Play is a child’s work


The following is a guest post by Rachel Turiel of 6512 and growing.

Factoids abound on the benefits of play. Entire books have been written on the subject. Play develops children’s fine and gross motor skills, communication, collaboration, imagination, problem-solving and ability to focus.

Playing allows ideas to synthesize and take root.

I’m more interested in what I can see.

My 9-year-old son has folded up approximately 364 paper airplanes in the past six months. The sound of paper creasing is the very background music of our lives. Cooking dinner now holds the risk of careening airplanes landing in an open pot of soup.

Who am I to say this isn’t worthwhile? With each trial and error his planes become faster, lighter, more enduring, (and necessitating an investment in protective eye equipment for whole family).

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Summer is for letting go


The following is a guest post by Lisa Kremer of Life is a Journey.

In my house, everyone is ecstatic when summer holidays officially arrive – usually on a random day in June when I finally “give up” and put away the school books.

Then we commit ourselves to spend as many waking moments as possible soaking in the summer: sleeping in, playing outdoors and having not a care in the world. With summer, I can finally let go of the anxiety and stress of expectation and requirement. I can stop feeling frustrated at kids for not “liking” to write.

I can forget about the pages of math that we forgot to correct.

And I can hopefully forget that I’m not always the homeschooling mother that I wish I could be.

In our school district, we have tri-yearly reviews of our homeschool. At the end of the year, my facilitator will sit down, look over samples of each child’s work and grade them according to the following scale: 1) Exceeded Expectations 2) Met Expectations or 3) Work in Progress.

In the midst of all of this stomach-churning anxiety of assessment of not just my children’s achievements, but ultimately my “teaching skills,” I’m often left sitting at the table wondering how I would score.

If I’m brutally honest, there are an awful lot of moments when I feel like I deserve an “F.”
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Navigating homeschooling with a sensitive child


Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

I am so awkward with labels.

When people ask me to describe our homeschooling style, I stumble though a soliloquy of words that probably sound half made-up.

So when I say that I am homeschooling a “sensitive child,” please know that isn’t my attempt at labeling anything officially. It’s more something we’ve noticed, and lived with and worked with for years now.

And it’s something that makes me so grateful for homeschooling, and this opportunity to give my children an individualized experience.

I wanted to share a little bit about what homeschooling my sensitive kiddo looks like for us. If you too have a sensitive child who you are teaching, I hope sharing some of our experience will maybe help.

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What do you do every day?


Written by Laura Grace Weldon.

How do you answer this homeschooling question?

What do you do every day?

That’s what people wonder about homeschoolers. Sometimes they ask us point blank, “Okay you homeschool, but what do you DO every day?”

It seems like a huge mystery to non-homeschoolers that we self-compose our days, somehow proceeding without the structure school imposes. Yet that question isn’t irrelevant. We’ve chosen to learn in ways that are entirely out of the mainstream. That confuses some, upsets others, and simply provokes curiosity in many. They’re waiting to hear what we have to say. No pressure there!

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Stress to the test


Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Before we left for this year’s homeschool convention, I thought it would be the “smart” thing to test my fourth-graders to make sure I wasn’t missing some major piece in their learning puzzle. If I was, I could research it at the convention.

I paid for an online test and followed all the rules. The results weren’t exactly surprising, but they weren’t encouraging, either. I had two fourth-graders who were burned out on math and we were struggling to motivate them to care about their work.

My husband and I arrived at convention with crazy eyes and worried brows.
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