Almost-Summer Homeschooling

First of all, let me brag on our eldest!

Brandon has accepted a teaching position as a middle school band director; this is his first full-time “real” teaching job! And his beautiful wife Diane is a brand new college graduate! {Love how she decorated the top of her cap!} They’ll be moving closer to Brandon’s school so he doesn’t have a crazy-long commute, but still close enough for us to see them regularly. They are such a wonderful young couple and I am proud to know them. I wish I could say I had something to do with how either of them turned out, but that’s due to their mamas and God’s grace!

Diane graduation

Almost-summer homeschooling:

We’re on the home stretch of our homeschool year, but relaxed interest-led learning is such a part of our lives that things don’t change much for us when we’re “on” or “off.”  I still explain concepts and define words and talk about a ridiculous variety of subjects throughout the day, but we’re not following any set curriculum or plan. We do, however, tie up things like Kathryn’s Teaching Textbooks math curriculum.

And when we have nice weather, the kids spend most of the day outside. Whether reading, running around with the dog, or just sitting on the swing watching Ken be an awesome Daddy, I join them outdoors whenever possible because nature is good for my soul.

outside time

Kathryn is continuing with Choi Kwang Do throughout the summer, and Scout joined the class this week. She did well, considering it was her very first class, and thoroughly enjoyed it; she was smiling ear to ear for hours afterwards. Jem watched, eager for the day he gets to join in. He told me when he does it, he’ll be the fastest. Because apparently in boy-land, everything is better faster.

choi kwang do class

If she’s not reading (most recently the Freedom Seeker’s historical fiction series), Kathryn is usually creating something. Like an amigurumi crochet bird or this super-cute knit doggie sweater she made as a surprise for our sweet next-door neighbor. Missy enjoyed it during last week’s cool spell and even wore it to show off at the vet’s office. 😉

knit dog sweater

One difference in our summer schedule is the lessening of extracurricular activities. The kids’ choir at church wrapped up for the summer with a show, and won’t start back up until August. Kathryn’s band ended the year with a spring concert; this will be the last one for the foreseeable future as we won’t be participating in band next year. It’s a good program, but one we’re letting go.

choir and band concert

My Mother’s Day was uneventful, but for me, that’s usually a good thing.

This was my second Mother’s Day with Scout and Jem. I’m still not quite in my groove with these two but I am thankful for the [sometimes-painful] stretching of myself in learning to mother them. There are still hard days, but it helps to look back to a year ago and realize how far we’ve come.

We’re all pretty cute in this Mother’s Day selfie, if I do say so myself, and those are all genuine smiles.

mothers day 2014

We’ve been talking about doing a late-summer beach vacation, and have realized that Scout and Jem have never seen the ocean! They’ve been to a local beach at a lake, but it’s very different than visiting the ocean. Last year the thought of taking them out of town was far too overwhelming to seriously consider. But this year, I’m looking forward to experiencing this with them.

Enjoy your weekend!


I’m linking with Kris’s Weekly Wrap-Up.

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I au paired for a family who were fostering a little girl (I think she was 4 at the time) and we took her to the beach for the first time in her life. Watching her see the ocean and hearing her say “look at the big water! The big water!” was a magical, poignant moment for me, and one I’ll never forget. I think meeting that family was the start of my recognition that I’m called to foster care. I hope you all have a wonderful time this summer. I can’t believe those little ones have been with you… Read more »


I’m so pleased for you — looks like all of your children are happy 🙂

Now, take those children to the ocean! lol


Happy belated Mother’s Day! Very cute picture:) …our two guys just experiecnced their first moments at the beach. We live in central Florida so we can either pick the gulf or the east coast. We went to the gulf because the waves are immeasurably smaller than the Atlantic. But, I can’t wait until they experience the big waves!! Taking adopted kids on their ‘firsts’ is plain priceless! (((Oh, maybe I should say that we adopted them, signed, sealed, and forever earlier this week, birthed out of/from the heart, God is far more capable than I could ever imagine up!!!!!))) Last… Read more »

Congratulations to Brandon and Diane! Ah, a beach vacation sounds heavenly. You must go – because I need to live vicariously through you! 🙂


I understand about not travelling far the first year. Even our thirteen year old couldn’t handle long trips at first. She had hardly ever even left the Girls Home where she’d grown up. It’s okay to not push them before they are ready. It looks like you’re progressing in your relationships. It’s been quite a year of changes, hasn’t it?! Hope this one will be even more relaxing!

Michelle Newbold

I would like to go to a local beach at a lake this summer. Been to one before but can’t remember the name of it. Do you know?

Michelle Cannon

It looks like things are going great for you, Jamie! The kids look so happy.