About Kari Patterson

Kari Patterson and her family are unschooling, church-planting, smoothie-drinking, frugal-living weirdos from Oregon. As a 2nd generation homeschooler, Kari enthusiastically espouses the same delight-directed method her mother did in the 80s. She celebrates life's messy glory over at Sacred Mundane.

Honoring the spark

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Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

The storm had come suddenly, sometime between sandwiches and schooltime, and the branches banged against the house, and the lightweight lawn-chairs did flips across the lawn. The storm was just severe enough to be fun.

“May we please go play in the wind before math?!”

It was respectfully asked, and there it was in his eyes, the spark.

I bent down and smiled straight into that spark: “Ten minutes. Ready? GO!”

A blur of boots (no time for a coat!) ran out the door, and I watched from the kitchen window as they ran across the yard, flapping arms and laughing, feeling the Top Ten Reviews powerful gusts push them along.

I glanced back at the book there on the counter, ready to be returned to the library, and gratitude welled up in me again for Kristine Barnett’s message to all moms: [Read more…]

The lazy girl’s guide to home education

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Written by contributor Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

A big forest behind our house, lots of free time to read, a garden, science fairs, a playhouse, maps on the wall, Legos, an old piano, sketch books, almost no TV, and a library card.

These were the key components of my homeschool education growing up. In fact, when I’m asked what my homeschool days were like I usually respond, “I remember home but I don’t remember any school.”

My mom loves that.
[Read more…]

3 ways simplifying might save your sanity

Kari-347picmoThe following is a post from contributor Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

I have this fantasy of fleeing into the far-off woods and living off-grid. In my (unrealistic) fantasy we live off the land with no iPhones, no trips to Costco, no internet, nothing.

Whenever this dream crops up my husband shakes his head and patiently waits for it to pass. It always does. We love our life in this crazy world, even if at times it feels dizzying.

Between leading a church, traveling to speak, writing a book, keeping a blog, managing a (full) house, and homeschooling, there are days when my goal of “simple” seems to laugh in my face.

Nothing about life, really, is simple.

But that’s why, in this busy, hectic world, simplifying isn’t just a fun idea, it’s vital.

It’s necessary for our sanity. The ways in which we simplify will vary for us all, but we all must make simplification choices if we’re going to keep our homes without losing our minds.

Here are 3 simple ways we have simplified, and why they’ve made a world of difference for this dizzy mama.
[Read more…]

Putting the “simple” back into homeschool

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The following is a post by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

It was one word that caused the seismic shift in my mindset. That forced me to wipe the school slate clean and reevaluate. It came out of left field, but then again it confirmed everything I’ve ever wondered–and agonized over–with regards to my son. The word?

Asperger’s.

It’s true, for the almost 8 years of his life I’ve wondered at my son, who is marvelous and baffling all at once.  Unique can’t begin to capture the glorious idiosyncrasies of this man-child. I’d marveled at how a 7-year-old could be at a high school reading comprehension of science and history, and yet be barely able to legibly write his own name? Why the social frustrations? The incredible intensity? The overwhelm and overstimulation in public places? The extreme need for calm, home, steady, routine?

[Read more…]

Could a slight schedule-switch work wonders for you?

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The following is a post by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

One simple schedule-switch worked wonders for us.

One of the main reasons we homeschool is to have the freedom and flexibility to “go with” what life brings and what needs and situations present themselves, so we’re far from rigid. But though it’s fluid, we definitely have our daily routine, and I love it.

Except when I don’t love it because I hate it.

I mean this: For me there was this particular time of day I hated. Almost always. The time when we transitioned from our morning routine (chores, breakfast, etc. ) into formal learning, namely MATH.  It seemed that every book I read said, “Do math first thing in the morning, when children’s minds are fresh.”

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, right?
[Read more…]