Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The First Day of Easing Back into School

What does back to school look like for a homeschooler? When your take away the new clothes and back packs and bus stops and tardy bells. . . what do you have left?

Yesterday, we began to ease back into a more intentional, slightly more formal routine of learning at our house. To put it in layman's terms, we went back to school.

While I love homeschooling, preparing to school four kids at four different levels can overwhelm me. I'm a planner, but it seems no matter how much I plan, I always need just a little more time. Some pieces of our homeschool this year are all mapped out and ready to go. Others are a work in progress.

For me, the key is to pick a day, and ready or not, just get started. Easing back into school works for us.

So early yesterday morning, I baked muffins for breakfast, and Mike brought me roses for our special day. I got each child started on Bible and Math. Together, we began setting up their organizational notebooks. I started a new read-aloud book with them, and they started new books on their own. Wenxin practiced cursive and phonics. The girls worked on spelling. Nathan did a little science. We quit by lunch.

New Latin books arrive sometime today. Grammar books are en route as well. I still haven't ordered the math practice sheets we use or an MLA handbook to get Nathan's papers ship-shape in preparation for high school. 

But the key thing here -- the very important part of this story -- is that we've started. We're back to school.

Shared at WFMW and Sunday Snapshot.

Here's our first day back to school photo -- in true 
homeschool style, complete with bedhead and one kid still in pajamas.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why I'm Happy My Girls Play Sports

My sweet nine-year-old, you are an athlete.

God made you beautiful.

God made you fast.

He made you strong.

Recently, Mike and I were having dinner with another Christian family, and the husband remarked that he had mixed feelings about girls playing competitive sports. He felt that maybe the aggression needed to excel at competitive sports was at odds with developing femininity in young girls.

I've thought about it long and hard, and I don't really see a conflict here.

I'm happy my girls play sports.

Each possesses a true and unique beauty all her own, and I often remind them of how beautiful they are.

But because they play sports, it's easy to remind them of other truths as well. I remind them that God has given them amazing bodies. Their bodies are healthy. . . and strong. . . and fast.

What a gift!

Who says feminine can't be healthy and strong and fast?

Katherine's Team Placed Second at 3v3 Nationals at Disney This Month

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Love Julia's simple, classic, no-fuss beauty. Hope she always embraces how God made her and always knows that she doesn't have to try too hard.

Late last night, I put in what I thought was my last order of homeschool materials for the upcoming school year. Of course, I forgot the math tests and practice sheets we use, so I guess I'll have to place another order today.

I love homeschooling, but don't let anyone kid you. Homeschooling is a lot of work. Yes, it's a lifestyle of learning, and yes, you don't have to structure your days like a 5 day/week school, but there's no getting around the fact that it's still hard work.

I just read How Hiring Help Transformed our Homeschool, and I'm finding myself wondering, "What would it be like to have a homeschool helper a couple of days a week?"

Something to think about and pray about on this Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

Oversized thirteen-year-old boy. Still loves to design elaborate sandcastles at the beach. Complete with a miniature lifeguard stand.

I love this beach shot that makes Nathan look like a giant. I love the colors and the fact that the optical illusion makes me do a double take every time.

It's going to continue to be a little quiet on this blog for the rest of the month. Our summer was packed with wonderful experiences, and as our homeschool starts up again, I'm finding myself quite unprepared. And then this week, the international ministry that Mike and I are a part of dropped an amazing opportunity in my lap and in response, I'm putting in as many hours as I can, working arm in arm with Mike this month. If you know me in person, just ask and I'd love to give you more details.

Ni Hao Yall