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Allow a Little Chaos in Order to Find Order

Dear Those Thrust Into Homeschooling, You are going to see so many great suggestions. You may be thrilled by all the options or you may be overwhelmed. I have been homeschooling for 14 years, and I am overwhelmed seeing the wealth of resources being offered for free and freely shared. It is so wonderful and generous to have all of this available.  But, it is also okay to ignore them for now. I am not kidding. Start simple. Breathe. You will find your way. Give yourself permission to take time. Give your family permission to find your collective groove. Allow a little chaos in order to find order. Give your young children time to just play and give your older...

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Deeply Beautiful Book

I love books that speak directly to children- not beneath them, not over their heads to entertain adults but directly to the child. I just read From My Window, an own voices story in captivating picture book form, to my five year old and three year old. It was my first time reading this newly released book by Brazilian author, Otavio Junior. Three quarters of the way through From My Window, my 5 year old sighed loudly- not a bored sigh but a wow sigh. Then, he got up and walked away. Confused and without looking up I said, "Come back. It isn't finished." Since my 3 year old was turning the page, urging me on, I continued reading. I...

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Treasured Titles

I confess. I am an incorrigible bibliophile. Nearly every room in our house has a bookcase spilling over with books. There are many literary treasures on those shelves. But I have come to realize recently, that there are also a fair amount of junk titles. You know the books associated with a children’s TV show or movie that our children are drawn to in the store. We acquiesce and buy them to encourage reading, but they are not the title we are excited to pull off the shelf nor do we feel that there is a lasting benefit to reading them.  There are even some popular children’s books that I think that I am supposed to love (I won’t name...

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Surrender to Your Children

Surrender isn’t easy. Letting go can be so hard. Letting go of expectations as a parent has been the most difficult and most profound lesson for me. Letting go of so many little things that seemed to matter so much to me before I became a parent- a clean house, sleep, sanity. I realize that I’ll have all those things again someday when I can no longer hold my children close. So today, while they are almost always in cuddling distance, I will try to get as many precious moments in and let go of the unimportant things.I am reminded of the universal nature of the difficulty in letting go each night when my children need to sleep. These tiny people...

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When Harmony Sounds Awful, Sing Off Key

The pressure to “take sides” in a heated controversy can be immense. It feels to me like waves continually crashing into bodies in the ocean- trying to sweep them in a specific direction. It takes great strength to stay standing when the waves crash into us, but it feels amazing to still be standing in your space when they recede. Don’t be afraid to be wet and alone. The truth often lies in the middle and progress is often made by the voices not speaking in harmony with everyone else. Those voices bring innovative ideas that can build bridges and move towards peace. The fear of being a voice out of sync with the rest is real. But, silence means...

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