Tag Archives: attachment parenting

7 Reasons Homeschooling Works and One Reason It’s Tough


  1. Flexibility

When a family decides to homeschool, they get to set their schedule. Does mom work the night shift? No problem, homeschool in the morning or afternoon. Does dad have a business trip during the week and you are invited? Awesome! No absentee notes to write and have rejected by the principal because they aren’t sick notes.

Head on out to Boston, New York, or nearly anywhere you’re your wallet can afford. You may even learn something about history, cultures, transportation, architecture, or art while out and about.

  1. Family Time

Because your schedule is not set by the local school, you can decide when you have classes, trips, chores, movie night, and other events. It can be easier to schedule family time when it is convenient rather than in the time left over after dealing with schedules other entities give you.

  1. Developmentally Appropriate Lessons

I hear complaints every day. Either schools are asking students to do things they are not yet ready to understand or schools are giving kids busy work they have already mastered. We can’t blame schools and teachers too much for this. They are stuck. They have many kids and a curriculum which says it is for all, but really has expectations that all students will master the same benchmarks. Sure, teachers scaffold, remediate, and try their hardest, but some kids are ahead or behind the given benchmarks due to their developmental stage.

This means that many come away from public school frustrated because this learning model does not meet everyone’s needs. Homeschool families can choose to work at a student’s developmental stage and build from there. With one on one or small group lessons, such as in a co-op, this is an easier task than in a classroom with 18 or more students.

  1. Time for ESE

There are some fantastic ESE programs at brick and mortar schools for those living with special needs. However, there are also advantages to one on one and small group instruction provided in a home education setting. Students who are easily distracted, are too shy to speak up when they do not understand, or who get lost in the shuffle when there is a large group will benefit from having more attention and help. There is no comparison between an 18 to 1 ratio and a 1 to 1 ratio. There just isn’t. Keep in mind that with less time spent waiting for his turn, your child will have more time to attend therapist and doctor appointments, if needed.

  1. Extracurriculars

Is your child a budding actress? Does your child have an aptitude for baseball? Less time in class waiting on others to complete work or have questions answered equals more time for extracurriculars. Sometimes your local school also allows homeschooled students to join their teams so keep this in mind, too.

  1. Friends

In brick and mortar schools you meet the people who are in class with you. Hopefully, you make friends with them and see each other outside of class, too. After school time is limited, though. During school, your job is to work on academics. You don’t get to practice social skills, navigating friendships with ample time to put towards solving problems.

Homeschool students often have friends of different ages and socioeconomic statutes. They also tend to have more time to devote to getting together, volunteering, and working on social skills such as problem solving

  1. Pursue childhood

Seems like we see articles about recapturing childhood and getting rid of screen-time. One great way to do this is to give your child the gift of time to play and exercise without imposing rules about how they should do this, though safety rules may be needed in some cases. Sure, those who attend brick and mortar schools can do this on weekends and after school. That can definitely work. Homeschoolers can do this, too. They can suspend lessons to enjoy a beautiful day attend a field trip outdoors, or explore a local town.

When It Gets Tough

Homeschooling isn’t without it’s challenges. Personality conflicts may occur between siblings or parent and child. Plus, the time and commitment needed to plan and stick with this schooling model can be overwhelming in some cases. Thankfully, there are online and local support groups which often help for free. There are also bloggers, consultants, and local classes in most areas. The idea is to take a team approach rather than going it alone. Plus, adjusting lessons and activities when you see a need to do so can be beneficial and lower stress.


If you would like to discuss homeschool or unschool options, feel free to reach out to me. I receive questions every day and am happy to help. Should you need a more in-depth meeting, reading coaching or lesson writing services, please let me know. I am happy to help. Allow me to put my experience to work for you!


Melissa Packwood, M.S. Ed.
Photograph by Alexandra Islas



FREE Ebook – Expand Your Parenting Toolbox

I am excited to announce that my ebook, Expand Your Parenting Toolbox, will be free through Amazon from December 11-15, 2015. Click here to purchase this common sense approach to peaceful parenting. Also, if you would like a one on one consultation or a speaker for your group meeting or event, please contact me here.

Expand Your Parenting Toolbox

Happy Holidays! May your winter be stress free!

Photograph by Alexandra Islas

Photograph by Alexandra Islas

Introduction to Attachment Parenting Webinar – October 20

I am thrilled to share the details of an upcoming webinar titled Introduction to Attachment Parenting. I will hold this webinar on October 20, 2015 from 12-1 PM.

We will discuss what attachment parenting is, why this parenting style is growing in popularity, and how to get started if you want to use attachment parenting principles.

The cost is $15 as I wish to keep my service prices as low as possible so more people can afford to attend.

Click the ladybug meme below to sign up.

If you have any difficulty using the scheduling website, please contact me (Melissa) at 407-712-4368 or melissa@educational-strategies.com .

black text ladybug

Parenting Tool: Reframe the Issue

reframe the question

One day my middle child took a very looooong time getting ready. I checked on her, my oldest child checked on her, my youngest child checked on her and she still was not ready. When she finally emerged from her room, she asked why we were bothering her. I said, “We were waiting on you to go to the park and meet up with friends.” “Oh, I forgot”, she said. “Why didn’t you say that?! I would have hurried up.” I am laughing a little as I write this because all I had to do was remind her of the reason we needed her to hurry up. She did not realize what was at stake. Now I know to reframe the issue in terms my children understand more clearly. Since then I have tried the reframe strategy and it helps a lot. Two examples of ways you can use the reframe strategy are listed below.


Situation 1

Parent: It’s time to clean up.

Child: ——–

Parent: The room is messy, clean up.

Child: What? Why?

Parent: Remember that when we have lego blocks on the floor, we step on them and get hurt. Now that you are finished with the legos, we need to clean up.

Child: Oooooh. Oh, right. It hurts to step on legos. Remember when I steppe don the blue one? I cried!

Parent: It does hurt. So let’s clean up.

Child: Okay.

The parent changed the frame from something she wants to a necessity for safety reasons. The adult can also offer to help the child clean up or make the activity into a game about colors, counting, or speed.


Situation 2

Parent: Please take the dog outside.

Child: No, I am busy with video games.

Parent: The dog needs to go outside to run otherwise he will chew our new toys because he will be hyper. My hands are full so I cannot do

Child: I am still playing video games, but I could do it in 15 minutes when I am finished with the games.

Parent: That sounds helpful and soon enough that the dog will be okay. I like that you offered a solution that works for both of us instead of sticking with “no”.

The parent did not back down when help was needed, however by explaining the situation in different terms, the child was better able to understand the parent’s viewpoint and offer a helpful solution. If there is no emergency, then it should be okay for a child to say they will help after a particular television show, board game, or phone call is complete. Both parent and child ought to be flexible when problem solving.

For more Parenting Tools, read my ebook titled Expand Your Parenting Toolbox: Create a More Peaceful Home.







New Book Project: Creating Peaceful, Democratic Classrooms

take 3

        When I taught in public schools I noticed that many well-meaning educators, myself included, used bribery, coercion, and punishment in order to maintain control of the students in a classroom. This did not work well. Many children continued to misbehave because they became sneaky in order to continue behaving a certain way without being caught. Some children began to dislike school and learning because they felt like every move was being judged. All in all these techniques were sort term solutions at best.
       As I observed this pattern repeat each school year, it dawned on me that things did not have to be this way. We can foster a love of learning and manage classroom behavior without bribery, punishment, and coercion. We can work as a team with our students instead of as adversaries.
black text ladybug

I chose to create a GoFundMe page to help pay for the expenses associated with completing and publishing this book. Together we can raise a new generation that does not have to recuperate from what was done to them. Instead, they will flourish by learning peaceful, democratic problem solving strategies.

Parenting Tool: Try It Again

again 2

A couple of years ago I began using a picture routine list with my son in order to help him transition from one part of our day to another. It helped with his meltdowns for a short time and then the schedule went to the trash can after a couple months of less than stellar results. As he grew older, he had less transition related meltdowns and I slowly forgot that we once created a schedule for him.

Fast forward to last week. Due to some changes in our lives, my son began having difficulty during our morning and evening routines. He knows the steps of getting ready for his day and getting ready to sleep, but was melting down quite often yet again. I decided to go back through the strategies we tried before in order to find one that helped.

I asked my son if he would like to help me create a new picture schedule for both our morning and evening routines. He agreed. There we sat at 9 PM looking through free photos we could download for our charts. Not only did he feel important, he also felt in charge of his routines. They are the routines I prefer, too. It was a matter of putting the routines on paper again so he could easily refer to them when needed.

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, winnond, SOMMAI, Serge Bertasius Photography , Sira Anamwong, and foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, winnond, SOMMAI, Serge Bertasius Photography , Sira Anamwong, and foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Since creating the new and improved routine lists, he has had less meltdowns, enjoys trying to read the words we chose to include with the pictures, and reminds me what he has not yet completed. We worked as a team, which means we both won.

The moral of the story is that sometimes a strategy will work for a time, not work, and then work again. Sometimes a strategy won’t work at all, then you try it again years later and it works. Never say never to a peaceful, respectful strategy.


What to do Instead of Punishment: He Called a Runner Fat @ss


I recently noticed the following screenshot in my Facebook newsfeed.

(Take it with a grain of salt since anything online could be real or a lie.)

I would feel angry, vengeful, and embarrassed if my child did this.

I would feel angry, vengeful, and embarrassed if my child did this.

Many people congratulated the mother for punishing the child. I can understand this opinion. Many said it was a good strategy to make the child run with the person he bullied because he will be in the runner’s shoes. Many said it was good not to hit the child, but that he needed punishment.

Unfortunately, this type of parenting behavior often comes from shame, anger, and embarrassment rather than from evidence-based information. Punishment is either what we think we ought to do or is our way of seeking revenge against those who upset us.

My question is this. What if you prevented this type of behavior? How can you do that? How can we avoid punishments, but foster a respectful environment?

By creating a peaceful, respectful environment from birth, you get a head start in fostering positive behaviors in children. They may stray from time to time due to influences like friends, bullies, and others. However, it is easier to lead them back to kind, safe, wise decision-making if the groundwork is paved at an early age. Use strategies like discussion, modeling wise choices, talking through your choices in the child’s presence, acting out concerning situations, and practicing decision-making skills in safe environments before heading out into environments with more variables.

What if my child does what this child did? I am a peaceful parent, but that deserves punishment!

girl megaphoneA

I agree that this behavior is not appropriate. If punishment is not an option, what could a parent do? First, forced apologies really do not foster a true feeling of remorse. Instead, stop the vehicle and have a chat with the runner if at all possible. If willing to wait for a few minutes, you can get the runner’s information in case your child chooses to apologize or, perhaps, be a workout buddy later. Feel free to ask the runner to explain how it feels to be called such a thing and make sure your child is present to hear the entire exchange even if refusing to speak or address the situation.

angry teenA

Then, take the time to address the social and emotional issue at hand. Why did the child yell this insult? Perhaps your child feels low self-esteem, heard a bully do this, or saw a television show that put down those who work out. If you find out why, then you are halfway to a solution.

Once the why is known, you can work as a team to come up with other ways to filter such thoughts so they are not expressed in a way which others find insulting and harmful. Sure, you can think anything, but acting on your thoughts is the issue at hand. Though I prefer that my children do not think of others in an insulting way, there are going to be times when they DO think this way. Feelings are okay. Thoughts are okay. Actions may or may not be okay.

I realize that many people think preteens and teens should behave as adults do. However, they often learn their negative behaviors from us. They also do not have fully developed brains, in most cases, which means they are more impulsive.

Remember, peaceful parenting is not permissive parenting. The issue absolutely needs to be addressed and follow up is necessary. Part of going out and experiencing the world is knowing society’s basic rules for behavior. I am not a huge conformist, but insults are not okay in any situation even for those of us who are non-conformists.

Be kind. Be safe. Be responsible.

15 Ways to Learn with Your Child


One fabulous thing about summer is that many families have more time to learn together.

Here is a short list of ideas to help you spend quality time together while learning as a team.

Have fun!

  1. Go on a field trip

  2. Read about a new topic

  3. Watch a documentary

  4. Create an art project

  5. Create a book, magazine, or newspaper

  6. Bake using a new recipe

  7. Design a dance or exercise routine

  8. Build a woodworking project

  9. Take a class together

  10. Take a guidebook on a nature walk

  11. Visit a local beach

  12. Visit an animal sanctuary

  13. Try a new sport

  14. Visit the library

  15. Produce a short video about a new topic



Check out our line of peaceful parenting gear on Spreadshirt!

The New Spreadshirt Shop is Open!

I want to take a moment to thank clients, friends, and family for their continued support.

I couldn’t run this business without your support and encouragement. Thank you!

You are the inspiration for the newest addition to Intuitive Strategies.

I have opened a Spreadshirt shop.

There are shirts, mugs, and other items available which encourage peaceful parenting.

Currently, there are two basic designs available. I will add more options soon.

Click HERE to view the Spreadshirt shop.

Than you, again, for all that you do!


He Bit Me! What to Do About Biting

crying biting graphic

Biting is a common behavior among young children. When teaching in public schools I noticed that some of my students living with special needs also exhibited this behavior. Every parent, teacher, and relative seems to have advice about how to stop a child who bites in her tracks, but does the advice help? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.

Here are some of the helpful comments, paraphrased, from friends of my Facebook page. Thank you to all who spoke up. I didn’t plan to add your information, but you had a lot of wisdom to share!

The child needs positive attention so notice when he is doing good things.

Spend time one on one together.

The child needs more autonomy and choices.

I wouldn’t react to it, but end play date or activity if it happens.

I would state expectations ahead of time.

Why is this happening? Find out why.

Pick up the biter and move her from the area. Tend to the hurt child.

Try to mediate the issue once all is calm if both parties are capable and willing.


Below is a list of additional strategies which may help when children bite.

Role play before issues occur and also after emotions have calmed.

Practice using replacement behaviors.

If the issue occurs because the child needs to chew or bite a certain texture, look into other things he can safely bite, for example Chewelry like these.

Have a continuous dialog with the child.

When children harm each other, separate, but do not punish. If you punish, that will encourage sneaky retaliation rather than in the open communication and problem solving.

Make sure there is an enriching environment.

Encourage peaceful communication even if it is nonverbal.

Make sure there is plenty of space for opposing priorities and personalities.

Healthy foods that are not processed tend to help lower the chances of behavior issues.

Avoiding triggers like hunger and being tired can help with behavior issues.

Stay calm. It is not because the child want to upset you.

It is because the child I feeling a large emotion.


Remember, it takes time and patience, but you and your child can

get past biting!