This was our first week back to school and what a week it was. On Monday, we were enjoying the Labor Day holiday when a grease fire broke out in the kitchen of our new house and spread to the dining room. Below are just a few photos of the damage; both rooms are a disaster with blackened cabinets, blistered floors and walls, melted light fixtures, etc. Further, my husband suffered deep second degree burns on his right hand and arm, and second degree burns on his left arm and face. We were told repeatedly that we were very lucky the fire and injuries weren't so much worse, but still, not a great way to start the week (to say the very least!).

Sadly, we had just purchased a set of eight gorgeous [vintage] Danish modern chairs that matched our dining room table and both the table and four of the chairs were burned. However, this afternoon I received a custom-made oilcloth tablecloth that I ordered from Modern June last month (thinking to protect the table if we did schoolwork there), so at least the top of the table can be concealed until we have it refinished. It is very cheery, isn't it? (The polka dotted oilcloth is just a decorative wrap.)

New oilcloth tablecloth by Modern June

Tuesday was supposed to have been our first day of school, but since I was at the burn center with my husband, school was postponed until Wednesday. Thank goodness for Homeschool Skedtrack because juggling assignments was much easier than it would have been with my old system! Nevertheless, it sucks starting the school year off-schedule!

For our first day, we revisited the schultüte (school cone) tradition of past years; here's M with hers:

We kept things pretty simple this week because I didn't want to jump into a full schedule right away (and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't quite prepared!). Despite this, we still averaged 6 hours of school per day, which has me very fearful for next week. This is roughly what we'll be covering this year (click on the image to enlarge):

It's scheduled to average 7-8 hours per day (9 hours a day on the two days per week that they'll have outside classes) and that seems like too much, yet this week we only managed a fraction of the work and it took 6 hours?! Yikes! One thing I'll be doing differently next week is borrowing this genius timer idea from Satori Smiles; I've already utilized her clipboard idea and love that it completely eliminates lost schedules!

Language Arts

Grammar was largely parts of speech review (nouns, pronouns and articles). We read the first twenty-four pages of Michael Clay Thompson's Grammar Town as well as four chapters from Grammar-Land by M.L. Nesbitt. The kids completed Grammar Land worksheets for the chapters read.

For our poetry study, we read a number of poems by Eugene Field (who was born on September 2, 1850). The kids also completed a fun research page (see below; click on image for full-size) on Fields from The Lookies. The Lookies was an annual bulletin for children published by Field Enterprises from 1949 through the 1970s. It was designed to be used with World Book Encyclopedias.

Next week, we'll be adding literature, handwriting and composition to our language arts schedule.


The kids read sections 1.1 (units of measurement) and 1.2 (the scientific method) from Chapter 1 of CPO's Focus on Life Science and completed the corresponding "Skill and Practice" worksheets. They also read Millions to Measure by David M. Schwartz and did some research on Francisco Redi and spontaneous generation.


The kids completed one lesson from Maps, Charts and Graphs, Level D (we're not using the books in order) and their first  Geography and Culture task card from Creek Edge Press. They also completed several geography notebook pages from the World Maps CD by Homeschool in the Woods. This week's task card was about maps and globes and assignments included filling out a black line world map, drawing a world map and learning various geography terms. While I love the task cards, the kids were less enthused. M, in particular, found them too open-ended and thus rather frustrating.

M got a little sidetracked while looking up geography terms...


We only managed one day of art this week, and not a very exciting day at that. Typically, art and geography will be on alternate days with art occurring three times per week.

We read about how to look at art and the elements of art: line, shape, form, space, value, color, and texture. We then read Lesson 1 (Line) from Scott Foresman Art (6); the kids completed a sketchbook journal exercise, experimenting with various types of lines using various drawing tools. Next, we viewed and discussed a number of contour drawings by Matisse, then the kids created their own contour drawings. Because I would not let them look at their papers while drawing, this proved a frustrating exercise for them.

Studio 1: Contour Drawing:

A squirrel on our patio

J's squirrel


As usual, history was our busiest subject this week. Here's what we did:

Critical Thinking

The kids completed 4 pages from Building Thinking Skills.

Next week, I hope to be adding religion, math and foreign language(s) into our schedule, in addition to handwriting, literature and composition. Wish me luck!


  1. Amanda said...
    I love the clip art on your blog! It is so very cute.
    Sorry about your husband and your house :( Hope all is better!
    Daisy said...
    Wow, I pray your husband heals quickly. I can't imagine how horrible that much have been.

    And you still got school done? You are amazing.
    alecat said...
    I'm so glad that you're all okay.

    I admire your tenacity of still getting on with things after such an event. I hope your husband heals well, and all the repairing that can be done is done as soon as possible.
    Nicole said...
    Wow! You still did school?! That certainly puts things in perspective for me, my week of the crying baby was nothing! I am so sorry that happened, and I hope your dh heals well and has minimal pain. How very scary, so glad you're all okay.
    Conner Academy said...
    How scary. I'm glad that you're okay. I hope your husband heals soon.
    My name is Tiffany said...
    Sorry to hear about the fire. Thankfully you all are intact and can get through this time together as a family. Looks like in spite of the set backs you had a great week.
    Regena said...
    I'm sorry you're have such difficulties! I don't understand how fire (which cleanses) can "contaminate" anything and cause it to have to be replaced. I'm sorry, but this sounds like a ploy to try to get you to pay for more, perhaps unnecessary cleaning....

    I love your art studies.

    I hope that you get your life back on track soon....

    Faith said...
    Wow, that's terrible about the fire! Your poor husband! I hope he heals quickly. Gosh, I stand in total awe of your being able to do anything this week! It sounds like you got an amazing amount done.

    I love the squirrel drawing!

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