A Book List (especially suitable for young men)

Reading books of substance goes a long way toward true education. As homeschoolers we need to provide quality books and we must provide our students time to read. I am hoping to do a better job of this in the future; we always have room to improve, right?

Let’s be careful not to overestimate the value of running around to extra-curricular activities, and underestimate the value of time to read and absorb a good book.editWith that in mind, I am excited to share this amazing book list with you. This list comes to us courtesy of my brother-in-law Daniel. He kindly provided me this list in 2016, when I was searching for Christmas gift ideas for my teenage boys. Daniel is an avid reader, a history buff, and a dad of four boys. I knew, when I asked him for a book list, that he would offer valuable suggestions of exactly the types of books I would want my young men to read.  Continue reading “A Book List (especially suitable for young men)”

The Next Phase of the Journey

Get ready, get set, go! Currently, our household is in a stage that feels like “geeettt reeeeeaaaaaadyyy”, mainly because two weeks ago we tore the dilapidated ceiling out of our school room (down to the joists) and have been trying to give the entire room a facelift. This is the only room that has basically gone untouched since we bought our old farmhouse twelve years ago. This room has finally gotten a turn for some improvements, at long last. I’m loving how it has turned out. Fixing up my nest is one of my favorite activities. I should be showing some pics of the changes on my Instagram soon.

This year, our “getting ready for school” phase has also involved a new activity; that of getting our firstborn packed up and out the door for his first semester of college. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to think about how many days it will be until mid-December.

Continue reading “The Next Phase of the Journey”

The First Arrow Flies & Summer Kicks In

Not much has been happening here on the blog, except for things quite unrelated to our theme, which is supposed to be marriage, motherhood, ministry and making a home. Time to get back on topic. Thanks for bearing with me! And thanks for following along!

Life on Windy Hill has been more of a whirlwind than usual. School came to a conclusion amidst a flurry of year-end activities.

Then, this happened on June 2. PEACHGraduation2018-215On graduation morning, which was marked by nonstop torrential downpours, I told Steve, “Today the dominoes are starting to fall.” He replied, without missing a beat, “No, today the arrows are starting to fly!” [Psalm 127:4] Continue reading “The First Arrow Flies & Summer Kicks In”

January chit-chat, an essay, a product review, and snow pics!

Hope your new year is off to a great start. I love January. Cleaning up, cleaning out, a fresh start, quiet(er) days, back into the routine, and maybe even some snow.

I had wanted to say hello a little sooner than this (other than telling you about our new card game)…. but due to unforeseen computer difficulties, my communications have been limited. (Disaster struck when one of my children, who will remain unnamed, spilled a cup of hot chocolate on my laptop. I’m afraid I came close to failing that test of spirituality.) Continue reading “January chit-chat, an essay, a product review, and snow pics!”

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”

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”

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”

Teaching Beginning Reading in the Homeschool

Toby and I had a fun year last year. I use the word “fun” carefully. Of course we had plenty of chaotic and crazy moments. It was stressful at times. But it was also a pleasant experience, as I watched him learn and worked with him for about an hour every day.  Teaching Toby to begin to read last year in “kindergarten” was one of the highlights of my homeschooling experience thus far. I ended up really liking the approach that we took. I have tried various things over the years, and kind of landed here last year. So let’s just get practical! I do love talking philosophy and theory, but there is a time to say, “What did you actually DO?”
Continue reading “Teaching Beginning Reading in the Homeschool”