Springtime Homeschooling {+ Volvo love}

Those of you who don’t live around here may not know there are actually five seasons in Georgia: summer (by far the longest of the seasons), fall (delightful), winter (often with nary a snowflake to be seen), spring (beautiful but usually too short), and pollen (wedged right in the middle of spring). During this season, the world turns yellow. Everything is coated with the sticky yellow stuff; rain showers result in bright yellow puddles; even the wind is yellow. It’s obnoxious.

Since pollen season is in high gear right now, playing outside is way less fun (please refer to this photo) — but we find things to do indoors.

real life homeschooling on instagram

Springtime homeschooling.

One happily rainy day this week, Kathryn spent part of the afternoon showing the kids really awesome stuff on Google Earth. Like where she’ll be going on her trip the beach soon, and where our Compassion kids live in Kenya. And of course, all sorts of things about the area where we live, about the geography and topography of our area, how close Granma lives to us, etc.

After rain had [temporarily] washed the yellow pollen coating off of everything, we got outside as much as we could.


Did you know next Tuesday is Earth Day? I’m a big fan of this planet (you know, since we live on it), but occasions like Earth Day tend to focus more on the created than on the Creator. If you’re looking for a few activities to celebrate from the perspective of keeping God first, I’ve shared some Earth Day Activities for Kids at The Homeschool Classroom.

I {heart} Volvo.

This was also the week when I got a new (to me) car!

I learned to drive in a Volvo, my dad specialized in Volvos at his mechanic shop, my mom has driven them exclusively since the 1970’s, and my first car was a Volvo. I loved that quirky thing: a limited edition model designed by the man who designed Maserati. Of course, mine was far from perfect. Dad bought it cheap as a repossessed car needing a lot of work; I literally sanded it myself when it was time to paint it, reconditioned the beat-up leather seating, and “assisted” (mostly just watched) my dad rebuild the engine. My blood, sweat, and tears were in that car.

Volvo Bertone Coupe

We don’t do car payments so we drive whatever we have til we can afford newer ones, even when that has meant making due with just one car while we worked on conquering debt. The Kia minivan did it’s job and served us well, but it was time to upgrade. So I researched cars and stalked used Volvos online until I found one I wanted in the price range we were looking for.

I heart Volvo

It’s used but like-new condition. I’ll stop short of saying I “love” this car (because it is just a thing) but let’s just say I fully appreciate it. I plan to drive it for the next ten years, Lord willing, so we feel it was a good investment. In my perfect world I’d have chosen some color other than black (because of pollen and the oven-like effect during hot summers in the South), but for the price/value compared to a new one, I happily embrace black. Oh, and wait til you see the fun tag I ordered for the front. 😉

Back on the homeschool front:

Kathryn completed her biggest knitting project to date: a cute cat-ear hat. Though she made it for herself, she let Jem model. That boy is a hoot.

boy in knit hat

In the midst of that cute cat-ear knit hat project, Kathryn decided to teach herself to crochet. She used a book I bought to learn the basic stitches, mastered granny squares, then turned her attention to the Craftsy tutorial on amigurumi animals.

granny square crochet

She’s almost done with her first amigurumi animal but we’re waiting on the little plastic eyes I ordered to arrive. Look for photos of her crochet critter soon!

In addition to learning to all that creativity (origami was in the mix again, too), Kathryn is working through Teaching Textbooks, keeping up with Georgia State History, read two more books in a historical fiction series, and spent time (as she does most weeks) on her favorite astronomy sites. She was disappointed that rain and clouds obscured this week’s blood moon. She also has a new penpal in California, so letters to her long-distance friend serve as a fun option for the week’s writing.

This Mama is working on another Leadership Education principle: inspiring learning by setting the example of continuing my own education. This week I started online Cherokee language classes! I will definitely write a review down the road because this could be a great language option for homeschool students.

Academics can wait.

Some tough things have come up lately with adoption-parenting issues. I had to go “there” in talking about hard things as much as I could with a six-year-old. One of the most difficult things about parenting the two youngest ones is how BIG the issues are but how limited their understanding. Taking any huge topic and scaling it to kid-size without completely watering it down is beyond difficult.

springtime outdoor kids

All this has made me realize yet again that academics can wait. Building relationships and teaching basic values take precedence. The rest will come later. This is something Leadership Education emphasizes in the Core Phase, but I see this as being extra important in an adoptive family like ours.

Enjoy your Easter weekend, friends.

We’re planning to attend Good Friday service at church today, and to make empty tomb rolls on Sunday morning as part of our celebration of the Resurrection. The kids loved that last year and it’s a neat (and yummy) visual I recommend if you’ve never done it!

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I’m linking with Kris’s Weekly Wrap-Up and Mary’s Collage Friday.