Tips from the Tassel



Education, Appreciation, Gratification

As I unpack from a trip we took to Paris to celebrate our daughter’s eighteenth birthday and graduation from high school, I realize the relationship between education, appreciation, and gratification. It seems the more effort we put into an endeavor, the more rewarding the outcome.

I’m referring to the difference between going through a museum and briefly glancing at a piece of artwork and noting the artist’s name, or enjoying the artwork because you have not only tried your hand at painting, but you are intrigued with the artist’s ability to capture light, image, or feeling on canvas using only a paintbrush and pigments. My daughter’s response after spending a day at the Louvre was delight. She was thrilled to see artwork in person she had only ever read about or seen in books. I shared her delight, because I took pleasure in her experience. As home school parents, we have the ability to lay a foundation as well participate in the celebration of its completion.

My daughter took three years of college French as well as a course in conversational French. She couldn’t have been more excited to visit the country of the language she has come to love. If you have ever studied a foreign language, you know the painstaking hours necessary for proficiency and fluency. In my daughter’s case, her interest and affection for language seemed to coincide with her love of detail and order. The beauty of home education is it affords the opportunity to teach to your child’s love and strength without neglecting the necessary academic foundations. We were able to pour into her coursework a blend of language courses and experiences which produced a love for languages and the people who speak them. Three years of French at a local college, Pimsler conversational courses, living and traveling abroad, having international students as friendship partners and house guests, etc. have all proven to be seeds which have yielded a harvest of empathy in my daughter’s character. It is no wonder that she chose to study linguistics at college.

Whether it’s a foreign language, a musical instrument, or advanced mathematics, we persevere hoping to enjoy the fruit of our labor and theirs. I’m here to encourage you not to give up, for our labor is not in vain.

Perhaps you are a parent about to begin your home school year and wonder if all the preparation is worth it. Or you are worried your children will not catch your enthusiasm over the history unit study you’ve prepared. Don’t falter at the first sign of resistance. Push on through. ..for when you have passed a passion on to your student there is a satisfaction like little else.

Gombate! as the Japanese would say.

The meaning actually is “Please work hard!”, but we usually use it like “Good luck!” in English. Also the rōmaji should be “ganbatte”, and the kanji is「頑張って」(がんばって)。“What Does Gambate Mean?” HiNative,



Play With Your Kids

My mother enjoys life and lives it to the limit. I learned the importance of fun from her. The times we spent playing tennis, swimming, going on adventures, traveling, singing, dancing, roller skating, etc., are fused into my memory with joy and cannot be erased by time. I want my children to remember their childhood as a time of fun shared experiences.

As home school moms, so much of the time with our children is spent doing household chores, homeschooling, and taking them to extracurricular activities, that there is little time left to enjoy together. My simple tip today is to remember to have fun with your children. Sing, laugh, play the never-ending game of Monopoly, create Lego contraptions, draw pictures, go on scavenger hunts, and dress up with them. The options are as limitless as your imagination.

Remember, time with our children at home is a precious commodity. It seems like a moment and they are grown and gone. So, go play with your kids!