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Why your teen needs a mentor

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I can’t remember where I read it, but a few years ago I was introduced to the idea that kids, particularly teens, need mentors.

A mentor is an older, trusted adult in whom a teen can confide and who can be trusted to provide sound advice, guidance, and encouragement.

It sounds a lot like a parent, doesn’t it? But, it isn’t.

Why do kids need mentors?

We are older, trusted adults who are willing to provide guidance to our kids and we always have their best interests at heart, so why on earth would we need to bring someone else into the picture?

Because we’re the parents.

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5 things kids really want to know about homeschooling

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The following is a post by contributor Amida of journey into unschooling.

So, how do you homeschool? This by far, is perhaps the most asked question regarding our schooling.

One day, upon learning that my children are homeschooled,  a group of elementary school kids instantly bombarded them with questions concerning their education: What do you have to do? How long does it take to finish? Do you get recess? What do you eat at your homeschool? Who is your teacher?

I found it all very amusing, especially my son’s brief responses — everything, until we are done, yes, anything, Mom. I thought I’d take this moment to elaborate for him.

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Why you need hygge, homeschool mom

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Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

“The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit (how difficult mothering is) quietly to each other over cups of tea at a table sticky with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.” ~ Anna Quindlen

We gather on Tuesdays. Our four families.

We bring pastries and Pokémon cards, and there is always tea.

Buckets of tea.

Embarrassing amounts of tea.

We gather around a table covered with muffins and fruits and cheese; books and broken pencils and drying art projects.

(Those last few are mostly at my house.)

There’s no schedule. No real plan.

There’s never pressure to host.

We understand when one of us is swamped with work or finishing a paper for a class. We get it when church commitments come up.

And yet, it happens almost every week, in some form or fashion, and it has become one of the most important things in the world to me.

These friendships, formed around homeschooling and mothering and being daughters and wives – I hold them in my heart.

I’ve wondered what to call the wonderful feeling I get while sitting around those tables.

And then, recently, I read about hygge.

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On free-range kids and letting go of labels

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Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

Spring’s come early to Oregon and the chickens are laying again. The picture below is the real-time view from my perch here on the back porch, as I watch the kids creating animal farms in the yard.

Yes, “animal farms” are as simple as they sound: tupperware containers filled with worms, spiders, centipedes, snails and slugs.

To the left are the chickens.

We joke that we only raise the finest “free-range” chickens. Of course they are free-range, we leave the gate open and let them roam around the yard during the day.

Achieving “free-range” is much easier than it sounds.

But “free-range” is a funny thing, right? It’s a label we attach that conjures up an image that’s probably far from reality.

More and more we are becoming label-obsessed and label-dependent, and while I’m certainly not here to take issue with the food industry (I’m just happy to have food on my table!), I’ve noticed that the label-happy mentality sticks itself to our homeschooling habits as well.

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Authentic writing activities for kids and teens

Authentic Writing Activities for Kids and Teens

Written by Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home

I have loved writing since I was a little girl. I was always writing stories and creating projects. It was just how I was naturally bent.

Most of my kids have been considerably less enthusiastic about writing. Because of their natural inclination against writing, I have sought out a variety of authentic writing activities beyond the standard five paragraph essay in order to encourage a love (or at least like) of writing.

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