Second Week – Done

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If the first week flew by, the second one zoomed by at the speed of sound. We started attending co-op, so that took one of the days. Then, after book learning, we traveled to Knoxville for our violin and harp lessons – that took care of another day. Our hiking group met up on the usual day because the weather cooperated, so that was yet another day.

Big Creek trailhead

Getting ready to hike in the Big Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On yet another day, our son decided he was ready to take the test for the learner’s permit. In Tennessee, one can do that online. I had to download an app to become his proctor and he took the test. He passed, so his dad took him to the DMV to get his actual permit.


Never a Dull Moment

Well, I was supposed to be there, apparently. As the proctor, I am the person who needs to sign all the paperwork and – get this – I am responsible for his driving until he turns 18. Nice job, mom! Continue reading »

8th Grade Curriculum

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Our daughter has reached 8th grade (2023-2024 school year). She is “the baby” in the family, so this reality hits hard. How can this be? Anyway, here are her courses this year: English, Math, US History, Bible, ASL I, Performing Arts, Personal Finance, Sewing, PE.

Sewing lesson

Our daughter wanted to learn sewing so we found a friend who was willing to teach her.

For English, Bible, and US History she is taking Notgrass US History, a wonderful curriculum which offers enough content to grant three credits. That’s not just a good deal. We are very impressed with Notgrass in general and proud that they are from Tennessee. Continue reading »

First Week – Done

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One week down, 35 more to go, but who is counting? The kids learned about their new schedule and curricula on Monday. We made new binders together for their different subjects.

Walking in Knoxville

We walked in Knoxville, on the Greenway, between violin and harp lessons

They are so much older and more mature, I could say to them, “This is how I would like to tackle our subjects. Let’s give it a try for a few weeks and see if it works. We can always switch things up.” Continue reading »

Our Weekly Bread: 21 of 36

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An ancient grain, einkorn contains gluten, but it does not bother me. They have not messed with this kind of wheat, which goes back 12,000 years.

Einkorn banana bread

My einkorn banana bread came out very nicely from the first try

Whole Foods sells einkorn flour and I made the banana bread recipe on the box. Some people say einkorn flour is expensive and, well, maybe it is, compared to other flours. However, you can make the recipe three times out of one bag of flour, which means the cost is not as high as you might think per loaf of bread. Continue reading »

Our Weekly Bread: 20 of 36

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Tortillas rock. My son challenged me to make tortillas. In his quest for whole foods, he told me he would not eat store-bought tortillas anymore. Could I please learn to make tortillas for him (and the rest of the family)?

Homemade tortillas

My homemade tortillas, which do not break anymore

When there is a will, there is a way. I first made a tortilla recipe from an old cookbook I have. Not good. They came out tough and breakable. Continue reading »

10 Years of Homeschooling

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On August 14 we start our 11th year of homeschooling. Our son is in 10th grade and our daughter in 8th grade this year, 2023-2024. We have homeschooled them exclusively – a journey of faith and audacity.

Mom and teenage children at Phipps Conservatory

Visiting the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA – July 2023

On August 4, 2013 I published my first blog post here, on this blog. So my blog is as old my homeschool. The two go hand in hand and one has inspired the other. Honestly, I needed to blog just as much as I needed to respond to God’s calling to homeschool my children. Continue reading »

10 Years of Blogging

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On August 4, 2013 I pushed Publish on my first blog post here at Homeschool Ways. Ten years ago, we started homeschooling our oldest from Kindergarten on up and my sister suggested I document it all in a blog. A blogger herself, she understands the therapeutic power of writing about one’s experience. So thank you, sis, for planting that seed of an idea in my head a decade ago.

Pittsburgh Zoo Photo Op

Photo op at the Pittsburgh Zoo, July 2023

In that sense, this blog has helped me a lot. From the feedback I have received over they years, Homeschool Ways, the blog, has also helped many readers. That was the point, really. As I received help in the beginning of my homeschool career from other moms who have gone before me, I wanted to help others. Continue reading »

Book 27 of 50 – Driving Force

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Driving Force is a Dick Francis novel, i.e. a thriller from the world of horse racing. Queen Elizabeth II loved these novels and Mr. Francis wrote about 40. His son continued the legacy with more titles in the same vein, after they co-authored a few titles.

Driving Force by Dick Francis

I read Driving Force by Dick Francis on Libby, the library app, on my phone, in dark mode to protect my eyes

A few years ago, I read a Dick Francis novel and liked it, so I decided to try a few more. Well, I could not stop until I read four of them in row. Driving Force was the first in my little Francis cavalcade. Continue reading »

Book 26 of 50 – The Second Mrs. Astor

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One book leads to another. As I read Angela Gheorghiu’s autobiography, she mentioned the most famous cake in the world: the Sacher torte from Vienna. This lead me to discover a whole series of books about rich desserts and wealthy people. Talk about a unit study. That is how I discovered a historical novel titled The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe.

The Second Mrs. Astor

I read it from READS, Tennessee’s electronic library

Have you ever wondered who the richest man on the Titanic was and if he made it out alive? The answer is John Jacob Astor IV (net worth $2.6 billion in today’s money) and no, he did not. He put his wife on Lifeboat #4. Continue reading »

I Have Made Butter

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In a previous post, I shared how our son has started a whole food revolution while I was also finding myself pushed in the same direction by a podcast. It just seems like the winds of change are blowing toward more healthy choices in the kitchen.

Heavy cream, 365 brand

I used heavy cream, 365 brand, to make butter

So… in this context… our son has decided he wants homemade butter. Last Thanksgiving, we went on a field trip to Sam Houston Schoolhouse. They made butter in mason jars over there. He loved the taste of it. Now that he is interested in whole foods, he wanted me to research how to make butter faster. Continue reading »