July Homeschool Mother’s Journal

In my life last month…

June has been a peaceful month. We cleared our schedule to help my mom recover from her knee surgery, but she surprised us all and recovered much sooner than we expected. That has given us a lot of time to rest in ways that we needed.

This past year I have been all about taking care of others. That's what moms do when tragedy hits their families right?! When my sister passed away, I shifted into care-taking for everyone; everyone but myself.

In the months that followed, I tried to hold everything and everyone together. In the process, I gained 35 pounds and bottled up all of my emotions. By the end of the school year, I was depleted of everything. At that point, I decided that something needed to change, and I started with my diet.

Since the first of May, I've lost 15 pounds. Combined with what I've lost since September, my total is 30 pounds. The best part is that I feel better when I eat better foods. Once I started down the right path with my food, I had to deal with all of the emotions I'd been avoiding. I wasn't quite prepared for facing my emotions.

When you avoid looking at your grief, sometimes you need someone to help you walk through it. I found a local Christian counselor to talk to, and she's been helping me navigate the incredible loss I faced last year. It was a really scary step for me. When I'd sought help in the past, the results were not so encouraging. Thankfully, this experience has been much better.

As I've taken time to care for myself this month, I've realized how important it is to care for myself. It's not actually selfish, but rather the best way I can serve my family. When I'm healthy, I can engage in building genuine relationships with my husband and kids. That's the best blessing of health I can have.


In our homeschool this month…

I realized that in the past year with all of the distractions of our family grief, there were some things that fell through the cracks. We've been working slowly to make up lost time. It has been refreshing to focus on just a couple of things and see progress. This has been the first summer we have successfully kept up with our math, and that is pretty much thanks to CTC Math.

Over the past six weeks, we've spent a little over 20 hours learning with MindPlay Programs and we've had incredible results for my youngest who still struggles with reading. She went from barely being able to spell "fact" to spelling "destroying" with great confidence! It has been incredible to see her improvements, and I can't wait to see how she'll grow in understanding in the next 20 hours of play!

What We're Reading…

When I was at a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum, a mom asked me, "When does Classical Conversations cultivate a love of reading for reading's sake?" I thought it was a very interesting question.

My answer was pretty simple: in the Challenge program, we read for wisdom. With every book we read, we ask simple questions to decide whether the characters in the stories made wise decisions. That seems like a pretty good reason to read. During the summers, we read for fun.

I feel like the two work well together. It's important to learn to read both ways. This summer, my kids have enjoyed reading for pleasure. Here's what they've read so far:

What We're Streaming…

So lets face it: even though I am a crazy book lover, in the summer, we still like to binge out on Netflix series. I loved finding this article about how to block certain shows on your kids profile. It's totally worth reading.

Here are some of our recent favorites:

For the Kids:

  • Free Rein - After befriending a mysterious horse during a summer in the English countryside, 15-year-old Zoe finds the strength to deal with issues she faces.
  • Heartland - A multi-generational saga set in Alberta, Canada and centered on a family getting through life together in both happy and trying times.

For the Adults:

  • The Crown - Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.
  • Leverage - A crew of high-tech crooks attempt to steal from wealthy criminals and corrupt businessmen.

On my blog in case you missed it...


Click below to get a peek behind the scenes of other homeschool moms:


  1. Dianna A. on July 7, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your sister. I understand how that can go into “caretaker” mode and how that can cause you to actually to neglect yourself. I lost my dad 4 years ago and my father-in-law this past January, so I’ve been there twice. Now I’m trying to take care of myself in order to take better care of those around me.

    I found you through the Homeschool Mother’s Journal link up.

    • Betsy on July 7, 2017 at 10:18 am

      So sorry for your loss! I lost my dad a little over 12 years ago. It can really be hard to feel permission to grieve and take care of yourself. I’m happy to hear that you’re caring for yourself too! Seems counter-intuitive, but it’s surprisingly important!

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