Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Homeschooler's Handbag

I am quite sure I would never have predicted that I would choose to blog the contents of my purse.  Maybe once, long ago when my kids were babies or toddlers, but that would have been a(n all too brief) passing fancy.  You see, I don't really even think of myself as a "purse" kinda gal much of the time; if I can fit what I need for a shopping trip into my pockets, off I go unencumbered, no worries about leaving that dang thing that always falls off of my shoulder anyway behind somewhere.

However, with homeschooling, we often have a bit more than I can jam into my jeans pockets or even a coat pocket, and the purse has been coming along, if I can get away with less than a backpack.  My Mom gave me a nice Stone Mountain bag, and it's a nice intermediate step without being a shoulder suitcase.  Today we headed out for an afternoon at the rec center for swimming, karate, and gymnastics and a little change of scenery work zone, and as I started pulling out some work for Son#2, I looked again at my bag and realized its contents probably did not match up well with the handbags of the other moms sitting nearby.

So, keeping in mind that this is not a large bag, but is owned by a person whose family used to pack 2 adults, 3 children, a tank of goldfish, and a very large dog, and everything we needed for a 3 month summer on the family farm into a Plymouth Valiant, here is what is packed into one Stone Mountain handbag on a random day for an afternoon outing:

  •  Today's newspaper, for discussing current events
  • Learning Latin Through Mythology, for a fun supplemental exercise for today
  • Pages from Lively Latin 1, because Son#1 didn't finish that yet today (history/language focus week)
  • Notebooking paper in case we need to write anything down that we talk about or someone wants to journal
  • Workbook for R&S Grammar 3, because Son#2 didn't finish that yet today
  • Coolidge's Caesar's Gallic War, in case Son#1 wants to read
  •  Polland's Beorn the Proud, in case Son#2 wants to read
  • Nook, in case I want to read
  • Wipes, in case we stop and picnic somewhere or just have a mess to clean up.
  • Roger Lancelyn Green's The Adventures of Robin Hood, so we can finish our Group Reading
  • Tissues
  • Photo album (just found this!  It's been in there for years!)
  • ipod touch, ipad, checkbook (wrote 3 checks last year!  Woot!)
  • 3 mechanical pencils and 2 pens.
  • 1 small legal notebook for my notes in case batteries go out on electronics
  •  Plastic baggies for random samples during walks and excursions (rocks, flowers, bugs . . . )
  • Dental floss.  Usual uses, plus more--- you'd be surprised.

Next week I am sure it will change (heck, it will probably change tomorrow) as next week is science and math focus week, so you're more likely to find a Singapore workbook and something related to chemistry or a copy of Usborne's Easy German in there, depending upon the day of the week or the time of day.  

So now I ask the question:  What ends up in your purse that marks you as a homeschooler, either routinely, or when you're just "going mobile?"

--Thanks for Reading!

PS:  I have not forgotten to write my "Race to Nowhere" post.  It's coming, I promise!
PPS:  No, I will not weigh this handbag on a scale.  Anyone reporting this post to my physical therapist will be set Latin declinations and sentence diagrams in three languages before they can say, "traction."


  1. I'm a stubborn home schooler. My purse has wallet, checkbook, pens, an old palm pilot, a lamb nipple and the last cow blood sample tube I forgot to drop off with the others. That's usually about it .. Just this month I did finally add an old Go phone that I finally jumped on someone's "friends and family" plan so now I actually have to keep it turned on in case I ever give out my number.

  2. I'm not really a purse carrier either. I have one and I like to leave it in my car instead of carrying it inside. I just stick the phone, debit card, and cash in my pockets and we're ready to go!

    If I know we'll be *stuck* somewhere for a while (dr appts or extra time in between errands), I don't even take my purse....I take a BAG! Ha! Little notebooks and pencils for journaling, books for each child, my Kindle (for reading and playing games), sometimes a card game, sometimes coloring books and crayons, sometimes extra or unfinished schoolwork(although mostly I make my kids carry their own unfinished schoolwork since they were the ones who didn't finish it..ha!), and Kleenex.

  3. I keep my Kindle in case we have some time to kill ... then I can read to them.

  4. I really like your blog. Would you give a little review of Latin Through Mythology? It sounds like an interesting book from what I read on amazon, but what's your take? Thanks. :)

  5. Hi Kathleen,

    When we have done more of it, I'll be happy to do that! It will be from a non-pro perspective; I have a great background personally and/or professionally in math, various sciences, and a few other topics, but Latin is one subject where we are on shakier ground in our house. I might well love something that makes people who have truly studied the language to competence shudder! I can tell you this: It has been a fun way to get some translation practice that is more secular in nature (I once downloaded a resource that was supposed to be great according to other reviewers-- can't remember what it was-- and the first thing my kids translated was something along the lines of going to hell. We stopped using that one! I just acquired Minimus, which is supposed to be good, too (and secular). When the kids finish Prima Latina (8YO) and Big Book of Lively Latin 1 (11YO), we might work through Minimus together before they move on to BBLL1 and BBLL2, just for variety.