Do you ever wish you could pick the brain of experienced homeschoolers? Do you long for a better support network as you navigate your homeschooling journey?
I’ve been there. I don’t have much of a homeschool support network in real life. I don’t really have the capability to travel to homeschool conventions. But I have learned so much from other homeschool moms online and in books. That’s why I’m really pleased to be a contributor to a valuable resource for parents.
Enter The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas! This is a huge book full of practical information on 103 topics for homeschool parents.
I contributed three chapters to The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. I chose the chapters I did because I felt they represented our early learning years and I wanted to share a bit of what I learned (sometimes the hard way!).
Parenting and Homeschooling An Only Child
The first chapter I contributed focuses on parenting and homeschooling an only child. Yes, we have an only child. As I share in my Parenting and Enjoying Your Only Child post, it was never our intent to have an only but that is how it worked out. We are very thankful for our only, an eight year old daughter who is the answer to many years of prayer.
I think it is easy for homeschooling parents of onlies to feel a bit like an outsider. Not because families of multiples purposely seek to exclude us, but simply because having one is just different from having more than one. An only child brings with it some fantastic advantages and also some challenges. But there is no doubt about it – having an only can make you a bit of an anomaly in many homeschooling circles. I sincerely desire parents of onlies to find other only families and so I wrote this chapter and created an extensive resource page where they can find encouragement and other families like theirs.
Making Play Your Child’s Preschool
If I could go back and change a few things about our homeschooling experience, the first thing I would change would be to immediately chuck the idea of doing preschool at home. Now that I know Caroline better, I know that there was zero possibility of doing preschool with her. Oh, we did some things. But mostly I let her play and felt incredibly guilty about not doing something structured. If I had it to do over again, I’d let her play and ditch the guilt. This chapter is a result of that learning experience for mom!
Parenting A Highly-Sensitive and Spirited Child
I have to be honest. Parenting a high-need baby who morphed into a highly-sensitive and spirited toddler and then preschooler was one of the most difficult and stressful things I’ve ever done. None of the traditional parenting advice worked. We felt so alone and like no one could relate to what we were experiencing. We learned to keep our mouths shut and not talk about our parenting difficulties because people didn’t understand and assumed we were just overprotective, doting older parents with precious baby syndrome.
I’m happy to say that by the grace of God we figured out a lot in those years and all three of us seem to have survived the experience. But wow. Talk about an emotional roller coaster that drained us spiritually, physically, emotionally and personally. I love my child, but I’m really thankful we’re on the other side of the intense baby/toddler who can’t fully communicate with words but has huge emotions and is sensitive to every little thing phase. Yowza. That was stress city, folks.
So it’s probably obvious why I wrote that chapter and have continued to write about both topics throughout my website.
Click here to see more details about The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas and order a copy. (The Kindle version is only 99 cents!)