Precisely the response that I get when my seven year old sees an entire page of math problems. She knows them, but she gets tripped up when there are too many on one page. It is definitely not her favorite thing.

Today we experienced the new font size and quantity of 2nd grade math worksheets. I knew I was in for a parenting moment. Before the full scale meltdown occurred, I said, “O.k. we are doing the first thee rows orally”. Off I went asking for answers that I know she knows the answer to. She stepped up her game and got through it o.k.

With the superpower given to all women as they become mother’s for the first time, I multitasked my way through the first three lines of math facts while plotting a way to make this a bit more fun today.

Last problem, line three, an idea arrived. It was just in the nick of time, as they often are.

“O.K. now get ready Emma because we are doing the rest as a race. Each row will be done in a new location in the house. We are racing the clock so you gotta be quick. We gotta go to the place that I yell out, do a row, and move on. Got it?”

Eyes beaming she jumped to the start line.



We visited my closet, my bed, Greyson’s room, her bed, my husband’s office, our learning closet, and finished in record time. Being that this was the first time we had done this, it was in fact the record.

All smiles.

No tears.

Math done.

I started thinking about this. I often find that homeschooling is an intricate dance between presenting material in a way that is engaging for my children, but also not wanting them to become accustomed to everything being explained to them and presented to them on a big fat silver platter. The platter that is called in your exact learning style, on your terms.

This is one of the biggest advantages and potential detriments that homeschool offers, in my opinion. If my children are never gently nudged, (or some days shoved off a small cliff), then how will they be equipped to handle real life after school, or say a job? What happens the first time their boss asks them to do something they don’t like or don’t understand? Are they going to look him and the eye, ” I am sorry you didn’t teach me that in my preferred learning style?”

I dance this dance daily. Minute by minute, in fact. It is the same dance of a parent in general that is specifically heightened in the life of a homeschooling family.

But today.

Today my girl needed someone to show her life could be fun. Hard things can be accomplished in record time with a new perspective and a new tactic. Impossible things become opportunities every single day and the opportunities are the lessons that are waiting to be learned.

I know we will reference this morning the next time math brings us so many addition problems crammed onto one page that my seven year old feels like she wants to pull her own hair out strand by strand. I will remind her as many times as it takes that it is mostly all about perspective. I will remind her that she holds the record in the first ever math facts around the house race. Anything is possible.

She rocked it.


I needed to be reminded myself of those lessons today. All of them. Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand, run, and laugh with us. Sometimes that is all it takes. Who can I be that for today?

I can hardly believe we are already wrapping up week two of school. We have been to the library to secure books for our first book reports. My girl was over the moon to get a book list and some guidelines and have to find a book that fit those requirements. I love her.

I discovered my baby says QUACK about as cute as can be.

Practicing spelling words is more fun when stamped.

The night night game is fun even in libraries.

Our history curriculum is awesome. Have you ever wondered how Bible history intersects with actual history and why we keep them separate? I had not. This year I started a four year long series titled Mystery of History. It teaches Bible and history together. For example, did you know that Jonah was swallowed by the whale at approximately the same time that the first Olympic games took place in Greece? Yeah, me neither. Am I a total nerd that I find that fascinating? I read it in the introduction of our curriculum and I have to admit I am pretty excited about learning this along with my kids.

Today we are studying the Ice Age. There are suggested activities to enhance the lesson. I chose the one where I have the kids place an ice cube on their bare stomach and see who could leave it there the longest. It sounded fun. It was. Red tummies later they both survived and tied. Neither gave up.

Tomorrow I will be back to show you my shiny new business logo. I Love it.

Happy Wednesday!



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  1. Pam H
    August 29, 2012 | 2:52 pm

    Love it! That’s one of my favorite things about homeschooling, making learning fun. Great ideas!

  2. Heidi (Dearlylovedmist)
    August 29, 2012 | 5:58 pm

    Fun! Looks like school is going well. 🙂

  3. Sally
    August 29, 2012 | 6:08 pm

    Being a fairly novice homeschool parent, I loved your ideas! Keep them coming!! I definitely lack in the creativity department. I’m schooling 2nd, kinder, pre-k & have a 14 mo old.

  4. Cara Yeh
    August 29, 2012 | 7:06 pm

    Still smiling… I can’t tell you how many times my creative idea kicked in “just in the nick of time!” 🙂 You rock, mama… keep it up and keep sharing!

  5. Julie
    August 29, 2012 | 7:21 pm

    I love your post. I remember marching like soldiers up and down the steps learning spelling words, hopscotch outside to learn math, white boards because paper was too tedious and so many other fun things we get to do as homeschoolers. This year all four of mine are in school for the first time. God said so we did. It’s a huge adjustment year for us all. Learning to be mom only is hard. My oldest is 13 and separating. I love, support, encourage and pray. Sometimes I get to help but not like I did. I know God has my kids in the palm of his hand. It’s hard not to have them in mine.
    Blessings and good job!

  6. Rikki
    August 29, 2012 | 8:29 pm

    What a great post! I have to say that I had a friend laugh and bring some fun into my day and it did make life seem a little brighter–it’s a gift. Thanks for the history opinion–I’m always thinking about what we’ll do next year…

  7. Kelly
    August 29, 2012 | 8:30 pm

    That same worksheet created complete panic in my seven year old a couple weeks ago. He freaks out when he’s timed on anything so the “beat the clock” game wouldn’t work for him but I bet I can come up with something! 🙂
    That little Jonah tidbit was very interesting! We might need to look into that curriculum!

  8. Alicia @ La Famille
    September 1, 2012 | 7:54 pm

    i love your style. fact sheets are not popular at my house either. might have to use of few of your tactics!

  9. lindsay
    September 3, 2012 | 9:28 pm

    thinking on the fly, what makes the best mommies and educators c:

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