The Best Graduation Gifts for Homeschoolers

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Homeschoolers, like any other students, deserve only the best gifts to celebrate their graduation. Therefore, you should make it more memorable by giving the perfect present for reaching an education milestone. No idea what to choose? Read on for the best gift ideas to consider.

Shutterfly Photo Book

Shutterfly Photo Book I put together about 2017


Cash or Gift Cards

Do you know your graduate’s favorite store or restaurant? Get them a gift card for that particular store. Do you  trust your graduate’s ability to spend cash wisely? Then simply write them a check. It’s easier on you and they will have the freedom to personalize their gift according to their own desires. Everybody loves cash or gift cards. You just added to their financial freedom a bit. We all love freedom.



If you are looking for sentimental gifts for homeschooling graduates, a photobook will be the perfect option. It is a great way to remind the graduate about happy times before graduation. This is a perfect way to reminisce about fun times during one’s younger years. If you are looking for a photobook as a graduation gift, check out Continue reading »

Happy Mother’s Day!

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My first Mother’s Day with a child taller than I am makes me feel a bit wistful. Where is my baby boy? My son, age 11, is now taller than I am. When he starts talking about rocket science, I have a hard time following what he is saying.

Mother and Children at the Beach

In Florida, May 2019

My daughter is not far behind him, either. She will probably not grow as tall as he will, but she will certainly get to be taller than I am. I certainly hope so. It should not be that hard any way. I am barely five feet tall. Continue reading »

Beach Vacation Becomes Field Trip

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Children learn so much when the family travels. Last week, we spent a few days in Butler Beach, Florida. Just outside of St. Augustine, this area has plenty of wildlife and history to qualify as a full-fledge field trip.

Gopher tortoise

Gopher tortoise on the beach dunes.

We observed gopher tortoises and lizards in the conservation dunes – the 30 yards or so between our condo building and the beach. Gopher tortoises burrow and are endangered, so we kept our distance and took pictures from afar. Continue reading »

Gridopolis Game Review

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Gridopolis is an award-winning 3D strategy game which teaches STEM principles through a fun and engaging board game. When it comes to STEM activities, I am all ears. My son loves science and technology. He knows a lot of things that I still cannot wrap my mind around, like how to get a rocket into orbit and the differences between SpaceX rockets versus Blue Feather rockets.

Gridopolis Game Box

Gridopolis Game Box

I took note when I heard about Gridopolis, a board game that teaches STEM principles without screens. Think of it as a cross between chess, checkers, and a strategy game, all in 3D. Continue reading »

Fiber Arts Festival

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Last Friday, we attended the 10th Annual Fiber Arts Festival in Townsend, TN. The Townsend Art Guild organizes this program at the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center on “the quiet side of the Smokies,” as Townsend is called.

Boy holds angora rabbit

The joy of cuddling an Angora rabbit

One of our homeschool support groups, Blount Home Education Association, put together a field trip for no more than 10 students. We signed up for it as soon as they announced it. First, I wanted to finally make it to the Heritage Center in Townsend. I had heard so much about it.

Continue reading »

Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe

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Strawberry vinaigrette will make you want to have salad on the table every day. Even if you do not like salad or cooking, this strawberry vinaigrette recipe will help you a lot. It is easy to make and it will save you money. You will not want to buy a salad dressing from the store ever again.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Strawberry vinaigrette over a simple salad

Just so you know, I pour it over steamed veggies, as well. I suffer from multiple food allergies, which restricts my use of cashew sauces, vegan mayo, or soy-based ranch dressing and the like. This strawberry vinaigrette has saved my culinary life in many ways. It is so hard to make food taste well when you cannot use onion, garlic, celery, lemon, etc. Continue reading »

Standardized Test

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Last week, the kiddos took their annual standardized achievement test. We have done this for five years now. Our umbrella school makes it optional for first grade, but they ask that you bring them in for testing starting in second grade and on.

Well, we wanted them tested in first grade, too. There is a lot of water under the bridge between kindergarten and second grade. So we have been doing it for five years and use the results to help us in planning the following school year.

Boy and girl in front of evergreens

They were very relaxed before the test.

We do not stress too much about this test. Of course, we prepare for it, but we do not make it into a big deal. It is an assessment of their mastery of different learning objectives. As such, it paints a picture of growth areas and strengths. Continue reading »

The Art of Teaching

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Teaching is an art. There is no exact science to sharing knowledge and getting children excited about learning. All we can do is learn a few techniques, then let our love, passion, and instinct lead the way. Creativity saves the day many times in teaching. But where can we get creativity?

The Artist's Way Cover

My copy of the 10th anniversary edition. Now they sell a 25th anniversary edition.

One of the books that have helped me in my teaching is “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. At first, you would not make the connection between homeschooling and this book. Ms. Cameron has put together a 12-week artist recovery. As such, this book speaks to all kinds of artists who feel blocked in their creativity. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 42

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 42 (titled “The End of the Twentieth Century”) is the last chapter in volume 4 and, as such, the end of our journey through Story of the World volumes 1-4. It has been a long and pleasant journey. Every year, we covered this curriculum in a different way.

Andrew Johnson Bust

Bust of one of three US presidents from TN, Andrew Johnson – at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville.

One year, we faithfully followed every suggestion in the book, did all the reading comprehension questions and narration exercises, read most of the books recommended, did the mapwork, and at least one craft. Another year, I just could not seem to find time for history. So we crammed it all in during the second semester. Actually, it was more like from the middle of March until June. Continue reading »

Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 41

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 41 deals with communism again, namely how it crumbled in Europe but survived in China. Arguably the most impactful event of my life – or one of them, for sure – was the fall of the Berlin Wall. Romania left communism behind two months later. We knew our lives would take on a different trajectory than what we had thought previously.

Timeline book

Each child has one of these binders in which they place stickers with important people and events in history.

Did we do a craft? Nope. We did not connect with anything. We are just so close to finishing this book, we did the mapwork and called it a day. Continue reading »