Creating and Preserving Life Margins

In my closet, I have a box of old letters from my middle and high school years. They are intricately folded and full of the silly ramblings of girlfriends and the awkward advances of a boy or two. Every square inch of these letters is filled, making them difficult to read. Sentences twist, curl and crowd into the margins along with stickers, song lyrics and doodles.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to let our adult lives look like the crowded pages of our childhood letters–with not a scrap of white space to be had.

It can be particularly tempting for homeschoolers to fill up the empty spaces in our days. We feel like we have more time, so we should be doing more. We want to participate in every worthy endeavor, to squeeze the last drop out of every learning opportunity.

Yet I know something now that I didn’t know back when my girlfriends and I were writing those cluttered letters. Clean margins are essential to making a legible document, and also to creating a nurturing home life.
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How to Show Your Kids You’re Still Learning

Our kids know that their education must be important to us–that’s why we’ve chosen to homeschool.

But can they tell that our own education is also important to us? Are we modeling the characteristics of lifelong learning we hope to instill in them?

This topic always brings to mind the leadership education principle of “Inspire, Not Require.” Through a few simple actions, we can convey to our kids that learning never stops–that it’s part of this great adventure called life.

Here are three  ways to show that you’re still learning.
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Weekend Links

“And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” ~ Maria Montessori

Educational Goals for the Whole Child

Have you ever just sat and gazed at your child, wondering: Who is this person? What is she feeling? What is he thinking? What moves her? What does he aspire to be?

After researching, dreaming, and planning my children’s education even before they were born, I have found it to be a fundamental shift in my parenting life as I realize that their education isn’t about me.

The boys I am raising and teaching are individual people. Children who have their own thoughts and desires.

These children in our care will become adults with their own lives.

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Nurturing Your Child for Success

Albert Einstein once said, “It is, in fact, nothing short a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.”

I like the plant analogy, especially here at the beginning of spring. Our innate desire to learn is like a seedling.

You don’t have to convince it to grow. You don’t even have to show it how to grow. All it needs is the right conditions and it will produce flowers or fruits or vegetables.

That’s another thing about plants–there are a million varieties!

That led me to ponder… [Read more…]