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big juicy conversations in our homeschool
Blossom and Root Early Years, Brave Writer Lifestyle, Parenting

The Gift of Listening: Why Big, Juicy Conversations are an Essential Part of Our Homeschool

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Any Charlotte Mason fan worth their salt is familiar with the concept of narration–the oral or written demonstration of knowledge and understanding as an alternative to the “memorize, regurgitate, repeat” model of testing used by the majority of public school systems. Narration is a uniquely profound way to discover what your child has absorbed, retained, and taken a deeper interest in during your work together. However, it can sometimes feel awkward or stilted, especially early in the game when your children are young, or the concept of narration is new to them. Continue Reading

socialization in homeschool
Homeschool, Parenting

Dear Naysayers, Your Socialization Argument Doesn’t Hold Water Anymore (and It Never Did)

Before I begin, I want to be clear about something. I am not “anti-public school.” I went to public school. I had a positive experience in public school. I know that, for many parents, public school is the best choice for their family. I support public school teachers and administrators, and I believe that the decisions we make about educating our children are highly personal and vary greatly from family to family, and even from child to child. But this socialization argument needs to go. Continue Reading

on homeschool curriculum: commit to the journey, not the map
Brave Writer Lifestyle, Homeschool, Parenting

On Homeschool Curriculum: Commit to the Journey, Not the Map

Let’s get one thing out in the open, right from the start:

Curriculum is there to work for you. You are NOT bound to work for it.

No, you do NOT have to follow it, verbatim, as-prescribed, day-by-day, task-by-task. No, you are not going to mess up your child’s entire education if you veer from it from time to time. No, you are not “ruining everything” if you ditch it after six weeks because it’s making you or your child miserable. Continue Reading

The Three Non-Negotiables of Our Homeschool Day: Go outside, read, and wonder.
Homeschool, Parenting

The 3 Non-Negotiables of Our Homeschool Day

With all of the ideas and resources available to homeschoolers today, it can be really hard to resist the urge to do all the things. One hour on Pinterest and you can rack up a pretty hefty list of crafts to do, unit studies to execute, math games to try, and field trips to plan. Sometimes these fit in seamlessly with our existing plans. Sometimes, they forcefully wedge into them like linebackers, tackling any sense of rhythm we’ve worked so hard to establish and Continue Reading

what a day of homeschool looks like for an entrepreneurial mom
Homeschool, Homeschool Planning, Parenting

What a Day of Homeschool Looks Like For an Entrepreneurial Momma

Every week, the same question comes up in one Facebook group or another: “Does anyone here work from home and homeschool?” A chorus of responses rolls out with every kind of answer. Some homeschoolers work a farm while homeschooling, some parents run an Etsy shop full of beautiful hand-made products. Some sell essential oils, make-up, or health supplements. Some work as a VA or an editor. Some are transcriptionists, some are writers, and some run in-home daycares. In this day and age, and in this economy, I suspect many Continue Reading

A Day of Homeschool Kindergarten, From My Daughter's Point of View
Blossom and Root Kindergarten, Nature Study, Parenting

A Day of Homeschool Kindergarten, From My Daughter’s Point of View

As homeschooling parents, we often project our impression of our learning time together onto our children. But how often do we take a step back to see the day through their eyes? Speaking for myself, not often enough. I know my girls are happy, stimulated, and learning–I can see it in their faces and their muddy toes, and I hear it in their dinner-time banter. But what do they remember most Continue Reading

Our Bedtime Basket
Homeschool, Parenting, Reading and Writing

Our Bedtime Basket

I first heard about morning baskets about a year and a half ago, from Pam Barnhill’s blog, www.edsnapshots.com. Immediately, I knew that it was going to fit right in with our homeschooling philosophy of coming together to delight in our learning, and beginning our day with a peaceful and intentional rhythm. So I got a (very unattractive) green plastic tub out of my daughter’s closet and filled it with books. Since then, our basket has evolved and improved Continue Reading

5 Tips for New Homeschool Planners
Homeschool, Homeschool Planning, Parenting

5 Tips for New Homeschool Parents

August and September are such exciting months for the homeschooling community–the promise of the year ahead; the planning (and the planners!); the shiny, new curriculum; the beautiful stacks of books all over the house; and the arrangement and decorating of homeschool spaces. Even year-round homeschoolers like me can’t help but get caught up in the anticipation of it all. But with this excitement can also come worry, questions, analysis-paralysis, and a whole heaping spoonful of self-doubt, especially for brand-new homeschoolers. Continue Reading