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Educational enrichment with or without homeschooling

Educational enrichment opportunities for your children with or without homeschooling

The following is written by Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

As we gear up for next school year, we are preparing for our first school year in eight years where nobody in our house is being homeschooled. Instead, all three of my children have decided that they want to go to school full time outside the home.

An end, whether it’s temporary or permanent, of our homeschooling doesn’t mean an end to enriching the educational lives of our children. It just means that we will be doing it in a slightly different way than before.

Perhaps you’re also finding yourself not homeschooling this year.  Maybe it’s because there have been life changes that have necessitated a change in schooling. Perhaps it’s because you have never homeschooled and are just interested in homeschooling.

I’m sharing some wonderful things that you can do for your children to enrich their lives whether you are homeschooling right now or not.

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Delighting in the abbey-ness of homeschooling

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Written by Amy Frank of Frankly Journaling the Journey.

A couple of years ago when I was moaning about how I felt so isolated, but also so surrounded by others’ needs, a friend pointed out how my stage of motherhood is not too unlike the calling of a monk.

Just as a monk has chosen to leave the normal lifestyle for a life of devotion, a mom who has chosen to stay home to teach her children has given up the typical career paths and goals of this culture in order to devote herself to a different calling.

I began to see the parallels.

Monks are often awakened in the middle of the night by a tolling bell.  Moms are often awakened in the middle of the night by a hollering child. Life in an abbey is one of repetition and simple work. Life as a homemaker isn’t too different!

But then I began to see the beauty in this kind of life as well.

Traditionally, abbeys or monasteries were known to be harbors of so much more than chanting residents. They were places where life and worship thrived.

Through the patterns of simple living and their singular focus and devotion, they were able to offer the world great benefits!

For example …

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5 things your kids need to hear you say

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Written by Pam Barnhill of Ed Snapshots.

I just knew my daughter was lying to me. What I was hearing was so incredible I couldn’t believe she would even craft such a silly lie and expect me to believe it. Not too mention I was right in the middle of a workout, which always makes me extremely grumpy anyway.

I exploded at her — for lying, for interrupting me, for breaking my concentration on the stupid set of side lunges.

I sent her outside to play, but she tearfully explained as she went out the door. It took me about two minutes to realize I had misunderstood.  I fumed at myself for the rest of the workout, berating myself for flying off the handle about something inconsequential.

As soon as I was finished I sought her out to say I was sorry.

We talk a lot as homeschool moms. We will find ourselves explaining, questioning, making requests, giving commands, admonishing. In the midst of all that chatter, though, there are five things that our kids really need to hear us say.

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Little kids with big worries

Little kids with big worries

Written by Cait Fitz of My Little Poppies.

My oldest son is a world-class worrier. The worries housed in his brain are far too big for his sweet little body. I wish I could whisk them away and erase them from his mind forevermore.

His worries always spike this time of year. Is it a hold-over from the winter months? A form of Spring Fever? I’m not quite sure, but we always experience a swell of worry in spring.

We brace ourselves for sleepless nights and heart-to-heart talks that don’t seem to do anything… that is, until they do.

My little buddy has conquered many fears in his seven years on the planet and, thankfully, we’ve learned that the worries always pass with a little TLC, creativity, and heaps of patience.

Do you have a little kid with big worries?

While I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, I am happy to share strategies that have worked for this school-psychologist-and-world-class-worrier-mom.

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Helping your kids fall in love with books–and the world

Helping your kids fall in love with books--and the world
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Women sometimes do crazy things when we’re pregnant, wouldn’t you agree?

Between cravings and hormones, our behavior can get a little unpredictable.

Over ten years ago, soon after I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I drove 45 MINUTES just to get to the nearest bookstore. (Steve and I lived in lovely middle of nowhere, Texas back then.)

I happily went in, baby Jonathan in utero, and bought Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life by Gladys Hunt. It’s a fabulous title I’ve talked and written about dozens of times since then.

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With lists recommending everything from starter board books to the best chapter books, I was in heaven reading its pages. I highlighted, underlined, and built up a little home library of children’s classics before I ever headed into the delivery room to bring that baby boy home.

I couldn’t wait to help my new little one fall in love with books.
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