Archives for September 2010

Organize Your Homeschooling Day: How to Start and Stay on Track

The following is a guest post by Anne Fischer.

“Mom, what do we have left?”

“Are we done yet?”

“Do we have to do spelling today?”

Field any of these questions before?

Creating a relaxed and flexible homeschooled atmosphere while allowing a child to have a sense of security and predictability about the day is a balance to achieve. Most days my little guy can handle a change with ease. But on occasion my lack of organization, or factors out of my control, bring him to a point of frustration.

If you have ever found yourself in the same situation, here are a few ideas to help your homeschool routine stay on track. [Read more…]

What Do YOU Want to Learn This Year?

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

It’s the end of September and by now many homeschooling families have discovered a new rhythm for a new school year. Most of our time as homeschooling parents is spent focused, as it should be, on helping the little people in our care get the education we know they deserve.

I also try to keep in mind, however, that I hope not only to teach my children, but to inspire them to learn. In order to do so, I need to be putting forth an effort at continuing my own education as well.

How can we go about learning with so many other to-dos on our full plates? [Read more…]

Weekend Links

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

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Addressing Reluctance in Your Homeschool

Last month we talked about balancing academics with character building. Truly we can’t have one without the other. As I mentioned then,

We have the privilege and responsibility to help our children grow into responsible, diligent, persevering, kind adults. We are not just shaping their minds, we are guiding their characters into adulthood.

But how do we make this happen? What do you do when your third grader miraculously disappears when you bring out the math books? How do you respond when your enthusiasm for history and literature fall on deaf ears? How do we handle the whines, grumbles, and general reluctance as relates to school studies?

If you and your child have engaged in formal study for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered moments of

  • Do I have to?
  • I don’t wanna….
  • I won’t.

Ah yes, there’s the rub. As we live the life of both parent and teacher, challenges present themselves. Parenting is hard enough sometimes, but then children drag their feet through what should be a stimulating, educational, enriching moment.

While there is no foolproof, one-size-fits-all, answer to this dilemma, there are things you can do as a parent and a teacher. Read the cues from your child because he may be communicating a number of different reasons for his reluctance.

Considering the following questions may help you get to the bottom of the struggles. [Read more…]

Waldorf Toys: Choosing the Best Educational Toys for Your Children

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Sarah Baldwin of Bella Luna Toys and Moon Child

As a Waldorf kindergarten teacher, one of my favorite “parent evenings” to offer was on the subject of toys and play. Over the years, I don’t think there was a single parent who walked away from such a meeting without a new consciousness about choosing healthy playthings for his or her children.

At the outset of our meeting, I explained how a young child learns about the world through all her senses. Unlike adults, a baby or toddler does not rely solely on her sense of sight, and make quick judgments about things based on a visual perception.

When it comes to toys, a baby will grasp a toy, feel it, smell it and put it in her mouth. Did you know that along with the fingertips, ours lips are full of nerve-endings and one of the most sensitive parts of our body?

Experiencing Toys Blindfolded

Well, I didn’t really blindfold them, but I asked parents to close their eyes and not to peek. Then I would hand each parent a different toy.

I would randomly hand out an assortment of toys from a typical child’s toy box–a Barbie doll, a metal toy car, an action figure, a baby doll with plastic head and limbs, Legos, plush animals, a My Little Pony, toys that make noise, and so forth.

Other parents would be handed toys typically found in a Waldorf early childhood classroom–things like a smooth river stone, a Waldorf doll made of cotton and wool, carved wooden animals, play silks, a wooden toy car, a handmade puppet or a shell.

I asked the parents to feel each toy, smell it, touch it to their cheek, and taste it (as a young child would) if they dared! After the adult had an experience of one toy, he would hold it up and I would place the opposite type of toy in his hands. [Read more…]

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