Cultivating a heart of service in our children

Written by Alecia Baptiste of

Somehow serving and helping others has always been a part of who I am.

It just seems to be woven into my DNA. I’m the kind of person who sees injustice, a hurt or need and something wells up from deep inside me. I just have to do something!

Even as a kid, I’d watch the commercials about the kids in Ethiopia who were starving. For the price of one cup of coffee a day, we could feed a child.

One day while watching one of those commercials, I decided that I wanted to help at least one needy child.

Well, with many years behind me and four children later, my heart of service has become a part of the DNA of our home, and we’ve found many ways to impact those in need.

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5 fantasy worlds your kids will love

The following is a guest post by Corinne Jacob of Alternate Tutelage.

I started reading Harry Potter at around the time the third book was released; it was the first one I read, and remains my favorite to this day.

By the time the seventh book was out, my entire family was hooked.

We waited eagerly for its release and bought our copy almost the day it was out, my father getting to it first. My younger brother started on it the minute he got back from school, while I could only begin reading once I got home from college.

There was only one copy of the book, and none of us was willing to wait for the others to finish with the seven hundred-plus pages. The solution?

All of us read it at once. Each of us twisted into weird contortions holding open the chapter we were on, trying not to disturb our fellow readers who were on different chapters.

The L-shaped sofa helped.
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Homeschooling growth through community


The following is a guest post by Kassandra Brown of

“A big wind blows…”

My daughter is in the middle of a 30-person circle, holding one arm out as she turns slowly to look at all of us.

“On all of those….”

She smiles and pauses dramatically.

“Who have … boots!” she shouts triumphantly.

Chaos erupts as everyone scrambles for a new seat. Some folks are slower than others looking at each other and saying “I’m not wearing boots but I do have them,” before they, too, get up.

We’re in the midst of our community’s “Meet and Greet,” an evening event where we play icebreakers with the 13 strangers-about-to-become-friends who’ll be staying with us for the next week or two.

My daughter and I agreed to host the event and I’m delighted to see her participating so fully.

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20 family activities for fall


 Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I don’t know about your part of the country, but where I live, October is the time of year when it’s finally cooling off and feeling like fall.

It is often still pretty hot in mid-afternoon, but the mornings and evenings are perfect for enjoying some outdoor activities as a family.

Not sure what to do? How about a one or two of these 20 suggestions for family activities for fall?

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Raising chickens and the art of project-based learning


Contributor Amida is currently obsessed with chickens and often blogs about them at Journey Into Unschooling

This summer, I decided to ditch the school work and focus on a more natural learning style, allowing our interest to dictate which topics we would explore. For my three-year-old, it was the different structures at the playground and figuring out daredevil ways to get the most play out of them. My teenage son had a newfound interest in knives and began his personal research on the various types and their pros and cons.

For me, it all boiled down to chickens.

Project-based learning is something I’ve always believed in and aspire to integrate in our home learning environment.

For years, I’ve dreamt of the perfect summer project. The opportunity finally came when we met a couple of chicks facing eviction from the community garden, where they had set up residence without permission.

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