4 ways to encourage less complaining & more thanksgiving

complaining
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

I can tell we’ve gotten off course when, as I tell my kids to do something, I am already inwardly preparing for their protest. I so wish it didn’t happen, but I have a hunch we all face this at times, that inner irritation that comes from just a few too many complaints.

It usually starts with a subtle, not-quite-right attitude, a less-than-cheerful obedience, a tone of voice that leaves much to be desired. It’s usually not outright defiance, but we know too well that a little bit of complaining, compounded day after day after day, can wear the best of us down to a weary nub. Or, conversely, rile us up and make us sharp, sarcastic, harsh.

Either way, it can leave us wondering, “What happened to our joy?!”

I’d like to share a few thoughts in this place as a way to simply begin the conversation on this topic. Truthfully, I’m tackling it because I’d love to hear your wisdom on how you maintain a complaint-free home. Let’s begin here: [Read more…]

How to navigate the ups and downs of the teen years

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

If you’re the parent of a teen or tween, you know that those can be some emotionally difficult years. If you’re not there yet, hold on! Get ready for a ride on a wild emotional roller coaster.

Don’t misunderstand. Teens get a bad rap when it comes to attitudes and teen angst. I happen to think most teens are really amazing people. However, with hormones run amok and young people beginning to face more grown-up situations, emotions run high through these years.

I am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my teens – not because I want to shelter them and not because I wouldn’t be similarly involved in their lives if they went to a traditional school. Rather, it’s because I so appreciate the extra time I have with my teens to come alongside them in these emotionally-charged years.

Today I want to share some tips for helping your teens through emotionally difficult situations – tips that are universal, no matter where your kids attend school.

[Read more…]

How we change with the seasons—without a school calendar

Changing with the seasons

Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

For a long time, we didn’t really mark the changing seasons in our family. Without a traditional school calendar to follow, or any obvious signs in nature (we live in Southern California—it’s pretty much all sun, all the time), our days looked more or less the same all year round.

I always wanted to note the turn of the seasons somehow. I liked the idea of having rituals that our kids would remember and look forward to—but it seemed like one more (impossible) thing to add into our days.

Between reading aloud and making sandwiches and playing board games and riding scooters and investigating the migratory patterns of monarchs and resolving conflicts and walking to the park and tidying up before bed, there didn’t seem to be a lot of time for a maypole to celebrate spring or a candle walk on the winter solstice.

But it’s really hard to reflect on where you’ve been and how much you’ve grown when one week bleeds into the next, on and on forever. I didn’t want our days to be lost in the swirling vortex of time, and I didn’t want to create a family culture of always-on, without regular markers to guide us. At the same time, I still had small children.

Yes, I wanted the maypole, but I needed something simpler.
[Read more…]

Read the World: Australia, Oceania, & Polar Regions

Read the World_ Australia_Oceania_The Polar Regions
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Hello and welcome to the final stop of our travels!

What an adventure we’ve had, and if you’ve missed any of it these posts will stay up long-term so you can come back to them anytime!

Summer Book Club sidebar

Come on, let’s head to Australia/Oceania and the Polar Regions!
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Read the World: Latin America

Read the World_ Latin America
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Hola! Shall we head to Latin America, friends?

Everything you need to have some fun and learn plenty, too, is included below.

Summer Book Club sidebar

Come on, Latin America awaits:
[Read more…]