P is for Play

I can’t tell you how many studies I’ve read this year that say that our kids need to play more. Or how many articles I’ve read this year telling me how much more play kids in the Neatherlands and France get than kids in the US. If you believe everything you read, lack of playtime has caused every childhood ailment that our children experience. From being sick more often because they aren’t getting dirty to getting poor grades in school because they can’t focus. I’m not saying that there’s no credibility to any of these. What I am saying is that there’s so many studies and articles out there it’s next to impossible to figure out actual fact from fiction, and reliable study from something just thrown together.

I do think play is an important and integral part of childhood. And that children should be encouraged and free to play, explore, and create with minimal rules.

1. Play is an important part of social development – Watch children play. They learn how to interact with each other. How to handle disagreements. And in pretend play they even act out (practice) making decisions in real life. It’s always interesting to me to watch my children play things like store and see what they’re choosing to buy and what they’re doing with it. Without play, where else would children learn these skills in a stress free, child led environment?

2. Minimize your handling of play disputes – I will interfere if the kids are being mean to each other (like the older girls squirting their younger brother with the garden hose), but for many play disputes I encourage them to work it out. Arguing over a toy? Well, they can either give it to me for safekeeping or figure out who’s going to play with it. It’s important for them to learn to work through problems like sharing, considering other’s feelings, and being polite to friends.

A lot of actions have their own consequences. If you won’t share with your friends, most likely, they’ll just decide to go play with something else. And that’s not fun for anyone. I try to allow them to see and experience their own consequences. I do draw the line if it’s a safety issue or I see that a child is just simply being unkind and needs a minute to chill and redirect.

3. Play is important for physical development – I remember climbing on top of the monkey bars and balancing across, jumping off the swings, and that awesome merry go round thing they used to have at playgrounds. It’s in play that I watch my kids try new things. We just pulled the slip and slide out for the summer and the first day they very carefully sat themselves down and tried to scoot down the slide. By the middle of the second day, they’re getting running starts and just flying down the slide (and by flying I mean that they are making it from top to bottom in one try which is quite a feat because the biggest hill in our yard is really pretty flat).

The important thing is that they’re learning their own limits. They’ve learned that no one can stand all the way down the slide – though, they keep trying. The fastest or preferred way down seems to be on their knees – there’s a pool of water at the end that no one wants to put their head in. And running starts are the fastest way down.

Play is the best way to learn how high you can leap, how fast you can run, and when to stop.

4. Please, don’t hover – There is nothing more amusing to me at a playground than watching some other mom hovering behind my almost 3yr old as he climbs up a slide. I just want to walk up to her and say, “lady, he’s been doing this since he was 18 months and hasn’t fallen yet, I think he’s ok”. But, no, I just watch, amused as he climbs to the top, changes his mind, and backs back down the steps, to run off and try a different slide. All the while this poor, paranoid, parent is standing ready to catch him if he falls.

I will admit, I did stand behind him at 18 months until I was sure he could do it. But these days, he’s climbing the jungle gym so I’m not concerned about his ability to handle a slide.

I’m not saying, don’t supervise. I’ve seen plenty of that too. You know, the kids who’s throwing sand at all the other kids and there’s no parent to be found to intervene. If your child is going to hurt themselves or another child, by all means, do something.

But, there’s no need to stand behind your 3yr old while he climbs a slide, especially if you’ve seen him do it thousands of time before. It’s a lot of work for you and does nothing to enhance your child’s play.

For me the point about play is that my children get the chance to play, create, and imagine without me giving directions. I want to see what they come up with, what they think, and how they choose to handle life. All those studies aside. Play is a very important part of childhood. Because what is childhood without play?

Super Simple Mother’s Day Gift List

Looking to keep it simple this year? Just remember it’s the thought that counts. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get Mom a Mother’s Day gift she’ll love.

1. Flowers – There’s something for everyone in this category. I love red roses, and bonus points if there’s baby’s breath with them. My husband knows this and gets them for me often. My MIL doesn’t really like cut flowers. But she loves potted plants that she can either plant outside or grow inside. I got her a tulip house plant for her birthday a few months ago, she put it on her porch and it’s perpetually blooming for her. She shows it to me every time I’m at her house. For Mother’s Day, I’ll just run up to Home Depot the day before and pick out something that looks like it’s going to bloom soon. It’s a super simple gift, but something that I know she loves.

The key with flowers is to put out a little effort and find out what kind of flower your Mom likes. Cut or potted? Red, pink, blue, or yellow? Roses, tulips, daisies, or lilies?  Flowers get a bad rap because they’re often a thoughtless gift, you just pick up something random and give it to your mom because you can’t think of anything else. Find out what she really likes, and the’ll be appreciated.

2. Chocolate – Again, don’t just drop by Target the night before and pick up the first thing you see on the shelf. Does your mother like light or dark chocolate? What fillings does she like? Does she have a favorite brand? It’s not about just getting a gift because you have to. It’s about getting something special just for her. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be something she likes.

My favorite chocolate is a bit pricey, I just love Godiva milk chocolate. And when someone gets it for me, it’s mine, and I don’t feel at all bad about not sharing with everyone. Do some research and get what she likes.


3. Popcorn – I have a food theme going here, don’t I? The key with this again is thought. I know for me as a mom, a special snack just for me is hard to come by. I usually just snack on whatever everyone else is having. You know, stale goldfish from the kids, too-spicy salsa from my husband, and whatever else people in my house like to eat. I rarely purchase a snack just for me.

If your mom’s favorite popcorn is microwave popcorn, get that. You can get some really fun popcorn at specialty stores or even at your local grocery store. I love popcorn that’s been drizzled in chocolate. But it’s like $4 a bag so I don’t just go buy it for myself.

Better yet, get your mother some fun popcorn, her favorite sweet drink (coke, tea, lemonade, etc.), and a new DVD. I bet she’ll even invite you to join her movie night.

4. Coffee – Most moms I know consume a lot of coffee. My mom loves coffee. I know a few who don’t drink it at all and I’m not sure how they survive! If your mother doesn’t drink coffee, she probably drinks tea, hot chocolate, or cokes. The key here is, get her a beverage that she loves. My favorite coffee brand is Green Mountain. It’s always so smooth and delicious. Find out what your mom’s favorite brand is. Does she like beans, ground, or k-cups? Or, would she prefer a gift card to her favorite coffee shop? My mom always feels pampered with a Starbucks giftcard. Add a giftcard for her Kindle and she has a relaxing afternoon out. A lot of local coffee shops have their own special blends, maybe your mother likes trying new things. Just knowing that you put in some extra effort to get her something she likes will be appreciated.

Want to give a really special gift? Include a personalized coffee cup with her coffee. And she’ll think of you every time she drinks coffee.

5. Personalized Gift – Shutterfly has awesome magnets, scratch pads, and cards if you’re not crafty but still want to make something special for your mom. If you like to create things, make her something that she wants or something that will remind her of how much you love her everytime she sees it. For example, my MIL loves aprons, so I like to either make her an apron with the kids artwork on it, or buy her an apron from shutterfly or someplace similar with a picture of the kids on it. It’s useful, because she wears it while she cooks and it’s special to her because it lets her show off her grandkids. If you like to bake, bake your mom a special cake, or have her over for dinner one night. There’s so many personalized gifts you can give to your mom that let her know you were thinking of her way before Mother’s Day. (because these things take time)

5 Things I Learned from my Mom

My mom will always be special to me. She was a great mother and while I may not have completely appreciated her when I was a child, the older I get, and the older my children get, the more I realize how much my Mother sacrificed and how much she gave for me and my siblings.

Here’s a few of the many things I learned from my mom.

1. All about Hair – Oh, you know. Long hair and tangles. Many tears. I’d rather go around looking like a porcupine than brush out all those tangles. But, nope, find a good hairbrush and brush away.

My mom also taught me how to fix my hair. How to use hairspray. How to use hot rollers (which I still own because you know that crazy curly hair fad is coming back in someday). She was even ok with me getting perms, dying my hair, trying new styles, etc.

I actually keep my hair pretty natural these days. But I’m so grateful that she was ok with me trying out new things and finding my style when I was a teenager.

2. How to wear makeup – Her best advice on this topic – aside from showing me HOW to apply things like mascara (so I didn’t end up looking like a raccoon) and lipstick – “makeup should accent your face, not hide it”. To this day, I still can’t stand the feel of foundation, so I don’t wear it. But, my mom taught me to be confident and happy with the way I look and to enjoy makeup as a way to dress up and not a means to hide my face.

And since the natural look is all the rage these days, I’m quite happy with my makeup routine.

3. How to cook – Being able to cook, and being comfortable in the kitchen has served me so well over the years. For starters, think of all the money my family saves by only going out to eat a few times a month. And then there’s the fact that I don’t have to spend a long time in the kitchen to come up with a healthy meal that my family likes.

I’ve had lots of practice and it all started with my mom letting me join her in the kitchen and make a mess.

4. How to have good manners – These are so important, and it seems that they are often neglected these days! From just how to be polite to people to which fork to use at that formal dinner party. Manners have served me well over the years.

5. How to be a Mom – Of all the things she taught me. I think one of the greatest things I learned was how to be a Mom. From seeing her pain when I was in pain from one of my many skinned knees (almost all acquired by flipping over my bike handlebars), to answering all my late night phone calls (which she would still answer even today). Watching her care for me and my siblings, and listening to her advice on life. Loving my Dad, and seeing them work as a team.

I have a great Mom who gifted me something invaluable. She showed me what a great Mom is. And that’s how I learned how to be a Mom.

M is for Mondays

I don’t know about you, but Monday is the hardest day of my week. Really, it starts on Sunday. We go to Church early, meet up with extended family for lunch, and meander home sometime around dinnertime. After the kids are in bed I prep and pack backpacks and lunches for our homeschool co-op on Monday.

I love our co-op, but boy is it hard to get up at 7 am Monday morning. My kids find it difficult as well. This past Monday, my middle child – the child who is impossible to wake up – would not wake up. I had lights on, in and out of the room, etc. for 30 minutes and still nothing. I ended up packing her clothes and carrying her to the car in her pjs and then dressing her once we arrived at our destination.

This kid is seriously hard to wake up. She once fell asleep in the car, I carried her into piano lessons, she slept through the lesson, I put her back in the car, stopped at a friend’s house to pick something up, came home, carried her inside to the couch, and she stayed asleep for another hour! And, yes, she always transferred well from the carseat to her crib when she was an infant.

On Monday, we finish up our school around 3 and head home. Once we get him I have work to do. I’m office manager for my husband’s company – check out his awesome website! -, and Monday is the day for invoices, paying bills, hours tracking, and any other fun number related bookkeeping items I can come up with. I take a break to make dinner and hang out with the kids until their bedtime and I usually finish up my work by 10pm.

It’s quite the Monday!

Luckily, the end is in sight. I have 3 more co-ops and then we’re done for the year and I’ve already switched to a new group for next year that meets on Fridays. Which will work out way better. Friday is usually our “do something fun” day and since my kids are convinced that co-op isn’t school (because how could science experiments, public speaking practice, art, history, geography, math, and latin with friends be school?), Friday can be a very productive “fun day” for us every week.

And my Mondays can be a slower start to my week. Since I’m just not a Monday person.

Anyone else struggle with Mondays? What do you do to make your Mondays a little easier?

K is for Kinder

Did you know that our word Kindergarten is from German? Literally translated it means Children Garden. The original Kindergartens were designed as a place for pre-school children to play and grow. The word itself pictures the natural growth of childhood in a nurturing environment.

I remember my year in Kindergarten as being so much fun. I did learn to read, and I’m pretty sure I learned to count, and I definitely remember all the cool toys we got to play with, the playground, and the fun performance we got to put on for our parents at the end. Oh, and I loved my teacher, she was so sweet, and learning was so much fun.

And that’s what I think of Kindergarten and all the pre-school years. They should be years of fun, wonder, and nuture. Years where my children grow without the pressures of growing up. Like little flowers in a garden. To be carefully tended, loved, taught, and encouraged to bloom. You can’t make a flower bloom any faster by opening it up yourself, you have to wait. And just like flowers, each child will bloom when they’re ready. And not all will bloom at the same time.

I’m reminded of this line from Mulan – My, my, what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one’s late! I bet when it blooms, it will be most beautiful of all” by Fa Zhou – I provide all the nuture, care, attention, training, teaching, etc. and my children will bloom when they’re ready.

So, let your children be children. Let them enjoy being children. Because childhood is so magical, and so short.


J is for June

I like June. It’s a good month. It’s one of those nice summer months where it’s warm enough to go swimming, but not sweltering hot like August. Where you eat ice cream outside for lunch, because you can. And your favorite pair of flip-flips is the only pair of shoes you need.

This time of year with warm weather one day and freezing cold the next, I start dreaming of June and all the fun things we will do when it’s warm. Swimming, hanging out at the park, meeting friends at the park for lunch, really, just being outside all the time.

I’m not the only one in my family who likes summer. My kids have this thing against shoes, coats, and cold weather. Snow days are so boring around here. “It’s cold outside” they protest after 5 minutes in the snow. And we spend the next 2 hours recovering with hot chocolate and blankets and refusals to ever go out again.

In contrast, on hot summer days, they stop in for a popsicle, some more water, or requests for large amounts of food for their lunch that must be eaten outside, then return to the yard until it’s dark or they’re just too tired to play anymore. I think my kids live on fresh fruit and popsicles all summer long.

photo_35251_20141229My daughters have been begging to wear flip-flops and sandals for weeks now. We’re getting ready to go out the door, it’s 35 degrees out. They have their coats, leggings, hats, etc. on and would like to know if they can please wear their flip-flops today. It’s not raining or snowing so it must be ok.

My 7yr old wants to know when she can plant her garden. Just as soon as it stops getting down to freezing at night, I tell her. Plant too early and that very last frost will kill everything and you’ll have to start over. She would still like to plant something.

Oh, and don’t forget ice cream. The kids have been begging for an ice cream party. I’ve already started planning it and Easter hasn’t even arrived yet!

I’m beginning to thing that right about now we need a vacation to southern Florida. A week of warm weather, flip-flops, and swimming.

Of course, spring is right around the corner, and summer is so soon. And summer is my favorite time of year. And I’m so hoping it’s a good one.

What do you love about summer?

H is for Why Homeschool?

For me, the decision to homeschool was easy. I and my husband were both homeschooled and both greatly benefited from being educated this way. So the decision to homeschool our children was easy, or, assumed. There was no discussion, I just had to figure out which umbrella school, what curriculums, state requirements, etc.

A couple years in and I love homeschooling my children. So, why homeschool? Or, why continue homeschooling? Here’s some benefits I’m already seeing.

  1. Child lead learning – I love my curriculum and it’s important for my children to be at least at grade level, but, their learning is tailored to their needs. My 2nd grader loves science, so she does lots of science. Extra science classes at the local museum, etc. She also loves to grow things, so this spring I told her she can have her own garden, choose what goes in it, and be responsible (with some help from me) for taking care of it. And for reading this month, my 2nd grader has selected a Nancy Drew. As the kids get older, they’ll have more say about what curriculum we’re using and what subjects or direction we want to go with which subjects (like do they want to learn algebra or geometry first).
  2. I can “sneak” in extra learning – My 2nd grader just realized the other day that when she helps me in the kitchen I’m making her do math. She’s struggling with understanding fractions so I was walking her through combining 2 1/2 cups to equal 1 cup. She loves to cook and really wants to read and follow her own recipe without assistance, but getting all her measurements right is still a bit tricky. When she realized she was doing math she wasn’t all upset about it, it was more the realization that some math is super useful and that she needs it to be able to accomplish something fun (like making her own batch of banana muffins). Guess who’s suddenly more interested in fractions!
  3. I know what needs more work – With reading, she’s a good reader, but often drops connecting words or skips lines. And when reading out loud she tends to be very quiet and hard to hear. I’ve been teaching her to read recipes to me in the kitchen and she’s realizing the importance of every line on the page. She doesn’t realize it, but it’s definitely helping with focusing on every word. (I know, back to cooking, but she loves cooking, and there’s so many other skills I can slip in while we’re at it) Also, she’s able to read devotions to us in the evenings instead of me doing all the reading. She thinks it’s awesome and I think it’s great to hear her read aloud. She wanted me to record her reading the other day so I told her that she had to talk really loud so the camera could pick up her voice. I’ve been wanting to work on presentation when reading but finding a way to emphasize it has been a challenge. Telling her to “read louder” just doesn’t work. It was her best reading yet, because who doesn’t love to be on camera!
  4. More Free time – We have time to spend all day browsing a museum, do a crafting day, or not start school until 10. When we’re done for the day, we’re done. No homework in the evening. The weather has been beautiful this week (finally warming up a bit) so lots of time has been spent outside. Our neighbor friend doesn’t get home from school until 3 or so and my kids are usually well into their outside play by that time.
  5. More Flexible Schedule – We vacation in the off season, meaning we get the beach to ourselves! We do school through snow days and get out early in the spring when the weather is just gorgeous! Some holidays we take and some we don’t, but we’ll throw in a bonus free day whenever we want to do something fun. It lets us have our schedule the way that works best for our family.
  6. More Sleep – My kids usually get up around 8. On those rare mornings when we have to be somewhere before then, I see all the kids waiting on the corner for the school bus to pick them up. I really can’t imagine waking my kids up before the sun every morning to get them to school. You shouldn’t have to do that until you get your first job. As a result, my kids get up fully rested and we have the flexibility to stay up late a night or two a week and do something fun as a family. Very rarely are my kids short on sleep and I think that their attitudes and mental ability is better because they’re getting enough rest.

For my family, homeschooling is just awesome, and we love it. If you homeschool I’d love to hear about some things that benefit your family.

F is for Friends

One thing I’ve never understood is why homeschooling gets a bad rap for socialization. I think for my generation (when I was a kid) this was a big concern for people. And I’m happy to see that as much less of a concern for my kids. I almost never get asked “do your kids have friends?”. And I remember my mom being asked that many, many times. Or maybe it’s just the “bubble” that I’m in. I know a LOT of homeschoolers these days!

Or maybe no one asks me about my kids socialization because my kids are doing all the talking. They like to talk. To everyone.

So, how do my kids make friends? Well, first of all I live in a city that I would describe as very homeschool friendly. You either homeschool, or many of your friends homeschool. Because there are so many homeschoolers, my kids have lots of friends (both homeschooled and non-homeschooled) and no one expected kids to act different based on where they’re going to school.

Church – We live in the Bible Belt and while religion is an integral part of our lives, Church is also a major socialization group in this area of the country. It’s totally normal and acceptable for people to attend one church and participate in activities (such as preschool, AWANA, women’s groups, sports, etc. in another church). And there are a lot of Churches that host a lot of different events. So, not only do my kids get to see their friends Sundays, they’re also meeting other kids during the week.

Homeschool Groups – And there are lots of these in my town. There are groups that meet just for parental support. Groups for kids classes. Educational groups. Facebook groups – used for forming your own sub-groups for activities and such. You name it, there’s probably a homeschool group for it. We’re in a Classical Conversations group so my kids see the same group of kids on a weekly basis.

My Friends – No surprises here, but my friends have kids around my kid’s ages. So, playdates, museum trips, etc. are a fun way to catch up and let the kids have fun.

Extras – And then there’s the extracurricular activities like dance and sports. It’s not uncommon to keep running into the same people at these activities. My kids have friends that they know from church, dance, and the museum class. We just keep running into them. It’s always fun to sit with someone that you already know.

My kids have lots of friends. And because I also know most of their friends parents, we get to hang out and have fun with friends way more than we would if my children were not homeschooled.

E is for Extra-Curricular Activities

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the extra flexibility we have for Extra-Curricular Activities. And in my town, there’s plenty of homseschoolers, which means, that there are even special Homeschool classes or earlier lesson hours for Extra-Curricular activities!

For example, our local Zoo has a homeschool class (which we have not taken because my 2nd grader is not at all interested in it, but it’s available should she or any of the other kids ever express interest).

What I love about Extra-Curricular is it lets my kids pick something they’re interested in and learn more about it. And, because our school day is pretty relaxed, they aren’t tired by the time we get to our activities.

I have a 2nd grader and a Pre-K so we don’t have a ton of Extra-Curricular yet, but here’s what we’re up to.

Piano Lessons – I also play the piano but lessons for the kids help me keep them on track. Our teacher was homeschooled herself and usually has hours during school hours available for homeschoolers. My 2nd grader wants to play the guitar but I’m holding out on that until she’s big enough to handle a full size electric. We have a very pretty white electric guitar that I want her to learn on. I even have a teacher picked out! So, I’ve told her to work hard on piano for another couple of years and when her hands are big enough we can switch instruments.

Piano is a great first instrument and so much of what she learns will carry over to a second instrument when she’s ready.

Dance Lessons – There are actually no homeschool hours for the school that the girls go to, but I like how much they’re learning and all their lessons are back to back one night a week. I can deal with one night a week. They love dance. It’s a great art form and also good exercise. Really, an awesome activity for them.

Sports – My pre-K daughter hasn’t been old enough for any sport that she’s interested in yet. But, next year, there’s a few she can try. My 2nd grader is trying out basketball. She’s in a training league and hated it at first but she’s come around and thinks she might want to try again next year.

At this age, I’m not at all upset if they don’t like something, and I’ve made that clear to them. The goal right now is to try out different sports and see what they like. When they’re old enough to try out for sports (5th grade or so depend on the sport at our umbrella school) we should have a general idea of what we want to do.

Though, my pre-K daughter has informed me that she really wants to play Ice Hockey. I’m really not so sure about it, but I have another year before she’s even old enough to start hockey skate lessons at the local ice rink.

Local Education Classes – We have a once a week lego STEM class that both girls get to go to. And the teacher is actually quite impressed with my 2nd grader’s ability to follow a diagram and assemble her legos into the right item. The girls love legos, and their teacher is awesome, so this is a great fit.

We recently discovered that our local science museum has homeschool classes and since that is my 2nd grader’s favorite subject I’ve enrolled her and she’s loving it. Plus we get to explore the museum again after each class. This past week, we went to class, went out for lunch, and then returned to the museum and explored for another couple of hours. Talk about a fun day! Also, I’m loving that she’s retaining so much from the class. Weeks later something we’re doing in school will remind her of something she learned and she’ll tell me all about it. It’s awesome! – and as a side note, I am very much encouraging her interest in science. It’s a great field should she decide that’s the direction she wants to go come College time. And what I love about homeschooling is that I’m able to encourage this interest so much.

Local Museums – At the elementary age especially, it’s nice to take a field day and basically have a museum to ourselves. We’ve got the science musuem and zoo well covered. There’s a children’s musuem we have plans for and an Aquarium we’re going to go to this week. The best thing about a museum during the school week, we pretty much have it to ourselves and we can spend as much time as we like on each exhibit.

When they get older there’s some great local history museums and such. But I’m saving the “can’t touch anything” museums for when they’re actually old enough to enjoy reading and learning about the objects without having to touch them.

Homeschool or not, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Extra-Curricular activities. Let me know in the comments below, what do your kids love to do?

D is for Different

Recently, on a homeschool group I’m in, a Mom considering homeschooling asked a question that generated a lot of discussion.

“What’s a typical homeschool day look like?”

The responses all varied, but every experienced homeschool mom agreed that there’s truly no “typical” day.

You may homeschool with a strict schedule or you maybe be super flexible. It’s all about how your kids learn best and what works best for your family.

So, it made me ponder how homeschooling is different. Every day is different. Every child is different. And how you as the parent teach is different. One key part of successfully homeschooling is embracing the “different” and helping each child truly succeed.

For example. Here’s my schedule last week.

Monday: Homeschool co-op – leave house at 8. After co-op meet a potential renter over at our rental property. Home around 5:30.

Tuesday: Show house at 10. Run errands. Home at noon. Eat lunch. Do school.

Wednesday: Start school. Offer 2nd grader choice of staying home with Dad and doing her school or bringing it in the car. She opts for the car. Show house at 11. Run errands. Eat lunch out. Show house again at 1. Home around 2. Back out for piano lessons at 3. Finish school around 5.

Thursday: Morning meeting at 9. Home and start school at 11. Husband is hungry. Eat lunch, paint airplanes, take baths (to wash off paint). Finish school. Leave at 3 for ballet lessons.

Friday: Home all day, school done by noon.

Is my child learning? Yes! In fact, she learns more with all these interruptions. Sitting her down for 2 hrs straight and doing bookwork is tiring. But you do it in 30 minute sprints and she does better work and remembers more of what she’s learning.

Is any day typical? No, not really. But, that’s life. If she learned better by sitting down and doing it all at once, I would make more of an effort to do that. But since long sessions seems frustrating, I take the opportunities to break it up and keep her interested.

And I take advantage of something unique that homeschooling offers to my family. It lets my children live life with me. I’ve explained the concept of a rental property so many times this past few weeks – we have a rental that I’m finding new tenants for – and answered questions like, why would we let someone live in our house? If we own the house why don’t we live there? How do we own a house that we don’t live in? People pay us money to live in our house? I could just tell them about the concept of renting, but to see it in action, it’s more real to them.

So, if your homeschooling, embrace the different. Because every family is different. Every parent is different. Every child is different. And homeschooling lets you enjoy those differences.