Skip to main content

The Magical and The Mundane

Diane at Cabin In The Woods wrote that blogging about high school is hard because “every day is like the day before”.  This is true for me in many ways.  There are only so many photos I can post of the girls in front of the computer plugging away at Teaching Textbooks, or curled up on the couch in front of the fire reading, or practicing piano.  Our days have a predictable routine and of course, there is room for deviation, but our days are not all that exciting.

Last night I posted a photo on IG of us in front of the fire ending our day.  In a few words I summarized what was our Monday: Lilah wrote down all the notes to her Muzio Clementi Sonatina, then read a short biography about his life, completed a notebook page for her Book of Centuries and practiced the sonatina after listening to it on YouTube.  Grace learned the back story to Hey Jude and Yesterday, watched The Beatles old footage on YouTube, figured out where the lyrics to Yesterday went on her sheet music, and dissected the dynamics of this piece.  They both fought their way through math. Lilah read. Grace created an IG account for the kennel she volunteers at. We all previewed 6 history lessons to determine if we want to add the curriculum to our line up.  We ran to Staples to get new binders for their new music. I walked the dog, made lunch and dinner, and cleaned up lunch and dinner.  The girls fed the rabbit and the frogs and the dogs, and we ended the day as we usually do, with Gilmore Girls.  

All good stuff... but it won’t leave you on the edge of your seat.  This blog is about homeschooling, it always has been, and recently I have had readers that I did not even know I have email me asking about writing group, or art journaling, or record keeping, and that motivates me to keep writing about homeschooling middle and high school.  However, what really motivates me to keep recording our lives, is my girls.  My blog books have bent spines from all the times they have been taken off the shelves and opened.  The fun times are all there in between the covers.  The adventures, the playdates, the vacations, field trips, holidays, sports, activities, pets, family, and yes, our lessons, books and projects.  

Homeschooling does not define us, it is just a piece of who we are as a family.  I am not driven by college applications, although college is a goal for my girls.  I am not driven my income generation from sponsors of a blog.  I am not driven by a particular educational philosophy or even a parenting philosophy.  This is just us, as I have said before, the good, the not so good, the magical, and the mundane.  Ultimately, this is a blog written to my girls, to Grace and to Lilah, for them to recount all the ups and downs of our family and smile or laugh or cry at all the day to day moments that comprise our very full lives.  


  1. Wow, I feel so special with getting a mention on your blog. You have inspired me in so many ways. The way you have inspired me the most is to just keep doing what we are doing and not look at the other kids her age to compare what they are doing to what we are accomplishing. Every child is different and every path will be different. I am like your girls - looking forward to every single post you publish.

    1. It is so hard not to compare isn't it? Recently I asked two kids I know that are both Freshman in public school what they were up to in English class and although we are not reading the same books, we are doing just fine. I am honest about our strengths and weaknesses. I think we excel in language arts, are on target with math and may be a little "behind" with science although not many public school kids had the year of science that my girls had last year at Soundwaters, so it all balances out. We are not homeschooling to Ivy, so I don't have to worry about super high stakes, high pressure homeschooling. We are homeschooling to success, and although college is in our plans, it is up to my girls to define their own success.

  2. This is all good stuff. It is funny that you mention your blog books because I was thinking of emailing you to find out exactly how you put them together. I tried once and became so frustrated I gave up, but I really want to do it. I have fallen behind in my scrapbooking so the blog is the best place that has our stories and pictures. Any tips would be greatly appreciated- you can email me if that is easier.

    1. I will email you also but I use and I just select the dates I want to print, Jan 1 - Dec 31. I take out comments but leave the formatting up to the program. I choose a cover, title and spine. That is it. It takes less than 5 minutes. Super easy and the quality is wonderful.

  3. Jess I SO LOVE THIS. Diane is right. Honestly that is one reason I don't blog often. I feel like I never take cool pictures of doing anything. You are so right, there are only so many pictures in front of the laptop or iPad I can take. (But I LOVE all the pictures in this post) At the end of the day I blog because Keilee asked me not to stop. High School looks so different than the 'fun' stuff of elementary and middle. Such a great post my friend.

    1. Thanks! I am making an effort to write again. I used to write in my journal almost every day. Now I hardly ever sit with my own thoughts. I really struggled with what will my kids want to look back and read about, their journey through life or how we homeschool. Actually, they like reading about both. Just yesterday I found Lilah on the blog reading about our trip to Chicago a few years ago....


Post a Comment

Due to high levels of span, comment moderation is turned on for the time being. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I will return it shortly!

Popular posts from this blog

Defending Homeschooling

Yesterday I was called to defend my homeschooling to someone who did not know me well and does not understand the concept of homeschooling well.  Some of the questions that were asked included:

How do I grade?How do I know they are on track?How do I teach what I do not know?How do I have patience?How will they go to college?
These are fairly typical questions and I should have been able to answer them with ease and confidence but I sensed judgment and it shook me a bit.  After all these years, I thought I was beyond being shaken up by questions, especially when asked respectfully.  To be fair, the questioner has a very traditional outlook on education and has two children younger than mine, who already know which Ivy League schools they wish to attend.

So how did I respond?

Grades - we don't grade.  I have gone back and forth over 
the years about grading but I wrote a post a few days ago that sums up my thinking on grades.  It took Grace a year and a half to make it thought algebra an…

Art Journaling: Quotes

If you saw our group’s art journal pages on display, I wonder if you would be able to guess how old the artists are.

Their work is mature beyond their years.  

I wonder why this is...Is it talent?  It is interest?  Is it passion?  
I don’t know.  What I do know is that magic happens when they are together...  

...and that I love every single minute of it.  

Shelling in Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island

It is a wise father that knows his own child. - William Shakespeare

Our family has always embraced each other’s interests.  We almost take them on as our own.  I have attended two weather conferences with Grace.  I have run a baking camp for Lilah.  It is truly wonderful when we discover an interest that we all share. For us, this interest is shelling.  
You can’t shell as home.  After a long and at times difficult week, Greg and I decided to skip our normal Saturday routine of food shopping, running errands and having a nice family dinner at home, in favor of exploring beaches in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  We threw food into a cooler, grabbed water bottles, our microscope, shelling bags (mesh laundry bags), and headed north.
Our first stop was Rocky Neck State Park.  We have mixed feelings about this beach.  We love the soft white sand and the glacier formations to climb on and the contrast of colors created by the water, the sand and the rock, but we disliked the Amtrack trains that…