Homeschool Highlights ~ Weeks 3 and 4

Here is what we have been up to over the last 2 weeks ~ 18 days completed this year.

Biblical and Ancient History:

We picked up Ancient Civilizations and the Bible this week and are working in Unit 4: The Children of Israel. We will continue working with with Grapevine's OT Overview (we are on the Kings) for Phase 1, but have already moved on to Phase 2 ~ the research phase. I *might* pick back up with my Biblical History posts and share when we are done with this unit.

We also pulled out our Biblical Feasts and Holy Days study from Grapevine. We covered the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement and read from The Scriptures.

Nutrition 101:

Unit 2 Digestion ~ Chapters 3 & 4: Enzymes and Elimination

In chapter 3, we read about the role of enzymes in digestion and health and made the Quinoa Vegetable Risotto Power Recipe which included raw vegetables.

Since the source of enzymes in our diet is found in raw fruits and vegetables, we spent some time looking through Paul Nison's {Raw Food Health Show} archives. We came across his video on basic raw recipes and tried this one for Blended Salad

It was so yummy! I have made it several times since.

We also did an experiment on the effects of refrigeration on veggies and fruits:

The banana on the left was stored in the fridge and the other on the counter. I knew the banana would brown quicker in the fridge from accidentally leaving them in the cold . . . but I didn't realize that this also affects other vegetables. I had been storing zucchini in the fridge and after a couple days they would become soft and rubbery ~ so leaving them on the counter is better. I am not sure why I thought refrigeration was better for them ~ except that it is supposed to preserve foods. 

We tried our fermented lemon pickles from chapter 2. {We had to work up the nerve to try them first!} They were not too bad, but are supposed to brown and get better with age, so we left them in the sunny window and will try them in another week or 2. 


This "pre-biotic" recipe is from the Unit 2 Additional Recipes section. We soaked and then sprouted whole wheat berries and then let it ferment at room temp. The liquid "rejuvelac" is poured off and served (by the tablespoon) as a pro-biotic culture that aids digestion. 

Of course, then I had to pull this book off the shelf:

{I've experimented with lacto-fermentation before, but have to thank Jodi for inspiring me to want to do more!}


We made whey for the first time. I usually just pour it off the top of the plain yogurt container, but this was so easy! and I love having a jar of it ready to go.
Plus, we have homemade cream cheese left over!

Lacto-Fermented Salsa:

Then we made NT's recipe for lacto-fermented salsa.

Nathan is my official salsa maker {and eater!}. He loves this stuff! After making the first jar he set it on the counter to culture for 2 days.  He's made 2 more quarts since then {in the last 2 days}.  We have several more recipes that we want to make very soon.

Elimination Project:

One project in chapter 4 was to make a chart of our family's elimination habits. {Dh was not too fond of this project}. :p

The one with the most stars wins :p {he he} If we are in good digestive health, we should go 2-3 times a day (after every meal). We talked about drinking more water and eating more fiber for regularity. We calculated how much water we should drink based on our weight (half your body weight in ounces). Our power recipe was Spice Cookies made with oats, but we forgot to make them with the extra activities we did from this unit. We did make a list of high fiber foods that we ate this week, though ~ homemade bread, oatmeal, beans, etc. and choose a few that we want to add to our diet. 


Jordan finished Module 9 in General Science ~ "Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism."

Nathan and Dylan finished Lesson 2 in AE Anatomy: The Skeletal System.

~ Chicken bone experiment ~ 
~ N and D's Notebook pages ~

Sports Programming:

Both older boys were facilitators for Itty Bitty Soccer. This is Luke's first season programming for Itty Bitty and I think it went extremely well. He used selected students who he thought would work well with the kids as facilitators. They focused on skill/drill, early concepts and games to teach, then they played a game against the other teams.

~ Nathan with his team: The Golden Nuggets ~ 

~ Jordan high-fiving one of his players after a goal ~

See the little girl to Jordan's right? After their first day of practice, she had her mom buy her a whistle so that she could be a coach just like Coach Jordan when she grows up. :-)

I was pleased that they both did such a great job working with the kids.

And I've decided that I am adding "Sports Programming" to Jordan's high school transcript ~ he is coaching, refereeing, and helping Luke with programming. I will log his work and volunteer hours. I will also {with Luke's help} log Nathan and Dylan's volunteer time ~ starting this school year, cuz there is no way to log all the hours they volunteered last year!

So far, Nathan has logged 10 hours and Jordan has logged 35 hours this school year. 

And my little Elle Belle played Itty Bitty Soccer on The Blue Dolphins team (Daddy's team!).

~ Juice box break~

I love this picture below because one day she told me she didn't want to go to Itty Bitty ~ she just wanted to "go give Pop a hug and get a juice box." (Daddy was her coach). :-) On her last day, she wanted to go, but I told Luke that she is all girl ~ and I meant all that that implies. ;-)


Frost season is upon us ~ so we did some research:
We tried two methods ~ the pick and let ripe on the counter, and the pull and hang.

We picked all the ones that were turning and let them sit on the counter ~ it only took a few days for most of them to turn red.  Late in the week, we pulled and hung all the tomato plants with green tomatoes on them and they are hanging in the mud room.

We also saved the seed from the best tomatoes and they are fermenting so that they can be germinated. After they get good and moldy, I will wash them and dry them for storage for planting next year. Read how and why in my post: My Adventures in Tomato Seed Saving.

Where'd those come from?

We had a funny thing happen this year. This past month, I started noticing some of the tomato plants shoot up and flower after all the other ones had already flowered and fruited. I thought that was strange. When I pulled my tomato cages, I noticed that they were growing between the cages. And they turned out to be my Peacevine Cherry Tomatoes that I grew last year! Somehow, the seeds ended up in my garden. It may have been that I dumped the potting soil in the garden box and am guessing that it had tomato seeds in them. The soil was dry (they were being stored in the shop and I dumped them in the box this Spring), so the conditions were not right for germination ~ until I started watering them. I never noticed them when I caged the tomatoes late in July, so was so surprised to find them ~ and some cherry tomatoes to boot!

We picked a beautiful sunny day to harvest the tomatoes, onions and peppers, clear out the zucchini and cucumber beds and get them ready for winter, and transplant some chives. I still have several square feet that need to be harvested (parsnips, carrots, and more peppers) but they seem to be doing well in our chilly weather.  I enjoy gardening, but I am ready for Fall!

Making Spicy Pickled Beats

Lately I have noticed that Eliana is asking to spend more time helping me in the kitchen. I love it!

Auto Mechanics 101:

Jordan has been tinkering with a '66 and a '63 Chevy pickup that he bought himself. He was originally hoping to restore the '66 and use the '63 for parts, but that may change. 

We watched a few videos this week:
His Papa (grandpa) came over to work on it with him it and I know Jordan loved spending that time with him and I am grateful that he will have some help with this project.

College? Planning:

Jordan and I toured the college auto mechanics shop and visited with the head of the program. When Jordan is 16 (in 2 years), he'd like to take the auto mechanics class at the college, take some core classes his Senior year (English 1 and Applied Math), and then enter the Diesel Mechanics program when he graduates.

The program director was helpful and gave us some ideas for electives that Jordan could take during highschool, such as Basic Electricity. He was also very familiar with and supportive of homeschooling ~ which helped tons!

Jordan, of course, loved the tour of the shop and classrooms and is really excited about this possibility.

Scheduling Thoughts:

I am seriously considering changing to a year round schedule. I've been watching Susana school year round this school year and I really like the idea of having breaks throughout the school year. Our plan is to school 5 weeks, take a week off, school 10 weeks and take 2 weeks off when baby comes and continue in one of these patterns. This will still give us over 9 weeks off in the Summer!

During our week off coming up, I'd like to have a day for organizing/cleaning, a day for planning, a day for crafting and projects, a day for baking/cooking and a day for preparing. I'd also like to go on our annual fall hike and get new school photos of the older boys and update their photos in my sidebar. The two week break after 10 weeks will be getting ready for baby and/or baby's arrival. 13 1/2 weeks to go!

Coming Up:

I will share our B4FIAR adventure with Play With Me.


  1. I just found your blog a couple weeks ago, and I wanted to write a quick note, to say thank you. You are such a wonderful example. I know that homeschooling has it's ups and down, but it is some nice to read other's examples.

  2. Wow!! That is a packed two weeks.

    We count volunteer hours toward high school credits. My dd helped create a homeschool PE program that she now runs. I think she learns more doing that than many of her "classes".

    Thank you for sharing. :) I look forward to seeing your adventures with "Play with Me".

  3. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information you post! You help me to see how every day life is so instructive and can count as "school". I wish we were neighbors because you know so many different things than I know (raw food, gardening, homesteading etc.). Blessings to you!

  4. Amber @ Classic HousewifeSeptember 19, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Oh my goodness!! What a lot of really neat things you've all done the past two weeks. So awesome!

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  6. What wonderful ideas you have! I love reading about your weeks & seeing the pictures of your "adventures"!

  7. I'd love to try making pickled beets. Is that from Nourishing Traditions? I get beets from my CSA and need new ways to make them. Thanks!

  8. Not this one. But, there is a recipe in there ~ the beats are fermented with sea salt and whey. I dehydrated some beats and hope to try it this winter. *Ü*