Thursday giveaway: Sparkle Stories

sparkle car copy
This giveaway has ended; thanks for your interest!

Welcome to this week’s giveaway–sponsored by one of my family’s favorite homeschooling resources, Sparkle Stories!

About Sparkle:

“Sparkle Stories produces original audio stories for children. Our stories are simple, delightful and filled with a sense of wonder. They inspire children to play, to marvel, to laugh, to be kind.

We have ten original Story Series – all of which follow the seasons of the year.

Families can subscribe and hear fresh stories each week, or they can try our Audio Books — with easy downloads right off the Sparkle site. We also have story packages for travel, story packages to give as gifts, and stories for all ages!

Perfect for every day quiet times, car rides or family travel!”
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Homeschooling as an introvert: the blessings & challenges

homeschooling as an introvert-the blessings & challengesJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

“I could never do that” seems to be one of the most common responses when it comes up in conversation that I homeschool my children. What does that actually mean?

I think when people say “I could never do that” they sometimes mean they don’t have the personality that fits a homeschooling lifestyle. So consider today’s post the start of a new series on this blog: personalities in the homeschool.

personalities at home

I’m not sure there is such a thing as an ideal homeschool personality. We all have our tendencies and our quirks–as any personality test will point out. (I’m an INFJ if you’re curious!)

Certainly knowing ourselves better helps us steer our homeschooling style to capitalize on our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Since I’m most familiar with the introverted parent’s perspective–let’s start today with some thoughts about homeschooling as an introvert.
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Core Phase: Creating a solid foundation for ages 0-8

Core Phase- Creating a solid foundation for ages 0-8
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is the first in an ongoing series I’ve planned about the educational philosophy Leadership Education (also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)

“Core Phase is the basis of a life. A good Core Phase naturally provides the foundation for a good life, a great Core Phase for a great life, and so on.”
~ Oliver and Rachel DeMille, Leadership Education, page 40

I stared at the desktop screen late one night, engrossed in a popular homeschooling forum where members could ask for help and receive advice. Someone had asked a question–I don’t even remember what it was–and one of the responses said something like this:

“I recommend you check out A Thomas Jefferson Education.”

It included a link to an overview of the method, which I clicked. Then, as sometimes happens in the midst of epiphanies, I sat up straighter as I began to read. In a flash of insight, I absolutely knew that this was part of what I was looking for in our homeschool.

The method combined the freedom of unschooling with a balance of structure, responsibility, and academic focus–especially in the teen years–that resonated with me.

Though my kids were all young at the time, I ordered every book I could find about it and began to internalize its principles. And it turns out I had plenty of time to focus on my own education–because all my kids were in Core Phase.

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Weekend links

weekend links
So proud of my Trishna (age 10) – this week she “graduated” from our homeschool baking lessons!

“A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself.”

~ Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

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.
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