A Well Rounded Homeschool: More Than Book Work


Our homeschool started taking on more of a "book work" focus.

Something deep inside of me didn't feel quite settled with that focus. I knew something deep inside of my children didn't feel settled with that focus, either. 

I am learning (and thank goodness for the flexibility Classical Conversations offers our family) I AM THE TEACHER. Yes, we have a set curriculum, but that is a GUIDE (in fact, in Challenge they call it a GUIDE for that very reason). 

My children are so much more than Latin, Math, Science, and History. They are unique individuals who learn in different ways and have interests outside of their schoolwork. 

You might think this should just be OBVIOUS to us as homeschooling parents, but I would venture to guess that some of you (especially those of you with older children) struggle with how much to "hit the books" and how much to just let your children take the lead. 

Nothing is more important than your relationship with your child. Nothing is more important than their heart and their character. In our efforts to help our children excel academically we can trample their spirits. Sometimes you need to just pull back and focus on your relationship with your child.

The Holy Spirit has been whispering to me a lot lately, forcing me to slow down with my kids and focus on the positives and also know it's ok if we don't get it all done. 

The ironic thing is - since I've eased up we are more productive.

Here is what our week looked like - and I tried to bring out the parts that ARE NOT BOOK RELATED!  

Anna's Week

It was a big week for Anna (you'll see why in a second). 

It's finally hitting me that I am the mom of a teenager, and this is such an important time in her life. My friend Jess shared this on her Instagram and I just loved it. 

“When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you”  ~ Gail Carson Levine

After a few years of not playing tennis, she started back with some tennis drills. It's important to continue that physical activity - I am noticing that when she has a chance to burn her energy she is happier and more full of purpose. 

The big news of the week:  NO MORE BRACES!  Anna has been very lucky - she's only worn braces for 14 months. I'm proud of her because she was diligent with her rubber bands and everything the orthodontist required of her, and she has a beautiful smile to show for it! 

The last picture in the collage is from our CC community day. While "book work" is definitely required to succeed in Challenge B, there has been some creativity woven into her work recently. Currently she is working on a Linneaus classification project (using some of her art skills) and is getting very interested in the Current Events seminar. This week the topic is gun control. 

She is also enjoying her singing with Spivey Hall Children's Choir so much. They are singing a piece in Latin for Christmas which I can't wait to hear! Today, as we got in the car we were listening to NPR - there was an interview about Benjamin Britten. As I went to change the station she said, "Mom, WAIT! We are singing a piece by him at Spivey. Leave it on!"  

She also spends a lot of time at the piano. 

I love that she loves music!  



Anna has always been my reader. She reads wonderful books and reads them multiple times. 

When she heard one of the recommended books for Grant's curriculum was The Witch of Blackbird Pond, she begged me to include her in the read aloud. We have lunch and read aloud on the deck every day. This is a sweet time for us - a time that makes me realize homeschool is about so much more than textbooks. 

We listen to many books on audio, too. Right now we are hooked on Jim Weiss' American History and Tall Tales recordings. 

Free For Kindle (for Mom)

I've also downloaded some great books for Kindle (when they are free) for myself. I started Candle in the Darkness, which is a story set just before the Civil War in Virginia. I anticipate Anna will read the book, too - because it's right up her alley. 

Daughter of Twin Oaks is also free (at the time of this posting) and looks good. 

I'm determined to read more for MYSELF as an escape, because sometimes I need it! 

Grant's Week

This is one busy boy. I have a hard time keeping up with him, but this is a blessing!

Grant adores the piano. He's done so well in his first year of lessons. Now, the only person is our family that doesn't play is daddy. I think he should take lessons, don't you?

The Rainbow Loom got a workout this week. Grant made The Mustache Cuff Bracelet, which is gigantic. His ability to concentrate on these tutorials for so long amazes me. 

I am so happy we are using IEW for writing this year (through CC Essentials). Grant sees each writing assignment as a challenge and insists on typing them himself. This week he had poetry as an assignment. I must say I'm a huge fan of Andrew Pudewa and his writing instruction.

We're at the YMCA a lot this fall. Grant is participating a basketball clinic and he is learning so much. I walk the track while he's in the gym, so it's been a good time for me to get some quiet and much needed exercise, too.

And of course -- LEGOS! Yes, we are still playing with LEGOS and will have some LEGO goodness coming for you very soon! Grant had a friend over last weekend and they spent most of their time playing LEGOS. 

Operation Christmas Child

Are you gathering items for Operation Christmas Child boxes?

This ministry is near and dear to my heart. Delivering boxes to children in Ecuador is one of the highlights of my life, therefore I will be shouting from the rooftops why you should pack boxes! 

National Collection Week is November 17-24. My kids have been saving change all year. They want to pack one incredible box with this money they have set aside. I think they can pack 2 or 3, but I'll let them hash it all out. 

I will be speaking at churches this collection season in an effort to inspire people to pack more boxes. Every time I watch the distribution video from Ecuador it reminds me just how important one box can be.

 Music Appreciation Hangout

I was thrilled to participate in a G+ hangout with the iHomeschool Network. Take some time to watch - it is my hope you will learn ways to make music appreciation EASY in your homeschool!   



Now I want to hear from you: Do you feel like you have a well rounded homeschool?  

New Feature This Week:  Instagram Users - did you know you can now link your Instagram photo in the linky below?  Yes! If you don't have a blog post but want to link your collage from Instagram, you can do just that!  

We are happy to announce that now inlinkz supports the use of  Instagram photos, in two simple to follow steps.  All you need is an instagram account and at least one photo in your collection.

If you want to use a photo from your collection, firstly type the ‘Link‘ you want to add and then click on the instagram icon.

 Be sure to type your INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT URL in the "Link" box:  (for example: mine is and then select which photo you would like used.  This will take people to your Instagram account! 


Please join me for Collage Friday by linking your post with a photo collage wrap up of your week.

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