Category Archives: Home education

Sometimes Even a President Has Doubts

Lincoln's Gettysburg AddressToday is the 151st anniversary of of  President Lincoln’s renowned  two minute Gettysburg speech dedicating the cemetery there. After the speech President Lincoln told a friend,  “That speech won’t scour. It is a flat failure.”

Due to Lincoln’s  busy schedule, no one thought he could attend the ceremony.  Therefore, Mr. Edward Everett, a famous orator from Massachusetts was the main presenter. Mr. Everett had studied the war, the military records  and presented an accurate picture for the crowd.  He spoke for two hours and it was reported that many were in tears when he stepped away from the podium. Then Mr. Lincoln presented his Gettysburg Address.

The next day Mr. Everett wrote to Lincoln and  praised the “eloquent simplicity & appropriateness” of his remarks. “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

Both were valuable speeches but Mr. Lincoln’s is the one most of us remember today.  Still at that time the President doubted whether or not his speech was effective. Mr. Lincoln’s speech  was short,  well thought out and it came from his heart.  It was definitely not a flat failure.

Many times I’ve heard parents question whether they are doing enough for their children, and like Lincoln might wonder if their actions might be a flat failure. Are they spending enough, planning enough, finding enough opportunities?

Learning  doesn’t have to involve complex and expensive lessons.  Simple well thought out opportunities that are matched to a child’s interests  prove successful time and time again.

Of course – the lessons learned may not result in renowned speeches, but for your own family history they will become priceless memories  and stepping stones on your unique families path.







Carnival of Homeschooling – Living and Learning

Is he well educated?”
“Yes, I think so, as far as he’s gone,” I answered. “Of course he will go on being educated every day of his life, same as father. He says it is all rot about ‘finishing’ your education. You never do. You learn more important things each day…”  – Gene – Stratton Porter –

We never really do stop learning do we?   Every day the sun rises and sets and within those waking hours, we are busy living and most often learning as well.

I hope you will join me and visit all the submissions for this week and share the link here on your own site or within your social media accounts. balloons

Why Learning Must Be Hands-On

from Laura Grace Weldon

Education that treats the brain apart from the body will ultimately fail. Our senses cannot be denied. They inform the mind and encode memory. We must see, hear, smell, touch and, yes, taste to form the kinds of complex associations that make up true understanding. We humans are direct hands-on learners.

whirly ride
Thoughts for a Bitter Homeschool Mom

from Barbara Frank Online who writes: Is there life after homeschooling? Absolutely!


Outdoor Nature Challenge
 was sent in by  Harvest Moon by HandThistle

They shared: We learned more about this perennial nuisance on our farm, and how there are practical and useful purposes to this plant. We walked around and looked at examples of the plant and noticed lots of changes happening this autumn.


Family Street Art from Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty

Z-Dad and family shares: When our 10 year old daughter wanted to become a street artist, our homeschooling family came up with a public-friendly solution – painting leaves, sticks, and rocks with crazy faces and hiding them around town.

Z-Dad gave permission to share the video as well.  Here i

LabThe Thinking Mother Blog – Four Sciences Not Five

ChristineMM of The Thinking  Mother talks about why her son decided to drop his fifth lab science in his senior year of homeschool high school.



Teaching Inferential Reading in High School offers some great insight in to reading and teaching literature.
Sent along from
Petticoat Government sent along their post-  Sensitive
They summarize that, Video resources sometimes backfire, such as when my daughter decided not to memorize a poem once she saw how it ended.
In his latest post, Henry shares
An important lesson to teach our children.

Thanks to everyone for subitting!  Have a wonderful week!

Trusting Children


There is no ONE home educating expert, but  each family and child are their own best expert as to what works best for them each day while living and learning.

That said,there is a lot of great information that will inspire you to learn to trust yourself as being your own best expert if you choose the path of educating at home.

This time of year, I often get emails or phone calls from families wanting to know more about homeschooling.  Some want to know about public e-schools, some want to explore part-time enrollment, and others are ready to start the journey of home education.
Like any life choice, you gather what you can from others, from books, the Internet and then you choose what method(s) will be best for you.  No matter what you choose, no one will ever walk in your shoes, nor follow the same path you or your children will, so enjoy the journey. It is as unique as you and your family.  There are no RIGHT ways just the way that best serves you, your child and your family.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite quotes that have inspired me over the years, and have helped me to enjoy my journey in the diverse community of home educators.

Come to the Carnival!

I will be hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling next week on May 29th and I’m grateful to the Cate’s for their continued invitations to host the carnival here.

I’m particularly appreciative since  I’ve been woefully neglectful of this blog as of late, but the main reason I originally created it was not for my posts,  but to share information  such as  Sue Duncan’s  OH-Alerts.   The opportunity of hosting the carnival a couple of times of year is another reason I happily keep it online.

Hosting the carnival always leads me back to the wonderful path home education led our family down over the years.  This quote by John Taylor Gatto  says it all:

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”– John Taylor Gatto

I hope you will stop by next week to visit or submit a post!



Great Earth Day Opportunity from

From GardenSoxx:

To celebrate Earth Day, we are giving away 5 GardenSoxx EZ Filler Kits (50’) each day for one week starting on Earth Day! Five Grand Prize Winners will also win a 50’ drip irrigation kit.   All you have to do is:

1.       Like our new GardenSoxx Facebook Page

2.       Sign up for an account on our website at, so you can stay updated about future GardenSoxx news and promotions.

Happy 2012

I’ve just finished reading the last Carnival of Homeschooling for 2011 over at Susan Ryan’s Corn and Oil. These days my boys are gone from the homeschooling nest as well, but they often reflect that  the opportunity to learn at their own pace and explore their interests has stayed with them as they venture on in life.

I was pleasantly surprised to  see my good friend Kaye Swain participating over at Susan’s edition of the COH.  I know Kaye as a monthly contributor to the EldercareABC, Inc. blog. It’s delightful to know how small and connected our world truly is.  Kaye has been a great source of care giving encouragement to me over the past year, which is a good segue to explain where I’ve disappeared to since my last post in May 2011.

On July 2nd, 2010, my Dad coded after an emergency endoscopy to unblock a blocked liver duct.  After his resuscitation, we all began a journey my dad would not have chosen, but that led him and our family  to meet some very wonderful people. Due to his limited mobility after the resuscitation, Dad moved to the Renaissance Health Center where one of us visited him daily until he passed away peacefully and with dignity on July 8th, 2011.

Dad often told others about the wonderful opportunities that homeschooling offered our family.  He was even buried in a biodegradable urn made by our good homeschool friends Debra and Stephen  Bures at Elements Gallery. We had a memorial celebration at the Renaissance where we were delighted to celebrate his life with friends, family,  many of his fellow residents and the awesome staff who cared for him.   Even the  local newspaper editor, Mary Jane Skala,  whom my Dad sparred with regularly over  their political differences over the  years came to the service.

Shortly after he passed, my Mom took a tumble on a loose rug at the local bank. After a long series of emergency room visits and hospital admissions, she ended up at the Renaissance as well, so we are once again making our daily visits there.  The staff and residents continue to be great and will forever remain a part of our family.  (One thing we found enriched our lives when we were homeschooling was volunteering. If you are a homeschooling family or group in the Cleveland area, you couldn’t ask for a nicer place to volunteer.  If you are interested, just contact me!)

As the year comes to an end,  I remain appreciative of  the many kindnesses that have been shared with our family.    Thanks to each of you from the bottom of my heart.

If homeschooling has taught me anything over the years, it is to be an advocate, stand up for my rights, stand up for others and to embrace the responsibilities life presents me.  To have so many of you in my life who do the same brings great joy to my life.  Thank you and Happy, Healthy 2012 to each of you!

WPA Conference

Attend the WPA Conference on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, 2011 at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Full details here or click here to request a free registration packet.
Encourage others to attend. Direct them here: or, better yet, request some registration packets here and distribute them.
Earn WPA coupons that are good for WPA membership, handbooks, and 2012 conference registration fees.
Income from the conference is essential to WPA’s ability to serve homeschoolers like you and protect your homeschooling freedoms.
What people like about the conference:
• My favorite memory from a WPA conference is a feeling of being welcomed.
• [I got] this settled feeling that crept in throughout the day and the realization of what it was at the end of the conference. It was this feeling that I wasn’t homeschooling in isolation.
• With the information I learned from the speaker I overhauled our entire Math program which has since turned my little Math-Hater into a Math- … well, let’s be honest here … a Math-Tolerator. Tolerator enough, however, to have worked her way to a level one entire grade level higher than her chronological grade.
• So many questions were answered! . . . We became inspired about what we were doing when we looked around and realized how many other families were involved and believed as we did.
• I remember pulling out of the UW Oshkosh parking lot on my way home thinking, “This was a great idea. I am so glad to have come.” … And I think that my kids are glad, too.
Click here to read more comments.
Thank you!
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