Pencil Weather

apples-85152_1280Ahh…autumn weather is blowing in, gusty and cool. The mountain trees are turning red, orange and gold. It’s “pencil weather”!

With a full measure of summer fun tucked away, we can fully turn to the important task of education. This morning my daughter Emily was reminiscing about her childhood of homeschooling. She spoke of mother and children gathered in the family room with cozy socks on and with our stacks of books, deep in learning something interesting while the upcoming lunch chili soup bubbled on the stove.  Pencil weather makes one yearn for that!

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Check the Calendar!

School has started in most states. Is your homeschool in session?  

There is always such a fun excitement with “firsts” but it sure doesn’t take too long to figure out what has holding power and what needs serious revision in your homeschooling plans! One of the things that seems to hold interest always is the calendar and weather chart.  Maybe the daily changing is what keeps attention…not sure…but the kids seem to love to document the passing of time and changing of the weather.

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Have a Happy Homeschool Day!


Isn’t it just fun to be alive and free to learn!


Visit my new website for some homeschooling encouragement today!
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Gearing Up for School



Looks like it’s that time again. In spite of the fact that it is the dead heat of summer, you can’t miss the school supplies sales in the stores and the shut down of the local swimming pool. I wish summer lasted a little longer!

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Building a Child’s Education

teamwork-606818_1280When I plan my homeschool, I think of it as constructing a lovely building. You must first start with a firm, sturdy base, especially if you are building a lofty edifice!  These are the basics of being a fine person: character, virtues and goodness. Training children in the way they should go is an on-going job, but if it goes lacking, not much else matters. We don’t want to create “educated devils”.

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Begin with the End in Mind

lovetosave1Ever feel like you are bumbling around amidst a three-ring circus in your attempts to homeschool? There is nothing like a new baby to restore a teacher/mother’s humility in the face of her own inadequacies! For our homeschool, this chaos repeats itself every few years with the advent of a precious new “student.” I have homeschooled in my robe nursing my baby while I have tried to teach math, correct papers and read stories:
“Mom, can’t you hold the book still? I can’t see the pictures.”
“Sorry, honey, the baby needs to be rocked.”

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Daddy’s Thoughts about Homeschooling

dadandbunTranscript of an interview with Rick Hopkins (my husband)

Q. What was it that first got you to consider homeschooling your children?
A. My wife Diane was the first to feel impressed to begin homeschooling. She saw the problems our children were having in school; she investigated, and she didn’t like what she found in the public schools. Several of our children were having trouble with the school environment, their peers, the expectations, the school procedures, etc. At the time I was out of touch with our children’s emotional state. I felt open to change and the desires of my wife. I was involved in working as a design engineer and was very busy in my own life and, like most fathers, did not have contact with the children during the day. I became very supportive of our homeschool from the beginning.

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Sweet little Abigail

Sweet little Abigail


I have a progressive illness that keeps me from doing as well in homeschool as I’d like to with my children. The medications I must take make me very sleepy, and I am hospitalized at times. We’ve done school around my bed many days but I am worried that my children are falling behind academically and I feel like I’m slowing sinking. I just feel so far behind, and wonder if I’m doing the right thing to keep them home. [Read more…]

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