Letting my Kids Watch me Struggle to Learn

My 4-year-old playing the didgeridoo.

Two weeks ago I decided to learn to play the didgeridoo.  It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done before, and it’s challenging to learn.  But I’m having fun, and really enjoying it.  The deep resonance of the sound is soothing.  And the complete concentration it requires forces me to focus on only the one thing before me, making it a wonderfully meditative act.… Continue reading

Family Game Night: Sleeping Queens

It’s no secret that my family loves playing games together.  While for a while Uno was the card game of choice, and we still enjoy cooperative games like Mole Rats in Space, the reigning game of choice in our house is Sleeping Queens.

 

Sleeping Queens is a fun card game that involves a little bit simple strategy, some basic addition skills, a small amount of remembering, and good dose of chance. … Continue reading

A Cat made of Love

Like all siblings, my boys sometimes squabble.  They pick and poke at each other.  They tease each other.  They argue.  But underlying all of those things, is a deep and abiding love.  And every once in a while, I get a glimpse of that love in a way that makes my heart burst with joy.

 

For instance, a couple weeks ago my 4-year-old was feeling scared at night. … Continue reading

Enjoying the Sleet; Enjoying the Moment

When my four-year-old began donning his rain boots to head out into the sleet, I asked him if he wanted help with his jacket.

 

“No,” he replied, “I just want to taste it.  I don’t need a jacket.”

 

I watched him walk out the back door onto our deck.  My husband snapped this picture of him tasting the rain/snow/sleet that was falling from the sky. … Continue reading

Things to Entertain my Boys at Great-Grandma’s House

We’re headed to California next week to take care of my grandmother as she recovers from back surgery.  Recovery and two young children don’t always go hand-in-hand.  That said, my two boys are so excited about going and helping and spending time with their Great-Grandmother, that I’m hoping it’ll be a wonderful experience for all of us.

 

In order to keep my boys entertained during times when my grandma needs quiet over the next couple weeks, I picked up a few activity books from our favorite local bookstore. … Continue reading

Family Game Night: Mole Rats in Space Cooperative Game

We like to play games in our family.  Board games, card games, outdoor games; we’ll play them all.  And now that my four-year-old is ready to join in the fun, it’s enabled us to take our games a step beyond Slips and Ladders and Candy Land.

 

Cooperative games have been a big hit in our house because, instead of competing with each other, we all work together to win or lose the game. … Continue reading

Owie Oil: For all those Little Bumps, Bruises, and Scrapes

I have two young children.  This means we encounter a lot of bumps, bruises, and scrapes in our house.

 

When they occur, sometimes my kids keep going as if nothing happened.  I may think, “Wow, that looks like that hurt,” but since they don’t pay it any mind, I also let it go.

 

Other times, they simply want an acknowledgement from me that, indeed, that looked startling or painful. … Continue reading

Little Reminders of Love

Little Reminders of Love
Two pencil holders, one for each of my boys, made by sweet friends of ours.

We homeschool our boys.  Last year, my oldest son took a once-a-week art class.  That was the extent of our formal, every week classes.  This year, he’s taking three classes.  The same once-a-week art class, a nature class, and an all-day enrichment class that covers a variety of topics (robotics being the most exciting part for him).… Continue reading

Learning is Fun: Making Bead Necklaces

My 4-year-old has recently become very interested in necklaces.  He’s always had a bit of interest in my necklaces, but it never really stuck.  Then his big brother bought him a cat necklace at the Artisan Fair where his big brother had a booth, which immediately turned my 4-year-old into an every day necklace wearer.

 

Following the introduction of the cat necklace, we took a family trip to Michigan, where – in addition to lots of family gathering and fun – we cleared out my [deceased] mother-in-law’s belongings in order to donate them to a local women’s shelter.… Continue reading

When a Random Comment Reflects Learning

My four-year-old getting ready to carry the beetle to our garden after his talk with it.

After they find out that we homeschool, people often ask me how I know my kids are learning.  After all, while kids in schools (and even some homeschoolers) take tests, I don’t test my children.  And the answer is, in a myriad of ways.

 

Sometimes I know they’re learning because they demonstrate a skill. … Continue reading