I recently received my beautiful Creative Conversations with the Creator package from Kelly.  It’s a guided prayer kit designed to bring you deeper into conversation with the Lord for the fatherless.  All of the pieces in the kit are just gorgeous, and it’s been fun to work through it.  The activities forced me out of my normal comfort zone, but it was interesting and thought-provoking to work through them.  And during these days of homeschool busyness where every minute is often accounted for, the activities were a welcomed creative break.  I love the unique way that prayer was guided in this kit, and it fits perfectly with Edith Schaeffer’s thoughts about creative art in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, which I just started reading.  I also love that there is an opportunity to return one of the art pieces to be given as a gift to a child in China who still waits for a family.

If you are looking for an excuse to slow down and enjoy creative prayer time with our Heavenly Father, there’s still time to get the kit so that you can return an art piece.  Head on over to Kelly’s blog post to read all the details.

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Afternoons are for … running away to the backyard with your siblings to go on an adventure.

I was inside yesterday preparing to host our Friday night Bible study (and nursing a developing cold) when I realized I hadn’t heard from the children in awhile.  They’re always only a walkie talkie call away, but I peeked out the kitchen window to see if I could find them first.

When I saw this, my heart melted.  There they were.  Past the fence, playing at the edge of the woods.  Together.  It’s rare that all four of them play together for a long period.  But yesterday, they stayed out there for hours until I had to call them in before dark.

I still don’t know where their imaginations led them.  But they took me back to my childhood memories of running away to the backyard at my friend, Amy’s, house.  I’ve told the children about those memories countless times because they’ve always been so special to me.  Seeing the children do the same thing is just another reminder of why we moved out to the country.  And another reminder of why we made the choice to homeschool.  Giving them the freedom to slow down, explore, and create their own outdoor world has been a dream for both me and hubby.  And I think Charlotte Mason would be pretty thrilled too.

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We had a super spectacular first day back at Bridges Classical Community today!  This officially marks our first day back to school, and all of my kiddos beamed with smiles.  They told me what an awesome time they had!  Score!  We are so happy at our co-op and have such a wonderful community.

I’m tutoring 17 students this year from K-6th grade.  It felt a little overwhelming at first, but it worked perfectly the way we organized everything.  The effort and prep time is so, so worth it.  My students really energize me while I’m there, and I laugh with them all day.  But wow I collapse when I get home!  I have no idea how teachers do this 5 days a week!

I are excited to be back to school and get into a more structured routine.  Love, love the freedoms of summer, but the structure of the school year is always looked forward to.

Here’s to a fantastic school year filled with lots of learning and growing!

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Our fifth year of homeschooling has officially commenced!  I can’t believe it!  We reevaluate each year about whether to continue, but I truly can’t imagine schooling any other way right now.  Here’s the lineup as of now!

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Angel (6th grade)

  1. Memory Work: Claritas Classical Academy and fun review games
  2. Timeline: Classical Conversations
  3. Grammar: Fundamental Grammar
  4. Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing
  5. Spelling: Spelling Plus
  6. Reading: Various chapter books for pleasure reading, non-fiction & fiction related to our studies
  7. Math: Math Mammoth 6
  8. History: Claritas Classical Academy, lots of reading
  9. Geography: Claritas Classical Academy and map drawing
  10. Science: Claritas Classical Academy, related studies and experiments, God’s Design for Science
  11. Health: Cooking skills, nutrition, human anatomy
  12. Art: Community day lessons covering elements of art and artist studies
  13. Music: Community day lessons covering music theory and composer studies, private piano lessons
  14. Foreign Language: Mandarin Chinese tutor
  15. Bible: Family Bible studies and Claritas Classical Academy
  16. Physical Education: Tae Kwon Do
  17. Typing: Type 2 Learn 4
Lovebug (3rd grade)
  1. Memory Work: Claritas Classical Academy and fun review games
  2. Timeline: Classical Conversations
  3. Handwriting: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 3
  4. Grammar: Bridges Classical Community grammar lessons
  5. Writing: Copy work related to memory work
  6. Spelling: Spelling Plus
  7. Reading: All About Reading 4 and various pleasure reading
  8. Math: Math Mammoth 3 and Xtramath website
  9. History: Claritas Classical Academy, lots of reading
  10. Geography: Claritas Classical Academy and map drawing
  11. Science: Claritas Classical Academy, related studies and experiments, God’s Design for Science
  12. Health: Cooking skills, nutrition, human anatomy
  13. Art: Community day lessons covering elements of art and artist studies
  14. Music: Community day lessons covering music theory and composer studies, private guitar lessons
  15. Foreign Language: Mandarin Chinese tutor
  16. Bible: Family Bible studies and Claritas Classical Academy
  17. Physical Education: Tae Kwon Do

Sunshine (1st grade)

  1. Memory Work: Claritas Classical Academy and fun review games
  2. Timeline: Classical Conversations
  3. Handwriting: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting K
  4. Reading: All About Reading Level 2
  5. Math: Math Mammoth 1
  6. History: Claritas Classical Academy, lots of reading
  7. Geography: Claritas Classical Academy and map drawing
  8. Science: Claritas Classical Academy, related studies and experiments, God’s Design for Science
  9. Health: Cooking skills, nutrition, human anatomy
  10. Art: Community day lessons covering elements of art and artist studies
  11. Music: Community day lessons covering music theory and composer studies, private piano lessons
  12. Foreign Language: Mandarin Chinese tutor
  13. Bible: Family Bible studies and Claritas Classical Academy
  14. Physical Education: Tae Kwon Do

Dumpling (Pre-K)

He will be working on communication, building vocabulary, letter, number, shape & color recognition, and life skills, while also attending our classical community days with us.

Do you live near the Pennsylvania area?  If so, please consider joining Bethany Christian Services for the 2nd Northeast Adoption and Child Welfare Summit.  Although I don’t have personal experience with all of the speakers, they are well known within the adoption and child welfare community.  I have heard Dr. Amanda Howard before and she’s phenomenal.  She’s done a lot of work with Dr. Karen Purvis, who was the keynote speaker at the first Summit.  There are also countless breakout sessions covering a wide array of interesting topics.

The Summit is designed to give resources, support, and education in order to better prepare our community to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families who have experienced adoption, foster care, orphanage environments, trafficking & exploitation, displacement as refugees, or family history of violence, substance abuse, and/or incarceration.

Adoptive parents, extended family members to adoptive families, church & ministry leaders, church volunteers & teachers, community leaders & mentors, those working with vulnerable populations (foster children, trafficked persons, refugee populations, children with incarcerated parents), international & community development workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, therapists, teachers, school administrators, and anyone interacting with vulnerable populations in any capacity will benefit from attending this event!

I attended the first Summit and it was a spectacular event!  The main speakers and breakout sessions were all so relevant.  I’ll be there this year representing The Sparrow Fund – please stop by to see me if you attend!

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