Uncomfortable unfoldings (0n patiently waiting for milestones)

Written by Hillary Boucher of infinitely learning

When you look back on your life it is easy to pick out milestone moments. It’s different for everyone, but learning to ride your bike or learning to drive are probably easy memories to recall.

Milestones are peak experiences that define a journey. You have to go deeper to remember the hours and days leading up to milestones and the frustrations and grumps that sometimes come along with them.

You may notice this in younger children and toddlers: right before they hit a major milestone, like sitting up or walking, they become restless, difficult to soothe and generally uncomfortable.

I notice this in myself, even as an adult: when life is asking me to change, to grow and stretch beyond my comfort zone, there is a certain discomfort that precedes my impending growth.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
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Piecing Together a First Grade Education (2012 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Hillary Boucher of infinite learners

Ages of my children: 7, 4, & 1
Educational philosophies I pull from: Unschooling, Literature-based, Enki, Montessori

We are a young homeschooling family and have only recently started to explore formal curriculum. In the early years we find that focusing on a healthy and enriching home environment along with the patience to let little ones explore at their own pace is more than optimal.

However, a few things changed this past fall:

  • my son turned seven and was actively seeking out more stimulation,
  • New York State Laws require that we begin turning in our plans and reporting on progress, and
  • I started a new job working from home.

The combination of of these changes led us to seek out curriculum tools to help us cover the basics. We started out simple: math and reading.
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Curriculum Choices: 5 Phonics/Early Reading Options

(Disclosure: This post contains five popular reading resources. I haven’t used them myself, unless I share otherwise. This is not a paid review, and Simple Homeschool has not accepted any funds in exchange for this post.)

I don’t know about you, but the idea of teaching my children to read struck me as both thrilling and terrifying.

A process that sounded exciting and natural seemed more complicated as I walked the aisles of a homeschooling convention or browsed resources online.

There are so many choices, but how do you know what you really need to help your child?

I can’t pretend to have figured out all the answers, but here are five popular options that will hopefully make the selection process easier for those of you starting down the phonics and literacy road soon.
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Choosing Good Books for Your Children

Today let’s talk about what we should read to our little ones.

With thousands of children’s books published each year, choosing can feel overwhelming. Poor quality literature may entertain, but it’s also mind-numbing.

High quality literature is thought-provoking as well as entertaining. It inspires greatness and character development, and doesn’t shy away from dealing with difficult topics.

Think of it this way: it’s our job to nourish our children’s minds as well as their bodies. My kids really love candy, but I don’t allow them to eat large amounts every day. It wouldn’t be healthy. I need to pay the same attention to the quality of reading material they digest.

Here’s how to choose the best books for your little ones.

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The Importance of Reading to Children: Where?

Last week I began a series about reading aloud to children. In my first post I wrote about why we should read to our children. This week I want to discuss where we should read to our little people.

Where we read to them? Does it matter — isn’t the sofa a good spot? Yes, of course. In our house we do most of our reading on the living room floor. It’s easy, convenient, and all three children have an equal opportunity to share Mommy’s lap.

But there are also times to shake things up a bit. To make memories and follow the “spark.” Special times to form new traditions and fill everyone’s love tanks.

Here are some ideas to add variety to your storytime locations.

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