Reading, writing, drawing, drinking, talking

posted in: extra 8

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Weekly Wrap-Up

homeschool snapshot

Nothing dispels January blahs like passing the final test in your math book and moving on to the next book! Jaeger conquered fractions at last and is basking in the glow of easy lessons at the beginning of Math-U-See Zeta.

My sister is also teaching a drawing class at my house on Friday mornings, and it’s fun to see such rapid improvement in their skills!

homeschool snapshot
This is my 8-year-old’s parrot, with her own backdrop added.

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Oh, coffee, how I love thee.

I recently bought an Aeropress coffee maker and I love it! It’s small, simple, and it makes delicious coffee in about 30 seconds – just one cup, just the right amount.

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I wasn’t on Periscope at all this week, and I admit to feeling a bit of a blank on that front. I want to keep my broadcasts on the short side – about 10-15 minutes – and super practical.

So, you tell me in the comments – What do you want me to talk about that would be straightforward, to the point, and nitty-gritty practical?

Even if you aren’t on Periscope, I try to get them recorded and transferred to YouTube (to get the comments, I have to do it within 24 hours, so it doesn’t always happen). So tell me what you’d like to see and I’ll start a topic agenda to work from.


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So, I had someone ask me this week about what my kids are actually doing for writing this year. I wrote about How to Teach Writing Without a Curriculum, but what’s that look like for us this year?

You can see the full details of what I’m doing in my posts on Second Grade, Fifth Grade, and Seventh Grade this year.

Short summary:

My second grader is doing spelling three times a week and copying 1 sentence from our science reading (I copy it into her notebook from the book and she copies that underneath) twice a week.

My fifth grader has had two years of IEW-like writing instruction and is now using those skills in writing one written narration from his content subjects (science, history, or geography) each week. He has to self-edit, then get feedback, then revise the paragraph each week also. He handwrites his in a spiral notebook. He does not have to make an outline first. Each week, I put a post-it like this in his notebook:

My seventh grader has had two years of IEW-like writing instruction and is now using those skills to write four written narration paragraphs a week. He reads 2 chapters of history, 1 chapter of science, and 1 chapter from The Boys and Girl’s Herodotus. Each day, he picks one from his weekly assignment sheet that he reads and then he writes a one-paragraph narration from that chapter. Once a week we sit down together and go over his paragraphs and he revises them based on feedback. He types his paragraphs.

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We had regular Morning Time this week, I’m happy to report. If you’re on Instagram, I’m using the hashtag #yourmorningbasket (not plain #morningbasket after all).

Have you seen Pam’s new free ebook? It’s all about setting up your own “Minimum Viable Morning” – that is, not the best morning routine, but the one that can actually happen regularly without too much thought, time, or energy. It’s awesome.

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FAQ Friday

Today I will address a couple comment-questions that came in with the end-of-the-year survey.

Could you consolidate, maybe? It’s a little hard to follow Simply Convivial, Simplified Organization and Simplified Pantry.

I personally like keeping my different blogs in their own little boxes, but I recently started changing the way I send out the weekly digest. Instead of each blog sending its own automatic weekly digest, I send out a single weekly digest newsletter on Saturday mornings with links to the posts I made on all three blogs plus additional chit chat or tips.

You can sign up to receive that digest here:

One survey respondent gave this feedback:

I wish you’d have your own podcast. :)

Well, my friend, you are in half-luck. I’m not starting my own podcast, but I do have a podcast announcement to make!

Brandy is taking the lead on a Scholé Sisters podcast! We’ll launch on January 29 with an introductory episode, then open February 5th with an episode on beating February blues through levity.

I will be Brandy’s cohost about once a month, and she’ll release a new episode every other week. We’re going to have a ton of fun having an excuse to talk shop together, and I hope we pass some of that levity on to you. :)

You can sign up here for podcast updates and the Scholé Sisters monthly newsletter:

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Books read in our home this week:

8 Responses

  1. dawn
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Jaeger!

    I wish I had someone talented to teach drawing.

    I need to read the writing post closely. We are coming close to the time when “we must do more.”

    CANNOT wait for the podcast. Love you ladies!

  2. Cindy B.
    | Reply

    I enjoy your weekly wrap-up. I do have a question about the writing. What do you look for specifically in the written narrations? Just grammar and punctuation, or do you look for a certain amount of content as well? Thanks.

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      As far as content, it should be a decent summary. It doesn’t need to have every detail, but it should prove they read and understood the assignment. However, I also like concise writing, so I don’t want them to ramble. :) You can see on the checklist there that I’m also looking for style, which they’ve been taught already.

  3. candy
    | Reply

    I would love a periscope on what labels you have set up in Gmail, and note/notebook categories in Evernote, and how you decide which emails stay in Gmail labels vs get stored in Evernote. I archived all my emails but they are building up again because I do not have a good set up for organizing my information. Thank you!

  4. suz chally
    | Reply

    What a sweet family you have… I enjoy your ideas!

  5. Melissa
    | Reply

    Thanks Mystie…great post!

    I would like to learn more about your math studies. Have you always used MUS? Does it work for each of your learners? I know you and your husband were homeschooled. What type of math did each of you do? Compare/contrast/pros/cons?

    Also, I’m trying to remember if you have a school room. Either way, can you tell us more about the area/spaces you use to homeschool?

    Lastly, I have a rising 7th grader and have been seriously considering Omnibus. Can you tell us more about it? Have you used or looked at Ambleside Online? If so, would you compare/contrast? I’m looking at both and trying to figure out scheduling of Omnibus. How much constitutes a lesson? Is it parent/teacher friendly?

    Forgive me if you’ve already discussed these topics. If so, please point me in the right direction :)


    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      Hi Melissa! I have written about our homeschool spaces:

      I will add your other questions to my list of topics to address, too! The short answers are that we love MUS and have used it all the way so far with all our kids. It’s worked for our kids, but another important thing to keep in mind is that it works for me as a homeschool mom teacher.

      Omnibus is an awesome resource, but it is massive and overkill. It’s not meant to be done 100%, either, but to be selected from by a teacher who knows what she’s doing. If you are comfortable doing that and not expecting an open-and-go program or feeling like you have to do all of the entire book, it could be a useful program. I own it so I can use it as a reference, but I don’t teach from it or assign it. I love AO and their selections influence my own though I don’t follow their selections necessarily.

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