All Posts By

Mary Wilson

Brave Writer, Family Connections, Homelife, Homeschooling, Parenting

Conversation Starters for Families to use All Year Long

Our family began a simple tradition many years ago that has had an incredibly positive impact on our dinner conversation.

We stopped asking our kids how their day was or what they did that day. Instead, we asked two simple questions:

  • What was the highlight of your day? (or what was your favorite part of the day?)
  • What was the hardest part of your day?

Our oldest child was only around 8 years old when we began to ask these questions on a regular basis and these two questions became the foundation for our current family conversation starters.

Continue Reading

Art, Homeschooling

Art Appreciation Through Projects and Stories

Our house is bursting with creativity and tons of art supplies this year.

We kicked off our year with several Mixed Media projects from the Art of Fall and we have continued to create new masterpieces each season.

Recently, I incorporated art appreciation into our studies so that my kids learn to recognize and appreciate the work of well-known master artists.

Of course, I didn’t want to stop creating our own masterpieces so I decided to find a way to incorporate both art appreciation and art creation.


Looking for ideas to incorporate stories and art into you art appreciation course? I've got the perfect combination. Continue Reading


Homeschooling on the Go

I’ll admit that my favorite homeschool days are the ones we spend at home with no outside commitments or activities on the schedule.

I protect our days at home as much as possible.

But there are days that we have to take this show on the road.

How we homeschool on the go. Continue Reading


101 Things Standardized Tests Can’t Measure

Hey there.

I see you. Staring at your child’s standardized test scores. Feeling frustrated, disappointed, or concerned.

This score can’t be right.

You KNOW your child. Your child is witty, fun, creative, and bright. But this score doesn’t reflect any of it.

Yet this number counts for a lot. Maybe for too much. But that is a discussion for another time.

Put the scores aside for a moment and picture your child moving through their week.

What do they love?
How do they treat people?
What makes them unique?
What do they do for fun?
What makes them laugh?

Hold on to that image while you read 101 Things Standardized Tests can’t Measure.

Testing isn't everything. Here are 101 things a Standardized Test can't measure. Continue Reading

Art, Homeschooling

Review: Masterpiece Society Studio Membership

Are you ready for the ultimate art experience in your homeschool?

Alisha Gratehouse, one of our favorite art teachers, has released an annual membership option for her art courses called the Masterpiece Society Studio Membership.

Our family has enjoyed Alisha’s Mixed Media courses in the past. We are currently working through the Winter Wonderland Mixed Media course, and we completed several projects in the Fall Mixed Media Workshop.

This annual membership will give us immediate access to all of Alisha’s wonderful courses in addition to member bonuses.

Check out a Masterpiece Society Studio Membership for instant access to unlimited art coures all year long. Continue Reading

Gifts, Holidays

Gifts for a Teen Girl

Need a few thoughtful and original gifts for a teen girl in your life?

I was at a complete loss when it came to Christmas for my teen girls.  I started searching online and asking friends for ideas.

In the end, I am thrilled about the options I found for the 13 and 15-year-old girls in this house.

Now I will pass on some of the great gifts for a teen girl that were given to me.

Make gift giving easy with this life of gift ideas for a teen girl. Continue Reading