Practical Parenting

Insecurities of a Homeschooling Mom

It is no secret that I love homeschooling. That doesn’t, however, make me opposed to traditional schools. One of my major concerns during sixteen years teaching at home was, “Am I causing my children to miss out on Mrs. Richman?” Mrs. Richman was my fifth-grade teacher. Our class full of easily bored and, hence, mischievous...

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Take Two: Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

When I wrote about Cyrus, the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet, I thought that I had pretty much covered what I wanted to say. Then, one of my daughters made a point that I thought was worth sharing. Shortly after that, I read the synopsis of the book on Amazon and realized that I...

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Making Sense of the World: Unit Studies

Two of my favorite homeschooling years occurred when I used KONOS as the basis of my curriculum. I heard one of the founders of KONOS speak at a homeschooling convention and loved the slogan she used to describe her perspective (which I’m probably not getting exactly right), “God put the wiggle in children, don’t take...

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It’s a Miserable Life

If you were unaware of the inaugural Summit on the Research and Teaching of Young Adult Literature that took place recently in Las Vegas, so was I. If you have pre-teenage and/or teenage children, you can’t afford to be. This morning’s Wall Street Journal features an article about the summit by author and journalism professor...

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Cyrus, the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

I read Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet half a dozen times over the past week. It is a favorite of a seven-year-old granddaughter and she recommended it to her similarly aged cousin. To my surprise, his two-and-a-half-year-old sister enjoys listening to it as well though I wouldn’t have chosen it just for...

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Up, Down and All Around: A Lesson in Prepositions and Life

It was a brilliant idea. I would introduce prepositional phrases to my children through a visit to the playground. They would have a great time going up the ladder, down the slide, through the tunnel and around the trees. Just about everything they did could be utilized for a fun and memorable grammar lesson. Or...

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Don’t Homeschool for the Wrong Reasons

Human beings are complicated. We do things for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we understand our motivations, other times we are clueless and often we think we understand but are only misleading ourselves. Starting, or continuing to homeschool is no exception. My own journey began when one of our daughters became increasingly sad and fragile...

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What Are You Really Teaching?

Each parent cares more about some areas of learning than others. If I want my child to be at home in many places, I may emphasize languages. Maybe I care more about English skills than science fluency or the other way around. Sports, dance, music and art are examples of other sectors that some of...

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Why did you pick Sonlight?

Dear Susan, I really appreciate you breaking out the parenting musings from the past into a separate webpage. Every time you mention homeschooling on AJW  (the Ancient Jewish Wisdom TV Show), I’m all ears. I know you said you’d discuss curriculum later, but I’m curious as to what part of Sonlight you used. It’s hard...

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In Defense of Wolves

As part of the Practical Parenting column, I am re-running Susan’s Musings that had to do with parents and children. The “Little Yosef” of this column is now a fifteen-year-old young man who spent the last two weeks hauling water-sodden loads out of our flooded basement.  Little Yosef, age 6, is busy writing stories about...

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