Welcome to the Smoky Mountain edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling! On our side of the Smokies, we are nestling in for winter and hoping for sprinkling of snow. There is nothing quite like seeing the mountains topped with Christmas snow!
If you live near mountains, you probably find that they are a constant source of inspiration. All of the hustle and bustle of this season can be stressful, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share a bit of mountain magic with the Carnival of Homeschooling readers. We have a variety of fantastic posts this time around, from a literature lesson comparing Little Women and Twilight to the Christmas tree as a metaphor for homeschooling. As they say in these parts, "set and rest a spell" while you browse the carnival entries and enjoy the mountain views.
"When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek the new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to see the mountain view."
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox)
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox)
In pondering the common statement made to homeschooling parents, "I really admire you" and "I could never do that," Vickie at Sidetracked Moms reflects on her own 20-year homeschooling journey in Some Thoughts on Why I Homeschool My Children. Don't miss this encouraging post.
In Advice for Unschoolers, Susan of The Expanding Life shares quotes that are "so rich with meaning, they speak for themselves."
The post Demented on Seabird Chronicles ponders the definition of homeschooling. Check out her post and give her some feedback!
If you are having a hard day, head on over to read Whenever You Think You are Doing the Hardest Job Imaginable on No Fighting, No Biting. A hero, indeed!
"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."(John Lubbock)
David at MoneyNing emphasizes the importance of giving kids an education in money and shares ways to Let Your Children Handle Their Own Finances.
Heather at Mother By Nature discusses mistakes she made and lessons learned along the way with her "hyperactive kinesthetic learner" in Learning Math Lessons the Hard Way. My favorite quote: "How ‘advanced’ or ‘behind’ he was at any particular age along the way is utterly and completely irrelevant."
Sandra at On Living By Learning recounts in After Twilight, Reading Little Women On The Road how she finally got the chance to share the treasured girlhood novel with her children, in spite of their protests that it was "too boring." Since her daughter is a Twilight fan, she took the opportunity to make the literary discussion incorporate both Twilight's heroine Bella as well as Alcott's famous little women! Great discussion questions are included on this post.
Suzy's Scribbles recounts how the whole family gets involved in a science project in Mouse Hunt. Nothing like a bit of excitement to break up your homeschool day!
Not all science projects are good ones. Kim at Kim's Play Place reveals some Terrible Science Experiments included in a popular homeschooling science book.
Christine of The Thinking Mother talks about A New Venture for her 8-year-old son: guitar lessons in the comfort of his own home!
“I've learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”
Jena, a seasoned unschooler of three teenagers, answers questions from an inquiring mind. How did she do it? What was it like in the "early days? Read this interview at Life Without School.
Spunky at SpunkyHomeschool tells the story of meeting an old homeschooling friend in When Friends Quit Homeschooling. As Spunky says, "If you've been around homeschooling as long as I have, you will probably encounter families along the way who will decide that homeschooling is no longer the right choice for them. Change is never easy, but that doesn't mean I have to make it harder on them." A valuable lesson for all of us in being gracious.
Laura at Practical Homeschooling discusses a new path for The Resistant Child as she eagerly awaits a shipment of Legos.
Tammy at Just Enough, and Nothing More talks about how Politicians Can Teach Us to Be Better Homeschoolers.
"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
At HomeschoolBuzz.com, Kathy reviews the Trigger Memory Systems website, including two educational products she uses in her own homeschool: Clean 'N' flip charts, and Times Tales. These charts must be pretty awesome, as NerdMom is also singing their praises on Nerd Family Things. NerdMom is even hosting a Clean 'N' Flip Charts Giveaway!
Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers (I love that name every time I see it!) has created her own Chore Charts that work great for her family. This flexible system grows easily with her family.
Jacque at Walking Therein reminds us that Chores Are More Than Work. As she says, "it is of great importance to teach our children to run a household." In this post, she shares a glimpse at their daily chore schedules as well as tips, motivators, and Scripture verses.
And HowToMe has a great idea for How To Help Kids with Daily Chores. What a great way for kids (and parents) to see those chores accomplished!
“Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.”
At Why Homeschool, Henry finds another study which helps explains why uncertified parents can so successfully teach their own children in The Smoking Gun Which Puts to Rest the Claim that Teachers Need to Be Certified.
Elena of My Domestic Church remembers Words of Wisdom from homeschooling mom Missy Gray, from Missy's blog just a few months before her death.
Last week's Carnival of Homeschooling hostess, Miss Amanda of The Daily Planet, shares A Crash Course on Spiritual Warfare Giveaway Everyday, featuring a new seminar by Cindy Rushton.
Renae at Life Nurturing Education reviews Barbara Frank's The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling. Sounds like a book we all need!
Over at The Informed Parent, Mary shares thoughts on Enrollment Data on Homeschoolers, pondering the accuracy of current research and statistics.
“Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
Lynn at Eclectic Education shares a precious Christmas Lapbook. There's still time to make one with your own little ones! Her great photos and links will be a great help.
Cristina at Home Spun Juggling shares a comic strip and post in which she sees her family's Christmas tree as a metaphor for their homeschooling life.
Carletta at Successful Homeschooling wonders how your children will remember the Christmas season in The Truth About Christmas. What a powerful post!
At Beverly's Homeschooling Blog, you can find a pattern and instructions for a picture Christmas tree craft that Beverly made in school in 1965. Just click on the photo of the Christmas tree for this adorable Vintage Christmas Tree Craft.
Thanks for visiting this week's Carnival! I hope you have a wonderful week and that you've gleaned some good information from this week's posts. Next week's Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at Why Homeschool, which is also the home of the Carnival of Homeschooling (archives of past Carnivals here) . You can submit your blog post here. And I'll leave you with one more photo and an appropriate line from one of my favorite Christmas carols…