out of my league // fears

FullSizeRenderFor as long as I can remember,  I’ve been afraid of only two things:

The ocean, and the death of someone I love.

I am constantly perplexed by the fear of others.

Public speaking = no problem!

Starting a new business = fun!

Signing up for a spartan run or taking a flamenco class = let’s do it!

What I’m saying is that I don’t struggle with fear or trepidation. I don’t often feel fearful or queasy when asked to try something different. In fact, it invigorates and intrigues me, to be put into situations that oppose my norms. I learn so much about myself and others – and often come away from the experience learning something completely unexpected.

And then I applied and was accepted to a Masters program.

As I’ve mentioned before, last Spring I decided to finally indulge my extreme fascination with history, and apply to be a candidate for a MA in American History. Of course I felt excitement, exhilaration and happiness during the application and acceptance period. It’s all fun and games when you are thinking about the possibilities. I’ve been an “armchair historian” for quite some time – talking off the ear of anyone who will listen about the Civil War and the demise of the Confederate Army, or the positioning of the United States in the Vietnam War, and the contentious feelings still held regarding , or the many reasons (dating back to the 1930s) why evangelical Christians might vote for a Republican candidate and how that effects public policy…..

You get the picture.

It’s all fun and games when projecting your love of a subject. It’s all fun and games during the application process and when you get that fun acceptance letter confirming, “Yeah! You’re good enough!”

And then the rubber meets the road.

I’m about seven months into my program and moving through my third course. As you can see, I’m taking the slow approach – I have three daughters who I homeschool, after-all, and I want to be both successful at that job and my attempt at higher education.  I’m not in a hurry. In fact, I’m intentionally moving slowly through the entire thing. This is so unlike my normal attitude toward almost EVERYthing. I usually jump headfirst into projects, ideas and plans. I attack, go for it, and never look back. I never feel fear.

After my second course, I had great academic standing within the program and felt really good about the work I had presented. I decided to take off a term because it was smack in the middle of the holiday season. Classes began mid-September and lasted through the first weeks of January. I ducked out of that term and instead started back up yesterday.

I thought that I was being honest with myself and wise to step back during a particularly busy period of our family life, and I was. I don’t want anything to do with anything that is going to force me to compromise my sanity or family time….BUT.

As I sat down to begin my course yesterday, I suddenly identified a feeling in my gut that I hadn’t identified before, but has been there all along. It is uncommon and unfamiliar. It is hindering me from really diving in to the class discussions and required texts.

I am afraid.

This is new to me.

I hate being this honest, but I will be. I sit in these classes with fellow students and professors that have multiple doctorates. They are published historians. Many of the students are acquiring their second and third Masters. Most of the students are fresh out of college so they are familiar with the academic world. In this program, I am being thrown into the ring and expected to just swim, when the entire idea of research proposals and papers is a wildly new concept to me – I spent three hours just figuring out how to cite a source one Saturday. This was after staying up one entire night, writing a paper and working with a writing tutor just to make sure it was “academic” enough. I’m a homeschooling mom of three that hasn’t been in a college setting since 2002. I graduated with a Liberal Studies degree and thought I would head out to teach 2nd grade. Now I’m throwing my hat into the ring with historical scholars and current students who have dedicated much time to the current area of study. I feel unqualified. I feel small.

Here’s the thing. Before you tell me I don’t “need” this degree to be qualified as a lover of history – I know that, and thank you, truly. I love history and this degree is something I want. I really do. I anticipate the many ways that the Lord may use this degree in my life. I also know that I could go my entire life without going back to school and love history just as much as the next guy. It doesn’t make me better or worse, necessarily. I am endeavoring to pursue this because I really, really desire it and think the outcome can be used for good.


I feel tremendous fear because I am in a unique position where I am a very, very, very little fish in a enormous, brilliant pond. I read the books my professors have written and see the discussions that my colleges are posing and I’m all…..”Can I submit a GIF for my next paper?! Thanks!”

It’s a new thing for me, fear. It’s good, too. It’s humbling me and allowing me to work even harder. As I’m reading my course text, I literally FEEL my brain stretching. Text I would never have been challenged to pick up – pushing and pulling my brain to think differently about the area of history, the job of a historian, and my duty as a student of the past. It’s all good. I’m grateful for this opportunity.

But, I have fear.

I’m scared I will fail, or not finish.

I’m scared of being the last in line.

I fear falling on my face, and getting a proposal back with a huge F on the front.

I fear that I won’t be able to hang with the big dogs. That academia is simply not for me.

BUT….I’ll keep pressing forward….

Because I’ll never be afraid of trying.

(how’s that for being honest?)

book list 2017 // something for everyone


Every.Single.Christmas.Season I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what gifts to give. I really do enjoy buying the perfect gift for my loved ones – something special that will uniquely fit a person’s personality and interests.

I had a flashbulb moment this year (and I’m not sure why on earth I hadn’t thought of this earlier). I was blow-drying my hair (when all my best ideas happen) and I thought, “This is the year of books! Everyone gets a book!” It’s a pretty perfect idea – I adore literature, and there really is a book for every person – opening a world of new ideas, opinions and thoughts. Books grow and teach us. They soften us. They are the perfect, thought-filled gift.

This year, in between shopping for my friends and family at the bookstore, I decided to also compile a book list for you. As with any booklist, mine is obviously not exhaustive. Many of the books dearest to me don’t even appear. It pained me to not include each and every amazing title that I’ve enjoyed or gleaned from, but it’s just not possible!

The books I selected have been read by me this year, or are those that I pick when asked for a suggestion in that specific category. It doesn’t mean they are the only suitable choices, simply my go-to’s and ones that have proved perfectly fitting. There are at least another 30+ I could add for each category (and hundreds more for history lovers, educators and children!) Alas, that wouldn’t help you much, would it? To that end, I endeavored to keep my selections to a minimum.

Again, there are so many others I wanted to add, and if you need additional selections, contact me! I’d love to help you find the exact book you are searching for.

ENJOY and here’s to reading!

Note: There is much crossover amongst the categories. Please take a look at each, for you might find something that suits a completely different person than suspected!



For the student of theology and religious study:

For the homeschool mother:

For the sports lover:

For the new-ish Elementary school reader:

For the the food & feast lover/entertainer in your life:

For the political junkie and social issues aficionado:

For the science-fiction/fantasy lover:

For the hurting or grieving:

For the dad who doesn’t have enough time to read:

For your husband:

For the exhausted mom:

For the classically-inclined young lady:

For the middle schooler who isn’t completely won over by current YA fiction:

For the young one in the family (picture books and short read-alouds):

For the skeptic:

For the eagerly-growing Christian:

For the history buff:

For the poetry/short story/essay lover:

For the older and wiser women in your life:

For your grandparent:

For that adorable pre-schooler in your family:

For the fiction-reader:

For your sister:

For the family who loves to read aloud together:

For the education-lover:


I hope this list proves beneficial. I had a wonderful time compiling it for you.

Merry Christmas!

fourth year // thankful

My first year homeschooling was spent figuring out how I would answer the question, “But your child goes to a great private school. Why homeschool?”

My second year of homeschooling was spent thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’m exhausted but this is amazing, What the heck have I done?”

My third year of homeschooling was spent thinking, “This is the hardest year of my life and maybe I’m not cut out to do this and deal with life, at the same time.”

…..but this fourth year of homeschooling has largely been spent thinking, “Thank you Lord that I stayed the course. This opportunity is incredible and I’m so grateful I’m doing this. Thank you for sustaining me.”

God knows the seasons we will encounter – they are no surprise to Him and when the tide rolls over us, before we have time to gather our belongings and RUN!…..He is there. Reminding us that He’s got us in the palm of His hand. Us and our ridiculous life circumstances. It’s comforting.


There have been times in the last four years that I have wished I had margin to breathe. Homeschooling is all-consuming (no seriously, there’s no downtime except maybe at 1:45am), and that can prove to be difficult when walking through unexpected and painful times. However, the all-consuming nature of your children being at home is also a very special (and unexpected) gift. The created family culture that I’ve witnessed is remarkable. What was once a desire to give my child a custom education and “be around them” has turned into much, much, MUCH more than that. I am seeing benefits of our learning, growing and aging together, that I never expected. Ever.

To some, homeschooling must seem like a rogue choice to stick it to the education system. Sure, there’s a bit of that. But if that’s all people think homeschooling is, they are missing so much of its rich value.

Year four is rewarding Sean and I in many ways and,





forgotten history // our new muse.


Recently, I claimed a concentration. I’ve entered back into the world of academia (wait, I never really left – homeschooling/teaching/always learning!) I’m doing my darnedest to gradate with my MA in American History. It was a back-and-forth debate on whether I should focus on my native country, or Military History, but eventually I came to peace with my choice – when I first started discovering my passion for history, it centered on my homeland and that has always remained of the most interest to me. This is not to say I am not thoroughly intrigued with European, Public or Ancient history – I most certainly am! However, the American experiment has my heart.

Within my first three terms, I’ve had the opportunity to research/write about The Great Depression, FDR and the game-changing photojournalism featuring Dust-Bowl migrants, destitute farmers, and urban squalor. It’s been enlightening and all-together wonderful.

I absolutely love history.

I’ve also found a renewed interest in forgotten history. I’ve long had a thing for historical “leftovers”. The subjects and materials that no one writes books about (well, except this one.) The articles of the past that are left at estate sales (that I capture and give new life to) and the stories that are rarely recounted or heard. I could pour over historical trivia, ephemera, and little-known accounts for my entire life, and never tire.

We recently renovated our home and it offered us a clean slate. Our walls have never been more bare, and with this golden opportunity, I decided to begin a new collection that I’ve always desired to start. Vintage portraits of unknown people. I took down our “flower wall” (any of you remember it?) and Sean and I have taken a new direction. Slow and steady is the key – finding the portraits that peak our curiosity the most.

I recently stumbled upon an ETSY seller that I was instantly captured by. She had a portrait that spoke to me (the fabulously dressed muse at seen at the top of this post), and after some time and deliberation, we purchased it. Come to find out, the portrait has a little American history of its own, which made it more than just a striking piece! It turns out that the artist is C.L. MacNelly. MacNelly was the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post from 1961-1964. This was after he served in the Navy in WW2. Later in life he turned toward portrait painting, and painted many politicians and famous figures, including Barry Goldwater, Hugh Downs, and Billy Graham (you can learn more about him here). Our lovely lady is said to have been the wife of a Portuguese Ambassador, visiting the United States, in the late 60s. I do wish I knew more of her story. I’ll settle for this beautiful rendering, however. It’s colorful and soothing and has vibrant life. This is the first piece of art we’ve had in our home which came with appraisal papers & a back story, which makes it somewhat traceable. Most of our past wall-hangings have been cast-offs, found in dusty attics and back-alleys. It’s an exciting change and one that has me searching for my next portrait.

Until I find another of the same stature, I must find a name for this lovely woman. Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them!


If you’re anything like I am, you can easily be distracted by a post/article/book that reveals lost history. Here are a few online suggestions for your viewing pleasure, that I’ve recently enjoyed. There’s more where these came from – I could fill post after post with intriguing historical curiosities. For now, have fun discovering!

I’ve been searching, buying and recovering vintage/antique photos for years and have seen my fair share of forsaken photo collections, but never like this: Rescued Film Project

Personal tales of Civil War families.

What a lovely Restoration story, full of rich American history.

Abandoned America is a fun website that will turn into a rabbit hole adventure. It’s eerie and somewhat sad.

I almost fell over learning about this failed 1930s town. You can also grab a book on it here!

The changing landscape of heirlooms and passed-down family treasures.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.”

Winston Churchill

Literary Comfort // Life-giving Bookshelf

I’ve always found comfort in books. It isn’t necessarily an escapist effort, but more of a magical understanding. No matter the stage or season of life, there has been a book that reminds me that nothing is really new. It’s all happened before. My heartache, my elation, my experience. It’s not new.  Books have a way of understanding.

There’s comfort in books. Hardcover stories and tales, sitting on my shelf, day in and day out. They stare at me and wait until that perfect day, month, year where my heart may be aching or may be resting and in need of a familiar friend. When my emotions will be raw enough to understand whatever new piece I recognize on the page. Life brings unpredictable tidal waves of good, frightening, surreal. It’s inevitably coming and when it does,

I shuffle over to my bursting bookshelves and I pick up….

A book that reminds me to live..

A book that reminds me that I can find family anywhere and to never lose hope.

A book that allows me to see that evil will never outshine light.

A book that forms my faith.

Books that are simple and charming and sweet, for those dark, complicated moments.

Books that will never leave my memory, and might draw me closer to Christ than any Sunday sermon.

Books heavy with symbolism.

Books that will challenge my mind.

Books that I come back to again and again and again.

It’s never ending and the bookshelf is always revolving. There’s always one waiting and what a treasure hunt that is! Except in books, one will almost always find treasure of the indispensable sort.

Right now, this is what I’m reading, what I want to read, and what I want to revisit.

Currently with the kids. And starting next week.

Currently on my nightstand. This too.

Currently in my Amazon cart.

Currently in my morning devotion basket.

Currently pondering which to revisit….This or this? Suggestions welcome.


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway


Paideia // The Liturgy of Culture


I’ve heard much about “Hygge” lately, haven’t you? It’s a daily tradition, embedded in Scandinavian culture, and it’s found popularity within the United States, this past year. Bloggers write about it, books are being sold and Pinterest is filled with perfectly curated photos of people enjoying “it”. A friend sent me an article, quite some time ago, detailing the essence of “Hygge” and once I learned about it, I realized why I enjoyed the concept so much – it’s what I’ve been doing, working toward and searching for…… for years. After over a decade of truly desiring (and working towards) peaceful, quiet and intentional living, learning, education and loving….I have finally began reaping the benefits of discovering it. I am immersed in it and the abundance is overflowing. Hygge doesn’t have to be reserved for one hour a day of sheer enjoyment. No, it can become a culture.

It had to become a culture before I could completely enjoy and surrender to it, which took work. A culture, as defined in the dictionary is, “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.” In order to have the culture our family is drawn to – methodical, slow, restful, intentional, Godly, virtuous and lovely….we had to work for almost a decade, dismantling the culture we had bought into. The only culture we had really known – the Southern California culture we (my husband and I) were brought up in – very thick and layered and not all together bad, but not precisely the culture I wanted to leave to raise my children. This played a large role in why we chose to educate our children at home.  What began with my love for classical literature has blossomed, in the last four years, into a deep searching for virtuous, high-minded and principled thinking.  Not “intellectual” studies simply to become intellectual, but an honest searching out of the most beautiful and lovely lessons that one can learn – so they may take those thoughts, arguments and logic and set the world a blaze with their love of the Lord and the depth of what He has created.

In order to welcome this culture into our home, we had to change things. We had to stop things. We reorganized how we prioritized, what we allowed, what we chose to ponder and be entertained by.

Culture is a liturgy.

How we live and what we do is how and what we worship – it’s our liturgy. If I dismantle that true statement, the culture we construct for our family is our worship to the Lord and the precious few years I have with my three daughters is my opportunity to give them culture.

I have a choice and I choose Paideia of the highest and most God-pleasing manner as I am able. Sean and I both desire to transmit a culture which is free (as much as possible) from bland entertainment, meaningless logic and sinful components. If it all sounds so pious, I suppose that’s because it is and should be. After all, “piety” is simply the love and fear of God and man. It’s a commandment in the Bible.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

When taken seriously, our task as parent is immense. If I stop and think about it long enough, my heart feels heavy, as if someone is sitting on my chest. It’s all too much! I am a sinner with inherent evil, written into my DNA. Often selfish, who am I to raise these children? Who am I to direct them? I make foolish choices all the time – I choose the low road. As does my husband. We are sinners, saved by grace (because trust me, on my own merit, I’m not worth it.)


The crux of the issue is this: Either my husband and I cultivate a culture for my children or they will adopt the nearest one to them, created by others.

They will cling to one. One will permeate them.

As parents, we know that nothing is fool-proof, and children are humans who will seek on their own. Perhaps they will drift from what we have instructed them. We can’t be certain. But we can be intentional. Slow. Peaceful. Loving. God-fearing. Seeking righteousness and beauty and virtue. In all we do. And doesn’t that sound like something we all desire?! I have found the most restfulness in slowing my world and focusing on what matters.

When I think of the “liturgy of culture” we are offering our girls, I do sometimes think about how exhausted I am at the end of the day. Educating them, mind, body and soul, is a daily task. Unrelenting. Yet, even in my physical exhaustion, I have clear eyes and a restful spirit for what may come next in our home. I take solace in how education, culture and virtue can and are married. While our school tasks may daily focus on the seven pillars of the Liberal Arts, it is wise (and essential) to remember that it is much more than mere academic work we are striving for:

“The seven liberal arts were never meant to stand on their own as the entire curriculum, for they are designed particularly for cultivating intellectual virtue. Since human beings are more than just intellects, however, the curriculum must develop more than just intellectual virtue. Creatures formed in God’s image must be cultivated in body and soul – mind, will, and affections.” –Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain “The Liberal Arts Tradition

Our children (and ourselves) will adopt a culture, which will become one of the largest parts of who they/we are. It will encompass what is believed, and what will be transmitted to future generations (Paideia). We have been handed the supreme opportunity to continually select the most pure and good and dwell on those things. Think on those things (Phil 4:8). In our waking and in our sleeping. Entertainment, consumption, discussion and education.

All choices are contributing to culture. And we must measure each according to what pleases the Lord most of all.

Certainly not easy. But what a noble task!


this season // learning.


This particular season of life I find myself chin-deep in learning.

Learning about myself, learning about others, and learning with my children. There has been no other period in my 37 years where I have been so forced to face clear realities – both carefree and dismal – as much as I have in this past year.

Things I had once tried ardently (often to a fault) to adjust or change, I learned were not pliable and I needed to allow them to be.

Things I had routinely worked hard to hold on to, I learned would always be there for me, even if I let go.

Things I assumed would be lifelong bedrocks, I learned aren’t always going to be steady.

Things I thought might never become reality, I learned can occur overnight, and without my provocation.

I’m learning very much and it’s astonishing (in a good way, I’m thankful to grow) that God is allowing all of this learning to occur. I know I’ve alluded to the current time in my life as a bizarre circus of emotions. This isn’t to be intentionally vague, I simply don’t have enough time to adequately share it all. Additionally, in the interest of some things remaining private in a very public world, I’ll keep much to myself. But yes, It’s been a year of learning and stretching and growing and I desire for this to continue.

Of course, during all of these sizable changes that are happening for Sean and I, there are normal seasons we are passing through, just like every other adult.

Parenting seasons – our youngest child, out of diapers and weening her from pacifiers. Our middle child, learning to read and developing her own intense interests. Our eldest daughter becoming more sensitive to life cycles and cultural occurrences. Her mind maturing, but her heart strongly desiring to stay little. Us watching her feel these things and giving her all the space in the world to play, discover and feel peace in the aging.

Personal seasons – watching dreams deferred become possible life changes and movements. Celebrating 15 years married and hugging goodbye as he walks out the door to work each day – becoming more and more in demand at a job we once questioned even saw his worth. Growing with friends and community. Growing in wisdom but laughing at our immaturity. With one another, more each day.

School seasons – starting school for myself. Trying to champion education for my girls and seeing that I learn more teaching them than I ever will in a college class. Filling our days with reading, answering questions and struggling with new concepts, hard concepts, exciting concepts. Teaching them that character counts more than grades ever will.

I feel like I’ve aged 25 years in the past 12 months. The weight of everything can often leave me wanting to go collapse into bed and not get up for 3 days. But you soldier on, just like every other person.

Life is good and change is coming. There is hope in the seasons.

Not simply hope that they will end quickly, but rather hope that you will leave them stronger and more equipped for what God has next.

igniting our minds // homeschool curriculum


When it comes to the subject of education, my favorite quote is the following, attributed to William Butler Yeats:

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

As a homeschooling mother of three daughters, I often refer back to this quote. It seems to be in direct opposition to the educational philosophies, paradigms and structures, presented in most modern day educational settings. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say that you could flip that quote and it would be much more appropriate when describing a majority of school settings, in our country.

I’m not saying anything revolutionary, actually. It’s simple fact that schools are tasked with teaching a set of standards and “filling a pail”, so that upon graduation, students have acquired a uniform amount of information. It’s been this way for decades. It won’t change unless there is significant educational reform, and many would argue there is no need for it to be changed. That’s why school choice In America is such a lovely freedom – because we don’t all view education, and its importance, through the same lens or worldview.

Along with the mentioned quote, I also have a educational mantra I repeat to myself almost daily. It keeps me going when I feel the fatigue of non-existant alone time and mounting lists of tasks to accomplish. I was once sent a note, from a much wiser mother and home-educating veteran. She told me, “Rachel, think with the end in mind.” That one quote has sustained me through the last three years of homeschooling, and hopefully many more years to come.

You see, we have a vision of what we would like our children to be equipped with, once they fly the nest. The knowledge, empathy, compassion, respect, love for all things beautiful, virtuous and good. When I’ve written this list down, the aspects that pertain to character far outweigh what textbooks can teach them. Obviously, I care deeply about them obtaining a robust and (at times) rigorous academic backdrop. After all, they will be students, sent into the world to light it on fire with both wit and wisdom (hopefully), all to the glory of Christ.

However, as much as I want them to excel in Latin, literature and liturgy, I also desire something much deeper, which is why I struggled with the idea of sending them to someone else, for the majority of their days. We desire to mold, shape and carefully guide them as small Christ-followers. Am I guaranteed that all of my children will accept the gift of salvation, freely, and hand over their life to the Lord, to be used however He calls? No, I am not. If I’m honest, that lack of control is difficult for me, (see previous post for background on several of my control-issues) but I’m certainly not going to ignore this call from the Lord. Homeschooling is total-life education, in my estimation. I don’t want to simply fill up a their “pail” with information, that is void of context. I want to ignite my children’s minds and hearts, to be attuned to the colorful world we have been gifted, and inspire them to learn because they love learning. To learn with a Christian worldview so they understand the importance of learning.

With all that being said, I’m often asked what we use for curriculum. Again, the above sentiments should certainly not give the impression that I’m not strict with our curriculum selections. Ask any of my close friends and they’ll tell you I’m a bit of a drill sergeant. I’ve definitely become more flexible in the past few years (a necessity if you’re going into this line of work) but I do have high educational expectations for my girls, as well as myself. While I do not believe there is one specific way that all home educators can best teach, I do subscribe to an educational philosophy that works best for our family and for which I have extensively researched. The Classical style of education is such a beautiful form for learning and offers your children many gifts – academic, personal, emotional and spiritual. I’m not here to talk you into it but if you would like to learn more about Classical education, I would start here, here and here. After you buy one of those wonderful overviews, this website has been such a gift to me, along with other websites that are too many to share here. Perhaps that’s another post, altogether!

At any rate, the photo above shows the books we are currently working through. My eldest daughter is now in 4th grade (although I think grade levels are rather arbitrary and somewhat pointless), my youngest is in 1st and I also have a toddler who is almost three.

I will link to all of the curriculum resources below, and several which are not pictured. Almost all of these texts have been used by our family for over two years – when I find a quality curriculum I like, I stick with it! You’ll see an art book that we use, but that is only for images which can be printed for home use. I write my own art curriculum, as well as my own science/nature study. Of course, I couldn’t include all of the many read-alouds our family has enjoyed of the free-reads my eldest daughter has worked through, so I just included our current one (which we love but have yet to finish. There are follow up books as well, and I can already tell that Jackson’s writings will go down as a family favorite!) We also have a daily communal meeting called, “Fireside”, where we light a candle and cover the following subjects: Bible, Catechism, Poetry, Shakespeare, Read-Alouds, Scripture memorization and composer study. Our daily meeting was inspired by this lovely lady – her podcast and website have been very helpful and if you are lost with where to begin with a daily ritual, she has pre-made plans ready to go!

I hope this short list might send you on some exciting rabbit hold adventures – finding what resources work best for you and your children. I’d love to do some posts in the near future with our favorite family books, art supplies (we do art projects almost daily and that was never my intention – God works in mysterious ways!) and my favorite choices for encouraging adult books. Let me know which you would most like to see and feel free to pass this post along to anyone who might need a homeschool hug from a fellow mom-in-the-trenches.

Where God has called us, He will equip us!

Curriculum 2017/2018:

The Story of the World

A four year program that covers Ancient Times-Modern Day. As a history lover, I’m critical of almost every curriculum I’ve come across but I truly believe this program is second to none. It is extensive, chronological and offers a huge selection of crafts, additional reading and ideas. It’s my favorite part of the day. Even if you love to read your history lessons, please buy the Audio CDs with Jim Weiss. He’s amazing.

Rod & Staff

We have used Rod & Staff for a variety of subjects but If I had to recommend one, it would be their “English Series”. We also use it for Spelling work. The information it covers for English is comprehensive and complete. It’s a Christian curriculum and it’s goodness and innocence is perfect. We plan to use the English series all the way through the girls education.

How to Teach Your Child Shakespeare

This year we are learning the Bard. It’s been such fun and we owe much of our excitement (at least I do) to Ken Ludwig. Get this book and look up his great website.

Math U See

Our favorite math curriculum. We’ve also tried Saxon Math and Horizons but this has worked the best for our family. It is perfect for my learners who like to see/touch. You use manipulative and watch a video and then do your lesson. They both enjoy it greatly.

Now We Are Six (our current poetry book, but we also love this and this and this book)

We are currently working our way through several poetry books. We adore so many and would recommend starting small and working your way up. We love E.E Cummings, Frost, Alingham, Longfellow, Silverstein, and Carrol. One of the first poems we ever learned together was, “Maggie and Milly and Molly and May” but Cummings. It will always have a special place in my heart.

The Child’s Story Bible

We read a chapter a day. The girls each have a spiral notebook that they use to depict what they are hearing. They color it in, label it and it serves as a sweet memento of our Bible learning.

120 Great Impressionists

This includes downloadable images to use during your art study. We study one artist a week and this year we are focusing on the Impressionists.

Westminster Catechism

We learn and recite these questions daily – storing the truths of Christ, His kingdom and His love in our hearts.

Handwriting Without Tears

We use HWOT for cursive (my eldest) and writing practice (for my middle daughter).

Latin For Children

Following in the Classical tradition, we are going to begin our study of the Latin language, this year. Stay tuned for an update on how that goes. I’m nervous!

Maestro Classics

A engaging way to introduce your children classical music, while also exposing them to poetry, theatre and more. Our favorites are “Casey at the Bat”, “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker”.

I hope this list has proved helpful – please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions. I’d love to connect with you!