Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Middle of Things

Another year of school gone by and we are caught up in the fun experiences summer brings: swimming, skateboarding (my son, not me!), football, and camp. My son, Ryan, is now only 1/2 an inch shorter than me, and I can't get over how big he looks as he sails by on his board or races down the field, his arms swooping up to catch a pass. I find myself transported back to the past when he was barely to my hips, smiling as I watch him sort out and line up his little cars, or observe the movements of a caterpillar on a plant. He's in the middle of his youth, not a child anymore and not an adult, but in that strange place where the two meet and rumble, fighting to advance and move forward while still relishing that childhood freedom. At the same time, I am in the middle of my life, my body struggling to advance to the next stage as another part of me fights to regain hold of younger days. What the future brings we won't know till it gets here, but we can make the choice to hold on and enjoy the ride-it will definitely be an adventure!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Inspiration

Why do people create the things they do? I see very detailed and colorful landscapes that are considered art, and yet, I also see splashes of muted colors that seem to have been thrown onto the canvas, and they are considered art as well. I hear symphonies filled with such emotion they sometimes make me cry, and on the other hand, I hear the loud screeching of guitars and screaming voices all blaring together and again, feel like crying (for other reasons!). Both of these examples are considered music. People create different things in different ways and for different reasons. In writing, some people express themselves in poetry or essays, others write imaginary stories founded somewhat in real life. Some people follow their passions and research a topic, then write about it to inform others about what interests them. I guess people create from what is in their heart and what ignites their imagination. God instilled many different talents in each of us and it is up to us to discover what they are, then go out into the world and create something lasting, something that will hopefully make this world a better place for the next generation.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Places To Go, Things To Do

There's still a little over a month to go before the school year ends, so plenty of time to add some pizazz to the end of the year! Jazz up your studies with some field trips to some fun but educational places like an animal rescue, a nearby interactive Science Center, or a doughnut store. For some great end-of-the-year ideas, check out a great homeschool resource: Homeschool.Com. My friend, Rebecca Kochenderfer is amazing and her site has everything you can think of (and lots more that you can't even begin to imagine!), including ideas that will help you as you begin to plan and prepare for next year. Two of her books, Homeschooling & Loving It and Homeschooling For Success, are filled with wonderful ideas to fuel your creative juices and enliven your lesson plans. Catch Rebecca's latest book, Joy Journal, for a chance to reflect and relax at the end of the day. Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Freelancing

Freelancing as a writer opens up a world of opportunities to express oneself, for instance, I have finished a non-fiction children's book and it will be published this summer; I write magazine articles-most recently for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine; and now I'm beginning a new venture of writing and syndicating a newspaper column for homeschooling! I've researched the process of how to do it and have written three sample columns, a cover letter, and sent them off to approximately 50 papers. Everyday, I research more papers and send off the sample columns. I figure the success rate is in the numbers-the more I send out, the more chance they will be picked up! It will be a great way to combine my love of writing with my love of homeschooling. It will be a weekly column and as it is syndicated, I will let everyone know the names of the papers. I will be organizing this blog in a similar fashion: Tuesdays/Wednesdays I will blog about writing, and then Thursdays/Fridays I will blog about homeschooling. In each blog, I will be describing things going on in my life as well as tips on the topic of the week. I will also do excerpts from my books and articles beginning next month. Please comment and send me your experiences on both writing and/or homeschooling, I'm always interested in what others are doing. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Revitalizing For The Home Stretch

The sound of my son mowing the lawn brings a smile to my lips; it is one of those annual activities that reminds us summer is coming. I am working on lesson plans and thinking, we only have two months left of homeschool! We have done so much and yet it feels like there is so much more to do. I think it is at this point that many of us start getting that burnout feeling that creeps in and begins making us feel overwhelmed, tired, and a little bit frantic, wondering if we will be able to complete everything we wanted to teach by June! Relax, the children are learning all the time, even when you're not teaching them. Everyday, the world opens up to them with an abundance of learning opportunities, and all we have to do is be watchful for those moments and engage our children in receiving them! Step outside and let the warm, gusty breeze bring a freshness to your mind as well as your home. It is time to restructure and re-create the learning experiences we want to give our children. Approach these last couple of months not as a time to try and cram in as much factual information as we can into their minds, but as a time to offer experiences from which they can glean precious gems of learning that will stick with them and benefit them for years to come. Read outside in the fresh air, let nature and the earth be your exploring ground for science, have engaging discussions about a variety of topics, and let your kids create-whether it is through art or building things or writing books. As spring slides into summer, know that your school time may end but your children will always be learning!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring is here!

Spring is here and I'm evaluating how we do our homeschool, trying new things and new styles. My son is now a teenager and feels a little too old for projects and, yet, lectures and worksheets aren't capturing his attention either. I want to keep God as our focus and teach him to see things from a Christian worldview, which I am thankful for the fact that he very much has a strong heart for God; this will help him through the rough spots in life. We are going to do a literature-based curriculum and as we read, we will study what we are reading about. For instance, after Spring Break, we will be starting a new book, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, by Betty G. Birney. Besides being a great read, it opens up studies about the South, Colorado, challenging ourselves, the Seven Wonders of the World, and how valuable family relationships can be. I anticipate that we will be learning much more and be drawn to exploring many tangents along the way! Seeing this story through God's eyes will be easy, as well as using our literature studies to learn math, science, language, history, and more! Spring is for new beginnings and there's nothing like beginning anew in our schooling!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Entrepreneurship Webinar

What a great and fun webinar yesterday! Mark Victor Hansen was informative, humorous,and inspiring. There was so much information about starting your own business that I was spending almost the same amount of time taking notes as I was listening! Thanks again to Mark for including me as a sponsor and special blogger guest, and thanks to Jeff Rivera, a friend of mine and wonderful author in his own right! Mark did mention that if you want a free copy of his book (usually on sale on his website and amazon.com), Richest Kids In America, just go to his website and leave your email address with a short message and he will make sure you receive a copy. The site to go to is: www.gorichkids.com. As Mark said, let's make this a viral mission to get this information to everyone we know and jumpstart our economy, not to mention help give parents a great tool to teach their kids! They are our next generation of CEOs!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Live Event With Mark Victor Hansen!

If you've ever dreamed of starting your own business but you don't know how, Mark Victor Hansen (Co-Author of Chicken Soup For The Soul) will show you and your family how you can do so step-by-step. If you're a parent who wants to see your child achieve greatness, this live presentation is for you. Ask Mark victor Hansen your questions. Thurs. Feb. 28th at 11am PT & 2pm PT: http://bit.ly/MarkVHansen

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Opportunities For The New Year

Coming into spring soon and so much has been happening! The holidays barely wound down before my family and I went on a two-week vacation cruise to Hawaii! We had been planning it since last August and it was great! My parents, my sisters, my son, and I went in the middle of January. It took 4 1/2 days to sail over there yet the time seemed to go by very fast, I think because there was so much to do on the ship! There were classes and seminars to attend, crafts to make, games to participate in, and more. Once we arrived, we spent one day on each of four islands: The Big Island (Hawaii), Oahu, Kauai, and then Maui. The days were bright and the landscape luscious. We saw a rainforest zoo and Macadamia Nut Factory on the Big Island, Pearl Harbor memorial and Diamond Head on Oahu, Kayaking in Kauai, and the Aquarium on Maui (saw whales breaching on our way!). 4 1/2 days back to L.A. and we're still talking about all the fun we had! My only regret is that my daughter and her family couldn't make it. January held another wonderful moment for me as an article I sold was published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine's Best of 2012 First Annual Print edition. TOS is an international education magazine for homeschoolers that is a monthly digital magazine and is packed with a wealth of information for anyone interested in homeschooling, whether a veteran or just someone considering homeschooling as an educational option for their family. My son is getting ready to celebrate his 13th birthday this coming weekend! We will be entering a new stage of life as he is no longer a child and, although I've gone through the teen years with my daughter, I will now be experiencing what it is like being a single mom and helping to usher a son into manhood. Thankfully, we belong to a wonderful Christian church where there are great male role models who are a part of my son's life. As we grow in this new stage together, I look forward to the many memories we will share with each other and with our family and friends.

My family

My family
They're wild!

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