Don’t Homeschool Your Child!

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This is a post I wrote in 2010 but feel it needs to be said again.

When I first began homeschooling, my daughter was in fifth grade and my son was just four years old and had just graduated preschool.

I remember the overbearing weight I felt to succeed that first year. After all, everyone was looking to me to see if this homeschooling stuff really worked. I was also very aware of the fact that many were just waiting to see me fail so they could say I told you so.  In fact somewhere in the darkness I could hear my own voice questioning my ability to see this through.

Please don’t get me wrong I had others who were supportive of my decision and many who were simply undecided. And so I began my homeschool journey with a heavy burden that was not of God.

Oh how I wish I could go back all those years ago and have a good talk with myself!

I would tell myself to NOT homeschool my child!

I don’t mean I wouldn’t homeschool at all because I most definitely would since we have been called by God to follow this path.

**I should add in at this point in the post that I do not believe everyone is called to homeschool.  We must all as parents follow the path that has been uniquely carved out for our family.  

But I wouldn’t force any kind schooling on a four year old!

I am specifically talking about my four year old son here. What I mean is that I would remind myself that he was already learning from everything around him. Instead of focusing on traditional lessons I would give him lots of time to play outside and learn first hand about out Creator through creation. I would spend more time playing games with him that involve matching or sorting. And I would read to him a lot!

We would spend more time taking trips to the library, nature centers,zoos, farms, parks, cider mill, museums….

I would tell myself that it is not a race. I have nothing to prove to anyone but God and I would lay the burden of performance at the Masters feet.

I would allow my son to lead during this time. One thing I’ve learned is that I didn’t need to push my child at four to learn to read. I did this mainly out of fear of what the rest of my family was thinking as they looked on with disapproval. I know now that there is a time for more formal lessons later, and I would have cherished those early years more had I known what I know now. I would have spent more time cuddling and talking with my child and less time forcing a reading or math lesson.

I would remind myself how exciting it is to be taking those first steps of faith into a journey of homeschool!

Disneynature’s Bears Activity Guide

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DisneynatureBearsBlurayIn celebration of today’s release of Disneynature’s Bears on Blu-ray Combo Pack we are beary excited to share 12 pages of downloadable Bears activities!

Learn about how people can safely live in proximity to bears, learn about different bear tracks and how to safely visit bear country!

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Download your FREE Disneynature’s Bears Activity Guide.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

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daughter's cartoon (a bunny of course)What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When my daughter was in third grade, I was the parent volunteer for art class. One day, the art teacher asked the students, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was shocked by the answers. Every child wanted to be a media star. The boys wanted to be sports stars and the girls wanted to be pop stars, models and movie stars. No one wanted to be an educator, in the medical field, a business person, run a farm or be a chef.

One of the first things you learn in Psychology 101 is that happy people have meaningful relationships and meaningful work. You can live in a palace, but if you don’t have relationships and work that you feel are important, you’ll be miserable. And you can live in a modest abode, and have relationships and work that matter, and be happy.

Helping our children find meaningful work is one of our biggest tasks as a parent. And it doesn’t start when they turn 18 and you ask them what they intend to do with their lives. It starts in preschool.

Children change their minds hundreds of times about what they want to be. Our job is to encourage them and teach them the process to achieve whatever they will eventually become.

When your child has an interest, try to find the time to take them to the library to read books about the subject. Whether it is trucks, bugs or horses really isn’t important, you are teaching them to research and learn about what interests them.

In a small way try to do activities to support their interests. If your child wants to be a biologist, go out and observe bugs. If they want to be a chemist, mix vinegar and baking soda and watch it erupt. If they want to be a chef, bake cookies. You are teaching them to experiment and act on their curiosity.

Without spending money on expensive camps, tutors and lessons, help your child apply themselves to regular practice. Everyday count and write down how many bugs are on the sidewalk, look up the periodic table on the internet or every week make a different cookie. You are teaching your child that to develop expertise in a field takes time, effort and practice.

And, of course, the next week your child will want to be something different. But that doesn’t matter, eventually they will find a field they are passionate about and committed to. And the skills you have taught them to research, experiment and practice will apply to developing their career.

playing chess in the park

I shared my views with my now adult daughter and she laughed, “You didn’t do that,” she said. And I smiled. “Do you remember all the books we checked out from the library about archeology and ancient Egypt? Do you remember the long drive into the city to participate in the museum program about cartooning when you wanted to be a cartoonist? Do you remember the inexpensive plastic chess set we bought when you wanted to be a chess player? How about the poetry readings at the library when you wanted to be a poet?”

She hadn’t even realized that we were preparing for her adulthood one library book at a time.

By supporting your child’s interests as they change and grow you will be telling them with your actions that what they want to be in life is important. By showing them the steps of research, experimentation and practice that allow anyone to pursue and become expert in a field, you are giving them the tools to engage in meaningful work. And by helping them to find and develop their meaningful work, you are giving them the gift of happiness.

Poetry reading at the library

Dianne Miller is a landscape painter who lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Her work includes the Little Bunny series written for her children when they were preschoolers. The simply written and illustrated books gently guide Little Bunny through the challenges of life. You can find tons of original, free printables and the Little Bunny series at: http://littlebunnyseries.wordpress.com/

Tips For Avoiding Homeschool Pitfalls

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I admit that when I first began homeschooling I fell for every single one of these pitfalls!

It’s so easy to get caught in them, and it keeps you from enjoying the freedom that homeschooling allows each unique family to experience.

Here are my top three tips for avoiding the Homeschool Pitfalls!  If you have more that you think should be added to the list please share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear them all!

1. Do NOT compare yourself to another homeschooling family!

This is probably THE single most important lesson that any homeschooling mom can learn. You can cause a lot of damage to both yourself and your children when you do this. God made each one of us totally unique, so why would we want to try to be like anyone else. This just stifles who we are intended to be. I think I finally learned this lesson for the first time last year, and it has changed the entire atmosphere of our homeschool fr the better.

2. Don’t get upset if your child isn’t the next Mozart, Einstein or DaVinci.

If you are homeschooling for this reason, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m not saying that your child won’t be smart. In fact I do believe that homeschoolers are super smart about the things they are passionate about. But as homeschoolers, I don’t feel that we need to make this our priority. Learning will happen, but more importantly are the relationships that will grow stronger every day!

3. Don’t seek outside approval.

There is absolutely no way that you are going to please every single person who looks at your homeschool. There will always be at least one judgemental person who is going to raise an eyebrow at what you are doing. I am so guilty of wanting to please other people. The first couple years that we homeschooled, I felt myself always defending my decision to homeschool. I wanted to make every person I talked to agree with me that this was the ideal situation. Since I learned to avoid this pitfall altogether, I have felt so much freedom to do what I know is right for us since someone is bound to object anyways.

If you learn these pitfalls early on, you’ll be much better prepared for an abundant homeschooling experience. Remember that God has created each and every one of us unique. This means that he also must have a unique plan and direction for your homeschool and your family. I know I wouldn’t want to carve out my own path because I saw someone else doing it, and miss out on the plan the Lord has already carved out for us.

This is a time for the Lord to prepare your chldren to become the people he has chosen them to be for His Kingdom and not yours.

Kindermusik FREE Classes!

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This offer is rumored to be ending at the end of July, make sure you grab one of the free classes today!

Kindermusik is offering FREE classes!

  • Classes for children from newborn to age seven
  • Child development through music and movement
  • Immerse your child in a musical atmosphere of play, song, and dance – while developing fundamental skills
  • Connect with other moms, dads, and families
  • Learn how music can help make great parenting easier
  • Kindermusik is the best per-class value

Sign up for your FREE Kindermusik class here.

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Homeschool Curriculum Up to 92% Off + Freebies!!!

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Now through July 28th only you can save up to 92% off homeschool curriculum and helps through this special Build a Bundle Sale!

You’ll save up to 92% off curriculum for all ages, many of which can be found on the Cathy Duffy 100 Top Picks for Homeschoolers List!

bogo1*BONUS OFFER – Buy any 2 packaged Bundles, get one FREE!!

Click here to Shop the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale when it starts!

Choose any of the following Homeschool Bundles:

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Charlotte Mason Bundle - This bundle features a complete curriculum using the Charlotte Mason Methods for language arts, handwriting, and reading, a full geography curriculum, a plethora of resources for studying nature, artists, poetry, and a variety of “extras” just for mom! Learn all about Charlotte Mason and enjoy a special bonus (a $90 value all by itself)—the top 5 best selling G.A. Henty audio books from Jim Hodges Productions. This bundle is jam packed full of amazing resources your family will love!

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Elementary Bundle 4th-6th Grade - Your 4th-6th graders will develop foundational skills and gain insight into the ancient world using the comprehensive collection of resources found in our 4th-6th Grade Bundle. This bundle features science curricula and a creative writing course from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks, Mapping the World with Art - a blend of history, geography, and art, math, Bible, handwriting and copywork resources, writing guides, timeline cards, ancient history notebooking pages, creative writing for both boys and girls, and an editable weekly homeschool planner for Mom!

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Middle School Bundle - Your middle school students will tour the classical world and develop academic excellence using our Middle School Bundle. This bundle features Learning Language Arts Through Literature, a Cathy Duffy Top 100 Pick, and two science curricula, as well as your choice of a popular geography curriculum, a history timeline/book of centuries, Renaissance and Reformation notebooking pages, a classical music curriculum and famous composers notebooking pages, and a creative writing collection that even “non-writers” will love!

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High School Bundle - Your high school students will develop academic mastery and intellectual maturity using our High School Bundle. This bundle features a New Testament Bible curriculum, an introduction to psychology, a full year of math curriculum, resources for world history and geography, philosophy, home economics, college prep, grammar, a creative writing course that even “non-writers” will love, an anatomy science unit study from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks, and more! You will receive enough materials for a full year of high school!

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K-3rd Grade Bundle - Teach your K-3 children basic skills and core truths through easily understandable lessons and hands-on activities. Our K-3 Bundle includes reading, math, science, handwriting, character training and Bible resources. Your children will experience life in 17th century America as they learn about the settlers and our 13 original colonies. You will have everything you need to savor these first days of discovery!

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Tot & Preschool Bundle - Teach your littlest ones about God’s amazing creation and the value of virtue using our Tot & Preschool Bundle! This bundle gives you a complete Christ-centered preschool program, including age-appropriate character-building tools, a stick-figure Bible study, a creation-based coloring book, a handwriting curriculum, an independent activity guide (for those times when you need a moment to focus), and much more!

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Homeschool Mom Bundle - Save money, strengthen your marriage, and streamline your schedule using our Mom Bundle. Find the encouragement you need and the insight to speak to your child’s heart (even that difficult child!). Whip your home into shape and train your children to do their chores effectively with Easy Peasy Chores. This bundle brims with useful tools to help you bring calm to the chaos.

B2G1-07This sale is a great way to pick up the things you need for your new homeschool year and save a ton of money! Plus the Buy 2 Bundles, Get One FREE Bonus Sale is pretty much awesome!!

Everyone who makes a purchase will also receive the Bundle of Bonuses Coupon Book FREE!!

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Lastly you will want to take a look at the premium products they are offering for 60% off.

You can find all of the bundles available here.

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