Of course, Mom- We start with Us!

Bethany’s blog post Deschool Yourself is great, and put me in mind of the beginnings of our homeschooling journey. I read. And brought babies home from the hospital. The younger ones learned how to be kind, to listen to Mom’s voice, how to hold a fork and get the bites mostly inside of the clothing. We learned how to bike, and play music and pray. We went on field trips to the fishing pond and the zoo. Mom read other books. She thought about them. She prayed.

Deschooling is a real thing and it is more important for the Momma in the beginning of stepping away from the rhythm life we call education than for the children sometimes. I was a trained public school teacher and I loved the instant comeraderie I experienced when I was working.Then I came home to a quiet house and new baby on

the way. Asking questions, praying, and finding books which turned me on my ear and challenged my presuppositions are what clinched it.

Here is the book that got me the most mad, I dare ya…read it. A Thomas Jefferson Education.

19 years later, I am now reading these Charlotte Mason A Home Education Series. 

Unplug, Mom…and de school.


Discovering Your Homeschooling Style

boy child childhood happiness

Newcomers to homeschooling are often told, “In order to find your homeschooling method, first begin with your child’s learning style.” Diana, a friend and blogger shared her favorite quote recently and her wise advice:

“My favorite quote is: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but a lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler Yeats.”

Yes…I advise new homeschool families to find their “why” first and be firmly united in that before even thinking about the “what” and “how.”~ D.B.

Families United. So, wouldn’t it be better to interview one’s spouse first, to determine “Family style” for homeschooling foundations?

What do you think that interview ought to include?

How is our unity?

How have I been at following your (husband’s) lead?
How is our sportsmanship? How can I improve (ouch…lol!)?

Is there an ending point to our home education-what age or stage is that-?

Spanning all areas (spiritual, emotional, relationships, character, etc) of family and individual goals is a great place to start, then prioritize that list. Over a bottle of white might be a good idea.

This is why deschooling is necessary for a few months. Time into the home and away from the artifice of institution helps you figure out the families relational style and begin prayerfully sculpting its educational philosophy.

Their learning style, your teaching style, spouse’s expectations, your own ingrained beliefs about education, that year’s life experiences and transitions, they all impact your choice of curriculum and school calendar and record keeping and they all can make or break your experience.

So pray, analyze. Then start somewhere. Then evaluate the results. Recheck the goals: are they reasonable and measurable? Revise the goals and/or the process as necessary. Keep going. Evaluate. Recheck. Revise. Persevere. Repeat. Be flexible.

Be willing to admit when things aren’t working for you and your family, even is, especially if, “everyone else” raves about that style, curriculum, method. Despite the financial cost that might be involved, if it’s not working, ditch it, resell it, and try something else. But start somewhere. Give it a fair go. Revise it as necessary. And enjoy the journey.

Crushing the Boards: UTAH Senate Passes Ed-Dictatorship Bill; Will House Agree? Great post by Christel Lane Swase

“Think of the current state board as a school bus with fifteen different steering wheels all driving in different directions….if one person is in charge, it’s harder for them to pass the buck.”

via UTAH Senate Passes Ed-Dictatorship Bill; Will House Agree? Another great post by Christel Lane Swasey

Throw blankets project

Faux Fur Blanket


What do you gift the men in your lie who already have it all? I am brainstorming on some handmade project that calm the crafter while blessing the recipient…how about a fur blanket? Fake fur is not just for history class projects anymore. I think this will be perfect for wintertime handiwork.



Sieks Photoshoot at Home

From Jenny:

“We just got our photos, sponsored by Mom and Dad Siek (thank you), from Breathing Moments Photography. Annette came over to our home and put up with Mommy’s wacky ideas and added a few of her own. The children young and old felt it was a fun, special time, and I loved that Daddy picked out the location- our own home and yard. The photos are so perfect for us, and we’re so glad to have these captured memories to share with you.

Annette has everything you want in a professional photographer. She is fun but takes her work seriously. She’s flexible to work with young and old. Her photos are of undeniable quality and design. She follows through and communicates well.

Any time someone asks about a photographer for a great visual capture, I will suggest Annette Walker at Breathing Moments Photography.”   Breathing Moments Photography

Integrity in Home Education

One of my deepest instincts is that of encouraging parents to protect their own autonomy to direct the education and upbringing of their children.  Many in the homeschooling lifestyle agree with me that one of the biggest threats to our liberty is entanglement with government funding. When I hear of the government trying to “help” homeschoolers, I am very cautious as not to jeopardize our liberty and expose any threat which would end it-. My friends and I agree with President John Adams’s sentiment, “Liberty once lost is lost forever.”

Indiana HomeEducator Action’s entry lays out this cautionary tale well as it gives us the origins of the Common School to consider…H/T Debi Ketron

“Common Schools

Although Common Schools are mentioned in the Indiana Constitution, we wonder if the State remembers the history of Common Schools? According to E.G. West author of, Education and the State, the Common Schools were only for those families who did not desire to take responsibility to educate their children privately.

Before these government schools began in America, most families were privately educating their children in brick and mortar schools or at home. The Common Schools were first formed in the rural areas for those who did not have access to private brick and mortar schools. Common Schools were not universal, compulsory, or free. Parents had to pay to send their child to a Common School.”

When we decide to spend our time and energies educating our families in our homes, using our chosen resources and reaching out to our immediate communities with our gifts of time and sponsorship, we remember this- that all is possible because we are not being forced by a government body, compelled to “seat time,” mandatory phone calls from an outside monitor or required hours of certain activities outside of the home devoid of faith development or home discipleship.

Enjoy this excellent and thorough work by clicking the link below… May it encourage you to apply the Freedom Test to our family’s Home Education lifestyle.

Maintaining Integrity of Home Education  Click:     http://iaheaction.net/maintaining-integrity-of-home-education/

Homeschooling in small spaces

Small-Space Homeschooling


Creativity, it has once been said, arises from limitation. Raise you hand if you look around from your chair and see what I mean. A house filled with children at least for our family, means envelopes, drawings, pencils, books, water glasses, iPod speakers, earbuds, socks, sneakers, hair doodles, squinkies —you name it. (When you raise your hand, watch out for the tower by your elbow.)

This is why hslda’s article was relatable to me. In a 19th century farmhouse with small rooms, every surface shared, is our fun reality for now- and being on the go a lot, often enough my “office” is a tote bag I toss in the van for the 40 minute wait during violin lessons.

Wherever your Zone of necessary development, I hope you gain fresh insight and a broader view of simpler spaces as you read. Cheerio!