October 2, 2014

We’re a couple months into the school year. I wanted to share about what we have been up to lately. It took us a bit to get back into the rhythm of things after taking the summer off. I think we are finally at a point where we have a routine that allows us to get some work done, but it isn’t the end of the world if we abandon our plans to go to the park or on some other fun venture. Our routine looks something like this:


  • Minecraft math lesson, plus extension activities (games, related books, etc.)
  • Movie (documentaries, movies based on books we’ve read, etc.)


  • DIY chemistry study with a Minecraft class about the elements as the core for now (next will be the Inquiry in Action curriculum from the American Chemical Society); we also do a fun activity or two each time (we are def using our fair share of vinegar and baking soda)
  • Poetry


  • Nature study, our old favorite!
  • Prep for her nature center class, which so far involves lots of non-ficition reading (something we don’t get nearly enough of), research, some worksheets, and field study


  • Minecraft project (self-directed)


  • Lincoln study looking at primary sources, reading picture books, and doing some projects related to his life and legacy
  • Art narration–sometimes tied into the Lincoln study or from favorite artists/artworks


  • Read aloud (we are currently reading Redwall) study using the Arrow from Brave Writer
  • Independent reading where she chooses the book
  • Copywork related to the current read aloud or writing letters (an idea she came up with)
  • Art and craft projects
  • Games
  • Minecraft lessons for me (a recent addition to our routine where she gives me a lesson and assignment in Minecraft)


I am happy that we are doing more of a block schedule where we spend a day to focus on a topic (in addition to our version of the Brave Writer Lifestyle), rather than having a little bit of everything every day or so. I feel like this simple change has greatly added to the learning potential in what we do–before I felt like sometimes I was just glazing over some topics to get to the next thing on the list.

Minecraft is obviously a big focus for us this year, which is something she requested at the conference-of-sorts we had before school started this year. I really want to make an effort to give her more choice, which is also playing out in her choosing to study Lincoln, chemistry, which read alouds we read, and to go with the Minecraft math classes instead of the textbook route. This has made for a happier homeschool and the bonus of her being motivated to dig in deeper.

So far third grade is pretty stinking great.



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