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!
Diana Waring has not set their biography yet

Doing the Priority — Relationship!

Loving. Being there. Really there.

Do you ever feel like you have way too much to do? Do you valiantly attempt to do it all anyway? It’s part of the homeschooling mentality—that sense of juggling twelve balls in the air at a time—cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, nursing, teaching, shopping, listening, laundering, reading aloud, picking up, devotions, exercising. . .What did I miss from your list?

Oh, yes. That’s right. Loving. Being there. Really there.

And that, my friend, takes time.

At this season of life, my way-too-much-to-do-but-try-to-do-it-anyway looks slightly different from yours, because my children are grown. Normally my list includes writing articles for publications, blogging, preparing to teach an online world history class, working to upgrade our website, strategizing for our business, plus cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundering, picking up, devotions, exercising.

But, last month, I had two opportunities to love, to be there, really there. And it utterly blew apart my to-do list, as loving others tends to do.

First, I went to Chicago to help my daughter get ready to move. After two years of hard work on her Master’s degree, she is heading off to do her Ph.D., and that meant packing, cleaning, and helping transport stuff to a new city, a new state. As you know, it is so much easier, with far more laughter, when friends and family help with a move! But, in the midst of packing and cleaning, there was the incredible joy of simply being together. Chats over coffee, experiencing downtown Chicago, laughing over her cats’ antics, and most of all, checking in with each other, are precious building blocks of our ongoing relationship.

The second opportunity was tied to the first. My son brought his sons from Virginia to Chicago, so that he could be the MUSCLE in the move, and so that we could all watch his sister graduate. And, in an extension of the plan, so that Bill and I could have two incredible weeks with our grandsons.

Lovingly termed “Z1” and “Z2,” these 9 and 5 year-old boys have spent very little time with us. Their dad is in the Navy, and they have lived far from us most of their lives. In fact, next month, they are moving overseas for three years. So, these two weeks were a big deal. A BIG DEAL!

Time for play, time for the zooWe decided that this opportunity was more important than anything else that needed doing. It was time to play, to relax in the hammock, to go to the zoo, to blow bubbles, to read Hank the Cowdog, to pray and sing to Jesus together. It was time to simply love, to be there, really there.

So, that’s what we did. It was an all consuming, 24/7x2 for these non-experienced grandparents. It was exhausting, exhilarating, challenging, joyous, and precious beyond belief. I didn’t accomplish my normal to-do’s. I didn’t blog. I didn’t strategize. I didn’t plan (except meals). I'm back in the office again, and my normal to-do list is topped up and running over. But we wouldn’t change a thing about these past three weeks. It was the right choice to make, the right priority to do.

When your to-do list is interrupted by your relationships, it’s not the time to fret about the impossibility of meeting all the demands, because the other items on the list are only supporting the real priority. Loving. Being there. Really there. Taking time to embrace the relationships.

Honestly, isn’t that why we are homeschooling in the first place?

Enjoy those kids, dear friends. This moment soon passes.

Continue reading
953 Hits
0 Comments

Music Smart — Musical Intelligence

Does Music Make You Smile?

Does music give you a bounce in your step, a smile on your face, and the zest to do your to-do list?   Have you ever felt like you are dragging through the day. . .UNTIL you put on music? If so, the energizing effect of music is one great indicator that you are  strong in the Musical Intelligence.

Music is one of the most amazing gifts of this life. Regardless of our age or culture, there is music that will stir our heart—reminding us of happy or sad moments in life, and everything in between. Whether folk songs, classical, country-western, hymns, or the latest movie soundtrack, music can connect us to old memories, it can evoke powerful emotions, and it can help us to worship. Profoundly, music can help us communicate the very depths of our heart, whether joy or grief.

And, this “smart” is not limited solely to people who create music. Anyone who enjoys music—at any level—is exhibiting a Musical Intelligence.  Since music adds such a depth of richness to our everyday lives, it is certainly worth spending time and money to cultivate this in our families!

With that in mind, let's take a peek into this "Music Smart" intelligence (excerpted from my book, Reaping the Harvest).

“People who are strong in this area enjoy listening to music, as well as making music. They might be instrumentalists, vocalists, percussionists. They could make instruments; they could play instruments. They might like classical music, country-western music, Polynesian music, jazz music, rhythm and blues, folk music, opera, twentieth century music, African music, Renaissance madrigals, or Japanese music. They might like woodwinds, brass, strings, or percussion. They could play Sousa marches on the CD player to do chores, or a Bach violin sonata to help them write an English composition. This intelligence has to do with rhythmic tapping, soft humming, original composing, guitar strumming, tuneless whistling. Someone strong in this area might very well "sing for their supper" and for any other opportunity that comes their way!

“An example of a person strong in this intelligence would be Johann Sebastian Bach. He was a church organist who composed original church music on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, many of the people of his own time hated it! Too many new ideas!! However, many years later, Felix Mendelssohn discovered Bach's manuscripts and shared them with the rest of the world—which led to an astonishing growth in popularity of this music, which was composed for the glory of God!”

For budding musicians, get them music lessons!If you or any of your kids are strong in this intelligence, step outside of the box! That means, you can look for opportunities to sing your way through subjects. For instance, you can actually learn the countries of the world by singing them. . . And, though this might be obvious, let me say that for these learners, take the time, trouble and expense to get them music lessons if they are interested.  The benefits are numerous—not the least of which is that they will have the opportunity to SHINE.

P.S.  I LOVE music!!  I love to hear it, work with it, sing it, play it, compose it, perform it. That’s why we created the fun of learning American history through its folk music in Experience History Through Music books/CDs. And, it was also delightful to add music into my History Revealed world history curriculum.  We not only learn about music during each chapter (the elements of music, church music, and famous composers), but there are also opportunities for students to create and perform music within their history studies.  We also have a lot of fun with it—as you can see from the example below (part of the Recapping exercise in Unit 2 of World Empires, World Missions, World Wars):

In a small group, decide what the Industrial Revolution would have sounded like to the people of the day (crowded cities, railroads, machinery, telegraph, etc.). Once you have chosen the type of sounds that will best reflect this revolution, organize your team to make a rhythmic and discernible set of sounds, paying attention to rhythm, loudness, and pitch. Can onlookers identify your sounds?

Recent comment in this post
Cat Womyn
Great post! Thank you! ... Read More
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 16:31
Continue reading
1402 Hits
1 Comment

Nature Smart — Naturalist Intelligence

Are you energized by going outside?

Meet my dear friend, Paul Rushworth, a senior zoo keeper at Werribee Open Range Zoo, in Melbourne, Australia. In this pose with an African serval, Paul demonstrates the trusting relationship he has built over time with this lovely, wild cat.

Why are some people incredibly good with animals? And why are some brilliant when it comes to plants, beaches, mountains, the ocean or rivers—you know, the great outdoors?

Naturalist is a way of being smart, one that we might not pay much attention to in our culture of concrete buildings, offices, apartments, and highways. Yet, for the folks who are gifted in this way, it is a key to opening the doors of opportunity, self-motivation in learning, and fantastic careers. (The following is excerpted from my book, Reaping the Harvest.)

Continue reading
2171 Hits
0 Comments

Teaching Tip 10 — Talk Together

Teaching Tip 10 — Talk Together

Let’s talk about talking, shall we?

Have you noticed that some people are “natural” talkers? They effortlessly put together words and ideas whenever the opportunity arises. For these people, whether young or old, discussion is easy, free-flowing, and not always deeply considered. They simply say whatever comes into their minds

There are others who find it harder to talk at the drop of a hat. They need time to process their thoughts, consider the issues, ponder the possibilities. Though they do not speak up as quickly in a discussion, when they do eventually engage, it is often with profound insights and reasoned thoughts.

Continue reading
951 Hits
0 Comments

Self Smart — Intrapersonal Intelligence

Are you refreshed by time alone? Intrapersonal

Today begins an eight-part series on how God has made each of us smart

Now, you might be thinking, "Oh, well, maybe YOU are smart, but I'm not. . .and I have the grades to prove it!

Uh-huh.  I understand!

And I beg to differ.

You are smart.  And so are each of your kids.  It's just that most of us have never learned that there are different ways of being smart. We learned a long time ago that "smart" people were good at math or science, and good at using words and taking tests. Those are the kids that got straight "A's", got scholarships, and got degrees. If we didn't happen to fit that mold, we assumed (or were told) that we were NOT smart. We might be nice, good-looking, hard workers. . . but not SMART.

Continue reading
2647 Hits
0 Comments