Friday, January 31, 2014

Family Favorites Friday: Camping

Today I have the privilege of guest posting at 9Peas

 Kathy wanted to hear more about some of our family camping trips, so I wrote about a trip we took almost twenty years ago.  We camped from Arkansas to Pennsylvania and back again with 5 children aged 5 months to 6 years.

Head over to 9Peas to read about Family Friendly Camping From Arkansas to Pennsylvania.  You are sure to find some places you would like to visit.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Do You Only Expect, Or Do You Inspect?

"It's not what you expect, it's what you inspect."

It was a light bulb moment when I first heard this phrase many years ago.

I had many expectations for my children:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Music: How to Get Leadership and Community Service Experience

This conversation took place at lunch about ten years ago:

“Hannah, Mrs. Johnson wants to know if you would teach piano to her daughter.”
“No”, Hannah replied.
“Why not?”
“I don’t want to.”
“I will!” 13 year old Andrew exclaimed.
“Hmmm, let’s ask your piano teacher if she thinks you could.”

At the time of this conversation, Hannah had been taking piano for at least ten years, but she had no inclination to teach younger students.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Family Favorites Friday: The Ranger's Apprentice Book Review

Today, my son is reviewing a favorite book series:  The Ranger's Apprentice.  

The Ranger's Apprentice Series Review

The Ranger's Apprentice is a thirteen-book series written by John Flanagan. 

The first book was released in 2004 and the thirteenth and final book was released last year, 2013. 

The series centers around Will Treaty, an orphan boy who lives in a government-sponsored house for children who had tragically lost their parents. He lives in the fief of Redmont in the Kingdom of Araluen, which, although a fantasy world, is loosely patterned after medieval England.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

4-H: Learning and Leadership

4H opportunities

4-H offers many benefits to students of all education venues.

Today’s 4-H program is similar to, but different from the program you may have known growing up.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

STEM Activities List

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects and students proficient in the subjects are in great demand these days.

homeschool high school STEM activities

While I was writing my post about the NASA Aerospace Scholars, my 17 year old son asked me what I was doing.  I told him and a discussion about STEM activities ensued.  He mentioned that he never really explored those options very much, which sent me looking for what might be available for him now, since the opportunity for Aerospace Scholars has passed for him.

I found quite a few opportunities

Friday, January 17, 2014

Family Favorites Friday: Quinoa Florentine

spinach quinoa

This is not a recipe I have made for years and years.  As a matter of fact, I just recently 'invented' this dish.  I took the flavor combinations of a favorite lasagna recipe and used quinoa  instead of pasta to help reduce the carb load.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

High School Aerospace Scholars

homeschool high school

HAS is an interactive online learning experience for high school juniors in Texas. Selected students are nominated by their State Legislator, have an interest in math, science, engineering or computer science, and are encouraged to pursue high tech careers. Participation is highlighted by a six-day experience at the Johnson Space Center.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014


In addition to a good academic program, students need to have some extracurricular activities. It is best for students to explore activities before high school, so by the time they reach high school they have chosen a couple activities they really enjoy and are able to take on leadership in the activity. Colleges look for well-rounded students who not only do well academically, but participate in community and extracurricular activities.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Square Peg, Round Hole

learning styles, modern education system

When my children were young, we had two different shape learning toys.

One had three different shapes and holes: round, square, rectangle. Of course, each shape fit best into the appropriate hole, but sometimes, with effort, a square or rectangle could be forced into the round hole, or vice versa.

The other toy had eighteen holes and each shape would only fit in the prescribed hole. No amount of forcing would allow the shape to go into the incorrect hole.

This is basically how the public education system works; or almost any type of classroom setting with multiple students.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Blog Focus

According to the handful of readers who took my mini end-of-year survey, most of you want more information about homeschooling high school.  That will be my focus this year, but I won’t forget the readers who want more tips on developing responsible teenagers, or those who like my recipes and travel tips.


85% - Homeschool High School
71% - Preparing for college
42% - Writing
28% - College
28% - Travel with a large family
28% - Other (chores and self-sufficiency)
14% - Teaching reading
14% - Cooking
Some of you may be wondering who I am to spout this information/advice to you.  In case you haven’t seen my About Me page, here is a recap:

I am a homeschooling mom of seven children.  I have graduated five of those children and they all were accepted to and attended college, many with generous scholarships.  Two of the five were National Merit Finalists, two were National Merit Commended Scholars.  I don’t credit their achievements to any superior teaching skills, but I am now very familiar with the process.

In my 20+ years of homeschooling, I have made mistakes.  Often mistakes make the best teachers and hopefully you can learn from mine and not repeat them.

I have two high school students at home, so I am right there with you in the trenches of homeschooling high school and navigating higher education.

If you benefit from my blog, consider following by email so you don’t miss a post.  Also, please recommend my blog to friends who might enjoy it.
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