Week 8, 2017 — Nature Hike

We had a pretty good week. I don’t know why I ever wander away from Homeschool Planet for planning things. I guess I just try to save money… and get frustrated with the way it deals with some things. But for me, it’s better than any other planning system out there.

This time around I’m gong to use it with Evernote — instead of sticking every idea i have in the planner, I’m keeping a list of ideas in Evernote, and I can use that list as inspiration when I plan out the next few weeks in the planner. I think where I run into problems is when I plan too far ahead or plan too much.


  • All of the kids played with PhET sims’ Function Builder. It has many ways of playing with the idea of a function.
  • Kid 1 practiced multiplying double-digit numbers.
  • Kid 2 worked on her multiplication chart.
  • Kid 3 worked on adding three-digit numbers and regrouping. She also spent time with grandma learning about different coins and how much they are worth.



It was a relatively light week for Language Arts.

All the kids watched interesting shows that we talked about — Monk, Timeless, and so forth. We also continued to read the second Harry Potter book at night.

This week’s words of the day included onus and bemuse.


Read the next chapter in Story of the World, still about the beginnings of Islam.

Watched several episodes of Timeless… and finished the season. I hope it gets renewed!


  • We participated in the great backyard bird count, and it was pretty fun. We even saw an (apparently) rare bird and were contacted by one of the people who QA the bird reports. They like to make sure people have reasons for reporting unexpected things, so I got to explain why we thought we saw a purple finch instead of a house finch. (Lucky for us, we get both, so it’s easy to spot the difference.)
  • We went to a local little mountain, Sugarloaf, and enjoyed a nice nature hike. There was a lot of lichen.
  • We saw the bunnies again for the first time this year. We watched them and commented on their behavior.
  • I read a few articles to the kids and we watched a video about the cave of giant crystals in Mexico where researchers found microbes that have been dormant for 10-50 thousand years. It’s a weird cave — so hot and humid that without proper gear, the moisture quickly condenses in your lungs and you could (oddly enough) drown.


There was so much foursquare. (Sometimes anywhere from two square to twelve square, in fact!)

We also hiked. The kids spent the night with their cousins and walked a few miles through the neighborhood to get frozen yogurt.

The girls also went to dance class, where they get quite a workout.


All the kids got to practice staying safe while walking to store. It was a band of kids from 7-15 years old, and they needed to make sure the littler ones didn’t get lost or run over.

Kid 2 had a little talk with me about a lot of things… frustration, dealing with the thought of disappointing other people, dealing with things that are hard.

Kid 3 got to learn about how to treat sore muscles and a possible sprained ankle.


Everyone practiced their instruments nearly every day and progressed. Yay!

The girls went to their dance classes.


For art, we made marzipan! From scratch. We blanched the almonds, blended them up, and added lots of sugar and flavor. Then we used food dye to make many different colors. It’s basically edible, gluten-free, almond-based clay. We still have tons of it so we can get it out and play with it for the next week or two.

Foreign Language

I wrote hiragana with Kid 2. The two older kids also practiced their languages using Mango.


I’m trying to include a once-a-week class about basic computer stuff. Thing like backing up their systems, getting windows updates, checking email and the calendar, and stuff.

This week I also showed them how to install a hardware monitor so they can get neat graphs of things like the temperatures of their CPUs.

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