Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

5 step stranger-danger protection

With many kids visiting large amusement parks, enjoying summer free time or just walking to the neighborhood pool, this post comes in handy. I especially like the positive spin the author employs. Thanks Joy on a Shoestring for allowing me to reblog this post.

Joy on a Shoestring

As a paranoid parent I spend a lot of my time warning my children about potential dangers. The rest of the time is spent clamping them firmly to my sides! Today I found this useful 5-step check list on Simple and useful, I like it.

  • Instead of: Don’t talk to strangers
    Say: Check with me or your dad or your babysitter before talking to another grown-up.

  • Instead of: If you get lost in a store, ask a trusted adult to help you find me
    Say: If you get lost in a store, stay in the building and find someone with a name tag to help you.
  • Instead of: Don’t take candy from a stranger
    Say: Don’t take anything from anyone except your parents, babysitter, teacher, or friend’s mom or dad on a playdate.
  • Instead of: Don’t leave my sight
    Say: Don’t go where you can’t see me.
  • Instead of:

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Adjusting to the thought of Public School

This next year, my daughter has decided to attend public school.  I have nothing against public school.  After all, I attended one for four years of high school and survived.  Like any environment, some kids were bullies and others were dolls while some teachers were competent and others should have been fired years ago.  I decided to homeschool because I want to give my children a customized, flexible education that prepares them for their future, not because our local school offers a poor education. 

While I’m mostly okay with her decision, I pause and tear up every once in a while.  I’ll miss her company, and I’ll miss learning along with her.  Plus, I know she’ll be under someone else’s care (both teachers and friends) for more hours than she’s under my care.  It’s the letting go that I’m not enjoying.   

Her daddy’s concerned that she’ll be bullied.  Realistically, that happens everywhere.  In my Christian elementary school, the kids were as cruel as any kids (or adults, for that matter) I’ve known since those long-ago years.  As parents, we want to protect our kids but of course can’t always be by their side.

This leaves me with prayer.  When I can’t be by her side, God knows, sees, cares and loves.  This is an opportunity for both her and I to trust Him.  I trust Him to give our family the guidance we need to navigate public school in a few short months.


Three Benefits of Barbie Dress-Up

My daughter loves to play dress up, and Barbies are one of her favorite toys.  Despite the controversy over her physical measurements, there are compelling reasons not to ban Barbie play.

Do you allow your children to play with Barbie?  What is their favorite thing to do with their dolls?

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What Do Housekeeping and Education Have in Common?

While cleaning up the kitchen today, I thought of my pastor’s sermon from yesterday.  He shared how evangelism is a process rather than an event.  As I pulled dishes out of the dishwasher only to immediately refill it, I realized that housekeeping and education are also processes rather than events. 

Just like doing dishes, sweeping floors and washing clothes must happen over and over and over again, our children need to be taught educational concepts, character traits and manners over and over again.

We can’t expect them to learn new concepts from a single lesson.  Like they can’t learn spiritual lessons or character traits with one Sunday School lesson, they need repeated instruction for school subjects.

The process grows wearying.  It’s hard to persevere, especially if a child struggles to “get it.”   Perhaps the mentality that it’s a process rather than an event will give us the strength we need to keep going, the motivation we need to keep teaching and the hope we need that one day they will learn.  May the process rather than the event help us as we educate our students at home.

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A Great Escape

I’ve seen many posts this week from moms who welcome their children home from school.  They either anticipate or dread the next few months of  unlimited time together, and they’re trying to find creative activities that prevent boredom and prevent their children from the infamous summer brain drain.

For all my friends who welcome children home from school this week, happy summer! 

For those of us who homeschool, the summer routine is barely different from the regular school year routine.  At least in my house, we spend so much time learning as we’re living that summer just gives us different activities in warm weather.  

Today, I learned an important lesson in planning time together:  A Great Escape. 

My children need a space where they can escape each other, me and the television.  My son chooses his hideout behind the sofa where he can play with his stuffed friends or Flick Trixs.  My daughter retreats to her bedroom where she reads, writes or plays Barbies.  

I need a space to escape the noise, the arguments and the activity.  My bedroom, behind closed doors, provides a quiet oasis where I can cry, scream, journal or rest my eyes for a minute (or two).   

We all need a personal space where we can retreat when summer days grow too long, nerves fray or activities leave us cranky.  

While one reason I homeschool is so I can enjoy learning with my children, I appreciate and value the time we spend apart.  That being said, I’d love to hear your creative ideas for making sure everyone in your home has a place where they can make A Great Escape.

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I Want to Break Something

No, I’m not angry enough to actually throw something or smash my fist into the wall.  My preferred MO when I’m angry is to give the silent treatment to the object/person who’s the subject of my anger or I stomp around as I clean the house like a madwoman.  (That’s tough to admit, but we all get angry sometimes.)

The break I need today has to do with school subjects that are a bit tougher for my children.  For my daughter, it’s reading long chapter books loaded with words in small print or completing pages of math problems.  My son balks at reading nonsense words or long sentences as he practices Phonics.  I could push them to finish in one sitting, but why fight?  Instead, letting them take breaks means we all accomplish what needs to get done.

I see them enjoy school as they work is small doses with plenty of play breaks or chances to ride the tire swing, do jumping jacks or dance.  They accomplish the task and enjoy it while learning how to read.

There’s no reason to fight with kids to make them do stuff that’s challenging.  While the work needs to be done, it can be fun, entertaining and filled with breaks instead of misery and gloom.  Small chunks make the work go faster and increases productivity and enjoyment. 

With that wisdom in mind, I’m off to break something.  In fact, I think it’s time to take a break and make cookies!  That’s one task we all agree tastes great in one big bite or several small pieces.  🙂

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