Blog, She Wrote Top Ten Posts for 2013

Blog, She Wrote: Top Ten for 2013It’s been a great blogging year for Blog, She Wrote. In January we moved from Blogger to WordPress and streamlined our look and organization. I’m still working on some of that, but I’ve tried more than ever to create relevant content for you all.

Most Popular Blog, She Wrote Posts for 2013

Blog, She Wrote: Top Ten Toys for Open Ended Play

Top Ten Toys for Open Ended Play- This is my ultimate list of long lasting toys for creative play. We love the things on this list. Do you enjoy any of the same things?

Blog, She Wrote: Life of Fred {Homeschool Math}

Life of Fred {Homeschool Math}- This post is very popular! Enjoy a look at how we use Life of Fred math from elementary through high school and why.

Blog, She Wrote: Organizing Your Homeschool Library

Organizing Your Homeschool Library- This is an older post that is still viewed often. I need to update this post to show our new home’s arrangement, but the basic organization is the same.

Blog, She Wrote: Teaching Sewing in Your Homeschool {Whether or Not You Sew}

Teaching Sewing in Your Homeschool {Whether or Not You Sew!}- This was part of my five day series on Teaching Sewing in Your Homeschool. Full of ideas, projects, how to mentor are all there. Have a look.

Blog, She Wrote: Ten Things That Make a Great Homeschool Day

Ten Things That Make a Great Homeschool Day- I love this post. It shares the elements that make a joyful and productive day of homeschooling in our home. Among my favorites are reading, projecting, and collaborating. What makes a great day in your homeschool?

Blog, She Wrote: Adventure Box Themes

Adventure Box Themes- The first in a series of Adventure Box ideas in a ten day Hopscotch Series. This one features a video on exactly what Adventure Boxes are and how they can pour into your kids’ passions.

Blog, She Wrote: Working with a Bright, Occasionally Motivated High Schooler

Working with a Bright & Occasionally Very Motivated High Schooler: Tips & Tricks- The details on how we work with our high schooler to set goals and help him to see them through. I tried to share how we work with a student who isn’t always ideally motivated. I bet a lot of us have smart kids who like to sit back some.

Blog, She Wrote: Summer Fun Close to Home

Our {Close to Home} Summer Bucket List- Otherwise known as how to have fun close to home in the summer! We were grounded from traveling when my husband fell and had a severe sprain in his ankle which resulted in five large blood clots in his leg. We aimed to enjoy our time near to home and it was a fabulous summer.

Blog, She Wrote: Robin Cam

Robin Cam- Does anyone remember our robin cam from the spring? Dan set up a camera to capture the nesting season for a pair of robins who set up camp in a potted plant we were given as an encouragement when Dan was injured. Right on the table on our back porch we got an up close look. The videos are still viewable if you’d like to do a little spring dreaming. Just go from the bottom up to see the series.

Blog, She Wrote: Our Learning Environment

Our Learning Spaces: A Tour- The title says it all. This is the grand tour of our homeschool spaces. This post makes me smile.

Thank you for being a reader at Blog, She Wrote. If you’ve never taken the time to subscribe, please do so now and enjoy Blog, She Wrote in your inbox.

Happy 2014! I can’t wait to share more practical homeschooling advice and encouragement in the coming year.

10 Days of Pouring into Your Child’s Passion: Owning the Passion

Welcome to 10 Days of Pouring into Your Child’s Passion at Blog, She Wrote! Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!

The final topic in this 10 Days Series is Owning the Passion. During the 10 Days of Pouring into Your Child’s Passion, we have looked at:

Once you’ve identified a passion and you’ve been pouring into it as a parent, the final step it to make sure your child own the passion at some point. As parents, we will help to get things started and we can create opportunities and makes sure our children meet them. But, as our children grow and mature, we want them to be owners of their own experiences.  

After all, if we have to be the ones always taking the initiative in a particular area, we need to begin questioning whether or not the child really holds a passion for that interest. The goal is to hand off the administration and details to our children once they are in high school. In middle school, we want to see them take some of the lead and show us their continued interest. As a former middle school teacher, I know well that part of our job at that age from 11-13 or so is also teaching responsibility. And it takes effort and patience!

For example, you may recall that last Friday E13 and I took the falconry exam together. In the days leading up to the exam, he needed some reminders of what his priority needed to be. Whether it be enjoying screen time or finding anything else to do besides study, I reminded him that it was time to get serious and prepare for the exam and that a lot of people were supporting this effort and it did not appear that he was preparing well for it. I wondered out loud with him what he would do if I passed and he did not. Sometimes we’ll have to help our children really think about what they are aspiring to and if it’s worth it.

That is not to say that they won’t change their mind or head in a new direction. Always keep in mind that whatever your children are after doesn’t have to be what you have in mind for them! As we began the pursuit of falconry, we were clear with E13 that he had choices about what he would be “all in” for as a teen. What he didn’t have a choice about is the choice to do nothing! We let him know that his time would be full of more than building with legos and playing screen time during his free time. Teens need something they are “all in” for so if falconry wasn’t it that was fine with us…but it would be something. E13 is extremely focused on things he wants to pursue, but his interest can ebb and wane. It will be easy to tell when he’s done with something. The strong fire to go after something will dull to barely a flicker. However, the flicker can be temporary and it’s expected even with something he loves. So, our job is to shepherd that tendency and try to teach diligence and consistency in his effort.

R11 is younger, but with her it’s a matter of continuing to provide more materials, finances, and time to her passion regularly. As long as we see her growing in this area and as long as she remains passionate about what she wants to pursue, we can support her in that growth. Being of a different personality, she already takes a lot of initiative in her projects and learning. With her, it’s more the mentoring of producing a quality project and that although she loves the creative process, consumers of her work will want a well made item as well. It’s all about shaping the passion and moving into a different role.

Our job is to be facilitators of our children’s passions- giving them ample time and opportunity to experience and explore what they love. As our children get older, we continue to facilitate at some level but we become more of a mentor at that point helping to shape the interest and to help our children realize their potential within a given passion. Hopefully realizing the potential will mean post graduate education and a vocation. If it’s not the primary avenue our children choose for themselves, it will be a life long interest continuing to influence them. 

I hope this series has been helpful to you. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Leave a comment and let me know how you are pouring into your child’s passion!

 

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The 10 Days Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  And of course, click the image below to visit all the 10 Days posts from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much much more!

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10 Days of Pouring into Your Child’s Passion: Incorporating the Passion into Your Homeschool

Welcome to 10 Days of Pouring into Your Child’s Passion at Blog, She Wrote! Thank you for joining me. Please take a moment to subscribe, so you don’t miss out- you can follow, subscribe by email or RSS feed (just look to the right!) and follow Blog, She Wrote on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I’d love it if you’d stay connected and visit again!
Today’s topic is using your homeschool to pour into your child’s passion. This is probably the easiest thing to do when it comes to pouring into a child’s passion. I think the hardest thing will be giving yourself permission to give your student ample time to do so.
What are some ways to incorporate the pursuit of a passion within your homeschool?
 
Difficult Subjects- When you have a subject that is a challenge for your student, look for ways to involve their interest in the process.  I always look for ways to include sewing in R11’s math. She responds to it well and the more authentic the better! Right now she’s in 6th grade doing some work with diving decimals. She doesn’t like it- imagine that! But this week, after having more practice the conventional way, I set about creating some sewing math for her. She has to measure fabric and convert the fractional measurement to decimals and then I give her an assignment that asks her to do something with that quantity- so that she’ll divide! I’m not talking about sewing word problems. That’s not authentic enough…she’s smart enough to know it’s just a word problem on her favorite topic. Instead, I’ve been asking her to measure and work with the numbers. After that, she gets to make the creation from the piece of fabric she’s been using and sometimes I’ve put some fun parameters on that.
R11 tries out her new serger and does some decimal math at the same time.
Unit Studies- of course! We are a unit study family, but if you aren’t it’s a great way to focus on all the aspects of a particular topic in a way that connects the subject to all disciplines. There are many sources for commercial unit studies, but often writing your own is the way to go. One of my favorite inspiring resources for this is Valerie Bendt’s Unit Studies Made Easy (also available in digital download now). You can incorporate the Adventure Box here too and let your child explore the possibilities. I9 has been really interested in space and flight this year and has expressed interest in learning more about flight. This year he’s helped to build a model Wright Flyer and a model rocket which we’ve been launching this spring whenever we have good weather. His last unit of the school year will likely be the Amanda Bennett Unit Study on Flight. Unit studies are a great way to insert some charge into a slow moment in the school year. Take advantage of them!
Books- saturate your print environment with books on the topic and of related areas. You always want to have on hand the books and other print materials that will give your child more information. If it’s a hands-on endeavor, then have the how-to books right there for them to pick up and try. R11 often reads her sewing books, gets them from the library, and reads blogs that give her instructions on new things to try. She is given the freedom to investigate and try out new projects which has helped her to learn new techniques and to practice them.
Time for Passion Pursuit- in addition to providing materials for them, children need to be given the time to explore the opportunities they have in front of them. Without time in their day, it’s difficult to achieve much success. Once our school work is finished for the day, I allow time for them to play and investigate and just generally spend time with the thing that they love- the thing that drives them. For my youngest, it will be anything science related. As I write this, he’s making circuits and trying to design his own using his Snap Circuits. Or you’ll find him looking at things under our digital microscope. You might find my kids reading on their favorite topic or working on that new doll dress. This is a truly Charlotte Mason style activity in our home, but lots of time is given over to working on what they love (outside of video games!).
R11 spends time trying on the dress she will help to refashion for the Civil War Ball this year.
High School Plan- make sure your high school plans include plenty of time for the pursuit of a passion. If you follow along and provide opportunities and mentors for your child’s interests, the hope is that out of those efforts a desire for a vocation will form. High school is the time to focus on those and see what comes of it. So many young people leave for university without knowing their goal, helping our students to discover their passion will help in this process and give them a strong vision for their future. High school is the perfect time to follow the passion in the form of volunteer work, part time work, internships, online coursework, day-long seminars, etc. This is where keeping an eye out for opportunities is important. In the fall, we are planning for E13 to attend a falconry meet here in NY to see other falconers and experience more of the sport. That’s just one more chance to see the passion in action.
Newly trapped male red tail on a trapping expedition last fall.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to allow the time for your students to really dive into an interest and develop it. Don’t be afraid to let go of some of the convention in your homeschool to allow this to happen. It will reap great benefits far beyond those you can plan for in your homeschool.
Equally as important, particularly as they get older, is that they own the passion. It doesn’t work well if you as the parent is the one with all the excitement, though you may be the one to get things started. At a certain point, the student must own it for themselves and that’s just what I’ll be talking about in our last 10 Days post in this series, tomorrow.
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The 10 Days Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  And of course, click the image below to visit all the 10 Days posts from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.

You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much much more!

………………………………………