• Choosing the right curriculum can be difficult because there are so many ways to meet the needs of our kids: online subscriptions, co-ops, boxed curriculum, workbooks, interest-led discovery, etc. If you know you want a secular curriculum, however, you can pare down the possibilities by filtering all of your options through that lens. You probably already know that finding secular curriculum is challenging. Here's why. First, homeschooling is relatively rare. Homeschoolers make up 3.4% of all students in the U.S. These numbers are even smaller in most other countries since some nations place significant restrictions on homeschooling or ban it altogether. Second, secular homeschooling is rare among homeschoolers. At most, secular homeschoolers make up an estimated 23% of all homeschoolers. So in a small pool of resources, secular homeschooling takes an even smaller slice.Read More

  • It’s fun to see how other homeschoolers do things, right? Day-in-the-life blog posts can be useful when looking for ideas or because you have an interest in how others live life as homeschooling families. But sometimes seeing how other homeschoolers approach their day can make us second guess the awesomeness of our own set-up. Sometimes checking in on what another homeschooler is doing can make us feel as though our own homeschooling life isn’t quite up to par. Nonsense, friends! Their homeschool probably is awesome, but guess what? Yours is, too! Know why? Here are three reasons I know your homeschool is totally awesome the way it is.Read More

  • Having a good homeschooling routine can be the difference between a long-running homeschool journey and one that stops before it begins. But there’s more to developing a trusty homeschool schedule than a daily lesson plan.

    A good nightly routine for a homeschool mom is also a critical aspect of cultivating a happy homeschooling life. In fact, creating a nightly routine can set up the next day’s schedule for success. Here are a few things to include your nightly routine as a homeschool mom.

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  • Once you complete your study of Ancient Egypt and move on to Ancient Greece, this list of video supplements will come in handy. Add a video or two each week to appeal to visual learners and to enrich your study of ancient history with BookShark Level 6 for ages 11-13. Some videos may also be appropriate for students using our younger World History Program—BookShark Level 1 for ages 6-8. Don't worry about matching the videos perfectly with your history readings. It's okay if your children see something in a video first and then read about it a few days or even weeks later. Know that you are providing a rich scaffold of information that your children can use to grasp the culture, historical import, and geography of Ancient Greece.Read More

  • Recently I inherited a stack of treasures my husband’s mother had saved from his childhood school years. Artifacts included handwriting samples, artwork, and test scores. Although it was fun to see, my home was already bursting at the seams with collections of my own children’s past work. It piles up very quickly. That is why we decided to go digital with our homeschool portfolios. Even though I don’t live in a state that requires me to turn in a portfolio each year, I do have an eleventh grader who will require a high school transcript. I am not as faithful at recording grades as I would like to be, but with an online collection of my son’s work, I have a convenient place to locate all the information I need to accurately assess his performance in a subject over the course of a year. Here’s how we manage our online portfolios.Read More

  • There is nothing I enjoy more than taking my children on field trips. These educational excursions get us out in the world and put whatever we are learning about into a real-life context. We get to see first hand how things are interrelated and broaden our horizons in ways that complement the books we are reading in our homeschool curriculum. Unfortunately, our budget does not always allow for us to travel; particularly when there are so many places from around the world that we’d love to see. One way we get around this limitation is to take virtual field trips through the power of the Internet. For example, we use YouTube to get a peek into various art museums from around the world using YouTube. These online journeys enhance our art, history, and geography studies.Read More

  • Exploring countries and cultures has been one of my favorite ways to learn with my kids about the world we live in. While we take trips as often as we can to experience first-hand the wonders of the world, there are other places that are out of reach for an educational adventure—Africa, for example.This massive continent has a profound diversity of culture and depth of history that come to life when we combine our geography curriculum with online video resources. To get you started, check out this quick overview of Africa from Lonely Planet. Then dig in to the specific areas outlined below. Explore African Wildlife 1. Africa by BBC Earth TV-PG, 6 Episodes, 48 min (available on Netflix) This colorful documentary featuring animals from Africa's rich variety of species. The cinematography gives viewers an up close and personal look at unique animals you may not have even known existed.Read More

  • We all have days where we need a break or something extra to cope with a bad day. Netflix is the perfect resource for finding those little extras. And since there are so many educational shows on Netflix, you don’t even have to feel guilty about regularly relying on these videos. My kids thinking watching Netflix is a treat and they hardly even realize they are learning. But they’ve absorbed so much about ecosystems, outer space, and the human body in ways that visually supplement our literature-based curriculum. The science shows listed below are specifically good for kids in Kindergarten through fifth grade and cover topics especially interesting to them: animals, space, the Earth, the human body, and so much more.Read More

  • There are two kinds of new homeschoolers. First, there are those who are fired up to get going on this adventure and ready to stock their homes with all of the tools for success. And I mean all. If you have been googling the best in-home laminating system, you are this mom. In contrast, there are those who have been backed into this gig by a failing public school system and just need to know where the online supply list has been uploaded, if they can buy used, and if there's a coupon. If you have gone into the attic to retrieve your Speak-and- Spell, and you don’t mind that the computerized voice sounds like a drunk airline passenger after a 12 hour layover, you might be this second type of mom.Read More

  • After parents have been homeschooling for several years, the routine of lesson plans, read-alouds, and record keeping can start to feel monotonous. Even parents who embarked upon homeschooling with loads of enthusiasm may start to view their family’s learning lifestyle as commonplace. While settling into a homeschooling routine can be a good thing, losing joy in teaching children at home is not. When parents begin to see homeschooling as ho-hum, children, too, can start to lose their love for learning, which may show up in their interest level and consequently in their performance.Read More

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