I know my limits. I am not an art teacher.
I am creative, artistic, and resourceful, 
but I am not good at teaching art. 
Thankfully, Juli is. I found these classes at ARTLIFE at the beginning of the semester and I enrolled my seven-year-old son and my ten-year-old daughter. It was money well spent. They discussed line, shade, variety, texture, balance, harmony, and color. They worked with lithography, clay, paint, and paper. I got lots of ideas about what worked for them and what didn't. Now I know when stocking up on supplies, paint and clay are at the top of the list while I can save money on other items that are only mildly interesting to my kids. 

Nor am I a physical education teacher. 
I enjoy walking, swimming, and going to the parks,
but know nothing about introducing my kids to sports. 
Thankfully, Jennifer and Tiffany do. I happened on the Road Runners, a kids marathon and triathlon training running club for homeschoolers, this spring also. Neither of my kids were getting enough exercise and I did not know where to begin with helping keep fit. This club offered goal setting, instruction on correct form, and tons of encouragement. Even though neither of my kids are going to do the triathlon this year, my kids have gained strength and endurance since they began. Because it is for homeschoolers, they expect the toddlers, mommies, and kids of all ages. My three-year-old daughter runs along or gets some piggy-back rides. Now that they are focusing on bike riding, she hops on her tricycle and zooms along.

After these great experiences, I will never hesitate to call upon others to help my children when I don't feel quite up to the task.


Homeschool Advantages: Freedom of Time

It isn't the reason I decided to homeschool, but I love to be master of my own time. I still get the same 24 hours as everyone else, but by homeschooling, I can rearrange our time as our life demands. For homeschoolers, the daily tempo is set by each member of the family rather than the rigid schedule put forth by the teacher. Here, if the three year old is feeling out of sorts, we adjust to meet her needs. She may only need a lap and a story but that may require us all to shift things a bit. Projects may be placed on hold while I tend to an unexpected crisis. The key to making this work is to rearrange the things I need to get done and not to put them off indefinitely.


The Cicadas have Emerged! (run for your lives!!!!)

Here in Nashville, it is the 13 year invasion of the highly annoying cicada. You can't go outside without getting them in your hair or crunching them underfoot. Of course, you won't hear them crunch too much over their noise. Click on this link to hear the chorus and imagine stepping outside and having that surround you. Or, you can go here to hear some individuals.
My daughter is fascinated with their castoff shells. She has jars of them. She insists on keeping them in her room.  I am less than thrilled.

Give them a week and we will be sweeping piles of them off our decks. As we regain our sense of hearing, we'll all take a deep breath and boast about our trials and tribulations for another 13 years until once again the little beasts come out to

Not my video, but it is exactly what we are dealing with. 


The Dark Days of History

A doctor's clothing
I knew it was coming. It was inevitable. The dark stuff of history had to be discussed at some point. As we worked chronologically we had already seen some things that were bad: wars, religious intolerance, and even some rulers that were just plain mean. Yet, I knew the bubonic plague would be different. We use The The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages  by Susan Bauer and I think it did a very good job at introducing this topic with enough seriousness so they can feel the reality of it while minimizing the gruesomeness. The stories of entire towns being lost and people dying in a matter of a day or two, stunned my wide-eyed, vaccinated innocents.

It wasn't long before my kids began to put some facts together. Call it bad timing, but the pets were due their flea and tick medicine about that time and my kids saw me giving them their doses. That night, my oldest asked me if she could get the plague from the cats who tend to sleep in her bed.


The Math We Love

This was the very first curriculum we looked into as beginning homeschoolers. It was my husband's recommendation. My husband's picks should always be taken seriously. He will research something to death, logically compile the information, and then say "I like XYZ. What do you think?" I've learned over the years, what on the surface appears to be an off-handed remark, is actually the result of a lot of thought. And, again, he was spot on. (Yes, it's here in print for the whole world to see! I will never live it down!)



My oldest had a violin audition last night. I think I was more nervous than she. This wasn't her first audition but it was her biggest one so far. She is a current member of the Nashville Suzuki Players (NSP), a nonprofit organization that travels to events and schools to spread the joy of music. The group has played all over the southeast and the list of people and places they have preformed for is impressive and growing.


Five (plus 1) Free Field Trips in Nashville

Field trips don't need to be expensive. Here in Nashville there are several great places to go and things to do for FREE. Some of these require registration while others are pleased to see you just walk in. There is even one that will provide T-shirts all for free.


How to Go to a Curriculum Fair... and Survive!

I think one of the most memorable moments of a homeschooler's  journey is the first time you venture into the almighty curriculum fair (insert horror film music here).   I was fortunate enough to have a good friend baby step me through my first one, but some of you may not be so lucky. So, I decided to point out a few things that really helped and a few things that I wish I had known on my first trip.