But what about…. SOCIALIZING them?

So often I get asked some form of this question: “I love the IDEA of homeschooling, but my biggest fear is socialization. How will my child learn to connect with others his/her age?”

It’s an age-old joke. Homeschooled kids are weird. Awkward. Don’t know how to fit into society.

So naturally it’s something that crosses every new homeschooling parent’s mind – what about social growth? How do I make sure my child knows how to talk to other kids? What about participating in events? How do I find local things for them to do…. So I CAN SOCIALIZE THEM.

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Adapting the Environment for Interest-Led Learning

One of the most important pieces of interest-led learning is often left out of the process of developing learning experiences in the classroom/home – adapting the environment.

Once you’ve determined an interest that your group has, and you’ve figured out their background knowledge so you have a good foundational place to start with new learning experiences, you naturally want to start researching ideas for activities to explore that interest. But before you head to Pinterest or start exploring teacher blogs for ideas, you need to bring your attention back to your own environment first!

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Tips for Your Three Most Common Winter Struggles

Winter is a season that, when we’re not in it, makes us think of beautiful snowy landscapes, happy kids playing in the cold with red noses, Christmas lights, cookies, and love….. Buuuut when it actually rolls around, we often find ourselves struggling with the desire to bundle up and go outside, determine what to say yes/no to doing to have the “Best Christmas EVER,” and deal with the dreaded cabin fever.

I reached out to my Facebook Group audience to find out what they find themselves struggling with the most in the winter months, and I’m answering with some tips to the top 3 responses….

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Holiday Gifts for Everyone!

Happy December First!!

We’ve officially entered my FAVORITE month and time of the year, and I can’t wait to spread holiday cheer to everyone around me!

I wanted to start with you, my beloved friends! So, I have some holiday gifts that are completely free and ready for you to open up and enjoy with your kids and for yourself.

Ready? Here are three gifts that I hope you can use to make your holiday season the best one yet. After all, life is so short… make every second count.

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Natural Learner’s Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again! Instead of scrambling at the last minute, fighting the crowds, and worrying about picking out that “perfect gift” for the natural learner in your life, check out this carefully curated list of my favorite gifts that you’ll find under my tree this year! You’re sure to find something for every part of your day and every person on your list, between creating in your art studio, adventuring outdoors, free play, and even a few things for the parents too! 😉

Oh, and make sure to enter our Black Friday Giveaway Bundle, with an amazing combo of gifts from several of the awesome companies in our Gift Guide this year!

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Designated Spaces – How Is Your Learning Space Defined?

This week, I am hosting the Nature Hack Challenge, where hundreds of families are coming together to commit to making incredible changes to their children’s learning spaces. In our first day, we talk about decluttering our space and making sure that we aren’t overwhelming our children with too many options. One of the most important ways that we can organize and keep down on clutter, while also ensuring a nice flow to our environment, is by setting up designated spaces. Designated spaces are those areas that are clearly defined within your child’s environment. They know what to expect here, they know what resources and materials are available to them, they know how it is organized, etc. Having your home or care facility set up with clearly defined designated spaces will go a long way towards helping your space stay organized, and gives your children the best opportunity to naturally learn and express themselves in a variety of ways within the same space. So what designated areas should you incorporate in your space? Here is a list to consider: * Creativity – This is a space for your children to freely create with a variety of materials/resources, so ideally an open-ended art space (see the photo above). Don’t be afraid to allow your children to access art materials! The key is introducing each new material independently so they know how to use it. My children are 3 and 6, and some of the resources they have freely available to them are: stickers, paper, scissors, hole punches, glitter, glue, paint, pipe cleaners, sequins, buttons, yarn, perler beads, clay, hot glue gun,... read more

Stick-lets Giveaway!

I’m super excited to share that Stick-lets is sponsoring a giveaway for two of their amazing fort-building kits! Enter below to win one of their Sunset Collection Fort-Building Kits! Don’t let the dreary fall/winter weather drive you inside. Get outside and build a fort with Stick-lets! Check out Stick-lets on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Enter the giveaway below: Entry-Form... read more

Wax-Dipped Leaf Garland (Tutorial)

For years now I’ve seen posts and photos of gorgeous wax-dipped Fall leaves; and I have always wanted to give it a try. Finally this year, with my sons’ obsessive leaf-collecting habits in full swing, it was time!

This is a great activity for kids starting around the preschool/kindergarten age. The wax is hot, but solidifies as soon as it touches skin, so it’s not dangerous. My 5-year old handled the project with ease. The 2-year old helped with leaf gathering on our nature walk and laying them out to dry.

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