3 Ways School Erodes Your Child’s Confidence

My husband’s Facebook friend, L, recently posted this dilemma:

What am I doing wrong that my just turned six year old has incredible anxiety over everything – school, friends, her hair, shoes, clothes…. sure some of this could be genetics but why is [she] under so much pressure at school? It’s so damn sad to me. How do you build them to FEEL CONFIDENT in who they are becoming instead of them spending their days worried about who they are? I think every person goes through this at some point, sure some of its natural but at six? I don’t want my kids, especially my girls, growing up the way I did-unsure of myself, never good enough until I hit my 20’s and learned better. I sure don’t talk bad about myself around them or anything… Any advice? Continue reading “3 Ways School Erodes Your Child’s Confidence”

Keeping the magic alive

It’s been a long week. Keeping up with our Advent calendar, holiday parties, packing for our trip back to New Jersey. Tonight, V, our daughter, offered to stay awake to help me finish cleaning the house and pack and do laundry. Continue reading “Keeping the magic alive”

Benefits of Homeschooling: No Judging

The most rewarding aspects of homeschooling aren’t found in high grades or academic achievements, but in unexpected moments of character. The latest occurred just last night, outside of our daughter’s dance practice. Our seven year old son, Jacob, struck up a conversation with another boy his age. That boy was a proud dancer, going so far as to wear a shirt that said dance like a boy. His demeanor suggested that while he may have accepted himself and his own tastes, he was also keenly aware that other people, namely boys his age, are much less open-minded. My delight in his interaction with Jacob was in watching this boy steadily lower his guard.

“I dance,” he told Jacob. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“So what?” was Jacob’s reply. “I dance too.” At home, we all dance.

Jacob then asked if this boy knew his sister, Vanessa, from class. The boy, with obvious reluctance, informed Jacob the he wouldn’t know her from school, because, “[he]’s a homeschooler.” “No, I mean from dance class,” said Jacob, unfazed. “We’re homeschoolers too.”

That surprised the boy, and almost instantly, he smiled.

There was no judgment in Jacob’s tone, no expectations about who this child should be or how he should behave. As a result, this boy got to be himself. This is exactly what we cherish about homeschooling: the opportunity for our kids to be themselves, without fear of judgement or ridicule. So happy I got to witness this 🙂

Jumbo sized Advent Calendar

advent-calender.jpeg.jpeg

It’s time to bust out the advent calendar, and this year, we decided to mix things up a bit! Rather than a traditional countdown, which is still loads of fun, we made a jumbo sized calendar that filled the days leading up to Christmas with activities we can all do together. Some of the activities were simple (get the tree), others simply fun (slumber party under the Christmas tree, anyone), and others still character building (donate to the local orphanage). Each day is now filled with an extra dose of suspense, making the few hours spent making these totally worthwhile.20151129_235300-01.jpeg

Homemade Advent Calendar

Cardboard

Wrapping Paper

Ribbon

Tape

Scissors

We cut 25 12×12 squares (in hindsight, 6×6 would have been just as good), wrapped them in wrapping paper, and attached ribbons to them so they could hang like gift bags from the wall. For the instructions, we printed note card sized messages, cut them out and pasted them against fun green backgrounds and taped those to the squares. Simple but effective. 20151201_104019-01.jpegLet the countdown begin!

Hint: Besides an advent calendar, this would be a great way to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, or any festive numerical countdown!