You can’t explain what you don’t know

This post may contain affiliate links. Purchases made through these links support our family’s work in sharing the Gospel around the globe. Thank you! 

I’ve shared our approach to high school many times (a podcast summary is right here), and I probably will continue to do so. Homeschooling, after all, isn’t a one-size-fits-all order, no matter what the entrenched institutions try to sell you. A good— no, a great— high school education can’t fit in a box, or even a classroom. That kind of learning comes from following rabbit trails into unkempt, sometimes even messy places where young adults grab the spade that is the foundational years you’ve given them and start digging in to the dirt that is everything.

Continue reading

To our new pediatrician

Hi. My name is Heather. I know you’re probably going to call me, “Mom,” throughout most of this first meeting, and that’s o.k. I can take it, though I admit you’ll score bonus points if you take the time to remember me as something beyond my role today. But again, if you don’t, I’m not going to hold it against you. It’s not me that I want you to invest in, anyhow.

Continue reading

The Circle Time season

When we started homeschooling, I had three children ages 4 and under. We bought a boxed curriculum that year, one of those terribly stuffy, all-in-one deals that delivered a classroom kindergarten experience right to our front door, pencils and all. We all hated it— even my husband, who had been its biggest proponent when we had started researching our options. The fact is, a home isn’t a classroom and therefore, classroom management just isn’t a skill a homeschooling mother needs. Oh, she needs plenty of other skills. (Like delicately balancing the personalities of a whole family full of people who live and work together all the time.) But homes and brick and mortar schools are totally different beasts, and what works in one really doesn’t work well in others.

Continue reading

C-A-T

I cried. I’ll tell you that right up front, so that you pick up the thread of this post with its full weight. I cried right there at the table, that laughing, overwhelmed cry that requires you to grab someone and hold them a little too tight for just a little too long.

Continue reading

Teaching Writing: Why It Matters

The conductor came walking down the aisle looking rather spiffy in his blue suit, (it had gold trim,) and wanted to see your ticket. You gave it to him, and then he wanted mine. I looked in my pocket, but only came up with a flower.

“I’d love to,” I said in a little remorseful of a manner, “but my ticket has apparently turned into a rose.” — The Ballad of the Beta Fish, by C. M. Schwarzen

The thing that I chafed at the most in elementary school (that I remember) was diagramming sentences. I hated it. For the most part that was because I was terrible at it, and still am terrible at it. I just can’t wrap my mind around drawing lines and picking words apart from their compatriots via slanted lines and dashes and squiggles. It doesn’t make sense. Sentences hang together, but they never hang separately.

Continue reading

Marie’s Words review

We received a free product for the purpose of writing this review. Our family only reviews items that we actually find valuable and are able to be 100% honest about regarding our experience. We received no monetary compensation for our opinion. Links contained in this post may direct to affiliate sites.

Once, quite a few years ago, I had a child who decided to try out cussing. You may have guessed we’re not really big fans of cursing around here, but when it comes to words in general, we are a family that has no shortage. Imagine my surprise as we sat at the table and my sweet little dumpling of an offspring rolled out one doozy of an exclamation. Yes, it was a quality moment– especially since the bulk of the small people at the table had absolutely no clue what the word meant and immediately set about pestering to find out what it was. By repeating it, of course.

Continue reading

Tagalongs

This post may contain affiliate links. Purchases made through these links support our family’s work in sharing the Gospel around the globe. Thank you! 

Our state requires that homeschool parents report the ranks of their student body. There are nuances within the regulations (such as registering with a school district, or electing to enroll in an umbrella school), but the effect is the same:

Your school-age kids? We want to know who they are.

Continue reading

Knowing God through a feather

I am sitting outside trying to prepare my lesson for tomorrow’s online French class that I teach (check out CBB+ if you’re interested!), but it’s been tough.

Not only is it a cool, lazy morning, but I am too busy watching my younger school-aged children sketch in their nature journals the feather of a hawk that is likely from the impudent rascal who flew off with one of our chicks earlier in the week.  Continue reading

The perfect year

This is the season when the school year stretches before you, clean and promising, like a fresh spiral notebook, or a box of flawless, sharpened pencils. The lesson plans feel like the answer to all the niggling worries about learning gaps and keeping up with that perfect family at co-op. The extracurriculars are all perfectly lined up, in balance, and designed to facilitate the kind of “well-rounded experience” that everyone wants for their children. And you’re totally caught up on laundry, which is a sign. This is going to be the perfect year.

And it will be. I can promise you that.

Continue reading