I hinted in my post about 2022 in review that we have five more years with the kids before they both go to college. Actually, it is five years with the youngest. The oldest is in ninth grade, which means we only have three more years with him at home. I am not counting the next semester.
One of the most important things you can do for your children is to help them connect with nature. We live in an era of nature deficit disorders due to technology’s influence on our lifestyles. In my own experience, I have had to be intentional about the time we spend outside.
It is easy for me to say, “Well, they are inside and reading. They are watching educational videos or building with LEGO bricks and other building toys. So, they are learning. Why go outside and deal with gnats, ticks, sunburn, and mud?”
Besides, we live five minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and we get black bears in our yard. Also, coyotes, raccoons, deer, and opposum. We feel so much safer inside. Our windows are large, so we can see all these animals, plus birds and insects galore – almost like a National Geographic video right here in our backyard. It is so much safer and easier to stay inside. Continue reading
A Romanian blogger detailed recently how she decided to enroll her child in fifth grade this year, after looking at three possibilities: private school, middle school attached to a high school (which implies the teachers would be infinitely better than in a regular ol’ middle school, since they are qualified to teach secondary education), or a five-day homeschool co-op (if you will, a homeschool school where all the teachers are parents who hold university degrees in their subject).
The blog post is titled, “Why We Feel Threatened by Homeschooling” and yes, it is in Romanian. The link above will take you there if you can read that language. Continue reading
The Catcher in the Rye is not only a classic, it is a controversial classic. At some point, it was the most required and the most banished book in America’s classrooms. Published in 1941, it has sparked controversy among teachers of English literature and also among critics, who struggle to decide which genre this book belongs to. Is it a novel? Is it a memoir? Is it an autobiography? Is it something else altogether?
I read portions of it in my English class growing up in Romania and, of course, I read the plot online, but have never read it word for word. Its language, I really dislike. That’s probably why I have stayed away from it all these years. Plus, once you have solved your own adolescent angst, it is so hard to go through it all over again even vicariously. Continue reading
My mom is a Master Knitter, i.e. she has always knitted pretty scarves, sweaters, cardigans, and dresses. She made me several matching mother-and-child sweaters and cardigans, which we wore with pride and joy. As the kids outgrew theirs, I kept wearing mine, having fond memories.
She taught me how to knit when I was maybe 10. Now that I have children, I am motivated to pick this hobby back up, polish my skills, and make a few things for my children to inspire them.
The first thing I needed to do though was to learn knitting vocabulary in English. As all my stories of exploration start, I went to my local library… The librarian planted several knitting books in my hands. Continue reading
My son got the flu last week. We don’t know where, of course. But we had been out almost every day of the week for different activities. The doctor told us to keep him out of school through Thursday. I told her he was homeschooled. She said, “The question is, where did he get the flu?”
I informed her that we had seen people virtually every day of the week before: group violin lesson, Adventurer Club, Library Story Time, church, The Muse… She took it all in. She was going through a paradigm shift in her mind and it was visible on her face.
Homeschooled kids do get out… And they do get the flu… But even if you did not have all these activities, they would be accompanying their parents to the grocery store, at the very minimum, or to church…
Oh well. Some things don’t change. People will always discover new things about homeschooling which change their perspective 180 degrees. Continue reading
Last year, I published a series of weekly devotional posts for homeschooling moms called Mom Monday. Fifty-two weeks later, it is time for a new series. A new series for a new year. Introducing Thoughtful Thursday, a collection of essays about homeschooling and how it forces everybody to think outside the box. In some cases, it forces people to think. Period.
It’s sad, I know, but some people go through life without thinking, simply accepting the status quo, just believing everything that is handed down to them by the previous generation, and feeling scared and challenged when someone comes along doing a new thing.
When I started this blog, I knew I was going to focus on homeschooling. I also knew that homeschooling touches so many aspects of our lives – because it is a lifestyle – that it inevitably brings about some basic questions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Which is why a personal friend unfriended me on Facebook and declared herself “highly offended” by one of my posts on socialization, for instance. She chooses to put her children in public school and once told me, “I believe in public school.” Continue reading
A few weeks ago, we headed back to our cattail patch for a summer nature study. By “our” I mean a cattail patch about five minutes from our house, where we did our spring cattail nature study.
I printed out the toppers from Handbook of Nature Study – a blog we follow loosely for our nature observations.
While there, I asked the kids to walk around and get as close to the cattails as possible. Continue reading
My plan was to spend at least two hours outside today. We are playing catch-up with time outside.
It has been raining lately and I have been busy with different projects, so I did not make outdoorsy time a priority. My children play so well indoors, away from screens, and I did not want to deal with bugs and/or DEET and sunscreen (there, I said it!) – it was easy to forget how important it is for them to be outside.
Well, we ended up spending five hours. We left after two hours because I had a planning meeting with other Sevier County Homeschooling Group moms, then they had swims lessons. On the way back from swim lessons, we stopped at the park again, for almost three hours. Continue reading
I have a small garden where I play “Farmer.” It’s only 4’x8′ and I don’t expect to feed my family from it. But if we can get some veggies every year while the children experience the cycle of sowing, weeding, watering and harvesting, I am happy.