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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 Art Mom – Creative Month February

creative-mom-february-2017-harmonyartmomCreative Mom – February 2017

So far February has been a great month for creative occupations. I participated in an online course that was aimed at beating the winter blues with creative ideas, recipes, and musings on the beauty of winter. It wasn’t a really good fit for me so I was only able to glean a few new ideas but I can imagine that in years to come I will be pulling up downloaded activities to use in winters to come.

Get real Barb!

I had to be realistic. I was not ready to invest in soapmaking supplies, learn to knit more complicated items like gloves, make cheese, or create my own teas. Sometime in the future I will be more in a position to tackle a few of them but now it seemed like way above my skill set (and ability to financially invest).

In a way though, it made me think about the creative activities I already enjoy and find great pleasure in doing for myself and my family.

scrapbook work

Since I have a spot to leave my scrapbooking supplies out at all times, I sit down more frequently to work on my pages. I made a trip to Hobby Lobby for some new paper and a few stickers and this stimulated my creative juices once again. I finished my Hawaiian album and now I’m working on family events in my personal album.


I baked some yummy treats this month for my sweet husband. He does so much around here that to repay him I will often take his suggestions for a recipe to try. I made him flourless peanut butter cookies, almond shortbread, and biscuits so far this month. The trick is then for my hand to stay out of the cookie jar!


Sketch Tuesday and my nature journal have kept me drawing and painting each week. I try to keep both simple and focus on the relaxing aspects of drawing. If things don’t turn out perfectly, no big deal.


Shutterfly has shared so many coupons and free items with me in the past few months that it is an easy afternoon of creating that fits my budget. This wall calendar was a lot of fun to design and customize with my photos. It now hangs right next to my desk and it makes me happy to see my loved ones smiling back at me.


Here are a few more ways I have been creating during this past month. I have customized my little mini travel watercolor palette for my nature bag. I got my passport renewed and my kids and I have been planning a trip to Canada! I have been taking lots of photos from my window during the rainy days. This California towhee was right outside my office window and I was able to snap a few photos before he flew off. I am working on my picture wall and updating my images to fit my current interests.

So, although I had planned to follow the online creative course, I stuck to my basics and feel like I truly accomplished some great creative energy. That really is what it is all about!
So what have you been doing this month to be creative?

Have you participated in Sketch Tuesday?

Have you listened to Music Monday?


Art Show Wall Display 1

You may wish to read this entry from my archives:

Creative Atmosphere in Your Home


Mother’s Journal – January 2017

Traditions. My husband and I have talked at length about maintaining old and creating new traditions in our family. Viewed from the lens of looking back on the past year helped us see more clearly which direction we want to steer this ship in the coming months. We actually wrote down all of our family’s traditions that we could think of as we discussed which ones we want to continue and which to let go. So many of our traditions have fallen away over time with the growing up of children.

Some traditions just don’t make sense anymore. Some traditions without the kids aren’t all that fun.

We had to face the reality of having four very active children who have chosen a rather vagabond lifestyle in their twenties. We love being “home base” and we also love being able to pick up and go whenever we can manage it as a couple. With my husband’s impending retirement this year, that freedom will even increase. We are anticipating the sale of our current house and making a big move sometime in 2017 so it is the perfect time to reevaluate our traditions, feeling out some new ideas.

I have felt a little at drift.

My personality loves routine and thrives on traditions and cycles. The thought of having a year where nothing is put on paper because we don’t know where we will be living has me unsettled. Thus, we came up with the idea to create some milestones for me to depend on and then work within that framework. If a tradition comes from these plans, all the better.


February 2016 Trip to Southern California

Big Plans for 2017

We are meeting my daughter for a warm white sandy beach week in February which gives me that to look forward to and we are anticipating all our favorite traditional activities while we are there. We had a February warm weather trip to San Diego in 2016 and it was just what we both needed. We all have been saving for this trip over the past year because we realized it is something that we want to do to connect each year. She needs to escape the cold New York winter so it is a perfect fit for both all of us. A new tradition!


April 2016 Shenandoah National Park

There is also a trip on the books now to meet two of my children over the summer for a trip to Canada….I will fly to New York and the we will all drive together up to Toronto. If they both decide they will be living in New York, this may also become a tradition.


New shared hobby- kayaking!

My husband has planned a big camping trip in August that we can take no matter where we find ourselves living at that time. We decided that we would pick the week and any of the children that can join us will be more than welcome. Our gathering as a complete family has become highly impractical so we need to just enjoy what we can have which is a wonderful trip to a beautiful place, either on our own or with some of the kids. There may be a time in the future when we can be located more closely together but this time isn’t that chapter in our lives. At least right now there is only one child living out of the country (in Guyana!).

The Big Move

In the meantime, as I pack boxes and give things away, my mind is more at ease with the “coming together” times we have placed on the calendar. I will let you know how the anticipated new traditions go as we put them in place.

Maybe this is a time for decluttering all aspects of my life. As I wrote this post, I realized that I have been doing this clearing out in a physical way with my material possessions. It only makes sense now that I am doing the same thing with our family’s traditions…clear away all but the very best and meaningful rituals that still touch our hearts.

Like a flash of understanding, as I finish this post, it occurs to me this also fits in with my word of the year which is PURPOSE. I have been researching, reading scripture, and meditating on the idea of purpose. Do the traditions we are keeping serve the purpose we are intending…to bring joy and connection?

And so I will leave it there. You can imagine me as I go through the next few months contemplating these thoughts. There will be big changes but I will strive to keep connected through the joy of traditions both old and new.



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