It’s Been a HOT Minute!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted anything at all, either here or on my FB page. I’m solidly OK, but it’s been a tough slog. The last thing I posted was about my mom dying, but I don’t think I posted about my grandmother passing away as well. To say I’ve been a mess is an understatement. Throughout this school term, though, I have been humbled by the graciousness of God in meeting my needs. This care has manifested as everything from cards and packages in the mail to unexpected texts of “How are you doing?” While I am not out of the darkness of my mourning period yet, things are definitely better.

I’ll update the site when I have everything in place for the upcoming term’s classes. As it stands right now, I’m planning to do a writing class for Elementary/Middle Schoolers using Fairy Tales as a basis for source texts and my usual essay class for high schoolers. I am also doing Story Class again for the older kids. Yay! I have plans for two spelling classes, one for beginners learning about inflectional endings and the other for more advanced students who need more in-depth morphological instruction. That leaves me with a few slots for 1:1 students. (You know who you are … at least I think you do!) I hope to have my own version of a reference log available for this term’s students. We’ll see if I can finally get that done.

I also have to decide on books for our monthly discussions. I think I want to concentrate on books about books. I will have a list together for you by early August so that you can start reading. I will not have a calendar in place until mid to late August because I need to finish attending to family needs first. (If you haven’t read it yet, please look into Swedish Death Cleaning. It really will help either you personally or your own parents with putting all of the affairs in order.) I did update the Attendance Record sheet that sits on the Helps page, though. It only took me three tries to update it this year, so that’s progress! Enjoy!

Until next time …

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Cancer really stinks!

So, as I write this I want to tell you that I am fine. It’s my mom who is suffering with cancer. She was diagnosed at Christmas and her first round of chemo went really well. In fact, she reported that her scans were clear after that regimen. Sadly, after her second treatment, the one set to maintain her health, the cancer came back with a vengeance. As of this writing, she has completed her focused radiation round and is about to embark on the next protocol of chemo. She is very weak and tired. Please keep her in prayer.

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So much has happened …

I don’t even know where to begin! The first half of 2021 has been a roller coaster of a ride! While I think about what to write here, I want to let you know that I updated the calendar on the Helps page with a check sheet for the 2021-2022 term. I’m nearing a finalization on Reading with Reason and Junior Book selections. I also have a good idea of what the new term will look like. There are changes coming … good changes. Stay tuned!

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When Life Changes …

We really don’t have any choice but to change with it. New things come, old things go. some routines that we have held onto for years simply no longer work for where we find ourselves. It happens and is more common than we like to think. If anything IS a constant, it’s that CHANGE comes. Our ability to flex with those changes and eventually thrive is what makes all the difference in the world.

Whatever has changed in your life recently … even if it’s just more of the same old, same old that you haven’t quite gotten used to, please know that you can do this thing called homeschooling–even in the midst of crazy times!

One thing that helps you weather the storms of life is your ability to discern what HAS to be done vs what is simply good to be done. You can liken this to knowing the difference between wants and needs. Pare your schedule down to the bare bones, the basics. That will help tremendously. Another thing to do is to release guilt. There’s simply no room for that when you are homeschooling during a season of change or crisis.

A good thing to implement in your lives during this time is a period of “productive free time” (PFT) each day. During this block of time (be it an hour or longer — based on age and ability), let the children do their thing. Let them explore something, play something, read something, whatever. When the evening comes, ask everyone what they did during their PFT. As the days go by, you will be amazed at just how much learning happens.

One thing that is certain, season change. A season of change or crisis will pass. When it does, you can be assured that you can pick up the threads of your lives and continue weaving them into the beautiful and unique tapestry that is your family. Until then, may many blessings be showered upon you and yours!

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Resolutions

Why not consider some resolutions for your homeschool as well as for your personal life?

Homeschool Resolutions for a New Year – AOP Homeschooling

A Homeschooler’s New Year’s Resolutions – A Quiet Simple Life with Sallie Borrink

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Homeschoolers – Homeschooling Help (homeschoolacademy.com)

Let’s keep it simple with just these few. Enjoy the journey!!!

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12 Days of Christmas

If you are following my FB page, you know that I’ve been sharing things about the holidays this month. I have a few links scheduled for this topic too, but I like this page because it has separate links for each of the days and their meanings. The Hidden Meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas (courageouschristianfather.com)

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What’s Christmas without Christmas Music?

I love Christmas music. Here are some of the stories behind some of the very best songs (and a few not-so-great ones, too):

10 of the Best Classic Christmas Carols and the Stories Behind Them – Interesting Literature

10 Unusual Stories Behind Your Favorite Christmas Songs – Oddee

The History Behind Your Favorite Christmas Carols | Reader’s Digest (rd.com)

The History Behind 5 Great Christmas Carols (incourage.me)

Christmas Hymns | hymn stories

The Quick 10: Stories Behind 10 Famous Christmas Songs | Mental Floss

Christmas songs: Strange and fascinating stories behind your favorite tunes – CNN

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Celebrate the Light of the World with Chanukah

One of the first things you probably notice is that Chanukah can be spelled different ways. This happens with transliterated languages. The following page has some wonderful “stuff” for studying Chanukah. You really won’t want to search for anything else.

Happy Hanukkah: Free Planner Stickers – Bible Journal Love (biblejournalingdigitally.com)

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December Unit Study Ideas

I’ve listed several unit studies on my FB page, but here are a few more:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Unit Study – Homeschool Helper Online

December Themed Activities for Kids (livingmontessorinow.com)

40+ Free Resources for a Christmas Around the World Unit (livingmontessorinow.com)

December: Multicultural Holiday Celebrations | Education World

Holiday Activities, Worksheets, Printables, and Lesson Plans (edhelper.com)

Celebrate Winter Holidays Teaching Guide | Scholastic

Holiday Helps ~ Free Holiday Unit Studies — DIY Homeschooler

Christmas Around the World Unit Study and FREE Notebooking Pages | As We Walk Along the Road

Hey! There are EIGHT here, just as if you received one per each of the days of Chanukah! BTW, that starts on December 10th this year. There is just so much that you COULD do in December that I don’t want to overburden you with school-like things that you feel like you HAVE to do. Enjoy the season. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy your family! Many blessings to you and yours this holiday season — Stay SAFE!!!

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Advent

Have you ever thought about what that word means? It has to do with eagerly awaiting something. If you have not been involved in Christian teachings about Christmas, you may never have heard of Advent. In fact, even some Christians don’t know what it is! If you don’t “get it,” think back on what you remember about the impending birth of your first born child. All of the things you did to get ready for the birth of that baby are very similar to the things that go on during Advent. This makes sense since the Baby Jesus is coming to dwell with us, to abide with us!

Another thing that is really neat about Advent is how you can prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord, His Light and Love. Over the past few years I’ve seen some grandparents wrap a series of books to read on the days leading up to Christmas. Some plans show little story books that can easily be read in one sitting, others show books that need a few days, and a few feature books that take up the entire season of advent.

Let’s explore some Advent books!

Here’s a list of advent devotionals: Best Advent Devotionals (83 books) (goodreads.com)

This is Amazon’s all-time best seller’s list for Christmas books for kids: Amazon Best Sellers: Best Children’s Christmas Books

Here are the timeless classics: 20 Timeless Christmas Books for Kids | Real Simple

Christian Favorites: Christian Children’s Christmas Books – Christianbook.com

Finally, the best Christmas picture books: 24 Of The Best Christmas Picture Books For Kids {To Read Aloud!} (aplusteachingresources.com.au)

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