If you Were in my Living Room Right Now… I would tell you…

If you were in my living room right now…

I would offer you a cup of coffee (partly because I’m tired from driving ED early in the mornings to her soccer games this weekend) and I’d have some cookies baking in the oven. That sounds overly domestic of me, but the truth is we had signed up to bring cookies yesterday and I ran out of time to bake the entire batch! I’m not a morning person, so we baked half the batch and RAN out the door!

Then we’d start to chat and here are some of the things I would tell you!

  1. I would tell you all about our lovely week… but then I would stress about the fact that it was a less than stellar homeschool week.
  2. I would talk about my family and how happy I am that the kids will get to spend time with both sets of grandparents this fall… but then I’d worry about some their (grandparent’s) health issues.
  3. I’d tell you about the fun history books I just got for ED… (and then wish that I could have gotten them from the library instead of buying them!)
  4. I would chat about the kids — how much ED loves ♥ loves travel soccer and about DD’s upcoming flute duet.  I’d talk about how much LD’s has grown up (he’s 15) and how independent he’s become.  I’d talk about how grateful I am that he does CrossFit because then I’m motivated to go to the gym too! (Inspired by our kids! It’s awesome!)
  5. I would talk about how pretty the weather is… but then I would talk about all the weeds in the garden and think about getting outside to tackle that!
  6. I’d talk about all the beautiful sunsets I’ve seen lately and how grateful I am to have a regular time to go walking (during ED’s soccer practices).
  7. I would talk about how smoothly our homeschool routine is going for the most part and how happy I am with our progress so far this year… but internally I would stress and wonder if we are “behind.”
  8. I would talk about the Apps and Tech Tools that are really helping us stay on task for homeschooling.
  9. I would talk about Boomer… about what a lovely dog she is… and then would share my worries about her various ailments and upcoming surgery.
  10. I would say how happy I am that all the laundry is done… but then I’d look at the folded piles, sigh and wish that the kids would follow through on putting things away.
  11. I would talk about how much I love fall food (and pumpkin muffins!)… and would think about making some for the morning!
  12. I would be grateful to have time with a wonderful friend! You!
  13. I would be anxious to hear all about YOUR life both the amazing and memorable moments and the challenges you face.

I sound kind of yin and yang about my life, don’t I?  I think we all have this balance happiness and worry that we carry around.  I hope that you have more happiness and joy at the moment than fears, stress or worry.

So, now that I’ve done the highlights, let me go into a little more detail about life here! 🙂

Last weekend, Grandma and Grandpa wrote to invite us down to spend time with them at the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  They had rented a house and had plenty of room for us.  What to do… what to do!  We canceled our various activities/lessons, packed up some books and headed out of town!  I can’t say we traveled lightly…

Books and GamesDid we actually USE these books, though? Well… um… we got a few hours of work done several mornings… It was enough to make me feel okay (since we have other things coming up this fall and holiday period). But honestly, we spent a lot of time at the beach! So, no we didn’t actually use all of the books and notebooks we brought  with us.  We did “the basics” and not much beyond that!

The weather was perfect (83°-88°) and the water was really, really warm! We had a couple of scary moments with the riptides. The kids spent a lot of time out in the water on boogie boards. There were a couple of times when it was hard for them to get back to shore. Luckily for me, Hubby was out with them. They had to ease their way parallel to the shore, but they told me they really had trouble making any progress in any direction (forward or side-ways).  It was definitely a reminder for the kids to be mindful of the power of the ocean waters.

Outer Banks Beach ScenesEnjoying Activities

The kids are full on with their activities (I mean aside from our jaunt to the beach).  ED just loves soccer. In fact, she and I came back earlier than the others so she wouldn’t miss her games on Saturday morning.

I actually love her soccer practices because I use that time to go for long walks and have even started jogging in short bursts.

That’s a big thing because of my crazy ear/balance issues a number of years ago.  I am still sea sick moving my head around because half of my balance system was removed. [This video post “What in the world is semi-circular dehiscence” explains my torturous journey (sea sickness, constant ringing/buzzing/churping/cicada-sounds 24/7… plus extreme sensitivity to noise including my own voice or movement which would make me nauseous and ill) & 6 surgeries… with the final one leaving me deaf in that ear and having the vestibular (balance) system removed, etc.]

Those small bursts of running feel amazing for this former marathon runner! 🙂

Also, I’ve been outside a lot in the evenings and have really seen some lovely sunsets this fall! Check out the sunset as I waited for ED to finish up her soccer practice a few weeks ago! It was every bit as pretty as the picture below (I didn’t doctor the photo!)

Soccer SunsetI’d tell you about our little homeschool wins

  • ED has had a great fall. I am SO impressed by how independent she has become! She loves those!  A homeschooling friend recommended a fun book called How They Croaked. (affiliate link)
  • Most days she has been reading a chapter about one of the famous historical figures and writing a paragraph or so about what she learned. She loves the book and really enjoys doing this! She does that and math most mornings even before I’ve had my coffee!  By the way, I’ll be sharing these free biography notebook pages with you soon if you can use them. 🙂

How They Croaked

  • We finished up the Ancient Greece unit… though ED is still reading some “You Choose” Ancient Greek Mythology books.  We got Olympians vs. Titans: An Interactive Mythological Adventure,   Perseus the HeroThe Trojan War  (affiliate links) and as you can see from the picture below, she also asked me to get the one on Ancient Egypt (even though we covered that last year! Don’t forget we have free Ancient Egypt notebook pages here.)
  • I practically never talk about Computer Science in our homeschool because I’m not in charge of that. Hubby has been doing that with the kids for the past couple of years.  This year, we also added in a couple of outside classes.  LD took a couple of high school level classes on a local college campus this summer. And this fall, I enrolled the kids in a computer science class through a local homeschool program.  Hubby does computer science class with the kids each Monday from 4-6pm.  I think that having a specific time for that to happen has really made a difference.
  • And, I am really happy with how biology is going.  We are using a number of resources including Thinkwell’s Biology.  I was SO happy with the chemistry unit we did last spring. They totally understood valence electrons and all that after doing all of those activities with the Bohr Diagrams and Lewis Diagrams (including the one with Fruit Loops). You can see more about our Chemistry Unit here.

Apps and Tech Tools We Use in our Homeschool

  • This year we started using Trello (the free version) for homeschooling.  My kids have some assignments that they need to complete on their own for history, computer science and German.  We created different Boards that the kids, Tony and I can access on our phones (via the app).  Hubby and I write out assignments and have weekly assignment lists that tell the kids when and what is due. (For example, last week the kids had a 10-15 slide power-point due and this coming week they have a 2-3 page history essay due. Plus, they have various reading assignments with questions they need to answer a couple of times a week from their history textbook.)  Then we (Hubby and I) remind the kids not to forget about their assignments. The kids know where to go to remind themselves what they have to do. It has put some of the responsibility of getting things done on the kids’ shoulders… in much the same way that kids in school have to do homework and remember to get that done on their own time.
  • We also use Google docs — which I guess isn’t as much of an app as it is a tool… but I have the kids make power points and write some of their essays using that.
  • I use Google calendar to keep track of lessons, sports, activities, appointments, and special trips… and set numerous notifications to go off (6 hours prior, 30 minutes prior, etc.)
  • I also use a clock app with weekly alarms that go off right before flute lessons or right before German class.
  • I use Google Keep (which is like Evernote) for everything from shopping lists and phone numbers to blog post ideas.  I love that it syncs across all of our devices (and it’s free)!

As for the blog, I would tell you about all the Pins I’ve been making (and adding into the website here). I think I told you a couple of week ago that I am starting to make Pins (and the fact that I really haven’t ever been on that platform… see this Pinterest Post for more about that new journey!).  I’m just trying to make slow, steady progress… a little bit at a time!  It’s been fun seeing the shares… and for me, it’s really fun going back into the old posts!  As you can see, I’ve made pins on everything from our Free Fall Skip Counting Pages (the link takes you to the blog post, not to Pinterest) to the post I did years ago with 15 Halloween Party Games! Here’s my Pinterest Homeschool Den page if you are interested in checking out more of what I’ve made recently!

Pinterest Homeschool Den

Then, before I started to berate myself for all the undone tasks and things I haven’t gotten around to… I would really want to hear about your most recent wins and what’s going well!

I think we all have to stop ourselves from thinking that we’re not doing enough, right?!!

We homeschoolers have to keep our chins up and remember that this is our one beautiful, fabulous life. Just as we should compare ourselves to others, we shouldn’t compare our lives to the long to-do list of things that “should” be done, right?!!

That reminds me. Last year during our writing workshop, I wrote this really fun post (it was fun for me to write at any rate!!) all about self doubt creeping in…

Do you have what it takes to homeschool? Of course you do, but let me tell you a little story!

Shadowy Figure - Homeschooling Self-DoubtThere is a shadowy figure that lurks outside of our homeschools.

At the beginning of the year, this figure is so distant, we don’t realize it’s there. But just about this time of year, it starts to make an appearance.

Sometimes it just pokes its head around the corner. Sometimes it creeps unbidden into our lives.

And what is this shadowy figure?  It is self-doubt!  I’ll stop there… you can read the rest of it here.

On that note, I’m done being philosophical!! Time to do a quick run to the grocery store (we’re out of milk and bread and stuff)!  I’ll wish you a fabulous homeschool week ahead!

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) Homeschool Den Store

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Happy Homeschooling!!

~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

 

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