Testing, Home Improvements, and a Milestone - Collage Friday

The school year is FINISHED. 

For the next three weeks I am not thinking about school. I am not planning for next year. I am not making my children do math.  I might read aloud to them (just because we love it so much), but I think that's it.

My children have worked SO HARD over the past nine months and they deserve a break. 

And guess what?  This mom deserves a BREAK. 

This week was the last official meeting for Anna's Challenge A class. I owe you a blog post about everything Challenge related, and I promise it's coming.  Completing Challenge A is one of life's milestones Anna will look back on with pride. 

This week was also standardized testing week for Grant. He made it through just fine. I made it through without getting TOO upset - these tests are just asinine.  There is no other word for it. They just insult all of our beautiful efforts throughout the year and I'm trying not to dwell on being mad at the state of Georgia for making my kids sit through them. 

This week also marked the beginning of an overhaul of my downstairs. Over the next month we will have all new floors and paint. There has been a lot of reorganizing, shuffling, purging, and just mess in general. I don't deal with this well, but I am trying to just take a deep breath, dive in, and know that this will all be done a month from now. 

After all, I am amazingly blessed to live in a beautiful neighborhood, with a house that is more than we need, and have the opportunity to make updates. God is good, of that I am always certain. 

The Last Week of Challenge A

The sheer amount of work, memorization, and change that my daughter has accomplished in the past year astounds me. I hope she knows how proud her dad and I are of her. 

Tuesday was the last class meeting. The kids were responsible for taking a Latin, Biology and Catechism exam, as well as drawing and labeling the entire world on a poster board. As Anna showed me all of this on Tuesday evening I just wondered how many adults could accomplish all of this?  

Classical Conversations is a BEAUTIFUL thing.


We are immensely thankful for her tutor, Miss Nancy, who helped the children learn and grow. Her calm, patient demeanor was really good for these kids. 

We spent a lot of time outdoors this week - Grant riding his bike, and Anna and I walking. It gives him a chance to get his energy out, and Anna and I time to chat.  We also made it to the YMCA a few times to lap swim. Anna is quite a competent swimmer (she was on a synchronized team for 4 summers) and is helping Grant train for his swiming portion of the triathlon. 

Silly Standardized Testing

If I had unlimited time to write, I would write you a post about the sheer STUPIDITY of standardized testing.

It's quite humorous to watch your child take a test like the Stanford 10 and be quite clueless. Oh, he could answer the questions very well, but the material being tested is just so foregin (other than the math).  The textbook style reading comprehension passages are just twaddle. 


Take a look at the bottom right of the above collage.  Have you ever seen a more ridiculous test question? 


We made sure to spend time outside during our breaks. On one of our walks we found a sad face on the road. 

We have a smiley face frisbee that always makes us happy.

And of course we spent time swimming during the week to stay active and healthy.

I must say that testing online through Classical Conversations worked out VERY well. We would call into a conference number at the beginning of each testing session. The proctor would let us into the session and then read the instructions and then we would hang up and complete that section. At the next appointed test time we would call in again. 

It worked quite nicely and I'm confident this is the way we will continue to test in the future. 

 Home Improvements

I love our home. 

When we moved in 10 years ago we were just so happy we had TREES and lots of room to spread out. We had come from a tiny starter home with one tree in the front yard. 

The only thing about our new home was that everything in it was WHITE. White cabinets, white linoleum, white tile in the bathrooms, white walls.   WHITE.

Slowly we have gone about changing easy things. Finally it's time to start embarking on the harder things - like floors.  (Well, it's hard for us because we have no DIY skills.) After getting several estimates and thinking on this for a long time, we hired a flooring company and work started this week.


This weekend the hardwoods will be delivered and they will be installed in the rest of the downstairs next week. The following week we will have everything repainted, and then I will REST. 

I struggle with feeling guilty about making these home improvements. Because both my husband and I have spent time in third world countries recently, we are acutely aware of our blessings. We question what being good stewards really means.  I realize I could be much more extravagant in my life, but even replacing floors feels a bit frivolous to me. 

I keep thinking "resale value" in the back of my head and also remember I am creating a home that my family will build memories in and enjoy for years to come. 

Am I making sense or just rambling? 

LAST Days for Notebooking Pages

The Notebooking Pages birthday sale was extended... it now ends May 11(Sunday). You can purchase a LIFETIME membership for just $50, which is an incredible deal.

This enables you complete access to all notebooking pages, as well as access to the Notebooking Publisher Web App, where you can create your own pages.  (This is a great feature for kids who love to create their own pages on the computer!)

You might be tired of hearing me tell you how great Notebooking Pages are, but I just want homeschoolers to know what a fun and simple thing notebooking is, and how it allows your children to keep virtual scrapbooks of their learning.


How was your week? 

Please join me by linking your photo collages! 

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

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