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Welcome! My name is Mary. I help parents educate their children at home one day at a time. This site offers LEGO printablesfree music lessonsunit studies,  and much more. Use the tabs above to discover what Homegrown Learners has to offer. You will be equipped and encouraged to travel a most amazing path in your home!

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Collage Friday - A BIG Change and a BIG Sale!

As we are drawing to the close of this school year I'm looking back and wondering when my kids grew up?

This will be the end of our fourth year of homeschooling, and while it seems like we've been doing this a while now, it also seems like we are just starting.

Next year we will be making a big change and joining our local Classical Conversations community.

We have struggled the past couple of years to figure where we "fit" (as far as a homeschool community goes) and I think CC is going to be a good match. 

I have also wrestled with how to handle my daughter's education as she gets older (she'll be 7th grade next year - yikes!).  We needed something more formalized for her. 

I'm looking forward to the change, the structure, the community, the philosophy, and the accountability that CC will provide.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

After reading Leigh Bortin's The Core and doing massive amounts of online research we were pretty much sold. Then, we attended several excellent seminars at The Great Homeschool Convention led by Andrew Pudewa and other classical educators, and we knew this was the right decision for our children.

Classical Education

We have always subscribed to the classical model - using Story of the World, First Language Lessons, and Writing With Ease. Next year, we will go all the way. I have seen how well it works for my children and I want them to have MORE. There will still be time (especially with Grant) for Delight Directed Learning and unit studies, but our CORE will be classical.


Many materials came this week. The Foundations manual arrived, along with four sets of timeline cards. They are beautiful. I put the Cycle 2 cards in a binder and my husband has been looking through them each day - he told me he's learning so much! 

I had read Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood before, but I've been trolling the site a lot lately. This is my new favorite blog! 

My husband and I are also starting to read some CS Lewis. It's good stuff!  

I had to laugh at my daughter bringing some Homer to the Braves game last week - surely that's a homeschooled child, right?

Enjoying My Kids

Sometimes it's nice to step back and enjoy your kids, isn't it? I had some chances to do that this week.

 1. A morning at the duck park with Grant - we had some time to ourselves and it's always fun to hang out with him. We parked at the library and walked around the lake to the park, where we just chatted and watched the ducks. Priceless.

2. Enjoying Loco Froyo after a morning of standardized testing.  (testing pretty much took up our week)

3. Anna at one of her last children's chorus practices of the year. This week is her piano recital and next week is her spring choral concert. This has been such a musical year for her - truly wonderful. Auditioning for and spending the year in this chorus has been a great opportunity for her, and she will continue with this next year. (And I have to brag just a bit - she received a 97% on her music theory final exam in chorus and it was HARD!) Music is truly her "anchor".

4. More special times with Grant - I love the conversations we have while he's scootering and I'm walking. I know these times are fleeting.

5. Anna volunteered one morning at the same preschool she attended - it was their Transportation Day and she had a great time. She volunteers here one morning each week and it has been such a good experience for her.

6. We went to a Braves game (they lost - it was cold and rainy - not the best game we've ever been to!). My husband and son are OBSESSED with baseball. Anna and I like it by default {grins}.


Teacher Appreciation


Aren't these Calla Lilies lovely? They were a teacher appreciation gift from my husband and children. 

Big Sale!

You know how much I love Notebooking Pages. You can purchase a year long membership for $25 off through the end of May - they also have some other specials going on, so check it out:  

Blog Happenings 

Music for Superheroes - Squilt Lesson #9 using the music from "Superman" by John Williams

10 Reasons You CAN Homeschool

Standardized Testing in Our Homeschool

A New Music eBook by Yours Truly

I have been working very hard on a special eBook. I finally can say (with some certainty) that it will be coming out in early June. I've been going over eBook covers, working on a site for the book, and finishing the actual content.

It will be an extension of what I've shared with you on the blog - but a full blown way for you to expose your children to the wonderful pieces of music in each era of history. 

I'm VERY excited about this!

If you link up with Collage Friday regularly and are interested in previewing a copy, please let me know. 

Also, please remember there is a new eBook available, iBlog. This is a comprehensive resource for bloggers (wannabe bloggers and experienced bloggers alike!). It's a good purchase if you would like to learn more about blogging, grow your blog, learn how to start a blog, and much more!  I have a chapter in the book about building community through your blog.

Are you making any big changes in your homeschool as you think about next year?

I hope you link up your weekly photo collage post!  Please remember to include photo collages.  Also, link back to this post or include the Collage Friday button (in my sidebar) in your post. Once you have signed the linky, please visit others on the list to gain ideas and offer encouragement.  I love the Collage Friday community!  (I reserve the right to delete any links that don't comply with the guidelines.)

Reader Comments (15)

How lucky that your children get to join Classical Conversations. I think it's a great community for families who are following the Classical approach.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHwee

How sweet that your kids and husband got you flowers! Such a nice gift of appreciation. I, too, love those moments when you can just enjoy your kids. Those unexpected moments when the kids aren't bickering, sun is shining, and all is well with the world. :)

I was blessed by winning a copy of the iBlog ebook and am working my way through reading it. Lots of good advice.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Love the teacher appreciation plant! Have a great Mother's Day ,

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Newell

No real big changes in our curriculum. The only change I think I am making is the grammar change. My daughter had analytical grammar this year and hated it. I hated grading it. So, I went to something a bit more simple rather than have her continue book three and my son begin book one.

I have heard a lot about Classical Conversations and have friends who do it. I really should look into it. Not sure what it is. Perhaps I can join my friends on a day to see. :)

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel E.

I'm glad that you're excited about Classical conversations. I know several families that do it around here, and I'm sure it will be a blessing for your homeschool. (If we were Classical, we'd might do it too!)

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I love your pics (as always) and I'm excited for your new endeavors with Classical Conversations. Parker is going into 7th grade - cannot believe it - but I will be picking up some new curriculum materials for him at TTD. Have a beautiful weekend with your beautiful family. Lookin forward to your ebook!

I can't wait to see your music ebook. You are doing a great job. It seems like you have been homeschooling longer than 4 years.
Blessings, Dawn

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Love reading about your week as always Mary. I know several people who do CC and love it. I hope it is a positive experience for you, Anna and Grant! [And Hal too ;)] WTG Anna! And in that picture, #3, she looks so grown up! How exciting about your ebook! YAY Mary! Thank you again for hosting this link up post. If not for you I don't know if I would ever blog! :) Happy weekend and Happy Mother's Day!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

You are going to love CC! Our CC community had an opening in January and we were able to join mid-year. Best decision ever! Sheridan thoroughly loves both the Foundations and Essentials components. He was even a Memory Master this year. Grant will enjoy the Memory Master challenge and Anna will love all the books in the Challenge A program. Drop me a message on FB or email if you want some more information on our experience.
Good luck and God Bless.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

We also have been fairly classical in our education style but will be moving to using it more completely next year.

I did look into Classical Conversations, and so desperately wanted to like it, but it really doesn't look like a good for for us. The program also has limited availability in our area. I hope it goes well for your family!

I'm excited to see your musical ebook when it is finished. We have trouble finishing formal music appreciation lessons. However, with Amber's piano lessons, chimes (handbells next year!), and musical theater class I really don't worry too much about her musical exposure. Something often comes up to further her interest in classical music.

I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

Possibly! My oldest son is planning to attend a new high school that focuses on science, math, technology, and engineering and project-based learning. It's going to be DIFFERENT having one of the kids out of the house for the first time! But this is if we don't have to move and then new plans will be made.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessy

That is SO SWEET that your husband and kiddos got you flowers for Teacher Appreciation Week- you DEFINITELY deserve it!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Mom

Hi Mary

I'd love to have the opportunity to preview your new Music eBook. So excited for you. Well done. PS I love joining in on Collage Friday. Thank you for hosting it.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChareen

You sound so excited about Classical Conversations - what a wonderful feeling! I'm so pleased for you. LOL about Anna taking Homer to the game - love it (I hope it didn't get soggy!) Thanks for hosting.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLula B

I'd be interested in previewing your music e book! Congrats!

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGena

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