Archives for August 2012

The challenges of being a work-at-home mom

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

My in-laws are the best. Last week, they took my three young girls and left me with a baby and three school-age boys. Easy, peasey, lemon-squeezey. I made a lengthy list of all the things I was certain to accomplish after school without younguns underfoot. I assumed that with no little people, we’d fly through school in no time.

I was wrong.

I didn’t add anything to our schedule for the week and yet I would look up and the clock would say noon before I’d ticked anything off my “to-do” list. Toddlers didn’t appear to make any difference.

This revelation didn’t lead me to want to change our schooling. What we’re doing is working well and is just the right amount for my kids. And I don’t think my prep time is extraordinary. But what it did lead me to change was the way I viewed myself and our lifestyle.

Homeschooling is a full-time job.

As homeschool parents, we do the planning, we chauffeur the kids to co-op and outside lessons, we do the teaching, we do the record-keeping, grading, curriculum-buying, tutoring, testing, and, and, and… That’s a full-time job.
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Homeschool inspiration for your entire year

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

A note from Jamie: This special offer has expired, but you can look up each ebook directly from the list below, and find information about my books here.

I firmly believe that homeschooling parents need a steady stream of inspiration. The lifestyle we’ve chosen is unique in its joys and challenges, and we need a constant dose of encouragement to keep going and remain upbeat and positive in the midst of our days.

That’s why I’m writing to let you know about the Homeschool eBook Omnibus sale, a collection of 53 ebooks by homeschooling authors–ready for you to download and read over the upcoming school year!

The retail price for all these ebooks would normally be over $350, but for the next five days you can get them all for just $25–how cool is that?! My own recently released ebook, Mindset for Moms, is included, which makes me especially excited to recommend this collection to you.

The package includes books covering many different aspects of homeschooling–from the practical to the inspirational, from history to meal planning and a lot in between. You can see the full list of titles below.

If you’ve had your eye on my book or any of these others, this is a fantastic time to scoop them all up at once–and have guaranteed encouragement throughout the year! (To keep in mind: No, I don’t recommend reading these all in one sitting–you’ll kill yourself. Yes, pace yourself throughout the year and you’ll be good to go!)

Want to find out what’s included in this collection? Read on!

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Weekend links: for your pantry & your sanity

Coming to you with two weekend ebook links today–for your pantry and your sanity, a good combination, right?!

For Your Pantry

My friend and fellow blogger, Mandi Ehman of Life Your Way, just released an awesome ebook called Easy. Homemade: Homemade Pantry Staples for the Busy Modern Family.

Here’s a description from Mandi:

Easy Homemade features recipes for more than 60 homemade kitchen staples as well as kitchen tips, information about choosing various ingredients and more.

As a self-proclaimed kitchen dunce, I’m far from an accomplished chef, but I’ve found that making things from scratch — even the things we typically buy without even considering that we could make them at home — is actually pretty easy.

I’m passionate about empowering other busy families to do the same with tried-and-true recipes that can be made with basic ingredients and don’t require a lot of time.”

The best part is that Mandi is offering Easy. Homemade. through August 21st (Tuesday) for just 99 cents!! Head here to find out more. You can also purchase directly for your Kindle or Nook.
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Designing big plans to work with your every day

Written by contributor Hillary Boucher

We homeschool and take breaks year round, but there’s something about starting fresh in the fall. Using fall to jump start new learning experiences is woven into the fabric of our culture and experience. It’s the perfect time to do some big picture planning.

I love planning. It’s exciting to map out a way to live and learn in ways that inspire us and to work out the logistics to help make it happen.

But I must admit, in the past, big picture planning has often hurt more than helped.  When I plan, I am acting for the well-being of my family, but it can set us up for frustration, disappointment and even a sense of failure.

Why? In the past, my plans focused too heavily on the big picture and not enough on our current everyday reality.

Often, our everyday life fell short of the color coded map that made more sense on paper than it did on the average Tuesday. I had been trying to force my family’s everyday life into my big picture plans, but turns out it’s more helpful to match the big picture plan to our everyday life and learning.

There are two simple exercises I’ve implemented over the past year that have helped me create more realistic plans and avoid the potential frustrations that can creep up when the plan and reality don’t match up.
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Bloom’s Taxonomy: A simple roadmap to learning

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

I’m a big picture kind of person. I like to look at the map and stay focused on the destination. But homeschooling is full of little details that threaten to pull us off the path and down rabbit trails.

That’s why, here at the beginning of the school year, I like to remind myself of how simple education really is.

In the 1950s, a committee of educators came up with a list of broad learning objectives called Bloom’s Taxonomy, and it’s been revised over the years. The first step in learning is simply remembering facts, and as a student progresses through the levels, he or she takes the learned material and creates something new. I love that.

The ultimate goal of learning is the ability to create something new.
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