When I was a little girl, my favorite children’s book was Wacky Wednesday. I read it over and over and over again. It was about a boy who woke up on Wednesday, and everything about the world was wacky. Shoes stuck to the ceiling and planes flew backwards. As he went through his day, the world got more and more wacky, and he was the only one who could see that everything was not quite right. Finally, the day ended, and when he woke up the next morning, everything was back to normal. What a relief!

As a child, this story was funny but also cathartic. Things go wrong! Not everything is perfect. However, if we wait long enough, we’ll come out the other side.

I think we can all relate, can’t we? We might have a wacky day or a wacky year. Yep, the world is pretty wacky right now, but I’m not counting on waking up one morning and everything being back to normal. I think what we can count on, however, is our ability to adapt, grow and change when necessary, which makes it much easier to deal with the wacky world, which, actually, has always been wonkers. Some of us have a harder time with change, which makes life so much harder for them. These people can make life more difficult for others too. :/

If I’ve learned anything from this wacky time, I think it’s that whatever a person chooses to listen to, i.e. what media they read/trust, says a lot more about that person than whatever the Truth is. No media outlet, reporter, book, opinion shouter, has the whole Truth. It’s always more complicated. We think we’re so connected and that we have all the answers at our fingertips, but I think it’s even harder now to cut through the endless hype. Hmm. Less media and more meditation might help. Ha ha.

Okay, I will stop while I’m ahead.

We had a good August, and my boys are a year older! Again! Yikes. And now I’m homeschooling 5th grade again, and whoa….8th grade! It’s the last year before high school. Wow. Wow. I can’t believe we’re at this point. Every year has gone by faster than the one before it.

I’m excited about our upcoming year. Despite the pandemic, I think it’ll be a great year. The boys have a lot of activities they are involved in (all remotely). Maybe it’ll be a better year because we’re going to be home together everyday. With time moving as fast as it is, I know my boys will be growing up and living away from this house before I know it. So I’m always going to appreciate this extra bit of closeness we had together.

Still, I hope hope hope that later this year we’ll have some kind of relief, and it’ll be safer to resume in-person lessons and meet-ups. Fingers crossed. If not, we’ll deal with it, right?

At some point I’ll write about our plans for 5th and 8th grade, but I can’t promise when. I’ll probably pepper my monthly updates with tidbits, but I may wait until the end of the year to give a comprehensive overview of our curriculum because I always end up tweaking my plans and letting some things slide. This is also the year my husband and I will be doing some serious thought about high school for our eldest son. It’s so exciting! But we have a lot to consider and research. I’m thankful that my husband is big on research, and this is one area he seems to like researching.

We took a couple weeks off in August, and most of the summer we were on a lighter schedule. It was good to keep a little structure in our days, but we also played a lot of games, read lots of books, and enjoyed many movies and documentaries. Here are some of our favorites:

Exploding Kittens — Our new favorite card game. It has a big giggle quotient. 🙂

The Wrinkle in Time Quintet — My younger son is really enjoying this classic book series right now, although I don’t own this particular boxed set. We had some old copies and also used our Kindle to get the whole series. My eldest son really enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time when I read it to him many moons ago, and it was my favorite book when I was in the 4th grade. I even wrote a letter to Madeline L’Engle, and she wrote me back!

Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church — I read this book for myself, and I can’t recommend it enough. I first heard about it during an interview with the author on NPR’s Fresh Air last year, and listening to her speak about her upbringing, the realizations she made in her late twenties, and the love that she still has for her family, I wanted to read her book. If I find the time, I may write a longer review of it, but I do highly recommend it. I like it because this is not a vengeful exposé. It’s a thoughtful retelling of her experiences and the events and thought processes in realizing her family’s and church’s mistakes. And it’s a good testament that yelling, spewing insults, and arguing do not change people’s minds. What changes minds is building relationships in kind and gentle ways. Something the whole world could learn from right now!

Connected — A Netflix original, and a truly great documentary that shows how our world is much smaller than we think it is. Watch the trailer at the link. (And remember: I try to post all the educational programs we watch on Pinterest.)

So please tell me: how are you feeling right now? Are you managing okay through this wacky time? What plans do you have for this upcoming school year?


A bluebird chick just before taking the big leap out of the birdhouse.

May is one of my favorite months of the year. Flowers are blooming and the temperature is perfect. The trees have fresh, new leaves, and the birds are tending to their babies. Our resident bluebirds had a successful brood, and we even got to witness one of the chicks leave the birdhouse — what an exciting moment! We haven’t noticed the baby bluebirds hanging out in our yard, but we do have a family of house finches (mama, papa and two chicks) coming every day to eat our sunflower seeds and drink the water from our birdbath. My twelve-year-old has commented on how loud the little chicks are when they are around!

May has been a busy month. After the state piano competition, I started making appointments and doing things we weren’t able to do while my son was preparing for that. We have had a couple of fun play dates, enjoyed some educational events at the university, and had a few other outings and errands to run, including shopping. My boys are growing so fast, and they need new clothes!

There’s always more to do as kids grow older, isn’t there? Just when I think it’s getting easier because the boys are more capable and independent, there’s a whole new level of work for my husband and me as we homeschool these boys. (Not to mention all the food consumption!!)

For now we are working on wrapping up this year, though for me I’ll be “wrapping up” throughout the summer. (Sigh. I just remembered I need to write up progress reports and all that.)

The Finch Family

In the state of Georgia I am required to test my boys every three years starting in the third grade, so this is a testing year for us. As I mentioned before, it takes up time I would rather be spending on more important things, but I do think it’s wise to get an assessment occasionally to see where we’re at. So I am planning to do the testing in early June. I probably won’t write about it again because I doubt there will be anything new to say from the last time, but if you want to see which test we used and our experience with it, you can click here. In future years I may try a different test, and if I do, I’ll write about the process.

One of our weekly appointments will be ending for the summer this week, but the boys both continue their music lessons throughout the summer, albeit with some breaks here and there. We will also continue to homeschool throughout the summer, though we’ll be able to take breaks and focus on different stuff. I’m excited that my eldest son is going to be starting 7th grade in the fall, which I consider junior high. We’ll probably go ahead and begin some 7th grade work in the summer. Though I don’t do any official start date (except on paper), there are some things I’ll save for September in order to give us a lighter schedule during the summer months. Overall, summer will be fun and more relaxing, but it’s nice to ease into some of the new things that 7th grade will entail. (Of course, this is the plan now, but summer has a mind of it’s own — I don’t know what we’ll actually have time for. LOL)

A few flowers from our front garden beds.

I have laid out my plans for 7th grade, and while we’ll mostly be continuing to use some of the same resources we have always used, I am introducing some new things, and I’m writing a literature curriculum from scratch (with help from the Internet), which is taking a long time to finish. I’m so glad I started early. I couldn’t find a ready-made curriculum that I liked. I was an English major, and I’m picky about the books I want to read at any given time. (It’s this reason I could never belong to a book club. I never want to read the selections other people make.) I wanted to pick books that I felt my son would enjoy but that would also introduce him to other cultures, history, and ways of life. The theme of my literature course will be “survival.” This is something a twelve-year-old should like, don’t you think? 🙂

I always try to write follow-up blog posts to my beginning-of-year post that details our curriculum for that year. Indeed, I made a lot of changes this year, so I’ll try to do that soon, but I can’t make promises. We are going to get busier as the summer begins, and we will have some adventures that I hope to share with you later in the summer too.

The phlox bloomed earlier this spring, and it was beautiful.

I usually write a post about our gardening efforts this time of year, but alas, this will be the first time I don’t do that. We haven’t planted anything new, though we did take a day off of lessons to do some trail maintenance, and we continue to enjoy the flower beds in the front yard, which we made and planted last year. Unfortunately, my son’s Venus flytrap died over the winter, which is too bad. It had given us a few years worth of joy and had gotten quite big. His pitcher plants came back, and they had a good many flowers this year too. I find myself eagerly awaiting the hour everyday when I can step outside for a little while and water the plants. That simple act makes my day feel fulfilling and complete.

My boys and I make a lot of gardening “plans,” and sometimes we manage to carry them out, but as they get older and more involved in their music events and other activities, I wonder how often we’ll be able to dig in the dirt. You can’t plant new stuff unless you can commit to caring for it until it becomes established, and I don’t bother to plant vegetables unless I think I’ll have time to cook with them. But we love our yard, and I’m so glad the boys enjoy plants (I did too as a child). I think it’ll always be something we do when we can.

Sometimes our birdbath will attract a new-to-us species. We were very excited to see this summer tanager.

This has become a long and rambling post, and I thank any of you who have actually read the whole thing. I know this post is not the kind of blog material that attracts readers, but I don’t care about that much anymore. I want to keep a record of our homeschool, and I want to enjoy writing, and I want to attract only those who care about the same, simple things.

Please tell me what you’ve been up to lately. I hope your spring is just as lovely as ours.



Every week I have to drive down Price Avenue to take my youngest son to his cello lesson, and I’m so glad that I have at least one reason to drive down this street. Prince Avenue is special to me, mostly because I used to live near there before I was married. I loved the little old mill houses in the Boulevard area, and in my late twenties, I was finally able to rent one for awhile. I still miss it sometimes.

I also love Prince Avenue because both my boys were born in the hospital that is on this street, but even more than that, I love Prince Avenue because every April all the dogwoods that line this street are in full bloom, and for a couple of weeks every year, it’s like driving through a fairy land.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who gets giddy about the dogwoods. I don’t understand how people can just walk on by them without standing there for a few minutes in awe. I don’t understand why there aren’t more accidents from drivers who gaze too long at these angelic trees. Okay, I’m joking a little, but seriously, you just have to drive down Prince Avenue when the dogwoods are in their full splendor before you can understand what I’m talking about.

It may be because I spent twelve years living in the desert that I get giddy about trees. It’s not just dogwoods that I love. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t gaze lovingly out my windows at all the trees around our house. It never grows old to me — all these trees.

Red Top Mountain State park in early spring. I love a walk through the woods.

Speaking of trees, my eldest son has a special interest in them too. Maybe it’s something in our DNA because I never talk about trees very much. He just seems to like trees and plants too. I’m slowly working on some blog posts about that. I thought with Earth Day and Arbor Day coming, I would make a push to do a little more writing about these projects.

April is a beautiful month, and I’m relieved that we can take a breath now that my son’s state piano competition is finally finished. (He came in the top 5 in state! Be sure to see his YouTube channel, if you haven’t already.) We have taken one morning to clean up the trail in our backyard, and the boys really enjoyed that. We took another day to drive to Red Top Mountain State Park, which we’ve never been to before. While we were there, the pollen made the air look hazy and yellow. Literally. I have never seen that before!

April has also given us some exciting news, which I can’t write about yet, but we are buzzing about it, and on top of all this, the dogwoods are blooming beautifully this year. Did I mention that? 😉

How is your spring going?


Daily Life is Boring to Write About

It was warm the other day, and we went on a little hike for the first time in I-don’t-remember-how-long.

Daily life is not boring. We are beginning to delve into ancient Greece, and I’m so excited that I’ll be reading all the Greek myths to the boys. I don’t remember them myself — this is an education for me too.

As the boys are steadily gaining math skills, I’m brushing up on mine too. I hated math when I was young because the classes I took pushed me forward in the curriculum before I was ready. This is what’s brilliant about homeschooling — you can stick with something until your kid really understands it. Then you move on. Why isn’t that common sense?

The boys and I are learning Spanish and Chinese, and you know what? It’s fun! But we are going slow-slow so that each of us have time to memorize everything before moving on to the next lessons. There’s a certain somebody who memorizes everything so fast (geez), but he wants to wait for us, which is so nice of him.

Classical music (and all kinds of music) abound in this house, and I’m so lucky that it’s a backdrop to my chores and activities. Competitions are happening, preparation, theory tests.

Stress happens too. A new roof. Falling trees. A pet that needs surgery. Why does everything always happen at once? This is why I hope that lots of families will find The Everyday Homeschooler compelling enough to buy.

We are turning into a gaming family. The boys have all kinds of board games they play together as well as their digital games. Lately they have enjoyed Munchkin and Star Wars Risk. My eight-year-old loves to win, and he forced me into bankruptcy yesterday in the original monopoly game (the first time we played it). :/

We are watching The Flash, and we love it. We can’t wait to see what will come next. My favorite documentary last week was First Face of America, which you should go watch right now at that link before they take it off the NOVA website.

Hold on my northern friends! Spring is coming.

Life may not be boring, but I can write about it only so much, or I’m going to bore you. I mean, how many times do you want to read that the eight-year-old beat me at Star Wars Monopoly? Or that the eleven-year-old played Mozart’s Fantasia for the thousandth time, or that I’m still a failure at cooking, but all the laundry gets done, and the dishes are washed three times a day. Oh, and I finished Gerald Durrell’s third book in the My Family and Other Animals series. (It was good!)

What I’m saying is that I may not be here very much, but I am here, living life with all its ups and downs. And I’d love it if more people e-mailed me, and I wish more people asked me questions and gave me ideas to write about on this blog. If you don’t want to, I understand. Because I know you’re over there living your life, which I hope is good and anything but boring too.