Why we waited more than 10 years for extracurriculars

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

A note from Jamie: Amazon has sold out of copies of Give Your Child the World, but you can still order it for just $7.50; they have more copies on the way. Get it while this deal lasts!

Once upon a time I begged my parents to let me take dance lessons.

I had learned to play the viola through school since the age of 11, but these would be my first private lessons. I knew the expense would be a big deal for my family, but I loved dancing and wanted to learn more. Eventually they said yes (thanks again, Mom & Dad!) and I had a blast that year learning a little tap, ballet, and jazz each week.

I was 15-years-old.

I can’t help but wonder if we have extracurriculars a little backwards these days, though. In our society, parents seem to beg their kids to take lessons.

They sign them up as five-year-olds for piano, soccer, karate, ballet. They fork over hundreds of dollars.

And often as each month passes by their kids grow to hate piano, soccer, karate and ballet.
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By this time next year (how I measure progress in our homeschool)


Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

“There…in the…wa…wa…water was a boy.”

My youngest son struggled to read the sentence.

Again.

I tried to encourage him, my heart sinking.

“Good. Keep going.”

As he worked harder than any eleven-year-old boy should have to just to read The Story Of Ping, I thought to myself, “Surely by this time next year he will be able to do this.”

‘This time next year’ has been a constant, lingering, elusive measure of success in our homeschool for six years now.

I mutter it to myself when the math concept is not clicking.

I think it constantly when someone questions my dyslexic son’s reading ability.

I comfort myself with it when we are having a tough day.

‘By this time next year’ has somehow become my method of measuring progress and instilling hope in our homeschool. And it is not serving us well.

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What I learned from 2 weeks of couchschooling

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

I didn’t even feel when it happened.

The step down from the rolling door of our barn is a steep and awkward one, and when exiting two weeks ago I came down hard on my right foot. Not paying attention, I hurried inside to check something in the oven.

Later in the day, I felt a painful twinge in my ankle. By that night, the twinge had grown excruciating. And that’s how I ended up homeschooling from the couch for the past two weeks, or as I’ve since termed it: couchschooling.

I’ve been either in the bed upstairs or on the couch downstairs for most of every day, trying to give this sprain time to heal. Not exactly how I planned to end my February (as if the month isn’t already challenging enough, right?!)

Yet as Caroline Ingalls once noted, “There’s no great loss without some small gain.” Though this minor injury wasn’t on my agenda, I’ve had a few positive realizations from it that I hope to carry with me.
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How our mini co-op is holding me accountable


Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I heard this rumor that homeschooling families like to hear about what’s working well for other homeschooling families. So I wracked my brain trying to think of what I could share with you.

There’s Teaching Textbooks, which makes me so happy because I don’t have to teach algebra, but that would be a pretty short blog post. There’s the fact that my teens are now working mostly independently, but I’m not sure that would help moms of younger kids.

Then it hit me – our small weekly co-op!

If I had to pick just one thing that’s worked exceptionally well for us this year that could work just as well for other homeschooling families, it would be our mini co-op.

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Are you homeschooling a “different” child?


Written by Sally Clarkson

“I have a Nathan, too!’

This was the comment I heard every time I spoke at a homeschool or mom conference.

My out-of-the-box boy – clinically OCD, ADHD, argumentative, on a small spectrum of other issues and with learning disabilities, certainly provided me with lots of stories to share through the years.

And I was amazed at how many women breathed a sigh of relief when they realized they were not the only ones with children who were often a puzzle.

My journey with Nathan was challenging, lonely, and difficult in so many ways. My most difficult challenge was that I did not have friends who understood him or my struggles in homeschooling him.

I often felt like a failure, living in and out of frustration, wanting to love him but losing my patience. It was a constant drain on my life. It’s why I agreed to write a book with Nathan about our journey as mom and child–so that others like me will not feel alone.

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