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Homeschool Encouragement from Charlotte Mason

June 2016 Devils Postpile Bodie (67)

Have you started your new school year and hit some rough patches already? Are the awesome plans you made falling flat with your children? Are you questioning some of your curriculum decisions?

I have been there!

Charlotte Mason Right Ideas at the Right Time @harmonyfinearts

Is It Me or Is It Them? Charlotte Mason’s Reminders to the Rescue: Here is a link to a blog entry I wrote back in 2008 after three weeks of school because we were not enjoying our homeschool experience. What helped me make the necessary changes? I turned to Charlotte Mason’s books for advice and encouragement and then shared my thoughts on my blog.

Education is Life

Homeschool High School Encouragement: I put this post together with all of my favorite high school experiences and advice…maybe you need it right now! I hope you find something in here that helps you get over your rough patch or gives you a fresh direction.

This blog has always been about an honest look at the ups and downs of homeschooling. It just felt right to give an accurate picture of the challenges of homeschooling long term…all the way through high school. As your children grow in both size and experience, their needs change. What works one year does not necessarily mean it will work or be appropriate the next year. Or, in my case, what worked for one older student doesn’t always work with a younger sibling. Staying flexible as an educator was something that I learned (the hard way) to accept as a natural part of starting each school year.

Don’t look at things as a failure or a waste of money if you need to put a book or plan aside. It is going to happen.

Let your children help you create the high school experience they need. I tried to look at the high school years as a transition to self-education and independence. Looking back, they were the BEST years of our homeschooling experience.

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It was most definitely a bumpy ride but definitely something I wouldn’t trade for any of the alternatives. Some might say it was PRICELESS.





Last Homeschool Day Ever

Mr B Homeschool Collage

In my wildest dreams I never thought the last day of homeschooling would ever arrive. I think it was a defensive act to push that day far off from my thinking. When you are in the middle of homeschooling, you just take a deep breath and do what you have to do in order to get the days and years done. Your mind is always filled with what will come next, wondering how it is all going to work out. You worry and fret over so many decisions that you need to make as you go along. There really is no time to sit and think about what will come after the homeschooling.

How is it going to feel to *just* be a mom and wife? When will it feel normal?

I lean a lot on my faith and know that my family still needs me. But the rhythm of my day will be different and the thoughts of my days will be different.

Different is okay.

It leaves room for growing…again.

This chapter may be over…it was a long chapter of seventeen years…..and things will change as the homeschooling part of my life is fades away. Soon there will only be memories. I have savored the moments over the last few years as each of my younger boys has approached this milestone.  Bittersweet and exciting for all!
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Weekly Wrap-Up: March Madness and the SAT

Weekly Wrap Up

Our March has been super busy but homeschooling is something the squishes in to fill the time available for Mr. B. He is so very self sufficient these days that it hardly feels as if I am a homeschooling mama anymore.

Big Hurdle! The SAT has been taken and he is feeling really good about the experience. Funny how with this last child I have not stressed or been overly concerned with getting him prepped for the SAT. He is the one with which I realized that preparing for the SAT should be a slow gradual climb through the high school years, remembering to include the basics…grammar, vocabulary, solid math skills, and lots of writing practice.

There were two things we did in extra preparation for the SAT.

IEW High School Writing Intensive


He viewed the Institute for Excellence in Writing DVD course (Disk 1 only) for High School Writing Intensive. We have been using their programs all along so Mr. B felt sufficiently prepared for the writing portion of the SAT just by viewing the one DVD and seeing how the SAT writing is scored and the format of the test.

We had the The Official SAT Study Guidefrom Mr. A and I gave it to Mr. B to use to prepare about two weeks ahead of the test. He read through the beginning pages and then worked through some of the practice questions in all areas. I would say he spent an hour a day for the two weeks just using this book in a way that he found helpful.

That’s it…it was the most calm and stress-free preparation our family has done and we shall see how it all works out when the scores come in…better look that date up so we will remember to check the website. 🙂

New tool Mr. B is using that you might like to check out for your family…and it is free: Anki!



Mr. B showed me a new tool he is using online to memorize a variety of things: Anki. This is sort of like a flashcard program but way more intuitive. As you work through your cards, you can tell it if it was easy or hard to remember and if it was easy, it gives you that card less often. If it is hard to remember, then it keeps it in regular rotation. Mr. B is using it for Spanish vocabulary, Bible memorization, and for his self-taught computer programming terms. He is not really a flashcard kind of guy but he is singing the praises of Anki as he works on more difficult things that he wants to remember.

Notebooking in High School

Mr. B is still working his way through the 20th Century with reading, notebooking, and a timeline. He is in his last unit in his anatomy study!

Teaching Textbooks Pre Calculus

Since Mr. B finished his Pre-Calculus work early, we decided he would take a quick run through Introduction to Psychology from Seven Sisters.  He just started so I will keep you posted with his progress and how we like it.

I think that just about covers the highlights of our academic work for the past couple of weeks.

I think we are both ready for a “spring break” next week!


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