Confessions of a read aloud slacker

Confessions of a read aloud slacker
Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

When my children were younger, we read together every night.

I worked long shifts and was away from them for most of the day. Reading was our time together. It transitioned my boys to bed.

It was one of the sweetest parts of our day.

Then, I stopped working and we started homeschooling.

I was determined to do it “right.” I spent tons of time learning about all the benefits of reading aloud to my boys. The more I learned, the more pressure I felt.

The lists of classics and required books for each grade level made me feel like a failure.

My oldest son LOVED it when I read him a history textbook, and my youngest requested a very well worn copy of a Scooby Doo Mystery every single night for a year. I felt shame over not reading the “right” books.

“Twaddle” was a word I had never even heard of, until it already seemed like it was too late.

But I believed it was important, so I pressed on, determined we would be read-aloud champions.

And it was no longer fun. It was now a ‘thing.’ It was a requirement. It was what a good mom should do.

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How much should your push your sensitive homeschooler?

push3picmo
Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera

I used to do this thing when my kids were small.

When we would enter a busy place, I would sort of situate them in front of me, and waddle behind them, steering their shoulders as we navigated the room or store or farmer’s market.

I thought this made sense because if they were in front of me, I could see them. There was less chance of losing them in the crowd.

The problem, of course, was that I was sending a toddler or pre-schooler into the fray ahead of me, with no idea what sorts of sights, sounds and smells they would encounter.

More than once a little one turned around, threw their arms around my kneecaps and started wailing.

How did it possibly take me so long to figure out my mistake – that I was literally pushing my kids into all sorts of unknown situations?

This sort of push-waddle-steer might not be a big issue for a lot of kids.

Eager kids.

Excited kids.

Kids who would view Disney World as a dream come true instead of a scary, loud, sensory disaster, for instance.

Somebody else’s kids.

But for my kids, doing this was overwhelming and scary.

When I finally realized my mistake I did things differently, and the results were very different. They could enter situations feeling safe and confident.

They knew I was there. That’s a big deal.
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10 things every new homeschooler should know

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10 things every new homeschooler should know
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

I never know exactly how to answer when someone asks me how long we’ve been homeschooling.

“Since the beginning,” goes over pretty well.
“We always have,” gets a fair response.
My holistic view of learning used to lead me to say “since birth,” but that one raised some eyebrows here and there.

But if someone, wanting a more technical response, counts the time since my oldest would have started Kindergarten, that makes this our eighth year of learning at home! No matter how you slice it, I guess I’m not a newbie anymore.

I still remember those days well, though. The insecurity, the worries, the thoughts of inadequacy. (Oh wait, that was just last night!!)

I’m crazy far from being an expert on the matter, but the past several years have taught me a few things I’d like to pass on to every new homeschooler.

I hope they bring comfort to those of you getting started.
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The biggest problem in our homeschool is me

shawnamainpicmo
Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

When we first started homeschooling five years ago, I thought I had it all figured out.

I had a school room with a lovely, perfectly organized set of books, curriculum, and manipulatives. I had a bell, all set and ready to ring for start time, break time, and lunch time.

It was going to be amazing.

And it was.

For exactly one day.

Then reality hit. My children did not do well in a school environment. It was one of the reasons they were no longer going to school. So why was I trying to recreate that exact environment in our home?

The answer?

I am consistently the biggest problem in our homeschool journey.

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10 things I’ve learned in 10 years of homeschooling

hannah10picmo
Written by Hannah Vanderpool of Praying with One Eye Open

I’ve noticed something about my fellow homeschoolers. As a family’s kids get older, the parents tend to get quieter online, at least where homeschooling is concerned.

It’s probably not because they’ve run out of ideas for how to incorporate science into their teenagers’ days, or because there aren’t plenty of funny one-liners they could report.

It’s probably because those of us with older kids sense that our teens need increased privacy, and that, before long, their educational journeys in our homes will come to an end.

And, anyway, if we think about it, we’re just glad blogs didn’t exist when we were their age.

hannah2

I’m one of those moms who felt like there was plenty to discuss when I was homeschooling 5-, 6-, and 7- year-olds. But now that my husband and I have a teenager, I suddenly feel at a loss for what to add to the online conversation.

There are stories I can’t tell these days — struggles that will stay between our own four walls out of respect for my kids.

The truth is that when I talk about homeschooling now, I end up talking about me, not math. I write about how I hope all the years at home have served my kids well, hoping I’ve done enough of this or that, or that I’ve said enough “I’m sorrys.”

Will the future be kind to me, I wonder, as I see this strange and sweet chapter nearing its last few pages?

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