All Posts By

Mary Wilson

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 several of Alisha’s courses in the past. We are currently excited to begin one of the newest courses, Watercolor Whimsies: Spring Edition.

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

Art, Homeschooling

Artist Study for Kids: Georgia O’Keeffe

This year we spent a month studying the life and work of Georgia O’Keeffe because an exhibition of her work was due to arrive at our local art museum.

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

As soon as I learned that an O’Keeffe exhibit was due to arrive this year, I turned to one of our favorite sources for art curriculum: The Masterpiece Society.

I decided to combine two art courses focused on Georgia O’Keeffe: the Art Appreciation course and the Mixing with the Masters Course.

Turns out, they were a perfect pairing for a timely study of Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work.

Study the life and works of Georgia O'Keeffe with your kids.

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Blogging, Flashback Friday

Open Letter to my Children about the World of Text

FLASHBACK POST: This was originally published in 2014 on my former blog. My children were 11, 9, 7, and 5 years old at the time it was written. We continue to navigate the world of text together and it hasn’t been as scary as I thought.

Dear Children,

You are growing up so quickly. I have no doubt that I will blink and you will be teenagers, navigating the world of text.

Twitter. Facebook. Email. Blogs. SnapChat. Instagram. Text Messaging.

And everything else “they” come up with in the next few years.

Text is an important method of communication and we rely on it more and more every year. Somehow I have to help you navigate this world and I admit that aspects of guiding you in this new world of text frighten me.

Because text is dead. It lacks tone and emotion. You can see body language or facial expressions. Yet, it is a primary method of communication today.

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Family Connections, Homelife, Parenting

Over 15 Things to do in February with Your Family

February is the month of love and there are easy ways to shower love on your family as we celebrate Valentines Day.  Even beyond Valentines Day, there are so many other great ways to connect as a family this month.

The seasonal qualities of February are similar to the ones that made January so special:

It’s dark.  It’s cold.  And sometimes, if you are lucky, it is white.

Take some time this month to have some fun and connect as a family.  To make it a bit easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of ways you can make some family memories this month.

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Uncategorized

How Mr D Math Restored My Homeschool Sanity

Last year, math became the one subject I couldn’t keep up with in our homeschool.

As a former middle school math teacher, I wasn’t prepared for this reality. I love teaching math, especially Algebra. I was thrilled when it was finally time to teach the slope of a line to my homeschooled kiddos.

It meant that we were finally getting to the good stuff.

But then the next kid hit pre-algebra and the third was not far behind. I quickly realized that I could not manage three individual math lessons for three kids every day AND teach all of the other subjects.

I was losing my mind trying to handle it all so I did what all good homeschool moms do

I asked everyone I knew in all of my homeschooling circles and I googled like a crazy lady.

Thankfully, I discovered Mr. D math and we decided to give it a try.

Mr D math restored my homeschool sanity when it came to teaching upper level math.

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Parenting

The Changing Seasons of Parenting

A huge shift has taken place in our household over the last two years and every now and then it hits me like a ton of bricks.

One of those hits occurred last summer when I bought an annual pass to our local science center. My kids have always loved it there but we hadn’t purchased an annual pass for almost two years. It seemed like it would be a fun thing to do again.

The first time we used it, we decided to visit a “new to us” museum. Within the hour, I could read the boredom on my kids’ faces. Sure, they had fun for a bit, but my 13-year-old was clearly forcing it and my boys were done quickly.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

We have outgrown science centers as a family. 

It probably shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did. After all, I planned this particular trip to the science center when my oldest child was busy doing other things. I guess I didn’t realize how quickly the younger set would be bored.

Science centers have been a part of my kids’ childhood for over a decade.

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Parenting, tweens and teens, Uncategorized

Parenting Fears: Driving Test Day

It’s already four o’clock and I haven’t eaten lunch. This isn’t normal for me.

I pause and think about it and realize that my stomach is in knots. No wonder I haven’t eaten. There is an ache in my stomach making me feel ill, but I am fairly certain that I am not sick. It’s not that kind of ache.

It is the sort of ache I get when I am stressed, so I start to think about it.

Am I stressed? 

I can’t think of any particular stressor at the moment. Typically the root causes of this type of ache are the kids’ schedules, work, or homeschooling. But as I mentally think through my list, I can’t identify any deadlines or projects that are weighing on my mind.

I start to think about my schedule for the next day and the knot in my stomach tightens. This time, I feel seriously ill.

Then it hits me. I am avoiding any thoughts about one particular event on the calendar tomorrow.

My oldest child is taking her driver’s test.

And despite my brain’s refusal to think about it, my stomach is in knots.

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