Encouragement

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.

Take the Plunge into Marine Science!

Most high schoolers complete 2-3 years of science usually consisting of Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry.  However, some students struggle with that regimen while others dream of more exotic science careers.  Both types of students will benefit from different science options.  High school teens enthralled by an aquarium show featuring sea lions, seals, dolphins, and killer whales might be good candidates for marine biology.

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.

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!"

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...

Cooking Up Appearances

Much has been written—on social media and elsewhere—about the prevalence of social media in our lives.

A common lament is that an overindulged obsession with online life tends to swallow up the reality of our actual life, leading to discontentment, unfair comparisons, wasted time, silly fads, and the like. On the other hand, failure to document our lives leaves no record of them, ensuring that our legacy will disappear into a forgotten void and possibly, through the cumulative loss of information, spawning another dark age.

Just Do It - Introducing Jessica Cole to the Blog!

My homeschooling story begins much like many stories I've heard over the years: with a deep heart-to-heart conversation with the husband. It was late at night... the kids had gone to bed... and I was sitting in the dark next to my husband with tears in my eyes.

But this is not one of those stories where the child has been struggling in school, where he or she has been coming home distraught, or where the parents have to make a life-altering decision to pull their child out of public school and teach them at home. No, this is a much simpler story...

The Real Cost of Frugal Homeschooling

To say that our family struggled financially throughout the years would be an understatement. With our primary income dependent on the construction industry, there were frequent periods of unemployment. To help make ends meet, I worked odd jobs while juggling being a wife and mother. I found babysitting detrimental to the time I wanted to spend with my own children and a huge interruption to homeschooling. I did some transcription work from home and cleaned houses for a time and even worked at one point taking magazine subscriptions...

Teaching Math - Counting Everything, Everywhere You Go

 

I told Meg, my older daughter, that I had a half-baked idea for a math project. "Cool!" she said, but the word "baked" reminded her of our not-very-successful and not-yet-baked-at-all cuneiform cylinder seals. They were lying on the stove all squashy and green. "It isn't with salt dough, though, is it, Mommy?"

Healthy Homeschool Moms Need Treats!

I stumbled on a fascinating blog post this week entitled We Must Have Treats! Here’s Why by happiness expert and widely acclaimed author Gretchen Rubin. After reading her post, I immediately connected with her.

What she had to say about giving ourselves treats is vitally important for homeschooling moms – well, for everyone really, but I’m targeting burned-out, emotionally drained, physically frazzled home educators … yes, YOU!

Our Homeschooling Journey | Introducing Rose Focht to the Blog!

My oldest child learned how to read in a way that you wouldn’t quite expect, but it worked for her due to the flexibility that homeschooling allows. My husband took the lead on teaching her, pointing out the letters to her on our bathroom wallpaper while she was potty-training. She knew her alphabet before she was two, and I breezily built on that knowledge by reciting to her things like “A says aa, B says buh…” at every opportunity. I had a set of McGuffey’s readers on our shelf, so I pulled out the primer one day and started pointing out simple words...

Help! My Teen Refuses to Do Her School Work!

 

As I field questions from homeschool moms who are seeking my advice, one question comes up rather frequently. “My teen refuses to do her course work. What can I do?” I’d like to share 5 suggestions from my experience as a consultant and former homeschool mom.

 

Can We Skip Doing Math Today?

When I was in elementary school, I remember enjoying doing workbook pages, especially math ones. Yep, I was one of those weird kids. I also wrote left-handed back when all the desks were made for right-handed kids. My first grade teacher even tried to force me to write right-handed. It didn’t work. My resistance to conversion may have pushed her to retire early; for me at the very least, it ruined any interest in handwriting for a long time.

We Often Come Up Short, but God Never Does | Introducing Julie Schnatterly to the Blog!

If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, my journey as a homeschool mom may have begun with a crawl, a limp and couple of do-si-dos which ended up leaving me facing in the wrong direction. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and came to motherhood more unprepared than the next person. I only knew that when they placed my firstborn into my arms, I would give all of my heart and soul to protect and nurture her in the best way I knew how. 

I Like to Do a Little Reading in My Off-Duty | Introducing Carolyn Bales to the Blog!

My daughter, Meg, is sitting at the kitchen table with a screwdriver and a puddle of turquoise play-doh. We have a library book on Mesopotamia open to the cuneiform numbers, and she's imitating them. Triangular reed stalks not being in season, I twisted a flat-head screwdriver for each print, and that worked pretty well. Meg prefers scraping triangles with a pine twig for added authenticity.

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