Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

Some years we enter November with a twinge of disappointment—the leaves weren't quite colorful enough or didn't stay long enough; the days turned cold too quickly. But this year, we're all stunned by autumn, honored by the richness of these trees in colors we could never duplicate. Duncan and I shirked school for an afternoon last week and took a friend and my mom to the Foothills Parkway, just to sit on warm rocks and watch the shadows shift on the mountains. And chase a few little lizards, of course.

We had some great school days this week with a few particular highlights. We started the week with our annual Scouting family hayride and chili fest with our American Heritage Girls, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts troops/pack. We had about 125 people there for this nearly 10-year tradition. It was a chilly night, but we had a big bonfire and plenty of hot chocolate. Here's what the farm stand looks like before all 125 people are there!

Duncan has had a terrible cough all week, so he's done a lot of lounging on the couch. That means we've been able to get lots of reading done. We're currently reading Hittite Warrior (as part of Sonlight World History), which we both love so far. We've also been making our way through a student Bible study I've been reviewing, called Ignite Student Leadership. This is a fantastic leadership study—probably the best I've seen in my 14 years of homeschooling and working with youth. I'll be reviewing this on my blog Monday and giving away a digital version of Ignite, so be sure to check back here on Monday.

Duncan reading through the workbook portion of Ignite Student Leadership Study.

On Tuesday evening, we presented a phenomenal panel discussion for high schoolers and their parents. My friend Diane and I organize the roundtable discussion feature for our homeschooling support group. We have several university professors (including Randy) in our group, and we had the brilliant idea a few months back to ask them to present a panel on what they expect from college freshmen, problems they encounter, tips for transitioning into college, etc. We had four faculty members from three different area institutions: a small private college (Maryville College), a community college (Pellissippi State CC), and a major university (UT Knoxville). They presented their insights into, advice on, and some admonitions in six main areas: writing skills, the syllabus and reading instructions, personal responsibility, interaction with professors, study skills, and campus involvement. I asked a couple of people (including my 16-year-old daughter, who is a great note-taker and that was one of the important skills mentioned!) to take notes, so I plan to compile those and post them here soon.

Yesterday Laurel and I took another college tour with some friends. This is such a fantastic experience for all of us, and I'm glad we're doing this during Laurel's junior year. We didn't love this particular university, but much of that could have to do with our reception, or lack thereof. After our tour, we discussed how important it is for the admissions office to really treat prospective students like royalty—or at least like honored guests and not intruders. But touring campuses is enlightening. Next week we are visiting two more universities, and then I think we'll be done until spring.

That's about all for this week! Randy and Duncan are going on a weekend backpacking trip with Boy Scouts, and Laurel and I will be helping out with her best friend's Stars and Stripes project (equivalent of the Eagle Scout award) for American Heritage Girls. Laurel should finish up her own project by the end of this month and the write her project summary. She's 75% done with her project at this point!

And that's what is going on in our own SmallWorld. Check out more Weekly Wrap-ups at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. As I was reading about your roundtable discussion I thinking how much I wish I could have heard that, so I'm *very* excited to read your post about it. That is such incredibly helpful information for parents and students.

  2. It sounds like things are going well in so many areas! I love reading about college tours from homeschoolers' perspectives. I've a long way to go before we start heading down that path with my littles, but it's neat to read about nonetheless.


I love comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave one. I have comment moderation on, so your comment will take a little bit to appear.