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?


This year one of our favorite subjects is a priority again – science. Yay!

September brings with it the relief of a new school year. A fresh start. It brings cool mornings, though, unfortunately, not cool afternoons. In fact, it’s some of the hottest weather we’ve had all summer, and I’m pining for cooler temperatures, but I know I should be careful what I wish for.

I love sitting on my front porch looking out at my yard, which is very lush and green, though the flowerbeds are dry and brittle this time of year. We’ve had very little rain lately. (But it rained while I was working on this post! Whoop!) This was not the summer of gardening, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you’ll know that we like to dabble in our garden. I usually plant a few vegetables in spring, but I didn’t do that this year. And whereas last year I had some stunning flowers that were attracting loads of butterflies, this year I have very few flowers and few butterflies. That makes me sad, but it couldn’t be helped. This summer had a mind of its own, and it wasn’t a time when I could give much attention to our garden. That’s okay.

I’m thrilled that we have officially started 7th and 4th grade. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m enjoying the structure and new schedule.

I may or may not write a more detailed blog post about this, but I created a new system this year for my 7th grader to help us figure out what he needs to work on each day. It’s impossible to do every subject everyday, and I know we probably won’t finish everything I would like for him to do, so….

As I do every year, I made my yearly list of priorities, which I mentioned in my last post, which are science, literature, writing, and math in that order. I’ve also got other subjects, which I listed in my last post too. I made him a chart, listing these subjects and how many times he needs to sit down and work on them each week or so. The higher priority subjects get higher numbers. For example, one workbook he needs to work on one time, another two times, science four times, and math three times, etc. Basically, he checks off every time he works on an item, and once he’s put the allotted number of check marks beside each, I’ll print out a fresh chart, and he’ll start all over again.

I am doing it this way because while it would be great for him to finish everything in a week, I knew it would take longer, and I don’t want him to worry about how long it’s taking (within reason). I prefer quality work over abundant work, though at the same time, we do have goals to reach. This system allows him to rotate through all the subjects on a regular basis while also giving him plenty of time for his piano practice and events (one that happened this week, in fact). We have learned from our first trial that it’s taking him about two weeks to complete a chart. Without that piano event, it would have been completed sooner, so that’s great. I was only going to worry if it took, say, a month to finish it. Two weeks is totally reasonable for the amount of work I’m giving him. It also gives him a little freedom in choosing what he wants to work on at any given time.

I promise I’ll also write more details about 4th grade with my younger son, but since I already have a lot of 4th grade blog posts, I tend to write about the new stuff more often. I find great joy in homeschooling my younger son who benefits from my prior experience but who also challenges me to find what works best for him at a time when our household is so much different than it was when the boys were smaller.

Anyway, here we are in September. It’s full of promise for the year ahead. There will be challenges for sure. We have a lot of changes this year, but they are good changes, and like the boys, our household is maturing, coming into itself. Finding its niche. We are all very excited for the future.