Today was a pretty typical homeschool day at our house. Isabella (16) went out to milk the cow, then went for a run with Silas (13) and Leo (14). After we all finished our morning chores we sat down to a breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoothies.
While the kids were still at the table I read from a Janice VanCleave book about Louis Pasteur. We had a good discussion following the reading.
After our time together at the table some of the kids played a few songs on the fiddle or guitar while we transitioned to the independent subject time. This took a bit of prodding, as no one was particularly excited to begin. They settled in before too long though and worked on completing their Teaching Textbooks math lesson and some Language Arts as well.
I worked with James (5) during this time. We did a lesson of Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons and a math lesson from his Level K book (from The Good and the Beautiful). He usually wants to do more than one lesson, but today he was eager to run out and play with the other younger kids.
Elsie (11) wrote several poems for her Language Arts, and Silas and Samuel (9) each typed half of the song Amazing Grace for their copywork. I let them type instead of write by hand every once in awhile, although I do think that handwritten copywork is the better choice.
Leo is working through one of the Language Arts books from The Good and the Beautiful so he worked on a lesson from that, then moved on to Algebra. Today’s math lesson was really challenging for him so we talked through it and decided that tomorrow he would work through this lesson again instead of moving on. After that he worked on some computer coding, following a tutorial he watched online.
While I nursed Everett on the couch, Jeremiah (7) practiced reading out loud to me, then I read a few picture books to all the younger children. I was feeling pretty *done* at this point (and definitely all touched out!), but I pushed though and was glad I did. They enjoyed the reading time and went back to playing with much less squabbling.
Bella did some math, reading and copywork at some point throughout the morning (she is completely independent with her education at this point), and also met with someone who came over to purchase rabbits. She answered their questions about the logistics of raising and breeding rabbits. They gave her a $20 tip in gratitude for her help!
She also photographed one of our chickens who has a foot problem, as she plans to write about the issue and wanted her own photos to go with it. In addition she played the fiddle for a couple hours today.
We had some homemade oatmeal peanut butter bars and apples with fresh milk for lunch and the kids spent a bit of time doing some silent reading. This is something I’m trying to put in place as a regular habit after lunch. My middle boys do not often pick up books to read for enjoyment and I’m wanting to encourage that practice.
After lunch we did a bit of cleaning up and then I sent the kids outside to play so I could finish alone. Sometimes cleaning in peace is worth doing the extra work yourself. 🙂
While the babies napped I headed to the garden. I want to be out in the dirt all day long so it takes some self discipline for me to do school all morning and wait to garden until the afternoon! I do think, however, that after sticking with completing our morning tasks we enjoyed our afternoon outside even more.
During the afternoon free time several kids helped Jason run logs through our new bandsaw mill. Elsie and Lydia (3) did some watercolor painting and then went in the woods to pick flowers. Jeremiah worked on a leather craft and had an airsoft battle with his brothers. Various children stopped by the garden at different times to help me plant seeds. Since Everett took a long nap I got a lot done!
The evening came quickly and I headed inside to finish up the meal that had been cooking all day in slow cookers. We had ribs and chicken from our own farm, green beans, fresh bread, and salad. It was so delicious!
Learning doesn’t end when the formal “table time” is done, and before the end of the night Leo had worked through some guitar tutorials, Elsie did more silent reading, and several of the kids did the challenges in a marble circuit game we had checked out from the library. They really liked it!
Jason read to James and Lydia before they went to sleep and I read to the middle kids. We just finished The First Four Years and are almost done with The Sword in The Tree, which was pretty quick to read and thrilling for my younger boys. Leo popped in to share with us some things he had read about King Arthur.
That ended another homeschool day at the Kreke house!
WATCH A FEBRUARY HOMESCHOOL DAY IN THE KREKE HOUSE HERE:
Thank you so much for sharing such a detailed account of your day. You are such an encouragement to so many people.
Due to some behavioral issues with my youngest son, I was remembering a comment you made once about the MTHFR mutation and the synthetic B vitamins found in store-bought cereals.
I have been observing my son’s behavior for some time now (he’s 5.5 years old for reference), and on days when he eats homemade breakfast, rather than store cereals, I have noticed a massive difference in his behavior!
I’ve also been doing some research on the internet, and found something about B Vitamin deficiency in people with MTHFR, but, based on what I’ve read, the data seems quite inconclusive and varied.
I also found something that suggests some people with the MTHFR mutation will be sensitive to sugar. I’m wondering if this is the case in my son, as it isn’t just cereal that sets him off, but any other store bought sugary treat as well. (For some reason homemade stuff seems to be less reactive, so I’m wondering if synthetic colors, flavours and preservatives affect him as well?)
The reason I’m saying all this is because I’m curious to know, if you wouldn’t mind sharing, where you found out your information about the MTHFR gene mutation. Perhaps there is a website you can refer me to?
Or if you wouldn’t mind sharing your experience regards the MTHFR mutation in your life.
I have considered going to my doctor, but I don’t know if she would even know much about it, and would probably just refer us to a specialist, which could take years to sort out with the state of our current medical system. So hoping you might have some information and experience which could help me better understand this issue. Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer!
God bless you and your beautiful family
Thank you for your sweet encouragement!
Most of what I’ve learned about MTHFR came through two different friends who have had their families guided nutritionally through unconventional drs who understood the gene mutation. They both had husbands with health challenges that were discovered to have MTHFR and were advised to just treat the kids as if they also have it since it is most likely passed down to all offspring.
So from my understanding, not only do people with MTHFR need a good supplement of methylated Bs, they also should avoid synthetic Bs because the mutation makes it hard for a person’s body to break down folic acid, which leads to a build up. Once I started paying attention I realized that most cereals, breads, etc are fortified with vitamins… and those vitamins contain synthetic Bs! When we eliminated those from our diet I noticed a huge improvement in our kids. This is why I could understand when you said that breakfast cereal is a problem, but your homemade goods are not. The cereal not only has sugar, it also is fortified with things your child’s body can’t process.
I’m only beginning in my understanding, and would like to find a dr at some point who can help give me more understanding to the specific needs of each person in our family, but for now supplementing with a methylated vitamin, avoiding synthetic ones, and trying to do things that naturally detox the body on a regular basis (such as drinking fresh lemon in our water, letting my kids be outside barefoot in the sunshine, etc) has been my plan.
Julie, thank you so much for that detailed reply, despite your super full, busy life! That helps a lot, and I will definitely look into that b vitamin some more. May God continue to bless you richly for your tireless service to Him.