Weekly Wrap-up – Pebbles of Encouragement

I’m happy to report that good attitudes are back again!  We hit a bit of a rough patch, but it was quickly fixed by pulling back out the pebble jars.DSC_0008The pebble jars remind me to offer positive encouragement.  I can’t tell you what a difference these jars make.  I remember to give praise and the boys feel like their actions are acknowledged.  We’ve made two rounds of filling the jar and it takes about 6 weeks or so.  The reward is simple, ice cream at a spectacular ice cream shop or a field trip.   The real reward is the daily difference.  You can check out how the system works in this post.

To add a little enthusiasm, I started the week with bagels for breakfast, a huge favorite for one of the boys.  When we’re in a funk, a little STEM learning always helps. We decided when our book work was done we would be “Food Process Engineers”.  We baked raspberry oatmeal bars and discussed what we would do differently if we were making big batches to sell at the store.

Our school friends had the day off Tuesday for election day.  Normally we would just have school but E’s FLL team met.  I didn’t tell the boys the public school had the day off until 10:45.  By that time we already had our reading and math done.  They enjoyed the FLL meetings and we spent part of the afternoon at the library.


Wednesday was a zoo class followed by barely making it home in time for Jr. FLL at our house.   I really enjoy coaching the Jr. FLL team.  There are 4 boys on the team including C.  This week two of the boys gave a report on a volcano.  They also worked in teams to start building a crane and a crazy floor machine.    Last week they chose LEGO Dragons as their team name.  Each of them is making a dragon for our team picture.

Here at Learning with Boys we love non-fiction science books.  E has read several books from the “Scientists in the Field” series.  The series has several different authors and is designed for kids 9-14.  Each book profiles a scientist and their work.  One of the things I like is that each scientist tells what inspired them as a kid to become a scientist.

We’ve been reading several books about life in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 – 1621.  This week we read “1621 A New Look at Thanksgiving”.  The pictures were very well done.  The boys enjoyed the book Samuel Eaton’s Day by Kate Waters describing a day in the life of a young boy in 1621.

It was a really good book week at our house.  We read an abridged version of Treasure Island.  E finished Mystery at Yellowstone National Park.   C read about marine mammals and dolphins.

DSC_0960-001We finally made time to take care of this situation. I pay very little attention to fashion, but I do want the their clothes to fit.  The pant situation had gotten so bad.  They had longer pants but they insisted those were too big in the waist. We spent the weekend trying to find another brand that was long enough, skinny enough, wind-resistant, and soft on the inside.  Finally we found one pair in a store and I was able to order more online.    Yeah!



Just a little more fall beauty before it’s gone for the year.


Do you have any favorite non-fiction book series?

How do you hit the “reset” button with your kids?

Thanks again to the Friday hosts!  Linking to:

weeklywrapup125      Mary_CollageFriday


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5 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-up – Pebbles of Encouragement

  1. I found your post at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. We were using an “I Got Caught Being Good” sticker chart, but recently I decided to change to something similar to your marble jar, but using pom poms instead 🙂 When attitudes need to be adjusted it reminds me that I need to focus more on what the kids are doing good, and usually I need to focus on paying more attention to them too. When attitudes go out of wack around here it usually means I haven’t been spending enough time with the kids, either we’re too busy outside of the house or I’ve been on the computer too much. Thanks for sharing about your week! I love seeing what other homeschoolers are doing!

    • Missy – Exactly! It is just such a nice way to focus on the good. One of my kids will say, “Can I have a pebble for _____?” I like that he has a way to point out what he has done and get recognition for it.

  2. We just had a battle royale over cleaning today. I came up for a break and browsing through the linkup. First link I clicked on was yours, so I showed it to my wife and I am under instructions to implement it this week. I know that when my kids were in the public system at least one teacher used something similar.

    • Chris – I enjoy reading your linkups. I’m still trying to figure out how you bend mop and broom handles!
      Sometimes just hearing the pebble clink into his brother’s jar is enough to remind one of my boys he has a task to do, without me saying a word. The hard part for me is being consistent about it.

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