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Weekly Wrap-Up: Homeschool Mother’s Journal

I was going to write about something totally different today but my heart wanted to write this post instead. Blogging sometimes is like that. Your head wants to talk about one thing and then when you sit down with your fingers on the keyboard…the spirit takes over and you end up with something totally different. Bloggers understand that…

April promises to not be filled with as much activity as March so perhaps my blogging will get some more attention…maybe.

I decided to join up with the iHomeschoolNetwork’s Homeschool Mother’s Journal this week, I will answer a few of their prompts along with some photos.

In our homeschool this week…

Tapestry of Grace Year 4 is complete! This was not our favorite year of TOG at the high school level but we managed to stick it out. I do have to say that TOG made the material and topics as palatable as possible….it just seemed like the history was one war after another and the literature tended to focus on the more difficult aspects of life. I do feel like it has done a great job of helping Mr. B learn to look at history with a keen eye to how it affects us today.

Helpful homeschool tip…

Consider providing a gap year for your high school students…whether it is the year after graduation (like we did with Mr. A) or divide your last year into have academic and half gap year activities (like we have done with Mr. B). It has been the best thing we have ever done for our children and their maturing in ways they could never do going straight through high school and then on to college.

Wildlfowers first week of april

Places we are going….

Two long hikes this week with the glorious spring weather we are experiencing. Mr. B has been running in the evenings which is his favorite time to get outside.

Things I’m working on…

Planning our last homeschool co-op art class! I spent far too much time “researching” Louis Comfort Tiffany this week..getting lost in all the wonderful stained glass. Our trip to the Met in New York City was highlighted with seeing some of his work in real life and it was truly amazing…words and computer images do not do it justice. Our co-op will be creating several follow-up art pieces and of course I will share when we are done.

Weekly wrap up collage 4 5 13

I’m grateful for…

Mr. A warmed my heart by spending time sketching with Sharpies…seems that he is a little stressed with his up-coming pilot’s test and needed some down time.  Grateful that I was able to homeschool him where we could nurture a love of art and the importance of creativity in our lives.  I am also grateful for modern communication which keeps me in contact with my Amanda girl while she is in Bolivia. Things are going really well for her and she is so full of heart right now. I love seeing her images and hearing how she is spreading the Good News to those that are hungering for it.
Homegrown Learners

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Value of Long Term Goals

Long Term Goals @HarmonyFineArts

Mr. A’s small airplane and the view from up there! Amazing!

The value of long term goals came into distinct focus this week with my formerly homeschooled older children. Two of my children are on the verge of achieving very long term goals that have meant sacrifices of time and money as well as  faith in their ability to persevere. Their example inspires me to make some long term goals in my life and watch for blessings on those goals.

Amanda has had the long term goal to serve in a mission that would use her strengths and her abilities. She has worked hard to learn a new language over the past four years to the point of being able to use it in a ministry to others. I have watched as she stepped out of her comfort zone and embraced not only a language but a culture. She also has spent lots of time volunteering in construction and now is ready to use those skills in Bolivia later this year.

Long Term Goals 2 @HarmonyFineArts

Valuable part of her goal – Passport with Bolivian Visa.

So many hurdles have been met and overcome in the past few weeks, including FedEx losing her passport and visa in the mail. Yesterday the two of us flew to Los Angeles to transport the newly attained passport to the Bolivian consulate so they could reissue her visa. It was a successful trip and the people in the consulate were helpful, efficient, and encouraging.

Mr. D, my aspiring pilot, has reached the last leg of his pilot’s license process. His solo cross country and night flights are all logged into his logbook. He has a few more requirements to meet before he will have his shiny new license in his hands, probably by the end of the month. I have shared before how this has been his dream since he can remember and even though many people don’t understand why he would choose to skip college courses for now and focus on his flying, he has kept at it even when others were making him feel as if he were slacking. I am so proud of his attitude as well as his actual accomplishments. His attitude is something he can apply anywhere in his life, no matter the goal.

So if there is any doubt about the value of long-term goals…perhaps goals other than a college degree…I am writing to say that you don’t need to fear that road with your children. Personal long term goals have made a big difference in our family.

There is no greater joy than seeing your children make goals, stick with them, and then achieve them.

Homegrown LearnersHigh School Link Up

Charlotte Mason Helps Me Keep It Simple and Alive: High School Courses

Charlotte Mason High School Grade 12 Button


Charlotte Mason Principle #11
Instead, we believe that children’s minds are capable of digesting real knowledge, so we provide a rich, generous curriculum that exposes children to many interesting, living ideas and concepts.
Ambleside Online

This principle has been foremost in my mind as we picked the very last courses Mr. B will have in our homeschool. We have less than a year to go and he is anxious to get started. I have anxiety for different reasons but that is all the more reason to stick to the principles that have worked so well in our high school years.

Note: Mr. B has taken two years to complete his senior year of high school. These have been modified “gap years” where he has explored lots of learning opportunities in real life. We are very happy with the results of slowing down his academic studies to allow time before he officially graduates to grow and mature an extra year.  Our efforts have not been wasted. (Read this entry for more of our thoughts on this topic: SAT Preparation, Transcripts, and College.)

Keep it simple, remember your goals, 
and keep the curriculum living and interesting.

Here is a snapshot of what we will be doing this year for twelfth grade.

Pre-Calculus Teaching Textbook
Teaching Textbooks Pre-Calculus:
Mr. B chose this program as an elective for this year. He actually started at the very end of last year and has been completing a few lessons even over the summer break. This program allows him to work independently and to self-check his work.

Human Anatomy:
We are moving away from the Simple Schooling’s Anatomy plans to a more traditional college level text for Mr. B (shown above). He has had the desire to go deeper and farther than the previous curriculum allowed. I think he has just matured over the past year and is seeing that he ready for a more detailed text with interactive links. We added in the DVD course from Great Courses: Human Anatomy at the end of last year as well and he will be finishing that series. He is going to be using notebook pages to record his studies as a way of written narration. I love it when he includes diagrams or sketches in his anatomy notebook so those will be encouraged this year as he reads and tells back what he is learning. ( has a complete set now for Anatomy! Thanks Debra.)

Modern History and Geography:
We are continuing to use Tapestry of Grace Year 4 as the spine of our history study of the 20th Century. I am keeping the study fairly open-ended so Mr. B has time to research topics of interest and read extra material from the internet and the library as the questions arise. He is using a notebooking approach to keeping track of his narrations. Geography is an interest of his as well so we are using lots of maps from WonderMaps and from Trail Guide to World Geography to supplement his reading.

This has been the hardest component of his year to pull together. We ended up pulling from Tapestry of Grace Year 4, Excellence in Literature-British Lit, Succeeding on the AP Literature Exam from IEW, my own poetry selections, and one Shakespeare play. We are not completing all parts of all curriculum but only those that support the books we selected.

This is going to be a tough year as far as reading level and themes but Mr. B is ready for it. He gave final approval on all books I selected. His formal writing instruction will be included as part of his literature with the help of Tapestry of Grace suggestions and the two books from Institute for Excellence in Writing. Watch for an up-coming post with our literature selections listed with the corresponding resources noted.You can read my review of the Excellence in Literature plans on The Curriculum Choice.

Update 8/16/12: Here is the post which lists all Mr. B’s 12th Grade Literature Choices.

Notebooking Publisher Modern Art Cover
Fine Arts (Note: We finished HFA Grade 12 plans last year so this is a bonus year!)
Art: Custom plans that will include a variety of artists and media. I am hoping to pull it together and offer it as a free download at the end of the year for any families that want to give it a try. It is rich and full and we are going to use this as our last formal opportunity to create art together.

Music: Mr. B has requested a potpourri of composers. He has been through the list forwards and backwards as my little guinea pig for Harmony Fine Arts. He knows his composers but is not ready to let go of his formal study yet. I am going to make this a year to remember for him and hopefully we will be able to attend some live performances together to give our study more richness.

We will continue our morning routine of Bible reading and scripture memorization. Our nature study will follow the Outdoor Hour Challenge in a more informal way than last year, and he will be taking computer and fitness classes at the community college. He completed his government, economics, and shop classes last year.

You can follow along with our year by reading our Weekly Wrap-Up posts that I usually post on Fridays.

Please visit and share with us at the CM blog carnival! We'd love to have you!I am submitting this entry to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and if you have any entries you would like to submit, you can send them to this email address: [email protected].

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