Homeschool Highlights ~ Weeks 5 and 6

We were planning to take a week off this past week, but instead we had 2 easy weeks. At the end of week 6, we are up to 24 days of school, which averages out to 4 days a week ~ I'd like to stick with this!

Here is what we have been up to the last 2 weeks:

Nutrition 101: Choose Life:

This still remains my favorite hands-on subject to learn with my kids. This week we began Unit 3: The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual Systems.

In chapter 1, we covered:
  • The parts of the Respiratory System and what they do
  • How food affects the Respiratory System
  • Household Toxins and Environmental Changes for Health {I have a review/giveaway for a gallon of Household Traditions chemical free window and surface cleaner from Tropical Traditions coming up soon!}
We made the Super Tonic recipe from the Additional Recipes Section for this unit.

Cayenne (we used Habanero peppers), fresh chopped ginger, onion, garlic and apple cider vinegar (we left out the horseradish) blended in a blender. After it sits for two weeks, we will strain the pulp to get the "tonic."
" . . . if you are brave enough you can use [the pulp] as a hot salsa dip. . .use with olive oil as a salad dressing. . . suggested use is one dropper full in eight ounces water daily. . . you can use up to six droppers full per day if a bad cold or sinus infection has you down."
I'd like to try it right now to clear my sinuses.

In chapter 2, we covered:
  • The parts of the Olfactory System and how they help you smell {and taste our food}
  • How food affects the Olfactory System
  • Household and Personal Care Toxins
Garlic Bread Dip:
Olive Oil, fresh minced garlic and course dried peppers. 
Biblical History:

We covered: "David the Warrior," "David the King," and "The Feast of Tabernacles" in our Grapevine studies. I also read to the boys from Victor's Journey Through the Bible and The Holman Bible Atlas.

We did some activities from Old Testament Days ~ An Activity Guide that relates to this time period:

Make a Timbrel:

"When David was king, he wrote many songs calling for the people to shake their timbrels and dance with joy because they loved the God of Israel." 
A Sling and Some Stones:
We made a sling like the one David used in battle against Goliath ~ felt with cotton balls for the "stones."
Bow and Arrows:
The arrows are wooden dowels with erasers for the arrow tips ~ these were a huge hit with all the boys!
Edible Sukkahs for Feast of Tabernacles:

Last year we made them out of butter cookies and frosting, but I wanted a savory snack after all the apple treats we made (below).


We finished My Side of the Mountain. Our next read-aloud will tie in with our history.

  • Nathan and Dylan finished AE Anatomy Lesson 3, The Muscular System.
  • Jordan started GS Module 9: What is Life?

Eliana is close to being 4 (she is 44 months) so I am slowly transitioning her to "preschool." We have slowly moved away from tot school activities to get her ready emotionally. Thankfully, she loves to do school no matter what we call it.


I incorporate as much as I can with B4FIAR, but Malachi is ready for FIAR. We have about 4 or 5 more books that I want to row with B4, then we will take a winter break. When we pick back up with FIAR, Eliana will be 4 and Malachi will be 6 ~ which will be perfect.

I picked up Sonlight LA1 this past week. (I started Nathan and Dylan with SL LA1 1st grade and 5K). Malachi reminds me so much of Nathan in almost every area of personality, so I have been debating about waiting until he is 6 or in 1st grade to continue on with this level.

Currently, we are corresponding the lessons from Explode the Code 1 with reading lessons from the I Can Read It books (which correspond with the ETC books). Malachi is on lesson 2.

He can read the stories from Lesson 1. I gave him an index card with a rectangle cut out to help him focus (a suggestion in the SL Instructors Guide) and it is helping.

For math this week, we worked in Kumon workbooks and played with a new math learning tool that I am reviewing {coming soon}.

One day we had an apple theme going on. . .

We made Apple Pie Play Dough:

This was my very first time making homemade play dough! (that was not edible). I loved the soft warm feel of it while kneading it and the smell is so wonderful! We hope to try another recipe next week.

Play Dough Mat ~ Letter A

I gathered so many wonderful links about apples for when we row How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World (which will not be anytime soon, but this is a great time of the year to find apple resources!).

We made Fried Apple Pies,

Puff pastry dough, apples, sugar and cinnamon

Caramel Apples,

and Hot Apple Cider. {a little too much sweetness}

Then we had a fish supper.
Boys went fishing with their dad and grandpa.

In the Garden:

We harvested our leeks.

This is the very first time I have tried to grow them. They were not as big as the ones we order from our co-op, but they were great sliced and sauteed in butter and made into Creamy Potato Leek Soup.

We still have Parsnips out there ~ I will leave them all winter to make them sweeter. We learned that from Curious George Goes Green :D

In the Scriptures:

I finished reading through The Scriptures Bible in 80 days. I began 7/03 and finished 9/20. Since then, I have been listening to Elizabeth Pretiss' book Stepping Heavenward ~ thank you to a link shared by Mrs. White. I am on chapter 20.  That link is no longer available, but the book is a public domain book and you can find it on LibriVox. I downloaded it to my iTunes. You can read more about the author here: Daughters of Sarah: Elizabeth Prentiss. When I am done, I would like to read through the Renewed Covenant (NT) again using Aramaic English New Testament (AENT). That should keep me in the Word until baby is born (less than 12 weeks to go) because I know I will be reading the commentaries and hope to cross reference it with Jewish New Testament Commentary. Having a focused time in the Word really helps me stay in the Word. {It also has meant less blogging time, but hopefully a more focused and more purposeful blogging!}

Coming Up:

Next week, I hope to do some more fall activities with the little ones and go on our annual fall hike and nature scavenger hunt. {hopefully!}

Delightful Links:

Preschool Corner {and 5K too!} (More ideas for ages 4-5)


  1. What a great week! I would love to hear how the tonic works :-) All of those apple treats look delicious!

  2. Hello! It seems you all had a wonderful time!

    Do you have a list of books that you have used for curriculum and reading? (This year)



  3. What a great week! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love the bow and arrows! My kids would love making those, and we will soon! We are using Sonlight Core 3 and we are reading a lot about Native Americans right now.

  5. I love the stuff you guys did with the tabernacle and feasts. It brings back such fond memories of when I was exploring that stuff in my homeschool days! :)

    Did your boys enjoy My Side of the Mountain? I just reread that last month. It was one of my favorites in junior high. It took on a whole new dimension reading it now as an adult and mother...

  6. They did enjoy it ~ especially because it was quite different {and better} than the movie. ;-) I was thinking of reading the sequel ~ have you read it?

  7. Thanks Nikki! I was impressed with how well the arrows flew ~ but then again we used rubber bands instead of string. ;-) I soaked one bow (not pictured) in water overnight and it bent nicely. The boys broke it though before I could get a photo. I can imagine we will have a great excuse to make these again when we get to American History. Hope you enjoy them! Btw, we loved SL 3+4. :-)

  8. Two easy weeks sounds great to me! Sometimes that is better than time off here for me and the kids.

    Those fried apples look delicious--as good as the turtles from last week! Eliana and Malachi look so precious in the kitchen making the playdoh.

    I LOVE your take on making the sling and arrows. A very nonviolent solution that I really like. I have a hard time letting Joe play with things like that, but this is super!

    Reading your Homeschool Highlights is always one of my highlights each week, and I mean that!

  9. I have not read the sequel, but after rereading it this summer, I would like to read them. I've never seen the movie. My four year old, will definetly be on that will really identify with the book. (Funny how you can see stuff like that at an early age.) He's my nature boy and I can't wait until he's old enough to really enjoy it as I did...

  10. Thanks, Susana! You are always such an encouragement to me. *Ü*

  11. What fun-filled weeks of learning! Your boys must have loved the bow & arrows & the feast of tabernacles! :) I haven't tried homemade pay-dough in years (since back when I taught preschool NOT at home)... you've inspired me to give it a try with my own kiddos!
    Have a great day!

  12. The apple treats look yummy! The playdough sounds like it would smell great. I think I'm going to make some with my littles. Thanks for the idea!

  13. Thank you for that virtual "whiff" of habanero & garlic!! All you had to do was type the word horseradish & my nose unstuffed when I read it. Love it! I'm about to go researching the nutrition curriculum you're using because it sounds amazing...

  14. I love reading about the different things that you guys do for school. You have such great ideas/activities! I love the edible Sukkahs! Also seriously considering buying the Nutrition 101. Do all of your kids enjoy it? I'd want to do it with my girls, but I'd like it for myself too! I know you said this was your favorite sublject to teach, so I am assuming that you feel like it is worth the money?

  15. I really do enjoy the Nutrition curriculum. My kids like it too ~ especially since it ties in with their science this year. I found Jordan looking at the recipes and telling me which ones he wanted to try next. {Love that!} However, I did not have to personally spend the money {I was given it in exchange for my reivew ~ you can read the review here} In my review, I said "For how complete and informative this curriculum is, I thought this was a reasonable price." I do think it is geared more towards upper-elementary to high school aged children and using it in that age range makes it worth the money for me ~ I love that I can count it as a high school elective for Health and Nutrition for Jordan. I do try to include the younger kids when I can, but I wouldn't spend the money on it for them. Of course, I love that I can reuse it since I have a younger set of kids and that would be a consideration if I had to buy it myself. Does that help?

  16. haha! It has a nice bite, but it felt good on my throat {a little burn}. . . I think that stuff works!