Focusing on Art and Writing

Zeus throwing lightning bolts - Week 3 - Mythology

Zeus throwing lightning bolts – Week 3 – Mythology (she was very proud of the detail in the hair)

We are halfway through August and Emily has responded to her sister’s homeschool lessons with interest and enthusiasm.

Rainbow Serpent - Week 2 - Aboriginal culture

Rainbow Serpent – Week 2 – Aboriginal culture

Danielle started the first week with an emphasis on art. They visited the Nelson-Atkins, and Emily was tasked with finding a piece of art she liked and then writing about it.

Decorated boomerang - Week 2 - Aboriginal culture and the history of boomerangs

Decorated boomerang – Week 2 – Aboriginal culture and the history of boomerangs

With a brand-new art journal in hand, she has begun filling the pages with writing and sketches, painting and stories.


Part of me feels a little silly – this is exactly what I wanted her to be doing. I just tried to do it way too early…as in years too early. And when she didn’t show an interest, or evidenced a strong dislike or dug in her heels and refused to participate, I gave up and didn’t revisit it.

The Sphinx - Week 1

The Sphinx – Week 1

Things are markedly different since Em learned how to read. That reading has snowballed and she easily identifies all of the Dolch sight words and has made incredible progress on many words. Her only downfall is when she guesses at words, then tries guessing again when we point out the mistake. It takes reminding her to slow down and sound out a word before she listens and gives it the attention it deserves.

Week 1

Week 1

As you can see, I’ve been taking pictures of her journal entries and art as they have progressed from art in Week 1 to Aboriginal culture and the history of the boomerang (Em’s request) in Week 2 and now they are delving into Greek myths in Week 3.

September Homeschool

So while Dee is handling August, I am busy planning for September. I’ve got the following plan…

Language Arts
Reading Read aloud 10 minutes per day to an adult and read on own before bed each night (2nd part is voluntary). Each week check out up to 7 books in these subjects: Biography, Poetry, Art, DIY/Craft/How To, Fine Lit (or age-appropriate abridged), Storybook, and Science
Writing Write spelling words 1x and 2x more when incorrect. Write in homeschool journal each day.
Spelling Practice spelling list of the week every day until 100% accurate
Mathematics Khan Academy, one set per day, 5x per week and two chapters from Life of Fred per week
Social Studies
History Story of the World 3x per week
Geography Explore Everywhere emails from
Science LEARN Science and Math classes on Fridays
Art Danielle will handle the administration of art education
Music Project Harmony classes every Tuesday, Thursday and Sat.

Next I’ll make up a daily checklist, so we both know what needs to happen on a daily basis and have something to check off the list.

Reading at night

The other night, at just after 10, I noticed a light on in Em’s room. I knocked and then walked in to see her on her bed, surrounded by Emily the Strange books. She looked up at me, looked a little embarrassed, and said, “What? I like books, okay?!”

This from the child who announced to her sister in June, “I don’t really like books.”

Recently she has been reading a graphic novel of her sister’s – Utena – each night in bed. We recently instituted a policy of no more computer or tv at least 1/2 hour before bed. So each night she selects a book and begins to read.

This started rather auspiciously when, on the first night of the new rules, she accidentally picked up a book from the humor section Go the F*ck to Sleep.


She told me about it the next morning. I suggested she go to the two shelves below the Humor shelf in our library where there are plenty of age-appropriate books to read!

Overall, seeing her reading books is probably hands down the best thing ever. I love to read, so I love to see her reading!

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