Seeds and saplings


The following is a guest post written by Annie Reneau of Motherhood and More.

“We can think of ourselves not as teachers but as gardeners. A gardener does not ‘grow’ flowers; he tries to give them what he thinks they need and they grow by themselves.”
– John Holt

One day, I was chatting with a fellow homeschooling mom about this analogy of teachers as gardeners.

As she dug into her botany background and began passionately explaining the diverse needs of seeds, I was struck by the depth of this metaphor — not just for us “gardeners,” but for the “seeds” and “saplings” in our care as well.

All seeds have a basic need for sun, water and a place to anchor — much like a child’s basic needs for food, love and shelter.

But beyond that, seeds sprout and flourish under widely diverse conditions.
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Embracing a credit based system for high school

Graduation Credit

The following post is written by contributor Cheryl Pitt of

Homeschooling high school often marks a big transition in the way we homeschool our children. They go from babes at Mama’s feet to independent, self-directed learners. While we, the parents, go from hands-on facilitator to hands-off manager. It’s an exciting time as we watch our children grow and test their independence.

With two seniors at home, I’ve found these high school years to be a blessing beyond measure. Watching the boys learn to drive, go on interviews and land first jobs, start dating wonderful young ladies — it’s all been so exciting to see the first true signs of who they’ll be as adults.

However, even though it’s been exciting and fulfilling, and even though I’m not deeply involved in their day-to-day schooling, it hasn’t been without challenges. My biggest regret in raising my first round of homeschool graduates?
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Shaking the assumptions of the “regular school” paradigm

regularschoolThe following is a post by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Last month the kids and I went to our first homeschool group. I was chatting with the other moms, just getting to know everyone a little better, when the conversation turned to foreign languages.

“Which language are you studying?” I asked.

She took a deep breath. “German, French, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, Spanish.”

Her two girls, ages 10 and 6, were studying seven languages. Seven. 
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In pursuit of a slow education

in pursuit of a slow education
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This world spins fast–and we twirl dizzy along with it. Round and round, we juggle more to do: more buttons to click and status updates to check and details to accomplish.

We have more ways to measure ourselves than ever before–How many friends (online or off), how many “likes,” how many tasks checked off? It’s never-ending.

Our kids are not immune to this–how could they be?

We measure them too–with ever-increasing focus on standardized testing and our tendency to push, push, push. We treat them like adults before they’re ready, eager it seems, to get them spinning right alongside us.

Can someone slow down this crazy train, please?
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On raising Little Women (or men): What we can learn from Marmee

what we can learn from Marmee Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

“Once upon a time, there were four girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents, who loved them dearly, and yet they were not contented.” – From a story Marmee told her daughters about some “girls” she once knew

Last autumn I decided to return for the first time in two decades to a book I once loved: Little Women. I have fond memories of Meg, Beth, Amy, and the sister I identified most with, Jo.

book buttonAs a teen the hopes and ambitions of these young women captured my imagination. How would life turn out for them? Would they find the men of their dreams? Would Laurie end up with Jo? I had my eye on a certain boy at the time myself (he’s now my husband ;)) and the girls’ romantic notions fit my own.

Reading the novel as a 36-year-old, however, was a new experience. This time my focus turned toward the awe-inspiring mother, Marmee. After all, I’m in the midst of raising my brood just as she did.

Her four daughters had vastly different opinions in almost every area of life, but they agreed on one thing–their love and near adoration for their mother:
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