Pre-School

Remembering Gilbert Blythe

When I heard that the actor who played Gilbert Blythe had died, I was sorry, of course. I heard it from a lady at church, who has loved the Anne movies a long time. Then I talked to my friends, who really do care. I read their blog posts and a bunch of articles and a Buzzfeed tribute. Then I explained about Crombie’s loss to Meg, who at the ripe old age of five has never heard of Anne or Gilbert (ack!), and now I’m crying.

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...

Family Reading Time

When our family decided to pull our oldest daughter out of kindergarten and bring her home, we only knew two other homeschooling families. These two families were very different in their homeschooling styles, and yet on one thing they were in passionate agreement: a well-rounded education involves reading, reading and more reading. More importantly, it involved sharing good books as a family.

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.  

The Resurrection and Homeschooling

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, my thoughts have turned toward the resurrection. 

I love celebrating holidays and sometimes I can get carried away with the frills and fun. I like to plan Easter outfits, maybe even matchy-matchy ones, since my 9-year-old hasn’t yet complained about that. Although, I feel like this might be the last year she happily agrees to do matching outfits, now that she is entering that tween phase.

Living with Classical Music

My daughter Meg requested “a clock with glowy numbers” (i.e. a digital clock) because her room at Nana's house has one, and because it's cool. About that time, my vintage childhood alarm clock stopped going off at the right time reliably, which is super annoying if you want go somewhere. So I bought a cute, round, bright red, working alarm clock and Meg inherited my old one. It does indeed have glowing numbers, and – get this – it has a radio. When you push buttons, music comes out! It's just like Mom's ipod!

Learning and Surviving on the Road - 5 ways to have a fun and educational road trip with your kids

I have to admit I was not looking forward to our road trip last week. Many months ago, I committed to driving from Indianapolis to both Dallas and San Antonio to visit relatives who live there. The idea greatly appealed to me until the reality sunk in, shortly before our time of departure. As I packed our bags, I was definitely looking forward to the destination, but not exactly the journey itself. (Sorry Ralph!) 

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.

But We’ve Always Done It That Way!

Some time after we were married, my husband remarked on how much he appreciated good home cooking, thoughtfully-packed lunches, and fresh baked goods. He especially liked the chocolate chip cookies, which I made faithfully for him because I knew they were just about his favorite dessert. However, he did wonder whether I had found a new recipe for them, because he didn’t remember chocolate chip cookies tasting quite the way I made them. Was I using the classic Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe, he wondered?

Turning the Corner

Early on in my parenting journey, there was a stage at which things were just really, really hard. My sweet baby sometimes took a while to settle at night, leaving me exhausted and yet hopelessly wired at bedtime. We had diaper leakages and incessant spit-ups, leading to far more extra laundry than even I had anticipated. It was a grueling time, and it lasted forever, or so it seemed.

The Problem is I Need Three of Me

My parents, heaven bless them, recently left sunny coastal California and came to the icy tundra that is Indianapolis in winter. They came to watch our four kids for a few days so my husband and I could get away for a very timely respite.

Last fall my mom texted me to ask what we wanted for our winter birthdays and Christmas. After giving it some thought, I replied emphatically, "We don't want stuff! We want a break!! Please come!"

Playing to Our Strengths

While it’s true that a certain amount of parenting involves just staying the course and dutifully slogging through the inevitable rough patches (who really enjoys staying up nights with a sick child or wiping endless runny noses?—yet it needs to be done), I think we can often fall into the assumption that some things just have to be done because That’s the Way Things Are. We hold certain parenting truths to be self-evident because they seem to work so well, but what works for others may not always be best for us.

Laissez-Faire or Fairly Lazy?

 

We have, as I’ve mentioned before, a fairly laid-back approach to schooling. Of course, my motto (or one of my mottoes; I’m as fond of mottoes as the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland was of morals) is do what works for you. Right now, a flexible homeschooling approach works wonders for the smoothness and serenity of our lives.

 

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.

National School Choice Week: Why I Chose Homeschooling - Guest Post

When I first heard about homeschooling, I was intrigued by the idea of teaching my kids at home. I was impressed with the quality and character of the homeschool kids I knew. But I wasn’t convinced that it would be the best path for my children.

Then the Lord brought a wise, older woman into my life who asked me this question, “Who cares most about your children: you, or your children’s teachers?”

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