About Angie Kauffman

Angie, a domestically challenged nerd, writer, and mom of three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home, as well as the Real Life at Home Podcast. She loves music, lives on caffeine, and is married to her best friend. Angie can also be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.

Art museums: A perfect field trip destination

Art Museums: A Perfect Field Trip Destination | SimpleHomeschool.net

Written by Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

I have loved art for as long as I can remember. While I haven’t always been very adept at creating my own art, I have loved looking at and studying art.

It’s probably not surprising that this also translated into a love of art museums. Despite this, because my children weren’t particularly interested in art and I was afraid of their boredom, I resisted taking them to an art museum. Even though we were within easy driving distance of a large art museum, I kept skipping out on this amazing field trip opportunity.

Maybe you’ve resisted art museums for some of the same reasons. After taking my children to an art museum, I would urge you to reconsider as well.

You just might be surprised by what happens, if it’s anything like our art museum experience.
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Things to do when you’re feeling discouraged as a homeschooler

Things to Do When You're Feeling Discouraged as a Homeschooler

The following is a post by contributor Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

Homeschooling is such an amazing educational and lifestyle choice. The benefits of it are plentiful, and often get touted by homeschoolers.

There’s another side to homeschooling, however. That other side is that homeschooling can be challenging.

It can drain you mentally and physically. Even if it’s worth it, it is not an easy lifestyle to choose.

On the up side, however, there are things you can do when you’re feeling discouraged in your homeschooling lifestyle to help change your mindset and lighten your mood.  Sometimes, it’s just about making changes in logistics and in your thinking.

As an added bonus, it may also help your children feel better too.

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Learning to be more committed to our kids than to our educational ideals

Being More Committed to Our Kids Than to Our Educational Ideals

The following is a post by contributor Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

We never set out to be homeschoolers.  I had never even heard of homeschooling until I was in college.  I was working on my first degree in education, and when I heard about it, I thought it sounded ridiculous.  How did people think they could teach their children at home when I was spending years in college to become a credentialed teacher?

Life is often funny like that, isn’t it?  I can still picture sitting in a class thinking how insane that was.

Little did I know that my views would soften once I started having children.  Eventually, they would soften so much that I would not only stop thinking that homeschooling was insane, but I would think it sounded like a pretty good idea for my family.
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Infusing child-led opportunities into a traditional approach

Infusing Child-Led Opportunities into a Traditional Approach

The following is a post by contributor Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

While I have always been extremely interested in child-led learning, it’s been one of those things that just doesn’t seem to flow in our home. Despite my desires for it to be otherwise, it seems that a primarily child-led approach just isn’t going to happen.

I finally had to evaluate why it doesn’t work for us, and if there was anything I could do about it.

I have found two reasons that it doesn’t work out well in my house.

The first is that I like to plan our studies. In this way, I have often wondered if my two education degrees have been more of a hindrance than a help to our home education.

The second, and more important issue, is that my kids and I have something in common: they also like it when I come up with a plan of study for them.

If you’ve found yourself in the same situation, don’t give up on a child-led style of learning quite yet. These options might not look like what you had originally envisioned, but they just might be the perfect fit for your family.

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Arranging a Kid Swap

The following is a guest post by Angie of Many Little Blessings and The Homeschool Classroom.

While I love that we made the decision to start homeschooling four years ago, I would occasionally think that I wished I could just have a couple of hours to just get caught up on things without the kids around.

Imagine my surprise when I casually mentioned this desire to a friend, and her response was, “Let’s do it!”

It has been such a blessing that I wished I had done something like this sooner.  Not only do my friend and I each have four hours a month when we get some free time to run errands, have appointments, work on projects, or just relax, but our kids get to spend eight hours a month together.  As my friend pointed out one day, “I love that the kids think we’re doing them a favor by letting them get together!”

This kind of arrangement can be doable for almost any family, as long as you have another family (or two) that would like to participate with you.  It will be important beforehand, however, to come up with some basic ground rules and guidelines, which will look different for different situations (i.e. your family will arrange things differently than mine and my friend’s family arrange it).
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