• free printable,  Freebie Friday,  homeschool helps

    The Art of Nature Study

    I know so many people who stress out so much about working everything into their homeschool life. We homeschoolers want to make sure we get all the school things done. One of the questions I see come up over and over again in homeschool groups and forums that I am part of is “Am I doing enough?” … or some variation. Everyone wants to make sure they do it all… Bible, Science, Art, History, Grammar, Literature, Math… ALL. THE. THINGS. What if school didn’t have to fall into so many categories. What if the subjects beautifully merged. What if science and art intertwined. Literature can come and join the fun…

  • my story

    The Redemption of Spring

    I have not been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I am pretty sure that is only because I have not gone to anyone who would be qualified to give that diagnosis. According to what I have read in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), I am pretty sure I check all the boxes. My daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in January 2016. She had surgery to remove the tumor, six weeks of radiation, and four months of chemo. I often tell people it was like our life changed tracks. Like we were set on an alternate plane of reality. It was also…

  • free printable,  homeschool helps

    Sleep in the Deep at the Tennessee Aquarium

    When my two oldest were itty bitties, we went ot the Georgia Aquarium. I remember one of the employees talking about how they have groups that come and spend the night under the ocean tank. I thought at the time how amazing that experience would be. As with most things, I tucked it away in things we probably won’t do, but really want to do. I didn’t ask, but I imagined it would be way out of our price range. **If you are just here for the FREE Printable Aquarium Field Trip Pack, feel free to scroll to the end.** I am living in a way that is vastly different…

  • What I'm Reading

    What I am Reading: Murder on the Orient Express

    Recently, my big kids and I were given the chance to do a “Sleep in the Deep” at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chatanooga. This is about a four hour drive from where we live. My kids were hunkered down with their devices, freshly loaded with downloads on Netflix. The fourteen year old was watching A Series of Unfortunate Events and the twelve year old was watching Despicable Me 3. I was all alone with my thoughts until I remembered that I have a phone! And a Hoopla account through our library. When we pulled over at a rest stop, I downloaded Murder on the Orient Express. Crime shows are my…

  • my story

    That Time I Didn’t Realize My Kid Was Getting Braces

    Also titled… “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Mom Guilt” I took my daughter to her orthodontist appointment last month. She has been using a retainer for the last few months to help correct a crossbite and also make room in her mouth for her giant adult teeth. I’m not kidding. Each one of her top two adult teeth knocked out two baby teeth. My kids all look like my husband, but one trait they got from me is a tiny mouth. As a kid, I had to have quite a few teeth removed because there was not enough room for all of them. I had surgery the month before her…

  • Freebie Friday

    Freebie Friday- STEM Challenge Cards

    Did you know that STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) is easy to implement in your home? You likely have all the supplies you need already. STEM challenges are all the rage right now. We used to have a STEM challenge box in our home filled with household items like coffee filters, paper clips, straws, tape, etc. On a rainy day, I would tell the kids to pull out the box, give them a challenge and set them free. Eventually the box of materials dwindled and I did not refill it. However, I realize that my younger two did not get to really benefit from all the fun. Earlier this week,…

  • What I'm Reading

    What I’m Reading: Start With The Heart

    I feel like I am at an odd time with parenting. I have an almost 14 year old, a 12 year old, 9 year old, and 7 year old. The baby and preschool years are over. People said it would happen and it would happen fast… and they were right. One day, I had little tiny people and was in the thick of diapers and potty training and nursing and Sesame Street… and then I blinked and there is a teenager in my house. I feel like most parenting books are geared for parenting the little years and I walk away from them feeling like I’ve missed the boat with…

  • week in review

    When Unschoolers Take the Week Off

    Now, when I say unschool, please remember that I am using it more in the sense of “delight directed learning.” Typically I provide a little structure in that we do math and reading/ language arts most days. The rest of the learning that happens in our homeschool is typically child or interest led. We are not true unschoolers by definition, but we are definitely relaxed and spend more time doing unstructured learning than structured. With that being said, we took last week “off” of school and I really believe more valuable learning happened in those five days than in a typical week. I took some time to purge our homeschool…

  • What I'm Reading

    What I am Reading: The War That Saved My Life

    As many of you can relate, homeschooling just isn’t where the big bucks are. For most of us, it is a financial sacrifice to school our children at home. It is a worthy calling and a worthy sacrifice. One thing I wish I could provide for my children are opportunities for travel. I would love to take them along the route the Ingalls family traveled in the Little House Books. To let them see the secret room where Corrie Ten Book hid with her family. To visit the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore, The Eifle Tower or Buckingham Palace would be a grand adventure. Now, please hear me. I am…

  • week in review

    Week in Review- 2/4-2/8/2019

    I am still recovering from surgery and this week has had beautiful weather in Western North Carolina. The combination of those two things have made it difficult to concentrate on all things school… and that’s ok! This is when being a “delight-directed homeschooler” really comes into play. Top Left: The weather this week has been unbeliveably gorgeous. We have spent countless hours outside. Yesterday, I just didn’t have the heart or energy to call them in for school. Our base of operations for most things school is in our downstairs playroom. There is only one window and it is really cold… it is my favorite room in the house, but…