Happy New Year! I’m back!

I hope everyone had a great month of festivities! I know we did! It’s always hard to get back into the swing of getting things done after a long break, even when you love what you do, but here I am, ready to start sharing again.

Today I have for you, an article by Sue Patterson called “My Unschooling Manifesto”. Even if you don’t consider yourself an “unschooler”, this list is a ‘must-read’. There is some wise advice here for those of us on an alternative path than public school. Maybe it will inspire you to great things as you consider the coming year!

Productivity For Homeschoolers

I bet you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple of days, right? Well, maybe you have, maybe you haven’t but I’ll let you know why anyway. I’m a Mom and a currently homeschooling Mom. My teenage sons’ race motocross and the schedule can be a bit hectic at times. Also, I don’t plan this blog in advance. I just write about what I find interesting, what’s currently happening in our area, and what I feel may be important or relevant to desert homeschoolers right now. Maybe some day in the future that will change and I’ll more time to plan but, for now, this works. Which leads me to exactly what I wanted to write to you about today!

Do you read productivity books or blogs? I do. At first, I thought they only applied to business people and entrepreneurs. That’s the audience the authors I read are focused on. The first one I read was “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. My friend and mentor recommended it to me years ago. I really love that book and highly recommend it as a great start! I realized after reading it and several other blogs I follow, that homeschoolers really could use these ideas. The same planning and thinking strategy’s that entrepreneurs use to build their ideas and businesses are a huge help when planning our own education and helping our children get theirs. After all, entrepreneurship seems to fit the main idea behind homeschooling to a T!

Here are some of my favorite books and podcasts!

“The Productivity Show” by Asian Efficiency. Not only are these guys full of great information and idea, they are entertaining as well. I love listening to them while I do the dishes!

“15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management” by Kevin Kruse. His website is filled with some great stuff, including a podcast that I love. http://www.kevinkruse.com/

“Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. While I don’t use his system in its entirety, I did like reading the book and found lots of useful tools I could use in my daily life. He has a lot of great books and blogs as well if you search for him. His website http://gettingthingsdone.com/ is a great place to start.

This one isn’t a productivity book but it did really help my state of mind and got me closer to a place where I could begin to feel in control of my life’s direction and become more productive. “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. Their website is a good place to start to see if this series of books can help you. http://www.boundariesbooks.com/

And last but certainly not least, the one I mentioned earlier in this post, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. This book and the newer one “The 8th Habit” are amazing tools! The site for his books is https://www.stephencovey.com/

Enjoy! I really believe the place to start homeschooling is with our own education, like putting your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others.

There Is No “Behind”!

This something that is imperative to wrap our minds around as parents. Homeschoolers are never “behind”. Your children are right where they need to be. We don’t need to compare our kids with others their age. As long as you and your children are happy we are all learning! The goal of education is learning new things, opening our minds to the world around us, not checking off boxes and staying at the level of our peers. We aren’t all on the same path and our education should match our life’s mission. Childhood is for figuring our what that mission is!

Read this and be inspired to change that paradigm! Dear Homeschool Mom Who Worries About Her Child Being Behind

Learning to Read

I don’t have much of my own to add at the moment, so I’ll pass along a short article about learning to read from “Teacher Tom”. My sons learned to read in their own time and without pressure from us. We read to them. We answered their questions. There were things to read around us. And eventually, all our children read. My husband’s daughter read around 4 years old, our oldest son around 5 years old, and our youngest son around 7 years old. They read and write as well as anyone I know that went through years of schooling. In a world filled with the printed word, it’s kinda hard NOT to learn to read! The simplest and cheapest reading program around is to pick up any book and read it to your child, point to the words on the page now and again, and answer them when they point to letters themselves.

“World” Schooling?

I ran across this article over the weekend and saved it to read this morning. Have you ever come across someone’s words and been inspired, not because the concept was so novel but because they spoke words you wish you would have thought of? This was an article like that for me. This young girl is amazing! And we aren’t actually “world” schoolers in the sense that her family is. In my opinion, you don’t need to be. You can live and learn locally in a way that gives you a connection with the wider world. Setting our children aside in schools cuts them off from the bigger world and limits their view.  Having them at our side in our daily lives brings them closer. Spending our days experiencing the world around us brings them out into the world to learn more about it on their own terms.

Check it out and see if this lifestyle can enhance your family life, even if you can’t travel extensively.

“I go to school but it doesn’t have four walls. My school is the world!” by Reka Kaponay

 

The Teenage Liberation Handbook

I love this book! It’s one that I wish I had found when I was a teenager. If you have an older child and you’re thinking about homeschooling or have been for years, I highly recommend you read this book and give it to your teens. It can help light a fire in them to pursue their own education and find their way in the world outside the classroom. Beware of the results, though! Their path may not look like the one you would have chosen for them. Embrace that! Be the support they need to be who they choose to be.

From Sue Patterson’s Newsletter (which I highly recommend you sign up for)!

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education was originally published in 1991 by Grace Llwellyn. Now it’s available to you for free! It’s designed partly for the parents, but mainly for the teen who is thinking that the regular brick-and-mortar school isn’t working out for them. Even though it was written 25 years ago, the points are all still valid. It’s full of practical advice, ideas, and encouragement. ”

 

 

A Blog and Facebook Group

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Sue Patterson’s! She has a wealth of information to share about getting started and keeping up with homeschooling regardless of your style.

And a new group has appeared on Facebook with thousands of members all sharing information and support about “unschooling”. It’s called Unschooling Mom2Mom and I’ve found some great questions and answers there lately!

The internet has made sharing information so much easier. If you’re having trouble or unsure about something, get on a large message board of some kind and ask questions. The answers are out there waiting for you to find them.

“Alternatives to School” Website

Alternatives to School has some wonderful articles to help you out of our current model of education in America and wrap your mind around this joyful concept of natural learning and where it can take you. It’s a good place to start looking into the ideas behind why people may want to leave the “school” model behind.

Today’s post, “Learning. It’s Not About Education.” by Laura Grace Weldon is one of those great pieces that can start people down this path of self-education. It’s also a good one to share with family members who may be very curious about why you’re not sending your kids to school. Here’s a quote from it to pique your interest!

“Children often ignore what they aren’t ready to learn only to return to the same concept later, comprehending it with ease and pleasure.  What they do is intrinsically tied to why they do it, because they know learning is purposeful. They are curious, motivated, and always pushing in the direction of mastery.”

 

Kindergarten

Here’s a wonderfully written article from the blog “From Law School to Homeschool” called Homeschooling Kindergarten.

It’s a great read for new parents considering homeschooling their kids. This was our “kindergarten” experience which has since grown into elementary school, jr high, and now high school experience. It doesn’t have to, though. This is what all early learning should be, a fun exploration of the world around them which leads into a strong, intelligent young human ready to move into academics.