Wednesday, August 29, 2012


can i tell you how much more relaxed i was Monday morning than i was about a year ago? :) mercy.

and that's totally a God thing, my friends.

started the day with some prayer, the Word, and copious amounts of COFFEE. gathered some books and supplies and realized i totally failed to put together their notebooks as i had intended prior to school starting. i so rock. BUT! i have discovered a wonderful online planning tool that has allowed me to create and print out lesson plans for each girl so they'll know exactly what is on tap for the day. (always subject to change. it's the beauty of homeschooling. and the randomness that is my brain.)

it's a big change from last year where we sat down each morning and i had a generally vague idea of what we were going to focus on that day, but nothing set in stone. it totally worked and we got done everything we needed to get done (again, God thing!) and there was actual learning that took place. excellent. :)

Monday morning, one of the first things we did was a review of our history study from last year. we follow (mostly) a classical education format where we cycle through history every 4 years. last year, being our 1st year, was ancient history through the fall of rome. i was so impressed with (and nearly in tears over) the amount of information that the girls both retained from last year. wow! much more than i did, that's for sure! (my brain's getting old and cluttered.)

this year we are using a new curriculum called Tapestry of Grace. i am all fired up about it. it came highly recommended by a friend and after much research and prayer, finally decided to dive in. it follows the 4 year history cycle so we'll be able to merge seamlessly into the new curriculum at year 2. year 2 covers the middle ages, the reformation (can't wait!) and we'll wrap up with the american revolution at the end of the year. SO. AWESOME.

i love when people ask me what we use for curriculum. there are so many amazing options out there that the most overwhelming part isn't finding something that works, it's whittling it down to just one thing that works best! and i love to know what other homeschooling mamas use and what works for them. so here is a list of what we are using this year.

kenna girl - grade 7

bible: "wise up: wisdom in proverbs"
awesome middle school study that covers the book of Proverbs

math: teaching textbooks - grade 7
LOVE THIS PROGRAM. such a Godsend for this math hating mama!

art/music appreciation: harmony fine arts - medieval and renaissance
so impressed with this! also follows a classical format and is WAY INEXPENSIVE for a year's worth of lessons! LOVE.

history/literature/geography/church history/art: Tapestry of Grace
so far, sooo impressed with this curriculum. makenna will be following the dialectic track which is primarily for grades 6-9. lots of discussion of topics as they form connections between events in history and move from simply memorizing information and regurgitating facts to understanding WHY things have happened in history as they have (and all from a christian perspective. history is "His story". can't get that in public school these days.)

science: apologia "exploring creation with general science"
again, science from a christian perspective. we learn about the world GOD created. yay!

latin: "classical latin creatively taught: latin for children, primer a"
we are using this instead of a separate grammar curriculum. and did you know 50% of the english language (as well as other languages) is descended from latin? pretty cool. i wanna learn it.

vocabulary: wordly wise 3000
i'm a word nerd. and i want my girls to know good words, too. :)

as far as extra-curriculars go, kenna's still playing the guitar like a champ (seriously, this girl is GOOD.) and playing on the volleyball and basketball teams at Victory Christian Academy in Valparaiso. what a HUGE BLESSING this school has been for us the past year! not only has kenna made some great friends but it has given her the opportunity to continue playing sports which is one of her great loves. so thankful that they are so accepting of homeschoolers - they've always made her (and the whole family!) feel at home. cannot say enough good things about them. thanks VCA!

laney kate - grade 5

for laney, we are using the same programs for science (they do it together), Bible, art/music appreciation, vocabulary (level 5), and latin. in the Tapestry program, she will be doing her studies along the Upper Grammar track, which is primarily grades 4-6 (still working on memorization of facts, dates, etc.) but i will definitely challenge her with some of sissy's Dialectic studies as well.

math: saxon math 6/5
even though sissy's math curriculum is computer based, laney loves this program (her sister did not) there are lots of problems, lots of repetition, and lots of fun little boxes to check off once you've completed a portion of the lesson. she loves that. she's totally her father's daughter. :)

which leads me to another aspect i LOVE about homeschooling - you get to discover your children's strengths and weaknesses academically. we will challenge them in the subjects that they love and grasp fully and be able to review and really dig into subjects with which they struggle. there is no "scope and sequence" per se. and that's ok. last year i stressed out SO MUCH over whether they were learning "what they should". my flesh wanted to really impress the socks off of everyone by producing super smart, well-adjusted, socially proficient, trilingual children. :) but as Voddie Baucham, one of my favorite pastors, said at the Texas homeschool conference this summer...

"it's idolatry."

man, it TOTALLY is. the goal of educating my children at home is not to prepare them for an Ivy league school. it's not to "prove" to anyone that our way is better. it's not to fill their brains with facts and problems. it's to disciple them, to love them, to ENJOY them before they leave my nest and fly away. which is approaching faster than i ever dreamed.

is homeschooling for everyone? i could never say that. it's a calling. just as you don't judge me for NOT being a missionary to africa, i don't judge you for not homeschooling. it's not something i ever dreamed i would do, nor am i equipped to do! people always say "i could never do that, i'm not organized." (holy crow, i wish you could see my kitchen table right now. it's like Barnes and Noble threw up all over it.) or "i could never do that, i don't have the patience." this one always makes me laugh a little on the inside. i have ZERO. but thankfully God is totally aware of this and continues to give me GRACE that covers the times i fail (MANY.) and blesses me through the victories.

when i started this blog, the intention was to encourage mamas struggling with anxiety (and motherhood in general) and not to be a homeschooling blog. i will definitely get back to that! this is just such a major facet of my life right now that i'm hoping you will stick with me through my life changes (that seem to cause me anxiety! lol) so that i can encourage you through yours.

pray for me as i seek God's perfect will for my family and the strength of heart and discernment to know it and follow hard after it. and i will be praying for all you sweet mamas out there who are joining me in doing the same.

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak."

ISAIAH 40: 28-29

love you girls.


  1. I learned two important things here: 1. I should stop judging you for not being a missionary in Africa. ;) 2. YES!! I am weary and I know it (clap your hands!) (name that tune) and it totally is GOD that gives me the ability to homeschool!! Whenever people say to me, "I can't homeschool because..." I say, "Amen, sister! Me, neither!" (pause for effect) "I'm so glad God can!"

    Blessings to you, sister!! This is the year the Lord has made! :)

  2. scholaric: you're welcome.
    teaching textbooks: you're welcome.

    you'll need to start giving me credit for all of your successes. :)

    looooove you.