The week with the petri dishes, the choir practice, and no gluten.

In my life this week…

I have officially gone off the deep end. ; )
Because I just don’t have enough going on in my life (ha!) I’ve added more because it’s just so gosh darn fun!

A high school friend of mine asked me to join the community choir (that she now directs,) and after thinking it over I decided to go ahead and do it. Monday was their second rehearsal of the season so I jumped in and started learning some patriotic songs with them for a Veteran’s Day concert. It really was a lot of fun, and it only takes up Mondays, but I still think I’m a little crazy for adding something else to my schedule. = p

This week was also THE GREAT GLUTEN FREE EXPERIMENT. I won’t go into all the history but I talked hubby into giving it a try for a week to see if he felt any better, and to make it easier, we all did it together. I didn’t buy anything special, I just made meals we already ate that were gluten free, or gf with a minor change. For the first two days, James couldn’t tell any difference. For the next two days he said he felt better. And on day 5 he was complaining about the food so I told him to go ahead and eat whatever he wanted for lunch – and then to top it off we ordered pizza and calzone for supper. Yup, he failed the test, he felt worse again. So now I’m researching menu ideas and we’re going to start trying some gf products. I’ve started a gluten free Pinterest board to collect recipes as I go.

And last but not least I’ve decided to head up an Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive through our ladies’ group at church and so I’ve started doing some prep work on that as well. Collection week will be here before we know it!

In our homeschool this week…

Homeschool has been.. interesting. This was one of those weeks where we were teaching for heart issues while teaching for learning.  At the end of the week we even ended up making a list of what we get out of doing assignments (beyond just reading the lesson) and why we do them.

We started with a few general benefits and then I prompted them, “What about drawing and art projects? What about writing assignments? What about doing hands on projects and experiments?” After we thought through all of those, we had a pretty good list and my 12 year old admitted, “Wow, I never really thought about all of those.” I think I’m going to leave the list up next week. 😉

During the week we also checked on our petri dish experiment. You may recall that last week we swabbed several surfaces in our home and collected the samples in petri dishes to see if they would grow any bacteria. WELL. Let’s just say that though I know there is bacteria all over the place, I’m glad that most of the surfaces in my home are not ideal for bacteria growth and breeding. ICK!

(Numbers 3, 4 and 6 don’t show up as well, but there are LOTS of speckles and spots and a few squiggles. Number 5 doesn’t show up well because what grew was white cloudy spots – what looks like shadows in the gel is the cloudy spots.)

We also set up our history binders and added history to our repertoire this week, the Mystery of History, Volume 2. The MOH 2 is our main curriculum for the year and we’re also supplementing with our Heritage History Young Readers Curriculum. And also, I will have a giveaway for that coming soon, so stay tuned! On Friday we also added science, just a little bit of introduction into our Apologia Zoology 3. We’ll really get into the material next week, and also, Princess’ science materials will finally arrive next week also. Yay!

Mapping Paul’s missionary journeys. MOH 2, Lesson 3

The weather was great this week so the kids spent a lot of time outside IN IT. One day they found a mystery blue and black feather so, always the teacher mom, I had Little Prince research what kind of feather it was. After determining that it was a Blue Jay feather, I helped him make a notebooking page for it (with one of our printables from Notebooking Pages). I love impromptu learning!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Teaching for heart issues is just as big a part of homeschooling as teaching for learning. It’s something all parents have to train, really, but when you’re also the teacher there is DOUBLE the opportunity and double the need..

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We didn’t really go anywhere this week. There were a couple of opportunities that didn’t materialize but that’s okay. I don’t like having full weeks every week!

Questions/thoughts I have…

Feedburner, the website I used to distribute and track my RSS feed, is acting weird and becoming unreliable. It does appear that Google (who bought it from Feedburner several years ago) isn’t maintaining or upgrading it, and may even shut it down some time in the future. A lot of bloggers are getting ahead of the problem by researching new feed services now, myself included. Can you help? I’ve posted a question about how my readers follow my blog. Any feedback you can provide will help me make my decision. Thanks!

Things I’m working on…

Beside the things I’ve already mentioned, community choir, Operation Christmas Child, etc..

  • Several needs for school, organizing our space, setting up our experiment boxes for the new sciences, trying to make everything fit on our shelves and thinking I may need to purge some things?
  • Planning a possible field trip to listen to the symphony orchestra, and to the homeschool day at the zoo.
  • Trying out and applying the learning strategies from Kidzmet – review and giveaway coming this week
  • Like my free resources for language arts and math posts, look for a history resource post coming this week
  • More canning, making plans to can some condiments and sauces soon on our mission to stock our pantry with home canned goods. (Posts, too, of course!)
  • Wondering when I’m going to find time to start working on my 2nd ebook!

I’m reading…

I’m grateful for…

Cooler weather, impending fall, my mother in law, online blogging friends, peanut butter cookies, opportunities, my family, my church and our women’s group.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!