Life Skills

Planting Seeds

As I write this, the weather is finally starting to get consistently warm in our neck of the woods. So this week, it was time to get started on our little family garden.

My husband grew up in farm country. Each year, he would spend many an hour helping to tend the family's large garden. With twelve mouths to feed, this garden played an important role in providing for the family's needs. My childhood gardening experience, on the other hand, was a bit more limited...

Keeping the Big Picture| Five ways to balance academics with God’s gifting in your children

What priorities do you have for your children? Besides academics, what do you want them to learn that will serve them their whole life long? Since God has given each of my children gifts in certain areas, I want to be sensitive to His leading us to opportunities that help them develop those gifts. I also want my children to have a vision for using those gifts for God’s kingdom.  

Speed Drills and Perfectionism

Ah, speed drills. How we love to hate them.

When I was little, I remember enjoying speed drills. Like Tracy, I was one of those strange children who actually liked math. I was known for doing fairly long sums in my head from about the age of five (or so my grandma tells me). I loved to be tested to see if I could solve the problems that were presented to me. But speed drills were even better: they were like a personal competition, where I could race through the problems and try to beat my own “high score.”

Digging in the Dirt – leaving room for everyday exploration in your homeschooling journey

Flashback to 1997: It’s been raining outside all morning while I’ve been doing school with my children. Now, it’s the afternoon, and I send my kids out to the vegetable garden to pick some fresh green beans. I made sure they put on their rubber boots since it is pretty muddy in the pathways, and I trust that my oldest, now 10, will be responsible and make sure everyone brings more beans back into the house than mud.

Homeschooling Through Trying Times

I work with families who are struggling through financial difficulties, health problems, the loss of a spouse to death or divorce, inadequate housing or transportation, recovery following a natural disaster, fire or flood, and many in the midst of personal tragedy or crisis. Though they don’t always ask it aloud, each of these families want to know how to carry on, with homeschooling as well as life, in the midst of these situations.

Daughters and Mysteries

I’ve been considering how being in our particular family affects our girls’ education. I don’t know if this sounds familiar, but I always suffer from this lurking fear that I’m not normal. (Well, obviously, but maybe that’s a bad thing?) I’ve always told the girls that God sent them to me. So I started thinking about what I learned from my parents, who also have personalities and backgrounds and came from families.

Home is a Great Place for Ministry – Welcoming Neighbors

 

Sometimes I need to remind myself of some of the non-academic benefits of homeschooling my kids, especially when academics aren’t going so well–daily distractions, sickness in the house, kids lack motivation, dishwasher breaks, toilet overflows, dad goes out of town that week for work (where’s the principal when you need him?!), and so on...

Of Bugs and Missing Tupperware

I’m not sure about that poet who decided it’s only boys who are made of snakes, and snails, and puppy dog tails. I am pretty sure that is what my girls are made of too. They sure do love creepy crawlies of all kinds. There is no fear or revulsion. Only curiosity and delight. They love bugs and reptiles!

In the past they have been happy to collect frogs and insects, with either their bare hands or their bug vacuum...

The Ever-Elusive Perfect Learning Environment

In my most glowing pink, rose-colored dreams about home education, my children are perfectly groomed, sitting attentively around the table, smiling or perhaps looking intrigued, as I speak articulately and passionately about faith, academics, or some other important subject matter. Every word out of my mouth is being absorbed into their spongy brains, for permanent retention and life application. The room is quiet as I speak, or perhaps there is soft classical music providing some white noise in the background.

All the Things You Can Think!

Basecamp is a communication and organization software company that offers accounts to project managers to help them successfully monitor project status, which requires effective communication and efficient organization. Basecamp software simplifies the communication process to help people streamline collaboration on various projects. This high tech tool will be a marvelous asset to any tech savvy mother willing to implement it in her homeschool.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall! - 5 Tips For The Transition

 

 

As we savor the remaining moments of summer, and launch a new homeschool year, I'd like to offer some down-to-earth, real-life encouragement to you.

 

Think Pretty (Part 2)

We're picking up this week with the second part of Think Pretty. Check out part 1 of Think Pretty from a few weeks ago.

Three strategies to preserve your brain: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are six main strategies to preserve your brain, and below are the first three. (Of course, these are most effective when done together.) I will address the other three in a future blog post.

Think Pretty (Part 1)

 

When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me each morning as I headed off to school: “Think Pretty.” As I became older, I came to understand that she meant that I should think about lovely things: the good - not the bad, the beautiful - not the ugly. That I should look for the “pretty” in each and every day. 

A Summer's Day: 7 Ideas For Fun

 

The heat waves rise up from the street, the sun blazes hotter than ever, and the kids look up at you after breakfast wondering what's in store for the day. Well, don't let the heat get you down! Revive your spirit of adventure and think of some fun activities that are free (or practically free) to enjoy while you take a break from school.

The Pilot & The Passengers, Part II

 

As typical six-year-old girls, my twin sister and I bobbed up and down like little jumping beans while we watched the Stinson gracefully touch down on the runway. "Never mind the plane. You stay right here, and don't walk through that door!" Ms. P cackled with her eyes fixed on our every move.

 

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