Category Archives: Parenting
I am not what you would call a natural leader.
In fact, I would consider myself an excellent follower.
Give me a strong leader and I will lift that person up, support them in any way I can.
Ask me to lead other people?
Well, I can do it but I really don’t like to.
It is outside of my comfort zone to be a leader in almost any situation.
Today my daughter and I were playing LEGO together for about an hour. I thought we were having fun and getting on quite well. But the moment I let her know that I had to take a break from playing to get some work done, she started yelling, “NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY WITH ME!”
Cue the mom guilt.
Earlier this week my son and I were curled up together eating popcorn and reading aloud our favorite book. Four chapters in my throat started to feel sore and I let him know we could read more later but I needed to give my throat a rest and drink some tea with honey first. He groaned and closed the book in that sort of defeated way that let me know he was no where near ready to be done with our story time.
Cue the mom guilt.
Last month both of my children begged me to play pretend with them. I have never been good at playing pretend. Even when I was a child, it just felt weird to me. I declined. I told my children, “I don’t like to play pretend, but you guys can play without me.” They cried, they felt rejected.
Cue the mom guilt.
And as if the messages that my children were sending me weren’t enough, Facebook was there to pile it on even more! (more…)
Our family moves around quite a bit, and one of my favorite parts of moving is setting up a new homeschool classroom. There is something invigorating about getting a fresh start in a new space every once in awhile.
Its the start of a new school year. Parents across the country, across the world even, are buying backpacks and stuffing them with pencils, gearing up to pack healthy lunches, making sure uniforms fit, etc..
With all this hullabaloo, there are a few questions I tend to find myself answering over and over and over again.
This year, I thought we’d get it out of the way quickly and then we can all move on. Because, lets face it, we’re all going to be pretty busy these next few weeks, with the transition back to school.
Last year I made a change in our homeschool.
LittleMan wasn’t thriving anymore and he needed the freedom and power that comes with leading his own education. So I stopped planning his lessons and I stopped telling him what he needed to learn. Instead I worked with him to develop an unschool approach that would ensure he and I were both satisfied with his education.
With each small change we made, we instantly felt happier and more excited about homeschooling.
Soon friends started noticing the changes in our attitudes and our learning styles.
We were asked, “How did you do it? How did you make the switch to unschooling?”
So I thought back over the past year and all the little changes we made, and I consolidated all my methods into one 30 day workshop. (more…)
*** The 30 Day Unschool Challenge Workshop is closed.
Check out The 30 Day Unschool Challenge Book, based off the workshop. ***
“How do you unschool?”
This is a question I hear quite frequently. Overwhelmed homeschool parents who feel stifled by their boxed curriculum often look to unschooling as a possible solution to their everyday battles against the lesson plan. Frustrated public school parents who want more freedom for their children and their family also tend to see unschooling as an appealing route. But how does one unschool?
How do you know you’re doing it the “right way?”
How do ensure that your children are learning and growing and thriving in their unschool lives?
If you’re new to unschooling, and you’re not quite certain that its working for your children, you might wonder if there is something you could be doing differently. Something to help them get on or stay on the right educational path.
Whatever your situation is, you’re not alone in it.
There are countless American moms and dads just like you, struggling to figure out what to do for their children. We all want what is best for our children, but with each child having unique individual needs, what is best can be difficult to determine.
That’s why I’m here to help.
I was once the nervous new unschooling parent. I remember the worry that I wasn’t doing enough, that my children would never learn everything they needed to learn.
My family found its way and our unschooling experience has turned out to be wholly positive. Yours can be too!
Unschooling. Its a buzzword. A hot topic. A thing of mystery and intrigue.
So many homeschooling parents find themselves fighting with their children to do their assignments. Others feel stifled by the workload of their chosen curriculum. To parents like these who want more freedom in their homeschool, unschooling can sound like a wonderful option.
But when we’ve been trained to believe school is done a certain way, how do we let that go?
And if we let it go, how do we keep track of progress and make sure that our children are still learning what they need to learn?
Can workbooks help with that? Yes they can. If they are the right kind of workbooks, used in the right way.
After three years of writing about homeschooling, the most popular question I get from readers remains, “So what does your homeschool day look like? Do you have a schedule?”
I tend to answer something along the lines of, “every homeschool day looks different,” and, “just because I have a schedule doesn’t mean a stick to it.” Neither of which really satisfies the person asking the question.
So here it is, my answer in full eBook form, free to all of our weekly newsletter subscribers.
It is a realistic window into a homeschool family’s life- the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ll hide nothing from you.
See what others are saying about A Week in the Life of Homeschoolers!
Melissa: “Great book! I loved this little window into a full week of plans made and waylaid. Full of great insights and resources for home education and ways to turn around a day that is headed in the wrong direction. Thank you so much for sharing your world with us!”
MaryAnne: “This is a great look into what homeschooling looks like! I especially enjoyed the planned day followed by what actually happened. The overview of popular homeschooling approaches is very helpful.”
Oberia: “I’ve been homeschooling for around three years, myself, and Suzy’s one of those people I can always turn to for advice. This piece on the real life of one week is a great way to share that same encouraging spirit with anyone else, who cares to take a look.
Suzy’s (Caitlyn’s) days don’t go as planned. No one’s ever does. I can honestly say that her day gone off plan is still neater than my day sticking to the plan. She’s kind enough to show how things do go off plan, even down to her natural feelings, annoyances, and occasional woes. I find the book quite encouraging for it.”
Becky: “Anyone on the fence about homeschooling or trying to imagine what another family’s homeschooling day-to-day life looks like will enjoy this sweet little book. What a lovely window into this family’s life, as well as a handy summary of the different styles of homeschooling that are available. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your homeschooling adventures with us!”
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A: NO! Most certainly not, your email address will be used only to send you a weekly newsletter. No spam.
Q: Whats in the weekly newsletter?
A: Homeschooling tips and tricks, free printables, and lesson plans.
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You pause and breath deeply, straining to keep your voice calm despite your growing agitation. “Sweetie, if you just focus, you’d have this done in five minutes, then you could go play.”
Your child stares at you with that same blank expression on their face. They start to scribble out an answer for the next problem. The answer is wrong. You know they know this. Did they forget? You search their face, their cheeky face. Something glints in the eyes. They are answering wrong on purpose! But why? Why are they making a five minute assignment last over two hours? Why are they drawing it out and driving you crazy?
Just this morning you saw this same sweet child pour over a book about a sea voyage. They even pulled out a map to check the locations mentioned in the story, to see if they were real places. They spoke of wanting to go there and observe the wildlife as they doodled pictures of ocean creatures in their journal.
How could this be the same child?
Answer: You’re raising a stealth learner.
It was a wonderful Monday morning. While the rest of the world was hustling and bustling to school and work we were lounging in our pajamas, eating our breakfast slowly.
I had woken up to the kids playing with their figurines. Setting them up, acting out scenes, etc.. I was greatly enjoying watching them play, but I knew there was work to be done so I got out my phone and had a look at the dreaded to-do list.
Thats when I did it. And oh, I regretted it as soon as I did it.