week in review

Week In Review- Jan 7-11

We eased our way back into school this week. I really struggled. I’m not going to lie. I started the week filled with hope and energy. I knew we had a birthday in the middle of the week that would throw the rhythm in a different direction… I was ready for that. I was not ready to have a child up for 2 hours, sick in the middle of the night. I was not ready for an arthritic knees that would render me useless for long periods of time. I was not ready for real life. I wanted a couple of fairy tale weeks.

Even still, our first week back to school has come and gone. We did math, we read, we delighted in some activities.

  1. Top Left: We have a twelve year old in our house! She loves all things panda. You can read more about her birthday HERE.
  2. Middle Left: My precious Selah has been working so very hard this year. If you hang around this blog long enough, you will hear about Selah and why she is a miracle and every day with her is precious. Here is she working on math like a champ.
  3. Bottom Left: Back at it with The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts, Level K. This has been an amazing confidence boosting year. This little first grader has made massive leaps in her reading.
  4. Top Right: That time I dressed as Luigi and played live action Mario Kart at youth group. I am blessed to get to hang out with some pretty awesome students each week. My knees may creak and I may not say the hippest things… but I sure do think they are the bee’s knees!
  5. Bottom Middle: The sun has finally been shining here in Western North Carolina and our backyard has dried up a little. The chickens have been feeling frisky and finally started laying eggs again after a brief haitus.
  6. Botton Right: Legos. Always. She worked hard and knocked out her school on Monday morning so she could get back to the real work of the day… building her world.

What did you week look like? If you take a collage or picture to represent and post it on Instagram. I’d love to see it! Feel free to tag me (@thedelightdirectedhomeschooler)!!

middle schoolmy story

This is Twelve

My second child turned twelve today. She is my first girl. The girl I never knew I would have because I just knew I was going to be a boy mom. I was determined the ultrasounds were wrong. I had heard stories of people expecting girls who ended up with boys and I just knew that was going to be my story. But she came and she rocked my world and turned it upside down.

One of her birthday requests this morning was to go on a coffee date to Starbucks with me. We headed out and I asked if she felt different now that she is twelve. She said yes. She said that something inside her is telling her that she should be more mature.

I told her a story from when I was twelve. I started a new school shortly after I turned twelve. It was a private school where we wore uniforms. Flannel skirts with button down shirts, blazers, blue socks and black shoes. I only ever got in trouble a few times in middle and high school… and it was mostly due to uniform violations (my shirt was usually untucked… scandalous, I know).

A new friend invited me over to spend the night. Her house was beautiful. And big. And really clean. Her room had hardwood floors that were shiny. I think her bed was a four poster that had a canopy. She had a big, beautiful bookshelf desk between two closets. The desk had a built in light. I remember looking around her room and noticing that she didn’t have any toys. No dolls, no Playmobil, no stuffed animals… no toys. I asked her where she kept her toys and she looked at me like I had two heads and said that she was twelve. She didn’t have toys.

I made a mental note that twelve year olds don’t have toys and when I got home, I started packing away my own childish things.

I shared this story with my daughter and let her know that when I look back on that time, I realize that I wasn’t really ready to give those things up. I look at my girls now and want them to hold on to their childhood as long as possible. They will have the rest of their lives to be grown ups. I told her that I distinctly remember crying because I so badly wanted to stay a little girl, but also so badly wanted to grow up. I told her that middle school is hard. Her body is changing. She has hormones. She has big grown up feelings. But I also told her that she is allowed to still be little. There is no shame in playing make believe, jumping in mud puddles, having chocolate icecream stuck to her face after enjoying a treat. She will grow up. She will put aside childish things… but not yet. Oh sweet twelve year old. Not yet. Enjoy this time. Enjoy your last year as a preteen.

Talk to me about all the tweeny things. Ask me about make up… although God knows I am not the one who can answer your questions. Tell me you think puberty is weird. Play with your Barbies. Watch Wild Kratts without shame. Put lipstick on before you go out. Order a salted caramel mocha and scoop up some of the whip cream with your finger. Make snow angels, dance in the rain, write in your diary, swing from the trees. You are twelve. You are beautiful.

What I'm Reading

What I am Reading: Teaching From Rest

Oh rest! How I dream of you… but not really… because you have to sleep to dream and I don’t seem to know how to sleep. I thought once my children grew out of the baby and toddler years, sleep would return to our home. My kids are 14, 12, 9, and 7 and we still have restless nights… bad dreams, sickness, midnight visitors who come to the bedside with thirst and hopes for comfort from parents who have been startled out of sleep. Oh rest… what are you? How can I teach from rest if I don’t even remember what rest feels like???

Last year, I made a goal to read 50 books over the course of 2018. It was an ambitious goal considering that I had not read a book for myself in several years. I made it to roughly thirty books. Nothing to sneeze at, but still not the goal. As that weird week between Christmas and New Year’s came around again this year, I started feeling ambitious again. I thought, “Fifty books is really do-able. I should totally make that my goal again.” False. I should not. I will not read fifty books. I cannot listen to the crazy thoughts that come into my brain during the week that time stands still. I decided not to make a number goal for reading this year. Rather, my goal is to always be reading something. Always be ready to answer if someone asks me, “What are you reading right now?”

I kicked it off with Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. I have listened to a few of Sarah’s podcast, The Read-Aloud Revival, and highly recommend it. I love reading to my kids. It is a sweet time that I have grown to appreciate more and more as they are getting older. There have been days when all school has been forsaken save the reading aloud… and I have no regrets.

This book, Teaching from Rest, would be a great read for a weary homeschool mama. With all the amazing resources and curriculum and activities out there, homeschooling can get really overwhelming. It can become easy to feel discouraged or less than when homeschooling in today’s world. Homeschool mamas put a lot of pressure on themselves and feel the weight of responsibility for releasing functioning humans into the world.

In this book, the author shares from her personal experience in paring down and finding what is truly important in her homeschooling. She recognizes that we all have different strengths and passions. She reminds us that this work is a holy calling. When God calls us to as task, he does not then turn away and leave us to our own devices. He equips us and carries us as we move forward in obedience. She shares how, on a practial level, we can have the freedom to not worry over every detail, reminding us to strive for faithfulness before successfulness.

We will never be able to give our children the perfect education and our attempts to so can lead to defeat and exhaustion.

Teaching from rest offers practical advice. It is a fairly quick read (112 pages) and very engaging and relateable. This is a great book for homeschoolers in any stage.

Giving up control, trusting that the Lord does indeed have a plan and a reason for calling you to this task can lead to incredible freedom. In that freedom comes rest… and oh, don’t we all need rest!

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie was published by Classical Academic Press.

Just in case it needs to be said, I am by no means a professional book reviewer or book critic. I just like to read and share what I have learned. I am also an affiliate with Amazon. If you click through and purchase through links on this blog, our family will receive a small percentage from the purchase. Thank you.

my story

Welcome to the Delight Directed Homeschooler

Welcome to the Delight Directed Homeschooler. Wait? What? Another homeschool blog??? Yes. That is exactly what is happening.

I have the privilege of being in community with several homeschool families. The homeschool association where we are members serves over 200 families. And guess what? Not one of those homeschools look the same. We all have our own style, our own twist, our own giftings that play out in the day to day of homeschooling.

So… yes! This is just another homeschool blog? But it will be different because I am different. I hope that you will join me in sharing this journey with it’s ups and downs and in betweens. Join me in the trenches of this thing called home education. Let’s encourage one another. Let’s learn from one another. Let’s laugh together.

I will be sharing more of my story and how we arrived at this thing called “Delight Directed Homeschooling” every Monday in a series called “My Story Monday.”

For now, please CLICK HERE so I can introduce myself.