We All Need Encouragement - Collage Friday


This is the time of year when homeschool discouragement runs rampant.

I get it. I have been discouraged lately, but because I have been down this road for several years now I know this too shall pass!

Normally, when I am feeling this way, I put my thoughts down in a blog post. {I have collected all of these posts under the Homeschool Encouragement tab if you're interested} Recently, however, I haven't even really felt like writing.

I'm sure it is because my parents are both still battling health issues, the weather is gloomy, and pre-teen hormones are still running rampant. On three days this week I have wanted to raise the white flag and run for the hills!  

There always seems to be, however, moments and blessings in each day that turn my focus upward rather than inward. I search for these times, because they are what get me through the difficulties of being not only a homeschool mom, but just a MOM in general. 

Huge helps in my life during times like this are a trusted few friends, our Classical Conversations community day, my dear sweet husband, and (most of all) my faith and trust in God.

Also - this blog - this small place online - is a haven for me. I know I can express myself and be understood. I know people are waiting for a good post, and I know I will always have a lot of kind and positive interaction here. So THANK YOU. Thank you for reading Homegrown Learners, and hopefully I can pull out some good ideas in this week's Collage Friday!

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 "School" Things

I feel that we are truly getting the hang of Classical Conversations. 

This year has broadened my view on all things CC as well as all things middle school. All of the CC posts are collected on one page, and I have a page just for Middle Grades Homeschool as well.  


Pictured above:

Learning about Newton's 3 Laws of Motion has been fun!

Grant's presentation for CC this week was all about the Iditarod. He traced a map of Alaska and the Iditarod Trail, and we read a book (again) about Libby Riddles - the first female winner of the Iditarod. It made for a great little unit study!

Anna got in on the map tracing this week, as she is working on Africa. We started having geography time together at the kitchen table and it's working well. The first "tips and tricks" for your homeschool post was all about Map Tracing.

Anna is also learning about the human ear, by drawing, labeling and defining terms. We watched a wonderful documentary, For a Deaf Son, which is actually about a little boy I used to nanny when I was in college. We had a very good discussion about deaf children, and whether or not a parent should teach them to oralize or use sign language. I love that we took off on this tangent this week.

We went to Ash Wednesday services and started our new Lenten devotion this week. I also use the Lenten journey printout from Catholic Icing each year. It's so simple and effective. 

Grant finished his study of Paganini - enter to win the Zeezok Music Appreciation course and see his video lapbook tour!

Yummy Recipes with Plan to Eat

I have been a Plan to Eat user for several years. I love how easy it makes cataloging recipes and grocery shopping.

I've started grocery shopping with the iPad - the Plan to Eat list just makes it so easy to tap an item when I put it in my cart. I feel very organized and efficient when I shop now.


Two new favorite (and Gluten Free) recipes this week were:

Strawberry Banana Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal (the whole family RAVED about this!)

Apple Roasted Chicken

You can try Plan to Eat for free for one month - I think you'll like it if you do! 

Errand Day

A system is finally in place for getting errands run around here.

Thursdays seem to be the best day. The kids have piano lessons in the early afternoon, so I get them up earlier than usual on that day, they accomplish a few hours of school, then we run errands and get lunch together.

I've come to look forward to this time, and the kids know that Thursdays is our day to get things done!

We went to the Chick Fil-A Dwarf House for lunch. This was our first time consciously eating Gluten Free there and I think it surprised Anna that she could get the grilled nuggets and enjoy them (plus the waffle fries are gluten free, too!).

I love shopping at Aldi, but we don't go nearly often enough. We stocked up on lots of goodies, especially Gluten Free things.

Two people in our family have had symptoms of gluten intolerance and I figured why not try to eliminate gluten? It certainly can't hurt. I was inspired by my friend Tricia to make some positive changes. 


I'm preparing for a very busy March, with a heavier than normal travel load for my husband, and my attending the Great Homeschool Convention. Add to that baseball, piano competitions, a weekend youth event at church, and just the day to day activities, and we will be busy.

Thank you for your prayers for my parents. My dad is anticipating going home after being in the hospital and rehab for nearly 2 weeks now, and my mom began her radiation treatments this week. I think everything is going to be ok, but I still worry about them.

I'm thankful for the chance to come to this place each Friday and read so many encouraging words from all of you, and then visit your blogs and read about your weeks, too. It's my favorite time of the week. 

I hope you'll join me!  

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
  • Share your photo collage(s) on Instagram, FB, G+, or Twitter - use the hashtag #collagefriday so I can find you!