The Family that Plays Together

Fourteen years ago my husband and I made the decision to homeschool.  One of the main reasons we made this choice was because we wanted to have meaningful relationships with our children.

A Valued Commodity: Time

We know that in order to have the strong relationship we want with each of our children, and to nurture the strong relationship we want each child to have with his siblings means that we must create the time. Learning at home has offered us that valued commodity.

We spend hours together–before, during, and after our studies.

We’ve also tried to intentionally set aside time to just play with our children. Making this a priority has given us opportunities to watch our children’s different personalities all interacting within the family unit.

Photo by Loving Legacy Photography

Here are some ways we play together as a family:

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New on Simple Bites: How to Help Your Child Embrace Food

Is there a fussy eater in your home? If so, you’ll appreciate what Cheryl is sharing today over at Simple Bites.

From her post:

“We make the finding, the preparing, and the sitting down together to eat central to eating, not just the act of putting food in our mouths. Food is part of life, something to celebrate and give us energy.

Food is not a call to arms.”

Head over to Simple Bites to read the rest…

Great Books for an Outdoors Education

Our family recently returned from our annual winter camping trip. Three wonderful days of backpacking, sleeping in a wood heated cabin, hiking to ocean lookouts, eating trail food, playing cards, sharing stories and many laughs. The woods and mountains, any time of year, are two of our family’s favorite places to be together.

Coming down from the natural high of that experience, and reflecting on the many other hikes we’ve had together, I believe strongly that an outdoors education isn’t about books at all.

It’s about actually being out there: tromping through the woods, climbing mountains, combing the seashore and exploring caves–discovering with your own senses the natural wonders of this world.

You can’t have firsthand nature experiences through reading alone, no matter how well written a book is. But you can support your outdoor studies with some good books in hand.

Here are a few to get you started:

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How to Homeschool with a Baby or Toddler (& Enjoy It!)

When I was first considering homeschooling, it overwhelmed me to think of teaching multiple children. How do you orchestrate the day so that everyone gets enough attention?

And what if you find yourself blurry eyed from lack of sleep because of a sweet newborn? Or in the races as you daily chase a never-stay-put toddler?

Is it possible to successfully homeschool with little ones underfoot?
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Weekend Links

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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