About Heidi

Heidi documents Living Lovely at her blog, Mt. Hope Chronicles. There she celebrates (in words and images) her journey as wife, homeschooling mother of three rambunctious boys, photographer, book collector, and lover of the little things.

Classical Conversations: An Introduction

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles

For many families, homeschooling is a much broader reality than the designation implies. The variety of educational opportunities is steadily increasing along with the realization that school isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Tutoring groups, homeschool co-ops, community classes, umbrella schools, field trips, online classes — sometimes the sheer quantity of choices is staggering. And very often homeschooling families find themselves out of the home for one or more days each week.

After several years without outside commitments, my family chose to join a local Classical Conversations community this year and found it a perfect fit for our needs. When I was first introduced to the program I had so many questions, and it took a while for me to decide whether it would be right for us.

Now that we’ve been participating for several months, I can say that it has been a wonderful opportunity for my boys. I would love to share some details about Classical Conversations. [Read more...]

Heidi’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 4-, 6-, 9-year-old, & baby, too!)

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles.

The beautiful days of quiet rhythms. The hush of early morning productivity. The year in, year out steady march of progress. Do you wistfully wonder how to transform your home into this wonder-land of peace and earnest learning?

You won’t learn how from me.

We have spent the past year in survival mode. Pregnancy (which I’m afraid I didn’t handle gracefully), a newborn, illnesses, and a husband whose work routine changed drastically challenged my notions of what a homeschool day ‘should’ look like. Add in three young, extroverted, physical boys, and quiet anything was all but impossible.

I have embraced the concept of life seasons. It is counterproductive for me to dream of days that belong in a season other than the one I’m in.

After a period of letting go of expectations and riding the waves of life, we are using the freshness of a new year to move into a season of more focused academics.

We spend Monday mornings at our Classical Conversations group, and the rest of our week we spend learning at home. As our rhythm has yet to find a steady beat, I’ll share a specific day rather than a general routine.

[Read more...]

Christmas Around the World

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles

Christmas is a beautiful season of celebration. I love the comfort of familiar traditions, but I also enjoy discovering new ways to share the delights of the season with my children while learning about the world around us.

We read stories, listen to music, and research online to discover how families in other countries celebrate Christmas. Often, we are inspired to go a little further, such as learning how to fold origami cranes with which to decorate our tree.

While we’ve enjoyed our brief ‘visits’ to other countries, three celebrations in particular have become family traditions that we look forward to every year.

[Read more...]

Green Friday

Written by contributor Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles

As our home school heads into the holidays, we tend to stray from the beaten path of desk work, adding activities and outings into our schedule as often as possible. The festive months of November and December are ripe with possibilities.

Pumpkin patches and corn mazes, musical performances of all kinds, unit studies about Pilgrims or early American traditions, Christmas celebrations from around the world (I’ll be sharing more about those next month), our special holiday collection of books and music, Advent reading and activities, and creative giving opportunities all play a part in our broadened studies.

Thanksgiving weekend, in particular, is a special time of family and feasting, and one of our favorite traditions is Green Friday.

The boys and I are ready to embrace the changing seasons and more than ready for a little fresh air. Rather than fight crowds at the popular shopping locations, we head straight out of town for a nature hike–buckets in hands and anticipation in hearts.

Here are a few tips for enjoying a Green Friday celebration of your own:

[Read more...]

How to Take Your Own School Photos

Written by contributor Heidi Scovel of Mt. Hope Chronicles

The yearly, right-of-passage school photos were something I couldn’t decide whether to love or hate as a child. I remember the anticipation of being handed the envelope with my pictures, praying they had turned out well. And the dread of the teacher showing everyone (yes, that happened) when they hadn’t.

Haven’t we all looked back at some of our own school photos and cringed, whether it was the outrageous perm, the out-of-style glasses, or the braces? Or maybe it was the one shot we had at a decent facial expression.

But now that I am (much, much) older, I look at those pictures with a certain fondness. The regularity with which they occurred made it easy to see how much I changed and grew from year to year.

It can be easy as homeschooling families to set aside some of the institutional school traditions, or reject the cookie-cutter, conveyor-belt photography. We don’t need to throw out the baby with the bath water, however. Our children grow and change so quickly, that if we don’t take the time to capture them in a picture (quirks and all), those moments will be gone forever.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. ~Dorothy Lange

Making a tradition of back to school photos is a great way to ensure that you and your children will possess consistent reminders of who they were and who they became.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

[Read more...]

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