Are you practicing sustainable homeschooling?

Are You Practicing Sustainable Homeschooling-
Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

If you’ve walked into a grocery store lately, you’ve seen items marked “sustainable.” They’re everywhere, it seems.

Even our Facebook feed is full of the concept of sustainability. We hear about “sustainable crops,” “sustainable housing,” “sustainable teas” and even “sustainable budgets and economies.”

All this has led me to think: What about sustainable homeschooling?

Now wait a minute, you say. Sustainable homeschooling? I’ve never heard of that before. But think about it.

The definition of sustainable is either:

  1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level, or
  2. able to be upheld or defended.

And isn’t that what we all want for our homeschools?

We want to be able to work consistently, to accomplish tasks without burning out ourselves or our children. To do our job in the best way possible so that we can uphold and defend our values.

We all want sustainable homeschooling.

So whether you’re sitting around the fire this Christmas reminiscing about the year gone by, or planning for the year to come, here are four practical ideas for making your homeschooling sustainable.

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How do you want your homeschool to feel?

Written by Kara S. Anderson

I was talking with Melissa Camara Wilkins recently about the holidays, and she asked the best question:

How do you want the holidays to feel?

That took me back a step. I don’t usually think about the holidays that way – I’m too busy focusing on what to do next. I often see the Christmas season as one giant to-do list, until I can hit my bed face-first Christmas night, exhausted, but finally able to rest.

That’s not how I want to feel about the holidays, though, and that’s not how I want to feel about homeschooling.

I don’t want these years to be filled with nothing but check-boxes and to-dos.

And so I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to how our homeschool feels, and what I want it to feel like going forward.

As January rolls around in a few weeks, and we begin a new semester of learning, here are some of the things I want to focus on:

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Homeschool lessons learned at public school

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Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things.

In what can only be described as a surreal moment, I found myself signing documents to enroll my son in public school last month.

I love homeschooling.

My sons love homeschooling.

I write all about how much homeschooling has made a tremendous impact on my sons’ education, despite their learning differences. The longer we homeschool, the more I can imagine us continuing to do it all the way through high school.

So it took a lot to sign those documents. But it was worth it.

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Motherhood lessons learned from Lorelai Gilmore

Motherhood lessons learned from Lorelai Gilmore
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

I first discovered the show Gilmore Girls last year, when I heard Tsh and one of her podcast guests mention it.

As a highly sensitive person I have a hard time finding “Jamie approved” shows to watch, so I decided to give it a try.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, Gilmore Girls tells the story of a single mom (Lorelai Gilmore) raising her only child, daughter Rory (16-years-old when the series begins). Because Lorelai had Rory when she was only sixteen, their relationship often mirrors that of close friends rather than mother/daughter.

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In all honesty, I nearly stopped watching early in the first season. The whole “Chilton high school cool kids vs. Rory” storyline almost did me in. But I’m so glad I stuck with it!

And how could I not? The show takes place in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, a small village so similar to my own beloved Newtown. Most of the references to real-life landmarks, roads, towns, etc. are right in my own backyard.

So of course I had to go explore them!

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1779, just like Stars Hollow, see?! And this whole George Washington breakfast at the Tavern is just begging for a Gilmore Girls-style reenactment, don’t ya think?!

Last weekend my friend, writing colleague, and fellow GG fan Kara Anderson flew to my neck of the woods. We then drove 30 minutes north, to the tiny village Amy Sherman-Palladino was visiting when she had the idea for Gilmore Girls.

We walked the streets of Washington Depot, stayed at an Inn in honor of Lorelai, and ate pop-tarts, french fries, and peanut butter cups in celebration of the girls’ dreadful eating habits.

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In front of Washington Depot’s town hall

We had a bit of a Gilmore Girls marathon too, finishing up the series for the second time in anticipation of the new episodes coming to Netflix soon, woot!

Watching Lorelai parent Rory as a single mom has also taught me a few things about motherhood. Here are a few Gilmore-inspired lessons that I want to keep in my back pocket as I navigate the upcoming teen years with my own crew:
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Haunted by the Ghost of Public School Past?

ghostpublicschool
Written by Caitlin Curley of My Little Poppies

One of the most challenging parts of homeschooling, at least for me, is remembering to keep school and education separate.

I know this, but I also spent many years in school both as a student and an educator.

It can be tough to shake that public school mindset.

When we first started homeschooling, we attempted to recreate a school at home. That didn’t last long.

When things are going well, when I’m trusting my gut and my children, our homeschooling looks nothing like school.

It is only when the doubt creeps in that we struggle and start to second-guess… well… everything.

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