Reasons to Homeschool

Today I want to invite you over to a podcast I recently had the opportunity to record with my friend and colleague Tsh of Simple Mom.

We asked on Facebook what you all wanted to hear us chat about, and surprise, surprise–many of the questions were about homeschooling.

So if you’d like to get the low-down on why Tsh and I homeschool, how we organize our days, and crazy stuff I believe about teaching math (or not teaching math, ahem), come on over and take a listen!

We also talk about my new e-book Mindset for Moms, and why I wrote it, and what I hope readers will take away from it. And we touch on adoption, making a difference in the world, as well as silly things like the skill I’d most like to learn if I could. (If you haven’t known me since middle school, you’ll probably be surprised by this one.)

So gather your laundry, download, and listen in! (It’s about an hour total.)

I hope you enjoy it!

The Family First Mindset: You Can Count on Change

I was going to write post about what my family does to put family first. I wanted to tell you that every night at about five o’clock I come up from my home office, turn off my phone and computer and make an intentional choice to tune into my family through bedtimes.

That’s how I’m putting my family first right now. I then realized that over the past three years I’ve written dozens of posts giving examples of how we put our family first and the only thing they have in common is that we consciously try to make our family a priority.

The specifics of what putting our family first looks like is something that changes all the time.

One of the first things new moms ask me as a doula (or friend) is “When will they sleep through the night?” And I always answer, “They will. And then they won’t. And then they will again.”

I know this isn’t the answer that they want and they usually respond with a puzzled look, because they were looking for a final solution. They want me to tell them if they just hang on a few more weeks or a few more months their baby will start sleeping through the night.
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Weekend Links

“He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

When to Stay The Course

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

The beginning of this New Year dawned bright. We had taken a break for moving and Christmas and now it was back to business.

By mid February, like every other homeschool family I know, we were getting kind an antsy.

We were tired of our routine and so we took a much needed week-long break. We used this time to rest our brains (mine especially!), watch online documentaries and get ready for my son’s birthday. Gastroenteritis paid an unwelcome visit and our one week break become two weeks.

March arrived, we were feeling healthy again and we got back to work.

But I didn’t feel the same rah-rah enthusiasm I did in January.

Where we live March is still very much winter. There are hints of spring, longer and warmer days, but snow still covers the ground. And not just a skiff, we’re talking feet and feet of snow. Then there’s the fact that we live in a 750 sq foot cabin. March cabin fever is literally cabin fever.

Like Jamie, I was tempted the beginning of this month to throw in the towel. Not the whole towel of course. Public school is not an option for us but I could just let the kids watch a bunch of documentaries and craft all day. Right?

Oh wait. I do that. Those are what I call our barebones school days. However, at this stage in our homeschool journey there are only so many barebones days I feel comfortable having during non-break sessions.

Let me explain.
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Presentations: Assessing Your Student’s Progress

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Like many homeschool families, we don’t use tests as a measure of our children’s progress very often. The math program that the kids use does regular quizzes and tests, as does the computer-based program that my older daughter uses. For my younger kids, though, testing is not my primary means of checking their level of retention or comprehension.

We’ve used a lot of different methods for assessing their progress over the years, but one that I’m really enjoying now as part of the new curriculum we’re using is the oral presentation. Despite very little preparation time, I was really impressed with their first oral presentation – both how much they retained and what they chose to include.

My youngest gave an eloquent synopsis of one of our read aloud books, while my son gave a detailed description of the weather watching instruments we’d made and how they worked. We made some mental notes on how to improve next time, but overall, I found the presentation a great way for the kids to review and demonstrate what they’d learned and a fun way to show Dad what we’ve been doing.

What are some things that you should include in an oral presentation?

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