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

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

My Homemade Calendar Notebook

My Homemade Calendar Notebook
A picture of the type of notebook I use, and a picture of two pages within my particular calendar notebook. The top is a how I structure my weekly view pages. The bottom image is my year-at-a-glance page (the key to the numbers is on the following page).

For two years now, I have made my own calendar notebook, which doubles as a journal/planner. … 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

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

Learning by Doing: Manning a Table at a Local Artisan Fair

My 8-year-old manning his booth at the artisan fair.

Last year, my elder son made a family friend a series of four bead ornaments depicting the life-cycle of a caterpillar (an egg, a caterpillar, a chrysalis, and a butterfly).  She loved them, and suggested that he start a business selling them.  My then 7-year-old leaped on this idea and began to make ornaments to sell.… Continue reading

Edible Fresh Fruit Flag

Last year’s Edible Fresh Fruit Flag, cut and assembled by my [then] 7-year-old.

In case you’re looking for a last-minute, healthy, patriotic dessert idea, it’s hard to go wrong with an edible fresh fruit flag.  It’s essentially a disassembled fruit salad.  It tastes delicious, looks great, and is very easy to make.

 

We began the tradition of making an Edible Fresh Fruit Flag as part of our July 4th celebration two years ago. … Continue reading