A letter to Newtown

a letter to newtown
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Dear Newtown,

It’s been a long year.

Last December 14th we woke to a chilly, frosty morning. We went to bed with the chill and frost right down in our souls.

Blindsided with grief as a community, so many times I’ve asked myself, “Of all the places in the world…why God did you send us here?”

You are a beautiful place to live…and an uncomfortable one now as well.
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All kids have special needs.

All kids have special needs. ~SimpleHomeschool.net
Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and writer at Steady Mom

Over a decade ago, I had the extraordinary honor of working with special needs children in both schools and homes. I mainly helped them and their families in whatever way I could, and did my best to shower a little extra love their way. I worked with some children who were severely disabled, a child with cerebral palsy, a child with ADHD, and children with autism.

I both loved and feared this work. Loved it–because I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of these families and learning so much at the same time.

Feared it–because in the back of my mind I wondered if maybe God was preparing me for something. Like one day he was going to “make” me have a child with special needs of my own.
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Giving thanks

Violin lessons
Written by contributor Rachel Wolf of Lusa Organics skin care and Clean

Like you, sometimes I have it all dialed in.

Days when I’m a superstar from dawn until dusk.

From homeschooling to housework, to nurturing my marriage and myself – it’s all happening.

I’m unstoppable!


And then the next day… I’m not.

On these days I’m desperate for things to fall into place, but instead they all seem to fall apart.

Last week I had a day like that.

Okay, several.
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A vision for Simple Homeschool: What this site is (& what it isn’t)

A vision for Simple Homeschool
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Four years ago, the lovely Tsh Oxenreider emailed to ask if I would consider a job as editor of a new site called Simple Homeschool. Thrilled, excited, and nervous, I answered “yes!” and came on board when this blog launched in February 2010.

Whenever we start a new role–take motherhood or homeschooling for example–we don’t really have a clue about what we’re doing or how to do it best. We feel out of our league, on the edge of our learning curve.

As this blog began, I took comfort in a quote I’d once heard: “Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first.”

Sometimes the only way to get better is just to jump in.

So I did–with an awesome team of contributors by my side. Looking back, I’d say it took a year to find our groove and even longer for this blog to discover its own unique personality.

Like a child who has emerged from infancy and toddlerhood, this space now stands proudly as a four-year-old, eager and confident. Which is why it makes sense to spell out a bit more about this blog–what it is, what it isn’t, who it’s for, and where I see it going as it journeys from a preschooler into a wide-eyed eager kindergartner over the next couple of years.
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Are homeschooled kids weird?

Are homeschooled kids weird
Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

Admit it. Somewhere deep in your heart, you’ve wondered, especially if you’ve ever heard someone say, “I know a homeschooling family at my church. Those kids are weird!”

Haven’t we all asked ourselves: are my kids weird?

Weird. Normal. We all have our own definitions. You might say, “I don’t want my kids to be ‘normal’ by today’s standards!” And you might also say, “But I don’t want my kid to be labeled as a weirdo!” So here’s the thing:

All kids are weird.

That’s normal. I mean, when I was a kid—in the privacy of my own home—I stuck black olives on all my fingers and ate them off, one by one. That’s weird, right?  Of course I didn’t eat black olives at public school, but if I had, I would not have eaten them off my fingers one by one. I would have known that was weird because some kid would have announced to the entire cafeteria: “THAT GIRL IS EATING OLIVES OFF HER FINGERS LIKE A WEIRDO!” Even those kids that had a secret desire to emulate me would have shriveled and mocked me. I would have been forever known as Olive Girl. [Read more...]