Part One: Adulting during a natural disaster when you just want to eat Twizzlers

Just a few weeks ago, we watched the news as Hurricane Harvey destroyed a huge swath around Houston, Texas. Then we envisioned the worst as Hurricane Irma wrecked the Caribbean and inched her way westward and then finally turned north, bringing destruction closer and closer to our home in the Tampa Bay area. Most recently, Puerto Rico has been almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, and they’re saying that power might not be restored for six months. Continue reading

Reader Question: How can a single mom make homeschooling work?

My daughter is 3 almost 4 years old, and I have been looking into homeschooling. However I have no idea where to start. I’m not even sure if I can be the one to do so or if I can pay someone to homeschool her because I can’t afford not to work. (I’m a single woman with two kids, so without my income we have nothing.) I could really use some advice or any guidance you can give me. — Joanna

Thank you for writing, Joanna.

This is a great time for you to start thinking about how you might want to approach homeschooling. Let’s face it, sending your daughter to public school or public pre-K would be the easiest choice. Free childcare! Someone else taking responsibility for her learning to hold a pencil, read, add and subtract. All that invaluable “socialization.” Oh my goodness, that sounds tempting. But there’s a reason you’re not counting down the days until someone else can take over. I’m thrilled that you’re considering homeschooling. Continue reading

How to cultivate a growth mindset in your child

Does your child get frustrated and give up (or throw something) when he or she isn’t able to do something new on the very first try? When Bryn was a toddler, I noticed that failure didn’t faze her at all. If she was trying to hop from square to square and landed in the wrong place, she’d go all the way back to the beginning and start over, again and again, until she was satisfied.

But lately, as she’s approaching four years old, I’ve noticed that she has very little tolerance for imperfection, even with new skills. If she’s drawing, it has to “look right.” When she first started tracing, it infuriated her! This perfectionism has snuck in, turning fun new activities into crank-fests. Later that day or the next, I’ll notice that she went back some time after she’d stomped away, and she practiced privately until she figured it out. So what is going on? Continue reading

Meme Monday: Charlotte Mason

Today’s meme is a quote I love from Charlotte Mason, “I am. I can. I ought. I will.” It is presented here in an adorable downloadable print by artist and blogger Jessica Morris of Wonder + Wilderness. Jessica has generously partnered with me to offer my readers a free download of this print as well as a HOMESCHOOLSHERPA promo code to use on her Etsy site, Wanted Words. To download a copy of this print, click here. If you’d like to share this gift with someone else, please be sure to forward them the link to this blog post. Thank you so much for being a reader! (This offer is valid until midnight, August 21, 2017.)

Charlotte Mason Quote Print from Wanted Words on Etsy

Kindle FreeTime Unlimited: The BEST free apps for preschoolers

Every morning at about 5:30, Bryn tiptoes out of her room to find her insomniac Daddy in the kitchen pouring his first of many coffees for the day. While I’m happily taking advantage of the extra space in bed, the two of them curl up side-by-side on the couch or patio where they can see the sun come up. She’s got her morning milkies and her pink Kindle Fire, and he’s got his coffee and iPad. They chat, take selfies, share videos back and forth, and ease into the morning together. It’s a routine we all love. Continue reading

STEM Activity: The romping rainbow

What could be more fun than to help your preschooler make their very own rainbow? This simple experiment is part STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and part STEAM (with Art added in).

For weeks, Bryn’s endless questions have focused on “what color does that make?” It doesn’t matter what two colors, she has to KNOW right NOW. Again and again. Oftentimes, my answer is brown. What color does red and green make? Brown. What about purple and orange? Brown. Or red and orange? Uhh, an orangey-red? Coral? I don’t know exactly what you’d call it.

We have done several color-mixing activities using various paints, but the pigments can be tough to work with sometimes to get predictable results. Blue and red, for instance, might make more of a blue-ish color than a real purple. It’s frustrating when I want to show Bryn how blue and red make purple, her favorite color, and it doesn’t exactly work out!

We decided to do a Romping Rainbow experiment, and it was super simple but still had that preschool WOW factor. I hope you try it and have fun learning as much as we did! Continue reading