• There are lots of words to describe poetry, and you’ve probably heard a few: boring, scary, hard, confusing. But poetry is also exciting, inviting, enchanting, enlightening. What makes one person adore the artform while another views it with distaste? In most cases, a disdain for poetry stems from frustration and fear. The abstract nature and inherent complexity of poetry make it difficult to approach. But poetry instruction in your homeschool matters, precisely because of the division between enthusiasts and detractors. To spread a wider appreciation for poetry, make poetry instruction a vibrant and welcome part of your homeschool day.

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  • Between the stress of puberty and the increasing difficulty of academic material, middle school homeschoolers can feel more than their share of pressure. During these grades, parents can do a lot to help their kids build an independent love for learning. And, while this may involve lots of time now in terms of training, it can be a wonderful asset later on. When children learn how to direct their own learning, it helps them enjoy their educational journey all the more. Here are three easy ways to build independence in middle schoolers.

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  • My two sons are close in age—12 months and 3 weeks apart, to be exact. While this closeness has benefited many aspects of our homeschooling journey, it’s also handed us a few challenges as well.

    Curriculum Benefits

    If your kids are close in age, it’s common to find they’re able to do their subjects together using the same curriculum or study. When my sons were younger, they were separated for a time in math and language arts to solidify their understanding. Now that they are older, however, we’re able to do everything together. My sons often say it’s easier for them to learn together. To be completely honest, it’s easier for me as the teacher when it’s set up that way.

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  • Of course you have already heard a myriad of reasons why homeschooling is such a great educational option. Your probably have your own extensive list of the advantages you've discovered through personal experience. On my own list, I would cite these perks of homeschooling:the freedom to teach what I want when I want, time to allow my children to learn at their own pace, and increased family time.

    There is one reason that doesn't always make it on the lists of reasons to homeschool. But I think it's one of the biggest advantages homeschoolers have over those who educate in a more traditional setting.

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  • Many homeschooling parents are afraid to teach art. They claim that they are not creative and don’t have artistic ability of their own. So they avoid art altogether in favor of more accessible subjects like science and math. Adding art to any homeschooling day doesn’t need to be intimidating —even if you aren't artistic yourself. Plunge in alongside your kids and learn with them, using these fifteen simple ways to add art to any homeschool day. You may worry that some of these techniques are sporadic or too random to be effective. But don't stress about following any kind of scope and sequence for art, especially at first. When you are first starting out, you need to boost your confidence in art by doing what's low-risk and fun. Then branch out as you gain skill and become intrigued by different facets of art.Read More

  • Homeschooling high school seems like a long list of to-dos. You spend hours each day chugging away at math, English, social studies, science, foreign languages, fine arts, and electives. You've got to earn those credits for graduation while also thinking towards future plans of college, vocational training, or military service. There’s little time left for anything else!

    Once you reach the high school stage, most parents have abandoned the four-day homeschool week in an effort to cram in all the necessary academics. After all, when kids were little the school day was short. Seriously, how long does it take to run through math and language arts with a first grader?

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  • A large part of my job as a homeschool blogger and advocate is helping new homeschoolers get started. Newbies have so many questions and feel overwhelmed with information. How do you navigate through it all to find what will work best for your child? I am no expert, but I have been homeschooling for more years than I can count on one hand now, and here is the best advice I can give to people who are just beginning their journey. 1. Plan less than you think you can do. It’s normal to want to do everything, everyday. In the beginning of my homeschool journey, each day included crafts, games, and hands-on activities. Each week included at least one field trip.Read More

  • Homeschooling parents may rely on routines to keep their children organized and on schedule. After a while, though, even the best homeschooling routine can begin to feel a bit stale. And that’s the time when parents (and children) are the most likely to experience homeschool burnout.

    An easy way to break out of a homeschool rut is to shake up the routine. A simple change or two can breathe new life into homeschooling even if it’s only used for a few days. These five ways to shake up a homeschool are easy ways to get everyone excited about learning again.

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  • Rote learning can be extremely boring, but repetition is often necessary to fully grasp basic facts. Instead of merely asking the same questions over and over, I’ve relied on active learning to boost memorization. The addition of physical activity has saved my sanity and engaged my girls in ways verbal memorization never did.

    One of the most classic tools for learning information through repetition is flashcards. They can be useful in subjects like math, science, history, as well as basics for young students, but sitting down flipping through a bunch of cards can make anyone’s eyes glaze over.

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  • We are a Christian homeschooling family, but you won’t find our bookshelves lined with books from Christian publishers. The majority of our home library is made up of curriculum choices which are neutral on things of faith. Here are reasons why I lean towards secular materials for my homeschool. 1. There are too many great books out there. I love books, and I’m sure many of you do too. If I were to exclude everything that wasn’t published by a Christian publisher or didn't have a “Christian stamp of approval,” we would be missing out on so many amazing books. I wouldn’t want that for my kids or for myself! Being open to secular curriculum means we have more options.Read More

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