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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.

How to have the best finishing feeling

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Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

So this was the day math took three hours and twenty-three minutes. This was the day I thought to myself, “Today is NOT the day to write a homeschooling post.” This was the day I wondered, “Why exactly am I homeschooling? Why am I so enthusiastic about this education option?”

But then, turns out it was the day to write a post, and it reminded me all over again why we’re doing this thing called homeschooling and why, yes, I remain enthusiastic in spite of it all.

Because of that best finishing feeling.

[Read more…]

On free-range kids and letting go of labels

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Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

Spring’s come early to Oregon and the chickens are laying again. The picture below is the real-time view from my perch here on the back porch, as I watch the kids creating animal farms in the yard.

Yes, “animal farms” are as simple as they sound: tupperware containers filled with worms, spiders, centipedes, snails and slugs.

To the left are the chickens.

We joke that we only raise the finest “free-range” chickens. Of course they are free-range, we leave the gate open and let them roam around the yard during the day.

Achieving “free-range” is much easier than it sounds.

But “free-range” is a funny thing, right? It’s a label we attach that conjures up an image that’s probably far from reality.

More and more we are becoming label-obsessed and label-dependent, and while I’m certainly not here to take issue with the food industry (I’m just happy to have food on my table!), I’ve noticed that the label-happy mentality sticks itself to our homeschooling habits as well.

[Read more…]

Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5- & 8-year-old)

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Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

So here’s the thing: This is a real day.

I’m always tempted, when doing this day-in-the-life-deal, to write a sort of conglomeration of various days melded together to create what I consider “typical.”

This is well and good, but unfortunately I am hopelessly optimistic, so by trying to share “typical” I wind up sharing “ideal.” And the truth is that my biggest challenge with homeschooling is that my real day does not match up with the ideal day in my mind.

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So scratch the ideal day, or even the “typical” day … here is a real day.

Wednesday, January 7th, in all its mundane glory:

[Read more…]

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…]