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, 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!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Learning Language Arts Through Literature: An Open-n-Go Charlotte Mason Education

Learning Language Art Through Literature: An Open-n-Go Charlotte Mason Education

"Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there in every child's mind, waiting to be discovered, and is not the result of any process of disciplinary education." ~Charlotte Mason

A few months into the year when I watched my fifth grader floundering, going through the motions during language arts time with glossed-over eyes, I knew it was time for something else. I knew we needed a change. The program we were using was good. It just wasn't good for him. As a traditional textbook approach to grammar and writing, it was lacking both the spark to keep him interested and the gentle, immersion of language and language skills found only in real books.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Homeschooler, Kill Your Dreams

Homeschooler, Kill Your Dreams. Here's why

Written by Krista Smith.

My husband and I chose a different path than most regarding higher education and the job market; and we choose to speak a different path to our children.

In short, we tell them to:


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Big Fat List of Annual Achievement Tests for Homeschoolers

Big fat list of annual achievement tests for homeschoolers

I just put my order in for annual achievement tests this past weekend. They are mandatory in my state and so they've become a springtime obligation for us. While I don't know whether I would test or not test if given the choice, I have learned to appreciate a few of the benefits of an annual assessment and my kids always seem to enjoy the break from the norm that test days provide. Their excitement could be due to the fact that they get to see their progress and academic success laid out for them on a tidy little spread sheet that we receive from the testing service. Or it could be that they like testing week because it always somehow ends in ice cream cones. I'll leave you to speculate.

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

If you live in a state that requires some kind of mandatory, norm-referenced testing, here is a quick guide to determining which one might best fit your homeschool. Please note, your state might require one specific test over the others. I've only referenced the top, most well-known and well-used ones. So, be sure to consult your state homeschooling laws before purchasing any particular test.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Simple Antidote for Curriculum Guilt

One mom's simple antidote for curriculum guilt

"I'm getting rid of this stack...that whole shelf's worth...and everything in those two big boxes over there," my friend said emphatically one day.

"Why so?" I asked. "I thought you loved that curriculum. And this one? You just bought this last year didn't you?"

"Yep. But it's got to go. It's just been sitting here untouched, collecting dust, taunting me every time I look in this direction. The thing is, I bought it because I heard that it was a good program. I got a great deal on it and thought I'd just tuck it away until I needed it. But the truth is, I love what we're using right now. I feel like I've finally found what works for us. And yet despite feeling great about what I've chosen, every time I pass by this shelf, I feel like a loser because I'm not using any of these 'good' things...like I've squandered my money, like I'm not doing enough, like maybe I'm failing my kids. Who needs that kind of guilt?"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Why I Use Teaching Textbooks {and why you should too}

Why I Use Teaching Textbooks {and why you should too}

Can I tell you a secret?
Lean in really close so that I can whisper it.

I'm allergic to math. No, really. A math allergy is a THING.

It's bad enough that math gets ALL of the numbers. But then, somewhere around sixth grade it starts stealing the letters too. Bad form, Math. Stick to your side of the playground and let me stick to mine.

When faced with math, I start to sweat. And not your dainty, little perspiration kind of sweat either. No. I'm talkin' REAL sweat; the kind that stains your clothes and makes you think twice about raising your arms above your waist lest you embarrass yourself and all your loved ones.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Nitty-Gritty of a 4-Day Homeschool Week

The Nitty-Gritty of a 4-Day Homeschool Week

Written by Jessica.

In our homeschool, we do a four-day school week. We have four days of regular lessons and one lighter day. The fifth day is not a day off, but a day that is spent learning differently.

Doing a four-day school week can have many benefits. It can allow you to do valuable social activities during regular school hours such as field trips, local classes specifically for homeschoolers, or a homeschool co-op. It can provide a day at home for catching up on loose school ends, reviewing, or getting in those fun activities we all intend to do but that sometimes get squeezed out. It can also change up the week, giving everyone a needed break from the routine and creating intentional time to spend on other kinds of learning.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Body Changes, Sex Ed, and Purity: Top Resources for Christian Parents

Body changes and the-birds-and-the-bees...
Two potentially awkward speed bumps in the journey of parenting, or so I'm told. 

The Hubs and I came from two completely different backgrounds for handling the delicate topics of hormones, body changes, sexuality, and purity. So, when faced with parenting in a hyper-sexualized society, we knew we had to find some common ground and face the task together. We determined early on that we wanted to be pro-active in this area of parenting rather than reactive. We wanted to be the first ones to introduce our children to certain topics in order that our kids could learn the true worth and value of sexuality according to Scripture instead of the world's fractured view of it. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

How We Homeschool Without Grade Levels

How we homeschool without grade levels

"And what grade are you in, honey?" the little old lady asked my daughter in an impromptu conversation by the produce section. She found my then eight-year-old girl sorting through apples looking for just the right one and thought it odd that a child her age would be at the grocery store in the middle of a Thursday.

It was, I suppose.

Curiosity got the better of her and she began peppering my daughter with questions, a little confused by this homeschooling thing. She rapid-fired one question after another in game show, lightening-round fashion until she got to the one about grade levels.


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