My girls just finished 5th grade. That means I’ve homeschooled them for 4 years—-even  through a family tragedy—–and somehow managed to keep us all alive.    I was hanging on by a thread at the end of this school year. I wanted it to be over. I wanted to do anything but finish. But we plowed through and we did it.  Can I get an amen?  Can someone do a hitchkick  for me?

In most subjects, we finished our 5th grade books in March and started new books. Even so, I think I was done in March. But then summer quickly comes to the rescue with her water sports and lazy garden mornings and perfect June nights. It took 2 days for me to realize that I don’t do free time very well. So, I’ve got a (slightly nerdy) plan.

We will be studying the ancients next year in history (the Isrealites, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans) so to prepare for it I enrolled the girls and I  in a Greek Mythology class offered online by Duke University. (Thank you for the recommendation Miss Kimmy!)  We started it this week along with reading the Odyssey.  We try to do our reading/mythology along with our house chores in the mornings and then we have the rest of the day to play.    The Odyssey may in fact be the greatest piece of literature in the Western tradition.  I’m gonna highly encourage you to read it this summer.  I sweet talked my book club into reading it with me too.  C’mon, you know you want to.

Well,  to my girls’ great delight, the course we’re taking deMANded that we watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding as part of one of the lessons this week.  And as much as I loathe tv, we did.   LOVED it all over again.

To prepare myself for this years’ teaching, I’m taking some online courses myself.    The web site is called The Great Courseand offers lectures  in almost any area of specialty you can think of—taught at the college level and self-paced.  I’m currently taking Ancient Egyptians,  The Odyssey,  The Night Sky (the girls and I are doing astronomy next semester!) and Classical Mythology.  I stayed up until midnight last night (which is UNHEARD of for me) to finish my 2nd astronomy lecture and gaze longingly at the night sky.  The lectures are fantastic and I’m giddy about all this scintillating information.

But then again I’m nerdy like that.    I hope we can still be friends.

To balance it all out, I listened to Pink on my run this morning and ate cherry chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.

We’re also listening to the Hobbit when we jump in the car to run errands in preparation for its December 2012 movie debut.

Besides that, we’re doing a lot of free styling in the arts, crafts and water sports categories.

We’ve also taken to some serious popsicle eating.

And when we can’t be found on the screened porch reading or eating popsicles, we’ll be down at the basement porch in one of the rocking chairs.  I’ve got it set up all Cracker Barrel style down there with the rockers all in a country row.  Come on over and sit awhile!

I could talk Odysseus all day long, baby 🙂


your geekiest friend ever,


p.s.  I’m registered for the Circe Conference in July (in Louisville, KY) and wondered if any of you are going?  It’s 8 tickets away from being sold out.  I think it’s going to be epic.  This talk by Andrew Kern called “You Are What You Behold” is so inspiring and pushed me over the edge of wanting to hear more of this same life/educational philosophy.   Hurry and register!


37 comments on “Our (slightly nerdy) Summer Plans”

  1. i just read….ALOUD…to my bookends.
    caroline’s feeling a tad deflated as she “read” ….insert spaziod easily distracted child….for ummmm 56 seconds while smk read “lineage of grace”…a must light read missy… and distracted the stew outta me.
    i think i’m sending her to nerdy edie’s boot camp. she can at the very least, keep hank company.
    in her defense she is becoming a MAC machine….

    • you crack. me. up.
      and she can come to Camp Wadsworth anytime :))))
      we’ll read the odyssey, put on makeup, make friendship bracelets, eat popsicles and do tricks off the dock. and eat cookies. and play with smelly hank.
      what week would she like to sign up for????

  2. read aloud to my bookends…your post. sorry that was confusing.
    wouldn’t want anyone to think we were reading classic literature around here…

  3. I can’t do a hitchkick but I can say a huge AMEN – bravo, Edie. I could eat, sleep, breathe Odyssey all day, too. Looking forward to checking out your new site.


  4. Although I am far from nerdy (I’d much rather be sewing) I like to keep up some sort of school during the summer- otherwise the natives get restless and there is way to much bickering and whining around here. My son just finished the Hobbit and is on to Fellowship of the Rings. It had been awhile (maybe 25 years) since I had read the Hobbit so now I am re-reading it too. My hubby has been talking about reading either the Iliad or the Odyssey aloud this summer- maybe we will take your advise and go for the Odyssey 🙂

    • Amy!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I love your blog and I’ve been such a stalker over the years! I love all your sewing projects and hope to find some time for quilting this summer. It’s not looking all that promising though:)
      Many blessings to you and yours!

  5. Due to the circumstances here we are taking a short break. I do not have everything I need to continue with schooling for now. We have finished most of our curriculum but not all. We are finishing the Odyssey and have enjoyed it. I read it aloud to my son each morning after devotional. I am enjoying the Odyssey much more than the Iliad. I missed our convention this year and wish I could attend another. It is always a time of refreshment and encouragement. I wish I could attend with you.
    Enjoy your most fabulous summer, Miss Edie. Wish I could be there enjoying your glorious porches with you.

    • I wish you could come with me too Ruth! I’m going solo and plan to use the evenings to plan my curriculum for this year. I’ve had you on my mind so much and hope you are doing okay. Much love and prayers,

  6. my kiddos and i
    studied Greek history a little bit last year
    and then continued this year

    we read a kid’s version
    of the Odyssey and while my younger two
    were slightly bored
    my eldest son (13) loved it

    i read it aloud to them during school time
    (it may be geeky of my
    but reading aloud to my kids
    is, like
    my favorite thing evah)

    we are goofy excited
    for the Hobbit film too!

    have fun at your class
    this summer


  7. Sounds heavenly to me. We studied astronomy with Apologia and Ethan learned so much even in third grade. His daddy is very impressed every time he picks out a constellation or a planet in the night sky.

    And just a few hours ago I was going through all my books in preparation for a book sale in the morning (yes, I am a procrastinator) and found Nothing New Press’s Story of the Greeks that I forgot I had. (Happens quite frequently.) I was reading through portions of it wishing I had planned to use it for this coming year. Maybe we’ll delve into it this summer.

    I love listening to The Hobbit on CD. The narrator does a much better job than I at singing all the songs! Have fun!

  8. I was a bit intimidated until I got to: I listened to Pink on my run this morning and ate cherry chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, then I breathed a sigh of relief & knew we could still be friends 🙂 Listen…hear that? It’s me shouting out a big ole “AMEN Sister!!” I truly admire ALL you homeschool moms, I on the other hand struggle helping my boys with their homework, so BIG kudos for doing it all 🙂 Wish I could come sit on your porch with you, I’m sure I’d learn A LOT!

    • Kim, we homeschool and my daughter went to a private school for K & 1st. We had horrible struggles over homework and I was scared to death to homeschool but I think it’s been much easier than helping with homework. I think it’s because the kids are so done by the end of the day. I would also like to say that I’m with you…how can we not adore someone who runs listening to Pink and has cookies for breakfast!

  9. I looove you summer plans. 1. The Hobbit is an all time fave, and thanks for reminding me that I should re-read it in anticipation for the movie (can’t wait!). 2. I have The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony on my bookshelf all ready for a good greek mythology read this summer, 3. how I long for a lake side home for my girls to frolick in. S’pose the slip and slide will have to do =) 4. We just tilled a HUGE 30 by 50 foot garden and can’t wait to get our first harvest of goods.

  10. If I knew what a hitchkick was – I’d attempt one! We are also reading through the Iliad and the Odyssey in two versions this summer – Mary Pope Osborne’s simplified one for the little people and the Kingfisher one for the olders – (I have six kiddos ages 4-14). We love read alouds in the summer – I think it gives you time to chew over great literature! Good for you! And I keep drooling over the Great Courses catalog – maybe I’ll have to finally take the leap!

  11. We’re starting the Iliad and Odyssey this summer, too! I was going to have the kids reenact scenes and take photos to make their own book on Shutterfly or something…but then I realized that was too much!! Sometimes I’m a little ambitious. 🙂

    Your online course sound like fun! One of these days…

  12. We read the Hobbit aloud 2-3 years ago. My 18 year old just graduated from a local Christian high school (to play football!). Several week ago I went downstairs to say “goodnight”. He’s lying in bed rereading to Hobbit! He said he wanted to reread it before he sees the movie.You gotta love a 6’3”, 275lb defensive lineman playing college football this fall who reads The Hobbit in his free time. (One of his other favorites is The Illiad) My other 4 kids (3 teenagers and a 12 yr old) still love to be read to at night. So thankful God lead me to home schooling and The Well-Trained Mind. Thanks for sharing, Edie. You are such a blessing.

  13. Oh, Edie! How I wish we could be neighbors! I could nerd out on The Great Courses as well! I adore our read-aloud time and will need to start on The Odyssey soon as we are also starting again on the Ancients in the fall. We are so looking forward to more Greece and Rome! We finished D’Aulaires Greek Myths and Famous Men of Rome over the last few weeks and miss it already. And for science, we are doing BOTANY!!! I am over the moon about it. But first, we need a few beach trips and Bible school and soccer camp.

  14. Edie, I would LOVE to hear your curriculum picks for 6th grade, which is what I need for my boys!!! I just wrote my letter of intent and have to write my IHIP and I’m getting nervous having to make decisions for 6th!! Any suggestions or help is GREATLY appreciated!!! 🙂

  15. Oh Edie, I love reading about your homeschool adventures and your epic nerdiness–you always give me something to aspire to. We will be covering the ancients this year too, though only at the 1st grade level. Perhaps The Odyssey is a good excuse for a little road trip to Tennessee? 😉

  16. I am so thankful to be able to homeschool. We’ve been at it 13 years and have always done some sort of “school” during the summer…….lots of reading and math about 2 days per week just so we don’t forget. I’ve never heard of cherry chocolate chip cookies but it sounds yummy. I will put away fudge grahams for breakfast though.

  17. Hi-You have so inspired me! Checked the Great Courses site, and am wondering if you recommend CD vs DVD vs Download for the Odyssey…I have never taken a class in either of those formats.
    Thanks so much!

  18. I love My Big Fat Greek Wedding! I purchased it from a $5 bin at Wal-Mart because I love it. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m not married yet and it gives me some hope for the future.

    I just got The Hobbit from the library today. I was debating about waiting until the fall when grad school would be calming down, but then I saw it and realized it was a pretty small book so I decided to get it now. Last fall through early winter, I read The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers & The Return of the King. The previous fall I read The Twilight series in two weeks. I’m going to have to find a series for this coming fall, I guess. Anyone got any suggestions?

  19. I’m a high school literature teacher, and every semester I teach The Odyssey to my 9th graders. There are so many allusions to it in our every day world: phrases (caught between a rock and a hard place i.e Scylla and Charybdis, songs (“Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police, and my minivan, my Honda Odyssey I lovingly named Homer!

    Oh, we bibliophiles know how to party!

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