Service – Facebook Live

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Your homeschool must provide your students with service opportunities. Yes, strong academics are vital. Manual labor also helps students learn specific skills and, more importantly, work skills. But service keeps students balanced. Life is more than the accumulation of skills that can be exchanged for a profit in the future. Giving back rounds up the character and keeps students humble.

Bear-proof your campsite

By following regulations, we serve our fellow men and wild life.

In this Facebook Live event, I talked about why we need service opportunities for our students. It goes back to the Moore Formula: service time + manual labor time = academics time. The time you spend learning subjects equals the sum of the time spent in manual labor and the time spent in service. Continue reading »

Taking Out the Trash

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About once a year, we arm ourselves with trash bags and walk through our neighborhood to pick up trash. We probably should do it more often. Maybe we will, as the kids get older.

Boy with collected trash on Earth Day

My son with the trash he collected along the road in our neighborhood.

They learn so much by doing it. Plus, it counts as service. I don’t have a particular number of service hours as a goal, though maybe I should. But I know service is important for the children. They need to learn life consists of times when we help others or we work hard for no tangible reward. We only receive the satisfaction of having cleaned the ditches in our neighborhood.  Continue reading »

Thoughtful Thursday Week 43 – Service

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Of all the things we do in our homeschool, nothing is harder to schedule than service. We visited a nursing home once. We attended a fundraiser for Sevier County Food Ministries. We sorted through toys and clothes and donated them to a Thrift Store nearby, for kids who could use them. Other than that, I am clueless.


After a column I wrote for The Mountain Press about my Halloween dilemma, i.e. about not knowing how to avoid observing this obviously occultish holiday, one of my readers emailed me about an event at Brookdale Assisted Living in Sevierville, on October 29th. Children can come dressed up in different costumes, they get candy, and the residents get visitors. It’s a win-win. There will be snacks, too.  Continue reading »

Afternoon Tea at Buckhorn Inn

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Bukhorn Inn, a bed and breakfast in Gatlinburg which provides fine accommodations and dinner by reservation only, hosted an afternoon tea today, featuring a speech by Dr. David Woodfine, the retired High Steward to Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, and former butler and host to royals and celebrities.

With Dr. David Woodfine, at the Buckhorn Inn, for an afternoon tea

With Dr. David Woodfine, at the Buckhorn Inn, for an afternoon tea

Dr. Woodfine told us stories of attending to Princess Margaret, Lady Diana, Prince Charles and others. He was funny, warm, and very gracious. He is on a US tour with Dr. Mark Hilliard of Hilliard Institute. One of the divisions of Hilliard Institute is their press, the organization that publishes Dr. Woodfine’s books. All proceeds from his books go to Ethiopian well construction, by the way.

Boy and girl with John Mellor at Buckhorn Inn

With John Mellor, the innkeeper, also from England

We had tea, of course, and the kids managed to sit more or less still and quiet for 95% of his talk. Buckhorn Inn served cucumber sandwiches, lemon bars, and scones with jam and clotted cream. It was a lovely afternoon in a peaceful, elegant setting, listening to stories about English royalty and their high manners.

Boy and girl reading on a couch in a private library

Enjoying the Buckhorn Inn Library

Dr. Woodfine even had a story that related to Downton Abbey. Charles Blake, of course, is the dashing character who threw mud at Lady Mary in the pigsty. He is played by Julian Ovenden. Julian’s father is a personal chaplain to the Queen. His name is John Ovenden. And he had lunch at Dr. Woodfine’s house six weeks ago.  Continue reading »