Re-entry after a restful holiday break can be hard.
Or, it can be a welcome return to the routine.
Ours has been a little of both. There may have been some groans and sighs as everyone headed back to their respective classes and homeschool groups, but there has also been a certain comfort in the familiar routine and productivity that naturally follows.
Our homeschool word this year is intentional - so I’m keeping tabs on myself through these blog entries. Have I been INTENTIONAL about everything in our homeschool and life in the past week?
I have been relentless about claiming reading time for myself. I consider it therapy and education all wrapped up in one!
Sunday afternoon (after church and some house cleaning), I sat down with my latest read, Harry’s Trees, and relaxed a bit. My husband was doing the same thing, and we chatted while we relaxed. Having that time to strategize for the week was extremely helpful.
(Harry’s Trees is the selection for the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club this month. I love my book club membership!)
I’ve decided that little things can bring me a lot of joy - I bought this mug at a cute coffee shop and it just makes me happy.
Sunday evening we had company for dinner.
I would like to be a better at hospitality in 2019 - not anything fancy - just opening my home and heart to others.
Interestingly enough, a sweet reader of Homegrown Learners sent me The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard, and the book has been inspiring me.
We had simple baked tacos for dinner and enjoyed a lovely evening. (Plus, inviting people over gives me a kick in the pants to clean things up a bit!)
If you want the recipe for these EASY and YUMMY tacos, you can find it in my Plan to Eat.
Back to “school” Monday morning consisted of all of the usual subjects.
(I won’t talk much about my senior because she is cruising through to graduation and pretty much controls her own schedule now!)
Grant is preparing for a piano competition in March, so he’s back to his regular practice schedule each day. Piano has been one of my homeschool requirements for both children. I know it builds concentration, attention, discipline, and musicality. It is a gift they will always have with them - and I just love having a house with the sound of music.
A reader asked me last week about what our morning time looks like with a middle schooler.
One thing we ALWAYS include in our morning time is reading aloud. Our current read-aloud is Jefferson’s Sons. I had read Sally Hemings and America’s First Daughter last year and was intrigued with Thomas Jefferson’s story. Jefferson’s Son is the YA version of that story and we’re both enjoying learning about Jefferson - who was great in the eyes of men - but maybe struggled with being great in the eyes of God because of the slaves he owned.
One of the most difficult subjects in Grant’s Challenge B coursework is Intermediate Formal Logic.
He began reading, highlighting, and creating a Quizlet set this week. The key to success is going to be staying on top of the assignments, memorizing the vocabulary, and not giving up!
(Do you know about Quizlet? It’s one of our favorite online flashcard tools!!)
He began reading them in Kindergarten, and shortly thereafter starting writing in his own journal using dialog! I was amazed at how such a little boy could use quotation marks and punctuation appropriately, and then I realized he was imitating the writing he was seeing in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Brilliant.
He owns every book and I gave him the new one for Christmas. You will often catch him rereading them for fun.
I’m sure some people would call them twaddle, but I don’t care - I believe there is room for a certain amount of twaddle in our lives, don’t you?
Finally, we’ve been back to our basketball schedule.
Nearly every afternoon or evening (other than Wednesday and Sunday) contains basketball. It’s a good thing the private school where he plays is close to our house, and that he LOVES this team. We’re fortunate to have found a school that welcomes homeschoolers!
I can’t imagine what Grant’s attitude would be like if he didn’t have this physical activity each day.
He plays HARD and it’s been fun to watch the young man he is on the basketball court. Of course the emphasis is on playing good basketball and winning games, but the greater emphasis is on playing as a Christian.
I am thankful for this opportunity. We waited many years for an organized sports group with this focus.
All in all I think re-entry is going well.
Only one more semester and I will have a HOMESCHOOL GRADUATE (yikes!) and a high school freshman. Where DOES the time go?