This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 13, 11, 9, 5, and 2. 

Everything is so hard right now. I am tired—I can barely keep my eyes open to feed the kids, and all I can think is how the orthodontist told me the preteens are not brushing their teeth often enough. I am so stinking tired I can’t even manage to tell them to keep their teeth clean. Read more

This is a guest post from Angel Mulhearn who is mother to two kids ages 5 and 3. Prior to that she was a kindergarten teacher. Angel is also my sister-in-law who lives on the farm next door to ours.  She took her son out of school a few months ago. This is the list of reasons she wrote to explain to people who asked why she was doing it. 

1. Sitting still for 7 hours a day is not developmentally appropriate for children who are 5 or 6 years old. 
The first week of school, our son was beyond exhausted at the end of the day. Our normally energetic, spirited boy who loves to ride his bike, climb trees in the yard, and run away from “bad guys” was too tired to play outside. Even on the most beautiful warm days of September and October, he would say he wanted to “go inside to rest.” Read more

When my son started showing interest in reading about science, we subscribed to Science News. I remember as a kid I would read pretty much anything that was sitting in front of me, so I read unlikely-but-interesting things like Johnny Got His Gun, I’m Ok You’re Ok and The Sensuous Woman. So I thought it’d be great to just sort of have Science News around the house. Read more

Jennifer Senior has a great article in New York magazine about our cultural delusions about entrepreneurship. For example, most people say they want to work for themselves, but most people will never do it. They like a regular paycheck, and they like going to work in an office that is not in arrears. They like co-workers who are mentally stable and not willing to risk their family’s finances on pie-in-the sky ideas like vertical knowledge networks. Read more

This course will teach you how to write about your life. It includes five days of of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this workshop for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

Sign up now!

When I started writing this homeschool blog I had no idea where it would lead. I just kept writing. It turns out that writing about my life on this blog has helped me feel much more connected to the rest of the world while I navigate my own life that sometimes feels like an isolated bubble. Also writing about my life has given me a way to keep a meaningful scrapbook of events (like up top, my son pulling out his own tooth) and ideas (like why it’s okay that we don’t have curricula, or do have curricula, or anything else I’m reading about). Read more

This is a guest post from Satya Khan. She is one of my favorite writers. She writes memoir in the form of a newsletter. You can subscribe to her emails at Unfolded Note

I still sleep at the foot of the bed. Each night as their bodies grow quiet, my children reach their limbs over mine, pinning me down in their quest for comfort. When I am here, they can never have enough. Inch by inch as they grow heavier, I slither down toward open space like a weed.

When we are home together — and we’re home together a lot — I don’t get down on the floor like a good parent would. I mostly try to hide in an empty room until they find me, which doesn’t take long. I exist best in silence and stillness, but my son operates on a steady diet of chatter. And his will is stronger than mine.

So I enroll him in kindergarden for the fall, at a school that is barely a school at all. It’s their first year as a charter, and they don’t have a playground, a library, or a nurse. What they have is a giant forest, with a creek running through. And there’s a wooden platform, which is too tall for my son to climb. At the open house, he spends the whole time trying to figure it out. He directs his will toward the challenge, which for once, does not involve me. He decides he likes this school. And I do, too.

After years of bloody poop and projectile vomiting in ice cream stores I decided to have my son tested for gluten and lactose intolerance. It’s not a small test. He had to be put to sleep with anesthesia, and just as I got everything scheduled, Joan Rivers died having the operation he was scheduled to have, so I canceled it. Read more

This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 13, 11, 9, 5, and 2. 

I am a control(ish) person by nature.  Mostly I have grand ideas, and I schedule these ideas, only to have reality step in and dash them all away.  Or rather—what really happens—I drag my kids out on some adventure rather than being responsible at home. Read more

I’m not teaching my kids to write. It seems like this would be shocking, since I’m a writer. But actually, I’ve taught enough writing to know that you can’t teach people to write well. This is because good writing comes from practice and from a lot of reading. So I’m not teaching them anything because we are all good writers if we keep the teacher voice out of our heads. Read more