How to Choose a ‘Just Right’ Unit Study

How to Choose a ‘Just Right’ Unit Study

“Goldilocks and the 3 Bears” was my daughter’s go-to story when she was little. You know, the one she asked me to read over and over (and over and over and over) again. My little blondie even had a “Goldilocks and the 3 Bears” 3rd birthday party.  How cute is that?!?! I remember her cute little voice quoting Goldilocks …”Too soft. Too hard. Just right.” “Too hot, Too cold. Just right”…over and over (and over and over and over) again. Choosing a unit study can feel like a Goldilocks experience. “Too long. Too short. Too dry. Too fluffy. Too rigid. Too flexible. Too much planning. Too many supplies.” It’s hard to find the “Just right” unit study for your family. Unit Studies have always been … [Read more]

How I Answer When Asked “Why Do You Homeschool?”

How I Answer When Asked “Why Do You Homeschool?”

“Why do you homeschool?” That is a question homeschooling families can’t avoid. Early in our homeschool journey, I would flounder when asked and throw out a random answer.   “So that we can be the greatest influence in our kids’ lives.” “To strengthen our family” “Because I know my child best.” “So our kids can learn freely about God.” We had decided to homeschool even before our oldest daughter was born. We felt it was best for our family. I had taught school for a few years and knew that I didn’t want our children to attend school. There were lots of reasons in my heart for homeschooling, but I couldn’t verbalize them clearly when people asked.   I realized that I needed a concise answer … [Read more]

What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter’s Pinterest

What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter’s Pinterest

Recent conversation with my 14-year-old… Me: “What are you working on, Sweetie?” Her: “Oh, I’m just on Pinterest.” Me: “Really? What are you doing?” Her: “Just getting ideas” Doubts that hit my brain…. “Again? She’s always on Pinterest.” “Should I let her be on so much?” “Is she being productive?” “Is this helping her grow?”   (These is the same “in-my-head” conversations I had when she was younger and always had her nose in a book.) We’ve been teaching our 5 daughters to develop healthy tech habits. [Read 5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family] So, I needed to trust her. I bit my tongue, walked away and prayed, asking God to work in Julia if she was developing unhealthy habits. I reminded myself of … [Read more]

Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask

Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask

Here we are, all home on a Sunday afternoon, most of us cozied up on the couch….and there are six screens glowing. Daddy’s researching products for a client, I’m writing a blog post, two girls are playing Minecraft together, two girls are watching YouTube and one girl is jamming to some tunes while she washes the dishes. Some people look at our family and think “They are on electronics all the time. They should be doing something more productive.” And, honestly, I think that myself sometimes and start doubting our unlimited tech time policy. But, my children are digital natives, and using electronic devices is a way of life for our family. We need to keep a balance between “plugged in” and “unplugged” time, helping the girls to … [Read more]

5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family

5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family

I am “that mom” You know, the one who wouldn’t feed her kids junk food when they were little.  I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to put something in your body, it should be worth it. It should be full of nutrients that will sustain you and help you grow. I did this in hopes that when my girls grew up, they would make good food choices (because they certainly aren’t going to be eating only at my table forever). I was also diligent about teaching them to make good reading choices when they were young. As a former English teacher, I was comfortable discussing the attributes of a good read. I exposed them to rich literature and guided them toward good book … [Read more]

A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World

A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World

“They’re always sitting in front of a screen. That’s all they want to do. I’m tired of nagging them to get off. Things are so different than when I was a kid. I wish they would just play or read a book or do something unplugged.” Sound familiar? Those are the words in my head. And the conversation I have had with many of my friends. And the complaint I read about online. It’s a big issue for us moms, trying to figure out how to guide our kiddos’ media consumption and electronics usage. And to balance the good of technology with the bad. Living in a tech-driven world is not all evil, so why do we struggle so much with our kids being “plugged … [Read more]

When Homeschooling Doesn’t Work (for just one of your kids)

When Homeschooling Doesn’t Work (for just one of your kids)

True confession time….When I was a young, idealistic homeschooling mom with three kids, I dissed traditional school. However, one day, my mom offered this advice. “You shouldn’t badmouth school in front of the girls because someday one of them may need to go to school.” My initial reaction? “My kids go to school? NEVER”.  What did my mom know? She had never homeschooled…she didn’t understand the “evils” of traditional school…these are my girls (not hers) that she’s talking about. But, my mom’s words resonated.  And the advice sunk in. And I realized I shouldn’t speak badly about institutional education in front of my kids.  Really, I shouldn’t bad-mouth ANYTHING, period, because it leads to a spirit of judgement and condemnation. So, I stopped speaking negatively … [Read more]

5 Quotes for Homeschool Moms from Martin Luther King Jr.

5 Quotes for Homeschool Moms from Martin Luther King Jr.

While working on the  Martin Luther King Jr. Online Unit Study , I came across this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.   This quote resonates with me. Dr. King may have written it in 1947 in a context of racial tension, but his words are still powerful for 21st century learners. Critical thinking skills are crucial in the Information Age. We need to know how to process large amounts of information and discern fact from fiction. And when it comes down to it, character will get someone farther in life than any amount of intelligence. Reading this wisdom piqued my curiosity and got me wondering what other wisdom Dr. King had for homeschoolers.  Consider these quotes, my homeschoolin’ momma friend….     Which one resonates … [Read more]

How We Homeschool: Our Daily Routine

How We Homeschool: Our Daily Routine

Do you ever look at other homeschool families and wonder “How do they do it”? What does the day-to-day learning routine look like in their home? Does their routine really work for them, or are they still trying to find their groove just like me? I’ve wondered these things sometimes, not to compare, but to get ideas. I am always looking for ways to serve my girls better and to find the homeschooling schedule that works best with their personalities and learning style.  You see, I struggle with being consistent. I need to find a rhythm that works really well for the current season of our life. And adjust that routine when needed. And give myself the freedom to call a “productive playday” when we get a … [Read more]