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How to homeschool through illness


Written by Alecia Baptiste.

There is nothing like illness to put a huge monkey wrench in your homeschooling plans. Or any kind of plans!

Many years ago, when my children were much younger, I spent two years battling severe fatigue and just feeling bad all of the time, and being scared because no one in conventional medicine could give me a clear diagnosis of what it was.

I was eventually diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, and I later learned that I had a chronic dental infection.  After that tooth was extracted, my world changed!

But during the two years of my illness, I continued to homeschool. There were literally days when it was a battle just to get myself out of bed, much less care for, AND teach my children.

Though it may have seemed foolish to others to continue homeschooling, I was actually very blessed to have had my children at home. My oldest son was able to help with the younger kids. I didn’t have to juggle two little ones at home along with school schedules.

We were able to have a very relaxed pace.

Since that time, I’ve encountered many homeschool moms who have some type of health challenge. Often along with illness, comes the guilt that they aren’t the “good” mom that they could be— if they were well.

They compare themselves not only to other moms, but they compare themselves to their “healthier self.”

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6 lessons I learned from traveling the world


Written by Charity Hawkins, author of The Homeschool Experiment: A Novel.

This past spring our family embarked upon a trip that had always been a dream of mine. We spent a week in the Washington D.C. area, four weeks in the United Kingdom, and ten days in France. It was a huge challenge and adventure.

The scariest part for me was that for three weeks in the U.K. I was with our three children, ages 10, 8, and 5, on my own. Driving on the left side of the road. With the car making weird sounds at me.

“Mommy screamed a lot,” is how my kids describe my driving. My husband met us in Bath for the rest of the trip.

Here are my life-changing takeaways:

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On mysteries of history and friendship

On mysteries of history and friendship

Growing up on the coast of North Carolina as a young girl, you can bet I spent a lot of school time studying the details of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. I remember being eerily fascinated by the story–I even imagined myself heading to the Outer Banks and being the one to ultimately solve the mystery!

Little did I know back then that one day this story would reappear in my life–through one of my closest friends, author Caroline Starr Rose.

Her newly released novel-in-verse, Blue Birds (for ages 10 and up), takes a story of forbidden friendship and places it right in the middle of one of the greatest mysteries in history:
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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…]