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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How lifelong learning has changed our homeschool

How lie-long learning has changed our homeschool
Written by Kara Anderson

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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