Our January Re-Cap: Real Life Homeschooling

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I can’t believe January is almost over. I admit, I had grand plans for this month. After adding Peanut to the mix, I thought for sure we would be right back on track with school the way I wanted school to be (after doing “survival school” for so long) without very many problems.

the first day of schoolEarly in the morning on the first day of school- feeling optimistic!

I was so, so wrong. Because I was so, so wrong, we’re going to start this post not with what is working well for us, but with what didn’t work for us this month.

What went wrong in our homeschool this month

This month was the month of medical issues. The biggest issue we had this month was me assuming that my recovery from pregnancy and childbirth was going to be a breeze. It was easy with all the other kids, so I thought #4 would be pretty safe too. This month, I ended up with an ambulance ride, multiple unexpected doctors appointments, and an emergency surgery, which added up to a huge amount of time spent moaning and groaning on the couch.

DSC_0176Peanut is now 7 weeks old!

And that doesn’t even take into account the baby. Ah, we have the cutest baby. But even the cutest babies have their moments spent screaming. Peanut has wonderful, healthy lungs, and a strong desire to be held all the time. We’re making it work, but it sure doesn’t make homeschooling any easier.

What went right in our homeschool this month

I’m actually surprised anything went right when I stop and think about everything that has happened in the last couple weeks. The good news is, before all the crazy went down, I had taken the time to come up with a new game plan for helping the kids work more independently, and our to-do list system has been a huge hit.

DSC_0138Big brother is a HUGE help with the baby!

The kids have really stepped up, and have worked hard despite the new challenges of a loud baby, and a sick Mama. Both boys got a huge amount done, and have been working really hard. I taught a lot of lessons from the couch, and we’ve made do.

The thing that was the biggest hit this month was our Dinosaur Unit Study. Normally, Little Miss does her preschool activities all on her own, but the boys often complain that they don’t get to do the same fun activities she does. I went out of my way to make sure I made worksheets and whatnot for the boys to do, and planned on them participating in her hands on activities. We had SO much fun.

Curriculum Used:


Bug is still working on Oak Meadow 4. He’s been very much on his own with the program for most of the fall, so I have been going back over past weeks with the teachers manual in hand picking out elements of the lesson that I want to make sure we go back over and reenforce. So far, I am really pleased with how well he has done taking over this program and working on his own, even though the intention for the year was never to let him have so much independence with it. Despite how well he has done, I will be more hands on with it this Spring.

DSC_0575Working on Athena’s Advanced Academy

He also just started a class with Athena’s Advanced Academy that I am really excited about. He’s taking a literature class with them, and so far, it’s exactly what I was hoping it would be. He’s learning to ask questions and look closer at the things he is reading, and is having a wonderful time interacting with his classmates online.

Other programs he is using include: Beast Academy 4, IEW Fix-It, Homeschool Spanish Academy, Nancy Larson Science 2, Logic of English Essentials.

Mr. Man:

Mr. Man has grown so much in the last couple months. Sitting down with him to do school is totally different then when we started in the fall, and I am loving the new, harder working little boy in front of me. He still has his very goofy moments, but for the most part, he is dedicated to learning.

DSC_0328He’s still a bit of a challenge to teach!

His reading has really taken off, and all of a sudden, he can read just about anything you set in front of him. At this point, we are working on building fluency so he can read for fun. We are also working hard at helping him improve his motor skills and spelling so he can write as well as he can read.

DSC_0220He has his serious moments too.

Programs he is using include: Time4Learning, Dreambox Math, Logic of English Foundations, RightStart Math, Nancy Larson Science 1, and Moving Beyond the Page 5-7.

Little Miss:

Little Miss is still doing Mother Goose Time preschool. She asks for her “Em School” every morning, and often times will try and sweet talk me into doing a second day’s worth of activities when the first is finished.

DSC_0193Working on early math skills

She is also growing like crazy, and I really think soon it will be time for me to add a math and phonics program to her lessons as well. She’s craving more lessons, and while I am not eager to add to my already full plate, I do want to teach her as much as she wants to learn. We may or may not add in Foundations A and RightStart Level A with her sometime soon.

What’s the plan for February

Next month will hopefully be much easier. The baby is already starting to have more defined morning and afternoon naps, and we’re going to do our best to take advantage of them. I’m also hoping to be feeling much better next month, and am optimistic that most of my medical issues are behind me (fingers crossed!).  I’m still dragging quite a bit, but I’m determined to make the most of it.

We’re planning on a Geography Unit Study (hopefully i’ll have some sweet printables to share with you from that!) and I’ve got some Valentines and Presidents Day fun planned too. I’m also hoping to ease back into Field Trip Friday (I really, really miss it!). Upcoming reviews include In Freedom’s Cause and Logic of English Foundations D. It’s going to be a fun month!

Want to see more of our day-to-day homeschooling adventure? Follow us on Instagram!

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  1. Hi Heather. Your new little one is precious. I love seeing the updates on IG. I am glad school is going well. If you have a free moment, and I really understand those are very few and far between. But, if you get a chance, could you tell me more about Oak Meadow? I am new to homeschooling and it is so hard to get a real feel for a curriculum. I am looking for one that doesn’t have so much religion wound so tightly in it. I feel more comfortable with a boxed set up vs. trying to plan and make up my own lesson plans, at least for now. Maybe that will change with the time. My older two, (they are 27 and 17) went to public school. MY littlest is 8. This is our first year of homeschooling. Thank you SO much. ~Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle!

      Oak Meadow is great. It’s secular, so no religious teachings are included. It does include some stories from various religions (things like the coat of many colors, or native american creation myths) at times. What is special about Oak Meadow is that it is flexible- the whole week of lessons are included, but there isn’t a daily checklist. You kind of go with the flow and get it done organically instead of being tied to a daily list of to-dos.

      You can see what I mean by looking at our reviews and day in the life posts:

      If you want to talk to more Oak Meadow families, check out the Oak Meadow Families group on Facebook. 🙂

      Hope that helps!

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