Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: November 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Embrace change, become a butterfly

Sometimes we seek change and welcome it readily, and sometimes it is thrust upon us. For many of us, the decision to homeschool involved change, and often a response to changes over which we had no control.

Butterflies are such a beautiful portrait of change fully embraced. They, like so many other insects, live their early lives in a state much different from what they will eventually become. As caterpillars, butterflies inch along, focused mainly on eating whatever plant material they can reach, and eventually, as the approach maturity, on building their cocoon. 

It's a simple life, but one to which they are accustomed. That is, until everything changes.

Emerging in their adult form, butterflies have a whole new diet. They move in a whole new way. Their entire world is expanded, as suddenly the impetus to mate and to migrate, perhaps over thousands of miles, becomes a priority. The challenges they faced as a caterpillar are different than those they face as a butterfly, but so are the rewards.

I don't think caterpillars spend a lot of time or energy focused on their lives before the change. I think, instead, they fully embrace their new existence and move ahead, because they aren't likely to ever go back to the way life was before their change.

Homeschooling successfully takes almost as determined a mindset. If a bully was making your kids' lives miserable before, leave them behind and embrace new friends. If the curriculum was holding your child  down, put it behind you and set your child soaring with a curriculum that fits. If mama drama had you tied up in knots, celebrate your freedom and fly!

In other words, acknowledge the change that brought you to where you are today, but don't dwell on the past. Embrace your metamorphosis, and be the beautiful butterfly you were always meant to be. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Free stationery for Minecraft fans!

My older daughter just got her first pen pal, a friend her age who she met while playing Minecraft in one of the Minecraft Homeschool classes. Her friend's mom and I connected through Facebook, and agreed to let the girls write to each other offline.

I had a pen pal when I was young, and one of my favorite things about writing letters was using my special stationery. My aunt had bought it for me, and I saved it for special correspondence. I remember vividly, it resembled a bright red gumball machine with bright gumballs of every color at the top and bottom of the page.

I thought my daughter might enjoy writing on some special paper of her own, and because she and her friend met playing Minecraft, I figured some Minecraft themed stationery might be a lot of fun. So I set to work, designing a page in the form of a grass block from their favorite game.

Here's what I came up with...

Get your own free Minecraft style stationery at the link!

Pretty cool, huh? Well, my daughter thought so when I handed her a stack of fresh Minecraft stationery and she ran off to her room to write her first letter to her friend. She liked it so much, I thought maybe some of my readers might like to have a copy, too. So click here for a printable copy of this cool Minecraft style stationery of your very own! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The best places to find bargains on old books

Several kids from our homeschool group volunteered with the Friends of the Library book sale at our local library today. They hauled boxes of books and helped set up the room for the big sale, which begins tomorrow. Of course, I couldn't resist taking a peek at the great books that the library had put aside to sell, and of course, I found a box full of selections I just had to take home with me.

I love books, especially old books. I'm so thankful for used books, and for the many ways they find new homes. I've found awesome old books in so many places. Here are a few favorites.