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Last year I wrote about our need to make a big change and how that change was driven by the need to rebuild our social group.  My heart was breaking for my girls who were lonely and considering school options if that was the only way to have a group of friends they see on a regular basis.  I prayed over admission to our coop after learning it was at capacity and my prayers were answered when we were given a place.  
Here we are eight months later and between youth group and coop my girls have all the social opportunities they need to maintain a healthy balance between studies and social time.  
We have had movie nights to see Screenagers and Is Genesis History. We have been to game nights at friend’s houses. We have been out for brunch before and after church. They girls have been to see Twenty One Pilots and We Are Messengers. They have played paintball, been ice skating, and to bonfires. Grace has traveled to DC for a youth conference. Both girls have attended weekend long retreats. They hav…
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Worship Band

My home has been filled with music this year.  It has been for years and years but this year it has been very purposeful.  Both girls are playing in the worship band at coop, Grace mostly on ukulele which she loves and Lilah on cello.  This is Lilah’s second year of cello lessons and she is quite good.   It amazes me what this group of kids can do.  Their parent director took time off from coop to have a baby and the kids ran this group themselves.  They picked the music, sent chord charts or lead sheets to the band members, ran rehearsal at 8:00am and performed each coop at 8:45am.  They have band as a class but they are able to play a song each week with just an hour and a half of practice.  Not having been raised in Catholic or Christian schools, I get choked up when I reflect on the beauty of starting a day in worship and prayer.  It affects the entire day in a positive way.  I swear it is the only thing that has propelled me through Fridays.  Last Friday I drove 4 1/2 hours to co…

Generation Change: Dave Ramsey

Greg has listened to Dave Ramsey on and off for a while now.To use Dave’s terminology, he is the “nerd” and I am the “free spirit”.Recently Greg and I got behind Dave’s financial philosophy 100% and the changes in our household have been dramatic.We are on a zero based budget for the first time ever.We are spending, saving, and giving.We are controlling our money rather than having our money control us. This just happened to coincide with the completion of Generation Change series by Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruz.This is one piece of our curriculum that I will not part with.I might loan it out, but I will never sell it or donate it.The lessons contained in the DVD series are sprinkled throughout his many books and most can be found in Financial Peace University, but they are condensed and put into kid-friendly language and situations.

It is very important for us to teach the girls about money management.  This is step one for us.  Now that they have the philosophy of money, …


Over the years I have accumulated many books.  Periodically I purge and give to libraries, to friends, to Goodwill, and I have even sold a few.  One book that has hung around for years despite never being used is Philosophy for Kids by David A. White, PhD. 

I never incorporated this book into our homeschool because to do it right, you really need vibrant discussion, which is hard with two children, two years apart in age and siblings.  Coop gave me the opportunity to have a class of students ranging in age from 13 to 17 and they are quite a “chatty” bunch!  
I love this class.  Love, love, love this class.  I spent hours and hours developing a syllabus for this class with classroom instruction coming from the lessons in Philosophy for Kids and homework comprised of other sources (required reading and Crash Course Philosophy).  Not only did I match up each lesson to a corresponding Crash Course video, I also matched up each lesson with a recommended documentary to further the discussion …

American History

I miss the days when I could post about a great nature walk, or an evening at the beach, or a fabulous class the girls took.  This is a different season of homeschooling and of life.  Big questions are being asked by the girls and by me of what we want to do, where we go from here and what lies ahead.  
It has been a very productive year academically.   Too much has transpired to list in one post so I will be posting a series of “what worked” for us posts.
We used Notgrass curriculum this year, which was chosen by their coop teacher.  The girls completed Exploring America 1: Columbus through Reconstruction in the fall.  The spring semester they worked on Exploring America 2: Late 1800s through Present.  Total Credit earned 1.0.
I have always struggled with the “is it enough” mentality.  I see their peers rush (literally run) out of youth group Tuesday evenings to get home as soon as possible to resume homework.  Some pass up weekend trips because of homework.  They stress to the p…

"Where Words Fail, Music Speaks", Hans Christian Anderson

We have come to really enjoy concerts.  When the girls were younger we attended classical concerts, recitals, concerts in the park, etc.  We steered clear of the “big” concerts because of sensory issues with noise and crowds.  Now that those things are really no longer an issue, we have discovered how much we enjoy concerts.  
The girls had the opportunity to see twenty one pilots recently with a bunch of friends.  It was a super late night for them but they said it was totally worth it.

College Street Music Hall in New Haven is a great small venue.  Friends invited us to see Lake Street Dive, who were pretty amazing.  

Then we have our weekly worship at church.  A visiting Pastor compared our worship band to Hillsong.  They are that good.  Each week is a blessing and just what I need to still my mind and heart before hearing the Word of God.

We have some exciting concerts coming up in the next few months.  I’m looking forward to making new family memories at each.

Dresses for Swaziland Update

My assistant turned co-teacher brought in her serger.  It makes those really cool seams on your clothes that make the edge look bound.  In fact, that is what it does, it binds and cuts the edge of a piece of fabric so that when you fold and sew it into a seam, it will not unravel.  She taught the girls how to use it.
Because this was a special occasion, and we would not have this machine at our next coop meeting, we created an assembly line to prepare all the pillowcases that were donated.  Grace ironed.  I cut the seam off the bottom and cut the arm holes.  Another student did all the serging.  We zipped through a large stack of pillowcases.  

When we meet again next week, all that will be required is the sewing of the arm seams, and creating the drawstrings.  By working together we ensured that a much larger donation will be made to our friends in Swaziland than I was expecting!