The Danish Way of Parenting

The Danish Way of Parenting

Wow! There is finally a parenting book that is simple, doable, and appeals to our common sense. The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids by authors Jessica Alexander and Isban Sandahl, is a clear, concise way of approaching raising children that the country of Denmark follows.

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When My Kitchen is the Classroom

When My Kitchen is the Classroom

Most mothers, when they walk into their kitchen and find their iron skillet full of rust (because their son did not dry and oil it properly after use), might be annoyed. Homeschooling mothers, on the other hand, are usually delighted. The discovery becomes another learning opportunity, where the children pile into the kitchen and a discussion of what it is, how it got there, and how it can be prevented follows.

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Advice for Homeschoolers

Advice for Homeschoolers

For some of you this will be your first year of homeschooling, and for some of you it may be one of many, but regardless of whether you are a newcomer or not, a bit of support is always welcome. 

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And, I'm Going to Homeschool!

And, I'm Going to Homeschool!

Being a mother today, with limited or no family support, is a challenge. On our best days we can feel a little like we are going nuts. And then we throw in the idea of homeschooling, at least some of us do, and then we panic for surely we will go nuts! But, it isn't actually like that and somehow most of us manage to keep ourselves relatively sane.

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Did Schoolteachers Really Know All This?

Did Schoolteachers Really Know All This?

Here's another gem from the book: "Immigrants who were educated in Europe often became private schoolmasters, advertising in the newspapers that they would teach algebra, geometry, trigonometry, surveying, navigation, french, Latin, Greek, rhetoric, English, belles lettres, logic, philosophy, and other subjects. Wow! Does anyone even know anyone who knows all of this today? If we do, they are usually not found teaching children!

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A Mom's Comment on Reading Classics

A Mom's Comment on Reading Classics

I always recommend educating children with the classics, so I'm going to share a comment with you from one of my Lost Tools Curriculum moms, that made me really happy to read. But, first let me say that if your children grow up reading classic literature, they will always be able to read difficult literature, and all doors to great literature and knowledge will be open to them. Not to mention that they will be able to think, speak, and write at higher levels, too. Reading the classics also trains us in understanding human nature; why people do the things they do and how to recognize the good person from the bad person, to put it simply. Shakespeare was the all-time master of this. Here is the comment from my customer, especially for those of you who fear the classics might be too difficult:

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Mom, Is There Any Dinner Tonight?

Mom, Is There Any Dinner Tonight?

Some mothers are very good about cooking daily meals for their families, especially if they have emigrated from foreign countries, where family meals are still common; but American-born mothers have let this practice go more than we realize.  I have been one of those moms. 

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THE DEGRADING SYSTEM OF GRADING

THE DEGRADING SYSTEM OF GRADING

While grading students on a bell curve may make some sense in a college setting, it's a harmful system for measuring the comprehension and knowledge of younger students. The Bell curve was designed to determine where each student ranked in relation to the rest of the group, but each child has a unique mind that is developing at its own rate and understands things in its own time, and, therefore, to compare a child's ability to those of his peers defies common sense. 

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THE PERFECT PARENT DOES NOT EXIST!

THE PERFECT PARENT DOES NOT EXIST!

A new father proudly showed me his baby the other day. He was so full of glee as he began to tell me the many plans he had for his son. My mind fell back to a day, almost 18 years ago, when my first child was born and I quickly remembered my own plan, for I sensed, it was also his. My plan was simple: I would be the perfect mother and raise the perfect child. I didn't put it into those words at the time, but in retrospect, that was it. 

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Teaching Children to Love Books

Teaching Children to Love Books

I learned to read in the first grade. My teacher, Mrs. Gilman, was tall and dressed in a blouse and skirt--down to the knees--wearing black pumps and bright red lipstick. She was stern, but she had a friendly face. Mrs. Gilman taught me to read when I was six, and it unlocked the door to another world for me; a world of interesting characters where anything was possible. 

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FORMING GOOD HABITS IN CHILDHOOD

FORMING GOOD HABITS IN CHILDHOOD

Often, as harried parents trying to keep up in a frenzied world (at least I was!) the last thing we seem to have time for is reminding our young children to put their shoes away, to hang up their coats, to make their beds, to clear their dishes, to say, "please" and "thank you" yet, this is precisely the time to teach our children these things. We are instilling good habits in our children, and if we don't teach them good habits now, we will inadvertently teach them bad habits that they will struggle with as they grow older.

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Hacking Your Education by Dale J. Stephens

Hacking Your Education by Dale J. Stephens

I almost didn’t read this book. At first glance the book seemed a bit frivolous, and the author seemed too young, but I have a 17 year-old daughter who was homeschooled and extended the “no school” philosophy to college, so I decided to give it a quick read. This book has been surprising and I think it is worth reading, especially for goal-driven parents who have difficulty grasping the idea of a valid education outside the system. 

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Welcome

Dear Parents:

For years I’ve been asked to start a blog, but the days roll by, the months become a blink of an eye, and the years disappear. As a homeschooling, working mother whose duty is near an end, my days are a little less hectic than they have been for the last 18 years and the space for my blog has actually emerged. It’s heaven to be able to sit back and relax! If you are a mother of young children, the word “relax” probably no longer exists in your vocabulary, but I’m here to tell you that it will again one day, and that day comes ever so fast.

Having said that, officially, this is the start of my blog. I intend to do what most people with blogs do; to share my thoughts on raising and educating children with anyone who might be interested, to post relevant links to articles and books, to feature the writings of prominent thinkers in education, to share the wisdoms of more literate times, to address some of the follies about raising and educating children being promoted in mainstream media today, and to offer encouragement for those of you working hard to make a difference in children's lives, whether your own children or those of others.

My concern is for humanity, and my focus is on the children. 

Yours,

Elizabeth