The Best Weirdest August Start Ever

Not only did the new month of August start this week, but a slew of new goings on and happenings as well.

I’m so glad I didn’t stick my nose in this sunflower to take in a big whiff of wildflower aroma. Glad to see the bees in the garden!

I started the week sick. Technically speaking, I ended the previous week sick and it followed me into this week, but who cares? The point is: I don’t feel my best.

Determined to forge ahead, however, we stuck to our plan for August which I’ll get to in a moment.

The Scandalous Skillet

Monday morning I made a particular breakfast dish for my family which we call “skillet”. It’s a scramble of sausage, hashbrowns, and eggs, topped with melted cheese. Skillet is usually a favorite around here, and I’m pretty sure Hubs could eat it every day without complaint.

In making skillet for my family on Monday morning, however, I used year-old eggs.

You read that right. I used eggs that were a year old.

Last August, we started putting eggs away using a method called “water glassing”. We put over 100 eggs in a bucket and when our hens slowed down over the winter, we turned to using those eggs instead.

The problem, if you want to call it that, was that our hens never particularly slowed down to the point where we found ourselves low on eggs over the winter. Consequently, we are still working our way through those water-glassed eggs.

Any time we bake or use some form of scrambled eggs, the water-glassed eggs will be used for said purpose. They’re not the greatest for frying, and you certainly don’t want to hard-boil them after they’ve been saturating in the lime solution, but for baking or for making a scramble dish, they’re ideal.

Also, keeping eggs in a bucket in a dark closet is far more convenient than freezing them in sandwich bags, not only for not taking up freezer space, but I don’t have to plan ahead to thaw any eggs out.

“BUT VAL!” I can hear the gasps and concerned inquiries. Research water-glassing for yourself, and take comfort in the fact this is how we’ve been storing excess eggs since 2018. Four years later, we’re still not dead because of it.

You Started What?! When?!

After breakfast was eaten (with glee, I might add), Hubs started the day with a Bible reading around the table. This, of course, was the first part of the kids’ new school routine.

Oh yes. Monday, August 1st, was our first day of homeschool for the 2022 – 2023 school year.

Each year when I start homeschool in mid to late August, it also happens to be smack in the middle of our gardening/harvesting/canning and meat bird season. Consequently, each year it is beyond stressful to throw a fresh start of homeschool routine into the mix. It never feels like we start on the right foot, things derail quickly, and we spend a majority of the school year fighting to regain any traction.

I have another homeschooling friend who starts their homeschool year in July for the same reasons. I wasn’t willing to forego the dog days of summer for that much of a headstart, but thought we would compromise and get get our feet wet with beginning August 1st.

We did the obligatory first day school pictures (which are a little different when you homeschool – the kids weren’t wearing socks or shoes, had no backpacks, and barely fixed their hair for the occassion), and jumped right in.

The day went really well, and both kids were finished with their schoolwork before noon. They were done by 11:45 to be exact.

Today on day two of school, I had a 9 am work meeting (virtual) I needed to be present for, so I moved my computer to the kitchen table while the kids were tackling their work. We had finished breakfast and Bible before 8:00 am, and I began working with the kids on their next lessons.

I fielded one question from the kids during my 30 minute meeting. I helped them with their learning through the rest of what we had assigned to complete for the day, and both kids were finished by… drumroll… 10:30 am.

That has never happened before in the history of Kleppen Acadamy. I am still floating on clouds about it.

Being a somewhat seasoned homeschool mama, I know this trend won’t be our every day, but I am thoroughly enjoying it right now.

Homeschool Learning

Our homeschool process and habits are ever changing. Every season brings about new challenges or new adventures, and it’s important to not be rigid in expectations and flexibility is key.

Last year was very much a struggle during the week, and I so looked forward to our once-weekly Co-Op days. I did not want the struggle to continue in this year, however, and thought through some ways we could change things up to make them easier to tackle.

The first thing I did was switch up curriculum. We’re still using Sonlight (and probably always will), but doing a twist this year we’ve not done before. I have a 3rd grader and a 7th grader this year, but I’m combining their Bible and their History.

Each day and week, they’ll read (or be read to) the same Bible passages, and memorize the same scripture verse(s). Having Hubs start the day with Bible around the breakfast table really seems to set the tone for the day, and I love it.

Next, the kids work on History. Little Miss’s 7th grade curriculum has her going through The Story of the World. I play the audio version on CD while they follow along reading in the book. I ask them comprehension questions they take turns answering. Little Miss goes on to complete supplemental history work, while Little Man does activity sheets from a Story of the World Activity Book I purchased separately.

Combining the kids’ Bible and History has been nothing short of amazing. It’s two things I’m not bouncing back and forth on, and because I’m doing the age-appropriate activities for each child, it individualizes it enough for them where they’re taking ownership of it rather than thinking they’re “only” doing it because their sibling is doing it/a certain age/etc.

They both have their own Language Arts, Reading, Math, and Science. I help them each with their work, or if they’d rather go it alone, I give them that space until they need me. It depends on the topic, the day, and the attitude (of any one of us!).

They Do What They Want

Well, not entirely. But in some cases.

My kids are into this… I don’t even know what to call it… routine? They go outside, put backpacks on and even sometimes ride their bikes around the property, before coming inside to “go to school”.

They’ll walk to the dining area (where we typically do homeschool) and say, “Good morning, Mrs. Kleppen.”

They’ll raise their hands throughout the day, even if I’m working 1:1 with them.

When schoolwork is finished (10:30 this morning for instance), they’ll put backpacks on, tell me they’ll see me tomorrow, and go outside. When they come back inside they yell from the door, “I’m home from school!” and I go through the whole process of asking them how their day was, what was their favorite work, etc.

Yes, even though I was just with them for those hours.

Little Miss as a 7th grader, is especially into that shenanigan for this year. She told her friend she has four different teachers. Mr. Kleppen is her Bible teacher, Mrs. Kleppen is homeroom, Language Arts, Reading, and Science teacher, Mr. Weiss is her history teacher (the narrator of Story of the World audio version), and Mr. Demme is her math teacher (which is accurate – he’s the one giving the instruction lesson on the DVD for the math program we use).

She loves having different teachers and different class periods because, you know, she IS a junior high student after all.

I think it’s all hilarious and even a little weird, but whatever. I let them do what they want with this. If it keeps their enthusiasm level high, I am all for it.

Class Dismissed

Despite having a brutal summer cold, I’ve had an amazing start to the month of August. The start of the homeschool year has thus far gone swimmingly, and is already leaps and bounds above last year’s start.

We’re using up our water-glassed eggs, and I know I’ll be able to put a few more eggs aside for this winter, but maybe I won’t fill a bucket this time.

Full-blown garden harvest is almost here, but we’ve got a small garden this year with very few crops, so it shouldn’t be overwhelming.

Meat bird harvest is still over a month away, and we’ll have a new routine down pat by the time that long weekend sneaks up on us.

This was a good idea, I think, to start the school year early. An August 1st start has not proven detrimental in the least. The kids seem to be liking it well enough, and there is absolutely something to having breakfast around the table as a family, with Hubs starting all of our days reading scripture aloud.

Now to figure out how parent-teacher conferences with Mrs. Kleppen are going to work this year…

2 Replies to “The Best Weirdest August Start Ever”

  1. I couldn’t be more impressed. Starting the morning in God’s Word is always fruitful.
    The days work is always done by noon or sooner. God has blessed you and your family with a successful homeschool.

  2. Always a treat to hear what you are up to with the Kleppen Crew! How did you come to this wonderful transition for the start and end of the school day? It’s genius!!
    I love hearing about your eggs. I’ve seen lots of folks refer to it but never a lot of unbiased feedback about it.
    Anywhoooo- think of you often and hope you are well.

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