About Hannah Vanderpool

Hannah Vanderpool is a writer, a world traveler, and a homeschooling mom to three great middle schoolers. She can’t imagine a world without sisters and books. You can find her at Praying With One Eye Open or connect on Twitter @HannahVPool.

Pressing through the middle years of homeschooling

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Written by Hannah Vanderpool of Praying With One Eye Open

I’m a writer who likes fresh beginnings and well-timed endings.  Middles?  Not so much.

When I think about the middle of, say, a novel manuscript, I imagine a hammock creaking under the weight of a couple of lemonade-sipping kids or a dad who really ought to be mowing the lawn.

Creative writing instructors refer to these in-between pages as the dreaded “saggy middle.”

They teach rookies and published authors alike how to push through their own saggy middles with enough energy and forward momentum to keep readers engaged until the end.

This is important because it’s easier to start a story, and even to finish it, than it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other when you’re in the middle of a thing and can’t see your way to an ending yet.

As it turns out, writing is not my day job–homeschooling is.  I’ve been on this particular journey for nine years now.

Our family started strong when my three kids were barely out of Pull-ups (yes, I was over eager).  I hope to finish well, too, when my youngest daughter is finally ready to fly my little coop.

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Homeschooling in a different world

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The following is a guest post by Hannah Vanderpool of Praying with One Eye Open.

The sun’s warmth slipped through the iron latticework of our living room windows, burning away the early morning fog. The first call to prayer sounded over the loudspeaker filling our apartment with strains of muffled devotion. The kids emerged from their shared bedroom with sleepy eyes and plopped on the couch.

Dilsara, our Nepali house helper, whisked past them to sweep dusty floors and make beds. Breakfast would be cereal and buffalo milk, as usual.

The kids begged to watch a Popeye cartoon in Hindi, and I pretended to hesitate before relenting.

Our morning ritual in India.
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Emphasizing beauty in your homeschool

hannahmainThe following is a guest post written by Hannah Vanderpool of Praying with One Eye Open.

Let’s face it: Life is hard regardless of where one lives, and humans have a tendency to focus on what is wrong in the world.

When my family and I moved to a rural area in north India, we expected to encounter tough times. We knew that there would be poverty and sorrows along with deep friendships and joy. We homeschooled our three kids in India, and there were times when the needs of our national friends overwhelmed us as we lived out our lives alongside them.

I knew that if we weren’t careful, we might be tempted to approach the world mostly as a place of sorrow and futility. This was not what I wanted to teach my children.

Before long I began looking for ways to brighten our tiny apartment (rusty pipes and rat-friends notwithstanding) because I began to understand that a powerful way to encourage my young ones — and myself — was to concentrate on the beautiful.

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