The Trouble With Homeschool

Louisa_pottery

Louisa is enthused about the potter’s wheel!

The trouble with homeschool is that there is no start and no finish, no report cards, no deadlines, no “have to.” Of course, that is one of the advantages, but a time of reckoning is a necessary part of any endeavor, including home education. In the working world, employees are given “quarterly reviews” to assess their progress. How are we assuring progress is made in our children’s learning? Maybe we need to do some measuring.

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Overwhelmed

Rebekah

Rebekah

Question:

I am overwhelmed, feeling like I am doing, doing all day long for my kids and fall into bed at night exhausted, with little accomplished. We seem to get farther and farther behind on homeschool. How do I get out of this hole? [Read more…]

Homeschooling on the Cheap

Rachel in a puddle!

Rachel in a puddle!

Question:

I want to do homeschooling but I am afraid that it is going to cost a lot of money. When I start homeschooling am I going to have to go somewhere and buy expensive books? [Read more…]

A Child’s Self-Confidence: Handle with Care

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Jennifer, a mom who reads my blog, wrote about what happened to her little boy:

My middle child went to kindergarten last year at what was supposed to the best public school in the best school district in Kansas, which is one of the top states in the country. He is a kinesthetic learner with incredible spatial skills, but is a slow learner when it comes to reading. Watching his classmates “get it” while he struggled, killed his self confidence. His teacher progressed through the curriculum according to plan, and my boy was left behind. Not only did he finish kindergarten not reading, but he did not believe himself to be capable of reading. His teacher never raised with us any concerns about his reading—I’m not certain whether she even realized that he was struggling, because he is not the type to ask for help. Here we are now, homeschooling, half-way through 1st grade, and he is just now becoming confident enough in his reading ability to read to someone besides me. He still insists that he can’t read, but he’s reading cereal boxes, and he can answer for me when his little brother asks, “What does that say?”!  Yes, he is behind where other kids with his same manufacturing date range might be, but he is a unique little person who is learning and growing every day and I am proud of him and the progress he has made!

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The Baby IS the Lesson

One morning on my daily walk, I was fretting and stewing over what I could possibly do with my one-year-old during school time. I was feeling some despair with a new baby on its way. I couldn’t see any end to the disruption of babies in my home school for many years to come. I was praying and scheming at the same time: I could wait until the baby’s nap to teach school, I could rotate the children with baby-sitting chore away from our schoolroom, I could get a playpen . . . all solutions that didn’t feel right—babies needs their moms!

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Fifteen Years of Research in the Homeschool “Lab”

man-216985_1280As a “research associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations”, some days my research seems more productive than others. My younger lab assistants continually challenge my theories. My able teen-age lab assistants are truly helpful and quick to point out where I can improve. Of course, research in the field (excursions to the science center, camping trips, park days, etc.) is always great fun. Preliminary “lab reports” from my 15 year experiment has given me the courage to stay in the laboratory and keep on experimenting.

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Homeschooling a Struggling 18 year old

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My son Ammon and the giant cantaloupe he grew!

Question:

My son is 18 and he has struggled through school , especially through high school. He wants to get a diploma and graduate but it is not looking like he will be able to do that through the regular high school program. What would you suggest that I do to get started, and how would I go about helping him to achieve his goal to finish school? [Read more…]

What’s it Like to Be a Boy?

My son Ammon is a sensitive, intelligent boy who loves plants. He is a careful 17-year-old, and he has been working studiously on his budget. I noticed that his budget includes a monthly allowance for “breaking things”. I was amused that he would list such an expenditure, but over the days since we talked about his budget, I have had a taste of what it would be like to be a teenage boy. 

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