Category Archives: Homeschool

My posts about making the best of your entire homeschool experience, with honest tips and advice to help you plan, organize your homeschool whether you are a new homeschool mom, or at the end of your homeschool journey.

Spice Up Your Reading for Halloween

Is your kid or teen already bored with reading and literature?  Why not do something fun and spine tingling just in time for Halloween?  There are some really great literature books that are sure to fit into your reading list for the year and it will chase away the boredom.

  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
  • “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
  • “The Tell Tale Heart” or “The Raven” or just about anything by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”
  • “Macbeth” or “Hamlet” by Shakespeare
  • Ghost stories from your state
  • “The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Harry Potter or Twilight

Not crazy about really scary books?  Try mysteries!

  • “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Nancy Drew
  • The Hardy Boys

I think you get the picture!  There are tons of books to choose from that will either keep you on the edge of your seat or terrified to turn the page.  Most of what I listed here are for middle school thru high school.  A lot of these have study guides that you can use along with them from Progeny Press or Total Language Plus.  You could probably even find some free ones online with a little research.  They would be a great addition to any high schoolers reading list.  Colleges are not only looking to see if they read classics but if their reading list is varied and current.

There is no need for everything you read to be a read-the-book-and–do-the-worksheet kind of lesson.  Be creative!  Study a little bit of the history of the author and how their life affected their style of writing.  Why did things during that time period scare people?  What was going on during the author’s life historically?  What was the world like when the author was writing? 

You could follow up finishing the book with a scary movie night complete with popcorn. Maybe a bonfire with friends, a corn maze, or a ride in the woods on trailer. Have fun with it! If you’re really brave got to a haunted trail!  Time to shake up lit class and have some fun!


Homeschool Socialization

Just a little funny for you today to kick off the school year.Smile  Just wait until the kids hit middle school and high school and then try to keep up with their socialization:  Work, co-ops, sports, youth group, dual enrollment classes, back and forth with friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, missions trips, and the list goes on!  I still laugh when people ask me about homeschool and socialization.  Then after I go over the opportunities for homeschoolers and what my kids are involved in, the next question is usually, “When do you have time to do school?”  I just smile!


So here I am and it’s Labor Day and I’m going to be really honest with you.  I’m not ready for school to start tomorrow.  I was going through a bit of anxiety, depression (?) and burnout over the summer and I put off working on school.  I needed a break.

I didn’t want to think about it.  I didn’t want to work on it.  I didn’t want to really hear about it either.  I’ve been homeschooling for 14 years and needed a vacation from it. I guess with my first graduating and my youngest now going into 9th grade,  and my middle one becoming a junior it was a little overwhelming.  Plus I had a birthday party, a huge graduation party and a baby shower to plan.  They were all so much fun and I love planning parties!

Then just when I was ready to start working on school again……DISTRACTIONS!  What were those pesky time suckers?  A never-ending summer cold that kept putting me in the bed.  Cityville (I used it for fun and for a little bit of an escape at times.)  Teen drama.  Then came the biggest time and brain sucker of all….volleyball.  Wait… there’s not supposed to be crying and frustration in volleyball!

I won’t and can’t go into all the drama that has circled volleyball at the start of this season.  But suffice it to say that just because you homeschool, and your children play on an amazing homeschool team, doesn’t mean that you escape drama.  Oh, no it is everywhere.  At times I felt as though I had a walk on roll on Dance Moms!  Just without the name calling and cussing.  But I spent way too many days frustrated to the point of not being to focus on anything else.  I had too many days of trying to figure things out.  Too many days of dealing with an extremely upset daughter.  Too many days of not knowing whether we were coming or going.  But now it is all settled, I hope or at least for the moment. As far as I’m concerned it is over and now I can refocus.

Becca and I are coaching the JV team that my youngest Emily is on.  We are having a blast!  I love my team and my parents.  They are the best and no drama!  But getting there was a huge time sucker full of anger, confusion and tears. I’m so grateful for our director!   And here I am, finally getting our team underway and I’m so proud of them with our first game tomorrow and I still haven’t finished closing out last year’s school.  Don’t ask me about this year yet! 

I’m trying to get there as quick as I can!  I just had a mini panic attack this morning, but a bowl of mac and cheese and a quick prayer has made it all better.  I will have to adopt Scarlett’s motto (maybe just for today) “I can’t think about all that right now.  After all, tomorrow is another day.”  Today I will keep the distractions at a minimum and get done what I can get done and start over tomorrow.  I will take peace and claim it!

New Curriculum in the Works!

It’s been awhile, but I’m going to get my cooking curriculum finished.  I worked through a lot of it last year with my oldest, Becca, but now I want to use it with my other kids and I just need to kick myself and get it finished.

I have an idea and would like some opinions.  If I understand my publisher, CurrClick, I can send out my curriculum in increments.  In other words, you pay the whole curriculum price and instead of getting the whole thing at one time they send it to you once a week or however it’s set up.  I was thinking about doing that with the cooking curriculum and with another one I about to write for my youngest, Emily.  What do you think?

What curriculum am I going to write for Emily you may ask?  A curriculum all about make-up!  She is crazy about it and gets it honestly from me.  She’s watched and helped me for years at church doing make-up and special effects make-up.  So, she wants a course built just for that.  Am I crazy or what?

Need to Focus!

Finding Nemo (video game)

Finding Nemo (video game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you ever have those times when you just can’t focus?  I’ve been there the past couple of weeks.  It’s aweful and I can’t stand it.  But I just can’t seem to come out of the fog completely.  I need to focus on getting ready for school.  I need to focus on some projects around my house.  But I can’t seem to wrap my head around much.

Part of it is that I’ve been sick for a few weeks with the never ending summer cold.  My girls and I keep passing it back and forth, but it seems like it’s at the end now.  Achoo!  Maybe not.  I’ve also been stressed to the max over some things that I really don’t want to stress about, but it seemed I had no other choice.  I’m a mother first, and if it affects my child, I stress.

Then there are some things that I can’t mention yet, that every time I think it’s over and I can’t possibly hear anything new about this certain situation, something new pops up.  With it brings frustration, disappointment, and an uncertainty about what to do.

Most days I feel like Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep praying, just keep praying.”  Some things are starting to fall back into place.  Slowly. I’m not in a huge hurry, which is really big for me because I’m known to be a little impatient.  I just want the rest of it to fall into place. I need to be able to focus again.

So what do you do when you can’t focus?

2012 Summer Olympics at CurrClick

CurrClick is having a huge promotion just in time for the Olympics!  There are 12 free country studies hidden throughout the site.  Just look for the torches!  Also a ton of items will be 10% off.   Happy shopping!


Bullying…Is it Only for the Schools?

Is bullying limited to the public schools only?  It doesn’t take me long to answer that question.  Of course, the answer is no.  Bullying does seem to be on the rise and it seems meaner than ever.  The video below proves it.  If you haven’t seen it, watch it.  Just know the original version of the video was over 10 minutes long and contains language so bad that none of the news can show it to you. 

Donations Exceed $400, 000 for bus driver!

What next for school bus bullies?

There is no doubt that bullying is on the rise.  You see it everyday and it’s a horrible reminder as a Christian as to the state of how the world is going.  But are we immune to it?  As homeschoolers?  As Christians?

I can tell you for a fact, no.  I would have never thought that our family would be bullied to extent that we have been bullied and not because we homeschool.  That I almost expected.  But not from the places where it came from.

My oldest daughter was bullied by girls at church so badly that she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and slight depression.  These girls didn’t hit her, they just taunted her and isolated her from friends.  Praise the Lord after over a year of prayer and working with our daughter, she was able to resume her normal church life and she was even able to become friends with these girls again and have an amazing friendship that she was able to use as a ministry to other kids who have been bullied.

That was a good story, but not all of our stories have turned out so great.  A neighbor kid tried to choke my son when he was little.  All turned out fine with my son, luckily he was young enough that he really doesn’t remember it.  But that kid as a young adult, years later, has been in and out of jail.  So sad.

One of my kids was bullied by a Christian coach.  (I will go no further with that story.)  But it was heart breaking for her and has left a scar on her heart.  My girls have been bullied by a youth pastor’s wife that has been bad enough to make my oldest leave our church, and my youngest will not go to any youth event.  Matter of fact, she is not allowed to be near her (my choice).  My son won’t even go to our youth anymore.  They have lost friends and lost a lot of trust and I’m afraid this pain may remain with them forever.  This is a very long and complicated story that I won’t even go into at this point.  We are dealing with it daily and it’s very painful for all of us.  There have been more things, but I don’t need to go into all of it for you to see the picture.  Please know that God has given me a lot of grace to deal with these things.  So this is not angry rant, I’m just stating what I see and hear myself and from my friends that are also dealing with these same things at their churches or Christian events.

I guess my point is, that unfortunately, we are dealing with bullying everywhere and it has bled into the church and into Christians.  It seems like Christians don’t even recognize it when it happens at church or when it happens to them.  We make excuses for it, we don’t want to deal with it.  Some people even use their Christianity to hide behind when they behave the way they do.  I’ve seem so many adult Christians bullying other adult Christians or kids at church it’s ridiculous.  I will stand up for my kids and I will call it what it is, bullying.  The bullying from Christians must stop.   It needs to stop from everyone.  Will it stop?  Or is this just a sign of the times? 

P.S.  For those sweet people who donated to this lady, you are amazing!

Zoo Trip!

It’s a zoo!  Ok, I’m not talking about my house; at least not this time.  Wink, wink. Today my kids and some friends and their kids went to the zoo.  It sure is different going to the zoo with teens!  But it was so much fun!

Everything was funny instead of everyone whining about, “When are we going home? I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! This is boring!  I can’t see the animals!”  You get the picture.  It was fun when they were younger but it is really fun this time with them being older!

There were tons of giggles, laughs and embarrassing moments to be had by all.  The kids played on the playground and hung upside down from a rope spider web.  They climbed over everything and on everything.

There were oohs and ahhs over the cute baby animals.  Then there were all kinds of hollers, whistles and yodels made to get the animals to look our way.  It worked!  I’m not sure if the animals thought we were crazy, or just doing some bizarre mating call!  

Then there were the educational benefits!  We wound up having biology/sex ed. class by accident!  Let’s just say that it was Discovery Channel/Animal Planet at the zoo today.  They learned that alligators are very noisy when they, ahem…….. and there were more interesting tidbits of informative things we learned, but we won’t go into all of the details here for fear of sounding like 50 Shades of the Zoo!  I think you get the picture!  It brought on more laughs and red faces than I can count!

Then we were almost eaten by a full size T-Rex.  Man, when that thing stood up all the way, I was frozen stock still.  I was mesmerized and when it growled it looked right at you!  Then I screamed like a girl when we were sprayed with poisonous venom (water) by a Dilophosaurus. Wasn’t expecting that at all!

In other words, we had a blast today!  As soon as my friends get their pictures up on Facebook, I’ll post pics of the day’s happenings.  My camera has died.  I’m sad.  But today was fun anyway!  So don’t thing that field trips have to stop when your kids get older.  You may actually have a lot more fun than you can ever imagine!