Raising our kids one book at a time

Raising our kids one book at a time
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Twenty years from now when my kids are grown, married, perhaps with children of their own…nothing would thrill me more than if they looked back on their childhood through the lens of the books we read together.

Wouldn’t that be cool?

They might remember these distinct “book stages” of their lives:

But why? What’s the point of all this reading that fills our days?

It’s true that creating a story-centered family culture offers plenty of benefits to children: time to bond as a family and huge academic advantages among them. But those aren’t the most important reasons to me.

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The real reason I’m attempting to raise my kids one book at a time is this:

I hope these titles root deep in my children’s souls, building their characters page by page, strengthening them for when hard times inevitably come, and leading them to grow up looking not just for a career but a calling.

You see, I believe my kids, and yours, are meant to impact, change, and heal this hurting world of ours. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to not just read, but to read our way around the world.

This travel plan fits every budget. 😉 And now you can come along!

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Reading about other cultures, countries, and those who live in them kindles our kids’ sense of adventure, grows their compassion, and gently conveys this important lesson:

This world isn’t all about me, but I can be all about helping this world.”

And that knowledge and awareness will serve our children whether they become truck drivers or surgeons, missionaries or homeschooling moms. Each and every one of them world-changers in their unique spheres of influence, whatever it might turn out to be.

It’s in honor of all your amazing kiddos (& mine) that I’ve spent the past five years researching and writing Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

I am all excitement and nervous butterflies, pinching myself in disbelief after ALL.THIS.TIME, to give you a taste of it today!
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6 resources that inspire a love of learning

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6 resources love of learning
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Finding the right resource for your homeschool at the right time is a breath of fresh air. It can feel like the missing link, the answer you’ve been looking for, the perfect fit as you enter a new season.

In our home this year, Trishna (10) and Jonathan (9) have moved solidly into a new period of learning, called Love of Learning Phase. (If the phases of learning are new to you, you can find an overview here.)

This new phase has come with increased interest in academics, and therefore, more work for this mama as I try to keep up with them!

Through that work, we’ve come across six resources that are currently working really well in our home. Here they are in case they might work for you, too.
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Sarah’s Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Not Traveling More

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

One of the things that really aggravated me when our son was in public school in first grade was being told that we shouldn’t go on trips that would make him miss school.

Really? So being in a classroom is more culturally valuable than going to a Greek festival? So he’ll learn music better if he’s jingling bells than if he is at a symphony? History is more likely to come alive for him within the four walls of school than at Gettysburg?

When we decided to homeschool, I knew that much of my children’s education would consist of hands-on learning that included going lots of places. I imagined us taking the Civil War trail along the East Coast, following Lewis and Clark’s adventures out west, digging up dinosaur bones in Utah, ogling masterpieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I even had it calculated that my husband would be eligible for sabbatical when our oldest was in high school, so we would spend six months somewhere far away (and per my husband’s career, botanically interesting), like Australia or South Africa.

The best laid plans, eh?

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Travel the World from your Dining Table (Recipe: Liberian Jollof Rice)

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

This month at Simple Homeschool one of our themes has been giving children a global mindset. Jena provided us with an excellent unit study last week, which culminated in a celebratory feast from the country of your choice. Summer is the perfect, relaxed time to try out a few experimental recipes.

Even if your culinary skills are somewhat lacking, global cuisine isn’t as challenging as it may sound.

Here are several links to easy recipes so you can experience the world without having to leave the dining table. [Read more…]

How to Study Your Favorite Country

As unschoolers, we like to let our kids follow their interests and develop their giftedness. We let them explore and discover, and we offer suggestions and guidance.

But once in awhile, some direct, concentrated school-like activity is fun. That’s what this post is all about.

Here is a one-week unit study on the country of your choice, unschooling style. It’s pretty flexible, but covers a lot of territory. [Read more…]