Write your own permission slip

Write your own permission slip.Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

The smell of freshly sharpened pencils is the scent of possibility. I stand by that. A sheaf of blank paper, piles of sticky notes: these are the things dreams are made of. Doesn’t everyone love school supplies? (Please say yes.)

I am keeping an eye out for new markers, but in the meantime the supply I’m really stocking up on is permission slips.

A permission slip, really?

“Permission slips?” you might ask. “Those little papers that say, Yes, my child has permission to ride the bus. Yes, my child has permission to pet the goats. Yes, my child has permission to visit the bakery/factory/power plant for educational purposes? That is not even a school supply.”

Oh, but it is! (And never mind the thing about the goats, that isn’t relevant here.)

A permission slip says, “Hey, this thing that you were not sure was okay? It is okay. It is definitely, totally, completely, okay.”

It isn’t an excuse or a get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s a way of saying, “I’m not going to do things the usual way. Here’s what I have decided to do instead.”

And before we jump into this next season, I think we might need to write some for ourselves.

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Homeschool is not the boss of me

Homeschool is not the boss of me

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

I love this season.

Getting ready for the start of a new school year means I get to do all the things I naturally love.

Planning our homeschool calendar.

Typing up our daily schedule.

Researching and (even better) ordering and unpacking new books and curriculum options.

Buying new pens and pencils that we don’t need, but look how pretty they are. (Really, this applies to any office supply – I texted my friends from the store the other day asking if they would help me justify buying a golden stapler. I have issues.)

It all feels so refreshing to me – a new year, a fresh start, a lovely golden stapler.

Then the actual learning begins.

It takes a few weeks, but eventually, I know the newness will fade. The crisp, new books will have coffee spilled on them. A few of the darling pencils will be broken by my ten-year-old in frustration during his phonics lessons. The schedule will mock me. And the curriculum will move too fast for either of my boys, and their learning differences.

It is just part of homeschooling these children.

So this year, I am committed to one goal, and only one:

Homeschooling will not be the boss of me

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Test results: What really matters most

Test results_
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

I didn’t need to wait for any test results: The findings were clear.

I wrote here about the day I thrust a practice test at my son with no preparation, and a hummingbird saved the day and reminded me that education is more than standardized tests.

I was reminded that nature and care for living things will teach us more than a million worksheet pages

But even with that gained perspective, I was still surprised by the results of the “real” test day. Thankfully, this time there were no tears. We had prepared. We worked hard finishing all my son’s curriculum for the year.

We had completed several practice tests. We reviewed the concepts from the year. Since we’d never done testing, I really had no idea how he’d do.

Mostly, I just wanted this test-experience to identify where we needed to focus our efforts for the next year.

It definitely did that.

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Making sure YOU fit into the homeschool plan

making sure

Written by Kara Fleck.

I see you. You’re armed with planners, color coded lessons, book lists, and a calendar that has been filled in, scheduled, and sectioned off.

I spy the empty coffee cups, rainbows of sticky notes, and highlighted office supply store fliers: a new school year is dawning and you are ready for it.

Your learning spaces are practically humming with life as you prepare to give your children the tools they need for a bright, beautiful, habit stacked, loveliness cultivated, minds well-trained, all systems GO! academic year.

You’re rocking, you’re rolling, you’re ready! You’ve left nothing and no one out.

Or, have you?

Friends, did you remember to put your needs into the plan? Did you think of yourself?

You matter, homeschooling parent. And experience has taught me that nothing runs this whole train right off the rails like a burnt out educator.

With that in mind, here is a list of ideas to ponder as you plan the year ahead, a few brush strokes I think are worth picking and choosing from when painting the big homeschool picture:

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The art of juggling for work-at-homeschool moms

The art of juggling for work-at-homeschool moms
Written by Mandi Ehman of Life Your Way

I‘ve been a work-at-home mom since the moment I became a mom—by choice, by necessity, by calling.

I’ve also known I wanted to homeschool my kids since I was 16 years old.

Reconciling those two things has not always been easy, though. Any homeschool mom will tell you that homeschooling is basically a full-time job. Add another full-time job on top of that plus a couple of little ones, and my days—like many of yours—are pretty much go-go-go.

While busy is an apt description of my life, I try to avoid using it because there is a growing idea that a full plate or schedule is a sign that you’re wasting time, making the wrong choices, or living without intention.

But I know I’m supposed to work, and I know I’m supposed to homeschool, and there’s no way to do both of those things without staying very, very busy. So instead I use the word “full.”
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