Western Pennsylvania Usage of Verb Tense, or What Makes Me Twitch

If you have spent any time in western Pennsylvania, you probably understand the struggle of proper verb tense.

verb tense meme

Maybe you’ve heard this:

“I seen them down there.”

“I should have went.”

“He don’t know.”

**cringe** Honestly, some days it’s enough to make my ears bleed. Now, please don’t think I consider myself better than everyone else. I know that I’m not perfect; the only perfect man died on the cross for my sins, so that my imperfect self could be saved, praise God! (Check out John 3:16, if you don’t already know the verse.) However, I try to speak using the best grammar possible. My elementary school teachers were, thankfully, very traditional, and they stressed that speaking well presents you to others in a good light. You sound more intelligent, mature, and professional when you use good grammar as opposed to slang or local colloquialisms. Thus, my attempt to speak properly began, and it is something that I encourage my children to do, as well.


So the other day, after my son told me he “had saw” something, I figured that I needed to up my grammar game for the new homeschool year. I decided to make a worksheet for upper elementary and middle school grades (or any grades, really) to define and help children think about verb usage.


Get your verb tense freebie here!


God Made You Special, and He Loves You Very Much!

You probably think I’m talking about Veggie Tales today. While I adore those little singing, dancing vegetables, this post is about another creation.

Being a cool day, we made a trip to the zoo, hoping that the lower temperature would bring out more animals. It did. Included was this gorgeous white peacock.

I’m saying white peacock, because it is not an albino. Like the Kermode (Spirit bear), this peacock has special genes that make it white, but its lack of color certainly does not diminish its beauty.

Aside from being a great homeschool trip that we’re going to write about using this field trip freebie, that spectacular peacock helped reinforce an important lesson. God created us — each of us — and made us unique.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-16).

The awesome thing about this passage is how it explains that we are all individuals, and we were all formed — wonderfully — by the Lord. God knew how each of us would look, sound, and act before we were even born. It’s really an incredible idea when you consider the power of God. He can do anything, from changing our bad qualities to removing a peacock’s vivid coloring.

So, remember during your homeschool day (and every day) that we are all very different. When it is difficult to deal with our “challenging” children, remember that God made each of them special, because that’s how He wanted them to be.

What About Music?

I grew up listening to 50s and 60s tunes (thanks to my dad) with a side of Sunday school sing-a-longs (thanks to my mom). From there, I branched out to 70s and 80s rock, 90s country, and 00s pop. After that, Christian music became the majority of my listening pleasure. But no matter what sound graced my speakers, or what instrument touched my fingers, it all had a big part in shaping the person I was. Music played a huge role in my husband’s life, as well; that’s why it is such a big part of our homeschool.


This weekend, my family attended a bluegrass festival. For a couple months, my son has been taking banjo lessons (he picked on his own for a couple years prior), and his teacher was playing there with his band. They are all amazing players — multi-state championships, professional playing experience, etc.  Well, the short of it is that they called my son up on stage to play a couple songs with them. He did fantastic; of course, I suppose I am a tad biased. I was so very proud to see my not-so-little guy up there jamming with the big-leaguers.

That moment reinforced for us one of the things we love about homeschooling: the freedom and ease to pursue interests without interfering with schoolwork. Music is schoolwork in our house. And not only that, God wants us to praise Him with music.

“Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!” (Psalm 150:3-5)

Everything that has breath should praise the Lord! So, if music is not already a part of your homeschool, I encourage you to make it a priority for the next school year. My son could be the next Earl Scruggs, but even if he doesn’t make it to the “Big Time,” his gospel tunes will praise the Lord, just as we’re called to do.


May I Be Completely Honest?

I haven’t cracked open my Bible in, probably, close to a month, aside from my Bible study a couple days ago. But in my own time, not once have I opened the cover since sometime in May. This is a pretty staggering statement coming from a Christian homeschool blog. Am I really a Christian? Yes. Do I normally read the Bible on my own? Yes. Do I think the Word is important? Yes. Then why haven’t I read in so long?
The answer is simple: I am human, I am sinful, and I am selfish. I get so busy with this human life, so wrapped up in my personal desires, feeling sorry for myself and wishing that things could be different. Do I pray? Oh, yes, I pray every single day. We pray as a family before each meal. I pray while I drive. I pray as I crawl into bed at night. Sometimes I even pray before my toes touch the carpet in the morning. But my prayers are often one-sided, and that is the problem. 

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4-6).

True prayer is conversation with God, a way for us to ask of and listen to Him. Oh, yeah…listen. I ask ardently for my desires to be fulfilled, but then I go about my day. I thank Him for His many blessings, but then I wallow again in my disappointments. Instead, I need to “delight myself” in God. That means I need to trust that He is there. I need to be still and listen. I need to seek His answers in the Truth. I need to read His Word every day. I need to wait patiently.

Then, and only then, will “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding…guard [my heart and my mind] in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Then, and only then, will I find the answers I seek.

Summer Learning – Part 3

I grew up a writer. I wrote all the time, on my own time. I loved it. What made it so much fun was that it wasn’t about writing a five-paragraph essay; it was about being creative, being experimental, and being me. In this final part of the summer learning series, I’ll offer some ideas for incorporating writing (both handwriting and composition) into summertime fun. Continue reading “Summer Learning – Part 3”

Summer Learning – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I reviewed some math lessons and games that make a great part of your daily summer routine. Our children worked hard this past school year to raise their level of learning, and we want to ensure that they will not lose those recent educational accomplishments. In Part 2, I’m addressing reading. Like math, reading is a necessary life skill, so working it in as often as possible is important. If you have a child who enjoys reading, it isn’t a problem. Get a library card, if you don’t already (I know…homeschoolers and the library!), and check out as many books as your little darling wants. If you have a child who needs to be persuaded to open that cover, try one of these ideas.

Reading Lessons for Summer Continue reading “Summer Learning – Part 2”

Summer Learning – Part 1

Summer vacation has begun in our house! While I’m extremely glad for the break (and I’m sure that the kids are, too), my years of teaching tell me that no school for the entire summer is bad for learning. I know that much can be learned by simply living and having fun each day; grocery store trips, playground stops, nature walks, and even backyard play are all educationally excellent. But subjects such as math, reading, and writing (both composition and handwriting) can take a deep dive to the bottom when ignored for a couple of months.

So, what can be done to keep learning afloat this summer? In this three-part series, I’ll address how to incorporate the three Rs into brief, maybe even entertaining, summer lessons. First up is math. Continue reading “Summer Learning – Part 1”



In Deuteronomy 11:18-21, we are told to teach our children about the Lord. What better way is there to teach them than by homeschooling? At least, that’s the opinion here at The Living Room Schoolhouse.

We are a Christian homeschooling site aimed at providing helpful tips and resources for homeschooling, as well as information about Christian living. We strive to acknowledge God’s hand and his infinite blessings every day, in all we do. Our home is where we live and learn. Please come in and join us!