A day in the homeschool life

We’re in the middle of our second year of homeschooling with Jet, and I think we’ve finally found our groove! Banana goes to the preschool on base, and she’s positively thriving there.  I wake her up around 6:15, and load her onto the little bus at 7:20.  Does it really take an hour to get a five-year-old ready for school?  Yes, especially on the days when she wakes up cranky, which usually only happens on days that end in -y.  (This one, she is her father’s child.)  So, we take it s-l-o-w-l-y in the mornings. Jet rolls downstairs just before I take her to the bus, and he spends a little time reading or, if I’m feeling particularly generous, playing on his iPad.  Knight comes home from PT around 8:00, and leaves again by 8:40, which is when we really get going with school.  We school for 3-4 hours, with … Continue reading

Why I haven’t been blogging

I’m busy! Homeschool eats up a lot of my so-called “free time”, yo.  But that’s okay. I’m the part-time director of religious education for the Protestant services of the base chapel. I volunteer on the executive board for Protestant Women of the Chapel, the women’s ministry of the base chapel. My husband works a lot, and is also completing his MBA, which means I pull 90% of the weight at home, even in the evenings, so that he can work on stuff. But even more than those things, I’m struggling with the thought that perhaps all of these stories I tell on my family aren’t really my stories to tell.  It’s one thing to write cute little ha-ha things about my toddlers – things that, even when they’re older, they may agree that, yes, that was embarrassing but not overly so.  Similar to my mother pulling out pics of my … Continue reading

Confirmed fuddy-duddy

Surely, SURELY, I’m still too young to be a fuddy-duddy.  I will concede that my use of the term “fuddy-duddy” gives me pause… especially since autocorrect insists that “fuddy” isn’t a word. I rarely buy clothes for myself.  Being over here in the Land of Very Short Italian Women and Overpriced Clothing, I do so even less.  Eventually, though, one does have to concede that one’s clothes need to be replaced.  I need some summer dresses and the one American store we have on base carries a very limited supply of clothing, so I’ve been browsing online.  If clothes shopping in actual stores is the first circle of hell, then the cycle of spending the money – waiting two weeks for shipping – trying on and hating it – sending it back – waiting a month for a refund is somewhere around circle seven.   (“Well, ain’t this place a … Continue reading


A friend posted this graphic on Facebook yesterday: Created by: CollegeAtHome.com She had a very polite inquiry from a teacher who admitted that he knew very little about home education.  He wondered about the standards and socialization.  I posted a link to HSLDA and then began a comment about my feelings on the matter.  It became five paragraphs long and I realized it would make a better blog post than a comment: Like you, I think both sides get offended far too easily. However, when you start talking about people’s kids, especially to those who are so heavily involved in their child’s education as to homeschool, it’s hard not to take criticism personally. Alternatively, when you start talking about someone’s career, especially one in which so many people choose it because they are passionate about it, it’s hard not to take criticism personally. I’ve been on several sides of that … Continue reading

Do you Pinterest?

I’ve been Pinterest-ing for maybe a year and a half, now.  I’m a visual person, so I enjoy having an image to remember an idea.  At first, it was overwhelming and I only had a few boards but was trying to PIN ALL THE THINGS!!! Then, after a while, it was still overwhelming and I felt inadequate because I wasn’t hand-crafting all of our Christmas gifts and sewing all of our clothes and baking all our bread and I was feeding my family ridiculously horrible things like SUGAR! and GLUTEN!…. So I kicked self-righteous Pinterest to the curb. A few months ago, I took a machete to my list of Facebook friends in an effort to privatize and declutter my life.  I drew a line in the sand – if I was in your town, and I thought I would pick up the phone to call you, then you got … Continue reading


(That’s what Jet said when we told him we were taking him to the Archimedes museum a few weeks ago.  If I was the perfect homeschooling mother, then he would have intimate knowledge of Archimedes’ principles. But I’m not.  So he didn’t. And still doesn’t, as far as I know.) Knight had a long weekend, so we piled into the car and headed south.  After finding a place to park our behemoth minivan (oxymoron! but our minivan really is HUGE here in the Land of Matchbox Cars), we wandered toward the museum. We stopped to investigate the fountain depicting Diana, the Greek goddess of animals: Then we moved into the museum.  Three cheers for field trips on a weekday – we had the place to ourselves! This exhibit was one of Banana’s favorites.  She circled back to it several times while Jet was working on this: Archimedes’ puzzle has 14 pieces. … Continue reading

Middle of the Night

My doubts about homeschooling were purely selfish. I knew that, and I recognized that I had to allow God to break me of them in order for this homeschooling gig to be successful for our entire family.  He needed to grow and stretch my heart a little more. I didn’t want to be a 24/7/365 mom. I didn’t want to wear denim jumpers and be covered in glitter and glue. I didn’t want to spend all day at the table speaking in saccharin-sweet tones to our children. I envisioned utter chaos. We only have two children, but I just *knew* that they could (and WOULD) morph into the same loud craziness as 19. I told God all of this, repeatedly. I know He heard me. One night, I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. I felt that God was giving me certain scriptures to read … Continue reading


It’s hard to know where to start after so much time away.  Our life here looks pretty different than it did the last time I wrote. Things have been rockin’ and rollin’ here in sunny Sicilia.  We absolutely love living here, and the things God has done for us have been nothing short of miraculous.  He’s truly been blessing our socks off! Probably the biggest change is that we’re homeschooling our kids.  Jet is 8 now, and in third grade.  He attended the DoD school on base last year for second grade… and we decided that I could do better.  God really had to do a number on my heart about that; I wasn’t sure I could be a 24/7/365 mom.  Turns out, He knew what I needed, and has provided much, much more than we ever could have dreamed!  I absolutely LOVE homeschooling Jet!  It’s not all sunshine and … Continue reading

It’s the little things that spell “I love you”.

So, one of the things I really get irritated about, every single morning, is that my beloved programmable coffee maker doesn’t keep time correctly here in Italy.  Something to do with the cycle differences and Hertz and blah blah whatever.  I mean, I really do understand it, being a science teacher and all… but the truth is that I really don’t care.  I just get cranky about my coffee maker not having the coffee ready when I get downstairs at 5:40 every morning. Also, I get that this is completely a first-world, white-girl problem.  But still.  I had fallen so hard for this sexy beast of a coffee maker – I even wrote a whole slobbery-kiss-type post about it –  that for it to let me down here in Italy is just truly a heart-breaker. I haven’t even looked for a programmable coffee maker that runs on 220-volt power source. … Continue reading