What We've Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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?

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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!!)

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

A cute aside - Grant has always loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and I have nothing against them!

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?

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

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?

What have you been up to?

Are you back to the routine after the holidays?

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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!