In Our Classroom: Summer Wrap-Up Edition (July 2014 )

In Our Classroom Summer Wrap-Up Edition 2014

Believe it or not, July is at an end, and it’s time for my promised summer update!

This summer has just flown by. I’ve been working off and on for the last few weeks getting our bookshelves in order, supplies and curriculum ordered, and lesson plans updated, but I’m still not quite ready for the new year.

We’ve spent July celebrating birthdays (mine and the Dancer’s – who turned sweet sixteen!!) and our anniversary, and spending time with family. The older kids volunteered and the younger kids attended the Vacation Bible School at our new church. We’ve also been taking care of an abandoned baby mockingbird in our backyard, and the kids have been swimming and playing with the neighborhood kids nearly every day. So, it’s been a busy month!

orphaned baby mockingbird

Peanut with our orphaned baby mockingbird friend.

I do have a few education-related things to report though! 🙂

The Dancer (16, 11th grade): How is it that I have a child in her second to last year of school and old enough to drive?! This is crazy!!

She’s spent the last few weeks working on a “catch-up” biology unit that I created for her. She started strong last fall with Apologia Biology, but petered out as the year went on. This is just not an area of interest for her. So, I created a unit for her that will last through the fall semester so that she can complete her biology credit, using the following books:

Biology Unit

So far, this “story” approach to science is clicking with her much better than the traditional textbook approach! In the spring she’ll move into a course that will give her both a chemistry and physics credit when it’s complete. I’ll share more about it soon!

We also just completed a fun literature unit on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. You can read more about it here. We’ll be completing the rest of this course in the spring semester.

We’ve continued our weekly book discussions, making a trip to Sonic for a fountain drink and snack once a week to discuss, plus giving her some practice time behind the wheel as she wraps up her driver’s ed requirements! We just wrapped up a discussion of Josh Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. Next up is Mere Christianity – it should be interesting!

She’s spent all of this week at a choreography workshop, and will be at the dance studio all week next week too as her dance company begins setting pieces for their fall show. We’ll start easing back into a regular school schedule the following week.

Karate Kid (13, 8th grade): He’s spent the last month devouring N. D. Wilson’s 100 Cupboards and Ashtown Burials series. I set him the goal of two chapters a day, but he often exceeded that, getting sucked into the story and reading multiple chapters. This isn’t the norm for him like it is for the Dancer or me, so I’m thrilled! 🙂 He’s taken a break from Veritas Self-Paced Omnibus history, but will be getting back to it in the next couple of weeks.


Peanut (8, 3rd grade): I set Peanut a goal to read twenty minutes a day during July, and she met that most days. She’s been rereading some easier books, like Little Bear and Amelia Bedelia, in preparation for some more difficult titles in the fall, and to finish her HEB summer reading challenge. We’re also finally wrapping up reading the Little House books together, so we’ll be ready for the read alouds we’ll be doing with Sonlight this year.

Little House

Monkey Boy (5, Kindergarten): He’s enjoying plenty of play time outside and little to no seat work right now! He’s been having fun with playdough and cuisenaire rods when he’s inside during the heat of the day, and we’ve been doing some fun read alouds together for his HEB summer reading challenge.


That’s a quick snapshot of the month of July around here.

Next week, I’ll share more detail about what the Dancer will be doing for her junior year, and then in the following weeks, what each of the other kids will be doing this year, so stay tuned!

Do you have everything ready for the new school year yet? What ages/grades will you be teaching and what resources will you be using?

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