Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer break - sort of

We have just officially ended our 2014-2015 school year.  Amazing!

Over Christmas this past year God did a complete up-ending of Jess' plans and we would up re-vamping her high school transcript and pushing her back a year to allow for planning or college in a new direction.  
This was no big deal in the grand scheme as she was a year ahead anyway and was fully finished with her high school requirements this year, so she's doing a year of dual-enrollment as part of the Community College "Early College" program locally.  This works really well as we're fairly confident that everything she does will transfer to her first choice college for next fall and make the transition easier over the long-haul.
After a bunch of college tours and visits she has decided that she doesn't want to 'go-away' for college and is planning (Lord willing) on attending school locally and living at home.  We are all good with this decision and thankful for the grace of God that has allowed her to find a 4-year school that she likes, with her study areas available, only 30 minutes away.  We will have to wait and see how God does things over the next 6 months to see what finally plays out.
Ben is learning to drive, starts his formal class for his license at the end of summer and has just one more year of his official requirements to complete. He then will most likely pursue the same dual-enrollment program that Jess is doing now.  This has the possibility of allowing him to complete an Associates degree by the time he finishes high school at 18.  Pretty impressive in my eyes. **insert proud mama smile**
My kids make me smile a lot!  They are both working this summer at a local farm as well as Jess working at the library too.  This translates into spending/savings money as well as bodies growing stronger, work ethics being refined, skills learned and interpersonal skills being honed.  
Jess is also taking a summer college math class at night twice a week.  This is the very first ever class-room with a teacher experience for her and she's handling it beautifully!  She speaks highly of the teacher, is making friends with the people in her class and so far pulling a good grade.  

I realized the other day that I'm pretty much coming to the end of my 'teaching' time with the kids.  Jess' classes next year are all at the college and Ben will only have a few with me as lead teacher.  Crazy to realize what we've accomplished!  They are such amazing young adults and I'm so ridiculously proud of both of them that I could burst at times.  Looking forward to seeing what God has planned for them in the coming years and praying His blessing on their lives!

Blessings on the journey~

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


So my grand plans of a school related blog have been pretty much a big fail.

So... reset.

Ta-da!  We are in our new school year!  2012-2013 has already held a bunch of changes and I've exercised one of my favorite parts of home schooling - change stuff that isn't working!

We had high hopes of a new curriculum/style for this year but it wasn't meant to be.  We are box checkers, book readers, and generally like to have order/structure for certain things.  All this is good to know about when attempting to make changes.  We tried to be foot-loose and fancy-free and unstructured following vague plans, etc.  It made everyone cranky and stressed out.  So we scrapped the new stuff and went back to some more traditional things.  Now planning is easier, seeing what is next is MUCH easier and we are a generally happier bunch.

B is now officially in high school.  We decided to just skip 8th grade and bump him up since he's doing just about everything at the high school level anyway.  He and J are back to working together on several subjects and it makes life so much smoother all around.  They study together, quiz one another, help with tough spots.... it's a great thing!

We are almost finished with our first quarter and I'm tremendously pleased with their progress, grades and attitudes.  B has even had the amazing gift from God of an apprentice type situation once in while with a great guy from our church who does carpentry/construction.  He loves it and I love that God has provided a way to 'do shop' for him.

So... we'll see how my 'reset' goes, but I'm not holding my breath... I have lots to do!

Monday, July 23, 2012


So this school blog is a big fail generally.  I just don't keep up with it in the way I anticipated. *shrug*  That is life in the real world.
I'm considering allowing J & B to add posts here... might be a good exercise for writing, etc.  Will have to mull that one some more.

We are beginning to plan for our 2012-2013 school year.  This will be a year of big changes for us.  We are shifting dramatically in our style of schooling and really attempting to shift ownership more to J & B directly for their learning.  We will begin using two related programs for the kids this year. Far Above Rubies for J and Blessed is the Man for B.  These are unit study programs based on passages of scripture designed to guide & grow young people in the way God has instructed.

We are excited about the opportunity and challenges we will encounter this year as we seek to keep Jesus at the center of our home and use God's Word to guide our daily life in a practical way.  Schooling is really prep for life... we really need to prep with the one instruction manual that applies to all of life. Right?

*photo credit

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Some Science-y photos

So I just realized that I have posted nothing here in months.  *shrug*  We've been busy - done tons of stuff!  Honest!
Here are some photos of various science labs the kids have done - pardon the blurry shots or weird angles.  They take their own photos most of the time, or take them of one another.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And We Begin Again

Granite Bridge Academy year 2011-2012 has started!
We officially began our 10th year of schooling here at home a few weeks ago.  Wow!  How did that happen?  10th year?  Seriously?  Yes!
Jess is in the 9th grade, so if you count Kindergarten - that makes 10.  See...even the non-home-schooled Mom can do some math. :-)
We are embarking on high school and boy has that been an interesting beginning.  We have opted to work a more traditional textbook approach for our first year and plan to allow more flexibility in the coming years to give Jess room to pursue her own interests and passions as God leads and allows.  Jess is being really diligent and doing well so far.
My kitchen table this morning... we look busy huh?
Where do you do Algebra?
Ben is a 7th grader this year and as he is pushing into tougher material, I expect this year to be a bit more challenging for him.  He is bright and as he has absorbed so much from being around Jess all these years and doing so many subjects jointly with her, this is his first year of really swimming solo with all his subject material.  I expect he will rise to the challenges and do marvelously.  He has been fairly serious about his studies and is also really committed to praying for tests and such for both himself and Jess, which touches my heart.
A pencil tapping your head apparently helps with History.
They are both playing instruments again this year, Jess continues with piano and Ben is breaking into new territory with learning electric guitar.  I am anticipating there will be much music here in the coming months - which is just perfect for this mama!
Lord willing we will enjoy a successful year - and by that I mean that we will be open to His leading and working with whatever opportunities He places in our paths to serve others while we also work through the standard academics.  In the past few months God has been impressing on me the vital importance of really LIVING this life He has blessed us with each day.
To me that means sometimes (probably a lot of days!) we check off all our boxes on the schedule but that sometimes we take an afternoon off to bring dinner to a family in need, or play with some little ones so another Mom can attend to some urgent thing, or maybe even just take a day to go to the fair with family & friends and enjoy a fun & gorgeous day together - a simple gift.  Jesus took each day as the Father gave it...just obedient, prayerful, loving others, meeting needs and sharing truth.  That is what I want for our year... prayer... studying God's words together... reaching out to others to really LIVE and SHARE and LOVE.
God is so good and I don't want us to miss anything He has for us. 

May you be blessed as you begin this school year.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Wow... time flies when you are playing summer vacation.
We're having a good summer and enjoying one of the only times I can remember of extended rest & play.  The kids are doing plenty of reading, they've gone to camp and enjoyed those weeks immensely!

We've had days that Steve stayed home from work and done fun things as a family.

There have also been projects around the house including a new hard-wood floor and massive over-hauls of bedrooms.  It has been a very good summer indeed.
As part of my summer projects, I turned this:

And these:

Into this:

Which while still looking like chaos, is in actually quite organized and neatly arranged in preparation for starting our 2011-2012 school year.
We are beginning a new phase of schooling this year - we are entering high school!  OK... actually it's just J that is going to be doing high school, but it does impact the rest of us.  The planning alone for this year is mammoth compared to years past and I'm trying to be diligent and chip away at the list.  I'm making progress and hope to have all my plans entered into my software program for scheduling before B's birthday... well, at least all the stuff I need for the 1st semester anyway.
All in all, I think we are enjoying our time off, but are beginning to anticipate all the new subjects and excitement of a new year.  I love the fall, the leaves, the new school supplies and the seemingly endless opportunities to learn that God allows each year.  We are so very blessed!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Almost there

We're almost finished with our 2010-2011 school year.

It's been a good year.  We've covered a lot of ground and are now striving to "finish well".
The evaluations have been done and mailed into the town office along with our letter of intent for next year.  I'm one of 'those' people who likes to get everything done with the official paperwork all in one fell swoop. 

I'm almost finished with accumulating our curriculum supplies for next year.  Most of the big things are settled, just one more order from CBD and I think we'll be set.  Of course everything we choose is subject to change if a need should arise.  That is one of the absolute beauties of home education.  You choose something with high hopes...but if you find after a month or so that it isn't working, you are free to ditch it and find something else to accomplish your goals.

Next year will be the first year with absolutely no subjects shared between J & B.  This past year they only shared History, Art & Piano.  Next year though... everything is completely individualized for each of them.  This is fine, of course, they are getting older and more independent.  Their learning styles are similar but not exactly the same.  I love watching them learn and even learning alongside them in some instances. 

I live a blessed life and I am very thankful.