What do I do when my kid complains?

It will happen. “I hate this book!”

 “Do we have to do Morning Time?” “There’s no point in learning algebra!” When it happens, you have not failed. Pick up your shield of imperviousness, homeschool mama; these complaints are not about you. They are not even about what you are studying. They are growing pains. Learning is growing, and when it’s happening, there are times it is uncomfortable, difficult, or tense. Of course, that doesn’t make it ok. Truth: Complaining, grumbling, … Read More

Studies for the sake of the church – Rhabanus Maurus on the liberal arts

No, I didn’t know who he was either, before reading this next selection from The Great Tradition: Classical Writings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being. Rhabanus Maurus was a Germanic monk who studied under Alcuin at Tours. In fact, the name Maurus is an honorific given him by Alcuin. He was deeply learned; read Scripture, the Church Fathers, as well as Greek & Roman literature; he wrote commentaries as well as textbooks on the liberal arts. … Read More

Dear Mom who wants to give her 5-year-old a classical education

Have you ever noticed? The most eager homeschooling moms are those whose oldest child is 4 or 5? I was one, myself. And when I felt the eye-roll behind the smile of older, deep-in-the-trenches moms, I bristled. “Take me seriously!” I wanted to plead. I knew they were sharing wisdom when they told me to back off and wait and just enjoy the young years. I browsed their shelves, watched a Math-U-See demonstration, picked their brains. I was in my … Read More

High School Hits & Misses: 9th Grade

posted in: homeschooler | 12

Well, we have only 5 weeks left of our first year homeschooling high school. So far, so good. Honestly, I believe the tears sown in the middle school years are reaped as fruit in the high school years. The self-management and independence and work ethic issues we worked out when he was 11-13, and he set his hand to the plow for this year and has done so well. One thing that helps, I believe, is that I did not … Read More

Secrets That Save the Day When Dad Works from Home

posted in: homemaker, mother | 7

My husband has worked from home for over 5 years now. The novelty has worn off and we’ve established our patterns. We’ve been married for over 17 years and get along quite well. We are, for the most part, on the same wavelength, and understand each other’s mindset, manner, and methods. We can (and do) tease each other, and we naturally pull together to accomplish desired ends (both being IxTJ personalities helps). So working from home was a smooth transition … Read More

CH061: Classical Education Demands Habit Training

Season 10: Classical Thoughts on Why We Teach Certainly we are to watch and train the habits of our children and our household, but that is not all the work to be done. The confirmation of the habit into a character is work done by the person himself when he is independent. The test of character comes when each person is an adult – will he confirm the habits he was brought up to? Will he practice what he has … Read More

What a marriage book taught me about parenting teens

posted in: convicting, mother | 4

I picked up John Gottman’s The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work after years of curiosity. I had heard about his “love lab” several times over the years, first in a Malcolm Gladwell book, and I was intrigued with the notion that he claimed to be able to predict divorce with surprising accuracy after a few minutes’ observation. Now, I’m not concerned about my own marriage, but I have seen divorces happen and wondered, “When did the slide begin? Did … Read More

SO061: The Role of Vocations in Planning

Season 10: Planner Pep Talks The episodes in season 10 are excerpted from a live workshop I gave in February 2018 about how to make sure your planner and planning is not a waste of time. Hint: it’s more about us than about the planner. Get access to the whole workshop, the chat replay, and more here: And then, the bottom section is for your vocations. And again, I’m not going to get into vocations but basically, those are your … Read More

Becoming a Better Homemaker

If people are important, then homes will always be important, also. People need homes. Even if it’s a mud hut, it is a home to be “made.” Homemaking is not about displaying middle class sensibilities or acquiring appropriate seasonal decor; homemaking is about loving people in practical, tangible, daily, mundane ways. Perhaps some have ambition to become better homemakers in order to glorify themselves. If we use our houses to display personal taste, showcase our style, or even minimize personal … Read More

CH060: Education Requires Language

Season 10: Classical Thoughts on Why We Teach It is by means of language that we both procure and use wisdom – for does not thought require language? So practice in speaking and in using language (today we would add writing as a method of discourse) is of upmost importance not just to learn to communicate effectively with others, but even to be able to understand within our own minds. It is speaking, being able to communicate your knowledge to … Read More

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