The disappearance of childhood and what we can do to get it back

The disappearance of childhood and what we can do to get it back ~SimpleHomeschool.net
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

I want my kids to have a childhood. A living, breathing, mud-between-toes, romping-in-woods, staring-at-the-sky childhood. A secure foundation setting the stage for a secure life.

The gift of childhood. I allow my kids to slowly unwrap it each day within our homeschool.

But as I look around–at influences, at media, at society–I see childhood disappearing, evaporating further with each passing year. Are we all okay with that?

I’m not. For the good of our children, for the good of our society, for the good of the world we need to reclaim it.
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Weekend links

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“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” ~ C.S. Lewis

The transformative power of historical fiction

historical fiction recommendations for ages 9-18 simplehomeschool
The following is a guest post written by Caroline Starr Rose of Caroline by line and the verse novel May B.

What’s the point of historical fiction? Publisher’s Weekly recently ran an interview with Newbery and Newbery-Honor medalist Karen Cushman, one of children’s literature’s most celebrated authors. Here’s what she had to say:

“I think for readers historical fiction is important because it helps them to see beyond the boundaries of their own experience. It helps them to stretch and to see what life is like for others. This helps illustrate both how we are the same and how we are different, and can give readers more empathy.”

As a social studies teacher turned children’s author, nothing fires me up as a much as a well-crafted historical novel. Nothing has made history more personal than the books I’ve treasured in childhood and beyond.

Here are some historical titles worth celebrating, worth sharing, worth reading with the young people in your lives.
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My best dozen pieces of homeschooling advice

January '13-55Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

Our support group’s annual Homeschooling 101 is coming up soon, and I’ve been putting together notes and packets in preparation for my presentation.

I love looking out at the audience and seeing so many people; and whether their faces are eager, apprehensive, confused, or even terrified, they all have this in common: they desperately want to do the best for their children. Some of them will find out that homeschooling is the absolute best choice they can make; others will pursue different avenues.

Invariably, sometime during the session, the question comes in some form:

what piece of advice would you give a newbie?

Much more important to me than choosing curriculum or having well-organized shelves or even deciding whether to keep homeschooling is the tremendous task of being a good parent.

My pieces of advice really apply to any parents, not just homeschooling ones.
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Free educational resources you might not have heard of

free educational resources ~SimpleHomeschool.net

Once upon a time I believed that homeschooling, done well, required a significant financial investment. Private schools and the amount spent by the government on each public school student certainly suggest that education comes at a high price.

After a couple of years, however, I began to notice that my kids needed less and less in order to learn. A library card, favorite book titles purchased for our home collection, a stack of blank paper, and a few well-chosen resources here and there have done the job quite nicely thus far.

Have you made the same discovery? If you’re interested in saving your pennies while still helping those little minds grow, here are a few free and inexpensive educational resources you might not have heard of.
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