How lifelong learning has changed our homeschool

How lie-long learning has changed our homeschool
Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera

Every summer, I take a class.

It’s usually just a few nights, and over time, it’s become easier and easier to make room in my life for this quirky tradition.

I’ve taken knitting and yoga, photography and felting, and every year when the course catalog comes, I set it aside for a while and then peruse it late one night, deciding if it will be a year for Greek or Graphic Design.

My favorite classes are held at my old college campus, where my love for learning was reinvigorated after a long hiatus.

I didn’t like school in middle school and hated it in high school, but in college I came alive again.

I took Philosophy and foreign languages and Logic and eventually Feature Writing, which led me to join the student newspaper and find my place.

I took “The Poetry of Love” and Criminal Psychology and I dabbled and explored.

I took what interested me, and learning became wonderful again.

I had forgotten it could be like that.

And so I still love, all these years later, packing a bag and trying to find my class – sitting in a desk and taking notes …

I still love to learn.

I want my kids to have that, or rather, I want them to keep it – I don’t want them to lose it in middle school, especially since middle school starts for my son in the fall.

And so I’ve spent a lot of time the past several months trying to figure out how to keep a love of lifelong learning alive for my kids.

I’ve decided that it comes down to a few things:

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When summer break isn’t a break

When summer break isn't a break
Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

I remember summer vacations so well.

When I was a child, summer break meant eating way too many popsicles, not having to get up in the morning, swimming for as long as I wanted, impromptu trips to the lake, and absolutely no real plans.

The summer break of my youth was glorious.

The summer break of my children? Not so much.

When we first began homeschooling, I had big plans for the last day of school. We had a party. We took pictures. We discussed all that we had learned that year. It was a great day.

Then the next day came.

The first day of our summer break.

I was looking forward to doing nothing. I was looking forward to sleeping in. I was looking forward to less structure, less requirements, and less planning.

My children, however?

They were grumpy, out of sorts, and fighting constantly.

They were like different children, and not in a good way.

And then the next day came, and the next, and the next.

Our first summer break as a homeschooling family was our worst.

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5 ways to increase your child’s love of learning by the end of the day

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loveoflearnpicmo
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

“Love of learning” can sound like a vague, mysterious, unattainable concept.

We desperately want our kids to have one, of course, but how do we kindle it in the midst of the busyness, routines, and responsibilities of homeschooling life?

Thankfully, a love of learning isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and we can take practical, small steps to nurture or repair it.

In fact, here are five ways you can increase your child’s love of learning by the end of this very day! (Feel free just to pick one or two and try the others later.)
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When you just really want to start homeschooling

When you just really want to start homeschooling
Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera

The first time I tried to read Robin Hood to my kids, they were 1 and 4.

A relative had given us a set of beautiful, bound classics from the 50s – books her own children read, and I was determined to share them all with my kids.

Of course, I thought, I should definitely start as soon as possible. And so we began with Robin Hood one early September.

We (well, I) were very into Waldorf Education then, and so I decided to incorporate Robin Hood right after Circle Time – right after we blew out our Circle Time Candle, which I always placed on the floor, because I saw someone do that once.

So to recap, I was preparing to read a one-pound, 1950s-era version of Robin Hood to my two children – one a baby, still fitfully nursing in my lap, and the other a precocious boy who just really wanted to climb the furniture.

And I had a lit candle, on my rug.

Just to recap.

I put my candles on non-flammable surfaces now.

I put my candles on non-flammable surfaces now.

Looking back, I had fallen into a familiar trap, that of wanting to Make Homeschool Real with my tiny people.

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3 tips for finding good books fast

3 Tips For Finding Good Books
Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

A few months ago I met with some friends for a Let’s All Talk About Parenting Night.

A “parenting mastermind group,” if you will. Or “an excuse to troubleshoot over tall glasses of lemonade.” Either way.

We met in the evening, so we had to figure out what to do about food. Should we assign dishes? Sign up to bring stuff? This was actually more effort than anyone wanted to spend, so we decided to all just bring something. Anything.

We ended up with the aforementioned lemonade, but also wine and cheese and fruit and crackers, veggies and hummus, a couple of salads, a pasta dish, and something chocolate.

Everyone brought their own best thing. We put all our offerings together, and we had a feast.

I think life is like that, too. I have something to offer, you have something to offer.

Our gifts may be wholly unrelated to salad and chocolate, but we’re each holding something we can share with our families and with our world.
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