Patches and Peas, by Briana Elizabeth

Another Christmas has come and gone, and a new year has started. Some years we’ve easily picked back up with schooling, and other years it’s been terribly hard, almost to the point of feeling like we were brand new homeschoolers, and not veterans. It’s a comforting thing to get back to routine, as much as it is to celebrate.

What really helps me with changes like that (which I forgot this year) is music. It’s so simple, but music as a transitional tool is amazingly effective. I’m a person that normally has music playing quietly in the background all the time, but this year, once the Christmas CDs and records were tucked away to wait another year, I forgot to go back to the school music standards that we always listen to. Just like when I put my apron on to start my work day (do you use an apron? You should! Voila, it’s time for business. If you’re lucky, like me, you have your Nana’s aprons.) I also put music on in the school room. Nothing modern, nothing obtrusive, but just a quiet, beautiful melody in the background that is familiar, and says, “Now is the time to work.” For us, it’s Treasures of English Church Music. If I remember correctly, I purchased it because Memoria Press recommended it for learning Latin (do you have their Lingua Angelica? It’s wonderful, truly) , and it was just so beautiful, it became a constant in our lives. Bach is another one of my favorites. Another mentioned to me is from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles titled Angels and Saints. If you can get to a library sale, they normally have classical CDs for pennies. Grab some. Go through them, find your favorites, or last but not least, find the classical station on the radio. They might complain at first, but I promise they will grow to love it. And they will learn to love beautiful music, too.

A lot has been going on in the Sandbox. We’ve added some new authors, and we took this month to republish some oldies but goodies. Vera’s The Baby is the Lesson  is always a great reminder that homeschooling isn’t just about school, it’s about life. If you have been wanting to start a foreign language, or just need some encouragement, Lynne’s Foreign Language at Our House is a must!

Also, not that you need reminding, but if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s almost February. Which means that there could be a February Slump. The good thing is that it’s not just you, it happens to a lot of us, and forewarned is forearmed. Prepare! Rely on some Hygge, and plan on packing it all up for the day and sleigh riding, ice skating, or museum visiting. Force some cherry branches, or forsythia. Do a Winter Pond Study. Spring will come. And don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook, or sign up for automatic e-mail updates so you don’t miss a post!


Briana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.

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