A Modern Famous Home Scholar

                                             Margaret Atwood

Few contemporary writers are as well known or highly regarded as Margaret Atwood. What is not well known is that the Canadian novelist, poet, and literary critic was home schooled through the sixth grade. Atwood spent much of her childhood following her dad around the backwoods of Northern Quebec, where he worked as a forest entomologist, learning to be at home in nature and to learn naturally at home. A long-time environmental activist and vegetarian, no doubt the time in the woods with her father played a role in igniting Atwood’s love of animals and the environment. Atwood’s latest novel, The Year of the Flood (2009), envisions the future emergence of a new environmentally rooted science/religion hybrid in the wake of a massive ecological disaster caused by genetic engineering experiments. The book contains several religious hymns written by Atwood, who has indicated that her own religious beliefs are similar to those displayed in the book.

Frugal Tips for Music Lessons

Published with Permission
Written by Molly Green

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

We know from His Word that music was God’s idea. It’s part of His character, and because we are bearers of His image, music is part of our character too. It’s why He created us with voices to sing, why some of us are gifted musicians, and why most of us are inspired to rejoice, to worship, and to celebrate with music.

Martin Luther made this frequently quoted statement: “Music is a fair and glorious gift of God.” Though styles may have changed since Luther’s sixteenth century and our choices and personal preferences vary, I don’t know anyone who is not grateful for how music enriches our lives.

Instilling an appreciation for music and providing the lessons for developing skills that our children need in order to enjoy and use their natural musical talents is a priority for many homeschooling families, but finding frugal ways and resources to provide that education in music, including private voice or instrument lessons, can be a challenge. (more…)

Fill Yourself

Published with Permission
Written by Andrew Pudewa

One role a homeschooling parent often inadvertently takes on is that of “administrator of curriculum,” providing worksheets, assignments, projects, and writing tasks for his children much like a doctor prescribes a regime of medicine and exercise for his patients. This is most likely to happen in larger families with children of widely varying ages or with newer homeschooling families who feel a compelling need to “cover all the bases.” While this is to some degree inevitable, it is also good for us to consider ways to avoid this trap, which so easily leads to burnout and frustration. Therefore, this month let us contemplate a contrasting idea: Study something yourself.

In the book A Thomas Jefferson Education, Oliver DeMille lists as one of the Seven Keys of Great Teaching, “You, Not Them.” At first, this seems counterintuitive. Isn’t homeschooling about giving your children a good education? Wouldn’t stealing time to focus on yourself cause you to lose valuable time with your children? (more…)