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How to get your interest-led learners back on track


Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

Some seasons, our interest-led learners are interested in everything. They read, they ask questions, they conduct experiments and plan projects.

But what do you during those other times, the times when inspiration has left the building? What do you do when no one seems interested in much of anything? What if it turns into all pajamas, all Legos, all day? You know what I’m talking about.

Well, first, you don’t panic. You remember that just like a field needs seasons to grow and seasons to rest, so do our kids. So do we all.

Maybe they’re just in a healthy resting period, or maybe they’re learning something through the pajama-and-Lego routine.

Or maybe our days need adjusting. In that case, I try to step back and spend some time in observation mode. I don’t try to change things right away, I just take note of what is actually happening throughout the day.

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7 ways audiobooks enrich our homeschool experience (while preserving my voice & sanity)


Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

I love to read, and so far (knock on wood) we seem to be raising kids who love to read as well. Despite my love of reading actual paper books for myself, to my kids, and with my kids, over the past few years I’ve come to rely heavily on audiobooks in our homeschool.

We have four kids at four different grade levels, and using audiobooks helps preserve my voice (especially during spring allergy season) and my sanity (all the year round) when this introvert needs a break from the noise noise noise noise.

Aside from the obvious convenience factor of audiobooks, they bring a richness and depth to our literary experience that we couldn’t get any other way. [Read more…]

When books (or anything) cause you anxiety


Written by Heather Caliri of A Little Yes.

Can I make a really weird confession to you?

I love books. And sometimes I feel anxiety about them.

I was an English major, and I’m a writer.

My love of books is a huge part of why I started homeschooling. We check out dozens of books at a time from the library. We are awash in books.

So no one was more surprised to me to realize that they caused me shame.

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A different way to look at math


Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Like many of us, I have a complicated relationship with math.

I like math.

But I don’t like how it’s usually taught.

I grew up naturally good at math in school. The subject made me feel powerful, and  eventually I was offered the chance to skip 7th grade math (which I ended up declining–those 8th graders looked too scary!).

You’d think since I had a “positive” experience with math in school, I’d be eager to replicate that in our home.

But my heart (and my children) steered me in a different direction.

I see now that the main skill that led to my math success wasn’t understanding math; it was the ability to memorize. From an early age I used that skill to people-please my way into my teachers’ hearts, to form an identity for myself, and to cover up growing feelings of insecurity.

(See?! I told you it was complicated!)

And as the years passed, I had that familiar sense so many of us identify with when it comes to this subject: Boredom.

Those nagging questions rang through my head: “What’s the point of all this?” and “When am I ever going to use it?”
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Mid-winter motivation for homeschoolers


Written by Donna Ashton of The Waldorf Connection.

After the dust from the holidays settles, we are left with a few winter months to snuggle and homeschool.

We usually buckle-down and cover more ground in our lessons, as there are fewer distractions. During the quiet days of winter, it just feels like the time is right to dig in.

Yet it often feels like an in-between time to me.

The newness of the school year and fall festivals has waned, and the promise of spring is still out of reach.

If you live in a cold climate it can be more challenging to get the kids outside (as well as yourself.)

Whether or not we like it, there is more time indoors and more opportunities to bond together as a family during these darker days.

How can you keep motivation and inspiration?

[Read more…]