Archives for December 2011

Today is a New Day

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

I love the line in Chicken Little when he pulls himself up by the proverbial bootstraps and sets out to be a changed man, er, chicken. He’s had setbacks. He’s faced disappointments. He’s been fearful.

Yet, he declares with confidence, “Today is a new day.”

And that is how we homeschool parents should approach the start of 2012. Whether you school year-round or are just getting back in the saddle after a holiday break, the start of the new year offers us fresh perspective, and in a sense, a clean slate.

Sure, many of us started school in August, but we get a second “back-to-school” after the holiday recess. At least that’s how I like to look at. Because, so far this school year, I’ve not been on my game.

We started off with a bang and then we interrupted homeschool with vacation/travel school in October and then in November and December our family got dragged down by illness. The last three months seem like a blur. And I don’t feel like I’ve been the best teacher I could be.

Earlier this week Toni shared some great points about how to evaluate progress at this halfway point. She posed the following questions:

  • Are we having fun?
  • Are we making progress?
  • Is the curriculum working?

These are excellent questions for you and your students to answer in assessing how school is working for everyone. As we look forward into the latter half of the year, I’ve got a few more questions to think about:
[Read more…]

The Halfway Point: Evaluting Our Progress

Written by Toni Anderson of The Happy Housewife

This week marks the halfway point in our homeschool year. I have to admit I’m celebrating a little because usually we don’t reach the halfway point until February! This year we are on track for an early finish and a full summer vacation. (The first we’ve had in several years.)

While I don’t give report cards to my younger children, the halfway point is a great place for me to reflect on our year so far and evaluate our progress.

It is easy to get distracted by the day to day of homeschooling and not adequately evaluate our homeschool program until it is too late. Spending a day or two at the halfway point is a great time to evaluate progress and change course if necessary.

Here are a few questions I ask myself (and the kids) to help plan the second-half of our school year.
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The Gift of Slow

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

A note from Jamie: It’s Boxing Day, which in our home means another day of leisurely doing…not much. I love the pace, and it brought to mind this post from last year, which originally published on December 13, 2010.

Recently I spent much of the morning in the kitchen while the kids played, popping in and out to help and serve as taste testers. The results of our efforts?

Pint-sized jars prettily filled to the brim with homemade yogurt and applesauce.

I was surprised at just how happy such a mundane morning had made me. After a little thought I realized why.


I had it, and I had given it to myself.

It was a gift of slow – being present, enjoying the ordinary, unwrapping the present in the margin of our everyday life.

As homeschooling families we know that what may appear to be a family-centered life can turn on a dime into craziness – homeschooling multiple ages, dealing with behavior problems, chauffeuring kids to extracurricular lessons.

It sometimes leaves a mama unfulfilled, frantic, and even a little bit harsh.

But there’s good news–you can choose to enjoy the gift of slow at any moment this holiday season. Here are a few ideas:

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Wishing You and Yours a Merry Christmas

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

Recent weeks in our home have been filled with

a lot of creating

a little math (of the edible sort)
[Read more…]

Weekend Links

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

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