Friday Flashback: There’s a New Teen in Town

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Homeschool Mother's JournalWe’re technically almost four weeks into the new year, and we haven’t had a “typical” homeschooling week yet! January is historically a very busy travel time for my husband because of two annual trade shows in his industry, so I spent most of the month in “single” parenting mode trying to recover from the holidays while still getting back on track with our homeschooling routine.

This week, things finally settled down into a more steady routine. I thought it would be a good time to take a Friday flashback and reflect on our week.

In our homeschool this week…

We started our final unit in Trail Guide to Learning’s Paths of Exploration, called Trails West. Yes, we’re finishing a year-long program in January — not because we’re fast, but because we switched to Trail Guide to Learning mid-school year last year. My daughters have really enjoyed everything about Trail Guide to Learning, so we plan to continue to the Paths of Settlement set as soon as we finish this final unit.

Trails West is a combination of review of the previous explorers we studied and the introduction of new characters that also blazed trails west, such as Johnny “Appleseed” (John Chapman). The girls are already fascinated with his story, why he set out on his personal quest west and the fun details of his personality. Quite a character!

TrailsWest

We’ve also started back with some of our homeschool enrichment co-ops. Last week, we had our final girls book club meeting for the fall semester (a few weeks later than originally planned). We concluded our third book selection from the Trailblazer Christian heroes historical fiction series, “Trial by Poison,” the story of African missionary Mary Slessor. The Trailblazer Series by Dave & Neta Jackson was a great selection for the book club: We really enjoyed introducing the girls to women of faith that followed the courage of their convictions, such as Harriet Tubman and Amy Carmichael, while doing some fun projects to explore the historical and cultural settings of the books.

BookClubJan

This week we returned to our weekly PE Plus program, and with fresh snow on the ground, the girls couldn’t wait to run around indoors with their friends. I’m so thankful that our girls can continue to participate in such a wonderful Christ-centered physical education program each semester, especially in the winter!

My favorite thing this week was…

Celebrating the 13th birthday of our eldest daughter Audrey! Yes, we have a new teenager in town. To celebrate, we went bowling and played in the arcade after PE with some of her closest friends. I feel like this milestone birthday really snuck up on me. Where does the time go? As I looked back at some old pictures while creating a photo collage for her, I realized once again how thankful I am that we started homeschooling when we did.

NewTeenInTown

She’s grown so much (inside & out!) and to see her mature and develop firsthand by being a part of her everyday learning is truly an amazing gift. She’s strong and independent, yet soft and loving at the same time. She excels in all her areas of interest: She’s adventurous (skiing, mountain biking) and creative (painting, cooking), plus she’s inherited my passion for reading and writing. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for her!

How was your homeschooling week? Are you back in the swing of things or still taking some time off? Do you participate in any co-ops or outside enrichment programs? How is the weather in your area affecting your homeschooling plans? We’d love to hear how you’re doing!

This post is linked up with the Homeschool Mother’s Journal at So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler, where you’ll find more Homeschool Mother’s Journal posts from across the country!

Renée Gotcher is a wife, writer, editorial consultant, and home-educating mother of three daughters. She has been married for 26 years to her best friend Kenny, whom she met while attending Oral Roberts University in the early 90s. Renée was homeschooled during her last two years of high school and started homeschooling in 2010. A former journalist, she is currently editor of NextGen Homeschool and blogs on personal topics at A New Chapter. Her family lives in Castle Rock, Colorado.