It’s a Wrap!!

Our 3rd year of homeschooling has come to a close .

It’s bittersweet.

On the one hand, the kids and I are both ready for a break.  On the other hand, I really like our school days.

I have been reviewing the year as I work on records and paperwork that are required by our state for me to keep.  Thinking back on the projects…..the field trips….Teen Pact….. all that they learned.  The struggles.  The victories.  The laughter.  And, yes, the tears.

year in review

(Just a peek from our year)

I still marvel at the fact that homeschooling was the cry of my heart for many years but not the plan that the Lord had for our family. I remember driving to work — a job that I really liked — crying because I wanted to be home.  I wanted to teach them.

And so, 3 years after moving back to SC, I have been teaching them.  And I am blessed.

As my kids have gotten older, I am finding that they teach me as much as I teach them.  And sometimes, those lessons are hard!

The other evening, my daughter was a little nervous about something.  She couldn’t sleep.  She admitted being worried.  I pulled my favorite “do not worry” verse out.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  ~ Philippians 4:6-7

As we prayed together, I said the words of these verses.  She finally drifted off to sleep.  Then, as I drifted off to sleep, it was if I heard the Lord tell me to “practice what I preach”.  You see, I had been working on school paperwork when she came to talk to me. Reviewing the year had me worried that I didn’t do enough with them.  Or teach them the right things.  Did I spend too much time on this subject and not enough time on that subject?  The Lord knew I needed the reminder and He knew that having it come through experiencing her worries would make more of an impact on me.

What a blessing to be able to share and apply God’s Word to my life and the lives of my kids.  What a privilege to teach them and to walk through each day with them.

Yes, I am blessed.

Happy Summer & Joy to You!

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Milestones of the week

In my life this week…      Last Sunday was my Blogaversary!!  For two years now I have been sharing my heart and our homeschool journey.  I even got a gift!  My sweet friend Marcy over at Ben and Me made a new button for me to match the makeover I gave to my blog.  She’s really talented!! 
baskets for Robin
 What a blessing it has been to be part of the homeschool blogging community.  I love “meeting” new friends as we share our experiences as teachers and mama’s.  I look forward to continuing on this journey……sharing what the Lord lays on my heart. 
The kids have their first swim meet this weekend.  In light of this, we’ve spent a little extra time at the pool.  Friday morning one of the older girls on the team volunteered to meet us at the Y and help my kids to brush up on diving and strokes before the meet.  Her help is greatly appreciated and proved to be a huge benefit!!  Here are a few shots from the meet: 
EHL
1026 meet collage
 The rest of the week was a whole bunch of normal! I like normal!!
 In our homeschool this week…     Not much to report aside from the normal stuff.  Again, I like normal.    
Wyatt is reading Jane Eyre in Literature.  So far he is not really impressed.  Leah’s Literature class at our co-op is moving slowly through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They are learning how to annotate — a skill I am not sure I ever mastered but really wish that I had.  Seeing how Leah picks out imagery, makes connections, etc. is a lot of fun for me.  It gives me a glimpse of how her mind works. 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…      We traveled to Columbia on Friday night this week to meet my mom and my sister & her family for dinner to celebrate my nephew’s 23rd birthday.
My favorite thing this week was…      Seeing my kids swim in the meet. 
Things I’m working on…     I’m the BoxTop for Education coordinator for our co-op so this week, I have been trimming and counting box tops.  November 1st is the fall submission date and I have a LOT to get ready to send.  This is a great way for our co-op to earn money so that we can buy supplies, etc.
I’m reading …      Still reading Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.  Kevin is leading a class on this book during our Wednesday night classes at church.  I am getting so much encouragement from the other parents in the class.
I’m cooking…     This week I made Broccoli Beef.  I forgot to take a photo but found the recipe on Pinterest, of course.   It was really good.
I’m grateful for…     The kids and adults that we are on swim team with.  The way that they encourage each other and help each other is simply precious to me.
I’m praying for…      My kids — instead of praying for change or help for them, I am praying a prayer of thanksgiving for who God made them to be.  This is a suggestion in the Sacred Parenting book.  I do this anyway but I am being A LOT more intentional about it.
photo, video, link, or a quote to share…
You cannot cultivate affection for the Savior without reading and studying the Word of God — C.J. Mahaney
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.
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 Joy to You!
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A Look At My Week (3/29/13)

In my life this week…
Last week I was writing from my Mom’s hospital room.  I am happy to say that she was able to go home on Saturday and is feeling much better.  The kids and I came home on Sunday just in time for an event at church that evening.  Monday started our regular routine only we missed a few things on Tuesday because Leah and I are battling allergy stuff and have both felt pretty yucky. 
 
Despite not feeling great, we had to get out on Thursday evening and search for Easter shoes for Leah and shorts for Wyatt.  It’s really hard to find shoes appropriate for a 9 year old when she is now wearing a ladies size 6.  And buying clothes in the men’s department for my 14 year old still bothers me.  They are growing up way too fast for my liking!!!
 
On Friday, we ran errands with my husband,  got our school work done, began packing for our trip and just enjoyed spending time together as a family. 
 
In our homeschool this week…
We worked hard to catch up on things missed due to my Mom’s hospital visit.  Wyatt helped Leah out with her SC History project that is due after Spring Break. In the photo below they are working on a model of the Liberty Bridge the is in downtown Greenville.
 
working on bridge
 
 Both kids had a breakthrough in Math.  I’ve mentioned this before, but since Math is our biggest struggle, I think it’s worth mentioning the triumphs!!
 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
While in Greenville, I had the chance to see two special friends.  Both were quick visits but so worth every minute!  The first was on Saturday.  I had the chance to catch with my friend Terah, pictured with me below. She doesn’t live in Greenville either but was there visiting family for a few days.  I found out she was in town so I met up with her, her sweet boys and her parents while they were having lunch.   On Sunday, as we were driving home, I took a little detour to stop by my friend Olivia’s to give her a birthday hug. 
 
terah
 
 
 My favorite thing this week was…
Getting to see Terah and Olivia.
 
My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
This being the last week of school before Spring Break.  
 
Questions/thoughts I have…
How do I teach my kids not to procrastinate when I do it so often myself? 
 
Things I’m working on…
Trying to catch up on cleaning, reading, organizing.  
 
I’m cooking…
This week I made “No Peek Beef Tips” – from Pinterest, of course.  They were pretty good.  I cooked other stuff too but that was the new recipe for the week.
 
I’m grateful for…
Friendships that are greater than time and distance!!
 
I’m praying for…
A friend and her husband as they deal with complications that have arisen during his cancer treatments.
 
 
I rewarded my kids this week by…
Getting Krispy Kreme while we were out and about on Thursday night.
 
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
 
cross
 
 
I took this photo last year on our trip to Williamsburg.  I thought it appropriate to share on this Easter weekend.  May yours be blessed!
 
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal and  Homeschool Review
 
Joy to You!
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Not Our Normal Week!! (3/23/13)

In my life this week…
As noted above, it hasn’t been our normal week.  It started out normal, on Sunday, but quickly became NOT so normal.  We did not have co-op on Monday but did have all of our other extra curricula activities.  Tuesday – Thursday, we participated in Stanford Testing.  This is required by our homeschool accountability group in SC.  For my kids, it was a great opportunity to see their co-op friends more than in a “normal” week.  {smile}  Anyway, we were rolling along with our testing and other activities when I received a call that my sweet mom had been admitted to the hospital.  I began packing and getting things in order so that I could go and be with her, not being sure how long I would be gone.  We finished up testing and made the 3 hour drive on Thursday.  I am writing this from her hospital room.  Oh, and Leah started Upward Soccer this week.  My hubby and Wyatt are her coaches. 
First soccer practice

First soccer practice

 
In our homeschool this week…
Testing plus a little math and grammar on the side.  That’s all.
 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Schedule changes, whatever the reason, are often a breath of fresh air.
 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Our co-op friends more than normal.  No one can say that we are socially deprived homeschoolers!  Family on our unexpected trip to Greenville.
 
My favorite thing this week was…
Watching a movie with my mom. I spent the night with her at the hospital and we were both wide awake so I pulled up Netflix on my laptop and we watched “October Baby”.  I think it’s my new favorite movie.
 
My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
Seeing their co-op friends almost every day.
 
Questions/thoughts I have…
Thinking about a foreign language for Wyatt since he will be in high school next year.  I’d love to hear what others are doing – both the chosen language and the curriculum you use.
 
Things I’m working on…
Syllabi for the two classes I am teaching in our co-op next year.  I am very excited about them.  I will be doing a semester of Geography & Missions and a semester of what we are calling Arithmetic Arena, which is a cute name (that my friend came up with), for math concepts in literature.  We will be looking at the basic concepts for K5 – 1st grade through reading.  There will be hands on activities too. We’ll be registering for our fall co-op classes soon so the syllabus has to get done.
 
I’m cooking…
Sour cream and bacon crockpot chicken (Pinterest), Twice-baked mashed potato casserole (family favorite from Southern Living) and Broccoli salad

Sour cream and bacon crockpot chicken (from Pinterest), Twice-baked mashed potato casserole (family favorite from Southern Living) and Broccoli salad

 
I’m grateful for…
Praying friends.  As soon as I knew my mom was sick, I sent emails and texts and had a whole group of sweet friends lifting mom up to our Heavenly Father.
 
I’m praying for…
My mom.  And many other things that are heavy on my heart.
 
A few things — a photo and a cartoon — to share to share (silly, serious or both!)…
 

This was in the sky on my drive to Greenville to be with my mom.

This was in the sky on my drive to Greenville to be with my mom.

This is from www.joyfultoons.com.  I thought it worth sharing.

This is from http://www.joyfultoons.com. I thought it worth sharing.

  
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal and Homeschool Review 
 
Joy to You!
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Homeschool Mother’s Journal ~ February 8, 2013

 
 In my life this week…
I don’t know about you but I truly accomplish things better when it’s written down and I can check it off.   In February 2012 I wrote about keeping a “to do” list.  I still have one….or two or three…. Anyway, I have quite a few projects around the house that I would like to get done SO, I have started a “project list” for 2013.  I don’t want to plan too far ahead so I’ve only put down a few things for February and March.  Here’s my list so far.  
 
project list
 
I hope to share a photo of my list later in the year with lots marked off.  Other than trying to get myself organized, it’s been a normal week.  Like I said last week, I like our “as usual” or normal!!!
 
In our homeschool this week…
Last week Wyatt was growing bacteria in my refrigerator and on the counter top   This week he is decomposing bananas with yeast.  It is just gross!!!  Now I remember why science was never my favorite subject.    On the other hand, I love Bright Ideas Press Christian Kids Explore Chemistry.  This is what Leah is doing for science and we are having fun with the experiments she is doing.  Today is experiment catch up day for us and it turns out they all take more time than I realized so I’ll have to post photos of her experiments next week.
 
banana project
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
  
 
Here are photos of Day 1 of the banana experiment.  We have pictures from every day but they are really gross so I thought I’d spare you.
 
 
Leah is beginning a project for her SC History class at our co-op.  She has to do a presentation on a county.  She chose Greenville since that is where we are from.  It’s really fun to look into the history of the town where I grow up.  We have until April to complete the project so there will be more about it in the months to come.
 
I am inspired by…
My son.  There is a bill being presented to the SC House Education and Public Works Committee that would require all homeschoolers to take the state required standardized tests that the public schools take and it would also eliminate membership in a homeschool association (this is one of 3 ways we can currently, legally homeschool in SC).  When I told Wyatt about it, he asked if he could email the members of the committee to give them the point of view of a student.  Of course, I said yes.  HSLDA sent a form letter that we could send but he preferred to write his own.  My prayer is that hearing from a student will make a difference in the opinions of the members of this committee.
 
Places we’ve been…
Nowhere special.  After last week of running all over the place it was nice just to be at home.
 
My favorite thing this week was…
 
I have two!  
 
game night2
 
First, playing board games as a family.  We played Qwirkle and Chutes and Ladders.  No matter the game, we always enjoy playing together as a family.  By the way, if you don’t know what Qwirkle is, I wrote about last summer when I was blogging through the alphabet.  You can see that post here.
 
Second, I was reading through the other posts from last week’s HMJ and a sweet personal friend (who lives in KY) was listed as an inspiration to another mama (who lives in Australia).  So cool to see other mama’s, especially one’s I know, impacting the lives of others.
 
What’s working/not working for us…
Drinking more water.  It’s so important and my family just doesn’t drink enough so I gave the kids a challenge.  The three of us have to drink at least 3 – 8 oz. glasses of water a day.  The consequence is that each glass cost 5¢.  If they miss an 8 oz. glass they have to pay me.  If I miss an 8 oz., glass, I have to pay both of them.  It may seem harsh but they have been drinking water like crazy.
 
Questions/thoughts I have…
I’m feeling a little behind in my school organization so I’ve decided that that homeschool moms should have teacher work days.  Can I get a second?!
 
Things I’m working on…
At the risk of sounding like a broken record — I am still memorizing Scripture and even though Leah and I made great progress in her room, we are not done.  Maybe this weekend we can finish up. 
 
I’m STILL reading …
Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst and 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart by Robert J. Morgan.
 
I’m cooking…
We had Parmesan Chicken Bake and Orzo with Parmesan and Basil Monday night.  Both recipes I found on Pinterest.  Tuesday night was tacos simply because I was feeling like I might be coming down with something and tacos are easy.  Wednesday night was fellowship dinner at church and Thursday we worked concessions at Upward Basketball practice so we ate there.  I did make French Toast and bacon for breakfast Thursday morning.  It’s my favorite breakfast!!!
 
french toast
 
I’m grateful for…
The freedom to homeschool.  With this Bill going through the SC government right now, it makes me keenly aware that this is a privilege.
 
I’m praying for…
Homeschooling rights in SC and across the country.  Also for sweet friends in KY dealing with a possible cancer diagnosis.
 
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
“In the middle of the muddle our holy Lord is calmly at work” ~ Elisabeth Elliot
 
HSMJ-wideIHN
 
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal over at iHomeschool Network.
 
Joy to You!
 
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Homeschool Mother’s Journal (9/21/12)

  
 In my life this week…
My floors have gone un-swept.  There is much cleaning that needs to be done but I just haven’t had the stamina or concern to get anything done.  You see, this week marked the 13th anniversary of my Daddy’s death.  It’s always a sad week for me.  You can read more about it here.  I tried hard not to be sad but I still had my moments. 
 
Last week I mentioned Leah hurting her arm.  I am happy to report that after a week of her arm in a sling, keeping it elevated and iced, she is doing well.  She took her sling off yesterday and has no pain.  Praise the Lord for healing.
 
In our homeschool this week…
We had a good week.  And even though our week was rearranged a bit due to our co-op meeting on Tuesday instead of Monday, there is nothing out of the ordinary to report.    I will say that having Monday at home was kind of nice.  Not sure I would always want co-op on a different day but it was at least a change of pace.  It did make the rest of the week seem to go faster.   
 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
edhelper.com is a great resource for extra work in a particular math operation, grammar, etc.  they also have excellent literature units to go along with a ton of books.  There is a yearly fee but I feel as though I’ve already gotten my money’s worth and will renew again this year when the time comes. 
 
I am inspired by…
The kids in the Awana group I work with on Wednesday nights.  They are working so hard at memorizing their verses.  I just love to listen to them recite scripture.
 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing
We stayed close to home this week and it was really nice not to be running all over the place.
 
My favorite thing this week was…
Dinner at Olive Garden with my family.  I forgot how much I really love their salad and bread sticks and pasta!!!
 
Questions/thoughts I have…
Am I the only mom who feels inadequate to teach my kids?  Some of the stuff in our curriculum just seems over my head. 
 
Things I’m working on…
We’ve decided to rearrange our school room and to give the kids a new table to work on.  We already have the table and it currently is a collection place for any and everything.  My job is to find a place for all the stuff on it so that it can be used by the kids.  I hope to have it ready to use in the next week or so.
 
I’m grateful for…
Friends who pray!
 
 I’m praying for…
Much!
 
 Photos, video, link, to share…
Here’s Leah in her sling in two different photos; one by herself and the other with her friend at co-op who has a broken arm.

 

Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey. I am linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal over at iHomeschool Network.
 
Joy to You!

The Race Is On….. (HMJ 9/14/12)

  
 
In my life this week…
Or at least I have felt this week like I have been in a race.  All of our extra-curricular activities started back this week.  Monday is Co-op day.  After Co-op we have Ballet for Leah and Violin for Wyatt.  Children’s Choir on was supposed to start this week for Leah but has been postponed for a week.  Wednesday brings AWANA and Youth Group. Thursday and Friday do not have a regularly scheduled activity but there will be things that pop up here and there to do, see, or go to.  
 
 Leah and Friends Before Their First Ballet Lesson Begins 
 
In our homeschool this week…We are behind!  This is not by our choice but by circumstances beyond my control.  The circumstance is my Leah falling and hurting her wrist on Wednesday night during Awana.  The result, over half the day in Urgent Care and a diagnosis of a soft tissue contusion.  She’s in a sling for a week and has to keep it elevated and we have to ice it at least twice a day until the swelling goes down.    Oh, and it’s the hand she writes with so we will see how that goes.
 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Don’t stress over little bumps in the road.  The Lord has ordered our days and this week, He allowed mine to not go as I planned but as He saw fit.
 
I am inspired by…
One of the mom’s in our co-op.  Why does she inspire me?  Because she simply has the sweet aroma of Christ about her – in her speech, in her actions, in her attitude.   What a blessing to know her. 
 
My favorite thing this week was…
Leah and her friends sitting at the kitchen table having a snack and chatting.  There was also quite a bit of giggling going on!
 
What’s working/not working for us…
Setting a timer for those subjects that we seem to lose focus on.  Math is the big one for my daughter.  If she gets a little discouraged with the problem she is working on, her mind wonders.  Setting a timer has kept her on task.
 
Things I’m working on…
Still organizing.  This week I worked on the bookshelf beside my desk and am almost done.  It feels so good to have a proper place for things!
 
I’m STILL reading …
But am almost finished with Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.  I hope to be able to say I am on something new next week.
 
I’m grateful for…
Leah’s wrist not being broken.
 
I’m praying for…
Marriages and Families.  It seems to me that the devil is attacking them on every side.
 
Photos, video, link, to share…
We have precious friends who live in Illinois.  They have 3 sweet boys, the littlest we have not “officially” met yet as he was just born in August.  Anyway, I opened the mailbox one day this week and inside was an envelope with these two pieces of artwork so I just had to share.    
  
  
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey here and with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal over at iHomeschool Network.
 
Joy to You!