New Year, Same Homeschool

Actually, our homeschool is never the same.  We are either on a trip, or exploring some trails, or creating some project.  Unlike a regular school, our academics can take place anytime, but I do tend to focus on the book work like math and language in the morning when the kiddo’s are fresh.  Our history focus has been Native America, which mean some very neat projects and special local trips we have planned for the summer. The big fun is all the time they have to really focus on things of interest or dabble in a variety of activities.   Dabbling seems the fun lately.

We get plenty of PE in the form of gymnastics classes, and a formal homeschool PE class with a hoard of other kids.  In addition, Zoe has been enjoying her time in an archery class at the nearby YMCA, while BMX is still a big part of Avi’s week.  It’s our Friday night event!


Art is another thing we seem to leave the house to accomplish.  I have a great curriculum called Artistic Pursuits that I really enjoy, but we can’t seem to pass up on the cool options available in Tucson.  Lately, they’ve been loving glass blowing at the Sonoran Glass School.   In musical arts, Zoe is still taking piano lessons and Avi has moved to the Ukulele at the Schoolhouse of Rock.  As a fun bonus, we are registered with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra TeamTix program which offers free tickets to occasional performances to students for free!  We got to see them perform Beethoven’s 9th recently.

Our big PE co-op also offers field trips and fun social events quite often.  We joined a big group visiting the nearby Tumacacori National Historic site; it was a fun time doing Padre Kino’s Quest – a scavenger hunt of learning about the first Spanish missions and the first nations who lived here.  Zoe joined a group of older girls, while I helped with Avi’s group.  After that, the Valentines party was a huge success, and Aunt Bethany was here to see the chaos of homeschool holiday parties!


Science is often an outside adventure for us or following the Science Fusion curriculum, but after Christmas life becomes science fair season.  This year Zoe really wanted to focus on bioluminescence – specifically glowing dinoflagellates: those little creatures that glow in the flat tidewaters and oceans around the world.  Her study attempted to see if they could be absorbed into cut or rooted plants to develop a glowing plant.  It didn’t work visibly on the outside, but when she cut them open at the end, the aloe had pinpricks of light.  It was exciting.  Avi’s project tested four different pressure levels in his BMX bike tube to see which was optimal. He went to the BMX track with Bryan to run a bunch of tests and chart their data.  After our March trip to Korea, we focused on crunching our data and getting those science fair boards organized for a Wenesday drop off.  This year SARSEF, the Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Fair, had over 2000 entries.  It seemed to me that half were in the 5th grade!  The competition was pretty stiff, but on Friday morning I received a notice that Avi was invited to the award ceremony.  On Saturday we attended and got more and more excited as we waited longer and longer watching 3rd places and then 2nd places awarded.  He won 1st place in 2nd grade Physics, Astronomy, Math category!!   What a proud moment.


I’m sure as the temperature continues to heat up we will find ourselves some new hobbies and interests.  Avi looks forward to rejoining his Cubs baseball team as the season begins soon, and both kids are itching to try out for the fall play with the CYT theatre group after the summer. Zoe has requested pottery lessons, as well, so that is on my horizon.  We also plan to attend our first homeschool convention this summer!  Maybe we will see you there.


  1. Katie & Bryan, I enjoy reading your “blog” and I am sure whatever you do or plan to do will be the greatest. I am so proud of my grandchildren-they are so smart and can tackle anything they do. They are so happy too and that will make them grow up to be beautiful people! Love, Grandma

  2. Kat, my opinion of your home-schooling curriculum hasn’t changed since the winter recital at the SHOR, when I announced that Zoe and Avi were the most well-rounded & highly educated home schooled kids I’d ever met in over 20 years of teaching. Yes, I kinda blurted it out without vetting the assertion or editing myself and I immediately, and to my increasing dismay, realized that yours was not the only home-schooled family in the room. Yikes… I was at a loss. I wasn’t trying to make anyone feel badly. I hoped that by highlighting your excellence, not just as a parent but as a teacher, perhaps other people would be inspired to focus more of their energy on educating their children. You are unbelievable! Your kids are a testament to your superb parenting. Zoë and Avi are so culturally aware, inquisitive, articulate, intelligent, polite, empathetic and charming— they really are amazing kids and you are a fabulous mom and superb teacher! I’m so glad that you found us. Bravissimo!
    (Thanks for teaching me about the Columbian Exchghff

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