Fun with Flowers and Foreign Languages

I'm all about Everyday Language--learning and using world language words in everyday contexts to show kids that learning can happen anywhere AND it can be fun, too!  Take a look at this simple project and see how easy it is to connect language and culture with a fun family activity.Spring is just around the corner, and what better way to get inspired than to create bunches of fun flowers to decorate your home.  These quick creations don't need water, sun, or plant food--just a little folding and twisting to make a neat bouquet!...more

The Happiness Fallacy

I have come to the conclusion that we have it all wrong, the notion of happiness as our goal in life. It's too blurry a goal, not to mention entirely self-serving.In raising and learning with my children, I confess that my greatest delinquency has been considering their happiness above all else. Now, with three pre-teens (one dangerously close to 13), I can see that such a goal has led to an embarrassing amount of ergophobia (fear of work) around here....more
@JennaHatfield It took me a while to opt out of the fallacy, I am ashamed to say. I really came ...more

If My Daughter Had Time: Considering Homeschool

 Within one year, she quickly moved from a budding fashionista to a promising musical theatre performer.  Now she just wants time to turn the music she loves into movie soundtracks.  Becoming a D.J. also interests her.  However, high school academics are demanding....more

10 Thoughts About Home Schooling From an Educator (And Why I'm Still Worried)

As a teacher, I thought homeschooling was for crazy, overcontrolling parents and for religious extremists.  My only exposure to homeschooling had been during childhood through religious fundamentalists in the rural town where I grew up who took some of my friends out of school to concentrate more on Biblical teachings and to limit their exposure to scientific concepts, such as evolution, and to unwholesome influences (like me, I suppose, and my obsession with the movies Footloose and Dirty Dancing)....more

Why I Homeschool

Many times, people ask me why I homeschool.  On many days, I answer with an honest, “I have no idea!”  There are days when I regret the decision.  (I promised to be honest on this blog, remember?)  There are days when I feel “trapped” by my decision to homescool.  Since my kids have always been homeschooled, I don’t feel like I can easily put them in school.  We tried that once.  It didn’t go very well.  It resulted in one big kid refusing to get out of the car and a little one covered in eczema from the stress of school....more
That's the thing about homeschool, you're not normal or average and it's a good thing. ...more

Mean girls suck

Ah, to be a fourteen year old girl again.  I would't trade my anything to go back there. Except maybe to switch places with my girl so she didn't have to go through it.  It is so fucking painful to watch them go through the hard stuff.  Like I was speaking of on my birthday that no one tells you that, just as much as you love your kids, you hurt for them.  And there is no amount of Al-anon that can help you when it is your child who is being mistreated at school.  It is so fucking painful. ...more

I've Lost Something

 I lost something special to me today.  My diamond fell out of my engagement ring.  I can’t believe it.  My hubby gave me that ring almost 23 years ago.  My heart has sunk and I’m so sad.  I know that it is just a diamond and that maybe one day it can be replaced.  But, it will never be the one that he gave me when we were so young.  Not that we’re old mind you! ...more
I think you are totally justified in shedding a few tears over that.more

The Five-Second Rule of Homeschooling: What About Socialization?

Ever since my partner and I decided that the private school our kids have attended for the past three years was beyond our budget for the indefinite future, and that we would homeschool for as long as we need to, I keep hearing the same thing: “What about socialization?”...more
I have homeschooled for over 21 years, run homeschool groups, and teach groups of homeschoolers. ...more

Eat Mor Chiken!

Today I took my kids to Chick-Fil-A.  We love us some Chick-Fil-A any day of the week!  But as all of you know, today was special, for many reasons.  First of all, as a Christian, then as a citizen of the United States and third as a mom. ...more

24 Hour American River Backpack

http://westvistaurbanfarmschool.blogspot.com/2012/07/24-hour-american-ri...by Kristin Sherman Olnes...more