It’s here, folks! The last week of school has finally arrived. As usual, I have mixed feelings. Homeschooling is my passion, so the end of the school year leaves me thinking, “What am I going to do with myself for the next three months?” On the other hand, I have been at this for nine years, so I know summer schedules can be even busier than the school year.
My daughter still wants to hold my hand while we hike. It’s sweet.
We have not finished all our textbooks, either. So this leaves us with a few things to wrap up here and there throughout the next 12 weeks. Actually, it is more like nine weeks, because three weeks will be spent in summer camps at different times. Continue reading »
Our first hike this year with the homeschooling group happened last week. The weather has been so uncooperative, that we barely had any hikes this year. And when there was a hike, we were either ill or doing Spelling Bee or some other activity that had already been planned.
By the waterfall
This trail amazed us. Located only 25 minutes away from our house, in the National Park, it offers everything you might want in a trail. Some flat areas, some vertical terrain, views, boulders, creek, trees, wild flowers, everything. The weather felt like summer. I dressed in layers, which helped, but it shocked me how hot it got – 75F! Continue reading »
Once a week, we go hiking with a group of local homeschoolers. It helps that we live five minutes from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but we go other places, too. Last week, it was Panther Creek State Park. Next week, it will be Seven Islands Birding State Park.
Fern Branch Falls
The thing is, the National Park is so immense, some of the trails are still an hour from my house. So even if the destination is in the Smokies, we still have to drive for 30 minutes or longer. What can I say? America is big. That’s what this Israeli family told us last week, when we were at Grotto Falls and started chatting with them. “America is big.” They could not believe how long it would take them to get from point A to point B. Continue reading »
We joined Wild + Free Great Smoky Mountains last August and it has been a great experience. These other homeschooling families may have different approaches and convictions, but we all respect each other and find common ground.
Mom and Daughter at The Sinks
If nothing else, nature unites us. We can all find many things to discuss about the natural things we run into. Then, we talk about food. Some of them have older children, who have gone to college, so we talk about that. I always have lots of questions about scholarships, test prep, and the college atmosphere. Religion is another thing we can discuss, as long as we deal in generalities. We stay away from politics – it seems like this topic has gotten more volatile than ever in our country. Continue reading »
We are 1/3 of the way through the school year. Just like that. I am excited about the progress we are making. Also, I am happy with the changes we have made so far to our schedule.
Last week included two days away from home: one preparing for Science Olympiad with two different coaches in Knoxville, and one hiking with our Wild and Free Great Smoky Mountains homeschooling friends.
My kids on one of the hikes at Seven Islands
As such, I had to do some more adjustment in my head about book learning. In the end, I know we will finish our goals for the year. It’s just that I have to allow for weeks like this one to happen. In conclusion, I find it gets easier over time. Continue reading »
Yesterday, the US National Park Service turned 100 years old. There were celebrations all over, I am sure. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park had their own celebration, complete with a visit from our Congressman Phil Roe and Senator Lamar Alexander.
Taking a short break on the trail
I took the kids on a hike in the late afternoon and stayed away from the morning ceremonies. We avoid crowds, as people who live in a tourist area. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Continue reading »