Dodgen Invitational, Science Olympiad

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Last week, our children participated in the Dodgen-Walton Science Olympiad Invitational, together with their team, Cedar Springs Homeschool. This invitational happens at the Walton High School in Marietta, GA. We compete against teams from public schools, private schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and there was another homeschool team, as well.

Cedar Springs Homeschool Team

Cedar Springs Homeschool Team for Science Olympiad

Invitationals are tough competitions which we attend in order to learn. We build on this experience. By the time we go to Regionals, State, and (hopefully) Nationals, we feel prepared. Continue reading »


Homeschooling Is Like Tennis

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As I watch tennis, my favorite spectator sport, I can’t help but see similarities between tennis and homeschooling. Here are some of the ways in which homeschooling is like tennis:

Boy removes moss from outdoor carpet

Our son removing moss from outdoor carpet – another metaphor for homeschooling – a tedious combination of perseverance, effort and skill

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The Last Week of Summer Break

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We start the new school year next week, which makes this week the last week of summer break. This has been an interesting break. We did not accomplish much from the list of goals we put down on paper. However, we have grown closer as a family by going through growing pains and challenges and by having heart-to-heart, honest conversations.

Teddybear admires bread

My teddybear, Tumble, is admiring the Dutch oven bread I made today.

It has become clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that my children are not children anymore. One of them is a teenager, the other one is a tween. Clearly, we have entered adolescence and there is no going back. My husband and I have to grow with them and adapt to this new phase. Continue reading »


Switching Musical Instruments

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After 6.5 years of taking piano lessons, our daughter has decided she would like to switch to harp. We said yes because of several reasons.

First Harp Lesson

First harp lesson

Every family is different and every child is different. These are our reasons for accepting her decision and supporting her in her new goal of learning the harp: Continue reading »


Teaching Dental Health

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A few years ago, a friend of mine raved about this book written by a homeschooling mom of many boys. Curious, I read the book. So disappointing. This mom was making mistakes left and right, in the name of an idealized homeschooling lifestyle.

Orthodontist visit

Orthodontist visit

That is why I am not going to tell you the title of the book. A lot of people have found that book helpful and respect the author as one of the early pioneers in the homeschooling field from the 80s. The point is, one of the mistakes she made was that her boys never learned to brush their teeth. She joked about it, too. Continue reading »


Orchestra Camp

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Since 2016, our children have been attending the Knoxville Youth Symphony Orchestra summer camps. We had to skip in 2021 because of the mask mandate and there was no camp in 2020.

Orchestra Camp

Our daughter on the first day of orchestra camp

This year, our daughter really enjoyed her time at orchestra. Our son, unfortunately, had a conflict. He attended a computing camp at Southern Adventist University and it happened on the same week. However, he was able to attend the concert on the last day of camp, to support his sister from the audience.

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Rescheduling Events

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We had to reschedule the Spelling Bee for February and TeenPact for March. January seems plagued with winter storms and COVID-19 outbreaks. So we learn to change the schedule and carry on.

Snow on shrub support

Snow in our backyard

Many years ago, I published a post about flexibility. One of my readers said, “Flexibility is easier said than done.” I totally agree. We packed and made plans for several weeks and, frankly, months, about TeenPact and the Spelling Bee. Continue reading »


Christmas Program

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If your children take music lessons, at least twice a year they have recitals, programs, and concerts. Typically, in December and in May. The pandemic messed up that routine, of course. We have had to do Zoom recitals at home and skip going to nursing homes. But we kept on going with our lessons and did our best to monitor the progress of our children.

Strings

Playing in church with friends motivates children to practice.

One week before Christmas this year, the kids played violin to accompany our church’s choir for the beautiful “How Great Our Joy” by Craig Courtney. What a piece! Such a refreshing sound from the usual round of Christmas carols. It was only one piece, but a new experience to give them a taste of what it is like to accompany a choir. They enjoyed it and said they would like to do it again if called upon. Continue reading »


Here Comes August

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We start homeschooling in the middle of the month. I am spending the first two weeks of the month taking it easy. However, here and there, I am getting ready. For one, we will do IEW for the first time and there is a bit of a learning curve for me, even though we got the forever streaming. While Andrew Pudewa will do the teaching, I need to understand the philosophy behind this curriculum. With the downloads, I got these audio presentations Mr. Pudewa gave at homeschool conferences. They are inspirational.

HS Meme

The more I homeschool, the more I want to homeschool.

I am knee-deep in middle school, so I need a sense of humor more than ever. Memes to the rescue. If you ever get tired of homeschooling, or angry at the kids, just Google homeschool memes. Of course, you will have to toss out the memes created by public school teachers and students… who totally misunderstand homeschooling… For the most part, you will find many memes that will make you laugh and appreciate the journey further. Continue reading »


Jarring July

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This July was a jarring month for us. Two friends died and Smoky – our tuxedo cat – went missing. I supposed it could be worse, but it was pretty shocking to go through all of this. The kids are learning that life is fragile and we should not take anybody for granted.

Smoky

Our cat who went missing – Smoky

We kept reading through July. Our daughter is going through the Mensa for Kids reading list for grades 4-6. Our son is going through the same list for grades 7-9. He likes to read to himself. My daughter enjoys listening to me read. I like reading to her because I have not read these books. It’s a good way for me to find out what the American classics for kids are all about. Also, we enjoy talking about the characters, laughing and crying about the situations, and generally having a bonding experience.

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