Block 7: 2016/2017

For block 7, we worked together on more North American Geography.  In December, the kids worked through Canada.  This month, we worked through the United States and how the land forms/water forms and history impacted the growth of the United States.  For this block, we used two main resources-Pin It! Maps and the book, “The American West.”


The Pin It! Maps are a terrific resource to look at the expansion of the US over the years.  Using the maps in conjunction with the stories brought the stories to life for the kids.  We followed the path that Lewis and Clark explored.  We looked at the southern US and Mexico and learned about the Mexican-American War.  We started with the Native American tribes who lived in the area prior to the Europeans and moved through the fifty states.

We also went on several hikes this month.  The weather is beginning to warm up, and we are thoroughly enjoying it!

Picture Post of the Week.

We had a fun week enjoying the sunshine!  Monday Sims and I went for a hike while the younger two went to ecology class.  Tuesday, Nick surprised us and took the day off (it was his birthday).  We headed to Crowders Mountain State Park and went for a hike.  Wednesday, Sims headed to our local high school to see what school is like (he concluded that he still likes homeschooling and would like to continue).  Thursday, we hit the barn to ride in the fields.  I hope everyone is beginning to see some signs of spring too!

Taproot Teacher Training 2017

Last August, I attended the 2016 Taproot Teacher Training hosted by Barbara Dewey and Jean Miller in Ohio.  I had no idea how life changing the experience would be.  Eight months later, I still refer back to my notes and think about the weekend.

Why do I bring up this training class now?  Well, registration for the 2017 Taproot Teacher Training is up!  I highly recommend this training!

If you think:

I am not a 100% follower of the Waldorf homeschooling method.  Well, neither am I.  I like the feel of Waldorf.  I like the way the information is taught through stories.  Humans have used stories for centuries.  We learn so much from stories.  I love the way creativity is weaved into the lessons.  I use pieces of the Waldorf method everyday, but I am far from 100% Waldorf.  This was probably my number one concern about attending, but I am so glad that I did not let it stop me.

It is too far.  I thought that too, but the drive was amazingly peaceful.  How long has it been since you got to drive in your car by yourself?  Listening to your own music?  Ohio is also surprisingly beautiful.

It is too expensive.  The weekend is worth every penny.  I gained an amazing education AND had fantastic accommodations, food, fellowship, and relaxation.

Most home school education activities push you to purchase their curriculum.  Nope.  There is no pressure here to purchase anything.  In fact, I went home with the courage to find books to use as my curriculum instead of purchasing.  I spent less on curriculum this year than I ever have!  I felt empowered to trust my own judgments on the stories I chose to support the lessons.

I have not received any compensation for writing this page.  I simply believe in this workshop!  You can read about my experience last year on this page.

If you are interested and/or have any questions, check out the Taproot Teacher Training website! 


Block 6 2016/2017


The plan for block 6 included early US history, ancient Rome, and man/animal.  With everyone getting sick, my plans did not work out.  We made the best of the situation and did a lot of read aloud.  For early US history, Sims read “The Counterfeit Constitution Mystery,” by Carole Marsh.  For ancient Rome, we read from various sources on the roads, the architecture, the aqueducts and the political system.  The man/animal block simply did not happen.  Instead, we worked on reading fluency with books that Parks chose.

At first I was nervous about not completing my “plan,” but I quickly got over that.  They continued to work even through sickness.  In fact, school gave them something to do on those long days of being sick.

Overall, we had some fun highlights in February.  We hiked several times.  We celebrated multiple birthdays.  The kids built a new ramp which has provided hours of fun.  And most of all, we rested.

And Then They got the Flu

We had a really terrific week.  Everyone was finally feeling well.  On Monday, the younger two went to an ecology class at Latta Plantation, and Sims and I went on a hike.  Sims and I found signs of spring-small blossoms in the woods, a few butterflies and migrating birds.

On Tuesday, Parks and I headed into the city to check out a freestyle BMX course.  He had a blast.

Wednesday, we hung out and enjoyed the beautiful day.  Parks went to a shelter building class, and Sawyer added some color to her hair.

Thursday morning, we went horse back riding through the fields.

Then-BAM!  Thursday afternoon, the flu hit.  All three kids are down.  I hate it for them.  We have not truly gotten sick in years.  However, we have been battling viruses and infections on and off since November.  What happened in November?  Personally, I think sugar.  We had several birthdays in November and the holidays began.  We ate horribly.  Then we started some home projects that kept me from cooking the way I usually do (I got completely overwhelmed and stressed-aka: Mommy meltdown).  We are back on track with the food now, so hopefully we will be getting out of this rut of sickness.

I hope you are all staying well!