Homeschool chit chat: readiness of the child, state laws, and the question of October birthdays

This blog post is going to be conversational in nature. That’s because it was an actual conversation that happened via texting recently, between myself, my younger sister Rachel, and my Mom. Rachel’s first child is not yet school age. My sister-in-law Esther pops in at one point as well! These ladies have kindly given me permission to publish our conversation here. 

Rachel: Mom and Jennifer, what age did you start first grade? And did you do a year of learning to read before first grade, or did they learn to read in first grade? Continue reading “Homeschool chit chat: readiness of the child, state laws, and the question of October birthdays”

Homemade Caramel for those Fall Apples

Every fall brings crunchy, tasty apples, sometimes boxes of them! We eat them whole. We eat them cut up into slices. I like them chopped up in vanilla or plain yogurt, or on cereal. We usually make a few pans of apple crisp to eat with vanilla ice cream. After doing all that this year, we still had some apples Continue reading “Homemade Caramel for those Fall Apples”

A thought from Steve (with Fall pictures!)

IMG_5448After reading my last blog post, about working alongside your children, Steve said, “There’s a spiritual lesson in that.”

Here’s the truth he shared. We have One who comes alongside us, too. As followers of Christ, we’ve all been given jobs to do, many of which seem beyond our abilities. Our Master hasn’t left us alone to figure it all out ourselves. He’s given us Continue reading “A thought from Steve (with Fall pictures!)”

How to Begin Training Good Workers (spoiler: Don’t say “Go clean your room”)

An adorable little freeloader enters your world. First, he creates mounds of laundry and dirty diapers. Not long after, dirty dishes begin to multiply. Then suddenly, the entire kitchen floor becomes sticky and grimy in 1.9 seconds of your back being turned. Books and knick knacks litter the floor, because your little freeloader has also become a little ten-month-old tornado. Continue reading “How to Begin Training Good Workers (spoiler: Don’t say “Go clean your room”)”

Golden Tones of Late Summer (with kids crying in the background)

The loveliness of the Shenandoah Valley welcomes the change of season a little more each day; days of late summer mixed in with days of early fall. Katelyn and I have been enjoying the scenery on the drive to and from the farm where she and Ethan work on a butchering crew.  So we took a drive out that way the other day, to try to capture some of it on her camera. Yellows and golds are some of my favorite color tones, both inside my home and outside of it. Goldenrod may be Continue reading “Golden Tones of Late Summer (with kids crying in the background)”

Getting started, and two delightful books

And we’re off. Another school year is underway. The getting-ready phase is always a crunch and a scramble, a holding-of-breath type of phase, and then when we actually arrive at the first day it’s like a sigh of relief. It’s like we can breathe Continue reading “Getting started, and two delightful books”

Making Bread, in Pictures, with Recipe

This little nip of fall in the air puts me in the mood for baking. One of the great things about starting school this coming week is that homemade bread is part of our daily school routine. We made some bread the other day, and subsequently realized how much we had missed it over the summer.baked loavesOne of the unavoidable little details about raising a family Continue reading “Making Bread, in Pictures, with Recipe”

Sandals for the School Year

{photos by Ethan Hall}

Here we go…. setting out on another year of schooling. Preparations at our house just got bumped into super-speed mode. Due to scheduling changes in two of my older children’s work on a local farm’s butchering crew, we are having to start school a week earlier than we had planned. (Hopefully you can’t hear the panic in my voice as I say that.)
Continue reading “Sandals for the School Year”