The Diligent Homeschool - Collage Friday 1.2

I have spent the past couple of years feeling  guilty about leaving our interest led, whimsical schooling behind us. The deeply creative part of me has been mourning the learning "tangents" that so often captured our focus. 

The Diligent Homeschool - Collage Friday 1.2

This year, however, - even though we are only three weeks into the school year - those feelings of guilt and mourning are beginning to fade. I am seeing so clearly what a beautiful, solid Classical education my children are receiving, and it brings me great joy and PEACE.

As I watch my ninth grader so competently schedule and complete her own work, it shows me the disciplined approach of our schooling in the past two years is WORTH IT. 

When I see my fifth grader flourish with large amounts of memory work, and thirst for yet ANOTHER book, it affirms my choice to educate him in this way. 

In short, we now have a DILIGENT homeschool, and I am taking great joy and rest in that fact. 

The Diligent Homeschool

In Teaching From Rest (my new favorite book!), Sarah Mackenzie tells us, 

I spent some of my early homeschooling years parked in an overly relaxed mode of teaching. It wasn’t laziness, exactly — I went in quite intentionally and thought it to be a great gift to my students to allow them to bloom on their own terms. What I found, however, was that the nature of my children was not nurtured by my best intentions. My neglect in their formation repaed exactly what one might expect — laziness, carelessness, and a self-centered view of learning. I thought I was meeting my kids where they were. I wrongly figured that if wisdom began with wonder, than I as a teacher outght to step out of the way completely. In an effort not to stand between my student and his learning, I failed to build a bridge at all between the child in front of me and the man God intended him to become.

Friends, these words hit me - HARD.

Hopefully this year I will continue to up my teaching game and offer my children a rigorous education that creates diligence and a love of God's people and His Word.  

Increasing Independence in Challenge I

Anna's week now requires consultation from me - along with suggestions here and there about scheduling, editing papers, and general encouragement.

Each week she schedules all of her assignments and is very diligent about completing them. (That's not to say we don't have some bumps in the road, but for the most part I have been so pleased.)

I remember being in high school - we simply followed a schedule and did what the teachers told us. There was  little room for true OWNERSHIP and DECISION MAKING. 

Increased Independence in Challenge I

A typical week in Challenge I...

Anna does much of her work on her Google Chromebook (I need to write a post about what a great machine this is for a high schooler). She has a dedicated work area in her bedroom and it's quite pleasant. Many times during the day I will pop in, sit on her bed, and just get a status update. 

She had her Henle I Latin Open House - through Memoria Press - and will begin that class after Labor Day. The teacher has lived in several countries and is a Latin scholar - just listening to her chat with the students today was quite exciting. 

American Government is a lot of work right now - the students annotate original American documents and share with the class. 

She has already read The Call of the Wild, The Sign of the Beaver, and Johnny Tremain

She has completed the first chapter in her physical science text and has taken the first test.

In Challenge I, the workload is intense, but these young people are so CAPABLE and are meeting the challenge! 

It's not all academics, though -- we are still taking music lessons, playing tennis, and doing other things she enjoys. 

She made a Ham, Broccoli, Cheese Quiche for us this week.. so yummy! 

I love that school and home blend together. We can talk about the novel she is reading while cooking - I can watch her online class while I'm folding laundry. We can share a read aloud together at lunchtime. 

My husband works from home, and I love the atmosphere in our house: we are ALL working hard during the day. Each person has their own "job" to do, but we are all interested in each other and support each other's work. I love that we aren't separated all day into separate classrooms and workplaces. 

I think back on the days when everyone scattered at 7:30 a.m. to different schools and workplaces and don't miss it one bit! 

Myths, Maps, Memory Work (& More!)

My fifth grader was a hard worker this week, too. It was our first official Classical Conversations community day, and he was so excited to see friends, learn new memory work, and even review the sentence patterns in Essentials! 

Myths, Maps, Memory Work & More

A few things pictured above:

  • Copying Essentials grammar charts is done daily. I would have thought this would be boring, but I never hear a complaint - in fact I think he LIKES it. 
  • Map Tracing (of course!) - this week it was the Fertile Crescent - which led to some scientific discoveries about the Mediterranean Sea - FUN! 
  • Writing a rough draft and then typing his IEW paragraph - I am a firm believer in teaching kids to type!
  •  D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths has completely captured his attention. Add this to his ongoing obsession with the Percy Jackson series (he started The Mark of Athena this week), and he's learning so much about mythology. 

Grant also started fall baseball this week and is THRILLED about that! 

Community Day - Classical Conversations

It was back to Classical Conversations this week... my two students are both looking so grown up, don't you agree? 

Grant's Foundations class is ALL BOYS. His tutor is wonderful and she had the boys out on the field doing memory work DRILLS, complete with a bullhorn and pushups!  It was GREAT! 

First CC Community Day

Our Essentials tutor is also a man, so it's nice to have that influence this year... another guy who thinks grammar is cool?  Awesome! 

Grant's favorite part of Essentials is the math game that is played at the end. This week it was Board Slam.  I just sit back and watch him come up with the math problems, because he's faster than I am! 

Oh, and I had to sneak in a picture of my SunButter. We have a nut-free community, so I decided to try SunButter in lieu of Peanut Butter. It is VERY good.  In fact, today at home I made myself a SunButter and Honey Sandwich for lunch.   MMMMMM......  

Join Collage Friday!

Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners

How was YOUR homeschool week? Do you have any thoughts on what it means to have a DILIGENT homeschool?

Join me each Friday for a wrap up of the week - or just to share pertinent thoughts that have been rambling in your head during the past week.

Be sure to include your photo collages!

Then, visit other bloggers that have linked and leave them a supportive comment.  I love the Collage Friday community!

Add your link using the widget below. Additionally, if you'd like to join further, use the hashtag #collagefriday on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. 

Keep a Few Beautiful Things Consistent - Collage Friday 1.1

Welcome back to Collage Friday!

Keep a Few Beautiful Things Consistent - Collage Friday 1.1

For those of you not familiar with the Collage Friday link up, it is simply a weekly meme where homeschool bloggers (and anyone else for that matter), can share photo collages of their week.

It is also a time each week where I share about the events of our week - favorite resources, fun ideas, and anything else I'd like to document.  Collage Friday is my homeschool scrapbook!

This year I am trying to be much more INTENTIONAL about keeping track of each Collage Friday post. While I have been running this link up for FIVE YEARS, this year I will start numbering each Collage Friday post and housing them all on the Collage Friday page. 

Each week will have a theme and number. 

So here goes -- the very first edition of the 2015-16 school year, and the very first edition where I am the parent of a HIGH SCHOOL student! 

Ninth Grade Homeschool

We've had a less than perfect start to the year. 

Since I had surgery last week, I have been moving slowly.  I've been very proud of the way Anna has started her classes and work pretty much on her own (with a little input from her dad and me). 

The core of Anna's work is Challenge I (Classical Conversations). Her first class was Tuesday, and from all reports it was wonderful! She has a class of five students - and one tutor - who meet one day a week. 

Starting 9th Grade - Collage Friday

We aren't following the Challenge I curriculum to the letter. Changes are being made in math and Latin. 

One of the largest benefits of the Challenge program is that the PARENT is the final authority and teacher. Yes, we try to follow the program as strictly as we can, but when adjustments need to be made for my child, I feel it is quite possible to do so. 

Anna is taking Algebra I online from Mr. D Math. The first class was this week and I was most impressed with the ease of technical setup, the content of the class, and the online environment that Anna completes her math lessons in throughout the week. 

Henle I Latin will begin after Labor Day, and this is done through Memoria Press Online Academy. Technical setups were done this week and all went smoothly there, too. 

Between the two online classes, Challenge I seminars, and Anna's interest in music, I think it's going to be a busy and productive first year of high school. 

A Consistent Start to Our Homeschool Day

Last year became a bit disjointed for my children. It seemed that Anna was working on her Challenge curriculum and Grant was working with me on Foundations and Essentials, and we didn't meet much in between.

This year I am really trying to change that. We start each day together with our simple morning basket

A Consistent Beautiful Start to Our Homeschool Days

Even though I wasn't feeling 100% (or even 50% most days!), I did try to get up, shower, and meet the kids downstairs for breakfast by 8:30. 

We would have our devotion, talk about a piece of art, and go over memory work. 

(I detail all of this in my Simple Morning Basket post.)

Next week we will do the same, but have a SQUILT Music Appreciation lesson instead of art. The plan is to alternate art and music each week. 

I must say that reading Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching From Rest has given me a lot of inspiration to start the school year well. The section "When Your Daily Grind is Holy Ground" hit me between the eyes. Why can't our daily homeschool grind be full of beauty and holiness?  

Percy, Piano & More

I love God's timing.

Grant has never been a huge chapter book reader. This summer, however, Anna suggested to him that he might want to give the Percy Jackson series a try (considering we will be in Cycle 1 this year).

Six books later, Grant is HOOKED!  He spent much of the last week READING. 

That made this mom very happy, and lessened a little of my guilt for being not available much of the time. 

Grant was either reading, building with his Minecraft Crafting Box, making rubber band bracelets, practicing baseball, or playing piano. 

Percy Jackson, Piano & More - Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners

We did manage to get back on track with a little bit of "school", also.

Saxon Math lessons continued (as they did all summer). 

Grant also began his Veritas Press self paced history course. I'm especially excited about this, and so is Grant. He loves that it's all done online, and I love the content and that it builds up more independence in his day. 

All in all, it was a good week. 

The kids were helpful to me and each other, and we managed to "wade" into the school year slowly. 

There were no "back to school" pictures or celebratory breakfasts.  I'll have to do that once I'm feeling a bit better, which I anticipate will be very soon. 

Join Collage Friday!

Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners

How was YOUR homeschool week?

Join me each Friday for a wrap up of the week - or just to share pertinent thoughts that have been rambling in your head during the past week.

Be sure to include your photo collages!

Then, visit other bloggers that have linked and leave them a supportive comment.  I love the Collage Friday community!

Add your link using the widget below. Additionally, if you'd like to join further, use the hashtag #collagefriday on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. 

Good Reads for the Homeschool Mom

Professional development is essential for the homeschool mom.

10 Best Books for Homeschool Moms is always a popular post here on the blog. 

I'd like to add a few more today.... these books have proven useful to me recently and I know you will love them, too!

Good Reads for the Homeschool Mom

Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

I enjoyed the first edition of Sarah Mackenzie's book, and can't wait to get the latest edition

Everything about this book exudes PEACE and TRANQUILITY; it is designed to encourage and equip homeschool moms in very practical ways. 

I'm also a huge fan of the Read Aloud Revival, also from Amongst Lovely Things. 

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The Conversation


This book, by Leigh Bortins, will spark your interest if you are a Classical homeschooler, or interested in the Classical method -- and homeschooling a high schooler!

Our family is deeply steeped in Classical education, and as a Classical Conversations mom I read anything by Leigh Bortins and enjoy it immensely. 

When You Rise Up

When You Rise Up, a Covenental Approach to Homeschooling, is a book I read in just one sitting. 


R.C. Sproul, Jr., reminds Christian parents of WHY we really homeschool, and what our goal as Christian homeschoolers should be. I found the book went closely along with the Classical education model, but at the same time reinforced to me that the MODEL of homeschooling isn't as important as the GOAL of our homeschool - to raise children who want to nurture and instruct their children in the ways of God. 

This book is not a nuts and bolts homeschooling book. It is an inspirational, back to WHY WE HOMESCHOOL kind of book. 

I enjoyed it very much. 

The History of the Ancient, Medieval & Renaissance Worlds

Authored by Susan Wise Bauer, these gems are  history primers for adults. 

We have loved The Story of the World for years, and now I am loving these books, too.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

This book is packed full of practical, easy to implement homeschool ideas. 

It contains 103 topics for you to enjoy - and I'm happy to have authored the chapter about using LEGO bricks in your homeschool! 

It's a good one to have on your shelf - for a rainy day or just as a great all-around homeschool resource. 


Do YOU have a favorite homeschooling book you would like to recommend? Leave the title in the comments below!