With just three more weeks left in Katie’s Kindergarten year, we’re in the midst of finishing our Joyful Spring unit as well as the last of our Five in a Row (FIAR) books this year. I’ve ordered curriculum for next year, and we’re already looking ahead to more informal ways of keeping Katie’s momentum going through the summer and preparing for next August when she will be a big FIRST GRADER! Homeschooling our children is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made; although there have been ups and downs this year and although schooling at home can present unique challenges, the rewards and satisfaction we reap as a family outweigh those rockier moments by far. I cannot believe we’ve almost completed her first year!

Here is what Katie and Eric have been up to this last week or so:


Last week Katie’s choir group had their spring showcase. Regina has done an awesome job with these kiddos. What a gift of time and love she gave to them, and to us. I actually teared up at the performance because Katie, as the youngest, was trying her best to keep up with the bigger girls. I would see her look at them and follow along with their body motions, and it was the sweetest little desire in her that I ever saw. I love watching her in groups to see what she does. So much of the fun of being a parent is observing our children, isn’t it?



Regina’s Homeschool Choir


A few days after the performance, Katie wanted to take Regina a gift of thanks. She picked out tulips (which we had been studying) at the store and made her a card.



Our bean sprouts are still going (Eric’s finally came on board and started growing). Katie’s reached the final stage of her bean sprout book. What will it do next?




Katie also discovered an enthusiasm for weaving this week. Her Amie and I have to help at points, and there are potholders abounding in my kitchen. I’ve been using them, especially when I pour my tea, and Katie beams.


Katie’s other passionate pursuit right now is cooking. She asks to cook every day. A couple of weeks ago, she came up with a tomato sauce (with some input from me) that is lighter and more summery (and comes together more quickly) than our usual sauce. This is the third time she has made it, and she can do most of the steps on her own. Of course I am there offering constant supervision, since her work involves knives. Here she is, chopping the garlic.



Her recipe, written in her handwriting, is to the left of the cutting board. She has rolled up our garden basil in this picture and is getting ready to “chiffonade.” She cracks me up!


Setting a few materials out the night before… I’ve started setting out work for Eric, too. He has been doing a longer study of chickens this week. We also work on the basics.



We finished Very Last First Time about Inuit mussel gathering on the sea floor under the ice in Ungava Bay. That has been one of my favorite books in FIAR Vol. 1 so far, and there are many in that set that I love. One rainy day, Katie decided that she and her brother would pretend to gather mussels outside, like Eva.

bird footprints


This little bird project for our Joyful Spring unit was something I found on Pinterest and pinned to my Home and Slate board. The bird’s body is made of a footprint. Easy and fun.



We also continued our Friday art studies and worked on the technique of Pointillism. This worked well with Very Last First Time, also, because some of the illustrations use a pointillist technique. The kiddos are familiar with Seurat (A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is in one of their Touch-the-Art series books) and I’ve pointed (ha ha) this technique out as often as I see it. So, we dove in without too much of a formal intro. This was one of Katie’s favorite projects so far. She was humming along and in her own world as she filled up her canvas.



Katie’s finished piece




Eric’s finished piece (he said he wanted to make a Christmas tree, so I penciled in the triangle and trunk shape for him).

life cycle of chicken


As we watch our chickens grow in our backyard, we have been studying oviparous animals, watching hatching chicks on YouTube, and talking about life cycles. Katie and Eric completed this life cycle of a chicken project. Full credit for instructions goes to this lady here. I actually used air play on the Apple TV to put her blog on the big screen and as we did the steps, we scrolled through her instructions for them to see. A great little project!

To celebrate springtime and beauty, we took a picnic to the Rose Haven:

rose haven 1 rose haven rose haven 2 rose haven 4 rose haven 5 rose haven 6 rose haven 7 rose haven 8



Last Saturday our dear friends the Bergons came to Katie’s soccer game:


lauren at katie's game


It was so very hot, and they still showed support. Thank you, Bergons! We enjoyed visiting with you!

soccer season


Boppa brought his power sprayer to cool the kiddos down during the hot game.

rhetorical language 2

Katie has been studying literary devices and their effect…

rhetorical language


Beautiful language and literature… A great morning of schoolwork.

soccer cupcakes


We made soccer ball cupcakes for Katie’s soccer party this evening. (Thanks again, Pinterest)!


Soccer party! Coach Joe actually coached two teams at the same time this season, the Blue Dolphins (Katie’s team) and the Superheroes. Joe is one of the leaders in the Hawks organization here in Temecula and he stepped up when the Superheroes’ coach fell through. Raechele (the team mom for the Superheroes) and I got together and thought we would do one big dessert party for both teams after practice tonight. Lots of kiddos! Lots of cupcakes and happiness!



We made enough cupcakes that siblings could partake, also. A couple of other moms also brought little treats and drinks. It came together quite well!


When Coach Joe was talking about his team and wrapping up the season, he teared up, which made my heart well up, too. He really connected with those little ones. He’s been coaching and on the board of directors for years; his own soccer-playing children are grown up. What a calling in life! He’s been an excellent coach, too.


My sweet man at practice tonight. Those lips…I want to eat them!


I (and another dad, not pictured) got to help Coach Joe for part of practice tonight—fun!







Katie and her coach

As we head into next week, we are starting our The Night of the Moonjellies activities (FIAR). I immediately fell head over heels with this book when we read through all of our FIAR books at the start of the year (as a previewing measure), so much so that I bought our own copy. (Although we owned four to begin with, I ended up buying copies of most of the other FIAR Vol. 1 books, with the exception of a couple that did not grab us. We will need them for Eric eventually, and I can get better prices buying used than through official vendors with my $800 from the charter. Anything that is not consumable I have to give back at the end of the year, and parting with books we adore and have studied at length is painful. They become a part of a person. We will want to revisit them. For example, we read The Rag Coat this year; for next year’s FIAR Vol. 2, we will read A New Coat for Anna, a favorite of ours that we’ve savored many times. We will want The Rag Coat still on hand so that we can remember this year’s work and compare the development of both stories and themes). How did I get on this tangent? Anyway, we have our own copy of Moonjellies, and have read it now dozens of times. (Why do we love it? It is about a grandmother in a New England town who makes an intentional memory with her grandson in the most beautiful way. I love intentional memory-making, the art of capturing a moment just for the sake of capturing it and knowing we’re alive).

So…Moonjellies. I saved it for these last weeks because Katie has a field trip next week to the Long Beach Aquarium, where, I have read, you can actually touch moonjellies! I hope we find them…