All Posts By

Mary Wilson

Book Clubs, Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

More Than a Shelf of Books

I am not one of those moms who can’t get rid of books. I am a purger. And I have no problem purging books.

The way I see it, that is what libraries are for. Libraries house my books.

But even I have my soft spots and my memories, so I must admit that there is a section of our hallway bookcase that is more than just a shelf of books.

It is a collection of memories that will always be exempt from purging.

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Because Doing All The Things Won’t Work

Laundry sits in piles upstairs. There are two loads waiting to be folded and two are sitting in the washer and dryer. Campfire scented top sheets are tossed haphazardly on the floor so I don’t forget to wash them next.

None of these piles include my own laundry which is overflowing in a basket down the hall. I have only tackled the towels and the boys’ clothing so far and I can’t seem to even finish that task.

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Homeschooling High School: Freshman Year

First. A few thoughts:

My daughter is not trying to earn a public high school diploma. She is trying to earn one a diploma from The Wilson Academy.

Therefore, I am in charge of her graduation requirements. I looked at the typical coursework for the local high school and a few private schools to consider their ideas, but I don’t have to follow their plans.

My daughter has expressed a desire to attend college, so we did print the UNC minimum college requirements. These will serve as our minimum guidelines as we move forward. We will add her own areas of interests and strengths to the minimum requirements.

Finally, it recently occurred to me that one credit doesn’t have to be completed in one year. We can work on a topic over the course of 2, 3, or even 4 years and then assign her a credit.

Of course, this means that I am keeping records of the books we are reading, her hours in training and work, and other topics that spark her interest over time.

In the end, I want her transcript to reflect her uniqueness. I don’t want it to be a duplicate of everyone else’s checklist.

And now…for my daughter’s freshman year.

Our plan for homeschooling high school for my daughter's freshman year. Continue Reading


Our Morning Basket Loop

Looping has become a popular way to schedule everything from homeschool subjects to household cleaning tasks.

Looping rejects the notion that subjects and tasks should be assigned a specific day of the week. Instead of assigning a day of the week, subjects or tasks are written in list form and completed in order.

Each day you move on to the next item on the list and when you have finished the list, you start over at the top.

All I needed to work out was the learning topics and reading that would occur daily and the ones we could loop. The Plan Your Year Planner had a form for that, so I downloaded it and got to work.

We worked out a loop schedule for our Morning Basket Time. Continue Reading


Keeping Perspective on Family Adventures

As I type this, my crew and I are on the road toward eclipse totality. We decided to take off for an overnight adventure to chase the full eclipse because our day trip plans were canceled by Mother Nature. Now we will spend a total of two nights away from home so that we can experience 2 minutes of totality excitement.

We have no idea where we will spend our time while waiting for the eclipse. There are reports of traffic jams, crazy people, and gas shortages.

Personally, I am concerned about one thing: a bathroom WITH toilet paper. Every time my husband or father suggest a spot to meet and set up “camp” for the day I ask, “Where is a bathroom?”

It’s become quite clear to me that men don’t think about these things the same way.

So our spot for tomorrow remains a mystery. As do the traffic conditions, the bathroom issues, and the weather.

Tomorrow could be a fantastic family memory or a complete disaster.

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Our Morning Basket: Geography Books for Kids

As we kick off our Geography studies this year, I have started gathering book titles for our Morning Basket. We will read some sort of Geography book daily because this year we are focusing on World Geography and World Cultures.

Some days we will learn from informational text and other days we will enjoy a story. It might depend on the plan, but it usually depends on my mood.

Either way, I’ve gathered a lot of options. I like options.

Books to read during your Homeschool Morning Basket Time that accomplish your Geography goals. Continue Reading


Book Club Titles 2017-2018

Another year of school is about to start and another round of book clubs are ready to begin. Of course, these are just your average book clubs. We love to dive in with a memorable, themed party school book club!

This will be my third year organizing book clubs for my kids. While the girls have been in a book club for two years, last year was the first year that my boys participated in a book club.

It takes a bit of organization to pick the dates and then we choose the book titles. We typically choose books from the Brave Writer annual subscription lists so we can use the Arrow and Boomerang Guides, but that isn’t a hard, fast requirement.

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