Worldschooling- Who Says That Homeschooling Only Happens at Home?

I guess some homeschool stereotypes can be true. Take our family as an example.

  • Super-size family? Check.
  • Christians? Check.
  • Homebodies? Sigh. Okay. Check.

Continue reading “Worldschooling- Who Says That Homeschooling Only Happens at Home?”

10 Books That Will Forever Change the Way You Look at Learning

Sometimes it can be extremely hard to rid ourselves of an accepted concept that not only we grew up with, but so did our parents, grandparents, and, sometimes, our great-grandparents. The educational institution we know of today has only existed for a very short time when compared with the rest of history as we know it; however, since the past several generations have never known anything different than the brick-and-mortar school setting, oftentimes our idea of what “real” education looks like gets crammed into a neat little illustration of what’s going on within the four walls of the public school down the street.  Continue reading “10 Books That Will Forever Change the Way You Look at Learning”

10 Reasons All Kids Should Read at Their Own Pace

Learning to read is one of the most exciting milestones many parents look forward to in the lives of their children. It is, without a doubt, a breathtaking moment the first time you listen to your child read a book to you.

Literacy opens so many doors to so many new opportunities. Reading a great work of fiction is a magical way of escaping from the monotony of daily life. It is a gate through which the imagination can take flight. It grants the ability to function in an extremely text-driven world.

But does it matter so much when it happens? Right now I’m in the midst of reading a book on educational reform, and so far a great deal of it deals with the problems brought on by insisting that children learn to read at younger and younger ages.

What has surprised me the most in my reading is that it is largely parents who are demanding more and more with each passing year that their 3- and 4-year olds are introduced to reading and math concepts before they’re developmentally ready for it.

Whether it’s from worrying about their children’s futures, competitiveness, or impatience depends on the person, but no matter the reason, it’s time that the parents of little ones stop, take a breather, and think about why this is so important to them.

Because, truth be told, more and more child development experts are finding that this trend can actually be harmful in the long run.  Continue reading “10 Reasons All Kids Should Read at Their Own Pace”

3 Reasons Not to Worry About Homeschool Subject Requirements

If you’ve ever visited this blog before, you are well aware of how passionately I try to spread the message that homeschooling does not have to be a replica of school and how important it is to get out of the schoolish mindset. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and have come to the realization that homeschool laws and even homeschool curricula can make that very difficult. (Watch my video on this topic here.)

Many states have specific subject requirements that must be fulfilled each year, thus homeschool resource publishers follow suit and produce textbook after textbook covering grammar, writing, spelling, reading, math, social studies, science, and so on and so on.

Countless times I have seen stressed out homeschool moms completely burned out from trying to fit all of these different classes into their day, inevitably erasing the possibility of any enjoyment that might have occurred in their homeschool routine. Continue reading “3 Reasons Not to Worry About Homeschool Subject Requirements”

Maybe “Educational” Should Be a Bad Word

I originally wrote this in 2014 when we were still in the midst of unschooling. Although our homeschool approach has changed since then, I still believe many of the philosophies that follow this style of learning. Learning happens all the time in all situations. I hope you find this post to be an encouragement! 

There's No Place Like Home

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Calm down…I know what you’re thinking. To clarify myself, I am not against education, just society’s definition of it.

Just what exactly is considered to be educational by most people?

– Something that fits neatly into a  school board-approved subject- i.e. English, Math, Science, etc.

– Something which is learned out of textbooks, then tested and graded

– Anything which is covered in standardized testing and the Common Core

Makes sense, right? It’s all very straightforward…

…or is it?

An important question here is who decides what is considered to be educational? That’s easy….school boards and the government. Oh, boy. That’s a problem for me. Our government can’t handle running the country- the job we hired them for. Why would we throw something else at them for them to control, particularly, our children’s futures? I don’t know about you, but that’s a problem for me.

This brings me…

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5 Reasons Your Child Stops Being Curious After Starting School

Have you ever taken the time to actually sit down and watch a toddler? They’re fascinating little people. They have this extraordinary gift of being able to find something to do with any object they come across. Granted, they’re not always things we want them to do, but their plans are usually ingenious just the same.

Ask any parent of a preschooler about their little one and they’re bound to tell you multiple stories of how their precious children manage to get into everything. Besides that, there are the constant questions: Why is the bee on that flower? Why is that flower pink? What do worms eat? Are worms bugs?  Continue reading “5 Reasons Your Child Stops Being Curious After Starting School”

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed By Homeschooling Your Big Family?

Find out how I changed our homeschool schedule to relieve the stress!

I know I write an awful lot about how keeping your homeschool simple will save you a lot of headaches.

 But one thing I feel the need to point out is that it will never be perfect. You may certainly find a routine that fits your lifestyle very well, but there may inevitably be a time when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the same schedule that you once thought was a godsend.  Continue reading “Are You Feeling Overwhelmed By Homeschooling Your Big Family?”

Homeschooling- not a part of life…a WAY of life

One of the funniest things to me while talking to someone unfamiliar with homeschooling is the look on their face when I tell them that our homeschooling only takes a few hours a day.

I totally get it. After growing up in a school system that mandates 6-7 hour-long days, it can be hard to understand how a child can learn in so small an amount of time.

But that’s just it…we homeschoolers don’t consider our lessons to be the only portion of our day that our kids are being educated. After being immersed in this lifestyle- yes, lifestyle- for a bit, it’s easy to see how natural a process learning actually is.  Continue reading “Homeschooling- not a part of life…a WAY of life”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!

We’ve reached the end of our first week of our new homeschool year, and we have had so much fun! The kids and I were all so excited to begin, and that has lasted throughout the entire week, so things are looking great so far!

Unfortunately, we almost got off to a rocky start because I got a phone call early Monday morning from a family member asking me to drive them somewhere (they live 1/2 hr. away). After I explained that it was our first day of homeschool, they were very understanding. Unfortunately, though, when I mentioned it to another family member I was lectured about sometimes “having to make sacrifices.” I got more than a little angry at that, because I have sacrificed many a homeschool day to help people out. The problem is that once I started doing that, people have constantly been expecting me to do it over and over again.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Evaluation Week!

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Our last week of “school” has finally arrived- for real! And a new-to-us car (okay, SUV) has also finally arrived today! This past couple of weeks have been the longest days of our lives. Imagine living in a 12-person household without going grocery shopping for 10 days. 😦 Trust me, it wasn’t pretty.

Although we’ve been without transportation for most of the week, we’ve been very busy. Tomorrow morning our homeschool evaluator will be calling us for our evaluation interview, so this week has been much about the kids and I working together to choose which work samples to send to her. While it’s a lot of work, especially since I have 6 kids needing evaluations this year, it really was fun to take a look back at our year.

The Littles:

I’ve been continuing math practice with Luke (7) since his new workbook is pretty advanced for the coming year. Ireland (6) does not, technically, need the practice since she just finished Kindergarten, but this child is highly motivated and has astonished me in so many ways this week.

The other morning I drew a number line for Luke because he still needs to practice some of the more difficult addition facts. During his math time, Ireland asked me to make her a number line. I explained to her that I couldn’t help her right then because I was working with Luke, but she asked for it anyway. Then she asked me to write down some “hard” addition problems. Since I don’t like pushing kids too early, up until this point I had only worked with her on addition problems that add up to 0-5.

She sat on the floor diligently working on these problems, and I didn’t expect much because I had never shown her how a number line works. At one point I asked Luke what 7+8 was, and while he was calculating in his head, Ireland called out “15!” I asked her how she knew that. She casually replied, “The number line.” I walked over and checked her paper, and out of 20 problems, she only got 2 wrong! I was astonished.

The next day, she taught herself how to ride a bike. Again, we’ve never helped her with this. She hadn’t really been interested in it until this week when she simply got on a bike and started practicing over and over again until she could do it. Ireland is honestly the perfect example of how well children learn if they are left to figure things out for themselves. John Holt would’ve been proud. 🙂

 

The Big Kids:

Caollin, London, and Bailey have all also been continuing math. With everything going on, we haven’t done it everyday, but we get to it when we can.

Caollin’s been spending a lot of time at the creek with Dillon. This week they found a snapping turtle and a huge bullfrog. Thankfully, they did not bring them home and left them there. 🙂

London spent most of the week at my mother’s house and just came home today for her evaluation tomorrow. She had such a good time with her grandma and my uncle when she went out to eat with them and Jack Sparrow and Tinkerbell showed up. Afterwards, they went outside of the restaurant and saw a bunch of geese. London approached a goose to pet it, and it immediately fluffed up its wings and started chasing her. London was terrified, but I wish I’d have seen it. I would have been a bad mom and cracked up laughing! Later they did see why the goose was so belligerent- her babies were right up on the hill. She was just protecting them.

Tonight Bailey went to an event at the elementary school with a neighbor. He was so excited because he got two free books there.

 

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The Teens:

The teens are so happy to be finishing up their week. Devin has been busy preparing for three trips back-to-back-to-back. On Sunday, she’ll be leaving to go with a friend to the Special Olympics at Penn State. Her friend’s brother participates in the track event. They’ll be camping at a nearby campground for a few days there, after which she’ll be coming home for a day, and then setting off for an anime convention in Atlantic City. After being there for the weekend, she’ll come home for a few weeks and then head back to New Jersey for a Japanese Christian event with another friend whose mother is from Japan. Devin is a busy, busy girl!

Dillon has been another busy one! On Saturday he went to the roller rink with some friends, and practically every other day this week he’s been at the creek, which has meant no book work for him. I truly feel he’s learning more there because he’s actually interested in it. He’s still taking photographs of the wildlife and surrounding habitat. I think he may finally have found his niche!

 

Arianna has still been in homebody mode, although she did help our oldest son clean up my mom’s backyard this week. She found her Apples to Apples game this week, and we’ve played it several nights now. If you’ve never played this game, I highly encourage you to try it. It can be so hilarious if you’re playing with goofy kids like mine. 😉

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Compared to last week, this week started out just as difficult but has ended on a high note. God is good all the time, isn’t He? Here’s to hoping you have a blessed and fun weekend!

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