A Theme for the Year

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Last year N. suggested we cure the kids’ end-of-summer blues with a big celebration for the start of our homeschool year, and he themed a party and scavenger hunt around The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  The kids had been complaining that school was “hard,” and this party gave us a chance to talk about being courageous in learning: writing paragraphs one sentence at a time or playing soccer even if you’re not the best on the team.  It’s wonderful how great literature can delight and inspire virtues at the same time.

This year we want the kids to focus on being helpful to one another.  We started out by working together to make homemade mango ice cream.  We ate it so quickly I didn’t get a picture beyond this first taste.

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Then we watched the film Seven Alone, based on the book On to Oregon! by Honore Morrow.

Image credit: Amazon.com

This book tells the true story of the seven Sager children orphaned on the Oregon Trail.  The oldest child, a 13-year-old boy who starts off as a defiant brat wreaking havoc on the wagon train, steps up to the plate after his parents die and leads his six younger brothers and sisters, including a newborn baby, through ice and snow to the end of the trail.

Then came the Oregon Trail scavenger hunt!

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A tropical version of an Oregon apple tree

We decided mid-summer that we are going to keep all the kids at home again this year, rather than send one or two of them to N’s school.  The boys both told us they didn’t want to be away from their siblings all day, and as wonderful as the school is, it can’t offer the one-on-one tutoring that they benefit from so much in the elementary years.  Maybe some of them will go another year, but for now, we’re all together again.

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Choristers for the Cardinal’s Mass of Blessing for Homeschoolers

And that’s something to celebrate!

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