Archive | Homeschooling

Video: How to paint with kids: Tinkering!

We’re Back!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a video about my art projects with the girls, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes. Take a look at our latest creative obsession: tinkering! And–if you make any tinkering creations with your kids–send me pictures so I can share them with the girls! (more…)

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Video: How To Paint With Kids, Episode 2

Plan vs Free Form

In this week’s video we answer the following question from Clair:

I would just love to know if you guys have a general idea of what you are going to do or whether you just free form it. We tend to do a theme…like a city or mountains, and then we wing it from there but I’m curious to see how others do it!

Pull your kiddo up into your lap, watch the video, and join us as we make art together!

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Teach passion by modeling passion: guest post on Penelope Trunk’s blog

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I wrote this guest post a couple months ago for Penelope Trunk’s homeschooling blog.

You can tell when we’re broke, because that’s when I run my art sales. Last week, we needed gas and groceries. I set a discount for art prints and made what we needed in six hours. One time I slashed prices on commissions and made enough to pay the mortgage. (more…)

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Parents Are the Ones Who Need to be Unschooled the Most

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My daughter is only four years old, and this has been going on for over a year: every conversation with a new person starts the same way, “Where is your daughter going to preschool? Is she excited about starting Kindergarten soon?”

When I reply, “We are homeschoolers,” I invariably get the not-so-subtle raised eyebrow, the quick intake of breath, the pursed line of the mouth. Yes. I can read your body language. Your judgmental thoughts are coming across loud and clear.

I want to scrunch up my nose at the stranger and walk away. Who do they think they are, judging me? But what good would that do? So I try to be kind and diplomatic, an Ambassador for Homeschoolers Everywhere. I smile as open-heartedly as I can muster, and I say something like, “We are really excited about providing her with opportunities that we don’t think she can get through the public schools,” or, if I’m tired, I just say, “It’s what’s best for our family,” and leave it at that.

I keep hoping that someone will be smitten with how noble I am and actually want to reexamine their views on the “public school versus homeschooling” debate; but nobody wants to discuss it further. The topic becomes taboo for the rest of the (short-lived) conversation. (more…)

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Wild and Free: A Beautiful Homeschooling Community

sketchbook ekwetzel heart say yes“All good things are wild and free.”
– Henry David Thoreau

The Wild and Free Portland conference was held on on May 29-30, 2015 at the Kennedy School hotel in downtown Portland. Here are my reflections on that event, as well as some thoughts about the Wild and Free homeschooling community, in general.

From the moment I bought my ticket to the Wild and Free conference, I always knew that, for me, it was never going to be about learning homeschooling tips and tricks. I just don’t find that kind of stuff interesting. If I believe in something, I know I can figure out the ins and outs of applying it in daily life. I don’t need to learn HOW to homeschool. What I need is community and support. Homeschooling is a fundamentally lonely endeavor, in both a day-to-day way, and also in a broader ideological sense. (more…)

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Sticky Hands, a new song by Miss Phoebe

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I play guitar. Phoebe sings silly songs. Sometimes she makes up her own. That’s all in a typical day for us.

My friend, Joy, challenged me. “You need to record your songs!” she said, “They are amazing! You need to save them!”

I never felt the urgency of saving these moments before.

Donny (Joy’s husband) caught my attention in the kitchen, “Your voice reminds me of grandma Beth. I never realized until later in life how much I loved to hear her sing.”

I knew my songs were special to Phoebe, but I never thought about how important they might one day become to her, once she is grown up.

Later, chatting on the couch, Joy shared with me, “My mom used to sing and play guitar.  Then she stopped playing. When she grew older, she picked up her guitar to play the same songs, but her voice had changed.”

I never thought about capturing my music before I change, and it changes with me.

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Why I Let My Kid Watch Too Much TV

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Phoebe had a head cold two weeks ago. Last week, as she was getting better, I caught her cold. Neither of us had any energy, so I downloaded Netflix onto her iPad. Since then, she’s been watching Littlest Pet Shop every single day.

We aren’t sick anymore, but she’s still lethargic, and she still really wants to watch TV. A lot. Every day.

TV is brain candy, so I’m getting really stressed out about it. How much TV is too much TV? (more…)

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At Home with My Little Extrovert


bingoPhoebe is an extrovert. I am an introvert. It’s complicated, staying at home with my little extrovert. We are around each other all day, every day. I’m trying to find balance, a way to meet both our needs, while still completing housework, finding time to work, and investing in Phoebe’s education. Here are some things I’m learning, and some areas where I am struggling… (more…)

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