Everything is more fun with a friend, so I hope you will join me for the Vintage Christmas 2quilt-a-long starting November 1, 2021. This is such a fun holiday quilt pattern, and I can’t wait to sew along with you!
I am going to break it up into four weeks, so we can get be ready for the holiday season. But of course, you can go at your own pace! Make sure to share your progress pictures using #vintagechristmas2qal so we can all see your work!
I’ll be posting my progress regularly on Instagram and Facebook so make sure to follow along with me there. And I’ll share little tips as we go in my IG and FB stories, so make sure to check each day for updates!
Fabric used: I used a mix of Sweetwater Christmas Prints for Moda, their new line, Red Barn Christmas, is perfect for this project!
Pattern Level: Beginner-Intermediate
This entire quilt is traditionally pieced! It does have several pieces, so I think it’s a beginner-intermediate level pattern. However, the pattern does include step-by-step graphic illustrations and written instructions, and you’re welcome to email me if you have any questions at all!
So I say if you like it, go for it!
To join in, just follow me on Instagram and Facebook and post any progess pics using #vintagechristmas2qal
Teens Are Scary, and Other Lies I Once Believed ~
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool and Introverted Moms
I was terrified of teenagers. I mean, who wouldn’t be? All I saw on television and in movies confirmed it as a dreaded age – when once sweet and loving little ones transformed into hormonal monsters who would just as easily scream at you as talk to you.
It’s weird because I remember what I longed for as a teen myself: a listening, nonjudgmental ear, protection from problems too big for me to solve alone, and someone who believed in and respected me.
But today’s teens, according to pop culture, are a different breed: purposeless, lacking dedication and motivation, only interested in self, faces constantly aimed down at a screen.
You can’t even get them to look up.
I wish I could go back and tell myself to relax. It turns out that interesting children turn into interesting teens, who long for the same things I once did, and struggle with the same things I once struggled with.
I don’t mean to imply that this phase of parenting is all roses and buttercups. NOT a bit. It definitely has had scary moments. Each stage of motherhood has its own trials, and adolescence is no exception. The stakes are higher and everything feels dialed up.
During this season in our family’s life we’ve navigated significant learning struggles, attention and mood difficulties, depression and anxiety, suicidality, healing from trauma, as well as the typical hormonal fluctuations biologically common at this age.
But that’s where “relationship-centered homeschooling” has thrown us a lifeline again and again.
With that as your foundation you have something solid to build on. Something to go back to even when it feels as though everything around you has started to crumble.Because of what we’ve constructed for our kids, no cracks can grow large enough for them to fall through.
While we’re on the subject of my misconceptions regarding teenagers, here are a few other lies I once believed:
Teens Are Scary, and Other Lies I Once Believed
1 – They don’t like learning.
This stereotype comes from the overall lack of control most teens have when it comes to their education. If you’re at an age where your body and brain long for independence and autonomy, but you’re forced to spend six hours each day in a building where much of your day is scripted, plus extra hours doing required work just to go back the next morning and do it again, would you like learning?
It’s kind of like being surprised that prisoners don’t like prison. That’s why home education offers a rare opportunity for teens to enjoy learning and focus on their areas of interest.
It’s a partnership, not a prescription.
2 – They don’t want your help.
Every person on the planet wants to feel respected. Modern-day teenagers know that society looks down upon them and expects nothing good from them, which ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As author Rachel Macy Stafford wrote, “Feeling seen and heard enables human beings to reach their highest potential.” Those who make us feel seen and heard are those we naturally turn to for help.
Homeschooling gives parents the chance to contribute to this role, instead of solely peers.
3 – They are only interested in screens.
I’ve had to slowly accept this: Screens are everywhere. In spite of my inner resistance to that fact, this is the world our teens are inheriting. Instead of wishing it away, let’s do everything possible to prepare them for it.
This means we must put down our own screens to engage with them, however!
Let’s make sure they understand the risks and the attention economy by watching and discussing the issue regularly, and also pointing out when someone has publicly suffered the sad consequences of poor online choices.
4 – They think they know it all.
Teenagers in modern society are frozen between two worlds: desperately wanting to be “taken seriously” while knowing fully that compared to the adults in their lives, they lack power.
And what happens in nations where citizens feel powerless? They assert their limited power and eventually revolt.
The same is true on an individual level, resulting in this “know it all” grasping-at-power technique. But if we can slowly transfer real power when we sense they’re ready, they might push back just a little less.
And if we can model humility when it comes to our mistakes and all that we don’t know, they’ll be more likely to do the same.
Interestingly, research shows that up-and-coming generations care just as much, if not more, about shaping a better world than past ones. The sense of powerlessness I mentioned above, however, can make it feel as though there’s nothing they can do to make change.
But when we model purposeful and meaningful living, we offer them outlets for developing and activating their compassion, through well-chosen books read together and separately, daily pitching in around the house, financial giving, family prayer, and local (or global) volunteer opportunities.
Not only do these opportunities allow them to make their individual worlds a better place, they also break up the natural self-concern that can otherwise run rampant at this age.
No, teens are not as scary as I once believed. They’re maturing young men and women trying to find their way. Unique individuals with strengths, weaknesses, and a calling. We can help, providing our relationships remain strong.
The current structure of our society undervalues them, which can make them undervalue themselves. But we have a beautiful opportunity to speak value and life into this short, meaningful season.
Home education has given us the time to make relationships our top priority, and even with the many challenges that have come along the way, I have no regrets.
Have you had stereotypes of certain ages dissolve as well? Or did you once think teens are scary, too? I’d love to hear about it below!
If you are new to the Quilty Truck of the Month series, on the first of each month, I will be releasing a new Vintage Truck of the Month. Each month’s truck will be carrying a fun new surprise in the back, along with the month abbreviation on the bottom. The blocks are all traditionally pieced and finish at 20″ x 24″. While some blocks may have several smaller pieces, they aren’t too difficult at all! And they are a perfect way to use up your scraps because each block can be totally different!
I plan to use them to decorate my sewing room, so I will change them out monthly just like you do a calendar. Because of this, I am basting, quilting, and binding them as individual blocks. But you can always save them up and sew them into a quilt when you are done as well! I can’t wait to get started, so without further ado, here is the block for November!
I used scraps from my FigTree FarmHouse stash for this block. It has my popular Vintage Truck carrying a cute little sunflower in the back! And of course our N-O-V letters at the bottom for November.
I did my standard meandering quilt pattern on this block and I think it just turned out so cute! I chose this fun green binding from my stash and a cute blue floral from FigTree’s FarmHouse II line as well. I’m not sure about you, but I agonize over my backing fabric sometimes more than the front! I like it to be matchy-matchy.
Did I mention these blocks are so fast to put together too? It just took me one afternoon to complete this block, and now I can hang in my sewing room all month long!
Stay tuned for December 1, when the next block will release!
Happy Thursday friends! It’s time for block #4 in my 2021 Sew With Me Sew-a-long! Join me as I teach you how to make some of the most fun and classic quilt blocks!
Throughout this series, I hope to teach you some new skills, tips, and tricks, and at the end of the series, we will have a fun selection of blocks to sew together into a sampler quilt!
Block #4 is such a fun and easy traditional quilt block to make, and there are so many ways to make it unique. It is called the Ohio Star block. And this is just one of the variations of this popular quilt block! I will be showing you the other variation later on in our Sew With Me series.
The Ohio Star quilt block pattern originated back in the 1800s. It gained popularity later on and appeared regularly in the Depression-era and Post-Depression quilts of the 1930s. Like other blocks, it is also known by other names such as the Variable Star, Eastern Star, and Western Star.
Like our other blocks, this one is well suited to scrappy designs, and today I will be digging into my stash bin! The star points can be made using half-square triangles, or Flying Geese and in today’s lesson, I am going to show an easy way to make the flying geese four at one time. The center features a diamond shape. We will be using a technique called “snowballing” and I’ll show an easy way to get perfect points on that center!
We often think of giftedness as just that, a gift. While it certainly can be, it is not uncommon for academically and/or developmentally advanced children to also have a range of intense and asynchronous behaviors.
The truth is, homeschooling a gifted child sometimes feels like it would better be described as homeschooling an intense child.
For example, this morning, we needed to be out of the house at a certain time to head to co-op.
All within a span of 15 minutes, one child was complaining about the seams in his socks, while another was having an animated singalong with her stuffed animals, completely oblivious to the fact that she has her shirt on backwards and her shoes on the wrong feet. Another was extremely anxious, and trying to make sure everyone has what they need to get out the door so she doesn’t have to walk into her class late and upset her co-op teacher.
Why Gifted Children Are So Intense
My family is a blend of what Polish psychologist/psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski called overexcitabilities. Gifted children are highly likely to be more intense than their typical peers. This increased awareness, sensitivity, and intensity can present challenges that make them difficult children to parent.
Learning about these five overexcitabilities has helped me understand my children. It has also better equipped me to help them learn in our homeschool.
What Are The Five Overexcitabilities?
Dabrowski identified five different areas of overexcitabilities as part of his research. While not all gifted kids exhibit overexcitabilities, they are more prevalent among the gifted population than any other.
The five overexcitabilities he identified are psychomotor, sensual, emotional, intellectual, and imaginational.
Psychomotor overexcitabilities are marked by a constant need to move and expend intense physical energy. Kids with psychomotor overexcitability have drive, they are impulsive, and often show a physical manifestation of their emotions. They may have nervous habits or tics, and may have trouble sleeping.
An example of this is the child who needs every tag cut out of every shirt? Those with sensual overexcitability have a heightened awareness of all five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. These kids might not be able to eat certain foods because of their texture or taste. They might need more cuddles than others, or not want to be touched at all. Their sensory experience in the world is simply more intense.
Children with a high emotional overexcitability exhibit extreme emotions including anxiety, guilt, sadness, and even happiness. They often have difficulty adjusting to change. These kids can be prone to depression, suffer physically from their emotions (for example, stomach aches due to anxiety), and often look to their parents to feel more secure.
This overexcitability is characterized by activities of the mind, thought, and metacognition. It’s the one we are most likely to think of in relation to gifted children. Children with an intellectual overexcitability have a deep curiosity, love of problem-solving, and always seem to be thinking.
These children are incredibly imaginative– and often and unfortunately, their imaginations can get away from them, making them fear worst-case scenarios. They tend to have imaginary friends, vivid dreams, and a love of drama and music.
Gifted children and adults may experience more than one of these. With more than one overexcitability, it is likely that a child would experience the world in a stronger and more multifaceted way. Thus, the intensity we often see in our gifted children.
The Intensity Of Homeschooling A Gifted Child
Just knowing a bit more about these overexcitabilities has helped me better relate to and understand my children. Practically, it allows me to support them in ways that make sense for the various intensities they are experiencing.
For example, for my child who clearly has an imaginational overexcitability, I incorporate lots of creative writing activities and art. I also know to start getting her ready a bit before the rest of my children in case the seams in her socks are overwhelming.
On the other hand, her brother has the incredible energy associated with psychomotor overexcitabilities. He can often be found doing his school work outside, running around, and moving as we discuss his assignments.
Understanding the neurology behind your child’s behavior better equips you to understand – and help your child understand – those behaviors.
Moreover, it helps you create a learning experience that is in line with their needs and aptitude.
If you would like something to help you understand your gifted child a bit better and give you more direction in your homeschool, I have created a FREE quick reference sheet with all the overexcitabilities and their descriptions. You can download it HERE.
There is certainly an intensity in homeschooling a gifted child, but I want you to know it’s worth it!
Homeschooling gifted children allows us to maintain an environment that can use these overexcitabilities as strengths and celebrate the uniqueness of them.
What an amazing opportunity for any child, gifted or otherwise.
My Vintage Christmas quilt is probably one of my most popular holiday patterns to date. And I have been dying to make a second version of it for awhile now, so I’m very excited to release my new Vintage Christmas 2 quilt pattern for you all today!
This pattern turned out so cute, and I love all of the extra added elements! And don’t worry, while this pattern does have a lot of pieces, it is traditionally pieced, so even a newer quilter can do it!
This quilt features cute vintage style trucks carring gifts in the back. I’ve added cute trees between the rucks, and then a fun pinwheel separator strip between the rows for added interest. I think my favorite new feature is the holly leaf border. It was easy to piece, and really adds that extra special touch!
Fabric used: Mix of Sweetwater Christmas fabrics for Moda
The PDF pattern includes easy-to-follow step-by-step written instructions along with detailed graphic illustrations to make sewing this project a breeze! It’s a fairly easy traditionally pieced pattern, but there are some small pieces, so I consider it a beginner-intermediate level pattern.
I wanted to be fancy, so I added a label on the backside for an extra cute touch. And I chose a black binding for an added pop.
I don’t think I’ve heard of a single homeschool family that doesn’t have one or more reluctant young writers. But it doesn’t have to stay that way – Night Zookeeper’s creative writing platform can inspire your student to overcome their fear of the blank page and share their writing with other kids around the world!
They’ll receive positive feedback from a team of tutors, while in-game awards and competitions keep them motivated to continue making progress–try it out for free right now!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
3 Things That Totally Changed My Homeschool (for the better!)
~ Written by Cait Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies
When I first began homeschooling, it was under duress. In fact, I call myself an unexpected homeschooler because I never thought we would homeschool our children.
But here we are, so many years later, not just surviving but thriving in our education. Looking back, I can see that there are three things that totally changed my homeschool and helped us establish our approach to learning.
It was difficult in the beginning. I knew my son needed a different approach than a formal school environment provided. But I found myself wondering how to provide it.
My only reference was my own understanding of education. I went TO public schools. I worked as a school psychologist IN public schools.
The more I tried to find resources to homeschool, the more overwhelmed I became with curriculum choices and homeschool styles. Finally, in desperation, I decided to take it one step at a time and just do what really worked for my kids (and for me).
Eventually, these three approaches to learning became the backbone of our homeschool.
3 Things That Totally Changed My Homeschool (for the better!)
While I knew we needed a different approach to learning, I also knew we needed some structure. These three things have worked amazingly well for my family:
My motivation was at an all-time low. Instead of waking up early and accomplishing all the things, I struggled to put my feet to the floor in the morning and do some of the things. Somewhere, in the midst of my battle with getting started each day, our mornings evolved.
I don’t know if it was out of laziness or if it was an attempt to make myself feel better about homeschooling, but I started reading to my kids as soon as they entered the kitchen. I didn’t ask them to do math first. In fact, I didn’t talk about our homeschool must-dos at all.
Instead, I poured myself a strong cup of coffee then picked up a great book and read aloud.
Coffee and Books is our most peaceful time of day. The reading sparks fantastic conversations and learning. This ritual starts our morning off on the right foot and has made this family of bookworms smile.
I love the idea of unit studies, but always felt overwhelmed with all planning and then actually getting started.
Somewhere along the way, I decided that the value of following my children’s interests and all the rabbit trails that come along with them was far more important than trying to make them perfect.
My Lazy Unit Study plan was born.
Essentially, when my kids stumble upon a topic that interests them, I use resources easily available to us (think library books, documentaries, YouTube videos, and any local field trip opportunities) to keep learning about it for as long as they stay interested.
This guide will help you identify your child’s current interests and also learn to find the wonder in plain sight. It will guide you through the brainstorming, planning, and execution process. You will also learn how to document child-led learning.
There is a wealth of research suggesting that learning through play creates more comprehension and retention for our children. Play impacts the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children and teens.
It is also a much more joyful and satisfying way to live our homeschool lives.
We are a family of gamers. I grew up playing and loving board games. My kids are the same. Why not combine our love of games with our love of learning?
If you’re like me, you stress over creating a high school transcript for your homeschooled teens. Well, fear no more because I have lived to tell the tale, and Fast Transcripts made the process SO simple!
Their service assisted me in assigning the best course names to my daughter’s work, pointed out potential errors, and produced a beautiful transcript that she can now use anywhere she needs it in the future! Find out more here.
I fondly remember devouring Cricket magazines at the library when I was a girl, and guess what? Cricket Media is still going strong:
They now offer even more educational resources to homeschooling parents, including their beloved magazine line for all ages that covers literature, science, and history, free teacher guides, and an online program for studying Chinese! Get all the details here.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.