The rose red fingers of the dawn of 2016 stretch out to greet some big events in the life of our family. The marriage of our eldest daughter. The welcoming of a son-in-law. Perhaps a guest bedroom? The final year of home education for our second daughter who is looking forward to a driver's license and life after home education. And the continuing adventures of our life with our youngest daughter and her life embracing, contagious, vivacity.
I can't help but remember the days of our beginnings. Those first timid steps into the path of home education. With daily nap times, lazy afternoons, snuggles on the couch, early morning rises, and the rest. 2016 will be our busiest and most scholarly year yet. Maybe ever. Life with teens is something else. And it is something wonderful.
Plans & Goals for 2016
Try and keep connected while supporting each child as she spreads her wings and makes plans for her future.
Try and find space to keep connected with my dear husband. Space for us.
Somehow keep our home space clean and welcoming. Finding routine and rhythm amongst the potential chaos.
Wedding Planning. I'll say no more.
Our time with our Green Path Scholars community has added a wonderful dimension to our learning life. We are reading, discussing, thinking, and writing more together. A couple of years ago I was feeling exhausted. I had about 5 or 6 years left to go in our homeschooling journey, was looking toward the finish line and wanting to finish strong, but I had nothing left. Our new community has helped revive our enthusiasm for this lifestyle of learning together. I am personally seeing the benefit now of providing opportunities for teens to learn together in a small group setting. They really make eachother dig deep and think. They challenge each other. And they are challenged themselves to consider others perspectives.
As each daughter begins to think about what her next step will be, we work together to try align their topics of study to encourage and equip them for their next step. Strengthening weaknesses in content or study habits, building interests to propel them forward, and making plans are all part of our learning process.
Miss A - age 17. Final year of home education.
I will be creating her own individual Year 12 Certificate of Home Education at the end of this year. She has already completed Biology & Latin to a high enough level and these will be added to her certificate.
1) Music: our main focus as that is the vocational path she is heading down.
- Violin lessons & exams
- Grade 4 & Grade 5 theory
- Music History - Discovering Music DVD Curriculum
- Exploring Composition & Music Analysis
- Performance - Church Music Ministry; Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra; Youth Band; Sunshine Coast Junior Eistedfodd
2) Maths: Business Maths
- Excel Preliminary Business Studies Workbook
- IEW: Lemonade to Leadership
- IEW: Economics Based Writing Lessons
3) English, History, Geography: Reading, Written Narrations, Essays, Discussion, Keeping a Commonplace
- History of the English Speaking People's Volume III
- Geography Colouring Book + Trail Guide To World Geography
- The Rhetoric Companion & Aristotle's Rhetoric
- History of Christianity
- Literature - The Odyssey (Homer), Philemon (Bible - slavery), Little Women, Uncle Tom's Cabin, How Should We Then Live
Miss K - age 15.
1) English, History, Geography: Literature, Keeping a Commonplace, Oral & Written Narrations Learning the art of Dialectic (thinking, questioning, discussion)
- Lost Tools of Writing
- IEW: The Nose Tree (Grammar)
- Literature: The Odyssey (Homer), Pilgrim's Progress, Just So Stories, Nanberry (Jackie French), Shakespeare's Sonnets
- Story of the World Volume III: Early Modern Times
- Courage & Conviction: Chronicles of the Reformation Church
- Trail Guide To World Geography
- Math U See
- Living Math Units to match our Early Modern Time Period for History.
- Signs & Seasons (Astronomy)
- The World of Chemistry (Tiner): Used as a springboard to research deeper into topics of interest and add to science notebook.
- The Elements - book & apps
I am beginning to consider myself a work-at-home Mum now and looking at my days with new eyes. Managing my time, keeping my days aligned with my goals and making space for my work, priorities, and relationships. The concept of balance is becoming increasingly important to me. The Best Yes and Teaching from Rest are two books I keep returning to during this season.
A Day In My Week
Each day is so very different now it is difficult to pick a day that is representative of our life of learning. We have two GPS community sessions which take half a day each. We have one day at work with Dad. We have music lessons, orchestra and church music ministry rehearsals scattered through the week. Surfing. Driving lessons, Bible study, youth group. Friends, family. Somehow, amongst all that, we aim to weave in approximately 4 hours of study time 4 days a week. And maintain a relatively peaceful family life.
2016 is going to be full. And lively. And stretching.
My blogging story.
At times I feel as though I was born with a pen in my hand. Not because I fancy myself to be any great kind of writer, but because a pen is what I tend to reach for as my first port of call whenever there is something to read, to think about, or to do. I don't know why that is. Writing and scribbling happen as naturally as breathing. I cannot think clearly without a pen in hand. These days I have any number of discussions with friends and homeschooling aquaintances, and most end up as a blog post at some point. My friends make me think, you see. And when I think and wrestle with ideas and problems, I write. A blog is a nice place to go for this purpose.
I began blogging around 2007 and my eldest daughter was my encouragement to begin. She wanted her own blog and so my journey began simply as a way to learn about the world of blogging so I could be an informed guide as she developed her own interest. I did not know what blogging would come to mean to me. In those early years it was a way to ease loneliness as I held daily conversations with visitors to my blog. It was a way to ease my mind as I shared my experiences. It was a way to think. Blogging was like an open letter to myself, to revisit and reflect upon when days turned topsy-turvy. On those days I find myself encouraging myself.
Over time my blog led me to making friends within my local homeschooling community. This was a strange feeling, as my readers became flesh and blood people. Ideas and words were now embodied within community and friendships. My blogging world and my daily world began to blend into one. I needed to adjust to now being able to share my experiences and thoughts out loud. In conversation. Not just quietly through the keypad of my computer. This is when I began to truly realise blogging wasn't just about me. My words had an impact on real people with real questions and real struggles. My world broadened, and I was humbled.
In 2015 blogging turned into a doorway. A doorway into growing a local home education community with some very dear friends. Green Path Scholars. A doorway into consulting and tutoring homeschooling families. My days are full now with consulting, tutoring and living life with my teen-aged and young adult children and blogging has taken a back seat. I blog now when Whimsy Whistles. When I have a few moments spare to simply share what is on my heart with regards to living a life of learning. To share what I have learned. To hopefully encourage others on this path.
Over the years you may have known me as Marigold Cottage or A Life Of Learning amongst other names. My blogs have changed with the seasons of my family life and my personal life. This blog is no different. It reflects my life as an older homeschooling Mum complete with teenaged children and a home-based business. These days you will find me mostly at Green Path Scholars. This is where my heart lies.