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The Bare-Bones School Day

piggies 013Hobbling around on two feet now – mostly without crutches!  (but also mostly sitting down…)

Today was a relatively “bare-bones” school day:  JUMP math, HWT handwriting, ETC3 phonics, First Language Lessons, and then our kind-of-weekly (haven’t done one in two weeks, though!) Literature Pockets. 

Happy feeling of the day – I pulled out Explode the Code and Naomi Rivka said, “Yay – phonics is FUN!”  We never ever ever ever would have gotten that reaction with Spelling Workout.  It puts my soul at ease knowing I did the right thing pulling out of that program.  And frankly, she’s learning just as much spelling, with more words and more continuity, in ETC.  Note to self:  never doubt myself again!

piggies 014This week’s nursery rhyme is “To Market, To Market,” for which we made yet another puppet and clearly haven’t practiced the poem enough, as you can see from the mostly-silly video of the kids rehearsing. 

As much as I feel like all these puppets are somewhat repetitious and twaddly (see previous puppets here), the kids enjoy the feeling of getting REALLY good at making them, by practicing their puppet-making skills over and over. 

Naomi is very proud of her “I’m a girl” pig puppet, as you can see.  I like that this puppet has room for the poem on the back – the others didn’t, and this reinforces the reading / educational aspect of it… somewhat.

image From one pocket to another… we’ve moved on from Ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia! 

I bought Ancient Civilizations History Pockets last year in hard copy, but now I have access to it online through my TeacherFileBox subscription.   (there’s a reduced price still on through Homeschool Buyers Co-op!)

The online version is MUCH handier.  In fact, I would only ever buy these “Pockets” books in eBook or online form again. 

The hard-copy one needs painstaking photocopying - painstaking because my photocopier is my printer and it’s hard to reach up and lay the individual sheets on the glass, then remove them, all while keeping the originals and copied pages in the right order. 

Whereas with a PDF or online version, you just print off the pages you need, when you need them.  Nothing to lose – unless your hard drive goes down, of course.  (not a problem with TeacherFileBox, of course!)

I was wondering what to do with the puppets for each pocket, because both kids hate colouring.  I had Naomi Rivka paint the Ancient Egyptian ones with watercolours, but then the paper got all wrinkly… and lost.  So for the Mesopotamia ones, I used PDFill Free PDF Tools to convert the single page with the puppets to an image file, which I then opened with the standard Microsoft Paint program. 

imageAfter showing Naomi quickly how to scroll around the page, I set her loose with the paint-can tool.  Here’s the happy result, which I printed on cardstock (she was slightly disappointed because the colours are less vivid on paper).  We glued the puppets onto another piece of cardstock, with a popsicle stick taped in between, to make entirely satisfactory puppets.


Just when I thought we were done with Mary Cassatt:  imageOur First Language Lessons lesson today was a picture study of yet another Cassatt painting.  I created a narration page you can download to go along with this and the previous FLL picture narration (also by Mary Cassatt).  You can find it on my General Studies printables page here.  (scroll down to Language / Literature)

And then I got interrupted by a couple of writing-related phone calls, an hour passed, and the kids don’t want to come upstairs for story and naptime.  But they are playing beautifully downstairs.  I hope they come up eventually; with this broken ankle, I really have no way to go down there and retrieve them.


  1. Hi... where on Homeschool Buyers Co-op is the reduced price of the TeacherFileBox subscription? I am a memeber of Homeschool Buyers Co-op and was unable to find it. Thanks.

  2. Here's the link for the TFB subscription at HSBC, on until August 31st.
    For those who aren't already a member, you can sign up here.


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