Summer Break Goals

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Our summer break has started. As I look at the stretch of two and a half months of break from homeschooling, I know from experience it can still be intense and busy. Due to COVID-19, I suspect a lot of the camps my children normally attend will be canceled. We have no confirmations yet, but I expect they would not happen. They will let us know by June 1 for sure.

Identifying butterflies

Identifying butterflies during our last hike

In a way, I like it. We will save money and energy by staying home and reading more books from the library. This brings me to my list of summer goals. In no particular order, here it is: Continue reading »


Lessons from the 36th Week

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We have come to the end of another school year at home – our seventh. Two more years and poof, our eldest will be in high school. Time flies when you are having fun.

Thesaurus and Boy

Learning to work with a thesaurus

This week, we received news that they canceled the nationally standardized test our children take at our umbrella school. In a way, I felt relief. But in another way, I felt robbed of the opportunity to check where our children have managed to arrive in their studies. Continue reading »


Great Words, Great Works

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Great Words, Great Works represent a list of books, compiled by the National Spelling Bee organizers. These books contain the 450 words which make up the School Level Word List. The organizers have picked these books for their literary value, engaging plots, and vocabulary.

Spelling Bee Titles

Three titles from the list put together by the National Spelling Bee

The book list, just like the word list, changes every year. This year, they released the list earlier, due to the quarantine. Proactive parents would do well to get these books for their kids as soon as possible.

One thing stays the same: the books are organized by grade and even the first grade books present challenging words. The point is, read them all. Even if you have children in 5th grade and 7th grade, like I will have next school year, you should read them all. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 35th Week

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This week, we found out that Tennessee will re-open May 1. Quarantine will be over and we will go places once more. “Where will you go first?,” some people ask me. I have not made up my mind. We will let you know.

Backyard Fox

Fox in our backyard

We finished reading six books from the Tuttle Twins series. A friend lent them to me before the quarantine started. The kids and I learned something new from each book. They have an engaging plot and we found out it takes about 30 minutes to read one title out loud. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 34th Week

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The best part of last week? The White House Press Briefing on Thursday, when they announced we have flattened the curve and the country will reopen soon. “Opening Up America Again” sounded like music to our ears.

Brother and sister spring tree

Brother and sister plus a spring tree at Zoder’s Inn and Suites

Also on Thursday, we took our roof-top tent and camper to Zoder’s Inn and Suites for one night. There, my husband did the bulk of the setting up, I cooked two meals (supper and breakfast), and the kids helped.

Roof-top tent with camper

Our roof-top tent with the camper, at Zoder’s Inn and Suites

The Roaring Fork River runs by the property, so the kids spent time looking at logs that floated and others that sank, tadpole eggs, wild flowers, and birds. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 33rd Week

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It has been a month since President Trump declared a national state of emergency. The children and I have been at home, homeschooling and practicing violin and piano, and spending as much time in the yard as possible. I am feeling it, but doing my best to keep it together.

Tick

Tick on our daughter’s temple

Our daughter got a tick on her right temple after one of these days spent outside. Ticks love her. They seem to jump on her more than on her older brother. The best way to remove a tick, of course, is alcohol. During this novel coronavirus pandemic, alcohol has been scarce. But we had to get rid of the tick. So we used as much alcohol as needed to get rid of it. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 32nd Week

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We were disappointed to find out the social distancing had to be prolonged for another week, but we went for it. Praying for all those affected directly by COVID-19, we pressed on with our homeschooling and tried to make the most of our time at home.

Roof Top Tent

We camped in our backyard to relieve the cabin fever.

Both my children have finished their math books, so we are reviewing a lot of material right now, before starting on higher grades. In language arts, they finished their test prep books. I discovered they both lacked grammar notions that I have taught them. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 31st Week of Instruction

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We started school again last week and I will write about it as the 31st week of instruction, to differentiate it from last week’s post. After our spring break last week, we were all ready for more book learning, though the kids would not admit it freely.

Boy works in yard

Trimming some large weeds with large shears.

Girl working in yard

Our daughter enjoyed using an axe to bring down a weed that looked like a small tree.

No lessons happened outside the home, as we are still dealing with COVID-19 as a nation. This was our second week of staying at home in order to follow the President’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread guidelines. The kids are finally feeling the stress of the pandemic and of beeing cooped up at home. Even though we have a nice yard and we utilize it for several hours a day, weather permitting, they feel cabin fever. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 31st Week

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The 31st week became our spring break instead. The kids enjoyed their extra time and I took in the events as they happened ever so rapidly. New changes to our lives came every day, as you know, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the national emergency declaration on March 13, 2020.

Skype violin lessons

My children have been taking Skype violin lessons for four years.

We also decided to heed the President’s Guidelines for America, 15 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This meant we stayed home. Period. My husband did all the grocery shopping for us. I only went out once, to get my weekly allergy shots. My doctor’s office is only five minutes from my house and there is usually no wait time. I get my shots, wait 20 minutes to check for a reaction, then I come back home. Continue reading »


Lessons from the 30th Week

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Historic events happened last week and are happening as I type, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the cancellations have affected everybody. They cancelled our yearly achievement test six days before its initial date. All other events got cancelled, except for the taekwondo practice on Friday.

Norris Dam State Park

Norris Dam State Park

Still, looking around the room, I felt weird to look at 22 kids in that studio, breathing the same air together. The corona virus has already altered the way we live our lives, the way we look at the world and human interactions. Continue reading »