The magic trick that will ignite your kids’ passion for learning this summer

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

“Jamie, your writing is beautiful!”

“Really?” I said, genuinely stunned. No one had told me that since college. Writing was a childhood dream I had let die. After all, in the “real” world people didn’t get to do that for a living.

My friend’s comment came ten years ago, after I had written my very first blog post. Steve and I were preparing to go meet Trishna, our new four-year-old daughter in India. Many friends and family members had been a part of our adoption process, and we wanted to keep them updated during our travels.

After we returned home, another friend said my blog had inspired her family to pursue adoption too. Sometimes life points you in the direction you need to go long before you would otherwise take the hint.

It didn’t happen that day, month, or even year–but slowly God gave me the courage to begin writing–to pursue a passion I had tossed aside even as I dealt with the demands of being Mom to a four-, three-, and two-year-old.

As homeschooling mamas, we sometimes forget that an investment in ourselves is not a withdrawal from our family. Instead it acts like compound interest, growing and giving back to everyone under your roof.

And that’s why the best thing you could do to ignite your kids’ passion for learning this summer is to pursue your own. After ten years of doing so, here’s what I’d suggest:
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Introverts homeschooling extroverts: Practical ways to make it work

introverts-homeschooling-extroverts
Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

The holidays are coming! Ready, introverts?

Yes, that was said tongue in cheek. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re already dreading them: the people, the conversations, the parties.

Don’t get me wrong: I do enjoy people. I love giving gifts to the ones I love. I look forward to the look on their faces when they receive them. But being around people all the time also wears me out emotionally.

If you’re an introvert, you already know this. If you’re an introvert homeschooling an extrovert, you know this better than anyone else.

I know because I am one. I have three children – one introverted, one extremely extroverted and one… well, we just don’t know yet. It’s too soon to tell. However, I can tell you that even with just the one extrovert, our days can be a little hard to navigate.

So what to do? I have found seven ways that help us deal with our extroverted blessing in our quiet, introverted family.
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Tomatoes and timelines: Giving our homeschoolers room to bloom

tomatoes1picmo
Written by Kara S. Anderson

I’ve been thinking a lot about my green tomatoes lately.

It hasn’t been a good year for tomatoes at the Anderson Ranch. We’ve gotten a couple of precious Cherokee Purples, and a few handfuls of Yellow Cherries, but mostly, our tomatoes have stayed green, or been attacked by chipmunks or never grown at all, their little flowers curling up; giving up.

Meanwhile, in a corner nearby, our hot peppers have gone absolutely bananas. One plant really took off, and we’ve had more hot peppers than it’s advisable to eat.

We’ve pickled some and made hot sauce, but honestly, we’re all tired of our eyes watering and our throats burning, and a little irritated that the tomatoes couldn’t at least pull their weight enough to give us a few jars of salsa.

But gardens do what they do. We can water them and weed them, and yell at them and cross all our toes, but there are good growing seasons and not as good growing seasons, and there are roughly 8,000 variables, and if we think we really have any control, we’re fooling ourselves.

Home education is similar, of course. There are math years and Shakespeare years and years when we worry that our children are not blooming – they are slow to grow in a particular area, and so we tear our hair out and stay up at night worrying.

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It’s okay to say no

It's okay to say no
Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

A few years ago, it was very popular for mom bloggers to write about being the “yes mom.” There were blog posts, Facebook status updates, and Instagram photos capturing those yes mom moments.

I know because I wrote and snapped many of them myself.

Maybe it’s still a thing; I don’t know. In case it isn’t, the gist of it was don’t tell your kids no when you could just as easily say yes.

Yes, we can have ice cream before dinner tonight. Yes, you can jump in the mud puddle. Yes, we can play a board game.

It was a fabulous concept – one whose implementation resulted in some amazing memories with my kids.

However, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to say no, too. [Read more…]

The hardest part of my homeschool year

The hardest part of my homeschooling year
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

A note from Jamie: We wrote this series last summer, but I thought that revisiting it at the start of a new school year might be an encouragement. So check out some of the posts below and remind yourself that even if you’re facing something tough, you can still make homeschooling work for you and yours. Be blessed!

Ya’ll, homeschooling ain’t always easy. And it isn’t always happier ever after.

Sometimes it’s downright tough. You know, don’t you?

This world has troubles and homeschooling families aren’t immune to them. Tough marriage seasons, rebellious children, cancer, miscarriages, depression, financial struggles, midlife crises.

You get the picture.

You don’t always read about these topics on blogs, because well, they’re personal. They often involve our dearly loved children, too, whose privacy we respect and want to protect.

The danger of not writing about these situations, however, is that it creates an illusion that our lives are all peaches and cream.

Roses and buttercups. Always well-behaved children and energetic moms and dads joyfully learning together 24/7.
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