About Our Back-to-school Plan

It’s here!  

The school year has kicked off with enthusiasm and hope.  Actually, we are in our second month of school, being the homeschooling family that we are… Ambitious?  Maybe.  However, we sat the kids down and explained a basic principle.

~Regardless of when we start, the same amount of work has to be done.  We can start early and finish early, start on time and finish on time, or start late and work later into next summer. ~

They chose to get an early start!

The school system we use is 24 weeks long.  We use a classical curriculum and once a week we meet with a large group of students, breaking into age appropriate classes.  We also meet with a smaller group of friends – other moms and their kids going through the same system.  This is the first year we are doing this, and it’s been wonderful!  The best part is we came up with a point system that challenges each of our kiddos to raise the bar in family life.  The kids spend 7 days earning points for specific goals and each time we meet they bring their accumulated points to add to the group’s goal of having a party.

We gave them fun names:


With descriptions we all agreed on, and each of us tweaked for our specific family dynamics:


They each get chores to check off daily.  Bigger chores for big kids, little chores for littler kids:


And chores are explained and posted so there isn’t any misunderstanding:


Which makes the side of our fridge into our points station:


So far it’s been a really good start to the year.  I should add that my older two are in a challenge program working toward earning a special incentive trip at the end of the year for mastering all their school material. That’s 24 weeks worth of history, english grammar, geography, math, science, latin grammar, US presidents, and a passage of scripture memorized in english and translated in latin!  This is on top of writing & presentation assignments, memorizing grammar charts and dissecting sentences…

Have I expressed my mommy-pride loudly enough?!

It has been a handful, I have to admit.  I’ve had to become more routine and disciplined than I ever was while we were in a traditional school system.  With a kiddo just starting his school journey, two kiddos entering a new phase of their learning and development adventures, and a toddler enjoying life in the mix, a routine has become our life-line.  So has our support system – the other mommies and homeschool kids who understand both the sometimes intense pressures, responsibilities and amazing freedoms that come with a homeschooling lifestyle.  Gratefully we have both families in our classical system of homeschooling, and families who are pursuing different methods – both are refreshing, adding perspective and creativity I wouldn’t have on my own.

Whatever your schooling adventures are this year, we hope you are having a wonderful start and are full of hope and joy each day, overcoming hardships and enduring through the challenges in order to taste amazing success and victory!



“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” 1 Peter 4:12

Words, deeds, misunderstanding, hurt feelings. Baggage adding up, spilling over.

Filters and lenses fogged through, emotions intense. Pressure steaming.  Exploding all over.

People living with People: Rubbing raw, stabbing deep, wearing thin.  Aching.  Lonely.  Fearfully raging.  Clashing and colliding and throbbing and slashing and hiding and blaming and hating and longing… in need.

….which comes upon you for your testing….

I remember words once spoken to me; “She needs a dart board and you are her leader.  Seems like God is asking you to break the fall for her, to be the one who catches her hurt and absorbes the mess.  Seems like maybe He’s asking you to be His skin and bones for a little while. Seems like a painfully high honor, if you ask me.  Seems like that’s what we do when we say yes to being like Him.”  

And when standing in the breaking of someone’s fall, my own heart breaks.  Shatters.  I wonder if He really wants me to say yes to being like Him.  When absorbing someone else’s mess requires painful stretching to accomodate the enormity of a life lived outside my capacity, when the swelling tears pieces of me and my resolve to be like Him cracks… In my aching my human, un-god-like, is showing.

“…Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler…”              ~1 Peter 4:15

When my human heart bites back in the searing pain of tearing and I no longer suffer stretching for the sake of Christ, but suffer under the weight of my new wounds opening old.  When I am no longer breaking someones fall, but falling right along with them, I wonder, how did I get here? When did I turn away from the Healer and become the hurting? When I am an evildoer, and troublesome and have no where to look but at my own failing pride, my own crying for comfort and relief, rather than for God’s glory. When I loose sight. Forget why I am here.  When does He come rescue us both?

“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” ~ 1 Peter 4:19

In the midst of falling and failing in human error and stringent pride, one thing I do know: His hands stretching wide.  It is enough to remind me to land on my knees, my face to the floor.  One thing that falling does is break open the brittle shell that said, enough stretching this time!  And me, now broken, heart beating bare, each hand His covers He lifts up with care.   It is His arms that stretch mine out full. It is His strength holding them there.  In this, I am renewed.  In His embrace I gain my girth.  Together, my skin and bones and His presence, we return to absorbing hurt from the hurting. And when I lean into Him as we break their fall, I can see it.  This is how I am becoming like Him.

“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” ~1 Peter 4:1