Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

At Monticello with Jim and Randy Weiss

Life happens.

I'm sure you know what I mean. There you are, with good intentions and great ideas, and suddenly, POOF! All your time, energy, brain-power, and effort evaporate into nothingness.

Happens to me every year during the homeschool convention season!! But, now, it is August and the 2013 conventions are over ...

Time to get back to work, back to the joys of blogging, Facebooking, weeding, and cleaning the house.  Well, at least the first few sound like fun. smiley

Before I launch back into the "How God Made You Smart" thread, I wanted to share one of the most delightful experiences of this convention season. Through the years, my husband and I have come to know and appreciate Jim and Randy Weiss, of Greathall Productions. But getting to know other speakers at conventions is incredibly limited, so, at the Great Homeschool Conference in Cincinnati this year, when Randy said to me, "Diana, why don't you come stay with us for a few days before going to the HEAV convention in Richmond?" I was thrilled. It sounded like such fun, and, believe me, it was even more delightful than I had imagined it might be. They are wonderful hosts and fascinating people, generously warm and compassionate friends that we are privileged to know. And, Randy is a fabulous cook—a woman after my own heart!!

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In the planning of our time together, Randy suggested a trip to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. I had never been to this historic site, and, you know me, when a place is dripping with history, I am as thrilled as a robin with a worm, a fox with a henhouse, a climber with a mountain, etc. However, I had not realized that Jim had actually done research at Monticello for one of his story-telling CDs, Thomas Jefferson's America. What amazing anecdotes he whispered as the guide took us through the house! He pointed out fascinating items, told us stories of Jefferson's life that I had never heard, and made it an absolutely riveting walk-through. As we all strolled through the gardens, Jim described the unusual setting for Monticello, as most plantations of the time were in the valleys, not on the hilltops—where obtaining water would be far more difficult. As Jim talked, the reality and challenges of day-to-day living became increasingly visible, even as the wisps of Jefferson's great accomplishments continued to float across my mind. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

History, it seems to me, is so often something "out there"—something unattainable, done by those few IMPORTANT people—and it has no real impact or bearing on our lives.  And, yet, when history comes to life, with brilliant color AND drab mundaneness, it has a power to challenge us, to change us. Tom Jefferson's curiosity was one of the take-aways for me. He nurtured his curiosity, asking questions, investigating possibilities, spending time to discover, writing down his observations. Instead of seeing him solely as President of the United States (a job I will never hold), if I disover that he was a person who remained curious his entire life, I can allow it to challenge my life, to change my life. Rather than being content to just make it through each day, I just might give myself permission to follow the rabbit trail when it looks interesting!

I would love to hear your thoughts about learning history.  And, in fact, if you want to share how Jim Weiss and Diana Waring have made learning history memorable, challenging, even life-changing, we will enter you into a contest to win one of Jim's Thomas Jefferson's America CDs.  On August 21, we will randomly choose five winners from those who have left comments on this blog.

Kids are NOT alike!
How God Made You—and Your Kids!—Smart: Spatial Int...
 

Comments 17

Guest - emily hope on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 07:35

I love your takeaway from this: Jefferson's curiosity - something manageable we can all attain to. I was struck with the same thing while listening to Jim's CD on Galileo & the Stargazers with my kids recently - how curiosity and tenacity played such an important role in their discoveries. Discoveries that changed the world! We are looking forward to diving into your Ancient Civilizations curriculum this year for our homeschool, Diana - along with listening to lots of Jim Weiss's CD's :) Thank you both so much for sharing your love of learning with us!

I love your takeaway from this: Jefferson's curiosity - something manageable we can all attain to. I was struck with the same thing while listening to Jim's CD on Galileo & the Stargazers with my kids recently - how curiosity and tenacity played such an important role in their discoveries. Discoveries that changed the world! We are looking forward to diving into your Ancient Civilizations curriculum this year for our homeschool, Diana - along with listening to lots of Jim Weiss's CD's :) Thank you both so much for sharing your love of learning with us!
Guest - dianawaring on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 08:52

Thanks, Emily! I think I can speak for Jim when I say that we both love what we do!!

Thanks, Emily! I think I can speak for Jim when I say that we both love what we do!!
Guest - Domanicka Dailey on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 11:02

I love the way you present history as HisStory. I did not like history when I was in school; however, as an adult I am able to make the connections of God's hand in history. We will starting Ancient Civilizations this year. My hope is that my children will begin to love history as they see God's hand in history.

I love the way you present history as HisStory. I did not like history when I was in school; however, as an adult I am able to make the connections of God's hand in history. We will starting Ancient Civilizations this year. My hope is that my children will begin to love history as they see God's hand in history.
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:57

Thank you SO much, Domanicka! I, too, hope that both you and your children will find history coming to life—and making a difference—for you all!


:)

Thank you SO much, Domanicka! I, too, hope that both you and your children will find history coming to life—and making a difference—for you all! :)
Guest - HBeth on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 02:44

I am the mother of four great children. There is a large age gap between my two older girls and my boys, ages 7 and 9. I've homeschooled all of them from the beginning and I find teaching boys to be an entirely new adventure! They learn so differently! Both of my boys love to sit and listen to a good book on CD. Cuddling with mom is good, but Jim Weiss makes the story come to life! Thank you Diana and Jim for making one the most important subjects, History, a joy to learn!

I am the mother of four great children. There is a large age gap between my two older girls and my boys, ages 7 and 9. I've homeschooled all of them from the beginning and I find teaching boys to be an entirely new adventure! They learn so differently! Both of my boys love to sit and listen to a good book on CD. Cuddling with mom is good, but Jim Weiss makes the story come to life! Thank you Diana and Jim for making one the most important subjects, History, a joy to learn!
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:56

So glad to hear it, Beth!!


Cuddling AND story-telling. . . what a fabulous childhood for your kids!! :)

So glad to hear it, Beth!! Cuddling AND story-telling. . . what a fabulous childhood for your kids!! :)
Guest - Andrea Humble Rake on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 07:38

I've just become exposed to Jim Weiss this summer and would love to win any of his recordings. I've heard he's a master story teller!

I've just become exposed to Jim Weiss this summer and would love to win any of his recordings. I've heard he's a master story teller!
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:56

You are right, he is!!


And, btw, you just DID win!!


:)

You are right, he is!! And, btw, you just DID win!! :)
Guest - C.L. on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 07:42

Wow! Jim Weiss as your personal our guide...I bet that was spectacular! The best most of us can get is his CDs which are wonderful. Keep them coming Mr. Weiss :)

Wow! Jim Weiss as your personal our guide...I bet that was spectacular! The best most of us can get is his CDs which are wonderful. Keep them coming Mr. Weiss :)
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:55

It WAS spectacular!! :)


Wish everyone could have the experience. . .


Thanks for commenting! :)

It WAS spectacular!! :) Wish everyone could have the experience. . . Thanks for commenting! :)
Guest - Christina Smith on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 07:48

I enjoyed reading your post and have fav.d you on FB and bookmarked your blog so that I can read more of your posts later. I found your blog via a post by Jim Weiss. I love using his cd's for extras in History lessons with my son ( 9 yr.) which I homeschool. Jim brings History to life and makes it even more enjoyable for a child that just loves the stories and what happened already.
From what I've read you do a wonderful job with making it interesting as well and I hope to find new treasures to share with my children ( I plan to homeschool both when my youngest reaches Kindergarten). I never really liked History as a subject in school but now it is a wonderful subject to explore and delve into.

Thanks to you and Jim, as well others that bring it to life in a story form for all to enjoy and share such wonderful gifts with everyone.

I enjoyed reading your post and have fav.d you on FB and bookmarked your blog so that I can read more of your posts later. I found your blog via a post by Jim Weiss. I love using his cd's for extras in History lessons with my son ( 9 yr.) which I homeschool. Jim brings History to life and makes it even more enjoyable for a child that just loves the stories and what happened already. From what I've read you do a wonderful job with making it interesting as well and I hope to find new treasures to share with my children ( I plan to homeschool both when my youngest reaches Kindergarten). I never really liked History as a subject in school but now it is a wonderful subject to explore and delve into. Thanks to you and Jim, as well others that bring it to life in a story form for all to enjoy and share such wonderful gifts with everyone.
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:54

Thank you, Christina!



I am so glad to hear how history is coming to life for you as you listen to Jim's recordings!! It can be one of the most fascinating "subjects" you will ever study. :)

Thank you, Christina! I am so glad to hear how history is coming to life for you as you listen to Jim's recordings!! It can be one of the most fascinating "subjects" you will ever study. :)
Guest - Danielle Krause on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 07:54

Monticello is one of my favorite places to visit in VA!

Monticello is one of my favorite places to visit in VA!
Guest - T. Rendleman on Saturday, 10 August 2013 16:02

I absolutely love how you, Diana, get so excited about history and are a wonderful storyteller. I've loved learning more about history through listening to your CDs. One of my favorite memories involving your material was when my mom, my girls, and I took a trip together. We listened to your CDs in the car and my mom also loved them and has since borrowed them so she can learn too.
Thank you for blessing our family.
I've not listened to Jim Weiss, but from your post, I now know that I want to.
(Thank you also for offering this giveaway and blessing someone with the cd. Both of you truly are blessings to the homeschooling community.) :)

I absolutely love how you, Diana, get so excited about history and are a wonderful storyteller. I've loved learning more about history through listening to your CDs. One of my favorite memories involving your material was when my mom, my girls, and I took a trip together. We listened to your CDs in the car and my mom also loved them and has since borrowed them so she can learn too. Thank you for blessing our family. I've not listened to Jim Weiss, but from your post, I now know that I want to. (Thank you also for offering this giveaway and blessing someone with the cd. Both of you truly are blessings to the homeschooling community.) :)
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:52

Thank you for sharing that story!! :)


And, I know that you will love Jim Weiss' recordings as well!! He is a master storyteller, and my kids and I always delighted in hearing him make stories (and history) come alive!

Thank you for sharing that story!! :) And, I know that you will love Jim Weiss' recordings as well!! He is a master storyteller, and my kids and I always delighted in hearing him make stories (and history) come alive!
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:43

Thank you for each of those wonderful comments!!
We just held the random drawing and here are the winners:
Dominaka Dailey, HBeth, Andrea Humble Rake, C.L, and Danielle Krause!



Congratulations!

Thank you for each of those wonderful comments!! We just held the random drawing and here are the winners: Dominaka Dailey, HBeth, Andrea Humble Rake, C.L, and Danielle Krause! Congratulations!
Guest - dianawaring on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:51

Thank you for each of those wonderful comments!! We just held the random
drawing and here are the winners: Dominacka Dailey, HBeth, Andrea Humble
Rake, C.L, and Danielle Krause!

Congratulations!…

Thank you for each of those wonderful comments!! We just held the random drawing and here are the winners: Dominacka Dailey, HBeth, Andrea Humble Rake, C.L, and Danielle Krause! Congratulations!…
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