Friday, January 12, 2018

Thinking About Pulling Your Child from Public School?

It's just about halfway through the school year, and I'm seeing lots of posts on homeschooling FB groups. Posts from parents who are watching their kids struggle, and feel completely drained by the daily grind of overwhelmed kids, homework, and 7:30am start times.

Lots of these parents are considering homeschooling. And that is one big, huge scary thought.

Maybe you're in that place too. 

I wrote the following response on a homeschooling board recently when a fellow mom posted about her fears in taking her child out of public school. Despite the fact that she was watching her child crumple under the pressure, she was afraid that she wasn't equipped to be her child's teacher.

I just want to encourage you and say you have everything you need to be your child's teacher. You know your child, and that is the prerequisite. You have time. You love to learn yourself.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Amish Sugar Cookies

These delicious Amish sugar cookies are different than any recipe I have tried!

Baking is a lovely way to pass the time during the dark days of winter. We homeschooling moms have a lot of time to fill, don't we, when it's harder to head outside to play?

The mixture of butter and oil, and the variety of sugars give these cookies a softness and a flavor that is unique. I love the addition of the almond extract as well -- although my daughter doesn't (she can tell if I sneak it in there). You could also experiment with other extracts to enhance flavors, or stir in half a cup of chopped sweetened dried cranberries.

You could also dress these up with a few drops of food coloring (I use the natural kind from India Tree, available on Amazon, because my kiddo reacts to artificial colors) for holidays! Pink cookies would be super cute for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How is Homeschooling Working for You Right Now?

Welcome to 2018!

Do you like fresh starts and new beginnings as much as I do?

Although you might be in the middle of your homeschool year, the new year is still a great time to reflect on your homeschool year so far, and refocus moving forward.

In our house, we have a lot of reflecting to do, because most of what I planned for the school year -- well, it pretty much fell apart. I still have a lot to learn about how my daughter best learns and thrives.

Field trip to the pet store. She's teaching ME about fish.

I want to tell the truth about this. We are still in our first year of homeschooling, so naturally we do not have it all figured out yet. But I suspect that's not just a first-year thing. It's a homeschool thing -- and out there on the internet, I don't see a lot of the hard realities of homeschooling. I see beautiful spaces, clever crafts, happy smiling children. 

You know, the highlight reel.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dear Mama Thinking About Homeschooling

Dear mama thinking about homeschooling,

School is fast approaching. Summer went by in a blink, didn't it? Those days of sleeping in, long afternoons at the park, staying up late watching movies cuddled on the couch. More laughter, more hugs.

Yeah, more kids fighting too, I get that. More, "I'm bored, mom." It's not ALL sunshine and rainbows.

But if the thought of school approaching has anxiety rising like a tide inside your heart, hear me out. If the school supply list and the thought of pulling your grouchy kiddos out of bed every morning has you laying awake at night dreading that first day of school, take a few minutes and read on. If you'd like to leave the role of homework enforcer behind forever, let me encourage you.

There is another way.

You could keep them home.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Try Out Homeschooling This Summer

Yes, you can totally try out homeschooling this summer!

And by "try out homeschooling," I don't mean sit your kiddo at a table with a pile of workbooks. :-) Although if your kiddo loves workbooks, then by all means, get some awesome ones and let them have at it. Hint: gel pens are great.

What I mean by trying out homeschooling is to try out learning together.

One of the transitions that has to happen when you decide to homeschool is that you're no longer just a parent. You're a guide for learning, a co-learner, and sometimes, a teacher. Notice I didn't put "teacher" at the front of the list? That's because learning is happening for your child all the time. Much of it they are exploring themselves.

Here are 6 ideas you can use to try out homeschooling and build your relationship with your kids during the summer months! You may find that you are loving your time together so much that you dread sending them off to school. It's a great feeling, honestly.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why I'm Not Doing Whole30

I have nothing against Whole30. Really.

Cutting out wheat, dairy, and sugar, and focusing on fresh veggies, fruits, and other whole foods... well, that's pretty good stuff. Hard, but doable, especially for 30 days. Obviously, much better for your body than what many of us eat on a daily basis.

But here's the thing. And no one really talks about this.

For someone who has been dieting for 20+ years, sometimes hard-core eating plans like Whole30 can bring on a whole host of unintended consequences. For instance, loading up on "last meals" before starting, and perhaps jumping off the bandwagon with reckless abandon afterwards. (Not that I have any experience with this. Haha.) I have a few friends who have done 1-3 rounds of Whole30, and none of them has found it sustainable as a lifestyle. They also found subsequent rounds much more difficult than the first, to the point of not finishing the 30 days.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Making the Decision to Homeschool

It's been a long time coming, friends, this decision to homeschool. A long time.

Even though I started thinking about (read: researching endlessly online and talking to anyone who would listen) homeschooling when B was a toddler, I still wasn't sure it was the right path for us. For so many reasons! My daughter is an extrovert. I'm definitely an introvert. I doubted my ability to be both mom AND the person in charge of making the learning happen

Homeschooling itself is swimming upstream from the culture of school -- throw in having an only child, and you're now not only swimming upstream, you're in an entirely different body of water altogether. With only a handful of other people having the same experience. Did I mention my daughter is a social butterfly, and loves being around friends?