Starting the year right

laura2picmo

The following is a guest post by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment.

 A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge” – Thomas Carlyle

I will never forget my first day of kindergarten. I wore my favorite ruffly dress that twirled nicely, my hair in pigtails, and clutched my favorite pink doll tightly.

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I was excited and terrified all at once. I was eager to learn and even more eager to be liked by my classmates.

Thankfully, the first face to greet me that morning was my teacher, Ms. Neal. Ms. Neal was one of those people created to make small people feel significant, loved, and happy. We were a group of more than 20 kids, but Ms. Neal made us all feel special.

And there was nothing that we wanted more than to see her smile and sense her approval of our oddly-cut shapes or wobbly-written letters. And approval she gave — loads of it.

More than 30 years later, my brother, a Delta pilot, returned to sit in the back of her classroom just to watch Ms. Neal work her magic. The children quietly sat in their places, raised their hands, respecting her and each other. How did she do it?

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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

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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.

[Read more...]


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