3 Lessons Learned for the Beginner Homeschooler

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

Eleven years ago our family started this home education journey with the birth of our oldest child. We never did try a public or private school option. Homeschooling is all we know.

Our family’s experience is limited to elementary aged education. So I’m certainly no expert on the subject of homeschooling, but I have learned a few lessons of my own along the way. Perhaps these are even more important than what my children have learned.

We’re all learning together and that’s one of the amazing benefits of home education.

These “lessons learned,” and still being learned, have come out of my insecurities and the question, “Am I doing this right?”

I hope what I’ve learned will be an encouragement if you’re just starting out or like me, have been at this a few years.

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Healthy Obsessions

Written by Amida of Journey into Unschooling

At one time or another, children will go through phases where they are consumed by a subject or hobby. Through the years, we’ve been taken over by Calvin and Hobbes, Harry Potter, and Horrible History, among a host of other infatuations.

Sometimes, these may not be desirable to us. We may not always understand or see the possible educational benefits of leafing through piles of Captain Underpants. It may even cross our minds to limit their exposure to these passing crazes and replace them with something more beneficial or academic.

I think though, that a little obsession does a body good.

It is at these moments of intense study that one really learns. When my eight-year-old was into Pokemon, he pored over a 600-plus guide day and night and studied the ins and outs of the trading card game, learned every character’s weaknesses and strengths, and became the household’s best player.

Sure, we may think Pokemon is nothing, but to that eight-year-old, it was a source of pride and accomplishment — something he was very good at. [Read more…]

Curriculum Choices :: Resources for Character Education

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Character education is a long-term project. For many of us, it’s one of the reasons we homeschool–to be a guiding force in our child’s character development. Personally I hope my children will become young men and women of character ready to take on, challenge, and change the world around them when the time is right.

Much of character training has to do with modeling, being an influence throughout the course of our child’s entire lifetime.

But there are certain occasions when you may want a tool to point you in the right direction or provide a launching platform from which to discuss virtues with your child. At other times we may notice specific behaviors that we’d like to address in a creative (non-nagging) manner.

Resources our family has found helpful:

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Remodeling: When Homeschooling Plans Go Awry

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Stefani Austin of Blue Yonder Ranch

It was a good plan. It was a simple, doable, good plan.

Step 1:  Clean, organize and paint the boys’ bedrooms while they were away at camp.

Step 2: Finish outlining our homeschooling plans for the year.

Step 3: On July 5th, walk together, hand in hand, into a new year of learning.

Right.

“Everyone has plans… until they get hit.”

-Mike Tyson

Around the time the ink was drying on my freshly made plans, my husband, dear man, picked up a hammer and smashed them to pieces.

See, he grew up in our house. He loves it deeply. So when I brought out the paint samples something inside him cracked. He began festering over all that our home could be and promptly lost his mind.

Painting became moving everything out of the boys’ rooms and ripping up the carpet. That led to taking out the carpet in the hallway, which led to pulling it out of our bedroom, which, in the end, led to moving everything we own into the garage and removing every square inch of flooring in our home.

And that was only the beginning. [Read more…]

Sharing a Love of Reading: Book Clubs for Young People

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

Have you ever finished reading a book and craved to share the experience with someone? Maybe you wanted to find out if they loved the same characters, if they identified with the emotional theme, if they were frustrated by certain events, or if they understood why the author chose to weave the story in a certain way.

My most favorite way to treat myself socially, emotionally, and intellectually is to attend a monthly book club. I’ve been involved with the same wonderful group of ladies for over six years. We each anticipate the evenings of sharing our love of reading. Through this connection, we deepen our understanding not only of the books we read, but also ourselves.

Our children can benefit in the same ways when they are regularly involved with friends, family members, or mentors who encourage their appetite for books and the ideas within.

For homeschooling families, book clubs may also be a valuable way for children to gain experience and confidence sharing their thoughts and ideas within a group atmosphere.

The possibilities for book clubs are as endless as one’s imagination, but I’d like to share a few spring-board ideas for organizing groups for young people.

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