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  • Writer's pictureDeena

Back to school

Hi friends.

A warm Panera chocolate chip cookie and I greet you this breezy August afternoon.

I was over here feeling pretty pert because I have officially perfected the iconic green smoothie.

Frozen pineapple chunks, cilantro, collagen and all.

I've basically reversed the signs of aging and restored things at the cell-level in such a way that I cannot find sufficient words to explain.

And I guzzled said green smoothie just before sitting down and deciding to chase it down with a warm cookie.

Hey, it's about balance.

This would be a great time to notice with you that most people who come up to me at a church I'm visiting or even one of my closest friends refer to my posts in this sort of way:

"I loved that one about the juicer."

"Remember when you bought all that cheese that one time?!"

Or even, "I still need to read that one about potatoes or something?"

And this absolutely cracks me up.

I know that deep down the Lord has encouraged these ladies but leave it to the food references to indelibly mark our frontal lobes.

I get it. I'm over here giving my kids directions from one fast food joint to the next.

I'm just thankful for a space to send some laughs into the web and hope a few catch them just when they need them most.

And with school literally peering at us creepily these days I know that I wouldn't mind a few laughs myself.

So let's jump into a fun list of things I've learned in regards to homeschooling.

With my fourth high school graduation and second college graduation on the horizon I think I have a wee bit of a leg to stand on here.

Okay so in my dreams I have a "wee" leg to stand on.

In reality I have too many chocolate chip cookies.

Anywho, let's go.

Things I've learned about homeschooling:


Sure, you catch an old Duggar episode, visit with a friend who makes yogurt and teaches watercolor and you get an inkling to do something crazy fun again. Wonderful. I'm here to tell you that you don't need an aptitude for math, the gift of teaching or even a teaching degree for that matter.

You hearing me here? I'll be the bad Mom honestly telling you that I do not love homeschooling. And I never have. And thats perfectly fine. Don't beat yourself up if you can't muster some love for educating your kids at home. Doing what you need to do doesn't always come with a side of "fuzzy feels." "Totes" normal. I'm down to three and cannot wait to be done. Don't you kids even come to me with the grands. I will officially be retired. Actually I think I've come out of retirement eight or nine times now, but one day I will actually retire and mean it.

Have I already made someone angry? No? Well you have a few chances left to get disgruntled.

2. My kids were actually sad that they missed out on the whole school bus and sack lunch experience. True story. I tell my kids about riding the bus and cafeteria apple crisp that I'd bring home to my mom and they'd eat it up. (Pun intended) There are experiences they will have that will be great memories and all but they still miss some "normal" school things. And that's okay. My kids will remember "Grandpa's noodles," runs to Aldi, Drug Mart, pulling their siblings around the kitchen on a blanket as fast as they could, and doing work in pajamas. But they will never know know how awesome Trapper Keepers were back in the day. Nobody tell them please.

3. I've learned to ask my kids what THEY want to do for school. Legit ask THEM. Switched On Schoolhouse wasn't the best fit even though so many other homes used it and raved about it. Same with ABEKA, Bob Jones, ACE and even My Father's World. Some years kids need a video to get the idea of difficult concepts, some they just want to plow through a workbook. ASK THEM what they want to do, change or even skip if it's possible. College on the horizon prompted us to ask our kids what would help them prepare best for the year ahead and we went from there. Some need to beef up their grammar, some their paper writing skills, and some just need to pray for good room mates.

4. Those pesky times tables really are worth the time. Get them under your belt and early. Seriously learn those dumb things and commit them to memory. Right up there with John 3:16. Especially the 7's and the 9's. Those are the literal worst. No joke. I wish at the very first Homeschool anything I went to with my crisp new jumper someone would've pulled me in the corner and whispered, "Multiplication. GET.IT." So let me be the Mom to do so. Say them at dinner, make them write them in the bathroom if you need to. Just get those things under wraps.

5. Magical moments aren't expensive. They're tucked in-between peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deep discussions about why God does or doesn't do certain things. They can be found in spontaneous calls for prayer and in a huge batch of cookies or fresh baked bread just because we are alive and need food encouragement. You can plan all the costly fun things but the moments you remember the most are while piled on the couch laughing about Dad spelling out-loud or someone pulling "veeds." Magic just happens to be F-E-E-R-E, oh sorry, family joke, I mean "F-R-E-E."

6. I've learned to make my "Thing" the main "Thing." I love poetry, amazing history details, cursive and a really well diagrammed sentence. So guess what I made sure we kept in the grand scheme of things? ( RIP Multiplication )You may grow caterpillars into butterflies and collect stamps from all 50 state parks. Kudos. You do you boo. Raise chickens, enter science contests, memorize seriously huge sections of scripture and take a whole afternoon to watch Egyptian documentaries. We know a true-blue Royalty from an imposter when they know how to finish, "Between the woods and frozen lake..."

7. A love of learning will keep them a student of life. Life is full of adventure and heaps to learn along the way. Google every inch of it. Find a crazy fun new thing. My kids will be able to find what they need and I encourage them to keep learning about the Lord, themselves and every inch of this world. See it, taste it, listen in and write all about it.

8. Respecting Mom and Dad results in respect for the Sunday School teacher, Youth leader and so on. This won't win me any popularity contests but my kids were not allowed to be disrespectful to me or my husband and thus to any other authority over them. And this was a huge part of home schooling. The way they responded about their chores, school work, or even free time with siblings was always being examined. What I missed in multiplication I made up for in this area. The way my kids looked at me at home and answered me translated to church and then in their workplace. Respect is huge to me and should be to you also.

9. They will hold their own in college. I will admit that I am still in the throws of this but it sure is fun to watch! Multiplication or not, there they go leaving home and you hoping that they know enough to keep their head above water. And guess what? They do! This is a real homeschooling fear. I get it. I mean poetry can only get you so far.....And I'll tell you what, if you make number 7 and 8 a real priority they will thrive away from home. It's pretty cool to observe.

10. God's love makes all things possible. From mornings with big pots of oatmeal to late nights of tears over something that breaks our hearts to every thing in between, God is there. He's there when you want to run away from prepositional phrases and math equations, and from making one more school snack because if you're going to break down at least do it with a full stomach. Some times while watching my kids figure something out I would realize afresh that He loves them so much more than my heart can even comprehend. He made them with their unique ideas and gifts and He's the one who begins the good work in them, not some curriculum. It's He who keeps hearts humble, teachable and in his will. How grateful I am for that love that just fills in every gap I left as a sinful parent.

11. I've sincerely thanked my husband a billion times for paying attention in Algebra.

There you have it. My little list that came to mind.

Happy Home schooling friends!

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Love it! Thanks for the encouragement and the laughs. Yeah, we did switched on schoolhouse, ACE, My Father's World (my favorite, but I just couldn't keep up!), and settled with the 3 R's and some, for history, MathUSee, Easy Grammar and a bit of EIW. And of course Adam's Synchronological Map of History! But what to do when your third to last graduates, and the two under him have done all the same work but can't graduate yet?? Ugh. We all want to quit. Press on! And I was so happy to see your son wearing our camp t-shirt! what a fun year...and it's been a few years, friend!

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