The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas: Transitioning from Teacher to Mentor in Your Homeschool

Blog, She Wrote: Transitioning from Teacher to Mentor in Your Homeschool & The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

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Welcome to the start of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour where we’re going to be stopping in on the authors of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. 55 homeschool moms contributed 103 chapters of homeschool awesome. My contributions were a chapter on mentoring, one on geography, and the last on teaching sewing. Read on to find out why I wrote these chapters and a glimpse at their content.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour

Everyday in the month of October, we’ll meet a new author of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. You’ll find out why they contributed their chapter or chapters to the book and why they feel passionate about that particular topic.

How it works:

  • Visit each author on the blog tour and participate in the giveaway they may be hosting. You can see the giveaways in red in this post. Tomorrow’s giveaway is listed below at Harrington Harmonies.
  • Enter the giveaway for The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas & iHomeschool Studio Bundle below.
  • Purchase the bundle! Don’t worry. If you win the giveaway, you’ll get your money back. Buy now while you can!
  • October 2 – Stephanie Harrington from Harrington Harmonies. Author of the chapters Everything You Need to Know About Gardening and You CAN Teach Art. Stephanie will be giving away a Teaching Art Basketful of Goodies.
  • Click the calendar to see the other authors on the tour and to see their giveaways.

Big Book Blog Tour CalendarTransitioning from Teacher to Mentor in Your Homeschool

When you are homeschooling young children, much of your time is spent in direct instruction with your students whether it be basic skills in reading, math, or writing. As your children get older, your teaching role begins to transition to more of a mentoring role. This chapter discusses the details involved in being a mentor.

  • Why does your role as a teacher change as your students get older?
  • The benefits of a strong mentoring relationship with your older student
  • How to transition from direct instruction to being a mentor who consults
  • What does mentoring look like for mom in a homeschool?
  • What role does your student take on as they grow and how does that affect your homeschool?
  • Tips on how to be a good mentor to your student.

Taking ownership of their learning is very important for students as they approach high school. This chapter is full of concrete advice on how to foster this growth for you and your student.

Teaching Sewing in Your Homeschool

Regular readers know that our high school freshman is an aspiring fashion & costume designer. She leads the way on her learning and gains new skills all the time. How did we get to this point? If you have a student interested in learning to sew, what is the next step?

  • What if mom doesn’t sew? Many moms today never learned to sew and aren’t sure where to turn if their children want to learn. I offer ideas and resources for families.
  • Finding resources- There are many ways to start and you’ll find ideas and resources which will help you begin.
  • Materials- What are the essentials? What about machines? Other supplies? What do you really need and what can you wait on?
  • Advice on allowing time for students to learn
  • How to go from small projects to longer projects- building sewing endurance
  • The Learning Curve- How to add skills so that eventually your student can design and draft patterns if that is a goal.

Teaching Geography with Geography Quests

Here at Blog, She Wrote, I offer Geography Quests which allow families to explore the world together. They are offered according to season, headlines, and the calendar. You’ll find topics of all kinds. In this chapter, I explain some details and advice regarding the Geography Quest such as:

  • What is a Geography Quest?
  • Why did I choose this format for them?
  • How to engage your students with a Geography Quest
  • How to implement the Geography Quest
  • Benefits of studying Geography with a Geography Quest

Geography Quests are a regular feature on my blog. Find out how to use them with confidence in your homeschool.

Chance to win the Bundle with The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas & the iHomeschool Studio

We are giving away 10 bundles as part of the blog tour! Don’t let the giveaway deter you from purchasing the bundle right away though. If you win a bundle, we’ll get your money back. It’s a win/win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas & iHomeschool Studio Bundle

For a limited time you can buy The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas with iHomeschool Studio for $15. That’s less than half price! The sale will run from October 1, 2014- November 10, 2014.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas contains 103 chapters, 560+ pages, from 55 authors. The digital ebook comes in three formats for Kindle and other mobile devices. The iHomeschool Studio files come in the mp3 format and can be played on any device which plays mp3s.

I love The Big Book and Studio because it’s helpful to moms on a practical level. There is something for every age and stage of homeschooling inside both inspirational and practical. These resources reach out to where you are as a homeschool mom- veteran or beginner.


Studio and Big Book Bundle

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Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Sewing & Handicrafts

Blog, She Wrote: Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Sewing & HandicraftsWelcome to the Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Sewing & Handicrafts! Need some projects to keep you busy the rest of this summer? Looking to start a new skill? Want to learn to play with yarn? Or sew a quilt? Here are 10 of my favorite Pinterest boards for project ideas & tutorials.

Favorite Pinterest Boards for Sewing

Blog, She Wrote: Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Sewing & Handicrafts

  • Sewing Camp – A board full of ideas for use in our group sewing times. These could be easier projects or something I know would interest an adolescent or teen girl.
  • Sewing Fun – This is where I pin all the projects that look fun for me or my daughter, but sometimes require more knowledge to finish. If Rebecca is looking for something new to try, she checks here.
  • Sewing Skills - Tutorials on getting better at basic sewing conventions
  • Sewing for Kids – This little board has hand sewing and machine sewing simple projects for children.
  • Create: Sewing – There are some cute projects here!
  • Quilting – I love to dream in quilts and Pinterest is loaded with project ideas for sorts of quilters.
  • Owls- All things owls. Many handicrafts & sewing projects!

Favorite Pinterest Boards for Yarn Crafts

Blog, She Wrote: Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Sewing & Handicrafts

  • Yarn Fun - So many yarn projects for crochet & knitting. My daughter loves to browse through and pick out projects.
  • To Knit – all knitting all the time!
  • Craftiness - Lots of ideas on crafts and handwork for kids. Some sewing and some not.
  • Snowmen- This is my bonus board for you today. I love snowmen! You’ll find all kinds of snowman projects from sewing to quilting to wooden and any other materials.

Follow these Pinterest Boards so you can join in the sewing & handicraft fun. Get projects and ideas for your homeschool handwork.

Blog, She Wrote: Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling TeensYou might also be interested in My Top 5 Pinterest Picks for Homeschooling Teens! If you are homeschooling high school, be sure to check out this post and take advantage of all the encouragement on those boards too!

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Eco-Fashion Runway Show

Blog, She Wrote: Eco-Fashion Runway Show

It’s time for the results you’ve been waiting for! After all the spring work Rebecca did on the Eco-Fashion Design Project, she was able to participate in the contest’s Eco-Fashion Runway Show as a designer and a model.

The Eco-Fashion Contest

eco 13-1 The task was to construct original or redesigned fashions and accessories made from reused denim, plus at least one other reused material (thread & fasteners can be new).

The entries were judged by a multi-generational panel on the following criteria:

  • wearability
  • comfort
  • creativity
  • quality of construction
  • cost
  • non-wasteful use of materials
  • and general coolness

The contest was an opportunity for Rebecca to take her skills to the next level and to create something of her own design within the parameters set by SewGreen.

Blog, She Wrote: Eco-Fashion Runway Show

The Eco-Fashion Runway Show

The designers were invited to participate in the runway show wearing their own design. Some of the designers had others model for them- especially if they entered more than one garment.

By joining in as a designer and a model she:

  • Got a front and center view of what the fashion industry is like on a small scale
  • Participated in a runway show- another look at the inside of fashion as a designer-model
  • Had a LOT of fun!

There were four sets in the show and Rebecca got to model in three of them- the third was an audience participation set.

  • Set 1: What is Ethical Fashion? Apparel that meets one or more of the following criteria: locally-made, US-made, organic or sustainable fibers, vintage/used, refashioned, or repurposed, classic style wearable for many years. Rebecca modeled a classic vintage, wool coat dress in this set.
  • Set 2: Viva Classic! All about wardrobe basics. Items that will work for many situations. Things like: white shirt, denim jeans, hoodie, leggings, pencil skirt, scarf, little black dress, etc. Rebecca modeled a hoodie. Which, she declared, would not be on her list!
  • Set 3: Surprise! Members of the audience modeled aprons made by class members for the volunteers at a local soup kitchen.
  • Set 4: Denim Plus- the featured set of the evening with original, hand made fashion by entrants in the Denim Plus contest. Rebecca modeled her original dress made from lots of leftovers.

The show focused on the reuse and refashion of denim and featured many unique garments and accessories. Prizes were given to one designer in each of three categories- adult, teen, and child. There were fifteen participants with one winner in each category. Two additional awards were given. One was for “Best Use of Multiple Materials; Best Artisanry” awarded to a woman who made fabulous garments from denim and vintage table clothes. The other was given to Rebecca for “Most Creative Combination of Materials”.

She worked tirelessly on this dress from start to finish and she is really pleased with the outcome.

Blog, She Wrote: Eco-Fashion Runway Show

Benefits of The Eco-Fashion Project

Choosing to enter the contest was a major undertaking for Rebecca. How was the time well used for her homeschooling?

  • Opportunity to put to use all the fashion research she’d been doing in her history & fashion studies for this year
  • Practice in pattern design and construction
  • Trying and learning new skills with new types of fabric
  • Meeting a goal within a set time frame
  • Finishing a project well
  • Made a connection with a design professor at a nearby university- it was one of the highlights of my evening to talk with her about pattern drafting and how we can continue to encourage Rebecca’s talent
  • Received an invitation to be a part of a curated show at the library

All in all, it was a great experience which allowed her to stretch her skills and knowledge and gain new experiences in the area of her intense interest.

An Invitation to a Curated Gallery

Blog, She Wrote: Eco-Fashion Runway Show

At the end of the runway show, the director of the show told us that a local gallery curator was interested in having her dress for an upcoming show this summer. We worked with the curator to prepare the curated display of Rebecca’s dress.

The show is called, The Common Thread: To Sew or Not to Sew, and is a collection of garments and fabrics which highlight change in the fashion. Rebecca’s dress was chosen to represent the reuse and refashion of many materials into one garment. This new show is all about change in the fashion world, moving from one-at-a-time garments made with scissors, needles and thread, to unlimited quantities produced by industries that cut with laser beams and held together with seamless seams. The question for us is: do they have anything in common?

After months of waiting, we delivered the dress to the gallery this past week and it’s now on display. Rebecca helped to get the dressform and dress into the case and we are excited to see the final display on Friday when we attend the opening night of the show!

Admittedly, she is pretty jazzed about having her first curated show as a designer and will be there dressed for the occasion. The gallery is in our county library and she is in good company with local designers and students from Cornell’s Department of Fiber & Design Apparel.

A High School Plan

I can hardly believe it, but Rebecca is entering 9th grade this year. That means two high schoolers now! I’ve been working on their four year plans (really my junior’s last two years) and all of her interests and opportunities this year have solidified one of her electives. She will be leading the way in a course just for her entitled, “Sewing & Design”. More on this in future posts, but it will involve goal setting and growth toward those goals.

We are excited to see what happens with this. I have known for a long time that we would be incorporating art and sewing into her high school coursework, but it wasn’t until this weekend that a clearer vision of the plan came into focus.

It’s been a lot of fun to see how she is using her gifts to build experience and learn more. When the details unfold, I’ll be sure to post. I hope our journey is helpful to others who want to build a custom high school program.


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