Plan for Next Year

While we have liked Power Homeschool and it has definitely helped while incorporating the toddlers into our family, there are some definite negatives to it so we have decided we will not be using it last year.

So I’ve been lesson planning. I’ve been working on Fritz’s plans first. He’s going to be in high school. How did that happen? I started this blog when I was pregnant with him and now he’s almost 14 and heading into 9th grade. Crazy.

The boys will both be using Layers of Learning as a base for history, geography, science, and the arts, but I am making it so I am not so needed and they can do it on their own. Fritz will be doing year 1, 14 units for two weeks each and 6 units for one week each. Adrian will be doing 34 units from year 1 and 2 for one week each.

They’ll be using Writer’s Workshop for grammar, usage, and mechanics and vocabulary/spelling. They’ll be using Cover Story for writing. They’ll both be working on handwriting. They’ll be using Progeny Press literature guides. I haven’t picked books for Adrian, but Fritz will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, Romeo and Juliet, and Lord of the Flies as well as reading and analyzing a few Robert Frost poems.

They will be using Family Time Fitness for PE. For math, they’ll be using Art of Problem Solving. Adrian will be doing prealgebra and Fritz will be doing introduction to algebra. I have never seen Adrian get so excited over math as when I showed him the AOPS samples. He loves the idea of playing with numbers to make it all make sense. I gave them both several choices for math and they separately both picked the same one.

Fritz will be taking Spanish I from the Well-Trained Mind Academy. We agreed that truly learning a foreign language will work better with a live teacher. He’ll be taking that two mornings a week. He’ll also be doing on-line seminary, covering the second half of the Book of Mormon in the fall and the first half of the Doctrine and Covenants in the spring. He’ll have one evening a week in person at the church for that.

Fritz will also continue doing Code Ninjas. I’m not sure exactly how that will look by the time school starts. The dojo is currently shut down completely and he’s been working on Unity 3D/C# on his own a little bit at home and then taking some on-line classes from the senseis via Zoom. He takes digital logic once a week, Python twice a week, and HTML once a week. He is also on the esports team. He has practice two evenings a week and games on Saturdays. We’ll see how any of that changes in the fall, but for now he is loving it.

Our 2020-21 school year will be 34 weeks long. We’re going to start the day after Labor Day and finish the Friday before Memorial Day.

To Obtain Food

One of the things we are allowed to do according to our stay at home order is obtain food. I like how that’s phrased. It makes me feel at one with my hunter-gatherer ancestors.

But obtaining food, especially if you’d rather not actually go into the grocery store, is not so easy. Walmart is only opening spots once a day and only scheduling pickup two days out. HEB is scheduling a week out for pickup. So we’ve gotten creative.

I made a list of meals that will last us 2-3 weeks. The grocery list was, of course, very long. Then I went to work finding the things on my list. It’s been an interesting combination.

We got as much of the foster kids’ WIC stuff as we could at the local WIC store (lots of social distancing and only three customers allowed in at a time in there). They were out of a lot of stuff, but we did get all the formula (which is about 2/3 of the month worth) which would have taken 4 trips to HEB because of their limits.

We went to Costco where social distancing was iffy thanks to their idiotic idea of putting plants down the center of two refrigerator aisles making it impossible to not get very close to other customers in those aisles. We got quite a bit of stuff including several loaves of bread and a case of baby wipes there.

We got a food package from a small local grocery store. It was full of super high quality meat, produce, beans, rice, tortillas, eggs, and even a few rolls of toilet paper.


I was able to get a good size order placed at Walmart. I had to switch to a further away one and got a terrible time for pickup (7-8pm), but only 4 things were substituted and only 4 things were out of stock so I’m very happy.

We’ve gotten two small orders from Amazon Fresh and a big order from Amazon Pantry. We’ve got another Amazon Pantry order scheduled for delivery on the 22nd. We have done Subscribe and Save for a long time and that’s how we get diapers (6 cases in three sizes a month) and some other things. Those will be arriving over the next week.

We have an HEB order set for pickup later today. Walmart isn’t doing chicken right now and they were out of a few items I needed when I placed my order so figured the week wait would be fine for the last few things. We also had Cameron pick us up a few things at HEB when he did his shopping last week. There were nine things I couldn’t find any other way to get (and he still couldn’t get us leeks because they were out in the store).

So obtaining food for our household of eleven has been a challenge just as I imagine it was for those hunter-gatherer ancestors. In a way the challenge has been fun. In a way it’s been frustrating. What matters now is our cupboards, refrigerators and freezer are full and we are set for a few weeks when we’ll start the process all over again.

Homeschooling is going well

I am really glad we switched to Power Homeschool. It has freed up so much of my time. We’re a couple months in to using it and so far so good.

Adrian has learned that he can’t put in minimal effort and Fritz keeps telling me about stuff he’s learned. Fritz has already finished the whole health course by putting in lots of extra time on it just to get it done.

I’m not 100% sure we’ll keep using it next year, but I’m definitely leaning toward continuing with it.

Science: Chemistry of Air and Water


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks eighteen and nineteen of school we did unit 11. Our science topic was the chemistry of air and water.

We watched a really old film on YouTube about air and water.

We watched an experiment on YouTube demonstrating that fire needs oxygen to burn.chemistry2

We heated a soda can with water in it and then crushed it in ice water. It was so cool we did it a second time with a different can.chemistry3

Crushing a Can With Ice Water

We watched a YouTube video of water being a solvent and then tested it out ourselves.chemistry4

We tested hard and soft water by blowing bubbles.chemistry5

Hard vs. Soft Water

We played with water droplets on wax paper.chemistry6

Playing With Water Droplets

We used capillary action to move water from one cup to another.chemistry7

Geography: Symbols & Landmarks


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks eighteen and nineteen of school we did unit 11. Our geography topic was Symbols & Landmarks.

We learned about the Pledge of Allegiance.symbols1

We learned about the National Mall.

We learned about the US Capitol building.symbols3

We watched a YouTube video of the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We learned about the Great Seal of the United States.

History: World War II


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks eighteen and nineteen of school we did unit 11. Our history topic was World War II.

We did the timeline with a little “help” from the foster toddlers.

We attempted to save as many men as possible at Dunkirk.

We watched speeches by Winston Churchill and FDR.

We watched a Crash Course video on World War II.

We learned about the Bataan Death March.

We learned about rationing and made ration card booklets.

We learned about World War II medals.

We did mapwork.

We listened to some World War II music.