San Bushmen House & Village 3D Model

I am happy to share my 3rd, and currently my favourite, 3D paper model of traditional African houses and villages ~ A San Bushman House and Village.

The San, also known as Bushmen, are the oldest native tribe that live in the vast Kalahari Desert regions of South West Africa. They lived in southern Africa long before European settlers and other Bantu tribes arrived. They are nomadic hunter-gatherers, and they set up temporary camps as a family-based society.

The 3D model of a San Bushman grass hut and the Kalahari Desert camp background triorama page (1-page triorama which forms a triangle/ pyramid-shaped folded page) is a 6-page purchase package download that includes both black & white outline illustrations as well as coloured-in pages. These illustrations include clear assembly instructions and some extra cultural details. I included some additional basic historical background information as well as Internet reference links. 

This grass hut template may look complex, but I have designed it so that most middle-school-aged children should manage to assemble the hut on their own.

Colouring-in, cutting out and creating these 3D houses and village models are a wonderful activity while mom reads-aloud. You can view details of the other African houses in the series — Zulu House & Village and the Xhosa House & Village which are excellent hands-on activities that fit perfectly with Footprints in our Land, our South African, literature-based Social Studies curriculum.

These South African house and village downloads are purchase packages and I really appreciate your support, but I would love to share a freebie with you. Each house comes with a triorama background. A triorama forms a wonderful 3D pyramid shape with a base. It requires just 2 folds and a snip to make, so it’s very simple, but looks dramatic!

Please pop over to my Packages page to order your download. Thank you for your support.

Blessings, Nadene

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Xhosa House & Village 3D Model

Last week I shared my new Zulu House & Village, the first in a a series of my new paper models of African houses similar to those we used during our Footprints in our Land. Colouring-in, cutting out and creating models are wonderful hands-on activities while mom reads-aloud.

These South African house and village downloads are purchase packages and I really appreciate your support, but I would love to share a freebie with you. Each house comes with a triorama background. A triorama forms a wonderful 3D pyramid shape with a base. It requires just 2 folds and a snip to make, so it’s very simple, but looks dramatic!

This week I would like to introduce my 3D paper model featuring a traditional Xhosa House and Xhosa Village.

This 6-page purchase package download of a 3D model of a Xhosa house and traditional Xhosa village includes both black & white outline illustrations as well as coloured-in pages. The Xhosa village background page is a 1-page triorama which forms a triangle/ pyramid-shaped folded page. The illustrations include clear assembly instructions and some extra cultural details. I included some additional basic historical background information as well as Internet reference links. 

Please pop over to my Packages page to order your download. Thank you for your support.

Blessings, Nadene

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Zulu House & Village 3D Model

Children love to make paper models. These are a wonderful hands-on activities. My children enjoyed colouring in, cutting out and making things while I read-aloud. We made African houses while we did our Footprints in our Land and built paper models while we studied American History and World History.

Here my granddaughters, Emma, 5 and Kara, 4, are painting their triorama backgrounds.

I decided to create a series of African houses each with a triorama background. A triorama forms a wonderful 3D pyramid shape with a base. It requires just 2 folds and a snip to make, so it’s very simple, but looks dramatic!

Here is a look at the first African house in my series download ~ a Zulu rondavel with a traditional Zulu village and kraal background.

This 6-page purchase package download of a 3D model of a Zulu house and traditional Zulu village includes both black & white outline illustrations as well as coloured-in pages. The Zulu village background page is a 1-page Triorama which forms a triangle/ pyramid-shaped folded page. The illustrations include clear assembly instructions and some extra cultural details. I included some additional basic historical background information as well as Internet reference links. Please pop over to my Packages page to order your download.

Thank you for your support.

Blessings, Nadene

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Practical Tip ~ Reset

A reset is a wonderful way of restoring rest in our lives. Our days are a rhythm of routines that form resets; waking and sleeping, eating and working. When homeschooling and raising young children, it is vital to reset throughout the day and especially, I find, the most important, at the end of the day.

Make it a habit to clean up and pack away at the end of each day. Involve everyone, even toddlers, as they pack away the toys, books and papers, clear tables and surfaces, tidy up and move furniture back into place. My young kids loved to sing Barney’s clean up song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere ….” as they packed away their toys before bath time. This prepares a clean slate for the next day.

May I offer some practical advice to moms with young children ~

  1. Make it fun! Sing songs, play upbeat music, talk with an accent or silly voice instead of barking out instructions, Think of fun ways to toss soft toys into baskets, scoot small objects with a dustpan, find and pack items by colour, hide a special toy secretly and ask them to see if they can find it while tidying.
  2. Work together – Teams, partners, helpers makes the job easier. Assign an older child with a younger child.
  3. Simple predictable schedule – young children feel secure with routines and schedules and love repetition. Use what works again and again! Keep it simple. When your days are too full, too many outside the home activities, children become stressed and start to resist and refuse routines. Pare back your activities, stay home to reset for at least 3 days to re-establish basic routines.
  4. Use a timer – Set a timer for 5 minutes to 15 minutes to do a chore or clear a room or pack away things. There is so much momentum created when children know that there is very little time left … and then the reward!
  5. Use rewards – “Yes, you can go play outside — as soon as you pack all these blocks into the basket/ as soon as we have cleared the carpet/ as soon as you have put … away.” Food, snacks and drinks make lovely rewards. I would prepare some popcorn and a DVD for afternoon rewards. Free time, play time, outdoors time, playing with friends are all marvelous options other than screen time. Screen time is a very powerful reward tool if not over-used or abused.
  6. Do it all through the day – young toddlers create constant chaos. Clean and pack away as they move on to the next thing. This way you aren’t left with every room filled with scattered toys and stuff.
  7. Get physical – let your young child get rid of some energy by skipping rope, mini-trampoline or swinging. While they play, you can reset the room for the next activity.
  8. Let them choose – ask your child where they would like to start, “Do you want to clean the carpet or the table?” Giving your child options makes them feel that they can take charge.

Early morning quiet times is a crucial reset for me. I love to wake and spend time alone before the family wake up and the demands of the day begin. Sitting at a clear desk, with calm and quiet, I focus on my spiritual walk, journal, read the Word and pray. I would also spend time planning and writing out my to-do lists. Here’s a wonderful verse that spiritually resets my heart!

"Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

When homeschooling, I found that my children loved to come to their schoolroom that was all tidy and ready, rather than flounder through chaos, mess and muddles. I loved to surprise my kids with new lessons, new books, posters or art materials laid out ready for them. As a professional school teacher, I learnt that preparation was essential to good classroom discipline, and it is the same when homeschooling. A mom who is lost in mess and confusion, hunting for the CD or book, gives her children that time to play, chatter and even disappear before the lesson starts! After the last lesson, I would rather spend 15 minutes filing and packing away my papers, books and school prep in the late afternoon than arrive at my cluttered desk the next day and feel overwhelmed before I even started.

Meals form natural resets and homeschooling allows for these times to be family times. In our family, we would all help prepare the food and then eat together before the children that were responsible for certain chores cleared the table, washed the dishes and cleaned off work surfaces. Meal planning when I use our AGA or slow cooker meant that I prepared the main meal early in the day that would simmer away while I worked and taught.

Late afternoons before bath time was a big reset when my children were young. The children helped take washing off the line. fold laundry and pack clothing away. We often sorted and folded laundry while watching a DVD. Then bedrooms were tidied and they all went to bath. Bath time was a wonderful time to calm everyone down, preparing for evening and bedtime. After supper, we had read-aloud time, bedtime routines and one-on-one with the kids before we ended the day.

Reset your house at night. Before I go to bed, I spend a few moments in the lounge and fluff up pillows, fold blankets and take any coffee mugs to the kitchen before switching out the lights. I loved to have my kitchen work surfaces cleared and cleaned off. Any dishes or mugs that didn’t make the evening dishwasher round, I would quickly rinse or, on a “bad” night, simply soak them in the sink. I would check the bathrooms and tidy up, hang up or straighten bath towels. Then I would go to bed feeling as if my home was in order. (I used to follow the Fly Lady routine for many years.)

An intimate evening reset is a wonderful habit. My children and I wrote special notes to each other. I love to spend time chatting with my hubby, giving thanks for the day, planning for the next day and the week, problem-solving, finding perspective, talking about finances, business, dreams, wishes, praying together, being intimate, is the most rewarding way to reset and end each day. There were seasons of keeping a gratitude diary.

Trust that your family has blessed times of resetting. In what ways do you reset your lives?  Please share with us in the comments below.

P.S. Here’s a very relevant related blog post that I wrote several years ago – Unrealistic Expectations

All In Grace, Nadene

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No laminator? Do this instead!

New homeschoolers often find themselves questioning whether they need to buy some of the more expensive educational equipment such as printers, spiral binders and laminators. While having a top-loading printer (so that you can print pages from books) is “almost essential”, a laminator is not.

Laminators help to stiffen, protecting and creating a wipeable surface for charts, flashcards, maps, games, manipulatives and mini office folders.  Whiteboard markers are a fabulous way to reuse pages as children can wipe out practice sheets.

Some practical tips — 

  • Use cardstock behind the page to back and strengthen paper pages.
  • Make sure that the edges all around the page are sealed. 
  • Leave a tiny plastic edge all around the laminated paper when cutting the page out.
  • Tape or cover the front and the back of your pages.
  • Wipe off whiteboard markers as soon as the activity is finished.

Here are some alternatives to use instead of laminating your pages — 

  1. Use plastic page protective sleeves.  These are easy to find, cheap and very practical because they already have punched holes to file your pages.  Tape the opening closed or fold over and tape any excess if you want to prevent pages from shifting.  Check for the quality of these protective sleeves and rather buy the thicker, sturdier ones.
  2. Use display files that have the plastic page pockets.  Again, tape the pocket or the page to prevent any shifting.
  3. Cover smaller items with clear packaging tape.  This is excellent for flash cards or for charts that you want to protect, but that your child will not necessarily write on.  Be aware that the tape joins or edges may create a slight ridge.  To avoid bubbles, start to tape on the surface beyond the page, extend the tape over the page and lower carefully.  
  4. Clear contact paper is a wonderful laminator.  You can buy it in rolls at most stationary suppliers.  Align the edge, peel the backing paper and wipe the sticky plastic sheet smoothly over the page, avoiding and easing out any air bubbles.      
  5. Spray a waterproof coating on your pages.  Read about how to do this at ehow.com.  I have not used this, but they suggest clear polyurethane coating, clear acrylic spray paint and lacquer spray sealers available at home improvement centers, department stores and craft shops.
  6. Use an iron instead of a laminator to seal laminator thermal pouches. Watch this quick little video.
  7. Ziploc bags are an excellent alternative.  Cut the bag to fit the page and seal the edges with clear packaging tape.
  8. Travel tags, bookmark sleeves, write & wipe sleeves and other store-bought items are more expensive, but very durable and professional.
  9. You can read about other alternatives that you may need to source online or at speciality stationary shops at adapting for autism.com’s Stop laminating everything in your classroom.
laminated chart

But I would still recommend purchasing a laminator if you can afford it. It really does provide an exceptional, durable sealed surface and tough exterior for those pages or charts. We have used our laminated handwriting charts and mini offices for all our homeschooling years and they are still in excellent condition.  

Here’s to using what you have, starting right now and making the most of your homeschool pages!

Blessings, Nadene

Wanting to start the year off right? Take a peep into any of the 4 Footprints programs (South African literature-based unity study curriculums)? Hear about other veteran homeschooling mom’s journeys and tips to succeed?

Join us for this exclusive event!

18, 19 and 20 January 2021

19h30-21h00

Session #1: Starting your year strong. Shirley and Wendy will discuss all things about getting started, planning, schedules, chores, budgets. We will also cover how to include the lovely things – art, music, nature study. Included will be raising entrepreneurs, life long learners and magnanimous children.

Session #2: In depth look at Footprints to make homeschooling stress-free. Interviews with Linnie Lues and Linda Heckroodt about Voetspore, and a closer look at our other 3 programs: Little Footprints (4-8yrs), Footprints on Our Land (8-12) and Footprints C21 (12-16). We will briefly discuss school leaving options.

Session #3: Interviews with veteran homeschool moms who’ve been there and done it! Come and join in our conversation with 3 veteran homeschooling moms: Joanne Madgwick Simone Simone Tracy Eichler and Nadene Esterhuizen who have all homeschooled all the way.

All sessions will be recorded, in case you miss one! Join us for 3 encouraging livestreams where we will cover:

Sign up for the livestreams at this link – Homeschooling 2021 – A Positive Start

Aim For Best Effort

Don't Be Perfect, Be Patient | Doing your best quotes, Best quotes, Do your bestCharlotte Mason said,

“No work should be given to a child that he cannot execute perfectly, and then perfection should be required from him as a matter of course” (Home Education, p. 160).

Your parenting and homeschooling aim is for your children to always do their best.  Training and instruction that develop good habits form ‘railway tracks’ for smooth parenting and homeschooling days. (You can read this excellent post at Homegrown Learners Laying Down Rails – The Foundations.) While this training stage may seem to extend for years, may feel completely irrelevant and can be annoying and time-consuming, it is worth it — oh, mom, it is so very worth it.

Training should be simple, clear, easy to remember, possibly made fun with songs or rhymes.   Work done poorly because of haste or because of inability needs to be quickly addressed.  Don’t overlook poor effort, sloppy attempts or bad attitudes.  Any inability requires training if the task is appropriate to your child’s age and stage.  If your child can’t manage the training, then break it down further or leave that task or skill for a month or so until he has matured a little and can manage better.

Craft each child’s assignments thoughtfully, then require his best effort – every time.  Think about how you taught your child to brush his teeth; how you carefully demonstrated and instructed him?  How you watched him doing it first with your help, and then by himself until he did it perfectly?  Then for weeks and months (and some children even take years …), you sat watching and supervising his teeth-brushing before just assuming that when he went to the bathroom, he was going to do an excellent job on his own.  Age played an important factor in knowing when your child was ready to learn, able to physically do the job and trained to remember to do it well on their own every time.

Don’t confuse a gentle approach with being a “push-over.”  If he gives sloppy or resentful work, immediately address his attitude.  Don’t worry about his academics if his negative attitude is an issue.  Character training is your chief job in parenting and homeschooling.  Have a tea break and talk about what is worrying or troubling your child and try to get to the root of the issue and reassure him.

Recognize your child’s efforts and encourage improvement where needed.  Don’t shower your child with blanket praises such as, “Good job!” but rather be specific and mention actual skills or abilities such as,  “Well done on packing all the toys into the correct baskets,” or “I can see how shiny the mirror is now that you’ve dusted the room.”  Start any necessary critique firstly with acknowledgement of your child’s effort and things he has done well.  Then be clear, specific and encouraging regarding any area that requires more effort or greater perfection,  “You remembered all your spelling words and wrote your dictation so neatly. Just remember to use a capital letter for … next time.

Focus on one area or task or skill at a time.  Set the expectation with the most positive statement or description and keep your voice and tone cheerful, happy, and positive.  If your words are filled with rebukes and negativity or filled with disappointment or exasperation,  your negative approach will shut down your child’s happy response.  You want your child to engage with enthusiasm.   Timing, approach and positivity are key.  Pray for guidance on what to focus on and how to encourage your child to do their best.  Avoid all manipulation and autocratic demands, especially using fear and punishment as a form of motivation.  Focus on the rewards your child will gain from doing something correctly and excellently, from doing their very best.

May I encourage grace for you and your family for failures, for any faltering, for fear in the process.  Growth and character development are not easy, not always perfect and we are not always at our best.  But take a moment to breathe and find grace to start again. Grace to you as you do your best and instill the desire for your children to do their very best!

Blessings, Nadene

Strange Endings

Global pandemic aside, this year ended strangely. My homeschooling career officially ended last month when my youngest passed her final exams and completed her GED. We celebrated her finishing her final exams with pink champagne and a family meal, but the atmosphere was different and the whole experience was less joyful than I had envisioned.

My youngest endured an excruciatingly lonely final homeschool year with Covid lockdowns and a lack of company and visits with her friends. Being the last child in our home, she was already missing her siblings. With lockdown, her monthly trips to stay with her friends had all stopped. She desperately wanted her freedom and to be with the community of friends, and so the day after her final exam, she packed up her entire life, and the very next day she left to go and live in a small town in the Langkloof.

My shock was that it was all so sudden. I had experienced the sadness and loss of each child as they graduated and moved away from our isolated farm, and I knew of my youngest daughter’s plans, but I didn’t expect her to leave immediately. I had hoped for a few free days together with her to enjoy life without the stress of exams and homeschooling; an afternoon eating popcorn and watching our favorite movies, for swims and relaxing at the pool and general packing, sewing and preparing for her next phase. But, no. A day later she was gone, her room left completely bare. And just like that, it was over.

I am glad for her. I am so happy for her being with her loved ones, living in community, building into her next phase of her life. I am delighted that she is finished with school. I am so relieved that my homeschooling days are over and I can ease into the new season of my life.

I am not lonely, but I really miss my daughters. Their lives filled our hearts and our home. Their music was a beautiful, eclectic montage to our daily rhythms. I loved our conversations, their lively debates, their wacky sense of humors, their chatter and laughter. I loved their ideas and opinions on clothing, make-up, hairstyles, décor and style. I loved sitting looking at their Instagram feeds, laughing at funny Facebook memes, and watching YouTube videos with them. I loved times together with my daughter; drinking a mug of steaming tea on her bed as the afternoon sun faded into sunset, and then making meals and cooking up a storm together and enjoying delicious family meals at night. My life felt rich and full.

I knew this moment was coming and I had prepared for my “empty nest”, but what I didn’t prepare for was my daughter’s desperate need to get away. I didn’t reckon on her being angry with us, with having to endure a year of intense loneliness. I didn’t consider that she resented her homeschooling and my insistence that she finish. And we did insist. We gave her no options. And her resentment and withdrawal tainted our farewell.

I really understand her feelings, but I am not sorry that we insisted she finish and pass her course. I knew absolutely that her high school graduate certificate was essential in my job as her homeschool teacher and her mom. This was a non-negotiable decision we all agreed on because my stepsons did not complete their Matric years ago, and now, years later, they both regret it as they face roadblocks in their jobs and careers.

So, with all these strange feelings and thoughts whirling through my head, I scrubbed my daughter’s echoing bedroom walls and deep cleaned her empty cupboards. I smiled when I discovered little pencil messages scribbled on the walls, sighed sadly when I found a tiny ballerina charm lost in a dusty cupboard corner and I wept as I sat on her naked bed smelling her perfume from the very last spurt of an abandoned empty perfume bottle, and I miss her deeply.

And I wonder if Covid hadn’t totally derailed this year, if we could have ended this better …

Right now I am scraping and painting out her bedroom and converting it into an adult guestroom. I feel like Kevin Costner in the iconic movie Field of Dreams hearing, “Built it and he will come …” that as I transform my daughter’s bedroom into a glorious guestroom, she will come visit again … when Covid no longer turns our lives into this strange, disconnected world.

And you may be wondering, “What about Practical Pages?” As a now-newly-retired homeschool teacher, I feel very strongly to continue to write and post in my blog and be involved with you as you homeschool your families. My heart is full of encouragement and inspirations and motivation for you, along with practical tips and pages to download. In my role as granny supporting my daughter and daughter-in-law, I hope to add homeschool activities and ideas for toddlers and add new or translated Afrikaans homeschooling material, so there will hopefully be some new educational downloads coming in the new year.

Please feel free to comment on this strange year and your hopes for 2021.

Thank you for all your love and support over the years. I wish you and your family health and happiness, grace and peace for the festive season and fresh hope for 2021.

Blessings, Nadene

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Teaching Afrikaans phonics with “Alfabet Pret!”

Looking for a fun way to teach your child their Afrikaans phonetic alphabet?

Op soek na ‘n prettige manier om u kind sy Afrikaanse fonetiese alfabet te leer?

I have created Alfabet Pret!alphabet cards with the correct Afrikaans phonetic clues inside each letter shape.  These picture clues help your child recognize the phonetic sound of each letter and this helps him/her to learn to read easily.  Included in the download are fun activities and games that your child can use to learn to recognize their letter sounds and then use to start to build words.  To purchase this quality phonics download, please place an order on my Packages page.

Ek het Alfabet Pret! alfabetkaarte met die korrekte Afrikaanse fonetiese leidraad in elke lettervorm geskep.  Die prentjies binne-in elke letter help u kind om die fonetiese kank van die letter te identifiseer.  Dit maak dit dan vir jou kind maklik om te leer lees.  Instruksies vir prettige aktiwiteite en speletjies waar jou kind die alfabet kaartjies gebruik om die letterklanke te oefen  en om woorde begin te bou, is in die aflaai .  Plaas  aseblief jou bestelling op my Packages bladsy om hierdie kwaliteit aflaai  te koop.

How to teach the phonetic alphabet using “Alfabet Pret!” ~

  1. Present a letter to your child and ask what picture they can recognize inside the letter shape.
  2. Say the sound of the picture and then the name of the picture like ~ “a” as in “apple”, “b” as in “ball”.
  3. Use only the phonetic sounds of the alphabet and do not say the official name of the alphabet, such as the sound “a” not “ay” and the sound “ba” not “bee”.
  4. Repeat the phonetic sound of the letter and its picture again and ask your child to repeat the letter sound and the name of the picture.
  5. Teach only one or two letters in a lesson, maybe a row of letters at a time.
  6. Revise the previous lesson’s letters and then add a few new letters each lesson until your child knows the whole alphabet.

Print and laminate the 3 pages of the phonic letters and print, cut out and laminate 2 sets of the phonic cards for the activities and games.

Hoe om die fonetiese alfabet aan u kind te leer

  1. Wys ‘n letter vir jou kind en vra hom/haar watter prentjie hy/sy in die letter kan sien.
  2. Sê eers die klank van die letter en dan die prentjie wat met daardie klank begin. Bv. “a vir appel” en “b vir bal”.
  3. Gebruik die fonetiese klank vir die letter en nie die amptelike alfabet-naam van die klank nie. Met ander woorde gebruik “ô” en nie “oo” nie, of die klank “mm” en nie die naam “em” nie.
  4. Herhaal dit en vra dan u kind om die klank en prentjienaam agter u aan te sê.
  5. Doen slegs een of twee letters, of dalk ‘n ry, op ‘n slag.
  6. Hersien elke keer die vorige les se letters, voordat u voortgaan met een of twee nuwe letters in die volgende les. Gaan so voort todat u kind die hele alfabet ken.

Druk en lamineer die 3 bladsye van die letterklanke en druk, knip uit en lamineer 2 stelle kaartjies vir die aktiwiteite en speletjies.

The individual cards are perfect for playing games! Playing fun games such as “Snap!”, “Bingo!” or “Memory” is a wonderful and effective way to practice recognizing and learning the alphabet.

Die individuele kaarte is perfek om speletjies mee te speel.  Speletjies soos “Snap!”, “Bingo!” en “Lotto!” is ‘n wonderlike en effektiewe manier om die herkenning van die klanke en letters in te oefen.

Whether your child is learning to read in their mother language or learning a 2nd language, Alfabet Pret! is a fabulous fun way to teach them their phonic alphabet!

Of u kind in hul moedertaal leer lees of ‘n 2de taal aanleer, is Alfabet Pret!‘n wonderlike prettige manier om hulle hul fonetiese alfabet te leer!

Please pop over to my Packages page to order this amazing, quality phonics download!

Plaas  aseblief jou bestelling op my Packages bladsy om hierdie kwaliteit aflaai  te koop.

Blessings, Nadene

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PS. Afrikaans is one of South African’s 11 official languages, the third most spoken language, with its roots from the Dutch language which evolved when Dutch settlers settled in the Cape in the 18th Century.

Afrikaans is een van Suid-Afrika se 11 amptelike tale, die derde mees gesproke taal, met sy oorsprong uit die Nederlandse taal wat ontwikkel het toe Nederlandse setlaars hulle in die 18de eeu in die Kaap gevestig het.

New to Homeschooling?

With the Covid-19 pandemic, many families have been doing school-at-home.  And with lifestyle changes, many families are now deciding to homeschool their children rather than send them back to school.  So there are many parents just starting out and most feel very insecure.  May I encourage you not to rush, but to spend a little more time looking at your options with a little wider perspective?

I wrote a post Starting but overwhelmed by choice and I would love to remind parents ~

“Take a deep breath …. let it out slowly … and relax.  This process is like planning a wonderful overseas journey with your entire family, and your planning may take weeks or months to refine and finalize before you leap on to the plane and take off!

Here are a few extracts ~

  • Pray and wait on the Lord to show you what His vision is for you, your family and your child.
  • Visit other homeschooling families to see what they are using.
  • Read good homeschooling books.
  • Research the Internet to look at different approaches, learning and teaching styles, costs, times and schedules
  • Follow your heart and be led by peace. 
  • Consider your own teaching and parenting styles.
  • Please don’t buy expensive “bells-and-whistles” boxed curriculum for each child.  Find something simple that all your kids can enjoy together and ease into your formal schooling gently.
  • This is a journey and will change and evolve.  Nothing is cast in stone.

In another post Starting School Those First Days I shared these tips ~

  • Just start slowly.
  • Don’t try to do the complete schedule or every subject.
  • Go gently and ease into your schooling.

And lastly, in a post Routine versus Schedule, I shared the difference between schedule  versus routine ~

schedule tells you what to do and when to do it.  It is usually filled with times, lists, blocks, and boxes to tick off.

routine is a pattern by which you live. It gives structure and order to your day, but it doesn’t dictate exactly when things should be done. It allows you to find a flow that works for you on the day you happen to be living.

  1. Decide what is really important for you and your family.
  2. Find the time-flow for your family.  Are you early risers or slow-mornings kind of people? Build your rhythm around what you will more naturally manage.
  3. Identify your important daily events which form pillars such as chores, meals, exercise, sport, family time.
  4. Create habits and build them around important daily events mentioned above.
  5. Be flexible. If your routine isn’t clicking and something feels off, adapt or change it.
  6. Offer options and extras such as different Themes for each day.
  7. Add freedom and create space for your children to explore their gifts, passions, interests and talents.

This journey is going to be amazing!  Even if you have a “flat tire” or “delayed flight” along the way, relax, it is going to be the most wonderful adventure!

Sending you warm and reassuring hugs and my prayers for the Lord’s peace and grace to you in this new season of your lives!

 Blessings, Nadene
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