An Easy Way to be Ready for Christmas

We’re in November already, with just over 50 days until Christmas.  And for us as mothers in a homeschooling family, Christmas usually means extra work.  And lots of it.  There are gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write and send, and food to buy and cook.  We’ll also want to teach the Nativity story to our children, and possibly do some … Continue reading

Does This Count as Homeschooling?

 “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder. Turning Five My favourite-four-year-old  turned five this month.  It felt so momentous.  Half a decade old.  A milestone birthday, somehow. Five is often the time that some sort of formal academic teaching starts. We did … Continue reading

One Question You Are Sure to Get Asked

One of the questions that people always seem to ask about homeschooling is ‘What about socialization?’  The idea is that children who go to school will spend time with other children and therefore will learn how to socialize with their peers.  Whereas homeschooled children will be protected and cossetted in a boring, uninteresting environment at home, with little social interaction outside … Continue reading

A Problem with List Making

… the real work is unseen. I like lists and I like ticking tasks off my to-do list as I complete them.  It improves my efficiency, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment, and I like the sense of achievement I see in children when they see tasks completed well.  But one problem with making a list is that … Continue reading

How to Improve Your Homeschooling Efficiency

Life is so busy in a homeschooling family.  Often it’s happy busy, but sometimes it’s stressful too. One way to handle the busy-ness is to make a list of things you need to do. It helps you to focus. It increases the chances of things being done. It helps prevent things being forgotten. But a to-do list needs to be … Continue reading

How I Homeschooled in a Small Space

Have you ever seen those beautiful photographs of wonderful home-school-rooms, beautiful book shelves and lots of play space?  Little desks for everyone and masses of charming pictures and shelves groaning with equipment. I find the pictures pretty scary because there is no way I can compete with that sort of setup.  In fact, when we had a big house and … Continue reading

I Have Stopped Homeschooling

Our youngest child has tidied her desk, sorted her shelves, and packed her best work into a box to go into the attic to be kept. She has tidied her wardrobe and drawers and is preparing to go off to Bible School for six months. It feels momentous, huge and scary. For me, not her. It’s 27½ years since we … Continue reading

Ways to Enjoy Wonderful July

Have you noticed how everyone is always amazed at how fast time flies?  They gasp and comment and wonder where the time has gone as if it’s something new and surprising.  But we know it’s not new, and we shouldn’t be surprised.  We are already half way through 2012.  We are about six months away from Christmas if we look … Continue reading

Homeschooling with a Newborn

An interview with a homeschool mother of six. Erin Parkinson is homeschooling her six children in Auckland NZ.  We chatted when her youngest child was three months old. STEPHANIE: Hi Erin, congratulations on Jeremiah’s birth.  How old is he now? ERIN: Hi Stephanie, Jeremiah is three months old now, and our oldest is nine, so life is very busy. STEPHANIE: … Continue reading

Why A Fancy Washing Machine Might be a Bad Idea

Our elderly dishwasher finally gave up the ghost last week.  It had been warning me for a while that all was not well, so we were prepared for it to go. The new dishwasher is delighting us all with how quiet it is, how clean it gets the dishes, and how neat and tidy it looks. Some dishwashers are really … Continue reading