On setting (& adjusting) your summer expectations

On setting and adjusting your summer expectations
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

I‘m finishing this post off in a Midwestern hotel, right before the start of a journey we’ve planned all year (and that I’ve looked forward to for decades!)

We are preparing to kick off our Little House site tour–it’s like the ultimate field trip, visiting some of the sites that Laura called home.

All year long the kids and I have been studying the Little House books, in anticipation of actually seeing and experiencing some of what the Ingalls did long ago. I cannot wait!
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The best lesson about learning

heather3picmo

The following is a guest post written by Heather Caliri of A Little Yes.

To be honest, I’m still not sure why I freaked out about the clay.

My daughter had found the battery-powered pottery wheel at the thrift store. Her face flushed with excitement, she placed the box on the counter and paid for it with her allowance.

I was tentative at best. The thing looked like a toy instead of a tool. Plus I remembered from school how hard throwing clay was. Would she get as frustrated as I once had with centering it?

She asked for my help getting set up. I held the instructions in one hand and the air-dry clay in the other. I read aloud about wedging the clay, centering it on the wheel, about slip and water and — that’s when I noticed my heart racing.

I knew I shouldn’t be this upset by a toy pottery wheel, but I was. And I didn’t know how to calm the heck down.

I was babbling that maybe we should slow down for a minute — practice — wait — when she took the clay out of my hand, set it on the wheel, and pressed the pedal. Whirrrrr. The wheel spun around like a child’s record player.

I looked at my daughter. She glowed.

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Real summer learning

Amida1picmo

Contributor Amida writes for Journey into Unschooling.

I had big plans this summer. Big Plans. This summer, I decided, we were going to catch up, tie up a few loose ends, and get ahead.

My preschooler would learn her letters while my grade-schooler memorized her times tables and conquered those reading comprehension exercises. My middle-schooler was going to master Latin, guitar, and algebra. And finally, my high-schooler was going to read volumes of summer reading books, write reviews for them, and complete his geometry requirement at the local community college.

All this (and more!) was to be completed by August. No problem.

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Tips for single-parent homeschooling

Tips for single-parent homeschooling

The following is a guest post by LaToya Edwards of Learning to Let Him Lead.

When I first became a mommy I never imagined that I would want to be home with my babies, and I had never heard of homeschooling.

When my first son was born and I started thinking about his education, my heart was really drawn towards teaching him at home. I had no idea how I was going to manage to homeschool a child and have a full-time law career, but I figured that between my husband and me, we could work it out.

All those plans went out the window when I suddenly found myself a single mom to two boys.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to finish school and provide for us but I never let go of the dream of homeschooling. It has not been an easy road homeschooling as a single parent.

I’m often tired, exhausted and worn out. But little by little I’m finding my way and figuring out what homeschooling looks like for us.

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My best dozen pieces of homeschooling advice

January '13-55Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

Our support group’s annual Homeschooling 101 is coming up soon, and I’ve been putting together notes and packets in preparation for my presentation.

I love looking out at the audience and seeing so many people; and whether their faces are eager, apprehensive, confused, or even terrified, they all have this in common: they desperately want to do the best for their children. Some of them will find out that homeschooling is the absolute best choice they can make; others will pursue different avenues.

Invariably, sometime during the session, the question comes in some form:

what piece of advice would you give a newbie?

Much more important to me than choosing curriculum or having well-organized shelves or even deciding whether to keep homeschooling is the tremendous task of being a good parent.

My pieces of advice really apply to any parents, not just homeschooling ones.
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