School Plans for 2019

If you are someone who is overwhelmed by someone else’s “much,” just scroll on by as they say- I know I can be, so no worries. I actually always, always hesitate to ever write posts like this because it can all just be too much. The writing process is helpful for me though! As I was writing this, I realized several key details I need to attend to! So, onward and no hard feelings if this isn’t for you! 

On another note, it is now the next day and we are enroute to a brand-new college move-in day. Somehow, we are all loaded, and I know the fleeting completeness of us all together again.

I realized not everyone homeschools to college, and there are different paths to reach the same goal: sons and daughters reaching full potential in Christ; in life-

However, this is how we do it. My two high school students are respectively heading most likely to a four-year college and the other to start at community college based on their personal goals, potential, and needs- so that is my context! The best thing I can say is that I always plan with the end in mind- and even now am positioning my eighth and sixth grade sons for their futures.

*********************************

Right now, as I type these words, Todd is heading home with a car full of our loves, bringing Tall Son back from a summer working at a Christian Retreat Center- and shuttling three siblings with him who all spent some hours together (with Todd) at Hershey Park.  What a day! Here at home, I cooked; we cleaned; Cookie Bar was baked by a young master for all to enjoy- but especially big brother; and I finalized homeschool planning.

The planning steps are involved, and planning begins months before the year begins- it is a process! However, in summer, I prepare Goal Sheets for our oversight. I attend oversight orientation and pay fees. I prepare a shopping list- or rather I tweak and perfect a list I have been curating for a good, long while-  and make purchase plans. I find resources and print documents. I prepare chore plans and meal plans. I create checklists and a schedule/daily flow. I review every out-sourced class and corresponding required texts and supplies/resources and make sure I have a plan to secure what is needed.

Little by little, piece by piece it falls into place.

It feels like a good time to share plans for 2019 as I balance on the cusp of college launch week(s).

Note: these plans are (somewhat) subject to change!

Junior (son):

Bible (Daily Scripture; Selected Readings (from Sonlight Core 300- Paul Little: Know What You Believe and Know Who You Believe along with selected C.S. Lewis texts)

Math: Honors Precalculus online with Liberty Tutorials (Foerster)

Science: Apologia Physics with Lab at co-op

History: Early Modern Great Books at co-op (Honors World History- Early Modern on the transcript)

Spanish 2 : Rosetta Stone (hopefully- he took Spanish 1 at The Potter’s School- not sure how this is all going to go- working on it!)

Technology: AP Computer Science A with Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

English: AP English Language with Debra Bell’s AIM Academy (Liliana Serbicki)

Fine Arts (half credit) : piano

Elective: Personal Finance with dear friends

and soccer, scouting

Sophomore (daughter):

Bible: still finalizing

Math: Algebra 2 at co-op

Elective Science/Study Skills: Health (first semester) Study Skills (second semester) with The Potter’s School

Combined English and History: US History and Literature at co-op

Additional English support: Wings to Soar Academy intervention programs: Infercabulary; Exact Path; Reading Plus

Foreign Language: Latin

Fine Arts/Phys Ed: Violin/Dance

Elective: Personal Finance with dear friends

Eighth Grade (son):

Bible, History, Literature, Science, English: Heart of Dakota finish Res- to-Ref/start Rev to Rev

Personal Reading

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise

Spelling: Phonetic Zoo

Math: Honors Algebra 1 with The Potter’s School

Music: Viola/Piano

Art: HOD/ and appreciation

Phys Ed: Tennis/Basketball, scouting

Sixth Grade (son):

Bible, History, Literature, Science, English: Heart of Dakota finish Res- to-Ref/start Rev to Rev

Personal Reading

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise

Typing: Mavis Beacon

Spelling: Phonetic Zoo

Math: Saxon 76

Music: Flute/Piano

Art: HOD/and appreciation; planning for some lessons as he has a special aptitude

Phys Ed: Tennis; hiking, scouting

Second/Third grade (daughter a):

Bible, History, Literature, Science: Ambleside Online Y2

Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful; All About Spelling; Copybook

Math: The Good and the Beautiful

Art: Appreciation

Music: Cello/piano

Phy Ed: Dance

Second/Third grade (daughter b):

Bible, History, Literature, Science: Ambleside Online Y2

Language Arts: The Barton System; Copybook

Math: Right Start

Art: Appreciation

Music: Piano

Phys Ed: Dance

First Grade baby girl:

Bible, History, Literature, Science: Ambleside Online Y2

Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful; Explode the Code; A Reason for Handwriting

Math: Horizons/ The Good and the Beautiful Level 1

Art: Appreciation

Music Violin/Piano

Phys Ed: Dance

What are your plans for 2019?

 

 

 

Lean in

It’s getting close. Just days away, really. I’m sending another son away. Times, they are a changing. It hurts to think how different things will be around here.

Truth is,

it is going to hurt when things are so different around here.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t right; it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t go; and it certainly doesn’t mean I shouldn’t acknowledge the change. It is the beautiful juxtaposition: joy and pain.

I have to keep a forward gaze, while also being present at hand. I have been thinking often- about this post, I wrote so long ago. Embrace the Day

The crux of it- that maybe isn’t really fully articulated in that actual post- is that peace and life (of which Jesus is the Source) are found in being present in the unique day at hand (with its own challenges, needs, blessings, and struggles). Embrace the day- where I take an inward deep breath, settle in, and receive what is, walking by faith in that “now” and trusting as I walk forward into what will be.

The trust I learned as I walked each season with each new baby; as I walk each new school year with these, my students; as I release and let go to turn around and focus on those here with me; — that trust is serving me now- as I realize the Spirit-filled walk of faith is calling to me-  the same trust and faith expressing itself in each different, changing season. It looks different but the heartbeat is the same.  It looks like heart to hearts with teens; texts, phone calls, video calls-  and the strong support backing young adults growing into themselves; it looks like believing in choices for children; it looks like table time with little girls and the disciplined choice to read, read, read. It looks like us (all of us) hand in hand and heart to heart.

I have to take hold with both hands that which is right in front of me.

I also have to lift up my heart and focus heart and energy forward into the good. (This means I think about all the good this next step is for this son I am letting go; this means I look around at the darlings before me and choose love; this means I step bravely forward into this new year)

I am uncomfortable with all the changes. I feel like the journey of my life has been traversed on the undulating waves of adjustments and change. Repeat.

The best tactic for me is to focus one laser-focused, clear eye on what is in front of me and give my whole heart.

I think back to pregnancy; to days cupping infants; to the days when I had more children who needed to learn to read than I did who could read- those days are definitely over.

I have been filling days (making memories) with my soon to be leaving son, and I am looking forward to welcoming home another son who will have been gone for seven long weeks. I can’t wait to see his face and hug his neck. I can’t wait to wrap a hug around him and let him know how deeply loved he is.

I have felt a rising panic as I strive to get ready for our next, upcoming school year. A year that will surely be different. Just as they all have been and will continue to be. But, by faith, I know that there will be wonderful opportunities for rich soul work in the hearts under this roof. All the hearts.

I am… leaning in. One day at a time, one change at a time.

Won’t you lean in, too?

Settling in with peace- knowing the {why}

I sent a son off to soccer this week. Or rather, I began the disciplined haul of practice runs as pre-season began along with an evening boot camp. This is the start of this son’s fourth year participating with the local Christian school which provides oversight for our homeschool.

IMG_20190810_172906785_HDR

I have been down this track before.

And I have to admit, I am a questioner. I am always assessing, evaluating, questioning- and yes, even second-guessing choices I make and paths I take.

Knowing the why makes all the difference.

After the very first day, a somewhat discouraged {and tired} son sat on my floor reflecting. And I, weary and battle sore {and weak} wondered if it all was worth it anyway. So we had a little chat- and it went like this:

What do you gain from playing soccer? 

His words:

  1. fitness
  2. discipline
  3. time management
  4. learning how to properly interact {communicate}  with all different kinds of people, and people I wouldn’t necessarily choose to be around

Grateful, I sighed in relief- because yes, these are the benefits that we have experienced and pursue through this; that we value for their impact and goodness; that I do know will have such a positive forward reach into his future. I was glad he articulated it because, in that moment, I didn’t know if I could. I needed his words, too. I needed to remind myself why I shuttle around in my big van again, again. Also, so very glad he owned these benefits for himself.

I shared how much knowing how to manage an athletic commitment and academics helped me in my life when I was a student (time management).

But, it felt lonely for him, too. The “why” is worth it, but how to turn this all the way around?
What can you bring to the team?
even if you never have a buddy; even if you never really “fit in”; even if you never play a fantastic game {we are not-in general- fantastic athletes over here}
My words:
  1. a positive attitude
  2. respect for Coach and the team
  3. joy in the Lord
  4. solid work ethic

He agreed.

When Micah {oldest son now in college} was getting ready to begin his journey into high school basketball, I had one profound conversation with my brother. He talked a lot about body language and communication- and the way sports carried forward into his life as a grown man.  I listened; I agreed.

And I have learned (since 2013).

Athletics or physical activity is very important for my teens. It is something that is definitely a priority going forward for all of our children.

When the season gets long and the days get hard, because they will, I will remember this son’s good points. And press on.

-Rebecca

Endless Gifts Summer Edition 2019

this spun out longer and longer (than I even intended) and one thing I know for sure is the effectual ability of this habit (of gratitude) to change my life (for the good) and so I didn’t hold back- but let it loose- to roll and lift here/ so much said and so much unsaid– endless gifts… 

the blank page, cursor blinking promise

a dozen (or more) wool bunnies with jaunty hand-made tails

IMG_20190802_161951_726

Coffee with almond whip cream and cinnamon

IMG_20190731_105649407

the boy who greeted me at the Scout camp pickup with words from Dickens. He said: Let me start by saying: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” – o! my children thrill me.
a trip to OneDish and a burger and fries for my boy
Goldie- the new to us car from Todd’s grandparents, and Micah’s quick and direct recognition of God’s faithful provision
safe trips to Pa, and my family: despite a harrowing drive one journey, and more traffic than I’ve ever encountered another; despite stress and summer heat (of all sorts); I’m left with all the realization that I want to make the most of this one life
for all the beloveds who are opening arms to Nathanael as he moves three hours away (into (what feels like) the arms of our family and friends!) for the coming year- o, my heart.
Nathanael, Lehigh, and everything this is, and all I need to learn (and all I need to understand about myself)
Maker girlies and chains of finger knitting

Simply Classical, and tears, and more tears- this book!

IMG_20190802_151849997
a tidied bedroom, purged (almost all the way purged) bookshelf, and new, soothing bed linens (and my mom who got the linens for me- thank you)
IMG_20190717_183637811
the realization and seeking understanding that true rest is of the mind and soul and comes from faithful endeavor (Mystie Winckler) and how can I apply this more to my life and practice it?
tea parties and little girls- and especially one particular little girl- who sets the table with flowers she finds in the yard, and sweets, and water with ice- she is the treat
IMG_20190719_161626813
IMG_20190719_161749950

trying to squeeze in some lasts with Nathanael- and make it count. Am I?

The little girl who told her sisters they weren’t actually 8 until they were blowing out their candles on their cake(s)
IMG_20190713_210535131
fruit kabobs
IMG_20190713_170727871
IMG_20190713_170715930
Blueberry picking in Pennsylvania around the fourth of July. No blueberry ever tasted so good as those luscious, large berries. They went so fast. They were gone in a blink.
phone calls with Micah and a reminder of all that he is
plans for a new school year; plans for two young men at college-
an encounter in the library parking lot with Asher’s Eagle Coach- and I tell Todd- she is inspiration in the flesh-  so uplifting, refreshing, and motivating- so thankful for her
The Barton System- and progress- and most of all the fact that everything I dreaded is NOT true
darlings who love to talk with me and share their thoughts; the one who persuades me out for “soda times” and proceeds to bring such life and creativity with him! #thewritinglife
Reading All the Light We Cannot See— and then reading it again
The Lamplighter Reading Challenge and Todd
SummerMummers at Courtney’s
emailing friends for Abi
Jen and Andrea. Everything their very names mean to me- my sisters in Christ. I want to be more intentional.
car talks with Ali and the realization of God’s provision and promise in her life and the kindred commitment to excellence and drive we share
a date night out with Todd, and long conversations, and the deep-seated recognition of how needed it was
the last CHSF Steering meeting and all the vibrant, soul-filling life there
a reminder that ” All I need is here” (Wendell Berry) 
poem writing, and the life it brings to my soul and…. longing
a cry in the night, in my soul- to “Awake! Awake!” and I pray, help me, Lord. Awake.
one small step in the right direction

Endless Gifts

After {Graduation 2019}

img_20190601_125819443_hdr

From this morning

It is the night after Nathanael’s graduation culmination-

all the ceremonies; the after-party; the celebration complete with confetti scatter and balloons; photos and music and words

-bitter words among us and sweet co-mingled to create pain and joy- He (God) makes the bitter sweet. I need this.

I can’t sleep. There are a variety of factors that could be the physical cause of this– but perhaps it is just the deep need to place words in this place from my heart. To be alone in the quiet and let myself feel the weight of it all.

It is the after. This year, when I walked a path in which my own footsteps were still fresh(2018)- and the going was more difficult, and that was hard-

and now, as I face an ending, and a new beginning

and it is all so recent; and now– so not unknown- which is its own kind of hard. For me.

I have to remember as I look into his face that he is his own.

I wondered how I would muster 2019 with the same exhilarated joy as I did 2018. But, somehow, I did.  We did. It is and it was.

img_20190601_130008385

And I sit in the glimmer of lamplight with an apt tribute all around me{his graduation display before me; my computer resting on 2019 confetti; remnants of covered sweets -a tribute of love and celebration; gold balloons gleaming; his face before me}. What feels like the remnants of a life… I try to take a moment to acknowledge all it is and was. My earnest endeavor laid out for this child, now man, whom I love and am so deeply proud.

img_20190601_125952773

selfie before celebration

It is a mighty endeavor. Home Education. And, for a lot of it, I have done it alone. With Todd. It is an endeavor of heart, soul, mind, — faithfulness. It is the daily in and out over and over. It is knowing I will wake up and do it all again times 7 more souls, Lord willing- and O, Lord- help me.

I must choose hope. As I have done again, again, again, again – with each hard growing pain of life. And this is one of them.

This year felt hard. And, it felt slow. It felt like everything (including graduation, party, celebration, college admissions- everything) was just more than I could muster. And, somehow, muster, I did.

And there is the deep inner pang when I glance ahead to August. I want to do better next year {2019-20} than I did this year. I want the walk to be smoother; not hurt quite so bad; not feel quite so lopsided. I don’t know if it will.  Truth is, most likely it won’t. It will feel empty. It will feel like loss and grief. It will be hard as I lean into ministry and support of college-aged children while devoting attention to children at home with pressing needs. There will be grace; there will be blessings; there will be a lot of hard change.

I lean into the moment, and the people here in front of me. Some of whom are hard to love right now. My field is always before me, and I must not neglect it.

I will keep on loving. When it is hard. When it hurts. When I am unseen. When I am alone. When I am misunderstood. When I am rejected. When I am despised.

And, I will not be ashamed for the choices I make for the good of my family and my home. They are what they are- and often- intuitive- where I see the good much after.

img_20190531_193819595

I will not be ashamed for being true to myself and who I am and who we {this family} are in each decision made. Live and learn; and on, on.

I will recognize that paths diverge and that does not mean my path is wrong.

I feel the burden of being alone.

“Things” are not finished. O, no. All I have to do is look one day ahead on my calendar, and my list wavers blurry and becomes shockingly clear right in front of my eyes. So, I have to choose to find rest in this moment. This one moment of completeness and culmination. Where I battled for joy and goodness and truth and honor. Because I did.

img_20190601_125832115

Where I had to recognize weakness and frailty and the inability to get all the things done.  And it was what it was- with that. And, I did. Where I learned never again to decide to make the upstairs “off-limits” when hosting plenty of guests. O, no.

Where I felt exhausted and alone and at odds with this and that. And, I was.

Where I pause and acknowledge a deeper sweetness in marriage and joy in our love that is comfort and passion and friendship and {past and future} all woven together. I am the creative cacophony, and he is the order, service, and lines. As it always has been.

img_20190531_181522148

It is the end of the day {literally and figuratively}.

I am the grateful mom of a homeschool graduate, and I take just a moment to acknowledge myself as educator; college admissions coach; guidance counselor; at-home Eagle Scout mentor; supervisor; and discipler. I finished high school well with this child.

I close my eyes. I see all their faces before me; precious, treasured. It is time to sleep. There is work to be done in the morn.

img_20190531_210100140

-CCS Graduation Reception                                            We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

Lenten Hope, Lenten Joy

i

40-day journey to the cross.

I posture my heart.

I posture my soul.

Face down- yet

lifted

(high)

ii

I clasp hands earnestly

and beseech

for joy and hope

at the table gathered

with children.

In the morning.

I pray.

iii

Later.

It is afternoon.

And, I am jolting

forward. stop. forward. stop.

hurtling jaggedly home

two cello players car (in)side with me.

and suddenly...

I am deliciously

captivated by the

word

incandescent-

incandescent... distilled to me from a moment

in a beautiful song. 

(I would never have found but for the son by my side)

iv

We are almost home- and oldest cellist and I study quickly

to gain the full understanding

of this lovely, lovely word:

it speaks to me.

  1. adjective incandescent: 

(of light) produced by incandescence.

glowing or white with heat.

intensely bright; brilliant.

brilliant; masterly; extraordinarily lucid:an incandescent masterpiece; incandescent wit.

aglow with ardor, purpose, etc.:the incandescent vitality of youth.

God, I love this song.

“Magic Mirror”

 

O, profound song. Speaking to me.

 

Inside, I weep.

And-

I joy.

v

Later, (on the road again) I ponder how that word

incandescent

thrilled me to the toes

and how

for a brief

whiff

of time, I felt so joyfully alive.

And, I’m grateful.

I think on… what makes me feel alive.

vi

I find myself stepping

into Target.

Target, of all places,

and… once again-

the joy is

rising.

a glimmer, found for me

among little girl dresses

with unicorns

and spring themed

garments hanging like

hope

in pinks, greens, purples, sky blue

and of course,

(silver and gold)

sparkle

for some reason

I am happy.

 I am happy among the spring themed atmosphere of Target.

I tell my son, and we laugh.

Target can do that to a lot of people, we ruminate.

As we walk out, the smell of coffee fills the air, and I fill my lungs.

With that good smell.

vii

In the car,

I realize

that I prayed,

in the morning

I prayed

for the reality

of joy

and the reality

of hope

and that we would ponder the way to the cross

and 

the joy of resurrection.

 

The truth is-

it has been a rare day that

I have felt the free joy

I found today.

I don’t take it for granted.

I am grateful.

O sun, O spring, O-

thankful for hope

and

feeling

for

goodness, joy, and life.

And knowing it is true.

viii

I am looking for Spring.

I am looking…

I am looking for my Savior,

lifted high.

I am looking

in the faces of the

ones around me-

and I am remembering,

to

pray.

Face down

yet lifted

(high).

 

Thanksgiving 2018

My photos aren’t that crisp or clear this year- and it feels a bit symbolic to me. In some ways, this seems (maybe more than I realize) to capture what is unique for Thanksgiving 2018.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 NIV

 

Thanksgiving 2018
Appetizers
Halo oranges and pretzels
Wheat Thins and Special Sauce
Rippled Chips
Deviled Eggs
Main Meal
Roasted Turkey
Home-made Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Bake
Cranberry Relish (with way more cranberries and way less sugar this year)
Broccoli Salad
Coleslaw
Cucumber and Red Onion Salad (alas our Spring Mix housed Romaine 😦 )
Crusty (home-made) Rolls with Earth Balance
Desserts
(I think we overdid on our desserts this year! But, we eat much for breakfast the next day (and for days after) with scrambled eggs, and dessert recipes are one of the children’s favorite ways to participate in the feast. Everyone has their favorite(s).) 
Apple Pie (Joshua)
Jewish Apple Cake (Nate)
Pumpkin Pie (Jonah)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Jonah)
Chocolate Cream Pie (twins)
Pumpkin Roll (Asher/Abi)
Pumpkin Bar (Asher/Abi)
Tofutti “cheese” cake with chocolate swirl and fresh squeezed lemon (Norah)