Curricula - 2017-2018 - 6th Grade - Silas

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It happens every year. We feel completely unprepared to go give up the work-free days of summer, but all of a sudden we all are ready to go back to school. We had a very quiet June which gave us plenty of time to recover from our school days, but July came in and all of a sudden our days were full of activity, trips, and time with friends with family. It has been a great summer, but it will be nice to return to the rhythm of our school days.

Curricula 2017-2018 - 9th Grade - Aedan

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It's time for a new school year! Things have been quiet around here because I really tried to put school to rest as much as I could during the summer. We have enjoyed lots of time with friends and family as well as a great family trip and lots of little road trips. I think we are almost ready to put aside rest and get back to work. There's something about getting back into a routine that is a welcome rest from summer activities.

Artistic Pursuits - High School Book 1 {Review}

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My eldest son has been drawing for almost as long as I can remember. He was one of those wild and adorable toddlers that never.slowed.down. I vividly remember the first day I realized this kid might take on art as his second nature. I was visiting a friend, both of us worn tired and surviving on much coffee. We had made it our habit of meeting up regularly just to get the kids together in hopes of a few moments of peace for us and fun for the kids. In her collection of toys strewn around her living room floor was the magical thing that would finally catch the attention of my inquisitive and incredibly energetic two year old. He had found the Doodle Pro: You know the thing, the plastic magnetic and mess free drawing tablet for kids. He dropped what he was doing, and he quietly drew, erased, and drew again that whole afternoon, blissfully ignoring the other fun to be had and his pudgy-cheeked little friends. Eureka!

A lot of time has passed since that afternoon so long ago. Since then I have invested in reams and reams of printer paper, miles of butcher paper, a thousand crayons boxes and markers, and now we have graduated to Prismacolors, micron pens, and art shows. I don't remember the last day that Aedan didn't give me a picture he had drawn that day. He has been mostly self taught, but I am always trying to add to his bag of art tricks where I can. As we enter high school I want to be even more intentional about helping him develop his skills as an artist.

Biology 101 {Review}

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

As we head into the high school years I am so thankful for homeschool companies who have gone to great lengths to provide tools for a quality education. I first happened upon the 101 Series a few years ago when I was looking into chemistry programs for my son. I was playing with an idea to make our 8th grade year high school credit worthy, and again and again Chemistry 101 came up as a recommendation. I bought the program and I could immediately see why people enjoy this program so much. We used Chemistry 101 last year and enjoyed it so much that as we head into high school biology I absolutely wanted to also check out Biology 101.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 35

Friday, May 19, 2017

We have come to the end of the end here at Monarch Room. My first born school completed his final year of middle school this week. I will have more to say about our year as a whole later, but for now I will update our final week.

Since we finished our work we have taken every opportunity to spend time with friends. Our sweet friends drove up from the country to come and see Aedan's artwork at the Kemper Museum. I still haven't shared about this, but I took lots of pictures. More to come soon!

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 35

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This was our final week in HOD Creation to Christ. Tears. We had a beautiful year reading from the creation account all the way to the final chapters of Acts and about how the apostles spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. It was fun returning to this guide and seeing it through Silas's eyes this time. We have already packed up our box of books to ship off to another family to enjoy. Ending the year is always a little bittersweet. It means we accomplished oh so much, but it also means my boys are growing up.

We dug out all of Silas's Robert Frost poetry paintings to admire. I am glad we made it through to the end with both boys on these. They are such a treasure of learning.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 34

Saturday, May 13, 2017

This was our almost last week of school. Yay! As I shared in Silas's post, it was also our last week of co-op. Both boys enjoyed each of their classes. Aedan took a pottery wheel class and a digital art class.

Of course Aedan couldn't just make a plate in pottery. He made this "french pilot guy" Pierre. It got cracked in the firing, but I still thought it was quite clever. I'm my boys' biggest fans of course!

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 34

We are almost to the very end of the end here at Monarch Room! This week we wrapped up our classes at co-op. Silas took a pottery wheel class. Additionally, he took a class called Money Town. We have a local program in town called Exchange City that I remember doing when I was in 5th grade. It is basically a day where kids get the opportunity to have grown up jobs. There was a bank, many different kinds of shops, restaurants, etc. I was a jewelry designer way back when on that day. Our co-op decided to base an 8 week class on that model. Silas had so much fun!

Our co-op was a neat experience because they got to create their own business from the ground up. He decided to open a restaurant called Charred Meat N' Stuff.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 33

Friday, May 5, 2017

This week our history was especially fun because we were reading about my childhood. It's strange when you realize that you are the history tale bearer for kids who didn't live during a period. I very much remember many of these events. My husband loved Reagan, so it was fun for him to discuss with Aedan more about his life.

A child of the 80's most memorable event was the Challenger explosion. I remember sitting in my classroom watching this happen in 5th grade. Aedan drew the Challenger out of one of his Draw and Write Through History assignments.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 33

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I already mentioned how we were trying not to rush through these last few weeks. Silas got the idea that he wanted to work ahead, and then he changed his mind. He was used to trying to get done soon, but he also decided that there's no need to rush. Our days have been pretty short anyway because we have been getting done with all the side subjects here and there. Last year we were done before May 1, and it was cold anyway. This month has been no different, so it has totally worked out.

We completed our final Robert Frost poem and painting. Our poem this week was "A Time to Talk." We are both happy to put away our paint brushes for a while although I am very happy we made it all the way through.

The End Is Not The Goal

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but it always has me more in a contemplative mood. We have 2 weeks more left on the clock of this school year, and while part of me longs for the break, the other part wants to finish in a way that's meaningful. This year I took a different approach to getting through the year. In years' past we have always rushed to the finish line, packing in extra work just to get a few extra weeks of summer. Silly me. This year I purposefully chose more breaks for me and the boys in favor of more trips and time together during the school year. Here we are later into the spring, and I'm ok with that.

For any of you limping across the finish line, take a deep breath with me. There's no need to cram in extra lessons, check off one more box, fit in just one more math lesson to get to the end sooner. Take it from me, a former end goal recover-er. You'll get there I promise. You may as well enjoy each of these final school days. I promise that there are plenty of lazy days of summer to come. But, there are only a few more days left of kindergarten, 3rd, 5th, 8th, or maybe 12th grade, only a few more days left of sitting alongside your kids at this very stage.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to clean the house, make appointments, or to catch up with that friend you haven't seen in a while. We moms know that the to-do list is never really all checked off anyway right? Each time I've rushed to the finish line that list was just as long as it ever was. When my kids were little, a friend passed along that well known poem about quieting down cobwebs and housework left undone, so that you could have just a little more time to rock that baby because of course "babies don't keep." It's no different with toothless first graders, and growing tweenagers, and teens that are even taller than you are. They don't keep either do they? 

For some of you, this is your last year of homeschool. Maybe you're graduating your last student, or maybe you have decided that public or private school is the option that will work better for your family next year or maybe forever. (Hugs.) Being a mom is a long series of goodbyes don't ya think? These are very precious days indeed.

 So, just remember (with me) that the end really isn't the goal. The goal is to soak in each of these remaining days in whichever way you choose to spend them fully. I'm cheering myself on just as much as I am you. Maybe we can slow down enough together to enjoy our stroll to the end.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 32

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

One of my favorite things about HOD is the many, many biographies we have gotten to read throughout the years. It's one thing to read a little snippet about someone's life, but another to see how they grew up from childhood into the person they ultimately became who they became to be. This week we read about the life of Mother Teresa, but also began a biography of her life.

I have always wanted to read a biography about Mother Teresa. What compels a person to leave the familiarity of home to live in complete want of comfort and safety? Obviously in her case she felt a very clear call of God, and he provided for her in every way. Her life was the furthest from easy, but she inspired us in so many ways.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 32

Monday, May 1, 2017

This week we reached the most important event in history: The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It has been really cool reading from creation all the way to this moment in history and to see why God chose to bring Christ into the world at this exact moment in time. This age old story never gets old.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 31

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We are nearing the finish line of our school year. I have loved working toward modern day history with Aedan. I feel like we have both learned so much. The one thing I have loved most about this year is that we have focused not only on the events of modern history, but of how God's people rose to the occasion often facing death with a bravery that only He can give.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 31

Monday, April 24, 2017

This week we spent our time reading about the final days of Christ's life. Homeschool is such a unique and wonderful responsibility and privilege. Reading about the persecuted church in Asia with Aedan in his history lessons makes me even more thankful to have the opportunity to share the gospel each day with my boys. 

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 30

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We have entered the final stretch of school. I feel like that we are on that last 45 minutes left on a really long road trip back home. There is so much to look back on for which to be thankful, but there's no place like home. The boys are still doing a great job at doing their best, but all of us feel the call of the lazy days of summer.

This week we read about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Festo Kivengere of Uganda, and life during the 60's and 70's in America. Aedan drew a picture of Dr. King from Draw and Write Through History.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 30

Monday, April 17, 2017

As I said in Aedan's post, we are doing our very best to finish strong. These last few weeks have been going well, but I also am looking forward to a break. In year's past we have rushed to the finish line, but I decided this year that we should just take the days as they come. There are plenty of summer days to go around without having to make ourselves miserable to get there.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 29

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week we learned more about the Civil Rights Movement, The Six-Day War, and the OPEC Oil Embargo. We have had more and more interesting conversations around the dinner table because my husband has always loved to talk about history, but now my kids have the context.

We learned more about Martin Luther King Jr.'s impact on civil rights.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 29

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hi again! We enjoyed our week off, and I am finally catching up here. It's been fun reading through John with Silas for history. It's my favorite gospel, so it's been really neat discussing it each day. We read the feeding of the 5000, Jesus calming the sea, the healing of the blind man, and other miracles. While doing so we have read the prophecies from the Old Testament, and their fulfillment in the New Testament through Jesus.

I love how HOD history projects are a way to make what we read more memorable. This week we made an origami boat and painting of a stormy sea. We read about the day Jesus walked on its stormy waters and calmed that troubled sea.

Lightning Lit & Comp - Junior High - Grades 7 & 8 {Review}

Friday, April 7, 2017

Well hello there, you book lover, you! Who else would click on such a blog post title? Choosing a literature program can be a difficult task given the many options that are available. I've always been a lover of classic books, but I could never find a program that chose the kinds of books I would have on my personal list of favorites. When I happened upon Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature last school year, my heart skipped a beat. Not only did it include many of the books I already hoped my kids would get the chance to read, but it included writing lessons based on literary elements used by these fantastic authors. Not only has my son especially enjoyed the books, but he has also learned to love writing. What mom wouldn't smile about that?

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 28

Monday, March 27, 2017

This is our final year in a full 4 year history cycle. As we get nearer and nearer to current history I realize how little has changed. Even as far back as the history we are studying in Ancient Rome, there are so many similarities. Humankind has had many heroes and many villains throughout all time. The have always been meaningless wars, and until Jesus comes again there may always be. As my boys get older and we read about the drafts of various wars I long for peace in the world. I don't know how I could have faced some of these historical days without the Christian hope.

This week in history we learned about the presidents that came after the assassination of Kennedy and the war in Vietnam.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 28

Sunday, March 26, 2017

This year we have really loved learning ancient history from the time of creation up to the point of the Roman empire. This week we finally got to read about the event that changed the course of human history forever; the birth of Christ. Because we have read about all of the events that led to his coming to earth, and it makes his arrival so much more meaningful.

For weeks 28 through the rest of the year our history spine is the Bible. We will read through all of John and through Acts for the rest of the year. We have had lots of neat discussions about this.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 27

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Welcome to the 60's! This week we learned about The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, and the presidency and assassination of John F. Kennedy. We had the opportunity to chat with my inlaws about their experiences and what they remember from the 60's. They grew up in D.C and Alabama and then went to college in Florida. Many of the events we have read about these past few weeks happened in their own back yards. The Cuban Missile Crisis happened while they were students in Florida. They said it was a frightening time, and I can see why! The one great regret I have is not having asked my grandparents more questions about their lives. I didn't know I would be such a lover of history when they were still around. Go talk to your elders while yous till can.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 27

We are happily moving forward here at Monarch Room. It took a few days to adjust to Daylight Savings Time, but the longer days and sun have helped perk us up after a long winter. Hopefully we won't regret taking more breaks and ending a little later this year. The extra breaks have really helped us relax more and enjoy catching up on life outside of school.

Lightning Lit & Comp - American & British Literature {Review}

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are you ready to swoon? If you're a bibliophile like me, you will have to fan yourself a little once you take a look at all of these lovely treasures we get to explore over the next few years. Nothing, no nothing gets me as excited as a beautiful stack of books!

I remember the moment I fell in love with history, and it wasn't in a history class. I fell in love with history in my first literature course I took in college. It was the first time I heard the voices from the past, and it was then that I wanted to learn more about the history of humankind. I was so tired of dry and dusty textbooks. It took me a while before I found a literature program that focused on the types of books I personally would choose. I found it was really difficult to find a company that chooses classics based not only on literary merit, but also historical significance. I love that Lightning Lit's book choices not only highlight excellent writing, but often also give a voice to a time and place. My hope is that my boys, too, will fall in love with literature and history when they hear these voices from so long ago.

Week in Review - HOD CtC Unit 26

Monday, March 13, 2017

This year we have the joy of doing the same history program as dear friends. This means that we sometimes get to combine activities. We are currently studying the rise and fall of ancient Rome. We read about how the Romans were initially farmers, but eventually began to live more for pleasure, luxury and entertainment. Our history activity was to have a Roman feast to show what it might have been like. Our friends are 3 weeks ahead of us, but they still wanted to do the Roman meal together. These activities are always way more fun with friends!

We skipped lunch and decided to have the feast in the afternoon. The boys were all very excited about all the great food!

Week in Review - HOD MtMM Unit 26

Sunday, March 12, 2017

We are really enjoying history this year. After leaving the ancients, medieval times, and the American Revolution behind, it's nice to hear the voices of the people we are learning about. One of the benefits of the modern age is we have footage and audio of the last hundred years that are preserved for all time which at times is for the best and for the worst.

This week one of our focuses was on modern evangelists. I had the opportunity to hear Billy Graham preach in his later years in one of his last crusade tours in our city. I've always loved Billy Graham, but I have even fonder feelings toward Ruth Bell Graham. Sometimes we never get to meet our mentors, but I would consider her one of mine.

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Biology {Review}

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

High school is upon us (gulp.) Way back when I was a new homeschool mom to a preschool-aged child, I remember shaking in my boots at the thought of eventually teaching high school math and science. As we progressed through the years, however, I started gaining confidence and worried less than I did in those early years. What I’ve found is that there are so many companies that make it easy to homeschool. We modern homeschoolers have the benefit of the pioneers who paved the way for us and made so many great products available to us who would follow in their footsteps. 

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 25

Monday, March 6, 2017

It's interesting sometimes swinging from modern history to ancient history, but somehow it's working. This week I learned about the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. with Aedan and about Rome's defeat of Carthage in ancient times. I've done history a little differently this time with Silas. We have been reading history together, and it seems like we both enjoy it so much more. He was handling it fine on his own, but he's still my cuddly fellow. We are really enjoying learning together. What's great is that you can do one or the other depending on time or ability.

The Roman army used catapults in battle. Our history project was to make a few different types of catapults. We already had one from when we did a unit study on Leonardo DaVinci last year.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 25

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Don't you love when what you are reading in a book dovetails with another area of your life? While we learned about Civil Rights in school I was finishing up Uncle Tom's Cabin and To Kill a Mockingbird. Having read those books helped me to more clearly communicate to Aedan the dire need for brave souls to step up and make a way for African Americans during the 60's and into the future.

I was moved by the stories this week. I often ask myself if I had lived during this time if I would have been one who would have been brave too.

My Homeschool Journal - February 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It is the last day of February! We have turned the corner on the winter, and I'm starting to see buds on the trees. We have been fortunate to have a very mild winter, but I'm ready for the sun to shine a little brighter. I am down to the wire on getting my February homeschool journal entry in. I decided to wait until the end of the month this time, so that what I share will have happened this month.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 24

Saturday, February 25, 2017

 Hello! Mighty fine seeing you here. We had a great week learning about the struggles between Rome and Carthage. It's been so fun doing this period again. I feel like it's finally sinking into my mind what was going on all those many years ago, and even then we are really only scratching the surface.

 Our history project was to play a game called "Go Trade." It's basically Go Fish but with items of trade ancient Mediterranean ports. We had items like silver from Spain, linen from Egypt, frankincense (!) from Arabia, wine from India, copper from Cyprus etc.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 24

We enjoyed a nice school break, but this week we were back to the books. It was nice enjoying some time to relax and get caught up around the house. I think I could get used to the whole sabbath school idea. While we were still a little rusty getting back to work after a week off, I felt far more rested than I normally do after waiting to take a break until I'm exhausted. I think the boys felt the same.

I shared earlier how Aedan has the opportunity to be a part of an art program with our local museum. As part of that he got to preview the newest installation by Rashid Johnson at the Kemper Museum of Modern Art. The artist did a presentation for the kids, and they got to tour his works with an explanation from one of the curators. Soon they will get to have an art show at the museum displaying their work. I'm so thankful he has had this experience!

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 23

Friday, February 10, 2017

It's really hard to say what year has been my favorite.  Each year I say the newest year is my favorite, but then I remember why we loved a previous year so much. I have to say though that Missions to Modern Marvels is really fantastic. Not only are we learning the how and why history happened during this period, but we are also learning how it felt to be one of the people who experienced the heartbreaks of this time. What's even better is that we are also seeing how God's people were raised up and meeting the needs of the hurting during some of the darkest days of history. It gives me hope for our future that God will always remain involved. This week we learned about the Cold War and the "Iron Curtain" as Churchill called it. Even though a dark curtain had been drawn God was still bringing light to those nations that were being oppressed in so many ways.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 23

This week we learned more about Rome and why it became such a powerful world power in ancient times. I am so thankful to have to opportunity to teach my boys, but sometimes to be honest, I love the chance to learn and grow with them just as much. This year's studies have shed so much light on Biblical history of which I have always been fascinated. In re-reading these parts of history again I am understanding all the more. I love that the boys will have an opportunity to re-visit portions of history in years to come. I'm seeing the benefit in my own understanding after touching on it again. The more you understand the more rabbit trails there are to follow. Silas has asked some really amazing questions which have taken launched us off into searches about the hows and whys of things. Homeschooling can be so awesome!

Cooking with Kids - Won-Ton-A-Fun

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nǐ hǎo! Any of you who have followed our little blog for a while know that we are no stranger to international cuisine. For that reason I was especially excited to see that our Raddish delivery this past month was inspired by the Chinese New Year. One of the things I love most about our Raddish boxes is that it forces us out of our rut. Most families have go-to recipes, but sometimes it's nice to mix it up a bit.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 22

Friday, February 3, 2017

This week we finished up our study of Ancient Greece and journeyed to the birthplace of Ancient Rome. There is little I remember about history from school sadly, but I do remember Greece and Rome. I had a great middle school teacher that brought it to life for her students. I still remember the Greek alphabet song she taught us. I hope my boys will grab hold of some of the memories we have made through learning about the civilizations of the world. The more experiences the better in my opinion. I hope they will be able to look back and say they remember.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 22

Well hello there! I tend to click on things that have cake and whipped cream too! This was a really interesting week in history. I am totally and blissfully happy learning about modern history with my boys. We studied the rebuilding of Europe after WWII, South African Apartheid, Chairmen Mao and the Berlin Wall.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 21

Saturday, January 28, 2017

We are steadily making our way through the days and weeks here in our little corner of the woods. It feels good to have accomplished what we have so far, and yet I'm not ready to say goodbye to this year's learning. It really is a privilege to spend my days with these incredible boys. I try and remember that on the days that feel painfully hard, and on those days that my inadequacies shine through far more than my strengths. God is somehow still faithful to be my strength when my weaknesses want to show up and raise a ruckus.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 21

How is it that each year I face feels so long in coming after all that praying and planning, and then it so quickly fades away? That's how I'm feeling heading into the final third of our year. The older and taller this big kid gets the more tightly I want to hold onto him, but yet I know he will grow up all the same. I'm thankful for these days together - messy, difficult, silly, strange and treasured days.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 20

Monday, January 23, 2017

This week we studied the Golden Age of Greece. Silas has been fascinated by all of the strange customs of ancient Greece. They were such a fascinating people and culture! It's been just as fun for me to learn these things the second time around. I have more time this time around to sit and chat with Silas about what he thinks about it all. We are both learning so much together.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 20

This week we reached the end of WWII. I'm so glad we have learned how there was also hope in such a dark time. I never knew I'd become such a lover of history when I took on this homeschool life. It's been so refreshing to learn it in a different way.

Rosie the Riveter was a famous image of the time. It was meant to encourage women to take part in the wartime production efforts. This picture still is seen in so many places today.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 19

Friday, January 20, 2017

We have been happily studying the land and people of Ancient Greece over the past few weeks. I asked Silas what his favorite culture we have studied so far has been. He said that Greece seemed to be where so many interesting things and people lived and that the Greeks are his favorite so far. It's been fun reading the myths and Aesop's fables with him. There is so much wisdom in those tales from long ago. Silas didn't realize how many sayings come from those stories that we use in our everyday speech.

I really love our Robert Frost poetry study each week. We usually take the time to find out more about the poem. This week our poem was "The Birthplace." I thought this painting turned out beautifully. He's getting better every week!

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 19

We are moving right along through our year. For the past few weeks we have focused on WWII. We have really enjoyed all of the books that have told the story from many different perspectives. So much was going on in the world during this time, so it's been really enlightening to hear how this war was experienced throughout the world.

Raddish Cooking Kits - Food for Snowy Days

Monday, January 16, 2017

We have had our share of cold days here in the midwest this year. These are my favorite days to get in the kitchen and make things to warm us up. Fortunately, our Raddish kit came with lots of great ideas on where to start. I knew these recipes were bound to please my picky eater, but I also loved that they included a salad. Each kit has given my little "Mikey" a chance to like something new.

Dear Just a Mom...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Before I had kids I had many plans. In fact my plans didn't even include kids, not for a really long time anyway. However, suddenly my life changed forever the day I found out I was pregnant. Surprise! By my choice I chose to postpone some of those plans. Even so, my dream job turned out to be the very one I have, and the plans I made have been incorporated into this quiet life. Those plans just happened on a smaller scale, and they happened with the people I love the most. I don't regret this choice for one single moment. 

Let's face it. Deciding to live a simple life as a homeschool or stay at home mom will meet (if it already hasn't) a whole lot of resistance. It won't necessarily come in the form of people telling you that you shouldn't follow that leading of your heart. Instead it will come from the never-enoughs. They would have you believe that being just a mom simply isn't enough. You know the ones. They serve on boards, run programs, have titles, write books, are at every service opportunity, and (cough) have way cleaner houses than you (I mean me.) Their well meaning messages will sound like this: Dream big. Change the world. Have it all. Make a name. Do your part. Save the planet, the country, the you-name-it. You simply just aren't doing enough, or so they say. The problem with this message isn't the message itself. All of those causes are good and noble things, and if that is the season you are in by all means tackle the thing. The problem with that message is that it speaks out against another kind of choice to live a simple and more slow paced life that is true to your season.

 You don't have to have a title, or to see your name in print, or to be a speaker in the next big thing to impact your world. You really don't have to have it all right now. You do have to grow in love, kindness, patience, forgiveness, and gentleness in order to change the lives of those who fall under your care or who are in your sphere of influence. Sometimes that is far more difficult than doing the big things anyway. Joy and peace can only overflow when you have left enough margin in your life to experience and appreciate the little faces before you or the ones you sit across the table from each day.

There's a children's book on our shelf called The Very Last First Time. It's about the first time a girl got to do an important task on her own without her mother's help. It was the very last first time the mother would see her daughter have that experience. I don't know about you, but my very last first times are running pretty short. They are more like a count down to the very last time of just about everything. My oldest will be entering high school next year. I have 4 more birthday cakes, 4 more Christmas mornings, 4 more first days of school and 5 more last days of school. Time that felt so slow when my boys were little is flying by as they say. 

So for what it's worth, it's ok to be happy with this simple life. Thankfulness is the antecedent to contentment if you didn't already know it. Don't buy the message that says you are just a mom if you choose this simple life. If you're like me you know your time will come. In the meantime you will fine tune your skills in the quiet of mornings, naptimes or evenings. I promise you there is a whole world to get to know while you tackle this great task of motherhood and educating your children. If you are a person of wonder you will never be bored. There is always something new to learn, a skill to hone, a gift to practice. Write if you're a writer. Cook if you're a cook. Study if you're a teacher. Keep your foot in the door of your dreams. They don't have to die just because you have chosen another path for now. This time will pass, and there will be many days to come to enjoy your new season when the house is quiet again.

 My husband is a hospice chaplain. Every week he sees how life's choices play out in the end for people from all walks of life. Guess what those folks never, ever, say? They never say they wish they had done more. They never say they wish they had gotten more degrees, or had traveled the world or had a bigger house. Without fail they say they wish they had spent more time with their family. In the end none of the greatest accomplishments will stand at your bedside anyway. No one will stand by the bed and call you doctor, pastor, professor, author, speaker, or any of that. If you have lived your life well the people that will stand at the foot of your bed when you breathe your last will be your family. And guess what? They won't call you by your title or accomplishments. They won't wish you had done more. They will call you mom. Just, mom.

Hear me friend.  Keep doing what you love.  It's more than enough for now.  I promise.

My Homeschool Journal - January 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

When I started this blog 5 years ago my intention was to keep a yearbook of sorts. It was also meant to be an accountability to myself. My thinking was if I have to blog about it I will actually do it. My husband was a little afraid (if I'm being honest) that homeschool would be like one of my many hobbies that grew like a forest fire and died a slow death while taking up space in the storage room where all my other old hobbies live. If you ever want to know why I do weekly updates, that's the real story. What happened though was that homeschool became a part of all of our lives. It wasn't just a hobby it was how our family lives and learns together. It hasn't gotten old yet, and I pray I can make it to the end of it all.

So, in an effort to let you in on a little that goes on with me, I decided to take part in the monthly Homeschool Mother's Journal. I saw a friend post hers the other day and thought it was such a great idea. I'm not super awesome at weekly or daily commitments, but I can handle one a month. It will give me an opportunity to reflect on how things are going around here at Monarch Room, but also to share how things are going with us as a family. I would love to hear from you too if ever you are so inclined. Sometimes this homeschool journey can feel a little lonely. It's so nice to have friends that are on the same path, so we can each give each other courage for the next leg of the journey. {Review}

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This past month I had the opportunity to review a yearly membership with When the cold settles in I love to hunker down and enjoy a few fun extras while we are cozy in our warm house. This is my favorite time of the school year because it’s when we have the chance to slow down and enjoy enrichment activities that we might not have as much time to do when we are running around during the warmer months.

Our school days are already pretty full, so I'm not normally looking to add too much to our days. However, sometimes interest strikes, and it's fun to take a rabbit trail every now and again. I love enrichment activities that add fun and spice to our normal everyday lessons. I am often searching Pinterest or blogs for inspiration. I was pleased to see that the website was far more than I expected it to be. It was great to find an all-in-one place to search for inspiration rather than hopping from place to place. I was pleasantly surprised at how many useful and fun courses I found.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 18

Friday, January 6, 2017

As I said in Silas's review post, this was our first week back. I kind of wonder if it was me having a harder time than the boys going back to school. Routine has always been best for us all, but those slow and lazy days get into your blood after a while. Getting back to work always makes you feel a little like the Tin Man without enough oil.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 18

Thursday, January 5, 2017

This was our first week back after winter break. It's amazing how rusty your mind can get after just a little time off. The beginning of the week started out rough, but by day 3 we were up and running again. This week doesn't have as many pictures, art, or activities. Such is life. I was so thankful it was one of those weeks that felt lighter than others.

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