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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Homeschool curriculum choices for a 5th grader

This boy of mine. He's small in stature, but big in mind. To use a phrase from my dad's lexicon, "He's a smart cookie, that one!" And he is. He's 9 and should be in 4th grade, but he's in fifth (or so it says on his annual reporting form that I have to send in to the district office) and he does 6th grade math. He's not a genius. He's just a boy that has been granted permission to learn at his own pace. Since I don't homeschool with grade levels, he's never been held back by common core standards or the local school's scope-and-sequence. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Homeschool Mom, Make the Effort. Have the Fun.

Homeschool Mom, Make the effort. Have the fun.

Written by Jessica.

It’s back to school time, and that means looking at the year ahead and planning all of the teaching and learning that will take place. It means choosing the books and curriculum and topics and projects and activities that we’ll take part in. It’s a time for thinking about new beginnings, goals, and starting the year off right.

As I’ve been thinking about the school year ahead, I’ve been considering how much and how well I incorporate the “special” and the “fun” into our days. Sometimes I do jazz hands really well, and other times, not so much. As home educators, we are usually good at checking off the big stuff: teaching of academics, instilling character and faith development, imparting practical life skills, and the like. But home education isn’t about creating a better version of “school” at home. It’s a philosophy and a way of life, and it makes room for so much more. I want to make the most of the unique time and opportunities that homeschooling gives my family.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Homeschool curriculum choices for a 6th grader

My oldest son is just about the hardest working, selfless young man I've ever met. He's got service deeply rooted in his bones and is always on the lookout to show big love in simple, small ways. He has a strong sense of justice and a fierce loyalty to those most important to him. With character like that, it's not surprising that he's wanted to be in the military since he was a preschooler...A PRESCHOOLER! He's never wavered from that dream, not even a teeny-tiny bit.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Preventing Summer Slide for the Struggling Reader

Prevent Summer Slide with this helpful tool for struggling readers

It's estimated that parents and teachers spend nearly two months at the start of the school year re-teaching previously learned material because so much learning gets lost in the three months of summer idleness. For the struggling learner or the special needs child, that number can double or even triple.

So, as summer approached a few months ago, I began forming my plan of attack. I've never been a we're-going-to-finish-this-curriculum-before-the-next-school-year-starts-or-else kind of homeschooler. (On the contrary, I think that kind of strong arming is a sure fire way to ruin your child's love of learning.) But I knew that my son would need more than just short, daily bouts of reading in order to maintain momentum on his progress.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to "Soft Open" the Homeschool Year

The first few weeks of homeschool don't have to be marked by chaos. A "soft open" provides the grace that you need to launch well.

Transition can be rough, especially for kids. It seems that just as soon as a household settles into a comfortable summertime rhythm...BAM!...it's time to start school again. Downshifting to a more structured, intentional schedule can wreak havoc on one's emotional and physical constitution. Tantrums, meltdowns, and bad attitudes are often the byproducts of drastic change. And that's just how we, mommas, respond. Don't even get me started on the kids' reactions!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What We're Reading in August 2017

A peek at the monthly book selections of a homeschooling family of 7.

As the old saying goes, "You win some. You lose some." For the most part, I'd count this past month's worth of reading as a loss. Summertime-fun left us with very little focused reading time. We read together as a family nearly every day. But, our individual reading habits kind of went by the wayside as we opted for out-of-doors activities most of the time instead. We have the unfinished books and farmer's tans to prove it.

We'll be hitting repeat on most of the books from last month's book list. Here's what we'll be reading as we wind down summer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum choices

Curriculum list for 9th grade homeschooler

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Current situation: I'm laying down the rails for high school. A big box from BJU Press just rolled up in our driveway a few days ago and I'm trying not to hyperventilate. 9th grade is coming at me like a freight train. Wasn't she just starting kindergarten yesterday? Fortunately for the both of us, my daughter wears BRAVE well. "Mom, I got this. God's got this. It's gonna be just fine. Bring it on." I'm glad one of us is handling it well.

So, while I try to scrape my emotions up off the floor and attempt to piece my heart back together, you can take a quick peek at her upcoming school year.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Raising Financially Smart Kids and How Homeschooling Can Help

Simple tips for raising financially smart kids

Written by Chelsea Gonzales.

Nobody wants to see their child struggle financially. Unfortunately, our society doesn’t really set anyone up for success in the financial department.

From the very beginning, American kids are trained to want more -- to never be satisfied. Before they can even talk, they are surrounded by advertisements telling them what would make their lives better. A child need only to look around at all the excess to begin to grow feelings of envy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

40+ MUST READ Books for Christian Teen Girls

40 MUST READ Books for Christian Teen Girls

High school is a time when the loose opinions of childhood begin to solidify. It's a time when many Christian teens begin to stand on their own faith legs and develop a worldview that is autonomous to that of their parents. Contrary to the popular trend of extended immaturity, the teen years can be a time when God can use a person in ways that He can not use them at any other time in their lives. Teens have free schedules, growing passions, and liberal amounts of physical energy. When aimed in the right direction, a teen can do great things for the cause of Christ.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Public, Private, and Home Schools...There's Room for Them All

Pubic, Private, and Home School...there's room for all options and we can all co-exist together. Pro-education means pro-choice.

Written by Jessica.

Most parents begin weighing parenting choices even before their first child is born. There are so many decisions to be made: natural childbirth versus medicated…breast or bottle…cloth diapers or disposable…co-sleeping, rooming in, or the crib…to stay at home or to go back to work…what style of parenting…when to introduce solid foods…when to vaccinate…when to wean. Intentional and thoughtful parents study all of their options, do research, consult trusted family and friends, consider their own faith, values, and unique circumstances, balance all of these many factors, and try to make the best and most informed decisions that they can.


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