I am a relatively organized person. And I would have thought that would extend into my homeschooling experience. But in the midst of starting homeschool for my girls I had two little ones underfoot. Add to that the fact that homeschooling can be a complete upheaval of all homemaking routines. I spent the first 2 and a half years of homeschooling floundering without a sure foundation to ground us. Every once in a while, we would settle into a homeschool routine. And then life would shift and I would no longer have my feet underneath me.
It was, in short, a struggle. Some things would get done regularly. Other things would get put off for another day (Ahem…1st grade math…ahem). And my kids knew that if they worked me hard enough, the whole day could be put off. Often I felt like a homeschool mom failure.
As if the internal struggle wasn’t real enough, I also had two students who put up a MAJOR fight on most days just to get through the little bit we were getting done. I understood that the early years of elementary learning are supposed to be loose, but this was not exactly what I pictured. I needed a solution – on some days I thought I needed magic. Continue Reading
This entry is part 30 of 33 in the series Baby Days
We joke around that babies are SO sweet…until they start to say, “NO!” But there is a short period of time in baby’s life when she simply doesn’t have words (not even, “No”). The inability of our little ones to fully communicate what is going on in their heads can lead to various outbursts that look like tantrums or frustration. But it IS the earliest form of communication for them – we just can’t quite understand them.
Figuring out a way to communicate effectively with baby at this crucial early time in her life is life-changing! If you are like me as a mom, you cherish the littlest moments with your sweet child; savoring each “Goo” and “Gah.” But, you often struggle when it comes to the not-so sweet moments. The grunts and the growls, the screams and screeches are likely the last thing you were looking forward to while gently caressing your pregnant tummy and dreaming of mommy-hood.
That is why I am so thankful for baby sign language.
I am not a child development expert and I have no credentials other than being a mom of four. But I highly recommend learning some very basic baby signs and teaching them to your little ones, starting at a very early age. We have practiced simple baby sign language with all four of our little ones with great success. Continue Reading
This book may have taken us over a year to get through. I can’t even remember when we started it. Our slow progress through this book is not due to boredom or disinterest. Rather it seems life got in the way even as it was becoming a part of our lives. Through this book we, together, have learned beautiful words, interesting conversations, and simple morals. We have delighted in language for its structure and its beauty. And we have gained confidence in public and private speaking.
All that in one little book!!
We just completed Level One of First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise. It is part of a series published by Well-Trained Mind Press. And it is WONDERFUL for kids in early elementary! Approaching instruction classically, it is full of simple lessons for parents and children to work through in just minutes a day. But it is so rich with language, that it can be enjoyed long after the book is closed. Continue Reading
When I started writing about our Inductive Study for Kids through the book of John, it seems I was a bit hasty in publishing it. Life simply got in the way and I wasn’t able to follow through with it. But apparently this topic has resonated with you, my readers. I get very few comments on this blog; fewer still emails from my readers.
Since I published my first post on our Inductive Study for Kids through the book of John, I have received comment after comment asking, “Is there more?!!” And I even got an email from a pastor-reader asking how I would approach the teaching of another passage for a kids sermon he was working on.
I hear you! And I am trying to dive back into our Inductive Study. Today, I am sharing a little bit of a review. Continue Reading
This entry is part 33 of 33 in the series Baby Days
Sharp, searing pain bringing screams and screeches to a little one who cannot communicate through anything else. Or maybe it is a dull, driving pain that produces a headache that won’t wait. I really don’t know what it is like to struggle through teething. I think God knew what He was doing when He gave us teeth in our early years – so we wouldn’t remember the pain that came with it! But as parents we need some serious teething tips to help get us through it!
Our kids have never been the up-crying-through-the night-teething-babies. And we have 4 (I have to say that to myself every now and again to let it sink in)! All of them have been able to sleep through the pain with a little help from us. I thought the process we had for our kids was pretty customary – pretty much the way all parents dealt with it. But a little while back I posted a picture on my Instagram feed of our current teether with a tip I had not discovered until baby #4 and people commented that they had never heard of treating teething that way. So, I thought I would share the wisdom I have gained as a result of shepherding 4 kids through the nightmare that is teething. Continue Reading
The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home. This year we are homeschooling a 1st grader and a pre-k kid, while trying to keep a busy and quick learning almost 2-year-old. Well, we are homeschooling in between nursing the baby and dealing with tantrums and naps and meals (and, and, and). And there are days that go incredibly well and days where nothing happens of seeming importance.
These are the days when I have to take the long view of the education of our children.
I take a deep breath (or a fresh cup of coffee) and remind myself we have a LOT of days in which to educate and train our little ones. I also remind myself that the older two, for better or worse, are test cases. Hopefully, I have much more figured out once the younger two are walking through the stages we are going through today with the older. I think: “We can make mistakes. We can take breaks. We will have another chance to do these things.”