2017-2018 Homeschool Plans: Take Two

Never make your homeschool plans until AFTER you go to the conference.

I actually didn’t think I was going to be able to go to the Memoria Press conference until the last minute.

I went to a meeting about starting a classical co-op where a shockingly rude woman told me that my ideas were “really extreme” and “no one around here will want to do that” so then I decided I really, really needed to make it to the conference and spend some time with other extremists. ūüėČ

The conference was wonderful and encouraging. And of course I left there with new plans for our school year.

My biggest take-away was STAY THE COURSE. Quit trying to change/add/substitute/tweak. Follow the plans. They are beautiful and good and well-thought-out and purposeful.

Also, if my ideas about education are extreme, I’m in good company. Continue reading

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Family Day – Five Years

Today marks 5 years since we went to Korea and became a family of 5.

He looks so scared in that picture. It makes my heart hurt.

And now we can’t imagine life without him. It’s weird that we’ve only known him for 5 years. It seems like he’s always been with us.

After looking at that picture this morning, I decided to take a picture of them in the same line up today. Abby was heading out to camp for the week, and Emma was leaving for swim practice, so I told them where to stand and quickly snapped a couple of pictures. Emma’s eyes are closed in one, and Ben looks sad/mad/irritated in the other. But at least he isn’t scared.

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Homeschool Plans for 2017-2018

*Updated plans here*

For the past three years I have used Memoria Press Core Curriculum, either fully or almost fully. I’m generally torn between MP and a Well-Trained Mind approach. ¬†They’re really very similar and there’s plenty of overlap (Susan Wise Bauer recommends many MP products).

MP is workbook-heavy, and sometimes I get tired of all the workbooks. I start to think I can go free-wheelin’, making up my own lesson plans, Reading ALL the Books, and having the kids write about what they read. ¬†It sounds so simple — until I try to plan it. Trying to do everything in WTM is like trying to get a sip of water from a fire hydrant. Every time I try to plan with that approach I start to drown. ¬†Just check out one mom’s reading list for the Medieval period.

Invariably, I come back to my senses and acknowledge that the workbooks and the lesson plans I get with my Core are extremely helpful as I try to teach three full grade levels and keep my sanity.  Multum non multa.

In short, I love MP. Last year I swore that I was doing MP henceforth and forever, amen. Continue reading

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The Time I Got Kicked Out of Book Club

I just got kicked out of a book club.

I joined the Pillar Book Club at the beginning of the year. ¬†Have you ever thought something would be good because it was expensive? That’s what happened to me.

Long story short, I’ve been disappointed in the membership. The lectures are boring, there have been numerous technical problems, and there’s very little interaction between the members, both between and during the webinars. Though the leader, let’s call him B, claims that members receive six classic books, unavailable anywhere else, he just means his press is going to reprint six classic books so that particular printing is only available to members. ¬†One of the books we read, Tremendous Trifles, is actually free for Kindle. So the special books are not really a selling point either. Continue reading

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Homeschool Portfolio Review

It’s over.

I survived.

Homeschoolers in Maryland are required to have a portfolio review, generally twice each year, either with someone from the county or from an umbrella school. ¬†The law is fairly vague, requiring evidence of regular and thorough instruction in eight subjects (English, math, social studies, science, art, PE, music, and health). ¬†But the umbrella schools I looked at required more, like a Bible curriculum, and of course you have to pay for the privilege of having someone decide if you’re properly educating your own kids. I decided to take my chances with the county. ¬†It’s free, the law is vague, and I am confident that my kids are getting a fantastic education. ¬†Bring it, county reviewer.

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Pulling Weeds

I never work outside.

Maybe it’s the bad childhood memories. My dad made us help with yard work and he wasn’t exactly pleasant about it.

Maybe it’s the dirt. I’m not a fan of dirt. Or bugs.

Whatever the reason, I’m not one of those women who mows the lawn and we have never had much in the way of landscaping, so I just don’t work outside.

But various flowers have come up in our new yard, planted by the previous owner, and Wayne has moved a few things around in an attempt to clean it up a little. Our neighbors have nice landscaping and we want our yard to look attractive, too. ¬†Recently I noticed an area with lots of weeds and made a mental note : the next kid who sasses me or says they’re bored will be sent out for weed duty, stat!

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Camping with the Cousins

Last weekend we met up with my sister and her family at Eagles Peak Campground in Pennsylvania.

We rented cabins, which unfortunately were on opposite sides of the rather large campground. We got to take long walks whenever we visited one another!

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