Hathaway Homeschooling Highlights

We've been looking back at all the years of homeschooling and remembering our favorite studies and activities we've done (and at the same time, me giving myself a pat on the back for the little successes we've had).  :-)

Here are our top TEN  (in no particular order).


This was probably my favorite.  Our best science year by far!  This year we got together with a couple of other families each month to dissect a different specimen.  We dissected worms, snakes, squid, a heart, a brain, an eye, starfish, turtles, frogs, and ended with rats! I think my favorite one was the snake because I was surprised the insides were more similar to humans than I'd expected.

2. To Be A Princess

The year JW went to public school I created a special history unit just for the girls.  They wanted to learn about "real life princesses."  So, I searched and found the perfect book!  Each month we read about a different "real" princess and then created our own "Princess Diaries" where we documented all we'd learned.

3. Civil War "Quilt"
Last year we studied the different American wars for history.  For the Civil War we created our own quilt.  Each week we would study a few different topics surrounding the Civil War and decorate a scrapbook page (12x12) based on what we'd learned.  Each of the kids also read a book centered around that time period.  As their book report, they each created a page to add to the quilt.  Then we tied the corners with embroidery string and hung the "quilt" up on our wall.  I'm so bummed I never took a picture, but it was fun!

4. The Great Wheel
I just highlighted this recently, so don't need to go into details, but this was one of my favorites!

5. Around the World
When we studied Japan we had our good  florist friend
come teach us about flower arranging .
Way back when I just had little guys at home we took a country from each continent to study each month.  We studied the animals that lived there, the language that was spoken, the flag of that country and other random facts we could think of.  This was a fun one for younger kids and kept me somewhat focused for the year.  :-)

6. Cemetery School
This was an annual event at our house  (I'm sure it will continue to be a tradition despite the schedule change).  Around Halloween time we loved going to the cemetery for school.  I'd create packets for the kids to accomplish using the tombstones.  They had to find a name that started with every letter of the alphabet, use subtraction to figure out how old the people were when they died, and get some tombstone rubbings.  This last year I sent them on a scavenger hunt to find the youngest and the oldest, a soldier, a married couple, and others.

7. Park Week
Another staple at our house (and will continue to be). The third or fourth week of April is National Park week.  We chose to celebrate this week each year by just visiting local p
arks in our community each day.  Five kids.  Five days.  Five parks.  Simple.  This is something the kids look forward to every year.

8.  Deserts Around the World
One year we joined in on one of the public school's activities.  It was a project share kind of a thing.  We chose to make a paper mache globe out of a punching balloon, locating the major deserts in the world.  We studied the different deserts and the properties of a desert to create our background board.  This was a very fun all family project I really enjoyed.

9.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
I didn't love reading children's books until I started homeschooling.  What I love to do most with them is unit studies.  My favorite was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  With this we created our own large-sized story book with each page highlighting a different project.  One page had a money math theme. Each child had a certain amount of money to "spend" while looking through the grocery ads.  With that money they would choose their menu.  Another page highlighted compound words.  On another page we cut out random phrases from newpapers and put them together to create our own news article (it involved President Obama and Santa Clause somehow!).  It was fabulously fun!

I know this is not one event and I know you don't have to homeschool to read with your children, but honestly this has been the best thing for me with homeschooling.  The amount of reading I've been able to do with my children.  My favorite experience being finishing Where the Red Fern Grows while on a family trip to the beach.  It was rainy & cold, so we opted to spend the afternoon reading.  I couldn't even get to the end of the book without sobbing, even before the sad events happened!  Almost the whole family was in tears by the end.  Just  tender moment I will always cherish.  That and Book Blitz Month every January when we try to read 100 books in one month! 
This may be my favorite picture ever!

So many good times.

And I know these memories will continue to grow, but it's always fun to look back at the good things you did!  I'm glad I documented some of the activities otherwise I'd wonder what we did these past eight years!  I'm just having a nostalgic week as we wrap up this chapter in our lives and prepare for the year to come.


  1. I love this post. Such fun memories and great ideas! I'm going to have to steal some of them. And thank you so much for your email! I'm going to reply, I just haven't had a chance to sit down and do so in a coherent, thoughtful manner yet.


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