About Anne Bogel

Anne is a certified bookworm and homeschooling mom to 4 crazy kids. She loves Jane Austen, strong coffee, the social graces and social media. You can find her blogging at Modern Mrs Darcy.

Self-care for the highly sensitive parent

morning-ritualpicmo

Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

I‘ve known for a decade or three that I’m an introvert, but it’s only recently — after reading Susan Cain’s excellent book Quiet — that I discovered I’m also a “highly sensitive person.”

Whether or not you’ve heard the term before, that description should ring true for about 1 in 5 of you.
[Read more…]

The best Christmas scenes in children’s literature

annechristmaspicmo

Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

For your holiday enjoyment, I present to you the best Christmas scenes in children’s literature. (I shared the best Christmas scenes in English literature last week.)

It was painful to choose just a snippet to share because the extended scenes—and the books from which they were drawn—are all so good!

Narnia christmas

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

(Find the movie version here.)

“It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness. And on the sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him. He was a huge man in a bright red robe (bright as hollyberries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest. Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find him quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn.

“I’ve come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening.”

[Read more…]

Choosing the right path: The hardest part of Anne’s homeschooling year

annepicmo
Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

This month, we’re beginning our sixth year of homeschooling.

We’re more or less ready to begin: we have our plan in place, our curriculum ordered, our daily rhythm mostly mapped out. We’re all ready to hit the ground running, kids and parents.

That’s because the big decisions are already made.

The hardest part of my homeschool year

I’m serene about our school plans now, but a few months ago I was a mess, thinking so hard about all our mix and match options for the coming year you could practically see my angsty thoughts swirling above my head. [Read more…]

Let your kids tackle some meaningful work

annepicmo

Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Kids love to do real, meaningful work. The kind with actual value, risks, and consequences. Too often, they don’t get to — because as parents, we don’t let them.

Obviously not every kid is begging to make dinner, nor is every parent saying no. But both are happening, frequently, and it’s really too bad, because both kids and parents have so much to gain by letting the kids take control of a few “serious” tasks.

Giving up that control comes easier for some parents than others.

For example, I’m an INFP (that’s a Myers-Briggs personality type, for those of you who aren’t total personality geeks like me). That causes me plenty of problems (I tend to be permissive, I’m terrible at creating routines for my kids, etc.) but it also means it’s easy for me to let my kids take the reins.

If you have a hard time giving up control, recognize there’s a good reason why it doesn’t come naturally—then take a deep breath and do it anyway.

Kids have so much to gain from taking on real, meaningful tasks. They want to be able to admire their efforts, they want to feel the pride of accomplishment, and they want to experience the feeling of a job well done.

As a bonus: kids love learning when they’re working on their own self-directed projects.

All those skills that are abstract in the classroom—handwriting, fractions, biology—spring to life when a child needs that information to address a party invitation, calculate the cost of goods for a strawberry tart, or decide how often to water the garden. It’s the best kind of education.

Here are four ideas for practical, useful, and fun projects that kids can handle. Intervene as necessary—but not until your kids ask you to, or until it’s clear they need a grown-up’s help.  [Read more…]

Simple ways to create a content-rich environment this summer (and why it matters)

anne1picmo

Written by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

At my house, we’ve decided to take a “summer break” this year—or at least that’s what we’re telling our kids. When they’re off their regular school schedule (you know, the one where they start their school days with math at 9:00 a.m.), it feels like summer vacation.

Here’s what they don’t know: my husband and I are very intentional about providing great content so they are learning all the time—even while they’re on “break.”

We stock our home with what they need to keep learning all summer long. School may technically be out of session, but that’s no reason to put their education on hold.

Here are our favorite tips and tricks for building a content-rich environment. [Read more…]