Homeschool Update - January 2019

As we enter the second semester of our school year I wanted to bring you up to speed on how our homeschool is moving along.

I long for the days when we did a lot of notebooking and creative unit studies, but middle and high school have their good points, too.

Our children begin grappling with BIG ideas, and begin to take responsibility for their own learning. Our role as parents shifts from that of teacher to mentor and coach.

January Homeschool Update - Homegrown Learners

Our homeschool word for 2019 is INTENTIONAL. Each and every thing we do is evaluated carefully, because my time with my children at home is short!

Eighth Grade

My son continues in his Classical Conversations Challenge B group.

His tutor and classmates are a TREMENDOUS influence in his education. All of the parents in this group often remark that a combination of children like this is RARE.

These kids support each other, spur each other on, and are genuinely committed to a pursuit of knowledge and goodness. We don’t take this blessing lightly.

This year has been one of a lot of growth (physically and mentally) for my son. I’m working on letting go and trusting him with more responsibility. That isn’t always easy, and I have to remind myself that my goal is to work myself OUT of a job.

He is enjoying playing basketball for a local Christian school and also plays the piano. Before bed he likes to draw Fortnite characters in his sketchbook and listen to music.

His life is busy and full. This is a great age!

Curriculum Update - January 2019 @ Homegrown Learners

A few subject updates:


Grant made the switch to Shormann Math this year and it has been very good thus far.

We switched from Saxon Math to Shormann because of the video instruction and its reputation for SAT and ACT preparation. Shormann also will carry my son through Calculus, which is a requirement for him.


This has been a surprise for me.

Grant LOVES Latin and I think he does very well with it. We are continuing his Latin studies, and I hope to add another foreign language to the mix next year.


Grant is a reader. I’m finding that boys of this age really enjoy series of books.

We also read aloud during our Morning Time.

A few of his favorite series right now include:

Pendragon Complete Collection: The Merchant of Death; The Lost City of Faar; The Never War; The Reality Bug; Black Water; The Rivers of Zadaa; The ... of Rayne; Raven Rise; The Soldiers of HallaAlex Rider 10 Books Box Set Complete Collection By Anthony HorowitzLeviathan (The Leviathan Trilogy)The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (the Hobbit / the Fellowship of the Ring / the Two Towers / the


12th Grade

(You might want to check out the series, Homeschool to College, where I have been documenting our journey with Anna.)

I’ll be honest with you. This is a tricky time for me.

Keeping the momentum and motivation in the last year of homeschooling is a challenge! I can see so much growth in my daughter, and a gradual pulling away from her dad and me (which is what we want, but, oh it’s not always easy!) . Anna is just a few months away from turning 18 - she still needs guidance and direction, but no longer the same rules and structure she had earlier in high school.

Homeschool Curriculum Update January 2019 @ Homegrown Learners

She is a nanny three afternoons a week and continues to volunteer a lot with the special needs ministry at our church. She plays guitar (she recently played and sang for her Granddaddy’s funeral, which completely reduced me to tears) and has a beautiful, authentic sound when she sings.

She is a textbook introvert . She has a HUGE heart.

She loves to bullet journal and has really gotten quite good at her hand lettering.

My daughter has been accepted to three colleges and has narrowed this down to two. (We should have a decision soon). She technically has enough credits to graduate high school right now, but is finishing an anatomy and English Literature class at our local classical school. She will be participating in a formal graduation ceremony in May with the classical school.

{Insert mom freaking out}

She wants to study Special Education in college - but I have a feeling she may wind up in some type of therapy field. I’m excited to see what God has planned for her!

Academic Updates:

Last semester she took Homeschool Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice - we HIGHLY recommend this course!

This semester she is going to be working her way through some of the review courses on in preparation for taking a few CLEP exams this spring.

She is really enjoying her Anatomy & Physiology class.

I’m really not sure where the time has gone with her. It truly does seem like yesterday when we dropped her off at Kindergarten and she walked into the room like she owned it. Three years later we brought her home for school and never looked back.

Best. Decision. Ever.

I hope this brief update has been helpful to you. Sometimes there isn’t a ton to write about as our children get older - and they are picky about their privacy. Hopefully this has given you a glimpse into our world!

Do you have any homeschool questions for me?

Leave them in the comments below and I’m happy to help!

What is Your Homeschool Word?

I’ve never had a “word” for the year.

Too often we let events in our homeschool just happen, without giving a lot of thought to why we are doing them, or what the consequences (good or bad) of those events will be. Sometimes just making it through a homeschool day without bloodshed or major trauma is a victory.

Recently, a good friend of mine texted me to say she and her husband had just gotten back from a dinner where they strategized what they wanted the next four years of their oldest’s homeschool experience to look like. That got me to thinking about my own children, and if I could articulate what I wished for them.

And then it hit me.

In 2019 I need to be more INTENTIONAL.

Our Homeschool Word of the Year 2019: Intentional

Because I’m getting ready to send my oldest to college in the fall, the word INTENTIONAL has great meaning for me - so that’s my word for 2019.

Let’s unpack what being intentional means in our homeschools.

Be Intentional About Activities

I know there are so many resources out there for planning our days and even planning our years.

But what focus do we give to a long range plan? What skills do we want our children to have when they leave us?

Being INTENTIONAL means keeping this plan in mind at all times. Does what we are doing fit our goals/plan?

Does participating in a team sport fulfill our goals? Or, are we just doing something because everyone else is doing it? What is the PURPOSE for what we are doing?

Is your child in a particular club or organization or another extracurricular? What function does this serve in their education and life? If you cannot articulate it I would suggest you need to let it go.

I want to be more INTENTIONAL about evaluating our commitments and activities.

Be Intentional About Time

How do we spend our time?

I recently saw something online that said our diet isn’t just what goes into our body - it is what goes into our minds and how we spend our time.

Are we modeling a proper use of our time (ahem - too much time on the cell phone, perhaps)?

What time are we getting up in the morning?

What do we do with our “free” time?

Does how we spend our time reflect our intentionality?

Be Intentional About Curriculum

Why are using a certain curriculum?

If you have older children, have you mapped out what you want them to accomplish by the time they graduate and then have you intentionally placed them on that path?

I discovered a few years ago that I had been keeping my oldest in a program for all of the wrong reasons. I wasn’t being intentional!

Are you sticking with the same math curriculum because you just know it works and it isn’t making any waves? Do you think you should maybe change to increase the rigor or for more accountability, but just don’t have it in you to try something new?

I would argue you aren’t being INTENTIONAL about what your children should be learning.

Do you want to me more intentional about reading aloud? Then make time each day for that. Don’t just give it lip service and then bemoan the fact you haven’t read aloud as much as you wanted to when 2019 draws to a close.

You get the point.

Know your goals and take steps to accomplish them. If a certain curriculum piece doesn’t fit those goals, set it aside (even if “everyone else” is using it).

What is Your Homeschool Word for 2019?

Be Intentional About Friendships

We all have friends that either build us up or tear us down.

Are you seeking out good, healthy friendships for you and your children, or are you stuck in a rut with people that don’t quite feed your friendship needs?

Again, sometimes you have to let some things go in order to make room for better things.

Trust me, I understand letting friendship go and then praying for new friendships to take hold.

Have faith. God wants what is best for our families, and honors us when we make hard choices.

Be Intentional About Possessions

This is going to be the hard part for me.

I am a bit of a book junkie, curriculum junkie, game junkie - I just like my stuff.

Do these possessions contribute to my goals, or do they weigh me down?

I don’t need that board game just because it is $2 at Goodwill. I don’t need ALL the books on my shelves (well, maybe I do - ha!). I don’t need all the boxes and boxes of homeschool materials I’m saving “just because”.

Again, this intentionality is being modeled for my children - it is one of the greatest gifts I can give them.

I just love thinking about our year in terms of everything being DONE ON PURPOSE and being done DELIBERATELY. It implies a high level of care and consideration that will lead to excellence, don’t you agree?

As we think about 2019, I would encourage you to adopt a word for the year. Brainstorm ways this word can help you achieve your goals.

Write the word boldly and put it up in several places around your home. I’m thinking of making a few bookmarks with the word INTENTIONAL on them to serve as reminders for me.

What’s Your Homeschool Word for 2019? #homeschoolword

If you have a word, share it in the comments below.

I’m going to be sharing my progress all year long via my Instagram account using the hashtag #homeschoolword and I’d love for you to join me!