November 30, 2014

November 2014 Update

November was thankfully very quiet and calm so there's not a whole lot to report other than some random facts & events.

K-Diddy and Mimi came for a visit and were the first victims of our very own cockroach pranks, which is probably only funny if you know The Wilsons.

Skylar learned to finger knit and then tried to teach her Aunt Sheila via You Tube.

We voted. Then tracked the election results and called it homeschool. Because we can. And because it is. :)

We celebrated Veteran's Day. With art.

Fall happened and it was gorgeous. Too bad it was promptly followed by snow.

tLG learned to cook spaghetti.

We visited Opryland to see the lights although Skylar's favorite part is the nutcrackers.

The Bishop family went to Gatlinburg and tLG had a blast with her cousins.

I watched the Iron Bowl with a bunch of crazy Alabama fans & my mama. Roll Tide!

That about sums up November.

November 13, 2014

Dinner Time Conversation Starters

This past Sunday, I heard Sean McDowell speak on passing down our faith to the next generation. It was quite inspiring. Click here to view his message (starts at 27:20).

He said several things that stuck out to me.
  • Make God the Lord of your home and make Him a part of the every day rhythm of your home. 
  • Kids will follow the passions of their parents. Talk to your kids about God as much as you do football, hunting, or other hobbies. 
  • The greatest present you can give someone is your presence
  • The legacy you leave behind is what matters most
Being so inspired, I came home determined to put at least one of his suggestions into practice. I've been wanting to make dinner at the table a nightly habit for years. There is plenty of research to support the benefits of family dinners.

"Recent studies link regular family dinners with many behaviors that parents pray for: lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem. Studies also indicate that dinner conversation is a more potent vocabulary-booster than reading, and the stories told around the kitchen table help our children build resilience." Source

Sean also shared that family dinners together also strengthen faith and is a deterrent to teens from leaving their faith in early adulthood.

So, off I went to Pinterest. First search.... dinner time conversation starters.

I found a helpful list at For The Luv of Boys. She prints hers on cute little scrapbook paper but, being the Pinterest slacker that I am, I put mine on plain construction paper. She also suggests curling the paper, which I thought would be way too much work. It was actually a little quicker than folding them so I curled each strip. They did turn out SO cute and I can't wait for dinner tonight.

Now, if you have zero Pinterest skills (I've totally been there), you can also get a cute little box of conversation starters from Amazon. No printing, cutting, or curling required. ;)

*Affiliate links included. 

November 4, 2014

Local (Nashville) Homeschool Resources

One of the first things I did when I started thinking about homeschooling was to find online resources. I wanted to just browse without anyone knowing what I was considering. Saying it out loud would make it official. Looking around the Internet was harmless and mainly just to appease my curiosity. Rather, I was trying to convince myself that it wasn't possible. Some of my first searches on Pinterest were "How to Homeschool and Work Full Time" and "Homeschooling an Only Child".  

Next, I sought out local resources. I have several web bookmarks for local information.
Then, I looked for groups on Facebook that I could connect with and this is what I found.
These are all great forums to ask questions and get quick feedback or just to search through old posts for information. 

However, my favorite local resource has been, hands down, the Nashville Homeschool Calendar

This group finds fun things to do in and around Nashville and gets awesome group rates for homeschoolers. They find out about the coolest events and activities. Stuff I didn't even know existed in Middle TN. There are probably 10-15 different options offered each month. You can choose to attend one, none, or all of them. Up to you. Many of them are free. For the paid field trips, I love that we are able to get a "group" discount which makes it really affordable. Here are just a few of the field trips we have been on 
  • Nashville Symphony 
  • Traveller's Rest (my recap)
  • TN History Festival
  • Clay Lady Studio
  • TN State Museum
I'm so thankful to have found this group and we are excited to continue field tripping with them again this year. Some field trips are really small with just a few families attending while others are really big with lots of people. I just appreciate the opportunity to find out what's going on in the community and to take advantage of the programs and discounts offered to homeschoolers. It's been a great experience for us and a nice compliment to our daily curriculum.

To see a list of field trips currently being offered, click here.

I hope the above resources help you get connected to local groups and information here in Nashville. It's certainly not a comprehensive list, as Nashville has so much to offer, but these are the sites that my family utilizes most frequently.