Our Homeschool
We homeschool and we love every minute of it. (Do you want to know why?) We believe in a “whole”istic approach. A life-long education not just of the mind, but of the emotion, heart, and spirit.  We believe in homemade and learning naturally. Our home is filled with rhythm, warmth, projects, art work, music, great literature, and joy filled days.

We draw. We read rich, living, literature EVERY DAY. We sing hymns, praise songs, nursery rhymes, and folk songs (mostly off key). We hike. We paint. We garden. We read our Bible. We cook and bake. We walk barefoot in the grass. We learn to read with real books in our hands. We craft. We scrapbook. We learn about the world, while we are in the world. We camp. We sew. We study composers and artists. We experiment. We embroider. We spend as much of our time as possible in the out-of-doors. We dance. We go on nature walks. We spend lots of time becoming masters of inactivity.

And BEST OF ALL, we do it together, as a family.

How did we come to this? Only by the good Lord’s leading. It wasn’t our plan. I taught public school and am a trained literacy coordinator. I have taught preschool through university. Poppa is an administrator for a local school district. That was the plan. We didn’t intend for our lives to take such a turn. But it has and we are all the more blessed for following the call.

So now we homeschool, I still teach university and I write. I've written reviews, articles, lesson plans, curriculum, newsletters, and of course, here at our homeschool blog. I have three priorities for my life: nurturing a deep and profound relationship with my Lord and savior, building a closeness and lasting friendship with my husband, and helping my children build deep, personal relationships with God, real friendships with their siblings, strong character, and a love of learning.

The more I "teach," the more I find I'm not a teacher. I'm a questioner, a wonderer, an observer, a discoverer, a seeker of truth and beauty, a fellow student. And this is bliss.

Our Joyful "Whole"-istic Learning Series

The Milk Spills Days
There are terrific, beautiful, content homeschool days.
And then there are days when the milk spills.
Or days when caring siblings fight.
Or days when rain spoils a lovely plan.

Or there are homeschool days when...
~the e-mail brings disappointing news at 8:54
~the milk spills at 9:36
~Jo-Jo complains about breakfast at 9:37
~Li bangs his forehead and bruises it at 10:13
~Li gets his head stuck between the deck rails at 10:22
~the window sills are decorated 11:35
~Jo-Jo cries 3 times before 12:00
~the chalk pastels get knocked on the floor and break at 12:15
~Jo-Jo cries at 12:15 about said chalk pastels
~Ceesa complains that she has to wear a jacket when the neighbors are wearing shorts and it's only 50 degrees at 1:00
~the glass plate breaks at 1:30 
~the screaming contest with the sweeper begins at 1:38
Who's louder? Jo-Jo or Li?
~the naptime book is torn at 2:02
~Li throws everything out of his bed at 2:14
~Momma puts everything back in Li's bed at 2:16

And this is when I start to wonder...
how we even fit in reading stories,
a bit of math,
a special project for the birds,
a chalk pastel,
some Spanish,
a folk song,
listening to Hindesmith.

And then I wonder where we'll find time for
the poetry readings,
the log line,
the nature notebooks,
my own long list of things to do.

And then Li says,
"So Momma so..."
and reaches up and pulls me close to him
and kisses my neck.

I breathe in
baby soft,
breathe deep.

"So Baby so..."
Momma counts her blessings at 2:33.

Bits of Wisdom

For years, I have amassed words of inspiration for our homeschool in a notebook. I look over this notebook, pouring over the words. I read scripture, quotes, suggestions, and tips. Although I wasn't sure the path to get here, I find my heart has always been. So dear ones, here it is for you...inspiration and a little bit of my heart.

Wonder at the works of God...wonder where wonder is due, and worship where worship is due. ~Charles Kingsley

“Teaching was to be a mission carrying the breath of life to God’s children…-not looking for results or rewards or for the praise of man but praying for our children that they might increase even as we decrease.”  ~R.A. Pennethorne

I do not ask that thou shouldst give me some high or noble task. Give me a little hand to hold in mine. Give me a little child to point the way, over the strange, sweet path that leads to you. Give me a little voice to teach to pray. Give me two shinning eyes thy face to see. The only crown I ask to wear is this, that I may teach a little child. I do not ask that I may stand among the wise, the worthy, or the great. I only ask that safely, hand-in-hand a child and I may enter at the gate. ~anonymous

"Maxima reverentia debetur pueris"~Latin for...The greatest respect is due the students.

One of the main reasons the Creative Academy had been started was to avoid what her father called, “clumping.” Applewhites, he said, shouldn’t be required to do what other people did just because other people did it. Applewhites weren’t like other people.” ~from Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder . . . he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” ~ Rachel Carson

“A person is not built up from without but within, that is, he is living, and all external educational appliances and activities which are intended to mould his character are decorative and not vital.” C. Mason

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8

“Love is expressed in how we pass the bread, or how we say good morning.”

All things taught should incorporate respect.

It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.~L.R. Knost

The Way we talk to our Children becomes their inner voice. ~Peggy O'Mara

3 Assumptions to avoid: God’s world is not interesting enough to grab my children’s attention and motivates them to learn. Although I pray fervently, God might allow them to be unlearned, and if at some point they seem to be lagging behind, I am not failing them.

A child should be taken daily, if possible, to scenes where he may find new things to examine, and so add to his store of real knowledge. ~Charlotte Mason

I could not teach my children all the information they would need in life and furthermore, I did not have to teach them everything they needed…The key to teaching children “how to learn,” meaning how to apply information rather than merely collect it and regurgitate it. The goal is application that turns information collecting into information using. Mere information is merely forgotten. ~Jessica Hulcy

It really is about getting out of the way and structuring your day with a routine that allows the Holy Spirit to do the work in the hearts and minds of your children. ~Quoted on Sage Parnassus

Teaching our children to walk by faith, not by sight, can be woven into every part of the day’s assignments… ~Zan Tyler

"Having a heart of sympathy for your children will mean, by necessity, choosing a less busy lifestyle. It will mean lowering your expectations about what can and must be accomplished in a day. If it means winning your child's heart, though, the trade offs are well worth the results." ~Sally Clarkston

Look directly at your child. Practice watching your child without expectations. Try to see what he is really doing, rather than seeing what he’s not doing.

High self-esteemed parents treat children with unconditional regard, encourage them to test their abilities and set goals and accept them.

Real goals for homeschooling: discover and explore interests, be literate and know how to gain access to the knowledge the child needs, develop responsibility and learn to develop own direction, and get along with others, but be able to stand up for self and what’s right.

Learning in short, enjoyable days while encouraging, loving, and cooperating with one another. ~Bobby Scott

Do what you need not “the grade level.” ~Education Emporium

Stop thinking schoolishly. Stop acting teacherishly. Stop talking about learning as though it's separate from life...Replace "to teach" with "to learn"...(Be) someone they want to spend time with. ~Sandra Dodd

He is a separate human being whose strength lies in who he is, not who he will become. ~Susan Schaeffer Macaulay in For the Children’s Sake

We must choose why we do things and think through the reason. ~Christopherus

All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace. ~ Isaiah 54:13

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to
move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is

alive.” ~Eleonora Duse

You only have one chance to be with your own children. After they've grown you can do what you want. ~Kathleen Kutsch

It’s a parent’s job to fall crazy in love with his or her child. ~Janet Lansbury

When asked, "Why Homeschool?" The answer, "I was in love with my children." ~Carol Singleton

The best way we can show our children our love is by listening to them. ~Michael Card

Wait on God to show you the direction you should go. ~Camilla Leedahl

God tenderly leads those with young. ~Isaiah 40:11

A person is not built up from the outside, but from within. ~Charlotte Mason

When a child chooses to act in accordance with his fallenness, this time is best used to instruct the child in relationship. ~Maryellen St. Cyr

We're to show the love of Christ wherever we are. ~Melissa Morgan

Poetry?  Just read the poetry from a poet.  The poetry is the thing, not the coloring page. The thing is the thing.~ Nancy at Sage Parnassus

The money you spend will be wasted if you nurture his intellect, but not his spirit. ~Morgan Allee

Our business is to give the child mind-stuff. ~Charlotte Mason

The time with our children is short, but our power to influence great. ~unknown

Delight in every day's little things. Cherish them. This is the stuff from which life-and therefore learning-is fashioned. From the little things, your children will shape their hopes, dreams, and eventually reality.~Linda Dobson

He is a separate human being whose strength lies in who he is, not who he will become. ~Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

"But in the end, a good teacher, working on the right educational principles, providing a generous curriculum, respecting the minds of the students, will probably do a good job overall without having to have every last instruction spelled out." ~Anne White from Archipelago

The child is curious...The child wants to make sense of things, find out how they work, gain competence and control, and repeat those around him...The child is open, receptive, and perceptive... The child observes closely and sharply...The child is experimental...The child is willing and able to wait until meaning is made...Children learn independently out of interest and curiosity...Children ought to decide what to learn and how often things right in front of them...The things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn...We find a hole, a gap, an empty space that we want to fill...When we learn this way, we learn both rapidly and permanently...What we need to do is bring as much of the world as we can to them and take them into the world.~John Holt from How Children Learn 

"That's why I am homeschooling. Because I want our family to meet in heaven someday, and I think we have a better shot at it if we journey together as much as possible. God put us together for a reason." ~Willa Ryan

"Kids respond to greatness..." ~Maestro Classics

"Their varied approaches all accomplished the engagement of students in active struggle... It was this feature of teaching that we found common to the high achievers..." ~Afterword of The Teaching Gap

At Sagamore Hill we love a great many things-birds and trees and books and all things beautiful, children and gardens and hard work and the joy of life. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Thanks for visiting and sharing with us! 

It's comment like this, that make the sharing wonderful! "Oh, this post is so perfect! You capture motherhood exactly as it is some days, and I couldn't help but tear up at the "So Momma so..." part. Thank you for putting words to what I feel some days, down to the overwhelming feeling of being blessed by my little people." ~ Jennet, Feathered Nest Studio 


Serena said...

Lovely! Inspiring. God bless you and your family. It sounds like you are very balanced in what you do, not just the traditional 'education' but not ignoring that either.

Bethany said...

Thank you for your kind words!

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