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!

The Adventure of Betty Greene

Do you ever wonder how your life will turn out? Are there many things you love to do, but they seem impossible to weave together in one lifetime? Have you ever pondered the adventures that lie before you as you serve God? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this woman's story will be an eye-opening discovery.  Join me as we consider the life of Betty Greene—a WWII WASP, the first woman to fly across the Andes Mountains, and the co-founder of Missionary Aviation Fellowship!

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Kids are NOT alike!

When my children were 10, 8 and 6, a friend wrangled an invitation for us to join her at a farm for a homeschool science field trip:  watching a butcher cut up a cow.  It was supposed to be a practical view of—as well as a fascinating glimpse into—the insides of a recently living creature.

My friend, who was of a scientific bent (she had already dissected a cow’s eyeball at the kitchen table with her kids), was a fabulous salesman for this event.

“Diana, your kids will love this!  It’s so cool to see things in person rather than just in pictures.  Several homeschooling families will be there, it’s going to be GREAT!!”

And you know, one of my kids did love it.  (That was the one who would one day do a stint as a hospital corpsman in the Navy.)  He was spellbound as he stood close to the butcher, happily holding every thing handed to him, regardless of how gooey.

On the other hand, one of my kids hated it.  (That was the one who would one day faint at the clinic when, as a college student, he was just trying to give blood.)  He took one brief look at what was happening to that cow, and then fled to the safe haven of our car.

Though I hadn’t realized it so concretely until that moment, what is one person’s delight may be another person’s nightmare—and vice versa!  We need to not only be aware of this, we need to honor these differences.  Why?  Because they were hardwired into our children by One who created them for His plans and purposes.

Allow for—and respect—the individuality of each one in your family.  That means, in case you missed it, not every child has to dissect the eyeball of a cow.  But then, not every child has to be kept at home when the cow is butchered. . .  Pay attention to what is good for your individual kids.  Relationally speaking, it’s the wisest thing you’ll ever do!

For more on the way our kids are wired to learn, check this out:

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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.

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How God Made You—and Your Kids!—Smart: Spatial Intelligence

Rod & Alexis' Dining RoomI used to live next door to an amazing artist, Alexis Wilson Russell, a vibrant painter and committed Christian. Her Cherokee husband (now deceased), was a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus, and, together, they had ministered in many nations of the world—before ending up as my neighbors! Here is a photo of their tiny dining room, displaying an artist's love of color, texture, and visual interest.

White Buffalo WomanMany years ago, we accompanied Alexis and Rod to a Native American gathering in South Dakota, which to my wondering eyes was a brilliant tapestry of culture, color and sound. As we were leaving, Alexis spotted a Native woman's spectacular regalia, and ran to ask permission to take a photo in order to paint it. I remember watching Alexis paint this glorious painting, and yet, as an absolute novice when it comes to all things artistic, I still have no idea how she was able to recreate this. Here is the final result—a detailed, vibrant depiction of beauty, color and Native culture that still takes my breath away.

How can anyone do this??

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How God Made You—and Your Kids—Smart: Musical

Böttcher,_Christian_Eduard_-The_Music_Lesson_-_1860Music! For some of us, this is the word that makes us glow inside. Music can powerfully stir our hearts, vividly connect us to memories, and help us express emotions ranging from joy all the way to grief. In a profound and practical way, music adds a depth of richness to our everyday lives, doesn't it?

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

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