I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2016

The ten best books I read in 2016- A Christian homeschool mom's perspective

I read a few best sellers this year. Many I liked. But, a few I did not. In fact, two particular books stood out to me as big fat bombs. 

I read two books this year, both lauded by the Christian literary elite as the best-of-the-best for 2016, and I did not like either one of them.

The first book was one that everyone...and I mean e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e raved about. It was (and still is) on all the lists and has won all the buzz. But, I just didn't like it. Not even a little bit. I didn't like the writing style. I didn't relate to the theme. I reeeeallly wanted to like it so that I could be one of the cool kids. But, I just couldn't deal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Missing Piece that Public School Can't Provide

A Missing Piece that Public School Can't Provide

Written by Jessica.

“Mama, I’m going to use this box to make a car!” my preschooler announced with gusto and a jump into the air. The box on the living room floor had contained all the parts of a large castle - a Christmas gift.

“Okay…” I said warily, trying not to sound too unenthusiastic. “Mama really needs to do school this morning, though. I can’t help with cutting and gluing or anything like that right now.”

“Oh! You’re going to make a car? I’ll help you!” my first grader called from the dining table, squirming eagerly. “I’ll help you as soon as I finish my work!”

My third grader came down the stairs and said with growing curiosity: “What are you going to make? A car?” And I knew then that all three of them would be working on the project.

It was the first day back doing school after our Christmas break, and I was feeling weary. I was tired from taking down decorations and cleaning the house all weekend, and I was not looking forward to getting back into our routine. The kids were feeling a bit sad about Christmas being over and not too excited about doing school, and I felt the same way. An impromptu car building project? That sounded messy and time-consuming, and I didn’t feel up for it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Our Favorite Read Alouds for 2016

Here's a list of our top 10 books we read as a family in 2016

One quick peak at my What We're Reading post for 2016 will prove that we read a lot of great books as a family this past year. Every afternoon found us all huddled like sardines in the living room, handwork in hand, ready to take another literary adventure together.

This year, we traveled deep into the jungles of India, to the ghettos of war-torn Denmark, and to a magical place where it is always winter but never Christmas.

Recently, my kids and I sat down to recap our year in books. We did our best to choose our top 10 favorites. But, as I'm sure you know, trying to pick a favorite book is like trying to pick a favorite child. It's impossible...most days. (ahem!)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Personal Goals 2017

Personal Goals 2017

As each new year begins and ends, I am always reminded of Isaiah 43:19 which reads, 
"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." ESV
God is at work every year, every week, every moment making me new...or really, re-making me into what I was intended to be before sin and flesh muddied the waters of this world. While there's nothing holy or sacred about January one, I think it's as good a time as any for me to pause...reflect...and realign my priorities.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

4 Simple Questions to Ask to Avoid Homeschool Burnout

4 Simple Questions to Ask to Avoid Homeschool Burnout

Written by Tammy Sorensen.

Have you ever had one of those days where you needed to eat half a box of donuts and drink three cups of coffee, because without the extra boost of sugar and caffeine, the thought of facing another homeschool day just seemed impossible!? No? Then I guess that was just me.

Well hopefully, I’m not alone.

But what do you do when the thought of all you have planned for your homeschool day or week just makes you want to stay in bed and hide under the covers?

Homeschool burnout is real.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Best of The Unlikely Homeschool 2016

Read the top 12 posts of The Unlikely Homeschool from 2016

2016 has been a year of growth for The Unlikely Homeschool. We've been joined by three regular contributing writers. Jessica, Beth from Eat Write Repeat, and Gretchen from Gretchen Ronnevik have each added their own unique and inspiring layers to our journey together.

Their honest stories of struggles and strengths combined with the thoughts of many other homeschooling moms around the globe have helped to encourage and equip all of us to keep doing this crazy little thing called homeschooling.

Thank you so much for joining the four of us here week-in and week-out for a good shot in the arm. In case you missed any of the party, here are the 15 most popular posts that helped to steer our conversations in 2016.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Best Bread Machine Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Best Bread Machine Cinnamon Roll Recipe

When you ask most kids what their favorite Christmas tradition is, they'll reply with the usual...

opening presents
decorating the tree
attending parties
making holiday crafts

But not my daughter. When asked, her answer is always the same...eating homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. 

Since I only make them a few times each year, these ooey-gooey treats are like a sweet memory on a plate for her. As she eats them, she slips into a gentle sugar coma and remembers Christmases past. We munch, we reminisce, we linger long at the table savoring the meal and each other.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

When Homeschooling is Your Mission Field

When Homeschooling is Your Mission Field

Written by Trudie Schar from Learning Little Lessons.

Jealousy. There is no denying it. I was feeling jealous.

Once again, I was in a conversation that started something like this ... "Oh did you hear that Mark and Brenda are moving to plant a small church?”

However this type of conversation starts, it always goes down the same path. Comments like, "God must really have showed them clearly,” or, “Oh wow! That would be hard,” or the famous, "They will be good at that," or, "We will miss them when they go."

Yep. These conversations usually leave me wishing God had clearly called me to some special work. It leaves me wishing people would be able to look at me and acknowledge that I have a hard assignment. I wish I left people with thoughts of, “She will be good at that!” or, “She will be perfect for that mission field!” Rather, I'm left with an empty feeling; a fear of being useless.

Monday, January 2, 2017

What We're Reading In January 2017

What We're Reading in January 2017

As we turn the page on a new year, I look with sadness at the pile of books with pages left unturned. My kids each got new-to-them books in their Christmas stockings, as is our tradition, but haven't had much time to crack any of them open. Our final week of 2016 was a bit of a bumpy road so books had to take the back burner. I hope to rectify that in the coming days. 

We've got stacks of books awaiting us in the months ahead. But for now, we're going to refocus our attention on these...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pine Bough Wreath Print Tutorial

Pine Bough Wreath Print Tutorial for kids

Written by Jessica.

This fun-to-make art project incorporates two items from nature that signify winter in all its loveliness: pine boughs and pinecones. The stamped wreath can be made in traditional reds and greens to display at home or to be gifted to a loved one, just in time for Christmas. Already had your fill of Christmas art projects? No problem! It can also be made with winter colors, all ready to brighten the walls during the cold and bare months ahead.


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