…we wait

We haven’t had a ton of snow, or bad weather, or even really cold weather. Yet the cycle of sickness has made this seem like an especially long winter, and our family is ready to shake off all the cozy of the season and trade it for freedom and, just maybe, a few weeks without germs.

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You can’t explain what you don’t know

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I’ve shared our approach to high school many times (a podcast summary is right here), and I probably will continue to do so. Homeschooling, after all, isn’t a one-size-fits-all order, no matter what the entrenched institutions try to sell you. A good— no, a great— high school education can’t fit in a box, or even a classroom. That kind of learning comes from following rabbit trails into unkempt, sometimes even messy places where young adults grab the spade that is the foundational years you’ve given them and start digging in to the dirt that is everything.

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To our new pediatrician

Hi. My name is Heather. I know you’re probably going to call me, “Mom,” throughout most of this first meeting, and that’s o.k. I can take it, though I admit you’ll score bonus points if you take the time to remember me as something beyond my role today. But again, if you don’t, I’m not going to hold it against you. It’s not me that I want you to invest in, anyhow.

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The Circle Time season

When we started homeschooling, I had three children ages 4 and under. We bought a boxed curriculum that year, one of those terribly stuffy, all-in-one deals that delivered a classroom kindergarten experience right to our front door, pencils and all. We all hated it— even my husband, who had been its biggest proponent when we had started researching our options. The fact is, a home isn’t a classroom and therefore, classroom management just isn’t a skill a homeschooling mother needs. Oh, she needs plenty of other skills. (Like delicately balancing the personalities of a whole family full of people who live and work together all the time.) But homes and brick and mortar schools are totally different beasts, and what works in one really doesn’t work well in others.

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Embracing what is

This isn’t a milk and honey season for us. Everything– time, money, the ability to stop and simply be present for a few hours each day– seems to be in short supply.

The temptation, then, is to mourn the loss. To look backwards at those years when the bank account was fatter and we could routinely bless others, to regret that days are no longer spent curled on the couch reading book after book to the children splayed all over the floor. To recall all of the moments that are not now and wish them here, to be lived again and again, forever.

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Feeding the People {a large family’s 2 week menu with recipe links)

January started out with a bang for us; not only are we in need of a meeting what feels like an impossibly large deductible for an unforeseen roof repair, we also found ourselves on the hook for a van repair totaling nearly as much… in addition to some other financial stuff we knew was coming. Suffice it to say, it’s a beans and rice kind of month for our family. Thankfully, we all really like beans. And rice. And not only can I get wicked creative when it comes to combining the two, I am also blessed to have a stockpile of frozen meat and berries in the freezer, hens laying nearly a dozen eggs per day, twenty pounds of potatoes, and plenty of butter, flour, and other staples. No one’s going hungry here, no matter how lean the bank account might look!

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