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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Is homeschooling a big deal?

Is Homeschooling a big deal?

The following is a post by contributor Cheryl Pitt.

It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when hordes of parents ponder, pray, and agonize over whether or not to homeschool.

I can hear the collective sizzling of mental snyapses frying under the weight of the decision. I understand of course. It’s not an easy decision to make, or one to be taken lightly.

I was a teenage mom. I had my first child at 17. When we began homeschooling, I was the ripe old age of 22.

At 22 you think you know everything. Naturally, I wanted to impart all my earthly wisdom to my son. I didn’t agonize much over the decision. Homeschooling was something I felt was right, so I was going to do it! I jumped directly into the deep end of the homeschool pool without much thought.

Now, 13 years later, I’m a little older and wiser…wise enough to wonder what on earth I was thinking. The last few days I’ve been appalled at the prideful and blase way we began our homeschool journey. After all, homeschooling is a big deal. Right?

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What I would tell myself about homeschooling …

rachelpicmo

The following is a guest post by Rachel Turiel of 6512 and Growing.

I’ve been homeschooling two children for three years, which is to say, not much time at all. I’m holding space for a lot to come clear, shake down, shake out, and be revealed in the years to come.

And yet, with each passing semester, I find myself settling deeper, more comfortably, into the vast yet cozy chair of homeschooling, realizing that I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Here is what I’d tell my equally scared and nervous self, starting out on the homeschooling journey three years ago:

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How will you know if your homeschooling has been a success?

jamiemainpicmo

The following is a guest post by Jamie McMillin of Legendary Learning.

Every parent’s fondest hope is that his or her child will be successful in life. We don’t want to brag … but we really do. Right?

I suspect this urge is especially prevalent amongst homeschooling parents, because we have presumed to know better than the official public school system how our children should be educated.

What if we’re wrong? What if the whole thing was a big mistake? The stakes are high. Society is watching, so we really want to prove that we did a good job.

The problem is that the indicators society typically uses to measure accomplishment are not very useful for predicting true success in life. Things like grades, test scores, contests, and college admission are only useful for comparing students to standards picked by society.

But if you think about the people in this world who are truly happy, or who have made the greatest contributions to society, you’ll realize that those people did not do what everybody else expected them to do.

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