Did you know that when you plant bamboo, you will water it, protect it, nurture it…and nothing happens for 5 years? At least it looks like nothing is happening, because it’s all happening underground, where the bamboo is growing a complex root structure.

But above ground? Nothin’. You’ve got to faithfully water and care for that plant for f-i-v-e years before you get any proof that you’re making any progress.

Homeschooling is a lot like bamboo.

In today’s episode of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, I’m sharing the audio from a recent Circle with Sarah (our monthly coaching sessions in RAR Premium) in which I’m talking about this same experience in homeschooling.

You work, and you work, and you work, and you can’t always see the difference that slog is making.

But the seeming dormancy? It matters.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The power of one small action – it can change everything
  • How to be sure we are using the right measuring stick (…are you?)
  • How to know where to put your energy next

I also answer a listener question about what to do if you cry while reading emotional books aloud. (anybody? 🙋🏼‍♀️)

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Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

1:26Crying during a read-aloud
4:23Circle with Sarah
6:57A small, doable action
9:53Which measuring stick?
11:18Bamboo is not like radishes
13:39Everybody wants to quit in February
16:29‘We get to choose what a successful home school looks like’
19:07A question to guide us
24:34What do we want most for our kids?
25:33Process, not outcome
31:08What’s the real goal?
38:59Let the kids speak

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Quotes to remember:

You have to stay faithful. You have to keep watering and protecting, because things are happening…you just can’t see them.” – Sarah Mackenzie

It doesn’t make sense to use a measuring stick that doesn’t jive with your own homeschool vision. But it’s very easy to default into what everybody else around you is using for their own measuring stick.” – Sarah Mackenzie

Books from this episode:

Johnny Tremain
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

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