Learning to be more committed to our kids than to our educational ideals

Being More Committed to Our Kids Than to Our Educational Ideals

The following is a post by contributor Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

We never set out to be homeschoolers.  I had never even heard of homeschooling until I was in college.  I was working on my first degree in education, and when I heard about it, I thought it sounded ridiculous.  How did people think they could teach their children at home when I was spending years in college to become a credentialed teacher?

Life is often funny like that, isn’t it?  I can still picture sitting in a class thinking how insane that was.

Little did I know that my views would soften once I started having children.  Eventually, they would soften so much that I would not only stop thinking that homeschooling was insane, but I would think it sounded like a pretty good idea for my family.
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My favorite thing about back to school time

My favorite thing about back to school time
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

“It’s back-to-school time, or as homeschoolers call it, stay-where-you-are time.”
~ Stephen Colbert

jdlego

He wakes early–and I always know when.

I hear his voice drift down the hallway–starting the day with a song. Love songs for me, for God, for the gift of life itself. Ever the optimist, Jonathan greets the morning with joy.

But I wonder how the refrains would alter with a rush for breakfast, bus stops, and quick goodbyes.

Would we miss out on the music altogether?

Time for morning love songs–one of my favorite things.
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4 truths about homeschooling

krispicmo2

The following is a guest post by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

You’d think, after 12 years, I’d have this homeschooling thing down. Nope! I’m still learning new things about myself, my kids, and what new seasons of homeschooling look like.

We’re in a brand-new season this year and, I’ll be honest, it’s pretty awesome. We graduated our oldest last May. She’s living at home, working, and going to cosmetology school, leaving me homeschooling my middle school girl and my freshman boy.

This new season has driven home for me 4 truths about homeschooling.

One of these, I learned many years ago, but have been reminded of this year. Three, after all these years homeschooling, are brand-new to me — or, at least, are being shown to me in a brand-new light.
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Pursuing passions

melissa2picmo

The following is a guest post by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

Sometimes I look across the living room at the children, who are busily engaged in board games or a stack of Agatha Christies or a pile of rubber stamps that will mostly get stamped on the floor instead of the paper, and I wonder: what will their great passions in this life be? Some we already see developing, of course, but others are yet to be discovered.

Will they be deeply interested in spoken word poetry, or engrossed with the idea of sustainable farming? Maybe they’ll be passionate about app design, or become experts on Emperor Penguins.

We want each of our six kids to discover their own passionate interests, those particular areas that they believe are worth investigating, worth dedicating their time and energy to, and worth sharing with others.

In fact, helping find and engage with those deeper interests is one of the main focuses of our family’s homeschooling lifestyle.

If you take a summer break, this can be a great time to encourage your kids to find their passions or to delve deeper into what they already love, too.

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Raising happier homeschool siblings

siblingspmo

The following is a post by contributor Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

“You are so lucky,” the woman said frowning. “My kids can barely be in a room together, and yours are best friends.

“Do you think it’s because you homeschool?”

Sure. She was seeing one of those adorable moments, when my son opened a package of two crackers and gave my daughter one without her even asking.

It was wonderful and sweet. I love those moments.

But maybe if I am being honest, I should tell you about the other moments, the ones I’m not so proud of, the ones that are also probably because of homeschooling, the ones where they pickpickpick, until one of them snaps, and a door gets slammed, a toy gets tossed, or feelings get hurt.

Yes. My children are the best of friends.

And sometimes, they drive each other up a wall.

Because they are together so very much.

They share our little space. They share friends. They share books and toys and Mom’s attention. Three years apart, they share a lot of interests too, which is great … until it isn’t.

It’s a double-edged sword of homeschooling for certain, and lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to helping my kids be happier homeschooling siblings.

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