Homeschool lessons learned at public school

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Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

In what can only be described as a surreal moment, I found myself signing documents to enroll my son in public school last month.

I love homeschooling.

My sons love homeschooling.

I write all about how much homeschooling has made a tremendous impact on my sons’ education, despite their learning differences. The longer we homeschool, the more I can imagine us continuing to do it all the way through high school.

So it took a lot to sign those documents. But it was worth it.

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Motherhood lessons learned from Lorelai Gilmore

Motherhood lessons learned from Lorelai Gilmore
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

I first discovered the show Gilmore Girls last year, when I heard Tsh and one of her podcast guests mention it.

As a highly sensitive person I have a hard time finding “Jamie approved” shows to watch, so I decided to give it a try.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, Gilmore Girls tells the story of a single mom (Lorelai Gilmore) raising her only child, daughter Rory (16-years-old when the series begins). Because Lorelai had Rory when she was only sixteen, their relationship often mirrors that of close friends rather than mother/daughter.

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In all honesty, I nearly stopped watching early in the first season. The whole “Chilton high school cool kids vs. Rory” storyline almost did me in. But I’m so glad I stuck with it!

And how could I not? The show takes place in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, a small village so similar to my own beloved Newtown. Most of the references to real-life landmarks, roads, towns, etc. are right in my own backyard.

So of course I had to go explore them!

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1779, just like Stars Hollow, see?! And this whole George Washington breakfast at the Tavern is just begging for a Gilmore Girls-style reenactment, don’t ya think?!

Last weekend my friend, writing colleague, and fellow GG fan Kara Anderson flew to my neck of the woods. We then drove 30 minutes north, to the tiny village Amy Sherman-Palladino was visiting when she had the idea for Gilmore Girls.

We walked the streets of Washington Depot, stayed at an Inn in honor of Lorelai, and ate pop-tarts, french fries, and peanut butter cups in celebration of the girls’ dreadful eating habits.

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In front of Washington Depot’s town hall

We had a bit of a Gilmore Girls marathon too, finishing up the series for the second time in anticipation of the new episodes coming to Netflix soon, woot!

Watching Lorelai parent Rory as a single mom has also taught me a few things about motherhood. Here are a few Gilmore-inspired lessons that I want to keep in my back pocket as I navigate the upcoming teen years with my own crew:
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Haunted by the Ghost of Public School Past?

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Written by Caitlin Curley of My Little Poppies

One of the most challenging parts of homeschooling, at least for me, is remembering to keep school and education separate.

I know this, but I also spent many years in school both as a student and an educator.

It can be tough to shake that public school mindset.

When we first started homeschooling, we attempted to recreate a school at home. That didn’t last long.

When things are going well, when I’m trusting my gut and my children, our homeschooling looks nothing like school.

It is only when the doubt creeps in that we struggle and start to second-guess… well… everything.

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How to teach your kids to cook (with a cooking course printable)

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Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

When I graduated from high school in 1994, I had a 4.0 GPA, was a member of the National Honor Society, and shortly afterwards received a complete scholarship to a local university.

I had never made a full meal for myself or anyone else. I hope to give my children a more holistic education, one that’s relevant both in the classroom and in real life.

That’s why a few years ago I invited my kids to begin a formal baking class as part of their homeschool.

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I wrote about our experience on the blog, and it became one of the most popular posts at that time. The following year I also documented Jonathan’s graduation from his baking class, and how the entire experience had been a positive one.

Since that time, my daughter Trishna also graduated from her baking class. Some of her closest friends  came to celebrate her hard work and sample all the goodies she had learned to make:
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In celebration of the slow learner

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Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

I remember exactly when I first heard the term “slow learner.”

I was in the third grade, and my desk was next to a sweet boy with freckles and blue eyes.

In class, I diligently filled out all the worksheets, and raised my hand to answer all the questions (my husband and I went to school together and he distinctly remembers me being “very Hermione”).

I was careful to listen to the teacher, to write my name in the upper right-hand corner, and painstakingly bubble in A, B, C or D, with my Number 2 pencil.

The little boy next to me could not have been more my opposite. He struggled in the classroom. I often read things to him under my breath when he was unable to decode them. He seemed to have a motor inside him that kept parts of his body moving at all times. One time, he drew me a perfect, frame-able picture of a cat, instead of writing a summary of the story we had just read aloud (which incidentally, was about a cat.)

A teacher’s aide often came to assist him. When another student asked why she was always at our table, she answered, very plainly, “Because he is a slow learner.”

When she said this, the boy blushed so red I could barely make out his freckles. I looked away, not wanting to make it more embarrassing for him.

My stomach ached every time that aide came in for the rest of the year.

I was eight years old and it was clear – being a ‘slow learner’ was a shameful thing.

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