About Laurat

Laura M. Thomas is a homeschooling mother of four, an avid writer, jogger, and nature lover. You can read more of her writing at This Eternal Moment.

5 ways to strip away labels and encourage a love of learning

Written by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment

A friend of mine who is also a public school teacher visited our home and had my five-year-old daughter read her a few books. She immediately concluded, “She’s reading at least on a first or second grade level.”

While in some ways, these types of comments can serve as an encouragement and/or relief to me (“Whew! Glad she’s not behind in her reading…”), they can provide a false standard of measurement for what success in learning looks like.

They could also cause my daughter to become prideful about where she ranks in comparison to other children her age, something I want to diligently fight against.

Another friend of mine, a lawyer as well as a fellow homeschooling mom, made the following observation to me:

When I was in school, I always made As, but didn’t have to work hard for them. Rather than motivating me, it made me lazy. When I got to college I realized that I had never been challenged to push myself to keep learning. I merely knew what I had to do to make As and I did it. College was a big wake-up call for me.”

The more thought I have put into it, the more certain I have become that for our family, we won’t be labeling our academic achievement primarily by grade levels or other more external measurements.

Instead, I’ve created a few primary values and principles to guide me as a homeschooling mom and teacher:
[Read more…]

Worn out on your homeschooling journey? Consider the view from the top.


Written by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment.

I love hiking. I love the feeling of the fresh breeze on my skin, the sights of green trees, flowers and wildlife in its natural habitat.

But most of all, I love the view from the top – it makes all my hard effort worthwhile.

Maybe you love hiking, too. Or maybe you prefer to ride in a car to the top of the mountain. I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t love a beautiful, scenic view.

Homeschooling our kids can be kind of like hiking. There are beautiful discoveries along the way for sure. But there can also be blisters, insect bites, and poison ivy.

The struggles and challenges we may encounter as we teach our children can leave us discouraged and frustrated – you know, camped out on a bench in the middle of the trail, eating all the M&Ms out of the trail mix bag.

[Read more…]

5 tips for avoiding the comparison trap


Written by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment.

I crouched at the starting block for runners of the first ever Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece. As someone who loves to run, you could say that it was, well, a moment to cherish.

I closed my eyes and could imagine the strong athletes with focused brows, the crowds of spectators on the grassy hill to the left, and the moment of truth when the race actually began.

Would they keep their eyes on the path and the finish line ahead or would they allow their gaze to wander to the crowd on the hill or the competitors on their left or right?

Their focus would likely play a large role in securing or endangering their victory.

[Read more…]

An interview with 3 homeschool graduates


Written by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment

While we may have many opportunities to talk to other homeschooling parents, we may not have as many chances to chat with adults who were homeschooled as children.

I recently had the opportunity to interview three homeschool graduates about what it was like for them to grow up doing school at home and have Mom as their teacher.

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to these three incredible people: Megan Kirk, Sarah Hanks, and Chad Jordan.

[Read more…]

Starting the year right


The following is a guest post by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment.

 A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge” – Thomas Carlyle

I will never forget my first day of kindergarten. I wore my favorite ruffly dress that twirled nicely, my hair in pigtails, and clutched my favorite pink doll tightly.


I was excited and terrified all at once. I was eager to learn and even more eager to be liked by my classmates.

Thankfully, the first face to greet me that morning was my teacher, Ms. Neal. Ms. Neal was one of those people created to make small people feel significant, loved, and happy. We were a group of more than 20 kids, but Ms. Neal made us all feel special.

And there was nothing that we wanted more than to see her smile and sense her approval of our oddly-cut shapes or wobbly-written letters. And approval she gave — loads of it.

More than 30 years later, my brother, a Delta pilot, returned to sit in the back of her classroom just to watch Ms. Neal work her magic. The children quietly sat in their places, raised their hands, respecting her and each other. How did she do it?

[Read more…]