This week, my word is JOY.

invinsible summer
Joy. Photo credit Bengt Nyman

 

School and weather and life was blah and normal, for the most part. But something about this week make it one where I simply feel joy at being alive and joy for all the blessings I have in my life!

I have spent many winters during the last decade and a half in the midst of a deep depression. Although my depression was constant (despite the season), it was always worst during the dull and cold winter days. I am so grateful that this year all I feel is Joy instead.

If you too suffer from depression, I hope you take heart in the quote above! Someday your spring (respite from depression) will come!

Today I’m linking up with Five for Friday at Doodlebugs Teaching and Weekly Wrap-up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

1

Birthdays are Fun Again
My colorful birthday cake

My birthday was on Wednesday. At my age, of course, birthdays mean little. But to my six-year-old son, birthdays are the most special of any day of the year. He planned for it for two weeks, practically counting down the days. On my actual birthday, he reminded me of the day at least every hour, so excited that I had my special day at last.

His unselfish joy is contagious. It just made me feel so pleased that I have come as far as I have come in the past year. I’m very satisfied. My kids are great, my husband is great, homeschooling is going great.

I was full of peace and joy and especially gratitude on my birthday.

Besides that, my baby Strawberry, who is nearly two, has been extra cuddly the last few days. Before nap time, before bedtime, she’s just wanted to snuggle up next to me and rest. She’s been clinging to me as I carry her downstairs.

I know that all too soon she will be back to her “NO! I do it!” self, so I felt I should treasure those little moments. It was special and gave me so much joy to still have a precious baby to cuddle for a little longer.

2

Cotton Swab Skeletons
One girl made hers a 3D cotton swab skeleton!

During our co-op, we have a class we call “Junior Club,” which is the elementary aged kids gathering together for some kind of activity: a game, a craft, etc.

This last week we’ve been supplementing the science class by playing with skeletons! We put together a huge skeleton puzzle. We played a game aptly called “Skeletons in the closet” in which you must put together a skeleton (my son was yelling, “I have got a pelvis!” from across the room). And we made Q-tip skeletons as well. This one was particularly clever, I felt, since I am totally not crafty. (It was my counterpart’s idea!)

Supplies needed:

  • a paper to put the skeleton on
  • A model/picture of the skeleton
  • Cotton swabs
  • Scissors to cut the cotton swabs
  • Glue

3

It's Greek to me
I’m reading up on favorite Greek stories.

This week we began studying Ancient Greece! I have always loved ancient Greece. I find myself going a little overboard in finding supplemental material to go along with our Story of the World book.

I am enjoying reading through things and refreshing my memories of studying ancient Greece as a child. I believe Raisin would like it too. But then yesterday, he was grumbling about something and asked, “Why do I have to learn about ancient Greece anyway?”

I realize that I need to let go and not “assign” learning to happen. I do believe that there are good reasons to study ancient Greece, none the least of which is that we owe so much of our culture and language to our Greek predecessors. And yet, my son still is only a first grader. I’ve got to back off and let him decide what to read.

For example, I got the Magic Tree House book about the Olympics from the library. I let him see it but did not say anything about it. Sure enough, he decided to read it himself. So, I’m going to back off. Maybe he’ll decide at some point that ancient Greece is as exciting as I think it is. But I’ll let him decide.

4

one year anniversary
One year on this blog and TPT

This week also marked my one-year anniversary of beginning this blog and my store of educational products on TeachersPayTeachers. I am amazed at how much fun it has been to corroborate with other teachers. I have learned so much, and I feel I am a much better homeschooling parent because of the time I have put in to my products and this blog!

It’s interesting that, as a homeschooler, my store will grow up with my son. Last year, we were working on syllables in this manner:

Students draw a line to how many “beats” (syllables) are in each word, or circle the number of syllables.
Count the Beats is a freebie in my store.

Now we are doing more complicated syllabication practice, this time reading words and simply dividing at the syllables.

Word Surgery sample page
For this packet, students draw lines between the syllables of each word.
This product will be on sale this week!
This product will be on sale this week!

What will we be doing next year?

5

My last bit of new of the week is that I opened a shop on Teacher’s Notebook!  I only have about half of my products listed there, but if you enjoy that platform more than or as an alternative to TeachersPayTeachers, I hope you will come join me there too!

How was your week?

I also linked up with Hip Homeschool Hop this week.

Weekly Wrap-up
Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching

 

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