School Year Eve

It’s that time again: the school year is about to start, and the new books and other materials are looking shiny and attractive. Picking out materials is always a favorite part of home education for me! By May (earlier than May, if we’re going to be brutally honest), the bloom will be off the rose,

Why bother?

“When we reflect that ‘sentence’ means, literally, ‘a way of thinking’ (Latin: sententia) and that it comes from the Latin sentire, to feel, we realize that the concepts of sentence and sentence structure are not merely grammatical or merely academic — not negligible in any sense. A sentence is both the opportunity and the limit

Beauty in the Word

Though Catholic schools are the ostensible audience, Stratford Caldecott’s Beauty in the Word is a thought-provoking read for anyone interested in the subject of education — or worried about current trends. The book explores the classical trivium and shares many insights into the nature of learning as well as the power of language, story and

Factory or Garden?

I thought this was an interesting article about ADHD. It discusses the insights yielded by recent research on children with ADHD. Apparently, in these children the connections between the area of the brain largely responsible for focus and other regions are slower to develop. This suggests that it’s simply a matter of brain maturity occurring

Cognitive Toolboxes

A week or two ago found me musing on my role in relation to my 6th grader’s classics reading list. I realized after writing the post that I failed to note the role of that list: a literature component in history, but neither the spine of her history study, nor the sole reading she does.

Reading, Teaching, and Wondering

My 6th grader has been following this reading list from The Well-Trained Mind. It corresponds to her history study this year — early moderns. A few of these have been abridgements or have been supplemented by audiobooks (as noted); it’s technically the 7th grade list, and I wasn’t sure she would have the wherewithall to


There’s an article here on homeschooling your high school student. It’s short but provides a few tips on making the most of the experience. Will we be homeschooling through high school? I get asked that question fairly often. My answer is always, “It’s the kind of thing you become more committed to as you go

Back to basics: why we’re doing this

I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I’m open to other educational options than homeschooling, should we find ourselves in a place and circumstances with better choices than the ones now available to us. It keeps me from panicking when I think about homeschooling through high school. On the one hand,

Homeschool days

I thought I should record some of the tweaks I’ve made in materials this year, as well as a brief description of how a typical school day goes. I see these on other blogs from time to time, and even if it’s not of interest to anyone else, it will help me to remember what’s


We started school yesterday. We layered in a few subjects and “met” the books for the others. Then today, we layered in the rest. I’m struck by how much our concept of “school” is in constant metamorphosis. When I first started home schooling, it was a very big deal to go from “vacation” to “school.”