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Self-Sufficiency for the Homeschool Family

By Kimberly Miller

 

No one can deny that the days in which we live have caused us to pause and look at our lifestyles in a new way. Goods and services that we may have taken for granted in the past could possibly be difficult to come by in the future. It is important to reexamine some of the ways we have done things in the past and perhaps find different ways of doing them in the future.

 

Homeschooling families have, by nature, always been a do-it-yourself kind of people. We take full responsibility for our children’s education, not wanting to pass it off to someone else. Why not let that mindset translate into other areas of our lives as well?

 

Past generations understood this idea of taking responsibility for themselves. Our grandparents and great-grandparents lived through two world wars and a major economic depression. They knew a thing or two about getting by and doing what needed to be done to make it through. The generations that lived through the Great Depression had to learn out of necessity to do things for themselves. The ones who lived through those times with the least impact on their way of life were those that were largely self-sufficient. My father, for instance, grew up on a farm and as a young boy, he hardly even noticed that the family was struggling financially. They had food on the table and clothes on their backs and were, for the most part, content. Why? Because my grandparents—his parents—knew how to do things for themselves. They had access to food because they grew it themselves. They repaired and reused what they had because they had no other choice. They had the skills to do what needed to be done to care for themselves and their family.

 

We have the opportunity to be in the same position as my grandparents were. Right now is the time to learn the skills that will serve us well in times such as these. As homeschooling families, this can be an opportunity for learning and growing together. We can also better prepare our children for whatever the future may hold for them.

 

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Homeschool for the Holidays Initiative

An exciting partnership with a homeschooler-founded company to support home education in the state of Maine!

 

With the holidays just ahead, we’re thrilled to announce an exciting partnership to support homeschooling families in the state of Maine. It’s also a chance to highlight a company founded by homeschool graduates working to help families safely navigate the digital age.

 

COSMO Technologies is a family tech company founded by three former homeschoolers, and this holiday season, we’re partnering together to support families in our state. COSMO’s flagship product is a groundbreaking kids’ smart watch with parent app, an alternative to smartphones that helps families stay safe and connected.

 

During the months of November and December, COSMO has committed to donating 8% of all website sales of i’s JrTrack 2 kids’ smart watch sold in the state of Maine to Homeschoolers of Maine. That means any purchase helps give back to homeschooling in our state!

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Learning Styles: Understanding How Your Child Learns

By Kimberly Miller

 

If you are a parent of more than one child, you know firsthand that each child is unique. If you are homeschooling multiple children, you have probably observed that your children have varying tendencies in the way they take in new information. They may have differing preferences for how they learn. Even if you only have one child, you have probably noticed that your child picks up new skills and information in a different way than you do.

 

Maybe your daughter likes to read about a new subject to learn about it, but your son likes to dive in and use a more hands-on approach to learning. Maybe one of your children learns more quickly through pictures and images than through verbal instructions, while another loves to listen to sounds or music in order to integrate new knowledge. If any of these sound familiar to you, then you have been observing different learning styles in action.

 

Learning styles are, quite simply, the ways in which individual people learn best. Everyone has a mix of learning styles, varying to one degree or another, with one learning style usually dominant over the others. Learning styles can change throughout a person’s life as they grow and mature and develop other, less dominant styles.

 

 

Knowing about learning styles can be helpful for a homeschooling parent. Understanding learning styles and how they affect your child can go a long way toward aiding you in making your teaching—and your child’s learning—more effective and efficient.

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The Seed

By Leann Dunckel

 

...my frame was not hidden from thee when i was made in the secret place...and in thy book they were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them...(Psalm 139:15-16)

 

We have six children, each one different, each one a valued inheritance from the Lord.  My oldest daughter was born shortly before i turned 32.  After waiting almost 3 years, we were surprised to be pregnant. 'They' said  'sometimes it takes awhile'.  I remembered my prayer. I mused to God I would be happy with whatever He had for us--a couple of kids, a bunch of kids, no kids and we would adopt "but you have to put that in my heart, Lord".  He said into my heart, "You'll have five."  We have six (still haven't figured that out).  I told my mother.  She wasn't sure.  You see, i was 32 and had no kids.  We did nothing medically.  We were pregnant a month later, and children came every 18 months after that. Yay!!  (Phew!) The Lord put homeschooling in my heart immediately.  But how?  My husband thought homeschoolers were crazy.  We both worked in schools! And I worked full time.

 

End of 3rd grade.  My husband said, "Why don't we try homeschooling?"  (I had left my desire to homeschool in God's hands, and only prayed.)  After all, we thought, it's only 4th grade, how could we hurt her? I had worked my way into part-time, and then temporary work from home.  We could put her back after one year, and as long as she could read, write, and do math, we had not hurt her education in any way.  Homeschooling began.  Meredith was a different child within three weeks.  She was so soft and peaceful.  Her music began--not  because we were musical, but because Meredith asked for piano lessons (that we couldn't afford on our current income).  So, Meredith took 10 weeks of piano.  A little water, a little sunshine, that little seed put up a shoot. Meredith wouldn't do the end-of-the-year recital.  The teacher said "Will you play a song for the offeratory in church?"  Meredith said yes.  

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How to Foster Creativity in Your Kids

By Kimberly Miller

 

Creativity—it’s something most parents would say they want to foster in their children. After all,

creativity leads to ingenuity and innovation, which we’ve seen in our modern world can lead to

helpful and important developments in technology and the arts (STEAM fields). Creativity also

has benefits beyond what it can produce; the act of creative pursuits can make us happier and

more fulfilled. And what parent doesn’t want that for their child?

As homeschooling parents, we have a huge impact on our children’s creativity and how it is

developed and utilized. We can encourage it, or we can stifle it. We must make sure we are

doing the things that will foster our children’s creativity and help it to grow and flourish.

But how can we best encourage creativity in our children so that they will be free to invent,

explore, and create throughout their lives?

Here are a few tips to get you started in helping your children develop their creativity:

 

Everyone is creative in some way. Creativity is a natural, God-given inclination.

Creativity is an attribute of God’s character, as well as an expression of our humanity. God is a

creative being, and as humans, we are made in His image. We have an innate desire to be

creative ingrained in us by the very design with which we were made. We reflect God’s image

when we practice our creativity. Children naturally enjoy making things. So do adults. In fact, I

would argue that most people are in some way creative—they may just not see it in themselves.

If you claim that you or your child are not creative, stop and take a look at what you love to do

and you just may discover that it is a creative activity at its heart.

 

Even parents who think they are not creative can raise creative kids.

Yes, that means you. I guarantee you are a creative person, even if you do not see it in yourself.

Look for that spark of creativity, and fan it into a flame—in yourself as well as in your child. You

may just find that it enhances your life in ways you could not have imagined. And it will inspire

your child as well. But even if you never accomplish anything you would consider creative, you

can still have an influence in fostering creativity in you children. They will thank you for it, and

the world will be enriched by the gifts they share with it.

 

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