Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Love Notes

Michelle at Lagniappe Academy shared a project that she and her DD are doing, which is a revamp of a post from The Homeschool Post that I think is amazing and wanted to both share and comment on (I know, you’re so surprised at that, right? {wink})

When I was little, my mom used to put notes and cards and little prizes in our lunch boxes. Infrequently enough that we weren’t checking the box every day, but frequently enough that after some time they were expected. We would know they were going to be in there, yet it was always a surprise to see it. She still does that; in fact, last week she sent me a card (through the mail, even though we live next door to each other) that was funny and cute and specifically to say, “I think you’re a great mom”.  She sent one to my sister and sister-in-law, too. It’s a wonderful thing, to be told out of the blue that someone you love thinks highly of you.

When my kids were in school, how could I not carry on with this tradition? It was challenging, because they were pre-readers, but we managed. Lots of pictographs (eye, heart, U) and little trinkets that even sometimes ended up coming home. Now that we’re homeschooling, it’s a bit more challenging to get this kind of unexpected delight in. Enter the Love Notes journal idea.

I love the idea of this kind of journal being a communication tool, rather than focusing on the academics of it. It’s really difficult to get my kids to focus on the now sometimes. We’ll be having a discussion about an event or a reaction and they’ll come out of left field with something completely different; Monty Python could not have been more surprising. I think that this will help them see that they do, indeed, have my complete attention, and whatever it is that they want to say can be clearly ‘heard’.

I can also see the benefit academically that this type of writing can net. Since LittleBoyBlue and PeaGreen both have typical ‘boy’ handwriting, I think they could both use some non-‘school’ opportunities to practice, and this seems like a lovely way to accomplish that.

I read on se7en+1’s blog a description of one of her kids – the one who likes to hurry up and get to the next thing. Both of my kids are like that, and so art projects and writing assignments are usually done to the minimum standard, and with as much haste as can be managed, just to get ‘done’. Though that’s not true in all cases, it seems like anything that requires academic creativity is rushed through. Maybe this will help them with that, and let me express how awesome I think that they both are; plus, this will be neat to go back through in a few years. My best friend in middle and high school and I got tired of exchanging lengthy notes between classes, so we started keeping notebooks that we’d pass back and forth. We don’t have any of them anymore, and I so wish we did. Oh, the teenage angst, lol.

It’s finding little things like this Love Notes idea that make me really appreciate the technological age we live in. I think that one of the most awesome things about the homeschooling community is their willingness to share – and there are some clever mamas (and daddies, too) out there. Many of the ideas that we now consider a necessary part of our homeschooling day have come from an idea I found on a blog or homeschooling community forum, or from talking to a homeschooling friend. Homeschooling parents (especially blogging ones) are always commenting on lessons they’ve learned, ideas they’re going to try, resources they’ve found to be helpful – it’s such a wonderful and open community, and I am so glad to be part of it.

So to ALL of you out there who regularly let me peek into your homeschooling life, THANK YOU!!




5 responses

  1. My mom never did that, but I was always envious of the kids’ moms who did! Now, since the kids wake up in the morning before me, I leave them little notes on the whiteboard easel about our day and so forth. I’ve gotten out of the habit of it over the summer, but I’m going to start again. I love the idea of them waking up when I’m sleeping in and finding a note or a treat ready for them.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

    • My mom and I have our issues (like all mother-daughter pairs do), but there was never any doubt that we were special and cherished 🙂

      I love seeing other moms’ ideas about how they make their kids feel that way. We have giant chalkboards in the kitchen and school room; the big notes are a good idea, too!!

      August 16, 2010 at 10:52 am

  2. I think that’s wonderful that your mom still does that! You know, I haven’t seen much of that journal lately, so I’ve been dropping hints that I miss hearing from her. I think I’m going to have to leave a note in an envelope for her, since she’s currently holding the journal hostage.

    And I also LOVE hearing all of the ideas from others. I don’t know how I would do this without all of the wonderful blogs (including yours!) out there to feed me with new ideas. 🙂

    August 16, 2010 at 10:09 am

  3. You could always slip a lil something special in there (bookmarks, gift card, stationery for her to write to friends, pressed flowers) as an incentive to give it to you!
    Thank you 🙂

    August 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

  4. Pingback: Attachment Parenting Tweens and Teens | This Adventure Life

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