Large Family Homeschooling – Week 10 of 2023

Raising Arrows
Large Family Homeschooling – Week 10 of 2023

A really fun week full of friends and food and Star Trek actors!

Read all of the Large Family Homeschool Life!


We had a relaxing weekend with friends who came up just to visit. On Sunday, Ty took Megan back to college following her Spring Break last week, and we still have a friend of the newlyweds staying with us for the rest of the week. A lot of company these days!

Thankfully, when I got up this morning, the dishes were all caught up. Our dishwasher is supposed to be fixed this coming Friday. Our 14 year old son has been in charge of the dishes this month, so we paid him for all the hard work he’s had to put in to keep up with the dishes without a dishwasher. I pitched in when I could, but the bulk of the responsibility fell to him, and he did a great job!

This morning before school I did a little figuring, and I think we can finish Tapestry of Grace this week! That means our 18 year old will be fully graduated as soon as she finishes reading To Kill a Mockingbird and the book of Revelation!

Our 17 year old who just got married will have 1.5 credits of science and 1.5 credits of math left to get through, but the end is in sight for him as well! This week, he starts an Anatomy & Physiology class with a retired doctor. I’m super excited he has that kind of opportunity to help him finish out his schooling!

For Morning Time, we read about the George W. Bush administration. As I was reading from Joy Hakim’s book, I realized we haven’t had enough time to fully reflect on this portion of history, so we are focusing more on information and less on making judgements on how successful or unsuccessful a presidency has been.

After Morning Time, the kids went to their independent school work. My 10 year son did an infographic for his Graphic Design class, so I looked it over and offered a few edits and then he submitted his work. It is really neat to see what these boys come up with for this class! They are all so different!

Learn more about the Graphic Design Class:

For lunch, we had leftovers and then I took our 18 year old our to make sure she knew how to pump her own gas since she will be taking on more work after graduation. We took Aspen (8) along with us so we could stop at Walmart and pick up her Special Night food and some new pillows for her and Mercy (6).

Before dinner, I did laundry, but folded it into the basket to put away later. I also got a video released and an email sent out to my email readers.

For dinner, we had Pepperoni Penne and a salad. I had a some chickpea pasta that needed to be used up, so this made for a nice meal. (The linked recipe is similar to the one I make, but I like to add sun-dried tomatoes and use pepperonis from Aldi.)

We have 11 at the table right now, so it is a bit of a squeeze. I need to add in another leaf, so we can hopefully get a couple more chairs around the table.

For Aspen’s Special Night she had Pizza Pringles and her 12 year old brother made her a banana smoothie. He also made orange sorbet for the other kids since he already had the Vitamix out.

Part way through her Special Night, I had to leave to sit with Mercy because her tummy hurt and she didn’t want to be in her bedroom alone. She eventually fell asleep and I went back to Aspen’s Special Night.


We all slept in this morning. The time change seems to just now be catching up with us. I’d like to go on the record for not being a fan of daylight savings time! Because we were all lagging, I decided to delay Morning Time by half an hour so we wouldn’t feel rushed.

For Morning Time, we learned about 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. I’m sure most of us remember where we were during these events – especially 9/11 – but I don’t think any of my children are old enough to remember.

Ty deployed for 2 years back to back shortly after 9/11, and the older two kids do remember some of that. I shared with the kids where I was when the twin towers fell, and how I knew my world was about to change with Daddy being in the military.

We finished up our morning with Astronomy and The Phantom Tollbooth. I helped the little girls with their math, handwriting and phonics. To see a more complete picture of their schooling, check out the post: Elementary Homeschool Curriculum Picks for the Large Family.

Lately during my lunch break, I’ve been watching Blue Bloods over again. I watched it while I was pregnant with Mercy up through the 7th season, so I’ve not seen any seasons past that, but I do enjoy the family dynamic and how they always eat Sunday dinner together and pray together. I don’t know if the show has changed much beyond the 7th season, but the old ones sure are good!

After lunch, I put away my laundry and the girls’ laundry which is in my closet. This seems like a never-ending job! To learn more about how we have our closets organized, read my post: Large Family Closet Organization.

I don’t often share in these posts about all the “little fires” I put out during the day. These are all the little things that happen and have to be dealt with WHILE I’m doing something else.

To explain this better, here is an example from today’s particular laundry scenario:

While I was working through the 2 baskets of laundry, I had 5 kids come in, one at a time, to ask me a question. They ranged from, “I’m bored,” to “Can I bake a pie – it’s PI Day?” to “Why didn’t my jello set up?” to “How can I earn money for this toy I want?”, to “The kids’ bathroom smells bad. Do you have cleaning spray?”

Also during all of this, the 6 year old (she’s the one who said she was “bored”) spilled my tea glass and I had to clean up the carpet. I also ran out of hangers for the girls’ clothing because I recently did the Great Clothes Switchover and I still have some winter clothing mixed in with the spring clothing I added in and not enough hangers to accommodate both. So, I had to go through other closets trying to find small hangers for them.

And all of this happened in a 20 minute timespan! So, when I share about my day and it seems sparse or disconnected, it’s probably because I did 14 other things in that timeframe and it really was rather disconnected!

After I got the laundry finished (and got everyone taken care of!), I did a bit of organizing and cleaning in my bedroom while I watched about 10 minutes of a YouTube video on old fashioned habits. I’ve been looking through my 1950’s cookbooks that my mom gave me, and have been quite fascinated by how different things are now. One thing that struck me was that the Salad section of the cookbook is all gelatin salads! Boy, were those popular in the 50’s! Frankly, I can’t stand them, but I do remember as a kid going to a hometown cafe that served jello salad on Sundays after church. It was always green and always had grapes and marshmallows in it. And I rarely ate it!

After that walk down memory lane, I ate a quick snack of peanuts and banana and then straightened my hair and put on makeup because Ty and I had dinner plans with some older friends in a neighboring city. We spent 4 hours talking to them before heading back home. Late night with good friends!


Ty left early for PT and then came home for a bit. I warmed up some leftover oatmeal for him and made a cup of coffee for myself.

For Morning Time, we read about Barack Obama’s administration and the recession. We also read about the moon in Astronomy and finished up with The Phantom Tollbooth.

Aspen was a little fussy about her math today, so we had to work through it a bit. Kids have days like this and you have to decide whether you need to push through or back off.

Before lunch, I had time to work on a quick menu plan and put my grocery list into Google Keep. I am needing to stock the pantry back up. It looks pretty sparse down there, but I won’t have time to do that until next week.

I spent the afternoon chatting with a friend and then drove home in some really high winds! I was glad I had the kids drive the car instead of the van because I’m not sure they could have controlled it in such high wind.

That night, I went to our church’s women’s group, so the family had leftovers. Ty also had them make popcorn to go with their movie. Typically, Thursdays are movie and popcorn nights, but with me gone, he wanted to do something fun for the kids.

At women’s group, we played Cards Christians Like and ate snacks. It was a lot of fun!


This morning, I started the corned beef in the crock pot for tonight’s Irish Supper. We are doing it today rather than tomorrow because our oldest son will be here and tomorrow, we are going to be gone to an event.

You can download our Irish Supper Menu if you’d like to see what we eat!

Today is the FINAL MORNING TIME for our 18 year old daughter! It is also the final Morning Time before we take a break from Tapestry of Grace and have a Jubilee Year! We were all pretty excited!

We started out with a story from Stories of the Resurrection – our Lenten devotional. Then, we reviewed Year 4 of Tapestry of Grace – the presidents and the major wars and events. We also read in Astronomy and The Phantom Tollbooth.

While I helped the younger kids with their independent school work, I planned out Easter School. We like to do Holiday Homeschooling whenever we can, and we use the resources from my post on Easter Devotionals for Kids to create a really great Easter Homeschooling experience!

This year, we will be using Stories of the Resurrection and An Expectant Easter.

I also took some time to grab the curriculum for our Jubilee Year from our curriculum storage. We are doing The Playful Pioneers for our main curriculum and adding in lots of other things to go along with the Little House on the Prairie series. It’s going to be so much fun!

Then, I joined a Zoom call for a podcast interview with Deep Roots at Home. I shared several of our large family organizational tips if you’d like to take a listen!

After I recorded that interview, I recorded a new episode for my own podcast – The Raising Arrows Podcast!

After I finished with that, I made our Irish Soda Bread. I made one batch with raisins and one without. I need to make a note to myself that I MUST put the bread on a cookie sheet with a lip because the butter slipped over the edges and burned in my oven! It was awful smelling and created a lot of smoke in the house! I opened up the house to get the smoke out, but…

It started snowing while I was baking!

What a surprise! I was a little worried about my oldest son driving in it, but he said he didn’t hit any snow until he got close to our house. It was truly beautiful!

We all enjoyed an Irish Supper together around 8pm when he arrived!


The next morning, we headed to an event in a nearby city where we got autographs and photos with William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Brent Spiner (Data) and Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker) from Star Trek. I suppose that makes us Trekkies!

It was so fun to meet these guys! William Shatner mentioned how big Ty and Blake are and how small I am (as evidenced in the above photo with Jonathan Frakes!). Jonathan Frakes was impressed by Blake’s hair (he does have good hair! lol) Both Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes were fascinated by our large family and ended up talking to us way longer than the people behind us in line would have preferred! But it was such a neat experience and a great memory!

Large Family Homeschooling – Week 10 of 2023

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