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January 2016
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March 2016

February 2016

February One Thing Wrap Up

I am a member of the Homeschool Alliance, which Julie from Bravewriter runs. One of the principles we were introduced to is the One Thing principle. Focus on one thing for a month. It can be something you want to improve on, something you want to add to your homeschool or life, anything- but just one thing.  This goes along with what Gretchen Rubin says in Better Than Before,  something along the lines of- You improve what you track. 


For February I wanted to have one thing to focus on in our homeschool. I asked Jack what subject he would do every day if possible, of course he chose science. I asked if he could do one science which one would it be, he chose physics. So we made physics our one thing for February.  I gathered a few books to have on hand. My favorite is Physics for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave- the activities are quick and easy and most of the supplies are things you have on hand around your house. 



We did a physics project every day that we did school during February.  This was usually 3 days per week. Yes we had a light schedule due to ski days, park days and other activities. 


We both enjoyed this month of physics. One thing that I have noticed is it got Jack back into experimenting and doing projects. He is now waking up with an experiment or project already on his mind.  We are planning to continue focusing on one thing per month and have already chosen Astronomy and Rocketry for March.  Okay that might be two things, but they go together well. 

Have you tried the One Thing principle? Want to share your experience in the comments? 






project based learning in action

I love projects. My husband loves projects. In fact, my husband is a great example of a project based learner. He is constantly researching and then experimenting.   This is his latest project. A circle based adobe type house model. He he been interested in alternative building styles for years and drawing up different house plans. 



He gathered clay from our area, added some temper and started building a to scale model. 



After a while, Jack and his friend became interested in what Zac was doing.  They decided to research pictures of Native American clay houses and start building one together.


Both projects are still in progress and I will post more when they are done. 


Physics February week two

This was another fun week in our physics study. 


First up: Heavy Air from Physics for Every kid. 




Next: making a bubbler to study how the air displaces water.  I didn't get a picture of this one, but we did have some fun with the balloons afterwards.





Last:  Seeing if the swing of a pendulum changes if the length of the pendulum is shortened. 



Choosing one thing to focus on doing well this month has worked wonders for us. I'm starting to think about what topic to do for our one thing next month. Math keeps coming to mind. It would be perfect since Pi Day is next month.


Physics February

The one subject Jack can't get enough of is science.  In hopes of bringing some enchantment back into our homeschool I decided to do a quick science project every day we did school during February. So far we are having a blast! Every day I pick an experiment from either pinterest, Physics, Rocketry, or Astronomy. 


Here is what we did for our first week;

Tinker Crate Automaton. 





Make your own Newton's Cradle.



Demonstrating the force of attraction between charged particles. 



It's been a great way to add a little magic into our homeschool every day. If there is something that your child loves, I challenge you to work on adding it in every day for a period of time.  

Nature study this winter.

We have had a cold, wet winter in our area. It sometimes makes doing nature study outdoors difficult because we have little ones in our group.  We had to cancel a couple of nature days in December due to the cold and rain and I knew it was time to come up with an alternative plan for bad weather days. 

This past week, nature study fell on a cold day so we decided to go to our local wildlife museum for some nature journaling. 


Our local wildlife museum consists of hunting trophies from a local hunter so it is a interesting place to hang out. 




We walked through the whole museum, which takes about a half hour, listening to the audio provided.  While they walked the boys tried to decide on something to add to their nature journals. 


Jack decided to draw the leopards spots. They sat and did a quick sketch.  


Since this week it was just the three older boys, they asked if we could walk to the river nearby. The cold obviously wasn't an issue for them. 

They walked down to the river, skipped some stones and ran through some of the tunnels that were nearby.  We saw ducks and a few birds. 

I also took plenty of pictures for some future nature journaling at home. 

February homeschool reset

That January homeschool reset really didn't last long.  When I finally thought we would be able to start again, a dear friend passed away. 

That did give me time to watch a couple of the Bravewriter retreat dvds and also a few awesome scopes from Julie of Bravewriter.  These have helped me find my way back to how I want our homeschool to be. 

Here is the plan that we came up with for the month of February. 



  • math- looping through Life of Fred Fractions, Beast Academy, Khan, and whatever else. Variety is the key for this.
  • Morning time
  • Writing- working through Partnership Writing and an online Bravewriter class. 
  • Copywork- taken from our current read aloud, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. 
  • Physics- simple fun experiments. 




  • nature study
  • skiing
  • park day


When we feel like it:

  • History- right now we are slowly watching the documentary The West
  • Astronomy- when it's not cloudy
  • Chess kids
  • Projects

That's all and it feels wonderful. 



Things that are saving me right now.

Playing along with Modern Mrs. Darcy

1- New beginnings. The start of a new month giving me a fresh slate is saving me right now. January was not that great. I didn't make a lot of progress on things because I was too busy trying to keep my head above water.


2-Coffee. Yummy, hot coffee. My two cups a day are perfection. 


3-Wool socks. This winter is kicking my behind on trying to keep warm. Wool socks are the only way I can get to sleep. 


4-Ski days. I was hoping to get back to a rhythm homeschooling in January and that didn't happen. Ski days are saving us. Ski days are providing a break, something to look forward too, and a new life passion. I also get about 6 hours of me time to work on reading, writing, homeschool teacher enrichment. 

5- Speaking of homeschool teacher enrichment, Julie Sweeney of Bravewriter fame on periscope, her retreat dvds, and her homeschool alliance. SAVING me right now. I am learning so much and I am finding my way back to us-schooling. 

6-Friends- Those good friends who empathize and help me through. Near or far.  


What's saving you?