Sometimes they take you literally & other adventures in the imagination

Adventures in Imagination

The imagination is a powerful tool.  Of course, sometimes it can have some funny results.  Take my two year old, for example.  I was craving soft pretzels a couple of weeks ago and delighted my family by actually baking during our summer heat.  The boys devoured theirs on this Saturday morning and romped back outdoors because they are young and don’t mind our intense summer heat.  Greta took a break from her “snack” and proceeded to run around while I snagged a couple of quiet moments to sit on the couch and read my book.  She flitted into the room toting a plastic pistol. {That kind of thing happens when one has 3 older brothers.}  I stopped her after she took aim at me, explaining that we don’t shoot guns at people.  In an attempt to engage her imagination and send her off into that imaginary adventure {so I could return to my reading}, I told her that guns were for shooting food.

I forgot that she was only two.  I forgot to clarify what that meant and explain the concept of hunting for meat.  But my prompting had the desired affect.  She pranced off into pretend play land.  I didn’t get the chance to return to my reading, however, because it wasn’t long before my hubby called from the kitchen to inquire why our daughter was shooting her pretzel.

Encourage Ingenuity — It’s Frugal!

Speaking of the imagination, in this culture of instant access to all kinds of resources and inspiration, we can sometimes fall prey to the lie that we must buy our kids lots of things to aid them in their pretend play or that we need these amazing supplies to engage their imagination and foster the learning process. I know I can easily fall in love with that beautifully made, detailed costume.  But our children regularly remind us that they don’t need much.  In fact, with the imagination, they can convert just about anything into a useful plaything.

Any guesses as to who my little guy is trying to impersonate here?  They’ve come up with all kinds of creative costume solutions to fuel pretend play of one of their latest obsessions.

Imagination doesn't need fancy toys

As I look forward to our new school year, I’m reminded afresh that when it comes to our dramatization and projects that we’ll be doing this year, that many times less is more.  Encouraging their creativity and ingenuity can be of far greater value than providing them with that amazing manipulative, costume or educational toy.

Am I a Bona Fide Homeschooler Now?

What makes you feel like a bonafide homeschool mom?

I remember the day we hired our first babysitter.  It only took us 2.5 years to get around to it.  A wedding was coming up that our entire family would be attending as well, so our go-to childcare option was off the table.  It was the first time we paid lots and lots of money for someone to care for our two precious children.  I experienced flashbacks to all those years that I babysat for other families.  It was a coming-of-age moment where I felt that we were bona fide parents,  as if the last 2.5 years of our life had been waiting for this ultimate confirmation.  Rational, I know.

Well this week, I’ve had one of those moments.  I finally have a large bookcase to house many of our books that I’ll need for our homeschooling.  Last month, I was at a used curriculum fair when a friend asked me how many bookshelves I owned.  She asked with a laugh, expecting me to give some ridiculously large number. I told her I had two small bookshelves and two medium sized ones and then stacks of books lying around the house…  In my mind, I aspire to one day have a whole wall of floor to ceiling book shelves like my own mother {still} has in her home. While ultimately I’m still dreaming about that and have pinned many bookshelf ideas, we inherited an old oak bookcase that will do the job!  This week we busily set to rearranging our front room so we could add this new gem.

As I sat this week surrounded by piles of books and sorting them into categories, that strange feeling returned.  I felt like a bona fide homeschool mom setting up her first major bookshelf.

I have my science, geography, poetry, character building, living math, beginning readers, and Bible-related books all neatly sorted.  The kid fiction books are all sorted by author and my favorite part – all of our history books set up in C.H.R.O.N.O.L.O.G.I.C.A.L. order.  This surely makes me legit now, right?

I discovered that I own not just the one book I bought this summer on the Lewis and Clark expedition, but FOUR.  Yes, I was long-overdue for an organized place to put all of these gems.

I think we all have those areas where we set up subjective expectations.  Books and bookcases I guess are one of mine.  What makes you feel legit?  Is it that box of curriulum that arrives in time for a new year or that moment when someone asks for your homeschooling advice?  It may get you branded as weird, but I say go embrace the euphoria and enjoy!



Speaking of books, I’m sharing over at Free Homeschool Deals this week about the importance of adding story into your lesson plans…

No matter how you might peg your approach, including narrative into your lessons packs a powerful punch. In general, homeschoolers are stereotyped as being the type that loves to read. And it’s no wonder: narrative draws us into history by giving us perspective, evoking our emotions, and utilizing our brain’s natural proclivity to recollect a good story.

As you look forward to your year ahead, take some time to research and select a few books to spice up your lessons. Click here to read a few tips to get you started.

Grab it while you can! {COUPON CODE}

Harness the power of movement to help kids learn!

It has been amazing to hear from so many families who have been blessed by these brain breaks this last year.  One mama stopped by my table last week at the AFHE Convention to encourage another mama who was new to homeschooling.  She told her about the difference this resource has made in their home.  Movement matters! This makes me so happy.  My desire is to help equip and encourage families to do what they feel called to do.  And utilizing brain breaks in the home does so much to prime the brain for learning and helps diffuse tension in a fun, effective way!  Both the ebook and the PRINT version are now available on my website and if you use the coupon code JULY by July 20th, than you can get $2 off either one.

ok, back to organizing and planning for our next academic year which starts… Monday!

Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks - available in print now too!

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