Archives for March 2011

Reclaiming Family Time

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

If you’re reading here, you probably homeschool or are considering homeschooling. So of course, you’re someone who always puts family first. Right? I mean, don’t we, as homeschoolers, just naturally put our family life before everything else?

Gulp. Raise your hand if you’ve ever wondered what happened to those quiet family evenings spent together, if your car is full of wrappers from fast-food restaurants, or if you look at your calendar and try not to hyperventilate.

The truth is, homeschoolers can be just as overextended as everyone else, and like everyone else, we can fall into the trap of replacing family time with other activities.

I am not here to chastise you for the time your family spends at outside activities. Some families function best on an activity-packed schedule. Some couples enjoy connecting while they watch their kids practice soccer in the evenings. But some of us feel overwhelmed when we look at our calendar and think, “I just have to get through two weeks, and then we’ll have a free day.”

How did we get from eating supper together six nights a week to me kissing my husband hello/goodbye and saying “Fix yourself a frozen pizza” as I head out to take a kid to Bible study? (I mean, it’s Bible study, after all. It has to be the right thing to do. Right?)

How do we get back to that place of simplicity?
[Read more…]

Changing Curriculum Mid-Year: Knowing When It’s Time

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

Of the many gifts that come with homeschooling, the one I am truly loving right now is the freedom to make changes as needed. Doesn’t it seem rather impossible to sit down over the summer and plan an entire school year, sight unseen, knowing how the whole thing will unfold?

Despite careful research and planning, the science curriculum we chose was all wrong for our daughter.

And it wasn’t for lack of trying. Several approaches, on our part and hers were put forth in an effort to find a workable place with this text. We very carefully considered the idea of switching before doing so. Sure, we invested good money in the book; but more importantly, we value commitment and dedication, and do our best to instill those same values in our daughter. We didn’t want to send the wrong message.

You can’t walk away from everything in life that isn’t super fun.

I don’t expect her to feel warm and fuzzy about every single part of our school day. As humans we need to grow and stretch ourselves in new directions. It’s okay to be bored sometimes, to persevere at other times, be diligent, work hard. As a family, we value all of that.

However, it is also important to know when your child isn’t persevering, they’re enduring. There is a difference. 

The writing on the wall says it’s time to make a change.

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5 Easy Ways You Can Simplify in Under 30 Minutes

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

Without a doubt, the simple life has a lot going for it.

In theory.

But when you’re a homeschooling parent, you may not have extra hours to devote to the cause.

Let’s face it–sometimes we don’t have the time to even nurture a private thought. Or go the bathroom…alone. So we need a few streamlined shortcuts to point us in the direction of a simple life.

It might not be perfect, but it will be a start. And sometimes that’s all we need.

Here are a few quick simplicity hacks for the busy family.
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Weekend Giveaway: Peace Hill Press

This giveaway has ended. Thanks for entering!

Welcome to another Simple Homeschool weekend giveaway, sponsored by Peace Hill Press.

Learn more about Peace Hill Press:

“Most educational presses are run by large, international companies. Not us. We’re a small company; we want to stay that way. When you call our office, you don’t get a phone tree; you get to talk to us directly.

Our books aren’t written by committee; they’re produced by a small group of dedicated, skilled writers who have training, experience, and (in most cases) multiple graduate degrees.

Our materials provide parents with a rare combination of academic rigor and ease of use. We are proud to say that our materials are the best books available for teaching history and language arts that we have seen. We’re also proud that as we come out with more and more products, they keep getting better and better.”

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Beyond Stereotypes: The New Face of Homeschooling

Written by Misha Thompson of Kind Birds and The Thompson Story

A note from Jamie: Trying to conquer our homeschooling fears means we have to also overcome negative stereotypes and limiting beliefs. The discussion in the comments on Monday reminded me of this encouraging post, written and published last February by Misha.

Recently I posted a question on my Facebook page. Can you tell me honestly, I asked, all the reasons you would never homeschool your kids?

Within less than a day I had over 50 strong opinions posted and some even stronger ones in my private in-box.

“Before I started homeschooling,” one friend said, “I was frightened I would lose my sense of humor–and start wearing jumpers.”

“I would never have enough patience. – I’m not organized enough. – I’m not smart enough. – I don’t think I’d have enough energy. – I am an introvert. – I would be too lonely.”

“I want to have a career. – I would never be able to make friends. – My kids need socializing.”

We have all have felt these worries and many of us have had them spoken from friends or family members.

Here are three things to remember as you consider homeschooling:
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