The problem with Big Ideas


Written by Heather Caliri

I was the kind of new mother who read discipline books when my child was too little to hold up her head.

Let’s call that well-prepared instead of terrified, shall we?

My first foray into discipline books was Positive Discipline. Among other things, the author, Jane Nelsen, recommends family meetings to help resolve problems.

What’s a family meeting? Sit everyone down in a circle, plan fun events, share intentional, kind compliments, and also address grievances and problems in a democratic fashion.

I loved this idea when I first read it nine years ago. I loved imagining facilitating discussions. I loved imagining us growing together as a family.

But I didn’t like imagining the implementation.

Why? I was afraid it wouldn’t work.

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How to avoid homeschool overwhelm: Become a curator


Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins.

I love getting catalogs in the mail. Not every catalog, but the good ones that are full of things like board games and butterfly nets and prepared microscope slides and books. So many books! Shiny, happy new books.

But as I flip the pages, my excitement turns into a nagging worry that I’m not doing enough. There are so many options! Maybe we need more stuff, to learn all the things!

Sometimes a new tool or toy or giant box of books is just what we need, but not always.

And if I’m hearing that chant of not enough, not enough, not enough in my heart, a box of supplies is probably not going to fix it. (That insecurity isn’t about my shelves, anyway.)

That’s my signal to remind myself: I am a curator. It’s not my job to give my kids every option ever invented. My goal is to curate my kids’ environment and their experiences.

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The important influence of the not-parents.


Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Last week, our 10-year-old surprised us at dinner when she said, “I memorized something. Want to hear it?”

And then she recited The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in its entirety, without missing a word.

I was floored.

Now I know many of you study poetry in depth with your young students, and rely heavily on memorization for your homeschool curricula. At 6 stanzas, 260 words, it’s not completely daunting. But it’s not something we do in our homeschool. At least not right now.

So of course I wanted to know: how, and why, Sarah had memorized that poem. [Read more…]

How to have the best finishing feeling


Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

So this was the day math took three hours and twenty-three minutes. This was the day I thought to myself, “Today is NOT the day to write a homeschooling post.” This was the day I wondered, “Why exactly am I homeschooling? Why am I so enthusiastic about this education option?”

But then, turns out it was the day to write a post, and it reminded me all over again why we’re doing this thing called homeschooling and why, yes, I remain enthusiastic in spite of it all.

Because of that best finishing feeling.

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Five things I’ve learned from seven years of homeschooling

Five Things I've Learned from Seven Years of Homeschooling

Written by Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home

If you would have talked to me about the idea of homeschooling nine years ago, I probably would have thought you were crazy. But we eventually decided it was our best educational option, and we’ve been going strong for seven years now.

Beginning to homeschool was a huge transition, and now another looms ahead of us:

Unless something changes between now and August, our children (ages 10, 13, & 15) have all decided to attend school full-time in the fall.
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