All posts tagged: HSE

How I Started Writing, and What I’m Doing Next

Many people have asked me in the past few months how I got started on this writing journey. I enjoy telling the story, because it was just as surprising to me as to anyone else. And so many wonderful people have reached out to help me, that I can’t help being incredibly grateful. One of the first was Jonathan Lewis at Home School Enrichment. Eight years ago this past week, I met Jonathan Lewis for the first time over the magical interwebs. A friend at church had sent me a link to Home School Enrichment‘s free online digital issues, and I read with great interest Jonathan’s editorials and as well as the other helpful articles. A few weeks later, I found in Jonathan’s newsletter that HSE was looking for a new Early Learning columnist. Without thinking of the consequences, I applied. It was my first query letter of any kind, and I wrote it without any thought and hit “send” immediately then walked away. Five minutes later, it hit me what I had just done. Panic descended …

is your student developmentally ready for writing? #homeschool #homeschoolmadeeasy

Is Your Student Developmentally Ready for Writing?

We frustrate our students when we demand they make leaps in their skills without the proper growth and training. Even though the next chapter says, “Diagram these sentences,” or “Write this essay,” the student may not have reached that stage of development yet.

These two aspects go hand in hand: growth and training. Development in writing (as in any subject, actually) breaks down when one of those is missing.

what curriculum is best for preschool? via lagarfias.com

Curriculum for the Little Ones?

Why preschoolers learn best with their siblings My three “school-aged” children have been studying the Middle Ages for the past several weeks. They have enjoyed tales of plundering barbarians who never take baths, conquering kings who unite peoples, and the development of their own English (or should we say “Anglish”?) language. We devoured Beowulf with a relish I never experienced in my own drab English Literature college course; the tale of a heroic young man who defends the honor of his father’s friend by slaying a dinosaur-like creature fired the imagination of us all. My 3-year-old has been the most fascinated by our studies. Indeed, he has been known to insult his sister with the epithet, “You look like Grendel’s mother this morning!” As I write this, he is barefoot in the backyard, waving a stick into the air, screaming to an imaginary king that he will, indeed, kill the “hideous monster Grendel, or die trying.” He must, for his father’s sake. Preschool-aged children benefit most educationally from exposure to their older siblings’ elementary and …

check out Pajama School, tales of a #homeschool grad

Pajama School

From the archives, a review that is worth a second look … It was with great excitement that I picked up my copy of  Natalie Wickham’s book.  I, too, am a homeschool graduate, and I could not wait to read an honest account of growing up counter-culture.  Imagine my delight, upon beginning the first chapter, to discover that Natalie’s homeschool beginnings were so like my own.  I identified with her first day of school-at-home: the carefully arranged  desks in the meticulously prepared homeschool-room; the carefully-chosen wall-charts, assignment notebooks, and workbooks; and the nervous excitement while saying the pledges to the flags.  I also relished Natalie’s honestyregarding the natural emotions homeschoolers face when the newness wears off: the anxiety about leaving friends from the former church-school and feeling like an outsider at times during church activities; the struggle with family relationships in the first year while siblings adjust to being home all day together; the periods of adjustment every time Mom re-evaluates her teaching styles; and the strain of trials on the entire family as they …

How to choose picture books, via lagarfias.com

Picture Books for Preschoolers

Picture Books for Preschoolers How to choose great children’s literature One of my earliest memories is of the baby activity book Pat the Bunny.  My father would read it to me on his lap, and together we would “smell the flowers in the garden” and “peek at baby in the mirror” and “feel Daddy’s scratchy face.”  That book meant more than preschool sensory stimulation to me.  It was time with my father doing what we would love sharing together for many years to come: learning and discussing at his knee.  It is no wonder that when I learned I was expecting my first child, one of my first purchases was my own copy of Pat the Bunny for my own son. Picture books do hold a special place in the early years of a child’s life.  He will first learn to love words and pictures, learning and letters while listening to his parents’ voices over those pages.  Parents understandably put great importance on these first books they read with their children. Wise Words In the …