Homeschooling for mental health

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

I was 12-years-old when I first began to starve myself.

I don’t know why exactly. Just that it made me feel in control, and being thin brought positive attention my way. That subconscious choice launched a decades-long struggle with food, eventually morphing into bulimia, depression, anxiety.

A deep love for my own kids finally helped me turn the corner in my relationship to food and begin to make peace with it. I spent the first half of my life hating my body, and there’s zero chance I’m going to do so in the second half. I choose to honor each laugh line and wrinkle, celebrate every silver hair I’ve earned.

But I think my struggles back then pale when compared to the load modern day tweens and teens are asked to carry.

I can’t imagine shouldering social media and cyberbullying on top of homework, active shooter drills on top of exams, peer pressure on top of a lack of ownership. Of course it’s not this way for every traditionally-schooled teen, thank God, but it is for many.

Something has been stolen from our kids, and it’s a tragedy.
[Read more…]

The mess of real learning and how to survive

Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

It was Nature Day, and the kids were happily scattered across the property, smeared with mud, rosy-cheeked from the fresh air, happily lost in the world of all things wild.

I came through the back door and into the kitchen to get some water. As I stood at the sink I was vaguely away of some cereal bowls on the counter, but paid little attention. (A few dirty dishes aren’t exactly out-of-the-ordinary around here.) Suddenly, something flopped out of a bowl and splashed water all over the counter.

Gah! Finally focusing on the bowls, I realized one held a large newt, and the other bowls contained jelly-blobs of newt eggs. The newt continued thrashing about in the cereal bowl, splashing water right where I meal-prep. *sigh* You might think my boy was to blame, but I knew better. I called out the door,

“Heidi!”

~

[Read more…]

The only time I worry about the s-word

The Only Time I've Ever Worried About the S-Word | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Written by Caitlin Curley of My Little Poppies

For the past six weeks, our homeschool routine has centered around that dreaded s-word: socialization.

In January, our family rescued a puppy. His name is Gryffin and he was born on October 30th in a hospital parking lot adjacent to a major freeway down in Louisiana.

Anyone who has had a puppy before knows that socialization is a priority throughout the entire first year, but particularly during those first six months.

The Only Time I've Ever Worried About the S-Word | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

This is especially important for pups like Gryffin, whose mother was fearful due to maltreatment.

And so, for the past six weeks, we have been focused on socialization 24-7.

(As a homeschool mom, I find this focus hilarious. More on that in a minute.)

[Read more…]

On risking it all and being rewarded

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Don’t you ever feel like you’re risking it all by homeschooling? The fear of this wildly different-to-the-majority lifestyle, of basically experimenting with my children’s lives and futures, grabs me by the neck sometimes, threatening to strangle me.

It keeps me up at night when I’m not at my strongest, ruminating. Thinking of where he’s at and what she’s doing and what I’m doing and what I’m not doing.

It can feel so scary, so frightening, so risky.

This came to mind during the Olympics as I watched the figure skating. Being highly empathetic, tears rose in my eyes when I saw someone attempt a complicated jump, only to fall.

“Think of how brave they are,” I told the kids. “Knowing they might fail and fall, but practicing and training hard, then going for it anyway.”

“Refusing to play it safe.”

And here’s what struck me:

That risk paid off with rewards. I realized that time and time again, a skater attempting a complex program who stumbled, often STILL received a higher score than one who went with a “safe” program and executed it flawlessly.

The judges rewarded those with courage, even when that courage came coupled with imperfection. Yes!

Don’t you see what this means? We are doing the same thing in our homeschools. We’re audacious mothers and fathers who look at our once-in-a-lifetime kids and see something that we do not want a system to snuff out.

Gutsy men and women who refuse to stuff our little ones into a one-size-fits-all box.

We may do it while shaking in our very boots, and our knees may fail to prepare us for that big upcoming jump, but we are not going to just stand there.

We may fall on our faces, stumble in embarrassment, but WE. WILL. DO. SOMETHING.

And there’s no way that that risk will not come side-by-side with reward: for our children, our family, our society, our world.

Just look at how your risks have paid off already:

  • You sat by her when she read her first words.
  • You saw their faces light up when you watched the deer in the woods on your nature hike.
  • You snuggled under cozy blankets by the fireplace captivated by your mutual love of an incredible book.

So whether you’ve made it up on the podium of your homeschooling life today, or whether you’ve just crashed and burned in front of everyone, your response should be the same:

Rise again, return to your training, go do the next right thing.

And keep an eye out for your rewards. They are on the way.

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
~ Billy Graham

3 ways Christmas can inspire our homeschool

Photo by Jeswin Thomas

Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

By now most of us have put the textbooks aside to rest for a bit, in favor of more festive activities.

I must admit we started our winter break rather spontaneously last Thursday, mid-day, after math and before language arts. I needed to get the house cleaned and decorated for a Christmas party, so as soon as math was finished I announced, “Surprise! It’s Christmas break! Now start cleaning!”

But while this season can certainly become busy – a frenzy of parties and lights and shopping and baking – it can also be a time of precious reflection, when we consider how the message of Christmas informs and inspires our homeschool.

And while there are several holidays celebrated around this time of year, and we warmly welcome every one of you whether you celebrate Christmas or not, let’s consider three ways Christmas can inspire our homeschool: [Read more…]

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