Homeschool Notes March 2019

I’d like to welcome all my new readers over to this blog! The focus here will be a bit different as I may post more than normal about homeschooling.

Don’t worry! I’m still doing book reviews. This is a blog/journal of what we are reading and this year we’ve been reading a ton! I wrote a little bit about it over on the Bookshark blog, but here are the the nitty gritty details for you.

We’re in mid week six, seventeen and twenty one in our BookShark Science/History/LA. (We’re going year-round before anyone starts counting on their fingers and freaking out on my behalf)

I had to check because the last few weeks I had started just “doing the next thing” instead of consulting the lesson plans. We were spending an absurd amount of time learning both Math and Latin, and that did not leave a whole lot of mental space for much else. That seemed like a good plan until it did not.

Taking the last few weeks off and putting it all away opened my eyes to the prevailing atmosphere around here which, honestly, was not great. I love Classical Education (need a primer on that term? Check out The Well Trained Mind from your library and then try not to hyperventilate.

I have used that method on and off with my kids for years because every Summer I talk myself into thinking we will be super academic and for some of my kids, I was right during that specific season of learning. Many times I was not right. At least I do not beat a dead horse.

Confession: sometimes I get bored. I have taught all the grades five times now, and mixing it up with something new is just what I need. Whatever the reason, if you feel like you need to change things up in your home then you should seriously think about it.

My current 13 yo loves memorization. Like he memorizes random lists and facts for fun, he loved the idea of having several subjects worth of flashcards and in his words “hard work.” We are in week Nineteen in all those classical subjects, but it is a slog. I am not in any way saying that school should not be work, but it also should retain a “delight” factor, and we lost that somewhere. We finished both the Science and American History books and were more relieved than satisfied.

To be fair, its an odd year for us, we are still grieving the loss of my father in law and settling in a new house/town, then I needed surgery. We did not get a ton of school done last Spring/Summer either as our entire family participated in full-time caregiving.


This is my show to run, and I take responsibility for any misdirection, luckily I did know that we were going to need more books than the four included in our other curriculum. I ordered Bookshark last Fall and planned on using it at half speed as a deluxe Geography program with a set of awesome readers.

I am not a stranger to the literature based method as we used Sonlight with our older kids for many years. I hardly ever purchased a full core from them, because I resented buying the Bible section that we would not use. So BookShark was a breath of fresh air where I can order the entire level with one click. I don’t know if I will, but I could.

At first, I did not understand the BookShark Language Arts study, it seemed like it jumped around too much and since we were getting plenty of grammar in Latin, I let it slide a bit. We did the dictation and some of the writing. I yanked an old copy of Writing With Ease Level 4 off my shelf, and we worked through the remaining lessons in there to build up some confidence by practicing dictation daily.


This month we are ready to tackle some storytelling, so we began the BookShark LA again with the two-week Animal Story project. He loves studying animals and reading nonfiction so it is the perfect topic for my kid. We also drew a comic strip- stick figures and all! I have dialed some of the assignments way down, but overall it is a win for us at this point.

Science takes no time at all and yet the material is engaging and so far (fingers crossed) the experiments are working well.

In History/Geo we are reading about The Middle East in our Journey’s to the Eastern Hemisphere book. Our read aloud is Daughter of the Mountains and all is well here at The Viking Academy.

I’d love to hear about your school year. Comments are always welcome!


  1. A slog is fine if the end is in sight. My kids are willing to put in the time of they can see the point, even if they don’t care for it. But a protracted trudge just doesn’t work unless there’s a big payoff.


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