Archive for the 'Homeschool' Category


A Sure Sign

You know you’re a homeschooling mom when the kids ask, “Can we eat lunch outside today?”

But what you hear is, “Would you like an extended, quiet meal all to yourself with minimal cleanup and happy children?”

Umm, “Yes.”


Home School History – Civil War

I’ve known for years that at least one of my great-greats fought in the Civil War.  His name was Oliver Norton, and he wasn’t a general or anything.  He did, however, achieve relative fame because he was a writer.  He wrote many letters back to his family, and later wrote an account of the battle at Gettysburg that is still in publication today, The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top.

Doesn’t he look all young and rosy-cheeked in this portrait, like a kid dressing up in his father’s clothes?  He grew up to have Burnsides-style facial hair, which I can only hope never comes back into style.  He also became a banker, which I also hope never comes back into style.  Before the war, he had started out as a teacher and a farmer, two occupations of much better use.

I didn’t know the stuff about Oliver being an author until this morning.  Now I’m all excited to read his letters and other eyewitness accounts!  Here are some links, in case you want to dive into the War Between the States with the help of some primary sources.

Note: Oliver Norton, being a bugler, is sometimes said to have been the first person to officially play Taps, and to have collaborated on its writing with Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield.  This is up for some debate, although he himself made this claim.


For Halloween, maybe…..

The subject of cadavers came up during our evening family discussions.  It had to happen, since we seem to get around to every topic eventually.  Brian told the kids how a person can choose to let medical students use their body after they die. Acadia wondered,

“For what?  Oh, for a decoration?”


Suggested Field Trips

We have a running list of places we think would be worthwhile visiting for school.  Here’s our current list.  Acadia just asked me to add the last one.

  1. bank
  2. post office
  3. King Arthur Flour
  4. petting zoo
  5. veterinarian
  6. fire station
  7. pizza shop
  8. Disney World

Me: Disney World?

She: Yeah, we could just go there and stay only one week, then come back.

Me: Honey, Disney World is very expensive.  I’m not sure we could do that as a field trip.

She: Well, we could save up.

Acadia only wants to go to Disney because her friend is there right now, on a trip courtesy of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  I’m hoping her desire will wane once her little friend comes back.  Yeah right.


Scary Stuff


Newton Was Here.

We are a geeky family.  I admit this freely.  In fact, I find great joy in the fact.  One evidence for our geeky-ness is our family’s TV time.  We watch NOVA together.  And we like it.  Well, we like it most of the time.  Last night though, things weren’t so happy.  NOVA is getting a little sensational with their science, I must say.  Black holes are cool, amazing things, and yeah, it’s neat to think that in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy is one of these things.  But really, do we need to be told that at the center of our home galaxy lies a ravenous monster, seemingly fasting of late, but which will wake up hungry and ready to devour everything around it??  And oh, a few years ago it showed signs of awakening and if it does…  can you say spaghettification??

It freaked the kids out.  Sobs were heard.  Some parents mess their kids up by letting them watch Jaws, or some Stephen King film.  We go for the more heady stuff.  NOVA.  Freaked. Them. Out.

My own fears are a little different.  What I am scared of right now is not that the gravity on my feet will be greater than the gravity on my head, thus elongating my body till it snaps in two, then snapping each of those pieces in two, etc.  Nope, not keeping me up at night.  What scares me more is this.  I had some notecards printed up, with some photos that I took, with the intention of selling them to people.  The freaky thing is WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THEM?  What if I’m the only one who likes them, and other people have just been saying nice things about my photos all this time so they wouldn’t have to see me cry, and they aren’t really willing to shell out any hard cash for them, of course??  *GULP*

It’s enough to give a person nightmares.  This person, at least.

It’s for what I think is a good cause (our adoption process), but what if no one thinks that IS a good cause?  What do we think we’re doing, trying to become parents of another child? Look at the two we’ve already messed up!  We make them watch NOVA, for Pete’s sake.  Practically abusive.

Yeah, I have people issues.  But Christ is enough for even me.  And black-hole-fearing children.  And the parents who giggle about their fears.  Later, I mean, after they’re asleep.  Oh come on, you would too, and you know it.  🙂


Summer’s Almost Over!

hohIt’s August; do you know where your homeschool plans are?

I just got the book Managers of Their Homes, by Steve and Teri Maxwell.  I hope it changes how I do school, keep house, blog, scrapbook, fix dinner, exercise, eat, and sleep.  As you can see, I have some issues I am working on.

I know what I want to do for school this year.  Mostly.  I plan on getting some tips and ideas from some of the moms at The Homeschool Lounge.  I like the setup over there.  Friendly and organized.  Which is, ironically, also how I would describe my homeschooling friend Jill, who knows nothing of The Homeschool Lounge because she only got a computer like a year ago, and all the information there would send her into a fit.  But I love her anyway.  I can say all sorts of things about her because she doesn’t read blogs or facebook. She barely reads email more than once a month, probably. See, watch this:

The reason Jill can live on her husband’s salary is because he is so cheap he makes her cut up paper plates so they only have to use two for the whole family.

This isn’t true, technically.  But I digress.  What was I talking about?  Oh yeah.

I need some structure, some direction.  My hubby, the former project manager, has offered many times to help me get organized.  I told him I needed to see proof that he could do this, like samples of his work.  How do I know if he’s any good at it? Just because an Ivy League college pays him for it, I’m supposed to accept his bid, sight unseen?  No proof was offered, and so I turned to the Maxwells.  Now hopefully this year will be different.

By posting this, I am making myself eligible for MANY FABULOUS PRIZES, such as a Rainbow Resource Center $50 gift card, a Doorposts chart, and trendy items from HomeschoolBoutique!!


This Guy Is a Prophet.

In 1971, Urie Bronfenbrenner’s work, Two Worlds of Childhood, was published.  I know nothing about it beyond this one quote in The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer.  In light of the incidents of kids shooting kids in schools, I think this man’s work perhaps deserves a closer look.  Here’s what he says, with SWB’s words in regular print, his in bold.

Thirty years ago, Cornell Professor of Child Development Urie Bronfenbrenner warned that the “socially-isolated, age-graded peer group” created a damaging dependency in which middle-school students relied on their classmates for approval, direction, and affection. He warned that if parents, other delights, and older children continued to be absent from the daily life of younger children, we could expect “alienation, indifference, antagonism, and violence on the part of the younger generation.”


The Well-Trained Mind has a nice chapter on the question, “But what about socialization?”  If you even mention, in a crowd of people who are not familiar with it, the idea of teaching kids at home, this will come up.  If you’re like me, at first you’ll launch into a list of ways you personally make sure your child has plenty of chances to interact with peers: church, sports, home school group events.  In other words, I bought into the idea that by not putting my child in school, I was depriving him of something necessary to his complete development.  After reading this chapter a few times (at least it took me a few times for it to soak in), you’ll understand that this is simply not true.  Your family is arguably the best, at the very least an appropriate, social setting for your children, and better prepares them for life in “the real world” than a classroom can.

By the way, in case you’re curious, William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies came out in 1954.


My blog. Herein read entries related to who and what is important to me. Feel free to leave comments. I feel free to delete them if I don't like them. So there. By reading about my life, readers should expect to begin to see their own lives as increasingly more organized and sophisticated, their homes cleaner and neater.

Why This Blog?

Well, mostly this is for my family to see pictures and read anecdotes about the kids. It's also a venue for telling the story of my struggles and victories in my life as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a teacher. Occasionally I toss in some weird or touching item that I've found.

What’s Christianity All About?

The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. [as said by John Piper]

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