Getting to the root of homeschool struggles

Getting to the root of homeschool struggles

Have you ever had a problem that you kept throwing money at? Last year, not long after moving, our family desiccated into mummies.  Not really, but my son and I especially were dealing with some serious dry skin. First, I went the Target route. I would go through the lotion aisles looking for big promises. Every few weeks, I would throw a new kind of moisturizer in my cart, thinking that if I just hit on the right one, our dry skin issues would be solved. But when we didn’t see significant change, I decided a group field trip to the dermatologist was in order. (When you homeschool,...

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The Importance of Writing for Young Children

The Importance of Writing for Young Children

Because of my years spent in the classroom, I get lots of questions from new homeschooling parents asking about expectations. Usually these questions are tinged with an edge of panic, as these (usually) moms want to teach all the things, but they quickly realize that “all” can be quite overwhelming. I’m reminded of the advice given out by a beloved veteran principal to teachers on the first day of a new school year: “Get ‘em in, get ‘em fed, get ‘em home safe; everything else is gravy.” This advice calmed many a teacher’s nerves and that’s what I hope usually happens when I encourage the...

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HS 177: The History of the Homeschooling Movement with Steve Demme

Thank you for sharing this homeschooling podcast Steve Demme has believed in homeschooling since before he had kids of his own. This former math teacher and pastor joined the fight of the homeschooling movement early, helping to lobby and shape legislation that gives us the homeschool freedoms we have today. Along the way, he and his wife homeschooled their own kids, he wrote a math curriculum, and became the funny, favorite math teacher of a generation of homeschool kids. He is on the podcast today to tell the story of the early days of the homeschooling movement, the...

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Shelf space: Books to keep; books to cull

How to choose good books

Last summer, I had given up looking for a new house. We’d been looking for months, which in house-hunting time feels like eons. We had seen so many oddities that I was losing hope. Finally, when we toured a house with side-by-side toilets I declared that I needed a break. My 11-year-old, however, was undeterred.  “What is that site with the houses?” she asked me one day. “Zillow,” I said. A few minutes later she was showing me a photo of a house with a library, or at least that’s how I thought of it - it was a room surrounded on 3 sides by bookshelves. It seemed perfect, but out of our...

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Homeschool Room Tour: A Peek Inside Our New Room

Homeschool Room Tour

Yes, I realize that it has been almost an entire year since we moved, but as you might guess, I have been a little bit busy since then. That is why it has taken me so long to put this tour of the new homeschool space together for you. But better late than never, right? To be honest most of the details of this room are the same as our old room. We didn't do a makeover, we simply moved things to another space. Ah but what a space it is! You see I had given up on having a homeschool room. We were moving for a very specific purpose -- we wanted either property or a neighborhood for the kids...

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HS 175: Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Explained with Brandy Vencel

Brandy Vencel: Are you a Charlotte Mason Homeschooler?

The final interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods is with a super-special friend of mine, Brandy Vencel. I am not (currently) a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, but sitting at the feet of Brandy keeps inching me more and more in that direction I think. I just love chatting with her about Charlotte Mason. Brandy, who has used Ambleside Online since her oldest was in first grade, is on the Ambleside Online Auxiliary Board. She also provides excellent Charlotte Mason support on her blog Afterthoughts. Thank you for sharing this homeschooling podcast Links and...

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Teaching Young Kids About Cultural Diversity

Teaching Young Kids About Cultural Diversity

A new show arrived on the PBS Kids Network scene this past summer (I’ve written about another fabulous show on this network here) that got our family extra-excited due to its focus on an under-represented cultural group in the media. I’m sharing more information about it back at my Syncopated Mama Molly of Denali post today, but it prompted my husband G and I into a discussion involving the importance of expanding the cultural horizons of children. G had been mulling over possible topics to present to a dual-enrollment Intro to Religion class he’d been asked to teach and was considering...

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Take a Peek Inside My Homeschool Binder

Take a Peek Inside My Homeschool Binder

Lots of moms out there like their fancy homeschool planners and there are tons of options available on the market to purchase. This makes it easy for moms to find a planner that is going to work well for them. We have chatted a number of times here on the blog about Happy Planner homeschool planners, finding the right homeschool planner option, and even trying to match up your planner with your personality type. If you have been around for very long, you know that I like to create my own homeschool planner from scratch instead of buying one already made. I outline a number of reasons why...

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HS 174: The Other Classical Homeschooling with Jennifer Dow

Classical Education: The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods Feature

The fourth interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods I got to chat with one of my very favorite people, Jennifer Dow from Expanding Wisdom. Jennifer is a joy, because she makes me think about life, education, and being a more virtuous person every single time we talk. In this episode we talk about the day-in-the-life of a classical homeschool and about a version of classical homeschooling that is outside the norm of what most people assume about classical homeschooling. Different than neo-classicism and tons of memory work, the classical homeschool Jennifer describes focuses...

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Our Plans and Picks for 2019 | Homeschool Morning Time

Our Plans and Picks for 2019 | Homeschool Morning Time

As best I can remember this is our seventh year (seventh!!) of doing Morning Time. And while it has changed some through the year, in many respects it is the same has it has always been. We build our Morning Time foundation on the 4 Rs -- ritual, reading, recitation, and relationship -- and that never changes. If you want to know more about the 4Rs as a basis for Morning Time check out my book! In addition, we put in some extra subjects and activities every now and again. Here is a breakdown of what we will be using this year. Daily Subjects in our Morning Time Linguistic Development...

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