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Character Qualities for '13-'14 School Year

Submitted by kim on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 17:00 in Character Building, Homeschooling

We started our '13-'14 school year today! It's my 22nd year as a home school mom. That is a bit unbelievable to be honest.

Growing up in Ohio I never started school before Labor Day so for my internal calendar, we're right on time even though most of the schools in our community returned weeks ago. Our family accepted the foster pre-adoptive placement of an infant this summer and life has been a bit crazy. I'll definitely be writing more on this sweet little guy in the future, but for now I want to focus some of my posts on getting our family back into our homeschool routine.

Kneading Language and Making Pretzels

Submitted by kim on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 06:17 in Character Building, Recipes

She couldn't concentrate on the work and smile for the camera at the same time. Sunday night pretzels. An Uncle Rich tradition for 20 years and tonight Ellie was assigned the responsibility of helping to make dinner for everyone attending the family reunion.

They mixed yeast and water and flour in an old pot because the cottage lacked mixing bowls. She learned to improvise when given a new set of circumstances.

She may have kneaded dough in the past, but this was new. Every adult uses slightly different words to describe the texture of their dough. She listened attentively. He waited patiently while she learned their new shared language for the task. Sometimes there were no words at all. Just time. And texture. And working together.

Paper Bag Vacation Journal

Submitted by kim on Sun, 07/21/2013 - 14:55 in Homeschooling, Writing

I grew up as a year around resident in Lakeside, Ohio. It is one of the few existing Chautauqua in the United States and the unique setting definetly shaped who I am today.  Reflections of experiencing Lakeside, both as a summer and winter resident in my childhood and as a returning vacationer, has filled many journals.

Following the Road Signs

Submitted by kim on Mon, 06/03/2013 - 08:02 in Adoption, Parenting

In route to Arkansas last weekend to visit our daughter and her husband, one particular turn along highway 67 south caught my attention. I saw the first sign at least a half mile from the curve: large yellow rectangles on both sides of the road warning a sharp left bend. CAUTION. Blinking lights. Danger Ahead.

A quarter mile down the road, another equally alarming yellow sign declared a new suggested speed - half of what we had been traveling just minutes before.

Immediately I thought,"My life should have signs like these." Signs that signal my path is taking an abrupt turn ahead. They need to be big unavoidable declarations in neon yellow with flashing red lights announcing something huge is coming up.

Summer Activity: Capture the Normal Days

Submitted by kim on Fri, 05/17/2013 - 21:04 in Parenting

At our house the "Oh-my-goodness-it's-summer" turns into boredom in about 48 hours. Without a schedule and some resemblance of a routine, my children quickly resort to game systems to fill their days.

The fact that my boys are older hasn't seemed to make a huge difference from their preschool and elementary years. Left to themselves, they struggle filling long summer days with creative activities. I would venture to say it actually gets harder for preteens and teens who are accustomed to youth group, sporting activities, and school work to structure their time.  Add in the fact that friends and siblings have camps and summer jobs, and the days can seem endless.