I think the high school years might just be my favorite of all the homeschooling years.
The lightbulbs that constantly went off when my children were little were certainly gratifying - and often times extremely cute - but watching my kids learn and achieve BIG things is exciting. Additionally, being able to learn WITH them and cultivate interests together is super fun.
The key to this age is understanding how to reach their hearts.
(Let’s just not talk about the fact that my oldest will be going to college in the fall, ok?)
This week found us in the kitchen a lot (a good thing), and also filling our time with CULTURE.
Did I mention how much I like this stage of life with my kids?
Life Skills in Our Homeschool
We can all agree that laundry is not glamorous or exciting - or cultural for that matter. It does, however, have to get done, and I’m NOT doing it for my kids anymore.
My oldest has been doing her laundry since middle school, and with the turn of the calendar year I decided to have my son take charge of his laundry, too. So far, so good.
I love that both of my children will leave this house knowing how to do their laundry.
And, my daughter has a great laundry hack: she uses an Expo marker to write on top of the washer what DOESN’T go into the dryer. Clever, huh? No more dress shrinking up to a shirt because it was put in the dryer accidentally!
Because Anna’s schedule is lighter this LAST semester of high school we are using the time to hone in on some skills for LIFE.
She has been making a lot of meals for us - healthy meals in particular.
This week our favorite was One Pan Healthy Sausage and Roasted Veggies.
We served it with some quinoa & wild rice. Perfection.
Each week she also picks one recipe from a new cookbook I got for Christmas.
Chicken Fajita Pasta was a hit in our house - and I can’t wait to have her try more!
Part of me wants to have her stop cooking (because what will I do when she goes to college?!?!), but she enjoys this so much and it is such a practical, useful skill for her to have. In an age of fast food and anything EASY I feel like our kids aren’t learning the basics of how to cook a healthy meal.
Because I write a music appreciation curriculum I try to go to as many performances as I can. This year my husband and I subscribed to a series of concerts with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Saturday night we heard an all Bernstein program, which was quite fitting because in SQUILT LIVE! this month I am teaching the students all about musicals.
Something I didn’t quite realize was what a great JAZZ composer Bernstein was. Listening to his Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs got me VERY excited for February in SQUILT LIVE! - Jump into Jazz! (You can join me at any time for live lessons - we have so much fun!)
We also enjoyed dinner out together - Lebanese food (yum!) - before the symphony.
When you have big kids it’s easy to go out for date night. Bonus.
I started reading The Lake House by Kate Morton this week. I love everything she writes.
Being in a local in-person book club has been a lot of fun for me. Last week three of us from the book club met to talk about our book goals for the year. I know that I want to read more non fiction this year, and in particular I would like to focus on more religious and education non fiction. (Did you see the most recent post I wrote about C.S. Lewis?)
I put the question to our private Facebook group, Equipping Homegrown Learners, about starting a book club on the page - with the first book being Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott.
Come join our FB group, by the way - I think we have great discussions and encouragement.
I also really enjoyed the latest episode of What Should I Read Next? - and seriously wish I had a little one so we could do a 1,000 books challenge like the mom in this podcast!
My 14-year-old is odd.
He loves Latin.
I think it is the challenge of solving a big puzzle as you parse a sentence that intrigues him the most. As he is working through Henle Latin in Challenge B this year I am starting to think about adding a second language in high school next year.
The National Latin Exam is taken in March of each year and I coordinate the testing for our Challenge community. This morning I spoke to their class about the test and what we will do to prepare, and then I stayed for the hour of Latin they had afterwards.
They were talking about the quality and quantity of adjectives and the endings that go with them. It was at this point in my daughter’s Latin studies that I remember jumping ship; I think I might try to make it a bit further this year.
I love the discipline and precision the study of Latin brings to our homeschool. I love watching a room full of eighth graders seriously discuss how to approach translating a sentence from English into Latin.
It isn’t hard to learn Latin - it just requires commitment and patience.