About Kari Patterson

Kari Patterson and her family live out in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. As a 2nd-generation homeschooler she espouses the same philosophy her own mom did in the 80s: Cultivate a love for learning and one's education will never end. She bakes bread, brews kombucha, speaks at conferences & writes at Sacred Mundane. Her new book Sacred Mundane is available for pre-order now.

How to host a Nature Day

Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

“Now I don’t have to die to go to heaven,” my son grinned. “It’s right here.”

We were walking along the trails zig-zagging through the wild countryside of the property we would soon call home. Towering trees, low-hanging limbs laden with moss, a pond and trickling creek, old-growth stumps — it was all so lush and green and vast — as far as the eye could see.

But even as spectacular as the scenery was, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Seeing his wonder–rapture really–as he explored and discovered, head tilted back, gazing straight up, pointing here and there, “Mom, red-tailed hawks!”

I couldn’t believe this was where, Lord willing, our kids would grow up.

I grew up out in the country, and took for granted the gold-mine that was my backyard. I grew up hiking through the woods, forging the river to a friends’ house, building forts from limbs and twigs, climbing trees, planting gardens, holding still and silent watching the deer creep by.

These days, though, it seemed you had to choose between a roof over your children’s heads OR a piece of land, so I had long ago given up the idea of raising my own kids out in the woods.

So, when we fell into this gift of a place, that had a roof and land, I knew it was meant for more than just our own personal pleasure — I wanted the gift of nature to bless others as well.

[Read more…]

Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 7- and 10-year-old)

Written by Kari Patterson

Sometime around 7 they shuffle out, sleepy-eyed, their pajama-pants falling mid-shin, reminding me how fast they’re growing up. But we still snuggle.

They find me in my favorite chair, the big one with room for a little beside me and another on my lap. I slide my Bible to the side, set my coffee down, and gather them up, pushing back the blanket so they can crawl beneath. I kiss their cheeks, right next to their mouths so I can breathe in their morning breath. I’m weird like that, I love their smells.

Thus begins our day.

After snuggling, we read the Bible together, pray, and move toward (maybe) getting dressed. I admit sometimes when it’s cold, we might linger longer in our jammies, or upgrade only slightly, to sweatpants.

We have our bells, to keep us moving, because otherwise we’d likely stay in that chair ‘til noon! These “bells” are just alarms set on my phone, with pleasant sounds the kids picked out for each activity. There’s Bible/pray, then get dressed, then breakfast, then brush teeth.  Though I love lingering, the bells remind me there’s a good, full day ahead, so let’s begin.

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How habits can help homeschooling this season

How habits can help homeschooling during the holidays
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

There’s a one-word banner I’m waving these days: Habits

The word probably doesn’t kindle a fire of passion or enthusiasm in your soul.

Yet.

Though you may not come alive when you hear the word habits, I will tell you this one-word anthem is revolutionizing our homeschool like nothing else has in a long time. [Read more…]

4 ways to encourage less complaining & more thanksgiving

complaining
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

I can tell we’ve gotten off course when, as I tell my kids to do something, I am already inwardly preparing for their protest. I so wish it didn’t happen, but I have a hunch we all face this at times, that inner irritation that comes from just a few too many complaints.

It usually starts with a subtle, not-quite-right attitude, a less-than-cheerful obedience, a tone of voice that leaves much to be desired. It’s usually not outright defiance, but we know too well that a little bit of complaining, compounded day after day after day, can wear the best of us down to a weary nub. Or, conversely, rile us up and make us sharp, sarcastic, harsh.

Either way, it can leave us wondering, “What happened to our joy?!”

I’d like to share a few thoughts in this place as a way to simply begin the conversation on this topic. Truthfully, I’m tackling it because I’d love to hear your wisdom on how you maintain a complaint-free home. Let’s begin here: [Read more…]

5 things that are finally working

5-things-that-are-finally-working

Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

“How’s school going?”

This seems to be a common question among homeschool circles this time of year. We’re about a month or so in, time enough to have a rough idea what’s working and what’s not. Our plans look so perfect on paper, but it takes a few weeks to get a feel for how it really works.

Only now do I feel like we’ve finally found our homeschool groove. Yes, it’s taken us five years!  I’m fairly certain most of you work out the kinks a lot quicker than that!

I recently revisited this Power of the Beginner article and it took me back to those early days, trying so many options, reading every homeschool book I could find, researching different philosophies and always feeling completely in over my head.

Sure, there are days I still feel like that, but at five years in I can confidently say I know what’s finally working for us. Of course, these won’t work for everyone, but just in case you’re also in the “trying-on” stage or exploring different ideas and options, perhaps one of these will be just the ticket for you.

[Read more…]