5 Ways to Spring back into homeschooling after a break

It's a law of nature that a homeschool at rest tends to stay at rest...or something like that. Okay, maybe not a law, but a precept, or a sage saying or, okay, I made that up...sounded good and theoretically....


I don't know about you, but for me, getting my gang back into the swing of homeschooling is not pretty and includes a lot of hiding and whining.  ah, the kids, I meant.... So, here are some ideas to get your swing back:

  1.  Plan a routine.   I hate to admit it, but yeah, no routine means little done.  It really pays off, moms, to sit down the weekend before your start date and make a schedule. For the Bridgett-Jones-Homeschool-mom; this can be a loose list, but- get it down so you will commit.
  2.  Half-days.  Plan your first couple of days as half-days - less pressure, everyone feels lighter.
  3. Get outside!  If you implement #2, make it an excuse to get outside once your half-day of school is over.  Spring is a wonderful time to begin nature walks.  You can aim high and start nature journals or do something very simple such as keeping a mental count of different birds seen on the walk.  Record the count: 4 Ravens, 2 bluebirds, 1 hawk, etc.
  4. Ease into your days.  Mix things up a little, but in a kinder, more gentle fashion and add a read-aloud story during breakfast or better yet, listen to a book on tape during breakfast.  Have you wanted to start music study? Listen to a particular composer first thing. Favorite Spring reads for us are Laddie, Rabbit Hill, The Railway children. Favorite books on tape are Ella Enchanted, The Tale of Despereaux, The Secret Garden.
  5.  Drop a subject and pick up a new subject.  History is dragging? Not loving your Health text anymore?  Be brave and drop it, pick it up in a few months or just close the book on that text for the year.  You wanted to do a neat poetry course but couldn't fit it in? Drop something you are no longer feeling the love for and start a new mini-unit.  We will be starting The Grammar of Poetry this month. 

Spring is a great time to spring-clean your homeschool.  What are you doing to shake things up?


notes from home

roving blogger reporting in....

wow, where to start?  I guess I have been on an extended blogging break.  Blogging used to be a big part of my life, and then, one day, it wasn't.  As the weeks went by, it was easier to forget my blogging life ever existed.  And yet, blogging made me happy.  It is easy to let it go, but then I remember how happy it made me.  Having my own space to write, think and be creative has added to my life in really good ways.

So....I'm dipping my toe in again, just to see how it feels.

to catch you all up;  we are back into the thick of learning.  This year, I am doing something I haven't done in 16 years; I'm homeschooling one child.  The end of homeschooling came much sooner than I ever thought it would.  Amie is homeschooling 8th grade this year with me, Demi-Sky is at an arts charter school for 10th grade and Meg and Josie are both in college now. 

My blogging has slowed down as life continues to surprise me. In the last few years, my mother has died, then my stepfather died, my grandfather was put into a nursing home, my grandmother moved in with us and one of my children had gone through a period of really struggling. I took time off from my schooling to spend more time with that child.  Said child is doing much better.

Well, now that you are caught up, here is what is happening here at {Home} :

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8th grade is in full swing. Amie is schooling at home with me.  She is taking both a History and an English composition class with Biola Star once a week.  She also attends two drama classes, one art class and a math tutoring class- outside the home, the rest of her subjects are covered at home.  We go to the gym together several timesa week to cover p.e. and she volunteers with a cat rescue group. 

We moved my grandmother into our master bedroom and Sky built a Murphy bed for our front living room, which is our room now.  I do love the big window there, I don't know if I'll ever be able to give it up now.  Having a Murphy bed in our front room does have the advantage of forcing me to make the bed right away, every morning :)

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Sky is still working as a building inspector. He is also busy building furniture and has moved into creating rustic/ restoration furniture.  At the moment he is finishing up a rustic kitchen island for his sister and making stained glass windows to go into the barn doors he is making for our front room. 

Josie is taking classes at the local community college and has taken over Meg's horse-care jobs in the morning.  She is working on getting her driver's license, so for now, I drive with her to the horse jobs.  (insert silent scream-I'm not a morning person) Meg is working part-time with a near-by police department as a clerk and occasionally playing the violin for police functions.  She is planning to apply to the police academy as soon as she has her associates degree and is old enough.  She is busy with cross-fit these days, too.  (she has to figure out a way to scale those walls, you know!)

I took a break from college to deal with things at home, but I am planning to start again in the Spring.  Emma-the-wonder-labradoodle is her lovable self, and Oliver is as evil as only a cat can be.

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving this week, we are enjoying some beautiful weather here in So. California.  Today I am dying Amie's bangs silver-blue and later tonight we are planning on a family session of Dr. Who, pizza-smoked on the grill, followed by apple crisp for dessert.

Life is good.



7 Quick Takes -Summer End edition

Summer is ending, can you believe it?  I am deep into back-to-school and back-to-homeschool planning. Here's a quick run-down on how our Summer has shaped up:


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Yes, Demi-sky made it into to Orange County School of the Arts!! He was on the waiting list, and then I received THE CALL.  He is over-the-moon excited.  Jose attended this charter school for 11th and 12th grade, Demi will start with 10th grade.  He had to audition for this school, they had more than 3,000 applicants this year for few spots. 

I am super happy for him, but it is bitter-sweet, too. This year, I will have only Amie at home to homeschool. 

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Yes, this happened.... Homeschool Blogger's Night Out, at the CHEA convention.  I was a panelist.  Still not sure why I said yes, except maybe that I knew it would be fun, that I would meet other neat mom bloggers, and that it is good to go do things.  And yet, I am very introverted and yeah, I had to fight with myself leading up to the event to not cancel.  It was really a great experience, I am so glad that I went, I was really blessed.

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Sky and I drove to Seattle and then to Spokane, WA.  It looked like this...(Pike's Market for crepes, to walk around, and lots of snacking)

and it looked like this....

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This is the site of the wedding we attended for Sky's brother.  Long Lake, near Spokane.  It was at a friend's house on the lake.  I think this lake might be my destiny.  I need to live on water, surrounded by birds. Amen.


Homeschool starts next week for Amie.  She will be taking 2 classes with Biola Star, and then 2 classes at our charter school's learning center, and then the rest will be at home.  Things are going to be really different, but I think it will be a good different.  I am looking forward to having more space in my day to pursue my own studies. Mom-school, here we come!


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Amie and I are volunteering with Kitty Devore Cat Rescue.  A few of their cats stay at Petsmart to be seen and hopefully adopted.  Usually, they are at foster homes, but rotate in and out at Petsmart to increase their chances of finding a forever home.  We go once a week to clean litter boxes, feed and play with the kitties.  They are so sweet, I already have favorites.  You can visit with the kitties at Petsmart on 17th and Tustin in Orange County, if you are local.  Seriously, you need a great kitty friend? I can hook you up...


We saw 3 bald eagles on our trip to the northwest.  The first one was almost instantly as we crossed into Oregon, it was carrying a fish!  We also saw one at long lake, and then we spotted one flying above the freeway in Oregon, carrying a huge branch.  I love birds, I seriously envy people who live in places with exciting wildlife.  We have mostly sparrows, crows and the occasional cooper's hawk.  The yellow finches here are the most exciting, and of course, our wild parrots - which seem to be lessening around here. 


We are neck-deep in an "Avatar the last air-bender" animated show with the kids.  I've seen episodes here in there, because the kids like to watch and re-watch.  This month, the kids started a marathon on the series from the very beginning, and I have to admit I am hooked.  It's a cute show, and very funny.  Yup, we are deep people here....  :)

7 Quick Takes (SQT) is hosted over at This Ain't The Lyceum blog, click over to join up!


hope your Summer is winding up beautifully, bloggy friends!

Homeschool Blogger's night out

The Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA)  homeschool convention is this weekend. Thursday night, July 16th, CHEA is hosting a Blogger's night out.  I am thrilled to be a part of this.

If you are a homeschool blogger, or have been thinking about starting a blog, join us for an encouraging evening of blog networking, discussion, sharing and tips.  A panel of bloggers will be there to talk about blogging and answer questions and vendors interested in working with homeschool bloggers will also be there. 

Check out the BNO facebook event page, or hop on over to Homegrown mom's post about the event. 

I'll be there, I hope you will come by and say "hi"  ....I'll be the weird, un-socialized, introverted homeschool blogger in the corner :)