One morning recently I instagramed a “perfect” relaxed homeschool morning: my preschooler played with wooden word puzzles; my 1st grader sat nearby drawing; and my 7th grader sat knitting and helping the preschooler. It was a moment that made my heart happy.

It’s rare when our days look like that “perfect” morning, but when it does happen, it reminds me why we’re doing this laid-back style of home education and why it’s working so well for us right now.

I’ve let go of “behind.”

There are so many things — good things – we’re not doing right now. But that doesn’t mean we’re behind in our studies. We’re doing what we need to do, and I refuse to stress about not doing ALL-THE-THINGS. You know, all the things you have pinned on beautiful Pinterest boards? The hands-on projects, afternoon art, exploding science experiments… Those are wonderful things and if your family is doing them, that is seriously cool. But we’re not, and I am 100% okay with that. Maybe one day we’ll do them. And maybe we won’t. Either way, my kids will keep on learning.

Nature Study (aka Outdoor Fun!)

The weather here has been all over the place: warm and sunny to windy and COLD. But every day we can, we get outside to play. The little kids are learning much about weather, seasons, birds, how plants and trees go dormant in the winter, and all sorts of things simply by experiencing them and talking about them.

Kathryn enlisted the kids to collect pine cones one day, and on another (warmer!) day, she helped them make pine cone bird feeders.

Peanut Butter Pinecone

rolling pinecone birdseed
LacyDog wanted to help, too. Actually, she really just wanted to eat the peanut butter. It’s pretty much her FAVORITE thing ever. With the possible exception of bunny poop. {Dogs are weird.} And apparently, she has developed a fondness for birdseed. She’s just about the perfect dog except for her fondness for eating inappropriate things out of the yard.

Note doggie tongue in action in photo below:

Dog helps with pinecones

Kathryn tied yarn on the pine cones and the kids directed her where to hang them. Although we had to keep the dog away from it all, the birds and squirrels were very happy about the feast prepared for them!

Growing readers

With magnetic letters now gracing the front of the refrigerator, Jem has finally learned to spell his name without help! And Scout likes to practice spelling and try to make sentences; it’s a bit hard with only two of each letter but it keeps her busy!

magnetic letter spelling

It’s beyond adorable how much this little boy adores his daddy. There is no way he could be more his son; it’s easy to forget there is no biological relation between these to, even right down to their sense of humor. Here, they explored Everything You Need to Know About Snakes (and Other Scaly Reptiles), both quite interested in the subject matter. Some time later, Jem told me about some of the things they read, so he was clearly paying attention. Then again, dancing lizards are not easily forgotten!

reading with daddy

Those Everything You Need to Know… books get a lot of attention here. Even though four-year-old Jem can’t read, they hold his interest. And thanks to a combination of reading to him, looking at these books on his own, and playing with those letters on the fridge, I believe he finally gets the idea of reading. He’s a long way off from actually reading (still working on consistently knowing all his letters) but this is a big concept he did NOT understand a few months ago.

snake book

Regardless of what else we accomplish, reading is always a high priority on my list, even though I’m not doing nearly as many read-alouds as I’d like. We’ll get there. Eventually.

Often when Kathryn is doing some of her own reading and the little ones are suppose to play more quietly than usual, Scout chooses to sit and read, too. She wants to do everything big sis does.

girls reading homeschool

Recent bedtime story favorites have been Ed Mouse Finds Out About Times of Day, and Too Much Noise!

Meanwhile, Kathryn finished the Lord of the Rings series and is begging me to buy the books so she can own them and read them over and over again. {Hello, gift idea!}

Musician(s) in the house

Kathryn’s enrichment classes have come to an end for this semester. Scout and Jem were very excited to attend her holiday band concert because they remembered going to her last concert in May and enjoyed it. My mom was able to come, and the kids attached themselves to Granma while eagerly watching the bands play. This boy is bound to be a musician. My mom was giggling about him excitedly demonstrating how a trombone player moves his arm, and telling her how “cool” the saxophone player was.


All three kids will participate in choir performances at church next month. Kathryn’s band class and Choi Kwang Do will start up again in January.

Getting ready for the holidays

I’ll be doing some fun meaning-of-Christmas stuff with the little ones (and Kathryn too), including a study on the birth of Jesus, and Truth in the Tinsel for advent.

We packed our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and sent them on their merry way this week. Kathryn helped me plan our Thanksgiving menu and wants to help cook the meal. We have a number of holiday crafts planned, but of course, Kathryn is always crafting something no matter what time of year.

I’m linking up with these fine friends:

– Mary’s “Collage Friday” at Home Grown Learners
– Kris’ “Weekly Wrap-Up” at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers