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Top Ten Wednesday: Best Homeschool Dad Blogs 2014

 

Each week we will be highlighting the Top Ten Bloggers from each category of the 2014 Homeschool Blog Awards. We understand the hard work that is involved in running a successful blog. Kudos to all who were nominated, all who made the top ten, and to our winners!

Homeschool Blog Awards #HSBA2014 Winners! at hsbapost.com

This week we are highlighting the 2014 Best Homeschool Dad Blogs!

Best Homeschool Dad Blog

Dads have a special perspective on family life and homeschooling. We love hearing what Dad bloggers have to say!

Winner 2014 Best Homeschool Dad Blog

Tales of a House Husband was our winner this year!

Top Ten 2014 Homeschool Dad Blogs

In no particular order:

The Wired Homeschool

Hodgepodgedad

The Family Man

Families Again

Homeschool Dad

Idaho Dad

(There were fewer than ten Dad bloggers nominated this year.)

 

Best Homeschool Dad Blog @hsbapost

Feel free to grab a button to display on your blog!

 

The Homeschool Post

 

 

The Homeschool Post

 

 

Sara (54 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Eclectic Homeschooling Demystified

Have you ever heard someone mention proudly that they have adopted an ecletic learning style and thought to yourself, “what the heck is that???” Well, I have! I have been that mom with my traditional education model, trying to create my own perfect little classroom and scoffing at other methods. But the longer I homeschool and the more I research and learn about this amazingly vast world of home education, I realize that the different styles of teaching have a lot they can offer.

what is eclectic homeschooling?

What is Eclectic Homeschooling?

Eclectic is defined in the dictionary as:

Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles

Simple, right? Basically, pick and choose what works for your family, for you, for your children, and run with it! You aren’t held down to a traditional method, you aren’t a slave to unschooling, you aren’t restricted by classical education! You simply browse through the different styles like a grocery store run.

Let’s say you are learning a new math concept and it just isn’t sinking in.

  • You have tried giving it time and space and approached it at a different time (unschooling)
  • You have tried hammering through a workbook and questions over and over and over (traditional)
  • You have tried incorporating it into your different subjects and themes and units (unit studies)
  • And now you are going to make it tactile. You are going to take this math problem, put it on a tray in a variety of different forms, using beads in one or measuring cups and water or shaping dough, or whatever it may look like (montessori).

Voila! You are officially an eclectic homeschooler (well, at least in math). You are experimenting and trying different elements from each style to find what works for you and your child.

The key is not letting one style of teaching or method of education hold you down. This is part of why you chose to homeschool in the first place, the freedom to teach your child in a way that they learn, not being limited to one teacher’s point of view or lesson plan!

How to Discover your Homeschooling Method

So you understand eclectic homeschooling, now how do you find out if this is your style? First, do some research into all the different learning styles, you can see more in my post about them “How to Get Started Homeschooling”:

  • Charlotte Mason
  • Traditional
  • Classical
  • Unschooling
  • Montessori
  • Unit Studies
  • Online

Once you have identified the main elements in each style, the easiest way to decide which is right for you is to write a homeschool vision or mission statement. This may feel silly, but writing out just a few sentences with your main goals for homeschooling and how you want your home to run will, in theory, solve this question for you. After that, you really just choose which style fits in the best with this vision.

Before you run off declaring to the world your newly discovered “style” of homeschooling I need to state very clearly for the record…

There is no perfect curriculum! There is no perfect answer that will work for you and your child and create total and perfect harmony in your home! It is an often painful process finding what works for each child and yourself. The most frustrating aspect is that after years of searching and experimenting, when you do find that golden nugget that just clicks… it is often not lasting. Your child is constantly changing and growing and maturing, your life is most likely flowing and shifting and circumstances change. What worked for you last year may be a total bomb this year! It really is the hardest part of homeschooling and can be one of the most discouraging things when you feel like you are failing and nothing is working. Just remember that if you are in this place… it isn’t you! It is not your teaching or failure that is causing this lack of connection with your child… you just need to find a different key. And you will! Give yourself time and grace to fall and get up and try again! Press on faithful mother, your child will thrive because of it!
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Rebecca @ Hip Homeschooling (2 Posts)

I am a stay at home homeschool mom to five young children. I was homeschooled through most of my childhood and am so close to my family because of it. I am married to an RCMP officer and we move a bit more than your average family, but this is one of the many benefits of homeschooling for us and we are excited to see where God takes us in the future! I sew, write, crochet, but mostly... take care of my brood!


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4 Steps to Regain Balance in the Home & Homeschool

Guest post by Angela Horton.

There comes a time every year when I enter The Struggle.   The healthy balance in my home and homeschool fizzles into near chaos and it is a struggle to get that balance back.  I find myself overwhelmed.  For me, that difficult season is usually the second semester of school.  Maybe it’s the after-effects of a too full holiday schedule.  Maybe it’s that the newness of our school books has worn thin.  Maybe it’s spring fever.  Whatever causes the turbulence, though, I know I still have months of school to go.  Somehow I have to find the energy to keep the house running and the family fed.  Somehow I have to keep teaching.

So what do I do?  How do I keep moving forward when it feels like everything is spinning out of control?  Over the years, I have come up with my 4 Steps to Regain Balance in the Home & Homeschool.

4 Steps to Regain Balance in your Home & Homeschool @hsbapost
1.  Get some rest.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is almost guaranteed that you are also feeling over-tired.  Go take a nap.  Really.  I have tried “pushing through.”  The result?  Cranky Mama.  Trust me.  That isn’t helping anyone.  Get some sleep.  I promise that all the work will still be there waiting for you when you wake up.  (I’m still waiting for the good fairy to do all my work while I sleep.  It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m patient.)  The work may still be there, but you will be in a better mental/emotional state to handle it.

2.  Reevaluate your priorities.  What things are most important to you in your home and homeschool?  This is not an exhaustive list, friend.  There shouldn’t be too many things on that list.  This is your TOP priorities.  For my family, that list involves things like pleasing God, good character, family relationships, healthy food and a house that functions (notice I didn’t say a perfectly clean house.  There is a difference.)

Don’t look at what everyone else is doing when you make your list.  Don’t write the things you think should be priorities.  What is truly most important to you and your family at this stage in your life?  Write those top priorities on a piece of paper.  You’re already overwhelmed.  You don’t need to try to remember everything in your head, M’kay?

3.  Ask the hard questions.  How are you spending the time you have each day?  You only have 24 hours a day.  You need to use 8 of those hours to sleep.  That leaves only 16 hours.  If you have a baby in the house, you will use approximately 15 1/2 of those waking hours just to feed and diaper the baby.  That leaves about 30 minutes to make your priorities happen– at least that’s how it always seemed to me.  You are going to have to make those minutes count.  Take a good hard look at a typical day in your household.  Does the way you spend your time reflect the top priorities you wrote down in step 3?

There are so many time stealers.  They have a way of creeping in on you when you aren’t paying attention.  The next thing you know, you are super busy doing things that have nothing to do with your top priorities.  Which brings us to the final step:

4.  Simplify.  This is probably the hardest step, although step 3 is pretty hard.  This is the step that makes you do something about what you saw when you asked yourself those hard questions.  Unless you are the most organized person on the planet and you have a will of steel, it is pretty much guaranteed that you saw areas in which your time was being used unwisely or for things that don’t reflect your priorities.  Now it’s time to change that scenario.

If one of your priorities is to have more quality family time, but you spend 3 hours a day on Pinterest, it’s time to rein yourself in.  Maybe you should get a timer and give yourself 30 minutes of social media and spend the other 2 1/2 hours with your kids instead.  If one of your priorities is to eat dinner together as a family every night, but you do volunteer work 5 nights a week, it’s time to step down from some of those commitments.  Each thing that eats your time needs to be evaluated to see if it is helping or hindering you in your quest to achieve your priorities.  It’s time to learn how to say “No,” both to others and to yourself.

Despite what everyone says, you really can’t do it all.  You have to choose.  Every time you say “yes” to something, you also say “no” to something else.  In other words, “Yes, I will serve on that committee” also means “No, I won’t be home with the kids that night.”  Or “Yes, I will stay up and watch that movie” also means “No, I won’t go to bed on time.”  Conversely, every time you say “no” to something, you free yourself up to say “yes” to something important.  Make sure you are saying “yes” to the things that are important to you, and “no” to the things that aren’t.  As you simplify your schedule to reflect your priorities, you also free yourself up to simplify other areas of your life.  Gradually, you will move from overwhelmed to overjoyed.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Can you use these 4 steps to overcome it?

 

Angela Horton is a pastor’s wife & homeschooling mother to four energetic kids ranging in ages from 17 to 4 years old.  She is a crafty girl, traditional foods cook, homesteader wanna-be and has been homeschooling her brood for over 14 years.   When she isn’t trying to get glue out of her hair or wiping up spilled science experiments, she writes about it all on her Titus 2 inspired blog at Gallimaufry Grove.

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