About Kara Anderson

Kara is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom, driven by an unknown force to write everything down. She takes too many pictures, and never leaves home without a notebook. Read about her adventures with her two amazing kiddos at Quill and Camera.

The homeschooling ‘string theory’

string6pm

Written by contributor Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera

My mom’s best pal Jan is a sort of unlikely homeschooling mentor.

Two years ago, she retired after more than 30 years as a second-grade teacher.

So you might expect her to voice some concerns about homeschooling or at least endorse the public school experience. But she’s never been anything but supportive of us and our stay-at-home path.

And she’s been a pretty indispensable source of advice. For instance, there’s her string theory …

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Navigating homeschooling with a sensitive child

navigatepicmo

Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

I am so awkward with labels.

When people ask me to describe our homeschooling style, I stumble though a soliloquy of words that probably sound half made-up.

So when I say that I am homeschooling a “sensitive child,” please know that isn’t my attempt at labeling anything officially. It’s more something we’ve noticed, and lived with and worked with for years now.

And it’s something that makes me so grateful for homeschooling, and this opportunity to give my children an individualized experience.

I wanted to share a little bit about what homeschooling my sensitive kiddo looks like for us. If you too have a sensitive child who you are teaching, I hope sharing some of our experience will maybe help.

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Making friends through homeschooling (without worrying about socialization)


The following is a guest post by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

We were at a follow-up check for my daughter, who had surprised our ancient cat–and paid for it.

Her hand had become infected from a deep scratch, and for some reason, I was convinced this was a sign of terrible parenting. And so, I was already on edge when the doctor asked my 5-year-old how she liked school.

“Ummm, I homeschool,” she said looking to me for reassurance.

She is still not accustomed to people asking this. But I have an older son, and so I am used to it. I also know the inevitable follow-up.

“Do you have a group?” the doctor said turning to me.

“We do!” I answered brightly.

“Good. I just need to be sure they are being socialized.”

Being socialized? You need to be sure?

I felt my fists forming into little bony balls of rage.
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Raising happier homeschool siblings

siblingspmo

The following is a post by contributor Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

“You are so lucky,” the woman said frowning. “My kids can barely be in a room together, and yours are best friends.

“Do you think it’s because you homeschool?”

Sure. She was seeing one of those adorable moments, when my son opened a package of two crackers and gave my daughter one without her even asking.

It was wonderful and sweet. I love those moments.

But maybe if I am being honest, I should tell you about the other moments, the ones I’m not so proud of, the ones that are also probably because of homeschooling, the ones where they pickpickpick, until one of them snaps, and a door gets slammed, a toy gets tossed, or feelings get hurt.

Yes. My children are the best of friends.

And sometimes, they drive each other up a wall.

Because they are together so very much.

They share our little space. They share friends. They share books and toys and Mom’s attention. Three years apart, they share a lot of interests too, which is great … until it isn’t.

It’s a double-edged sword of homeschooling for certain, and lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to helping my kids be happier homeschooling siblings.

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How to ROCK the last few weeks of your homeschool year

rock2picmo

The following is a post by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

In our family, we have tried many school year schedules.

We’ve tried summers off, summers on, occasional month long breaks and once, a 6-week-on-one-week-off rotation that I never successfully kept track of, meaning that often it was more like 8.5 weeks on, followed by 1.5 weeks of too many DVDs (them) and too many novels (me).

And so please know, that I am not suggesting that you change your school schedule in any way. If you have found something that works, and doesn’t leave your family with a mess of library fines, then carry on!

But, if you follow a more traditional school year, the end is near, my friends. And that’s something fun to celebrate!

And so, I recommend the following to make the last few weeks of homeschooling, you know, ROCK:

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