About Jena

Jena homeschooled her three children all the way to college. When they left the nest, she started a masters degree in elementary education and taught one year in the public schools. She blogs about her homeschooling years and her interest-led philosophy at Yarns of the Heart.

Not again! What to do when our kids complain

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Do your kids seem to hate homeschooling?

I got this question from a friend recently and wanted to let you in on our conversation.

The Mom:

My children are small, but I feel I may be going about this wrong. My kids seem to dislike homeschool work, always begging me for a day off or a break. I am not sure how to change this. They are 6 and 8.

We spend maybe two hours a day doing Math and Language Arts and then maybe science/history/social studies through the week.

I find they just want to get it over with so they can do other things (my eight year old son seems to beg for the computer or ipad mostly). I also ask them to read every day, and even though they can choose what they want to read, they still resist and complain.
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What will you see when you look back?

rearview mirror
My youngest child is 20, so the homeschooling years are behind me. Looking back, I have very few regrets. I know that’s hard to believe, but honestly, I have few regrets.

My memories are sweet, even bittersweet these days because I am still in transition, trying to get used to life without my three children forging their lives around me. Now I just hear about it, if they remember to tell me!

As I look back, these are the things I’m glad we did:
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Keeping the end in mind

keeping

Written by contributor Jena of Yarns of the Heart.

When our kids are grown and look back on their homeschooling years, what will they say about it?

Melissa and I were in the car recently, talking about her college classes. She’s a political science major, so she likes to think about current events and  our political system. As we rounded a curve, she concluded,  “People are like sheep … they just want someone to lead them without having to think about it.”

I laughed and agreed with her.

Then she added, “I think the greatest thing you taught us was to think for ourselves and to question everything.”

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Homeschooling: Where to start and how to keep going

Homeschooling: Where to start and how to keep going
Written by contributor Jena of Yarns of the Heart

Have you ever felt like this? A reader shared her heart with me recently:

“I am in a desperate search for homeschooling counseling. I grew up in NYC and attended public school all the way through high school. My parents and friends aren’t very acquainted with the day to day concept of homeschooling.

So I find myself lonely and questioning whether I’m doing homeschool the “proper” way and truly second guessing the whole thing.

I’m a mom to an only child and am wondering if there is a certain approach I should consider. My daughter will turn seven in a little over a week and I find she gets bored very easily with her homeschool activities which makes me wonder whether I’m meeting her needs.

However, if I add a more challenging activity, she cries because it’s too hard. I really don’t want her to have a bitter experience with school. I’m afraid she’s building resistance and/or manipulating.

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this? I am currently not following any curriculum simply because I’ve no clue where to start. Because of this I feel a bit overwhelmed with the lack of structure and as to what to do, where to start and how to go about the whole matter.”

Here’s what I told her…
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3 ways to motivate reluctant learners

3 ways to motivate reluctant learners ~ SimpleHomeschool.net
Written by contributor Jena of Yarns of the Heart

I am a big fan of interest-led learning. We found that motivation was rarely a problem because our three kids (all now graduated) were always exploring what interested them.

You can do it too.

For example, if your child loves trains, let him spend time learning all there is to know about trains. As a result, there will be a lot of reading, history, social studies, science and math to conquer, but it won’t feel like school!

What about learning things that don’t connect to a child’s interests?

It’s tempting to say, “Sit down, be quiet, listen and learn,” but if you have a reluctant learner, you know thems fightin’ words!
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