Posted in family adventure, homeschool, Uncategorized

Family RV Adventure 2017, Part Two

Part two of this RV Adventure was an overall favorite of our family!

Summer has been busy and lazy at the same time, so, this week, I am catching up on our road trip!  If you missed part one, find it here:

We traveled from the Grand Canyon through some of the most remote country I could even imagine.  We only passed a few houses in the first 3 hours of driving! The wind in this area was almost frightening! Driving in a 30 foot RV and whipping wind in one direction made me trust in my husbands driving abilities even more than before!  He literally struggled to keep the RV on the road at times.

We traveled through Marble Canyon (google it, it’s amazingly beautiful) and through the North Rim area of the Grand Canyon and over to Zion National Park.

Notice the large boulder on top of this house!
Marble Canyon


We arrived at the Zion River RV Resort and Campground (about a 4 hour trip from the Grand Canyon) and relaxed for the remainder of this traveling day.   The grounds were immaculate, and the showers/bathrooms were mom approved (unlike the Grand Canyon campground showers).

At the showers late that night, a few of us were waiting outside on one of the boys to finish.  A lady and her daughter walked up and sat down.  It’s such a small world, y’all! She is a fellow homeschooling mom, a friend of friends that we have known for years.  They live 20 minutes from us in Georgia. And, we stayed at the same campground in Utah for the same two nights!  Crazy!

Zion National Park was on the agenda for the next day.  We heard rumors that the parking filled up by 8 or  9 am, so we planned to leave early.  This is so not our usual! We don’t go anywhere early!  But, this time, we made it to Zion by about 7:30 am!

Almost to the entrance to Zion National Park

The main part of Zion is in a sort of valley in between towering rocks on both sides! So, visitors park at the Visitors Center and ride free, propane fueled shuttles to the different stops.

There are truly no words for the beauty of God’s creation in this park!

Our first stop was the lodge.  We decided to hike the Emerald Pool trail, which takes you to a waterfall and Emerald Pool.  A new term I learned from this hike was scrambling.  Some of the hike was nice, more manicured trail, and some was rock that you had to scramble over (kind of like climb but not as much of an incline).


When our family hikes, Ella and I are in the back trying our hardest to keep up with the fit, athletic boys who walk lightning fast.  It was a good workout for the two of us! We came back down a different trail and, because the boys get so far ahead, they took a wrong turn, and we were separated for a short time!


We ended this trail back at the lodge.  Next, we traveled further into Zion to the Narrows and the Riverwalk Trail.  The Narrows are a trail that visitors can actually hike in the river.  It was some of the coldest water I have ever experienced.  The views from there were simply one of a kind!


There were several other hikes that we didn’t try!  One was called Angel’s Landing, where the trail is the only surface and to each side is cliffs!  My husband says this is a must do on the next trip to Zion.

We stayed at  the Zion River Resort again that night.

We left out early the next morning for Bryce Canyon.  The path to Bryce was beautiful! There was still snow on the ground on the top of one of the mountains we crossed (our trip was in the end of May).


Bryce Canyon was my favorite park of all of the ones we visited. We drove through the park and then settled on a hike at the Sunset and Sunrise Point trails.

We started the hike at Sunset Point.  The hike allowed us to experience the canyon from the very bottom, which provided amazing views of the hoodoos!  The trail was sandy and fairly easy to maneuver! This trail took us to the Queen’s Garden trail and the Navajo Loop trail. We ended at Sunrise Point.  I rate this hike as my favorite of all time!  It is a great family hike and short enough for a new hiker!  The views are unmatched!

The weather was perfect for hiking with a little breeze!  We eventually put on sweatshirts by the end of the hike.



We got to our campground for the night in a small town called Panguitch, Utah by about 10 pm.  We woke the next morning and were on the road again.

This was another remote trip to what seemed like the middle of nowhere!  We had booked a campground called Thousand Lakes RV Park for this night in Torrey, Utah.


We checked into the campground and went to explore Capitol Reef National Park.  This is one of the least visited National Parks. The trails do not have large parking lots and there is no transportation like Zion offered.


We hiked to one of the arches at Capitol Reef.

We did one hike in Capitol Reef and spent the evening at the campground.



The views were just too spectacular to do anything else!

Have you traveled out west? In an RV? What is the most remote area you have been to?



Posted in homeschool, Uncategorized

What does classical education mean for us?

We have homeschooled for seven years!

Most people have ideas about what they think homeschooling means.

Are we a cult? Do we think we know better than public schoolers? Do we watch movies all day? Do we sleep late sometimes?

NO! NO! and NO! and Yes, of course the kids sleep in!  You don’t wake a sleeping baby!

We are a bunch of mostly crunchy moms who love our children and feel called to do this home education thing. We enjoy our CC day because that means adult conversation!

For us, homeschooling means freedom!  Boys have energy!  Homeschooling allows them the freedom to learn in different ways than public school does!

We have been a part of a Classical Conversations community for six years.  Classical education simply means memorizing tons of information in the early years to create a bank of knowledge for later years.

The younger children learn facts in seven subjects over 24 weeks each year.  The subjects include geography, English grammar, math, history, science, Latin and timeline!

CC includes 3 cycles of information covered over three years, so my kids are learning World History for two years and U.S. history for one year.  We meet as a community once a week!

Math stays the same each year.  The memorization includes skip counting to the 15’s and measurements and formulas.

Luke is a 2nd grader.  He started CC Foundations before he was actually in a class. He was two years old when we started with the older boys.  He sat in class with me though.  CC has moms in class with the kids.  Class is led by a parent tutor, mom is always considered the teacher (because we homeschool).  He played with cars in the floor and absorbed the information covered during class.  He entered an official class when h was 4.  This is his fourth year in a Foundations class.

As time has passed for us, I have noticed more and more the value of Classical Conversations.  This year, he is beginning to transition to multiplication in math.  He knows the multiplication tables through skip counting like the back of his hand!  He is breezing through what could be a very difficult transition from addition and subtraction to multiplication. I can only imagine how the information they have absorbed from the 7 subjects will enhance their learning!

My kids love CC day. So do I! Ella will be in a class next year. Samuel is currently in Challenge 1! Dillon will enter Challenge A after completing 6 years of Foundations and 2.5 years of Essentials!

Look for a future post on Essentials!  Intense English grammar and writing!

Posted in homeschool

Seven years of homeschooling


We started homeschooling seven years ago! Seven years!!! I cannot even fathom how that is possible!!

Homeschooling found us!!! I fought the nudging of God to do this crazy thing for a few years! I always knew deep down that we would find ourselves here, though! Contrary to what some people may think, we do not hate the public school or the kids there. We both grew up in public school. Sometimes, the Lord calls you to do something different. To step out in faith.

We have enjoyed many aspects of homeschooling, but everyday is not a picnic! It’s hard work, serious commitment, and major responsibility. If my child is not reading, it’s my responsibility. If my child doesn’t get algebra, it’s my responsibility.


Thankfully, we have found so many wonderful ways to make this homeschooling journey work!

The best thing to ever happen to our homeschool has been Classical Conversations!

We have been a part of a community for 6 of the 7 years that we have homeschooled.

We now have a student in Challenge 1 (equivalent to 9th grade), a student in Essentials ( Andrew Pudewa makes for a great girls night out), two students in Foundations and one in the nursery.

Foundations literally rocks my world! It makes so much sense to have my kids memorize like little mad men!!! They can absorb tons more than  we think!

Over 400 pieces of information every single year.

That covers 7 subjects. This information will be in their sweet little brains forever like the alphabet song and Jesus Loves Me.

Leigh Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations, must be a truly amazing woman!!!

The Foundations guide…full of goodness and truth!

This morning, we did a geography quiz. I worked with D (11) yesterday, and today was L’s turn. He is 8 years old and knows the exact location of places I never heard of until I started CC with my kids.

He can point to Latvia, the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Carpathian Mountains, Barcelona, and the list goes on.  This is on an unlabeled black and white map!

My favorite part of homeschooling, though, has been read aloud time! Our favorite read alouds of all time have been The Little House On the Prarie series and books by Gloria Repp!!! We love the mild mystery and details in her books!!

Some of our favorite Gloria Repp books!


This homeschooling journey is well worth the sacrifice!

Would I love a day off occasionally? Of course!

Do we drive each other totally crazy some days? Oh yes!!!!

Our bond as a family is strong, though! That does my mom heart good!!