lot of time for our most favorite summer activities: swimming, camping, reading, friends, late bedtimes, and picnics.

But now it's time for schoolin' and fall sports and scouts. And, you know, I'm looking forward to the change of seasons! ::grin::

A look back through the summer...

On The Island: Rocky Ocean Beach, Playing in the Mud Flats with Cousin Noodle, Whoopie
Pie Sundae, Lobster Roll, Swimming, and Wild Flowers
Camping: Tenting, Fires, and Swimming
Around Home: Flowers, Hiking, Flooding, Relaxing in the Hammock, Reading in the Van,
Kayaking, and Making Pickles

In Our Homeschool This Week
I met with each of the Saplings this week to look over our new curricula and discuss expectations. This was especially important for White Pine who will be managing his time this year and keeping his own records. As a 9th grader, I feel it's time for him to take over his learning (for the most part). And the younger Saplings were able to see their new work binder set-ups and workbox task cards I added to the front of their binders (to help them be more productive). 

Sugar Maple's Sample Schedule with Workbox Task Cards
from Homeschool Creations. These are velcroed onto her
work binder.
As activities are completed, the cards are flipped over.
When they are all flipped, her school day is done. 
I store extra laminated workbox task cards in a recycled
plastic jar.

White Pine also learned to mow the lawn. Again. I think he was traumatized 2 years ago when he broke the mower after only a few minutes into his first ever mow. ::sigh:: Or maybe he's afraid it'll become HIS chore? But alas! that won't happen because Balsam Fir was quite upset to see big brother touching what he's come to call "my mower". White Pine has been asked to mow a friend's lawn for pay so we thought we would start at home to practice first.

Sugar Maple rediscovered our  "Oregon Trail" CD-rom game. She's been buying covered wagons, loading them up with supplies and heading down the trail. What's neat about this game is that you can fish for food, hunt deer and other animals or collect plants to eat (learning which ones are safe to eat), barter and trade, and even read a journal along the trail. She's had to make choices about crossing rivers, climbing mountains and dealing with weather. She hasn't conquered the trail yet, but I bet she will! (I'd totally recommend this game!)

And wouldn't you know it - Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir came running inside with an old 5 gallon bucket...and a White-footed baby mouse that fell out of MY VAN. ::sigh:: The Saplings made a habitat for it, but further research showed that they can carry Lyme Disease as well Hantavirus, a rare, but possibly deadly infection. As cute and helpless as it is, Mousie was returned to the wild of the woods.

What's Working/Not Working for Me?
::sigh:: Would you believe that I had another flat tire this week? Looks like I picked up a nail from Balsam Fir's latest building project - a miniature coop and chicken run. His building projects have been moved to a safer tire location. But I now have a working carpet steamer and some cleaner rugs!

I'm full of anticipation and excitement for our new school year on Monday! (Yes, Labor Day! What better way to celebrate with a little school "labor"! ::wink::) Isn't it a great feeling? ::smile:: White Pine starts high school. High school! And after a couple of years straying from Charlotte Mason, Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir will return to our more natural approach to learning. So, here's hoping for a fun year full of exploration and investigations!

Back-to-School Countdown: 3 days!

Blog Hops
Favorite Resource This WeekHomegrown LearnersScience SundayHip Homeschool Hop Button3Boys&aDog DEALS!Photobucket


  1. Love the homeschooling bit! Thanks for sharing all of the pretty pics of camping and the beach too! I miss the beach! :(

    xoxo ♥ Shar

  2. What a great look back at your summer - so much fun! That's everything summer should be.

    We have used those workbox task cards from Homeschool Creations in the past. They are great, aren't they?

    Thanks for linking with Collage Friday!

  3. I really enjoy your little wrap-ups. Your collages look great, too! I would imagine you were quite frightened when you found out little mousie was a disease infested cutie.

    I remember playing The Oregon Trail when I was in Junior High! Yes, it's been around that long. lol I liked it. I think I might get it for my kiddos.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Love the work boxes attach to the binders! I may have to steal this idea. How did you attach it? And when flipped over how does it stay? I'm full of questions! But I want to give them a more independent habit. Thanks! Have a great first day!

    1. Mini velcro sticky dots on the corners of the work box cards! (Under $3 at Walmart.) I put one on front and on back of the small cards...and then on the corner of the grid (which is slipped into the clear sleeve on the front of the binder). When the kids are finished they flip the card over. When their grid is white (with all cards flipped) they are done for the day!

  5. I am glad that I am not the only who hasn't officially started school yet. I feel very behind! I love of your pictures. What a wonderful summer you've had. The workbox cards on the binder are a great idea!

  6. Wow, great week! I love when the kids find creatures, lol!

    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Aw, the mouse was cute, but yeah, I'm a on the cautious side when it comes to wild critters and their potential diseases. Looks like your workbox system is well-planned; love the concept but never really tried it.

  8. oooh, I love your collage like pictures! I want some for my blog! I do a very simplified workbox system for my younger two using cat litter trays! (never been used before, mind you!)

  9. Ohhh Sorry for the flat tire! BUT YAY FOR HIGH SCHOOL this coming year! :) :) Wow! I bet that seems surreal! Super excited to blog along with you throughout this new year! <3 hugs

  10. We used to have the Oregon Trail computer game, but for some reason it quit working. The kids really enjoyed it!
    The baby mouse is really cute, but I understand why you returned it to the woods.
    Love this exciting back-to-homeschool season!

  11. Happy first week of school! And good riddance to the mousie. He is cute though. Cuter in the woods. lol

    I need to look into Oregon Trail for Mackie. I remember loving that game when I was younger. I'll add it to my Christmas list.

  12. The camping looks so fun!!! I remember Oregon Trail - I may have to get that!

  13. I loved "Oregon Trail" when I was a kid! I find the idea of workboxes very appealing, but I haven't implemented it yet.

  14. I love your organization system. It looks like you all had a great summer and are ready for a lovely fall.
    Blessings, Dawn

  15. Great pictures that show your lovely summer. We just finished our 4th week! Keilee was raring to go. Of course NOW she wished we had waited. ;) Looking forward to reading all your great upcoming posts Jessy. I used to love Oregon Trail. I don't think Kei has ever played it. Love the way the binders turned out!

  16. Your post just made me smile. I love peeking into the lives of other homeschool families. I love the workbox idea and all of your photos. Have a blessed first week back to school.

  17. The photos showing the look back at your summer are great :) It sounds like you are very excited to get started with your new year, and that you have a well-planned system in place to get started! Thanks for sharing with Favorite Resources.

  18. Love your photos!! I hope you have a wonderful day back to school today. I also love how you did the binders! I have been trying to figure out how to do the workbox cards for my kiddo. We have been working without them so far but we really need them... (at least I do ;) Hope you have a great first week back!!

  19. I love that velcro idea! My daughter is in 10th grade but I think I'm still going to make those up for her too.
    I love the Oregon Trail game. I bought one last year at a yard sale that wasn't even opened.
    I hope it works with Windows 7.

  20. I enjoyed looking around your blog. :0) Can you tell me what editing program you use to make those ADORABLE photo collage?


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