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Mother’s Journal – July 2017

My lack of posting here on Harmony Art Mom should have clued you in to the fact that life sort of ran away with me. The days were filled to the brim with good things, both here at home and on the East Coast as I visited with my kids. I know many of you subscribe to my Handbook of Nature Study blog and follow me on Instagram, so you saw some of the highlights as they unfolded.


Selfie with 3 of my 4 children- July 2017

But, here in this entry, I am going to keep my focus and talk about my mama thoughts. For those that keep track, I now have two children in their early 30’s and two in their early 20’s. Hardly seems possible!  I’m still anxious for them as they navigate the world on their own. The two younger boys will be coming to stay with my husband and me for a short time starting in late August. They have not led conventional ‘after high school graduation’ lives. There has been no real college. Much of what they’ve done is volunteer work. But, in my estimation, they have both grown in skills and qualities that will make them amazing men.

I hate to talk too much about them and their specific paths on the internet for their privacy’s sake. But I will relate an experience that made me know this has been the right direction for these two particular boys.

Mr. A is my child that was always busy building things, creating things, and tinkering with tools. He is a visual spatial learner who spent lots of time figuring out how things work. Everyone loves Mr. A because he’s an easy going and friendly sort of person. College would have squashed Mr. A, but it has worried me that he couldn’t find the kind of job he would be happy in unless he did some kind of college, perhaps a technical trade school. Mamas worry about things like that.

I was also worried when he decided to move so far away from home that I couldn’t “finish” training him. He was only 19 when he moved to New York. He seemed too young to be off on his own.

I needn’t have worried.


He started with one job and switched several times, landing in his “dream” position. Remember, this is the RC helicopter, airplane pilot, video making, LEGO maniac child. What do you get when you mix all that together? You get a drone camera operator! This was a sweet spot for him and he balanced that with being the head of a crew of women old enough to be his much older sisters.  As this position unfolded, I could see the drone operator part easily enough but the leading of four women sort of made me raise my eyebrows. Mr. A supervising four women? We talked several times on the phone about how to handle the emotional side of leading women…something he had little experience with.

Well, a few weeks ago when I visited him at work, I was greeted by these 4 young women with big hugs. They had actually asked if I could come in and meet them because they wanted to thank me for raising such a great son. They all had nothing but good things to say about how he treated them, how they felt he listened, and how he created a team atmosphere that got things done. One of them told me how they appreciated Mr. A’s diverse skills and willingness to learn.

This humbled me and made my heart soar.

It’s all going to be okay.


Love this girl!

I don’t care what my children do for work if it allows them to grow in skills and character. I walked out of there with my head and shoulders held high. I had learned a valuable lesson. Create in your children the eagerness to learn and grow, to be humble when they need to learn something, and to allow them to take a chance on a job that might not be exactly what you want in the beginning and see where it takes them.

For homeschooling moms that are in the trenches of homeschooling young boys, hang in there and remember that working on good character qualities will be the foundation of any future success your child will achieve.

I continue to be humbled as a “homeschool” mama.


What Does a Retired Homeschol Mom Do?

What Does a Retired Homeschool Mom Do @harmonyfinearts

What does a retired homeschooling mom do? Well, this retired homeschooling mom just started tutoring a few students AND acting as an advisor to a new homeschooling mom. What fun! I didn’t think this was something I ever wanted to do but it in fact has become a great joy…something that brings me such satisfaction. I love it when life opens a door of opportunity at just the right time.

I have missed teaching so much, and so far I am only tutoring math but it’s enough to add a missing element to my days. It’s easy to step back into the role of teacher and guide and it feels “oh so right” to use the skills I have developed over the past two decades to benefit another homeschooling mom who is overwhelmed and struggling a bit.

I had forgotten the way it feels to have someone look at you after a tutoring session and utter the words, “I get it!” You feel good and they feel empowered.

As far as advising a new homeschooling mom, it’s a situation where she is new to the idea of homeschooling as a lifestyle. She felt trapped in a “school at home” model and was unhappy with that method of teaching. I explained that she could change a few things in the way she presented her subjects to make it more in line with her family’s style and interests. She is clearly on the right path now and I look forward to talking with her again soon to see how things are going.

Word of mouth has brought me another opportunity to help someone locally with homeschooling.  I’m passionate about learning and teaching and am pleased that others have found value in this as well.  I’m not sure where all this is heading, but for the first time in a long time I’m beginning to see a path beyond where I am now. I was feeling a bit like a horse put out to pasture, long before I was ready for that to happen.


Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!


Harmony Fine Arts – Blog and Products

Welcome to all the new readers here on the Harmony Fine Arts blog!

There are many new readers here on the blog at Harmony Fine Arts. I thought it might be nice to give you a “tour” of what you will find here that may benefit your family and homeschool. Please accept my warm welcome and hope that you will find something to help you in your efforts.

First and Foremost – Harmony Fine Arts

Harmony Fine Arts art and music appreciation plans have been around for many years. I started selling the plans as I created them for use with my own family of four homeschooled children. They are an easy way to offer art and music appreciation using picture study, artist and composer study, and then some follow up activities. There is something for everyone.


Read more about the plans in this entry: New to Harmony Fine Arts?


Music Monday on Harmony Fine Arts Join us every Monday for a new musical selection.

Weekly Suggestions for Music Appreciation and Sketching – Free to Subscribers!

There are 2 weekly emails you will get from me.

The first one is on Mondays where I give a suggested piece of classical music for your family to listen via YouTube. It is simple way to add in at least one piece of music appreciation into your week with a minimal amount of effort. Please enjoy your Music Appreciation Monday email and let me know how your family likes listening to it…either in a comment or an email.

Sketch Tuesday Drawing Assignments @harmonyfinearts small

The second email will be on Tuesdays and it is a suggested sketch topic that your family can complete and then send in an image for me to compile into a weekly slideshow on Flickr. I call the Sketch Tuesday. This feature has been offered here on Harmony Fine Arts for a very long time and I highly recommend it as a simple way to get your family started with a sketching habit. Plus, the weekly slideshow will let your family see what other sketchers are accomplishing and maybe it will inspire you even more. I love our Sketch Tuesday community.

Misc Posts

Occasionally I will share about my homeschooling experiences, my current empty nest after homeschooling, and giveaways and discount codes.

In short, you shouldn’t be overwhelmed with the amount of email you get in your email box from me here at Harmony Fine Arts. I hope you will stick around awhile and glean some helpful tips and enjoy the regular features.

Glean from my Archives!

You can also glean from my blog categories and archives by clicking the buttons on the side of the blog or the links at the top. Popular posts are found under the Tapestry of Grace button, the Charlotte Mason button, and the Notebooking tab. You can start by clicking here to see a list of Blog Categories.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or you can email me directly.

Harmony Art Mom


Barb McCoy




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