About Heather

Heather follows the mantra “a life that is led simply and deliberately is a life fulfilled.” She is a dedicated yoga teacher, artist, holistic health coach, mother and wife. Heather’s blog Beauty That Moves is enjoyed by readers for its kind honesty, shared beauty, and simple guidance.

Exploring Online Learning in our Homeschool

Written by Heather Bruggeman of beauty that moves

I’m not sure I would have been a very good homeschooler fifteen years ago. You see, the internet is such a valuable, expansive place for us. I’m amazed nearly every day by the endless variety of resources available, both free and paid.

We love our home-based and in town libraries, but there came a point in my daughter’s development where she craved something more formal. She wanted accountability beyond mom and dad. Lacking the right fit (so far) with a good homeschool co-op, we started looking around online for classes.

At fourteen years old, she is naturally ready for more.

This year we’ve had the opportunity to explore three different online learning tools/courses, each with varying degrees of formality and expense – I’d love to tell you about them today.
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A Mom & Dad Homeschool Team

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of beauty that moves

The last few months have been wild and crazy for our family. We’re selling one house and moved to another during the height of the holiday season, my work has picked up almost overnight to a beyond full time pace, my father is in the fight of his life health-wise and he happens to be (sort of stuck) more than 1,800 miles from his home. Oh yeah, and we homeschool.

I nodded all the way through Hillary’s post last week about collaborative homeschooling, as this is the very topic I was hoping to write about this month too. It’s really all I could share with you because without it, I don’t think we’d have a homeschool right now!

Feeling the shock and stress of my father’s illness combined with a wonderful but high volume of work, homeschool, and domestic responsibilities, I wanted to throw in all towels. Things seemed to blow up overnight! Life was nothing like this just a few months ago, but that’s how it goes and we need to roll with it.

On all fronts it was clear that these new time constraints weren’t going away anytime soon, be it the worried heart or the very full work calendar. I  looked at my husband one day about six weeks ago and basically said “I can’t do it anymore!” Without taking a single breath he replied, “Okay, I’m in. I’ll take over everything you don’t want or have time to do. Give me a list.”

And just like that, our mom and dad homeschool team was born.
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Taking a Holiday Break (but not too big of a break)

We are half way through our second official year of homeschooling and we are still finding our way. I suppose we’ll always be finding our way.

It’s good to keep a beginner’s mind, yes?

We’ve learned a thing or two over the last year and a half – like the benefits and challenges of homeschool breaks. It’s not always as simple as it looks. Or so we have found.

The holidays are a perfect time to express our homeschool style. Many of us do this in the form of taking an extensive, well-deserved break from routine lessons.

It can be wonderful to embrace long festive days together as a family – filled with baking, crafts and holiday outings. Sometimes we just need time and space to be in our separate corners and regroup. I’m willing to step out on a limb and speak for the group here – I bet we’ve all been on both sides of this fence at one time or another.
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Heather’s Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Not Starting Sooner

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

This was a challenging topic upon first glance, as Renee already mentioned. So many thoughts came up for me – “I don’t like to focus on the mistakes… every bump in the road is an opportunity to grow… I like to stay focused on the present moment… blah, blah, blah.”

Well, let me just tell you that not only did I eventually come up with one topic for Jamie, I came up with a second topic a few days later and emailed her requesting to switch. And then? I thought of yet a third topic a few days after that! (But figured I should leave Jamie alone to unpack her final boxes.)

It turns out I had no trouble at all coming up with a mistake! Or a few for that matter. I’ll just focus on one today…

Not homeschooling sooner, that would have to be it. Maybe it wouldn’t classify as a mistake exactly, but it is a place of doubt and second-guessing that I’ve been living in lately.
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“Good Enough” School Year Prep

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

Right now I need to believe that having it all together for the new school year is overrated.

Last year I didn’t feel this way. Last year we had freshly sharpened pencils and color coded notebooks. There were fresh dry erase markers and new ink for the printer. By mid-August I had lessons planned for the full month of September. I was a homeschool-prep champion last year.

This September, I am reporting a very different start to the school year.

This year, it’s perfectly fine to do your first lesson of the year in bed… in pajamas. And you know what? Nobody was harmed. Actually, spirits were quite high!

After scoring a 96 on her math assignment, my pupil asked to go outside for a few minutes of fresh air. Even on a very organized, “scheduled” homeschool day, this is something I never say no to  (I take this homeschool freedom very seriously), so off she went.

Yes, on this self-declared not very planned out first day of school, I ushered my daughter outside to play and breathe and run around after only one hour of schoolwork. And you better believe the jammies were still on.

I suppose I should give you the back story.
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