This Week: Smokey and the Tribbles

I have big news to report in this week’s weekly wrap-up!  We are now cat owners.  I’m a little surprised we are.  My Hubby went from “the only good cat is a dead cat” to getting the girls a cat in only a matter of a few weeks.  God really must have softened his heart 😀  The children are now the proud owners of a wiggly, energetic, and fun gray kitty that they promptly named “Smokey.”  Rose is mothering and spoiling this kitty so much that he’s definitely going to think he’s king of the house before too long.

Many of the things that Rose has done this week has involved watching You Tube videos to help with litter box training, playing with and holding the cat, finding things to entertain the cat and learning how best to feed him.  The only problem we’ve had is that I’ve had to referee who gets to hold the cat because all four of them want to spend much of their time playing with and holding the kitty.smokey

However, having a new kitty in the house didn’t deter us from doing some really fun learning this week.  The children decided to go back to using Veritas Press this week.  They had taken about a week off after we finished the lessons on the Civil War, and this week they were ready to begin focusing on the Transcontinental Railroad.  Rose suggested, after we’d had a couple of lessons this week to make our own drawings on the railroad, and so we did.  Each of us chose one of our favorite mediums to work in, so that account for the variations between oil pastels, colored pencils, and watercolor crayons.

railroad drawings

I also introduced the children to the idea of timeline notebook this week.  I downloaded this beautiful Timeline Notebook from Thinking Kids and asked my sister to bind it for me so that I could use the notebooks over the next several years with the children.  This seemed like a good place to introduce that.  This week we put the date of the completion of the transcontinental rail road and the invention of the cotton gin in our notebooks.  My plan is to put our birth years, etc. into the notebooks over the next couple of weeks so that we can get a sweep as to where we fit into the timeline of history.  I just need to make some little picture icons to go in there before we do that.


We also continued to extend our tribble learning.  We made some plush tribbles to give our Loot Crate one some friends.  (Easy tutorial coming soon, I hope!)  We made “roasted tribbles” using this recipe from Kitchen Overlord.  These use ground chicken, and they were a hit because the taste wasn’t far different from an upscale chicken nugget.  There are so many recipes at this site I want to make because I am such a geek!!  We also tried to make our own version of the snowball cupcakes for tribbles, but it was a disaster as my cupcakes fell completely apart.  I’ll probably be trying again soon!

tribblesFirecracker also used this picture of the anatomy of a tribble drawing to draw his own tribble anatomy, which opens the door to talk a little about our body parts 😉  You’ll see how this plays in soon….He also sat and wrote a short comic about Mario, Toad and Kirby finding tribbles and accidentally feeding them.  Of course, then they had so many tribbles, they had to destroy them.  This was good for me to see that he remembered many of the elements from the Star Trek episodes as his wrote his own story.

tribble writing

While I’ve got Mario on the mind, I have to mention that I now live with two Marios.  Aren’t they cute??

mario brothersFocus…Focus…What was I saying?  I also read some books with the older kids this week.  We finally finished our Poetry for Young People:  Edgar Allan Poe.  If you’ve never encountered this series, it’s a great one because there are illustrations that help the children bring the poetry to life.  There are several poets that each have their own books, and all the books I’ve seen are beautiful.

We also finished the last three of the Tales From the House of Bunnicula books.  We feel kind of sad to be leaving the world of Bunnicula.  There’s really some rich directions we could go after this, and the children are feeling really inspired by mysteries right now.  Several of the Bunnicula books have a really gentle mystery theme running through them, and that’s inspiring Rose right now.  I’ll share more about that as we get a little more settled into the “next” thing for them.


I can also share that we’ve started using the Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett Dog unit study.  We did part of day one this week, enough to work on some definitions and to find ourselves going down a rabbit trail.

The first quote in the unit study that is intended to be used as copywork is “Happiness is a warm puppy,” by Charles M. Schultz.  I felt like I needed to explain to them that Schultz is Snoopy’s creator because they love Charlie Brown so much.  This led us in the direction of watching some You Tube videos about the life of Schultz and old interviews with him.  We also watched a few drawing tutorials and found ourselves pulling out the Great Pumpkin and the Thanksgiving Charlie Brown videos and giving them a play.

As you can see from the other pictures in the collage below, we’ve been finishing watching “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” which has been inspiring Monkey to make Batman drawings.  I’ve been cross stitching new Christmas ornaments for my tree while we’ve been watching.


The little kids were back ready to work on some preschool ideas this week.  We finished up our Little Hands to Heaven look at Abraham.  We drew and counted tents.  (I’m also using this time to work with Rose on skip counting by 2s.)

counting tents

We found bunches of Cs using both our curriculum sheet and one from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

dotting c

We practiced hospitality, like Abraham did with his three guests by having our stuffed animal friends come and be a part of a picnic.  This was also a perfect time to watch watch the Nest Animated Bible story on Abraham and Isaac.  I thought this was interesting because, as many times as we’ve read it in the Bible, Firecracker didn’t really realize that Abraham had another wife (Hagar) until he watched it on video.  This video was definitely more for the elementary ages than the preschool set.


I also spent some time with each child looking at their baby pictures and talking to them about when they were a baby this week.  The purpose of this in the curriculum is to show the children that they are growing just like how Isaac grew before Abraham took him to sacrifice him.  All four of the children loved seeing their baby pictures, and went through their own baby albums several times.  (I just felt lucky that I had made at least a baby album for each of the children.  I guess if I hadn’t this would have been the perfect opportunity!)

baby pictures

We also spent a little bit of time reviewing the letter B.  We fingerpainted a B worksheet.

fingerpainting b

We also did a beaver craft that was made out of circles.  This is this week’s addition to our circle notebooks.  With the four circles, this was not the easiest craft to put together, and in retrospect, I wish I would have encouraged the older kids to make one too.  It would have been a good puzzle for them.


We are ready to move on to the letter D and to a new Bible story for next week! Yay!

Speaking of Bible stories, we studied how God made our families this week in Cubbies and I actually remembered to snap pictures of Monkey and Owlet both while we were still at Cubbies!


I guess that’s about it for our weekly wrap-up.  We have three field trips scheduled between now and the next time I sit down and write!  That is going to make for an interesting week next week 😀


5 thoughts on “This Week: Smokey and the Tribbles

  1. Oh my gosh your homeschool is so much fun! I personally love kitties but my husband is a dog man. So we have a wild and wonderful dalmation. But one day I will get me a kitty!

  2. What a WOW week (Way Over Wonderful) you all had. I LOVE the new addition – Smokey will fit right in! Just hope they are all “fighting” about who cleans out the liter box like they are who gets to hold him 8)

    I LOVE the art you all did this week…do you keep samples of what the produce to look back on it in years to come?

    Enjoy the weekend and I am not sure how you will top this week in school! Huzzah to you all!

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