Academics

How to Choose the Right Curriculum

Curriculum can be expensive. Before you take the plunge and purchase, it is good to know what you are getting into. Choosing the right curriculum that fits both you and your child can be a daunting task. Here are two important questions to ask yourself before buying curriculum for the school year.

Summer Spanish

Just for the record, no, we are not fluent in foreign languages.  But we try to be familiar at least.  In our case, with Spanish, as our youngest child was born in Guatemala.  Not only do I feel strongly that he should at least be familiar with his native language, I feel even more strongly that we should ALL be well versed in another language.

Taking It Easy In The Summer

As summer is just getting started we have also begun to unwind from a busy year of homeschooling. We homeschool all year round, but we do slow down during the summer months. Mainly we do this so that the children can play outside and we can go on lots of field trips. I do not like to come to a screeching halt though.

Schools of Thought

Teacher Reboot: Retreat! [Part 2]

Are you driving full force into your school year? Don’t take the GPS approach! Hit the brakes, stop “at the side of the road” and look back! Why look back when you want to move forward? Well, how do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?

A Clean Slate

The school buses are practicing their routes, teachers are busy attending teacher work days, and school supplies are flying off the shelves faster than they can be restocked! A rejuvenating feeling is in the air. Excitement abounds as a new school year is about to begin.

Teacher Roboot [Part 1]

Hey there home school moms! I know some of you out there have closed the door on the last school year and have started opening the one to the new. Sometimes we just close the door on the previous year and never return.

Getting Organized

Bouquets of Newly Sharpened Pencils [Part 2]

We all have things that we associate with the start of the school year. New crayons, scissors, and folders, etc. And the smell of newly sharpened pencils. Here’s a few random “pencil” thoughts to add to your back-to-school bouquets.

Bouquets of Freshly Sharpened Pencils [Part 1]

Summer is really only fall-around-the-corner. For the homeschooling mom it can be a wonderful “calm” – that blessed season of organizing preparedness (otherwise known as homeschool planning) before the “storm” – the disintegration into the disorderly “flexibility” of the normal school year.

Easing Back into your Homeschool Year

After an extended time off from schooling and other scheduled activities, it’s not uncommon for kids to fight getting back into a regular routine.  Here are some helpful tips on how to transition from vacationing to schooling that a very wise woman shared with me many years ago.

Glimpses of Life

Character Over Progress

As homeschool moms, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your child’s progress to another. I’m no exception. One day, it had been brought to my attention that I have a child that isn’t perfect.

Dad Saves the Day?

If I were to conduct a survey, asking my early elementary-aged kids to rate “school time with daddy” on a typical scale – with #1 being a kick-each-other-under-the-table-for-something-(anything)-to-do-to-escape-the-boredom and #10 being a call to arms to oust the current homeschool dictator (mom) in favor of a fresh, if virtually untested, educatorship – where would I fall?

Beyond Blessings

With our official homeschooling year coming to an end soon, I once again find myself thinking back on our year. What the kids have learned, yes, but more importantly what I have learned. Each year as we pray about decisions for our upcoming school year, I like to evaluate what we have done as well as WHY we have done it.

Home Life

Please Pass the Character Building

Don’t forgot to teach your kids about character, the value of compromise and getting along with others as you instruct them in the rigors of academia! Here’s a great example from our own homeschool! It was one of those icky, yucky, rainy, dreary, pent up too long kind of days.

Hospitality and Homeschooling

When I first began this journey, I wondered how it could be possible that the two could ever meet. I had determined I would have to choose one or the other. Either I could send my kids off to school so I could keep a clean home or I could homeschool in a never ending messy disaster.

How to Not Provoke Your Child to Anger

Do you have an angry child? It can become extremely frustrating to know how to deal with them since it usually stirs up so many emotions in the parent, when a child’s anger surfaces. Know this; they can change. Also, if you feel as though you may have been provoking them to this behavior, you can change as well.

College-Bound

You CAN Teach High School!

I get it all of the time: how can you possibly teach high school? As a matter of fact, in thinking back over my 17 plus years of answering questions about our homeschooling experiences, this is the one question I seem to answer the most often.

7 College Considerations

Is it just me, or has going to college become more and more of a difficult road to travel? I mean, I remember just applying to a few schools and choosing to go to the one a lot of friends were going to.

Extracurricular

Raising Young Entrepreneurs

This summer, I treated my kids to a paddleboat ride. I knew they loved it but what I didn’t know was that my nine year old had so much fun that he was setting aside some of his hard earned cash to pay to do it again. So where did he get his money? We don’t do allowances. I’m not entirely opposed to the idea, there certain are benefits and lessons kids can learn through them, we just don’t do it.

Summer (or Anytime!) Family Fun Ideas

In the hustle and bustle of the busy summer months, reconnecting as a family is priority. Every family is different in the type of activities they enjoy pursuing together, and it seems sometimes we get into a routine-a dull, predictable routine—doing the same activity week after week. I encourage you to think outside the box! As a family, at least once this summer (or aim for once a week!) plan a new activity.

Whoo-Hoo, Vacation!

When I was a child, vacation was always in the summer and the week between Christmas and New Years. I went to public school and vacation meant “no school!” It was a time to just play, have no schedule and fit in a trip to somewhere.

Resources

Unit Study: Bastille Day!

Bastille Day, or French Independence Day (similar to our American Independence Day) celebrates a day that has impacted all of us, whether of French heritage or not. Briefly, Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th.

Bird Study – Part 1

One of my favorite finds was Thornton Burgess’, The Bird Book For Children. At first glance, it appeared extremely overwhelming. I decided to try it. I figured I would share a large amount of information and hope that they would grasp what they could. And they have!

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