Telephone Rules for Homeschools

What’s worse than a day when no one feels like doing school, but you have to do it anyway? I always felt it was much worse to be in the middle of a great school school day, with everyone engaged in lessons, then having the whole thing interrupted by a phone call that pulls you away and creates distraction for your children. When that happens, it’s likely that you never get back into the flow for that day. This doesn’t have to happen, though.

One of the best things I ever did for our homeschool and learning lifestyle was to create a telephone policy. By setting a few simple boundaries, I eliminated an enormous source of potential distraction and frustration, and noticeably increased our number of great school days. Now that the boys are grown, I still follow these guidelines during my writing and business time. Continue reading

Learning: Mind-Numbing or Mind-Nourishing?

Robinson Crusoe reading
Robinson Crusoe reading

We’ve been finished with our homeschool journey for some time now, but learning is still happening for all of us, and that makes me happy. I’ve been thinking about learning and what makes it stick, what brings it to life, and why some students enjoy it more than others. Here are a few thoughts…

Can you remember the last time you or your student was excited about learning? One of the things I enjoy most about having grown sons is the fact that they are continuing to learn through reading and listening, and are excited about it. One of them will often track me down to tell me all about the book he’s reading or listening to, and we often have conversations that range across the spectrum of knowledge.

Within the last couple of weeks, I’ve enjoyed a discussion of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity with one of the boys, and had several interesting conversations about a lengthy series of essays by Ayn Rand with another son. They begin the discussions, and I’m usually delighted–though I don’t necessarily agree with everything– at the interesting ideas they bring to the table. I’ve decided that it really does pay to raise your own conversational companions;-)! Continue reading