Lessons from the 27th Week

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Oh, what a week! It started out with a dress rehearsal and then the actual concert with Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras. Our daughter plays in Preludium and our son in Sinfonia. Here are YouTube links to their concert: Preludium and Sinfonia.

SO Medals

2020 SO Medals – one medal for every event

They did well, as usual. It does not get old – that’s the first lesson. As much as we work with them in music lessons and driving them to orchestra practice, at the end of the day, it is worth it. If you can afford music lessons, it would probably be the best use of your money on extracurricular activities. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the 25th Week

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Last week shocked us with a tremendous amount of rain, which kept us from going to piano lessons, for instance. The roads leading to our teacher’s house were covered by water. I turned around and called myself “aware of my surroundings.”

We can always reschedule and we did. The kids learned the lesson “Turn around, don’t drown” in a very real way.

Rube Goldberg Machine

Rube Goldberg Machine

Our hike got canceled because a lot of the roads in the county were flooded. So we went to the Community Center and let the kids swim with one of their friends from the hiking group. Thus we learned flexibility.

Continue reading »

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Lessons from the 23rd Week

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We spent three days out of the classroom this week. Even though I know learning happens, it makes me nervous to not have “school” done with books, at home, in our regular habitat.

One day, we went hiking with our friends from Wild + Free Great Smoky Mountains. Another day, I had to take my son to Knoxville for Science Olympiad practice (Write It, Do It). And yet another day, my husband drove all of us to Knoxville again, so that our daughter can test her latest boomilever with her coach, while our son met with his partner for Mission Possible to schedule the next move.

Icicle

Now that’s an icicle!

Lots of learning happened, of course, but, at my core, I am not an unschooling, carschooling, relaxed homeschooling type of mama. It makes me nervous that we are not progressing through our books.

We attend church in Knoxville, too, so this means we drove two hours round trip four times in one week. People commute like this every day for work, but I am glad we do not have to do it regularly.

The hardest thing we did this week (besides driving to Knoxville four times) was hiking in 36F. That’s 2 C if you are wondering. Just above freezing. We got warmed up as we went along, but the picnic was tough. We ate in a hurry and left.

Icicle Flag

My daughter found an icicle flag.

The kids have fun on these hikes and that’s what keeps me going for more. Also, I enjoy the fellowship with like-minded mamas. I won’t pretend I do not need these hikes for my own soul. All in all, we had a good week.

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Lessons from the Twenty-First Week

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Last week, we started school back up, along with orchestra, violin lessons, taekwondo, and the Wild + Free Great Smoky Mountains hikes. We should have started piano as well, but what do you know? My car battery got drained mysteriously. The car would not start on the day of the piano lesson. We had to cancel and change the car battery first, before anything else.

W+F Picnic

Wild and Free group picnic, on the Gatlinburg Trail

It was really neat to be out in nature with our W+F group. The fellowship, the fresh air, sunshine, and relaxed pace really do the mind good. One of the moms told me about this book, “Mere Motherhood,” and later lent it to me. I am reading it and taking notes. It is that good. Continue reading »

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Lessons from the Ninth Week

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We have started preparing for Science Olympiad this week. Although the coaches are still recruiting, they have already put assignments out for our children to work on. We might even add another event by the end of the week. Not sure yet. Our kids have to go through a try-out.

Boy lying on a log

Being in nature allows children to hug a log, among other things.

I will announce our final events next week, when we know for sure what they will have to do. Until then, suffice it to say that we are excited. And a bit nervous. Science Olympiad takes extra time to prepare. But the lesson is, stay positive, get organized, and keep calm. Keep Calm and Science Olympiad. Now there’s an idea for a T-shirt.

Continue reading »

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Elementary Science Olympiad

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Since 2013, when I started this blog, I have published 700 posts, which works out to be two posts per week and a bit – exactly what I promised and purposed to do back then. This is post number 701. Here’s to the power of grit and determination.

This year, we joined Cedar Springs Homeschool Group, a support group in Knoxville, which gathers motivated homeschoolers for different competitions: American Math Contest, National Spelling Bee, Science Olympiad, Scholars Bowl, History and Geography Bees etc.

Science Olympiad

They left the stage in a blur after winning their gold medals.

Every team is coached by a homeschooling parent. Since even Susan Wise Bauer confessed she did not do a great job teaching science in her homeschool, I decided I should look for outside support in that area. In the process, our children would become a part of a team and forge some friendships. Continue reading »

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