Pre-School

Little Pitchers and All That Jazz

I love hearing unique or humorous twists on popular sayings. For instance, one common motto is: “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Our version of this is, “Time flies when you’re having kids.”

Another well-known phrase that carries a lot of truth is, “Little pitchers have big ears.” In our case, we like to say that little pitchers have big mouths. Because honestly, whatever they hear will likely come out in something they say.

When Cookies Go Bad | What I Did on the First Day of Summer Vacation

Meg finished her last workbook on June first. June second arrived, cold and raining all day, and I had to clean house for company. By the time afternoon rolled around things were kind of under control – not clean, of course, because a house is never clean when kids are awake, but at least the backlog of dishes was gone and a couple of rooms were pretty good -- so I agreed when Meg asked to make cut-out cookies and use the cookie cutters. Cookies are good for a rainy day.

Something Just For You! - Resources for Homeschooling Children with Special Needs

Are you new to homeschooling? Are you homeschooling a child with special needs and don’t know where to begin? If so, we have some great news for you. The HSLDA online bookstore is now carrying titles related to homeschooling children with special needs. As an HSLDA member, you can receive a discounted price on all of your purchases. Today, we’d like to introduce you to three of the books that are now available in our online store.

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.

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.

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