Author: Janice Campbell

Ira reading.

Ideas Worth Sharing: Education, Entrepreneurship, and Soul Care — IWS #1

Thursday seems a good day for an Ideas Worth Sharing (IWS) gathering post. Because I love patterns and systems, and like Hercule Poirot, order and method, these are roughly categorized by the areas of focus mentioned in Luke 10:27b – “You shall...

Art soothes the soul and provides a pleasant transition to the contemplative season.

Slipping into a Seasonal Business Routine

My business year has two primary seasons: the convention season and the contemplative season. The end of July saw the end of business travel until next February, unless something unforeseen crops up, and I have to admit I’m delighted to be...

Valley-Forge-independence-day

Two Poems and a March for Independence Day

In honor of United States of America’s Independence Day on the 4th of July, here are are two thought-provoking, classic poems, plus one of my all-time favorite marches. The first poem, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “A Nation’s Strength,” would make an excellent...

Summer Reading List

What’s in your to-be-read (TBR) pile? Mine is teetering way past the point of reason, and has overflowed onto a small bookshelf beside my chair, plus a few piles on the floor, to say nothing of those waiting in my...

The Madness of Multiple Choice, A Guest Post by Andrew Pudewa

If you’ve ever wondered whether Excellence in Literature needed a few multiple choice questions to make it “better,” this delightful essay by my friend and publisher Andrew Pudewa will make our position clear. Like comprehension questions, another pernicious evil, multiple-choice...

Children at the beach on summer break. Attributed to James Pyne.

Why You (Probably) Need a Summer Break

If your student is behind in a school subject and you are thinking of homeschooling through the summer break, please stop a moment. I’d like to share a few thoughts on homeschoolers doing summer school. Schooling through the summer may...

Time management for entrepreneurial parents.

Time Management for Entrepreneurial Parents

One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurial parents, especially homeschooling moms, is time management — balancing home, school, work, and life, and doing reasonable justice to each. It’s probably always been hard, but the challenge seems to have increased with the speed...

Imaginative Authors Foresee the Future

In Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift wrote of the two moons of Mars. Of course, it was 1735, and the two moons weren’t discovered until 1877.  In 1870, in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne described an electric submarine,...

Micro Business for Teens by Carol Topp, CPA.

College Alternatives, Part 2: Entrepreneurship, Apprenticeships, and Guilds

The last College Alternatives post focused on the skilled trades, such as machinist, electrician, arborist, and others. Since college has been pushed as a primary option for most students, there has been a labor shortage in many of the trades,...

By Claire Gregory (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Grow a Sustainable Diet by Cindy Conner, A Review

I’ve been enjoying Cindy Conner’s new book on growing a sustainable diet. She actually makes it sound doable! She begins by identifying why you might want to grow a sustainable diet, then walks through the process of garden planning with...

Play is a child's work; based on Winslow Homer's "Snap the Whip"

Play is a Child’s Work

Deep meaning lies often in childish play. -Johann Friedrich von Schiller The outdoors used to be a place where children could run, play, build, create, and do the mildly hazardous things children love to do. I remember walking the 5′...

Carnival of Homeschooling: Learning Lifestyle, Reading, and News

Learning Lifestyle In this pair of articles on the Circe Institute blog, Joshua Leland shares Why I Don’t Own a Television and Further Thoughts on Television. Since I am also television free and always have been, I found these particularly interesting and thought...

The skilled trades are an excellent college alternative.

College Alternatives, Part 1: Skilled Trades

After the last two posts on financial aid, there were a few private comments about how hard it can be for a student to qualify for some types of aid. Honestly, it is easier now than it has ever been. There...

Read not the Times, but read the eternities. (Thoreau)

A Year Without the News Media

In 2013, I quit. I’ve never been a heavy consumer of news and pop culture, but for over 30 years, I faithfully read the daily newspaper and usually listened to radio news once or twice a week. I don’t watch television...

What Kinds of Financial Aid Are Available?

Financial aid is available in several forms to homeschoolers, as well as the traditionally schooled. The U.S. Department of Education (the courteous provider of most of this information) awards about $150 billion every year to help millions of students pay...

Financial Aid: You Won’t Get it Unless You Apply

Do you have a teen who is filling out college applications? If so, there’s one more application to add to the list. It’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, informally known as the FAFSA, and if your teen wants...

7 Alternatives to Writing a Literary Analysis

Essay writing is not the only tool for studying literature. Students can benefit from the occasional opportunity to approach the great books in a fresh way, so here are a few alternatives to writing a literary analysis.

Connie Schenkelberg

Connie Schenkelberg, my friend and colleague, stepped from this life to the next on Sunday morning (12/1/13), and I will miss her. I first met Connie at an HEAV homeschool conference in the 1990s. Her table was tucked into a...

The Angelus by Francois Millet is a lovely painting depicting a young couple pausing for prayer in the middle of the day.

Gratefulness and Thanksgiving

Enjoy a poem (Gratefulnesse by George Herbert); a recipe (cranberry-orange relish), and a Thanksgiving sale, aka Homeschool Black Friday).

Sermon on the Mount by Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1598

How Then Shall We Live?

Some of the ideas in the last post’s video seem reminiscent of classical Christian ideas of how believers should live in the world. These Christian ideas are drawn from the whole of scripture and tradition, but the best known source...

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

Moving Away from an Industrial Economy

Have you ever been inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater? This architectural gem offers contrasting spaces that feel spacious yet intimate. Its beauty and fame lies not in the fact that it’s an enormous, costly monstrosity  that dominates its site, but...

The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet

A Shift in Direction

When I started this blog, I planned to focus strictly on entrepreneurship and microbusiness because those things can make it possible to live a doing-what-matters life. The problem was, with a URL like DoingWhatMatters.com, it’s been hard not to write...

Telling the Truth in Fiction

Fairy tales, parables, and other true stories I have been thinking about fairy tales this week after coming across a bowdlerized (to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content) version that appears on a third grade Common Core...

A Piqued Plea for Correctly Peeking at the Peak

How to use the correct word when peeking at a peak.

The Music Lesson by Jan Vermeer

Three Questions to Ask Successful Microbusiness Entrepreneurs

There are many ways to learn – books, blogs, classes, lectures, online videos, podcasts, and more. You can even learn by jumping in and trying something, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the experiential method with brain surgery or alligator wrestling....

Three Questions to Ask Graduated Homeschool Moms

Want to know what homeschooling is really like? No matter what curriculum you use, homeschooling is a deeply personalized journey. What it looks like and how it feels will be based on each family’s unique blend of talents, interests, knowledge,...

Teach classic literature in context with Excellence in Literature

Teach Classic Literature in Context

Reading and teaching literature in context is a bit like studying a map before you set out for a walk in a strange city. Context helps you find significant intersections, decipher archaic language, and find a path through old-fashioned rhetoric. Here’s how to do it.

Re-imagining Education: Visions for the Future

Here is a playlist of a dozen interesting TED talks on education, mostly reflecting on the nature of education and traditional schooling and considering how it could be done better.

Summertime Carnival of Homeschooling

Today’s Carnival shares posts on the state of education and leaving a homeschooling legacy, helpful articles on planning and organizing your school year and day, and a few extras on things such as how to whistle, whether homeschoolers can redeem BoxTops for Education, and more

Planning helps you use time wisely, and making a custom planner can help you spend time as you need to.

How to Make a Custom Planner

One of the most important prerequisites for doing what matters is planning. Although I do a lot of my work on the computer, I’ve used paper-based planners ever since I was in middle school. I prefer to plan during contemplative...

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