Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
As we prepare to close out another year, I visited the archives of Simple Homeschool and chose one of the most popular posts from each month of 2013 to share today.
Consider it a year in review, and a whole lotta quality inspiration packed together just for you!
So many thanks to the contributors and guest posters who have helped me fill this virtual space with so much quality content over the past twelve months.
Feel free to bookmark this page and return to it when doubt or negativity tries to creep upon you in 2014. Discouragement, be gone!
“It wasn’t that Marmee didn’t have high hopes for her children–she did. But her goals for them centered mainly on character development.
She knew her daughters could reach those goals and retain their originality at the same time. There wasn’t the fretting over who they weren’t as much as there was the celebrating of who they were.”
“Sometimes, it’s all too much. If the kids are being boisterous, the baby is crying, the toddler is whining, and I’ve just finished four math lessons in a row, I think it’s fair to ask for a time out.
The key is to ask gently BEFORE your head explodes.”
Photo by Crunchy Footsteps
“I don’t follow any curriculum, although I find the notion romantic. It would be so easy to use an all inclusive game plan, in which all the subjects are beautifully intertwined and the lessons and activities build upon one another.
The reality though, is that I am not that disciplined. Or organized (see #2). Or patient (see #3). I cannot sit for 3-4 hours a day, five days a week, doing school. I make plans on occasion, but I don’t expect to follow them for too long.”
“It isn’t easy to recover a lost childhood. And far too many of us are ourselves the culprits and thieves–in the race to look good in front of friends and family we push, enroll, and bribe for bragging rights of whose offspring read, wrote, or beat the other team in little league first.”
“We all know that true “socialization” is not just finding yourself in a group. For some of us (let’s face it, a lot of us introverted homeschool moms) groups can be absolutely terrifying.”
“When I was just starting out with homeschooling, I sneered at the idea of tests. “Why should I teach to a test?” I wondered. We were going to simply soak up information with good literature and activities and I would just KNOW that my kids knew everything they were supposed to.”
“My kids were growing up in an enriching home. We read aloud every day and enjoyed wide-ranging conversations. We went to parks, museums, and plays. But I was raised to believe that formal education is something separate and measurable.
Still, I saw that my kids learned most eagerly when filled with the aliveness we call curiosity. That’s true of all of us: learning sticks when we’re interested. When we’re not, much of what we learn tends to become inaccessible after the grade is earned.”
“I knew I needed help, but it took me a little while to figure out what kind of help I needed. I didn’t need childcare, exactly, or a cleaning person, or a tutor. What I really wanted was another set of hands: someone to fold the laundry and build blocks with my toddler, to dole out snacks and read stories to my 5-year-old.”
“Sitting at the breakfast table together now, we chat, squabble, or laugh–whatever the moment calls for. A screech of tires on the road out front reminds us of another world–the school bus passing by.
We hardly notice–too busy with our current read-aloud, our thoughts, our freedom.”
“I distinctly remember my ever-tender-hearted mother having zero compassion for bored children. She was not responsible for entertaining us, and since electronics and media weren’t options, we were doomed … to learn.”
“Oh, I don’t like to debate my family’s choices,” I’ll say with a wave of my hand, as if I’m incapable of getting worked up, and have never, ever attended a nurse-in or written an emotional 3-page letter to the editor about library funding cuts. Nope, I’m quietly strong and graceful. I am Princess Diana and the Dalai Lama.”
“Unschoolers, I thought, were just a loose, disorganized, and dare I say, lazy bunch who considered grocery shopping “math” and seeing rainbows through the sprinklers “science”.”
“The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.” ~ Mike Dooley