About Melissa Camara Wilkins

Melissa Camara Wilkins has six kids and lives in Southern California. She believes that life is funny, that motherhood is pretty cool but also very messy, and that sleep is something other people get to do. She blogs about family life, DIY projects, and activities for kids.

Inspire-not-require for the homeschool parent

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Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

Today is Pajama Day at our homeschool.

(That just means that we’re eating lunch in our P.J.s, you understand.)

There won’t be any assemblies or pajama-related relay races. We needed a day of rest and reading in loungewear, so we took one.

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we’re free to build a lifestyle that fits our family. From the ways we homeschool to the whys behind our homeschool, we get to choose.

But sometimes I kind of forget. I forget that I’m not required to homeschool in any certain way. I forget that our days are not just a series of events to trudge through, on the way from breakfast to bedtime.

It’s easy to slip into thinking of ourselves as being required to do a bunch of homeschooling tasks—but I want to homeschool from a place of inspiration.

Just like we want to inspire not require our kids to learn, I want to be inspired-not-required as a homeschooling parent.

Here’s how I try to bump the inspiration level up a notch when I’m not feeling it.

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Pursuing passions

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The following is a guest post by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

Sometimes I look across the living room at the children, who are busily engaged in board games or a stack of Agatha Christies or a pile of rubber stamps that will mostly get stamped on the floor instead of the paper, and I wonder: what will their great passions in this life be? Some we already see developing, of course, but others are yet to be discovered.

Will they be deeply interested in spoken word poetry, or engrossed with the idea of sustainable farming? Maybe they’ll be passionate about app design, or become experts on Emperor Penguins.

We want each of our six kids to discover their own passionate interests, those particular areas that they believe are worth investigating, worth dedicating their time and energy to, and worth sharing with others.

In fact, helping find and engage with those deeper interests is one of the main focuses of our family’s homeschooling lifestyle.

If you take a summer break, this can be a great time to encourage your kids to find their passions or to delve deeper into what they already love, too.

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Creating a lifestyle of learning

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The following is a guest post written by Melissa Camara Wilkins of melissacamarawilkins.com.

When our first daughter was born, we knew we were not going to homeschool.

We knew some homeschooled kids. Those kids were weird.

Two things that didn’t occur to us back then:

1. There are a lot of homeschooled kids out there. We knew two who were weird. That might not have been a representative sample.

2. We are also weird. It’s not such a bad thing.

It didn’t take us long to realize that choosing an educational philosophy based on trying to avoid making weird kids was not actually the best plan.

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