Friday Five: starting school, occupying three-year-olds, and talking real life

posted in: journal 6

And now that we’re back into doing school instead of planning school and sharing school plans, it’s time for the Friday Five feature to return.

Faithful Follow-through

We started school this week! It went quite well, if I do say so myself. We’ve had some doozies of first days in the past, so maybe I learned something (like the fact that the root of those bad first days was the way I handled it – oops!).

It wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies, there were little bouts of tears, but because I expected everyone to need time to adjust and reacclimatize, I was able to take it in stride and help them over their bumps instead of being yet another bump for them to overcome.

Trello checklists were a big hit. Tomorrow’s Weekly Digest email will have a first-peek video included, but a post will be forthcoming in the next week or two. :)

Favorite homeschool Instagram of the week:

This was by far my most popular photo this week, despite the fact that it wasn’t until after I posted the picture that I realized I had written 2015 instead of 2016 and I had misspelled laudamus.

Here’s my post about our chore board.

Follow me on Instagram

Functional Find

Geneva, our three-year-old, is the type who doesn't want to be left out. She wants her math page, her writing page, her binder - she wants to be in on the official action with everyone else. I started collecting preschoolish pages to print for her, not because I think she should do them but just to keep her happy. As I started calculating how many I thought I should print at a time, I turned to Amazon. I found [these pockets]( and bought them. Sure, normal page protectors work, but I'm currently out of those, too. These are more heavy duty and reinforced and the plastic is also thicker, stiffer, and stronger. I filled the two pink ones with [Pam's number sheets]( (you can use the pockets double-sided) and also slipped in an index card where I wrote her name with dots showing her where to begin the letters (she really wants to be able to write her name). Now when she wants to sit at the table and do work with the big kids, she has her own pages to grab. Plus, she also has markers to grab, which makes it even more appealing. I bought her [this set](

Fab Freebie

I'm doing another live planning chat! I hope you can join this one; I know it will be helpful, because Celeste has a lot of wisdom to share. We'll chat about interruptions, to-do lists, expectations, and strategies for keeping your head in the game and your attitude organized. Celeste is a Charlotte Mason homeschooling mother with 8 children 10-and-under. When she has free hands, she enjoys distance running, nature journaling, beach days, reading, and writing about home education at Joyous Lessons. Bring your questions and join us for a fun live chat. You'll have the opportunity to participate not only in the chat box but even to join the call with your question or perspective if you'd like!
Live planning chat Tuesday, July 19, 2016 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern
Register for free:
All registrants also receive a replay link after the live chat is over.

Fast FAQ

I received a question by email asking how I managed to copy hymns so cleanly. It's difficult to copy from books without getting a lot of black around the hymn and wasting ink or toner. Here's her question:
Thank you for your wonderful Morning Time Resources! I am setting up our binders for next year and wondered how you copy your hymns and psalms from the psalter or hymnal... I'm watching your video and the copies look great. I've always pressed my hymnal as flat as possible but end up with a huge black band that wastes tons of ink and takes forever... Do you have an online resource that has the words and music from which you print?

Free-Reading Fans

Knox is totally taken with Redwall right now. These books, I tell you. For the last two years I've assumed we must have them all because we have so many, and yet every library trip or sale the boys come back with one saying, "Oh! We don't have this one!" Seriously, how many books are in this series?! And, Jaeger was just reading over my shoulder and informed me that we have "all but four." You know, some respectable series confine themselves to four total. I don't even want to go count how many are in our collection here. However, it does help to fuel a budding reading obsession, and for that I am thankful. Knox was reading aloud to me from his current book, then went back to reading silently, then burst out:
"Wow, this is just great! Listen mom: 'Renn could hardly see, having been STRUCK in both eyes.'"
:thumbsup: The kids were caught reading this week:
I am now including a short review on a book I finished during the week in the Saturday digest email I send out, The Weekly Review. At the end of every one is a brief Saturday Scholé section where I give a few thoughts on the book I wrapped up that week (mostly to egg myself into actually finishing books!) and whether or not I recommend it. If you aren't getting those emails, sign up here:

6 Responses

  1. Kortney
    | Reply

    I don’t know. Watching scopes about copy machine best practices felt like an all time low for me. Really? It’s come to this? ;) Also, I just type out the hymns–no hymnal involved.

  2. Mystie Winckler
    | Reply

    lol! :)

    The musical people in the family tell me seeing the notes is important. :)

  3. Becky Aniol
    | Reply

    Free downloadable/printable hymns are available at There are currently 100 classic hymns available, and more are being added as Religious Affections receives donations toward the cost of typesetting. This may save a step or two if the hymns you’re looking for are available there.

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      That’s a great option – just be careful on wording. Different denominations have different wordings on some hymns, some hymns were translated and have different translations, some have been updated to be more modern language – make sure you choose to memorize the version you’re most likely to sing corporately.

      • Becky Aniol
        | Reply

        Agreed. You should definitely learn the hymn as you would sing it corporately at your church! The men in charge of this project (all Protestant pastors and/or seminary professors) chose to begin this collection with some of the best hymns–theologically, literarily, and musically–many of which have been part of the Christian tradition for centuries and need to be conserved but are not as familiar to modern Christians. This way churches and families can supplement what can’t be found in a typical church hymnal and make these hymns part of their repertoire. (There are some familiar ones too, of course, and they’ll be adding more.)

  4. dawn
    | Reply

    We use those plastic pockets and they’re awesome.

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