Category Archives: Parenting

Child-led Experiences

It is hard for me to let go of “control” (or whatever false sense of control I think I have). I spent my formative years in a public school system that failed to assign any sort of child-led or independent research until the upper highschool grades, at which point most of the students struggled because we were so used to being spoon-fed information, opinions, and the like. I was told how to act, how to think, how to feel. My interests and ideas nor the interests and ideas of my classmates was never really of much importance, and now as a parent I realize how much I *don’t* want any of that for my children. Still I struggle. I struggle to make sure that they feel supported to explore the world around them on their terms. I struggle to stand back and say nothing when I really want to call their attention away from whatever they are exploring to point out something I think would be more interesting. Who am I to tell them what is interesting? Only they can decide that.

Today I opened myself up to seeing the world from my children’s perspective and had a truly wonderful afternoon of child-led experiences in our own front yard. (more…)

Living Montessori and What it Means to Me

Our family is entering the 3rd Blogiversary Giveaway at Living Montessori Now and if I blog about the giveaway then it counts at 3 extra entries so…its a pretty sweet giveaway. 3 prizes, the first of which is 2 CDs full of pdf files of some top notch Montessori printables- over $500 worth of Montessori education goodness! The second prize is also amazing, a $100 coupon for Montessori Print Shop. Third prize is the Montessori at Home ebook and a small bundle of Montessori printables, pretty sweet. I’ve heard good things about the ebook. The three people who win these are going to be extremely lucky to have done so.
Now, of course I hope that our family wins. But really, with as many entries as there are, I highly doubt we will. My luck has never been very good. So hopefully whoever does win puts these amazing resources to good use.
(If any of my followers would like to enter, the link is above, best of luck to you!)

I figure if I’m going to blogging about a Montessori giveaway, I should probably explain why I entered a Montessori materials giveaway in the first place… (more…)

eBook Review: Homeschool for FREE and Frugal (put it on your must-read list)

As I’ve stated before on this blog, our family recently had to downsize.
What I failed to mention was that, for a time, I feared we may not be able to homeschool.
I’ve been very lucky that while the current situation has proven difficult, its not impossible to homeschool our children.
But I did need some help figuring out how to make the process as affordable as possible.

*Google enters stage left*
An online search brought me to several promising and helpful websites, one of which was Free Homeschool Deals.
I’ve only been signed up for her newsletter for about a month now but already I’ve learned how to read free Kindle books without actually owning a Kindle, I’ve been directed to several amazing school supply sales, and I’ve been offered some really fantastic printables. I also found at the bottom of my newsletter a free ebook (which is also available directly from her website).

Yesterday I decided to finally read my free ebook copy of Homeschool for FREE and Frugal, which is written by the owner of Free Homeschool Deals and has contributing chapters from several other homeschooling moms.
This. Book. Is. FULLY. AWESOME.

Through this book I heard several inspirational stories about homeschooling success on a zero ($0, nada, zip) budget. I learned about how to create my own homeschool printables. I learned about how to network with other homeschooling moms (an area I was desperately lacking in knowledge of). I was even directed to about a half dozen websites with free printables, free lesson plans, and/or free curriculum. The ideas presented in this book were creative, innovative, and EXACTLY what this first time soon-to-be homeschooling mom on a small budget needed to read.

Thank you so much to the author and contributing authors of Homeschool for FREE and Frugal!
To anyone interested in starting homeschooling, or interested in cutting down the cost of their homeschool, who has not read this book or not checked out the website Free Homeschool Deals, I highly recommend doing so as soon as you get the chance.


Easter FAIL

I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’m a bit adventurous with my children. Whether it be a cross country trip by train or a simple afternoon craft project at home, I’m easily excited and up for just about anything. Any excuse to have fun will do. Generally speaking, I’ve been lucky that the things I try usually work out well. Maybe not always as planned but we have alot of fun.

This Easter was no different. I had my crafts bookmarked. New egg dye ideas were found on Pinterest. I read up on all the local egg hunts and picked the best one to attend.
Then, failure hit. Big time.

Easter FAIL from Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)

Toy Story Theme Bath (and my thoughts on commercializing childhood)

Allow me to preface this post by saying, this was not my idea. I wish I could say it was but truly, the credit goes to my husband, Marmaduke, for having thought of this particular theme. It was a couple months ago when I was really sick and just didn’t have it in me to do night time routine with the kids. After having seen me put together so many theme baths, Marmaduke decided to try his hand at it. LittleMan loved it so much, we’ve re-created the theme twice since then.

I love this bath for two big reasons:
1- it offers old, lesser played-with toys in a new and interesting way, making them fun again
2- its a great way to get the kid to wash his own toys

If your child is a fan of the Toy Story trilogy as well as a collector of crap character toys, and has generous loved ones (like mine unfortunately is lucky enough to have) then you probably already have everything you need to create a similar themed bath in your own home. So without further ado…

Toy Story Theme Bath from Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)

How I got my 4 year old to Quit Fighting Me

Let me preface this post by saying, I’m not about blind obedience. I *LOVE* that my son questions authority! Did you ever notice that most of the founding fathers qualify for ODD? With the right guidance, a stubborn, opinionated child can become an adult with convictions and passions. So on that note, I want my son to argue his heart out when we debate who is the best superhero. I hope he dazzles me with his persuasive skills when he argues for a later bedtime. But there are just some things that aren’t worth fighting over! Things like brushing his hair, getting his shoes on. Daily routines.

I finally found a way to not only get my son to stop arguing with me, but to get him excited to do the mudane everyday tasks he used to fight: picture charts.

How I got my 4 year old to Quit Fighting Me. from Suzy Homeschooler  (1) (more…)

Kid Spaces: Art Studio

Kids Art Studio (converted bathroom) from Suzy Homeschooler (3)

Last year our family had to move from the UK to the US and, in moving, we had to downsize. The Homeschoolers went from a 4 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with a garage and fenced-in back yard to our current 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. The days of painting in the back yard were over; we had to find ways to make art fit into our tiny new home. While it might be unorthodox, we converted our second bathroom into a small studio for the children. Being a family of 4 (one of whom is still in diapers), we never had 2 bathrooms before and didn’t feel we needed 2 bathrooms now so we thought, “why not make better use of that second bathroom?” (more…)