School-age Kids, Silmarils, and Everything In-Between

Me? Tongue-in-cheek? Never.

School-age Kids, Silmarils, and Everything In-Between

Well, dear readers, Chris dropped several not-so-subtle hints in his latest post that I should update readers on life through my eyes. So, as I sit in this ice-cold coffee shop, I will attempt to dredge up some tidbits that might be of interest to you.


We are in the full swing of homeschool now! I still haven’t “named” my homeschool (it feels silly, and it’s not required by law), a la the last homeschooling post I wrote on this blog. I have a second-grader and a kindergartener, so we’re down to business and, for the most part, loving it. I had to laugh at the aforementioned post, in which I claimed that homeschooling (at least, at the kindergarten level) was “easy.” Nice thought, past self, nice thought. It is, in fact, very challenging at this point...which means it’s also very rewarding.

We transitioned from doing Classical Conversations (you can ask me about that, sometime - it was not a good fit for us) last school year to the Sonlight curriculum (literature-based) for the 2019-2020 year. We love Sonlight, for both girls! It’s simultaneously rigorous and colorful and engaging and well-suited to my girls’ different personalities. I’m enjoying re-learning things I haven’t heard since grade school, as well as experiencing children's classics I’ve never read (such as Charlotte’s Web).  I’m learning how to roll with the emotional and scholastic punches, tailoring my teaching and the material to my and my children’s needs. What does that look like? Skipping a boring read-aloud here and there. Doing an all-science day every once in awhile. Deciding that perhaps Sonlight language arts (difficult stuff for the age level) can be subbed out for something more tailored to Elayne's math/science-oriented brain. In short, I’m learning flexibility, which has never been one of my overarching character traits!

We’re endeavoring to meet the 4 hours per day for 172 days requirement with enthusiasm and verve! Like in any job, some days are harder than others. Some days, the last thing I want to do is teach. But once we get started, the girls and I find comfort in the familiar schedule and delight in the fascinating material. Like, for example, how cool is ancient Egypt?! Extra points for anyone who knows what a hemhemet is (Elayne had to remind me...).

We’re still using Saxon for math, and loving it. Elayne requests that I give her math worksheets in her free time. cough The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, CHRIS. cough

Elayne Kaylee's 2019 "first day of school" picture

I’ve concentrated on what Elayne is doing (since she’s doing more  “official” school), but what about Kate? Well, Kate’s thriving. She just finished her Kindergarten math book and is about to move onto first grade level math. She’s 5 1/5. I’m in for it! She also just started reading in earnest, and is proving herself to be as much a bibliophile are her sister and, well, both her parents.

Miss Katherine Danae on the "first day of school" 2019

The Silmarillion

I’m reading it. If you’ve never heard of it, Chris might un-friend you. Just kidding. Am I?

What a delightful foray into JRR Tolkien’s imaginarium! I’m learning details about the underlying subtleties of The Lord of the Rings trilogy that are legit blowing my mind. The man was a true artistic genius! Of course, I have my husband and good NC friend Caleb to help walk me through the confusion of the various names in made-up languages. You’d think that, as a fantasy writer, I’d be used to it by now.

Take notes, they said. You'll thank yourself.

Sundry Topics

Speaking of being a fantasy writer...I’m still writing. At least, I was a few months ago. I’ve let it go because I felt stymied. I do not commend this course of action.

I'm working on a fantasy novella that I’ve shared with a grand total of...two people. It’s in progress. Might be for awhile. But good things are worth taking time on... what? What’s that you say? Self-justifying? Codswallop!

I joined a CrossFit gym with my neighbor Nicole. Why yes, I do consistently hurt in places I didn’t know existed.

It’s cool, though. I actually kind of love it. We did rope climbs today. ROPE CLIMBS, people! If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. I felt like Mulan trying to retrieve the arrow from the top of the post.

I love my church and my neighborhood. So. Very. Much. I’ve been involved in coordinating the women’s Titus 2 ministry, teaching Bible study, serving in the nursery, serving on the worship team as a singer, and hosting a small group, among other things. You could say I’m very entrenched in our church now and LOVING it. Churches are made up of sinful people (of which I am not the least), so there is difficulty, but I’m beginning to see it as a beautiful kind of difficulty. Slowly but surely.

My mental heath is really good, overall. Praise God! I can say with confidence I’m doing better now than I have been in the last decade. And I’m going to leave you on that note because it is just such a testimony of hope - hope that I want to encourage you with.

Oh, wait. I guess the note I want to leave you on is this: I don't know WHY my husband wanted to post that particular picture of me in the last blog entry. Seriously, guys, with every year that passes, I lose two or three wrinkles and look two or three years younger. Like Benjamin Button. Really. The picture is a lie.

Here is my magazine-worthy, wait, I accidentally got the one with the cat...