Welcome!

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.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reading Comprehension the Charlotte Mason Way

Reading Comprehension the Charlotte Mason Way- How it works in my Homeschool

The dreaded book report. 
It's a black-and-white inquisition designed to prove whether or not a child read a book and actually understood what he read. 

I remember loathing the weekly book reports assigned to me in Mrs. Hurst's second grade class. Each week, I'd pick up a new-to-me book and be transported to meet far out people in far off places. I'd get lost in the language of literature only to be dragged back to reality when Mrs. H handed out those hateful book report forms. She meant well. It was her simple way of being able to assess the comprehension and completion of 35 students. To her credit, she added cute little clip art and awarded scratch-n-sniff stickers whenever appropriate (Scratch-n-sniff stickers were like childhood gold on the 1980s playground. There was a whole underground market for them by the swing set every afternoon. Don't tell my mom.) But in the end, her little memiographed report forms were nothing but joy killers making an entire class of reading hopefuls disdain the very idea of reading. For every book we read, we had to complete a lengthy fill-in-the-blank style report. 

Reading became work, so I didn't want to do it anymore.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fostering Weather Curiosity {with FREE Printables}

Fostering Weather Curiosity in Homeschool

Written by Krista Smith.

My kids weren’t really interested in the weather. In fact, I don’t think they even noticed the weather for years. It could be -15 degrees outside and they would be playing (bundled to the nines, of course) as though it were springtime in the meadow. And heat? Totally impervious.

As a child I was always fascinated by the weather. I perpetually (and ill-advisedly) sat on the porch watching thunderstorms roll through. I incessantly asked my mom to re-tell the harrowing stories of her family hunkering down for yet another hurricane. For a few years, I wanted to be a meteorologist when I grew up and I knew the movie “Twister” forward and back.

Friday, May 19, 2017

KonMarie for Gameschooling

KonMarie for Gameschooling in the homeschool day

A couple of months ago when I knew I'd be heading out to speak at a homeschool convention, I wigged out just a wee-little bit. My normal convention M.O. has always been to lug a few new-to-us games home in hopes of cultivating some learning through gameschooling. The only problem was, the game closet was congested and cluttered. Every inch of shelf space was littered with game boxes, decks of cards, and random play pieces that had all gone rogue.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Dozen Homeschool Favorites from 2016-2017

A Dozen Homeschool Favorites from 2016-2017

Written by Jessica.

The summer is in sight here in our homeschool, and I know that is the case for many of you too! Now's the time for gathering ideas and making plans for next school year. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of our family’s favorite things from our 2016-2017 homeschool:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

5 Sneaky Tricks for When You Can't Teach All-the-Things In Your Homeschool

5 Sneaky Tricks for When You Can't Teach All-the-Things In Your Homeschool- A look at Dover Coloring/Activity Books

In my first few years of homeschooling, I tried to cram all-the-things into every single moment of our days. I was so afraid that I'd miss something, that I'd forget to teach a crucial element, that I'd leave gaping holes in my kids' learning. I felt the full weight of their education and wore it like a burden around my neck.

But, I'm soooooo over that guilt. It's not mine to carry. The truth is, I can't possibly teach them everything there is to know about everything. Learning is a life-long process. I'm thirty-sevenish and I still don't know all-the-things. But, I keep learning. I keep growing. I keep searching for right answers. And if I can inspire a love of learning in my kids, they will keep searching too -- at ten, at twenty, at one hundred twenty.

Friday, May 5, 2017

What We're Reading in May 2017


This month's book list is going out to a lovely blog reader I met at a homeschool convention I spoke at a few weeks ago. I think her name was Kayla, but maybe Kyla. (There's a 100% chance I suffer from short-term memory loss brought on by my many years of raising toddlers. My brain is mush. My apologies, new friend.)

We met and instantly formed a three-minute book club. We talked about these monthly "What We're Reading" posts and agreed that each month we'd both gather here and chat about books. My voice would obviously be the loudest, but she'd be there lurking in the background ready to share her books with me when she was able. She shared that she, too, has a second grader and that she often patterns her little one's book selections after the books my second grader enjoys each month -- which made me walk a little straighter and choose only the best of the best...for her child AND for mine.

Monday, May 1, 2017

There's a New Planner in Town: Review of A Plan-in-Place

A Plan In Place Homeschool planner review and giveaway

Extras always seem to weigh me down. They require work, rob me of my energy, and breed unnecessary guilt. As a busy, work-at-home, homeschooling mom, I don't have time for that. I'd rather focus my effort on things that bring me joy and add, not detract, from my day. And so I purge all the extras, guilt free. I prune away any non-essentials...of my time, of my home, of my school. 

Recently, I made the decision to paper purge. For the past few years, I've been using a popular homeschool planner. And while I've been happy with the basic set-up of the planner, I've felt a wee-bit burdened by the pages and pages of extras that I've never really used.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Homeschool Shopping Show-n-Tell 2017

Here's a peek into my homeschool shopping bag for the 2017-2018 school year

This past weekend, I had the privilege of presenting two workshops at the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators annual convention that hosts parents from all over the midwest and parts of lower Canada. I met so many lovely blog readers and got to encourage and be encouraged by hundreds of homeschool momma warriors. 

We laughed a lot. We cried just a little bit. And we looped arms as we talked of scheduling and teaching with tots underfoot in sessions entitled...

and
Help! I'm Homeschooling and I Have a Toddler Strapped to My Leg!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"But, what about socialization?"

"But, what about socialization?"- Are homeschooled kids weird? Can they be social? One former public school teacher turned homeschooling mom tells all.

Written by Jessica.

One of the most interesting aspects of being a classroom teacher was getting to know and observe many different kinds of children. Their personalities, behaviors, and abilities were so diverse. I could often tell a lot about my students by the end of the first week of school. The dynamics of the class, their friendships, and the social hierarchy were always very clear.

Over the years, I was able to observe lots of children and how they interacted with one another. Today, as a home educating parent, I am aware of the criticisms that are sometimes made regarding home education, and I always view those criticisms from my perspective as a former classroom teacher. One of the top criticisms is that sticky issue of “socialization.”

Monday, April 10, 2017

What We're Reading in April 2017

What We're Reading in April-a homeschool family of seven and their book choices for the month

What do you do when your 8-year-old asks if you can find him a biography of a WWII soldier and the only titles that come to mind are fictions? You head to Facebook and ask a fabulous tribe of homeschool moms for suggestions. And what do you do when your local library doesn't have any of the books the mommas mentioned, you rummage through the shelves of a neighborhood used book store to find a jackpot of vintage classics from Landmark Books, Signature Books, and Childhood of Famous Americans. You plunk down some money, drag them all home, and watch your sons eyes light up!

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