Teachable Moments

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.

Breaking the Ice and Tadpole Funerals - Introducing Rachelle Reitz to the Blog!

Our homeschool was moving along in good form until in January we couldn't get the beans to grow for the biology lab. Science experiments, like art projects, already make me want to bang my head against a wall for awhile because they take time, make a mess, require advance planning, and never turn out the way I envisioned. But they are real learning. Right?! Right.

Daring, Shaming and Math

Sometimes I’m bowled over by an unexpected insight in a book, and that’s exactly what happened to me when I read Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown.

Then it hit me. I realized that there have been a few recent occasions where I have unwittingly resorted to shaming a certain daughter of mine. Thinking about it makes me feel like there’s a hatchet in my heart, because I definitely don’t ever want to do that.

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...

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...

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...

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.

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.

A Journey Worth Starting | Introducing Amy Koons to the Blog!

 

Hi, I'm Amy Koons. It's great to join the HSLDA blogging community! I look forward to posting here and hopefully hearing back from many of you as we share in the rewarding, and definitely never dull, experience of homeschooling our children.

10 Ways to Speak the Language of Love to Your Kids

“I love you.” Sometimes saying these three little words is the best way to express our love to our children. They certainly need to hear it, as do all those we love.

Though I say them often to my children, however, sometimes my negative actions can speak louder than my words. I can be quick to judge the intention of their hearts, slow to listen, and slow to forgive an offense.

Celebrate Homeschool Day with Dolphin Tale 2

It’s been 3 years since Dolphin Tale, produced by Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, hit theaters September, 2011. Reaching number 1 in its second week in theaters, Dolphin Tale sparked great interest in the homeschool community because the main young female part (Hazel Haskett) was played by homeschooler Cozi Zuehlsdorff. This stirring true story inspired and touched many hearts through its cinematic portrayal of the friendship between a boy, Sawyer Nelson, and a dolphin, Winter, whose tail was lost in a crab trap.

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