Archives for March 2014

How to foster independence in your homeschool student


The following post is written by contributing writer Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I‘ll go out on a limb here and say that the majority of parents who’ve homeschooled more than a year or two start thinking about creating independent learners.

Once our kids have mastered the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, we’re ready to start preparing them for learning on their own.

It’s not, I don’t think, that we are eager to get away from our kids. It’s just that, by that point, we’ve spent a lot of time pouring in to them and we’re ready for them to start working on their own a bit.

You know, long enough for us to do a load of laundry, put away the dirty dishes, or make a quick phone call.

Or go to the bathroom alone.

I don’t really expect a lot of independence from my kids until they’re about middle school age, but there are little things that we can start doing to prepare them before then. [Read more…]

Homeschool & live happily ever after (or not)

Homeschool and live happily ever after (or not) ~SimpleHomeschool
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

“My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy.”
~William Shakespeare

I cried. At least once a day. For years.

No, I wasn’t suffering from depression. Nor did I have a chronic eye watering condition.

I was homeschooling.

Five years ago, Steve and I made the “official” decision to homeschool. It was scary, of course–a move into a completely unknown world.

But our hearts, souls, minds and spirits pointed in this direction so we stepped out.

The educational philosophy that resonated with us most, Leadership Education, advocated delayed academics in the early years–letting children learn through play and allowing their own internal motivation to direct their education. We would “inspire, not require” instead of following a rigid program.

“Our kids are so lucky,” I thought more than once. (And still do.)

Not having to spend our days entrenched in an impersonal institution, we would all be so happy with our growing freedoms together.

Except we weren’t.
[Read more…]

Weekend links

weekend links
links3Photos from my sweet Jonathan’s recent America Day

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 5.30.54 PM

The winner of yesterday’s giveaway by Gadanke Journals is Mandy Garcia – congratulations!

Remember you can get free shipping from Gadanke on US orders over $10 through April 4th with the code “SCHOOLING” at checkout.

“As adults we choose our own reading material. Depending on our moods and needs we might read the newspaper, a blockbuster novel, an academic article, a women’s magazine, a comic, a children’s book, or the latest book that just about everyone is reading. No one chastises us for our choice. No one says, ‘That’s too short for you to read.’ No one says, ‘That’s too easy for you, put it back.’ No one says ‘You couldn’t read that if you tried — it’s much too difficult.’

Yet if we take a peek into classrooms, libraries, and bookshops we will notice that children’s choices are often mocked, censured, and denied as valid by idiotic, interfering teachers, librarians, and parents. Choice is a personal matter that changes with experience, changes with mood, and changes with need. We should let it be.”
~ Mem Fox, Radical Reflections: Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning, and Living

Weekend giveaway: $100 writing package from Gadanke Journals

Gadanke Journals for Kids

This giveaway has ended; thanks for your interest!

Welcome to this weekend’s giveaway, brought to you by Gadanke Journals (Jamie’s note: My kids love these!):

“Looking for a fun way to incorporate writing into your teaching? Need help encouraging your budding (or perhaps reluctant?) writer?

Gadanke’s handmade writing prompt journals for kids help you:

  • build writing skills
  • work on penmanship
  • promote creative thinking
  • make writing fun
  • encourage drawing and illustrating

Each journal includes writing prompts to get little minds going. They range from simple to thoughtful to silly.
[Read more…]

Starting a real-life fitness regimen as a homeschooler (and how to keep it up)


The following is a guest post written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery & Shenanigans.

Prep lesson work for three children. Draw a topographical map of North America on the chalkboard.  Plan a felting craft for a 4-year-old. Bake a loaf of bread. Gather materials for a project on government and democracy. Research the answer to my 6-year-old’s burning question: “How do jellyfish eat?”

… and it’s not even 6 a.m. yet.

I began my homeschooling journey with my five children three years ago. I was consumed with choosing a curriculum, planning their year and participating in a homeschooling group for support that would preserve my sanity.

As we entered into this new chapter in our lives, I was psychologically ready to educate my kids at home.

However, I sorely underestimated the physical demands of homeschooling. I was on my feet doing lessons, cooking, clearing tables, resolving conflict and engaging in constant activity.

I found myself hitting the proverbial wall by 2 p.m. and instituted mandatory “quiet time” because one more question about the internal anatomy of a jellyfish would send me over the edge.

It was a Catch-22.

I had to find the time to take care of myself in order to increase my energy so I would be able to present a feast of wonder to my children. Time and energy are precious commodities — finding any extra amount is akin to finding the holy grail.

[Read more…]