3rd and 8th

Today was our first day of a new homeschooling year. Jake is in 8th grade and Emmie is in 3rd grade. I woke up to the radio weather report and heard that the heat index would be 109 degrees today. Nothing says first day of school and makes you think of crisp autumn days quite like that.

Before they went to bed last night, Emmie reminded me that I had to make their first day of school posters. Isn’t it funny how some things end up becoming a tradition? She told me it needed to have a design on it plus something softball related. I told her it should be a surprise. In other words; don’t boss me. Plus, I totally forgot so thanks for the reminder.

When I make a poster I don’t do any kind of planning or sketching with pencil first, but I think that’s evident.


Jake’s poster was pretty plain and admittedly kinda lame, but he gave me a nod of appreciation. He usually wakes up in a bad mood prior to being taught his math lesson. Mike’s a good teacher (so good!) but who can blame anyone for being slow to wake up when it comes to algebra. He has to adjust the attitude, though.

History was made this morning – with the posters, the traditions, and Dad’s sense of humor, he cracked a smile and even laughed.



After Mike left for work they got started on their work. Jake is no longer smiling, but this scene is blissful and it is very real.  Peace and quiet. Working hard. Not bothering each other.

It was a beautiful minute.

They are typical kids who get on each other’s nerves, but for the most part they tolerate each other. Today we only had a few disruptions. They were both motivated to get their work finished (hallelujah).

And both seemed to like the way things were set up for them this year.


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I’ve been doing the drawer system for a few years with Emmie, and she still likes it. She follows a written schedule and gets the workbooks from these drawers. It just separates everything and makes it kinda fun and officy. And making the labels herself? Everything.

I’m trying something brand new with Jake. Using Trello, I create his daily and weekly schedule and he can click on the subject card for questions to answer (that I type), instructions for map work (that I type), and other comments. Then he labels it as complete (turning the color from black to green). He has this app on his iPhone as well as the laptop that he uses. It’s only been one day, but I think this is going to be a winner for us. In the past I would handwrite his schedule (therefore it sometimes didn’t happen until the morning). Typing it out seems much easier and faster to me.


Here they are in the middle of the morning. Emmie’s working on a lapbook for the Olympics that we started last week (from – it’s on sale for 70 cents!). I’ll share more of the lapbook when we finish.

That could be this week. Or that could be far in the future. The Olympics are every four years so I’m pretty relaxed about it. ha!

Whatever happens I’m just glad that it seems we’re off to a good start.


6 thoughts on “3rd and 8th

    1. I’d love to see how you use Trello. Do you make a board for each week and log all the assignments for the year in advance? Or do you do it week to week? I’m still figuring out which way would work best for me.

      1. I have one big board with column thingies for each subject, then cards for each assignment, with checklists for each particular part. Since I go to CI, I can’t plan in advance, but I log each assignment instead (in theory) once a week. I’d be more than willing to share my board with you–if you want, I can share what worked for me last year with you!

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