Monday, February 20, 2017

Day in the life of our homeschool

What's a typical day like in our homeschool?  Well....there isn't one :).  Every single day is unique.  Since I have three kids that have their own respective struggles, health and academic, every single day is a sort of jack-in-the-box surprise.  

A routine is an anchor for us, but a schedule is a nightmare.  Since each day arrives with it's own set of unique struggles, there is no way we can do Language Arts at the exact same time every day.  The most we try to keep set are wake-up, meal, and bed times.  Other than that, we just shoot for doing the same thing, in the same order every day.  That way if there is a meltdown, a migraine, or seizure activity...when whatever is happening has ended, we simply pick back up where we stopped.  It is comforting to me, and reassuring to my kids.

So our 'typical' routine is as follows :

I wake up and take out the puppy.  We have three dogs, a rabbit, and a guinea pig.  The puppy is a puggle and LOVES LOVES LOVES kibble.  He is seriously obsessed with food.  In a bad, will eat until he chokes kind of way.  So first thing in the morning, as soon as he hears any type of human movement at all he is up and ready for breakfast.  Thankfully he just turned a year and is now sleeping through the night.    After I take him out (and usually after chasing him around the house trying to run interference) I wake up my kids.  My oldest waters all the pets, my middle feeds the puggle, and my youngest feeds our older dog (he is 13, almost 14) and our chihuahua.  Then each child has a meal time that they help with.  So this month it's my oldest on breakfast duty, my middle on lunch, and youngest dinner.  We eat and clean up. 

Next up is their morning routine (personal hygiene, make beds, tidy up) and I read to my youngest before we dive into our 'school time'.  Right now I spend a large majority of our time in a tutoring type session with each of my kids.  We do Language Arts (spelling, writing, grammar, reading etc;) and math together.  While I am meeting with each of them, the other two have jobs to do.  We have a drawer system  that I load up with activities that they can work on independently.  They do worksheets, writing responses to books or audio books they have read/listened to, the Daily Spark, task cards, iPad apps, memory work (their personal memory work here - math facts, science definitions, time line facts etc;), and copywork or dictation (on a handheld recorder) from the Harp and Laurel Wreath.  I also usually tuck a surprise in a drawer from time to time..a simple recipe they can complete together or alone in the kitchen for a treat, a game to play, a song to sing (at the top of their lungs), a picture to take etc; 

My husband comes home from the office most days for lunch and it is hands down the best part of our days :).  

After lunch we have quiet time - we either watch a movie or listen to an audio book and recoup.  After quiet time I finish up my one on one time with whoever is left and then we move into table time.  Table time is like morning time but obviously it's not in the morning :).  We do Bible, hymn study, tea time and poetry (snack and poetry reading) and family memory work.  

Then we get to one of our favorite, favorite things.  

Read aloud time.  

We love to read aloud.  Depending on how the day has progressed at this point we will either gather around the dining room table or pile on the couch.  We tackle great books, history, and science during this time.  

At this point, if the day has gone relatively well, we get to the fun extras.  Nature walks, play outside, piano and music, or arts and crafts.  If not - well that is what the weekends are for :).  We also do all of our science experiments on the weekend so Daddy can participate.  

We also try to go to the zoo, museums, a play group, and the library when we can.  Since we have a lot of dr appts and 'sick days' we school year round.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

LOVE this post about being a special needs mom - this is the BEST post I have ever read.  I can relate so much to this sweet momma, I am there, I have special needs kids.  It is hard.  But it is so beautiful.  I second guess myself constantly.  I worry it is somehow all my fault.  I worry that I am messing it up all day, every day.  But you know what?  God promised in Psalm 139 that he knitted my kids together, all their days were recorded before even one came to be. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.    I really, really love this post.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Good Morning

I use Lectio Divina every morning.  I love it.  It is the very first and only daily Bible reading that I have ever been able to stick to.  Have you heard about the Lectio Divina process?

Anyway, this morning's scripture is Luke 1:67-80.  I love the entire selection, it was hard to select one verse to pull out and focus on, but then as I read over it again and again I stopped on verse 74 and 75. rescue us from the hand of our enemies & to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness & righteousness before Him all our days.  

As someone who has struggled with fear and anxiety all of my life (I often say I think I came out of the womb worrying) this verse really resonated with me.  I backed up and saw that Zechariah (John the Baptist's father) is singing this.  And he is praising and wondering over the fact that his son is going to be the one who prepares the way for Jesus.  Then I noticed this, at the beginning of his song he says this - Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them.  He has raised up a horn of salvation for us - this horn of salvation is Jesus.  He came to save us, to rescue us, and to enable us to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all of our days.  

My heart is full of wonder at this truth.  It is beautiful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Have you heard or seen

this talk that the US Senate Chaplain, Dr. Barry Black gave at the National Prayer Breakfast?

It is awesome.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Good Books for February

In January I began a daily dive into C.S. Lewis' works entitled A Year With C.S. Lewis.  I love C.S. Lewis.

The last week of January I read Silence.  Have you heard of this story?  It's now a movie, which I haven't seen yet, but I want to. 

I cannot wrap my mind around missionaries or people of a minority religion that live in a hostile country, how do they stand even in the midst of what sounds and looks like silence from the very One they are suffering to cling to?  Why are some able to stand and others are not?

I am still thinking about and wrestling with this story.

The last week of January, my kids listened to an Andrew Clements book, No Talking.  We have absolutely loved discovering Andrew Clements.  We have (in the past) read Frindle and The School Story.  I cannot wait to read more of what he has written, he is an excellent author.  

This month I have (more than) a few books on the stack.  I have picked up and put down Ann Voskamp's book The Broken Way several times.  I hope to try and finish it this week.  I have also started (but not yet finished)  The Prayer of Protection by Joseph Prince and You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith (a new to me author that I really, really like).  We have had SO SO many doctor appointments this month that I grabbed a book each time I went out the door to pass the time waiting in the various waiting rooms.  Each time it seems, I grabbed a different book.  

So this is my list to get to (besides the ones mentioned above) both for my personal reading and for read alouds:

A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul by Holly Pierlot

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin 

Clementine (the last two in the series) by Sarah Pennypacker

Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson

So embarrassed to admit this but we still need to finish Mary Poppins and Heidi.  We truly have had a LOT of medical issues/appointments this month, but my goodness...

Oh before I forget, I've also really, really enjoyed Dr. Christopher Perrin's talks on the Eight Essential Principles of Classical Pedagogy.  It has carried me through many a long afternoon.

What's on your stack to read this month?

Monday, January 30, 2017


Sometimes I want to say something, to reflect on what is in the news and how our world is changing - sometimes seemingly by the hour, but then I ask myself 'what do you really have to say about _______?'


I don't have any words of wisdom to offer,  I am so confused about what we are supposed to do and what we are not called to do.

I understand the desire to keep our country safe, I tend to always be the type of person that thinks of safety first, however I also understand the deep desire to offer compassion and refuge to those fleeing war torn nations.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be them.

I don't know what the right answer is,

I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be the one(s) making those decisions right now.

I cannot imagine how hard it would be the one(s) awaiting the decisions others are making right now, knowing that it will likely forever change the trajectory of life.  

So this morning as I take a break from our phonics drills and endless math pages and find myself worrying over this - I sink to my knees next to my comfy swivel chair and I pray.

I pray for our president, for our administration.  I pray for the exhausted, hungry, and afraid.  I pray for our world.

Please God direct our steps and help us to only keep our eyes on You.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Have you heard about

Matthew Barnett, the pastor from CA running 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents?

If you haven't - start here and then check here for his updates.  Before you get lost in the twitter feed though, make sure you read the tweet from yesterday (Jan 28) that starts off  'Probably the hardest day of my life.  Still walking as fast...'

God is always the author of the impossible.