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  • Reading is an important part of any child’s education. It opens doors into the past, the future, and even the other side of the world. Children who love reading have a huge advantage. They’ve absorbed advanced vocabulary and grammar without even realizing it. As a homeschool parent, you have great leverage to turn your children into bookworms. Here are three simple tricks to impart the book loving gene.

    Make Reading Pleasurable

    Reading shouldn’t be a miserable affair; it should be pleasant. Kids should have comfortable chairs with soft pillows and cozy blankets to curl up on. The chairs should beckon kids to them, draw them in like the Pied Piper, and call them to spend an afternoon reading a good book.

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  • No one can question the position of the zoo in the canon of homeschool field trip destinations. Who can resist the enchantment of watching monkeys swinging from ropes, observing penguins eating fresh fish, and walking through a butterfly pavilion? The zoo is a go-to choice for getting out of the house on a day with pleasant weather when public school is in session. However, instead of visiting the zoo, you may want to bring the zoo to your homeschool group! Many homeschoolers in my particular group couldn’t visit the zoo because of lengthy illnesses, a long driving distance to the zoo, limited funds, or transportation problems. Our solution was to contact our local zoo about their community outreach program.Read More

  • "The best way to teach people is by telling a story." ~ Kenneth Blanchard Throughout time people have loved telling and listening to stories. I know that as a child I loved to listen to my grandparents and parents tell stories of what life was like when they were young. Stories have long been used to connect and teach people about their past. Studies also tell us that people remember things more easily if it is told in a story format. Teaching through story is a powerful, engaging tool to use in your homeschool to increase retention and interest.

    Story-telling is the perfect vehicle to transmit information in a way that is easy to remember. There is a reason that moral teachers from Jesus to Confucius to Aesop taught through stories. I can still remember a story that my elementary music teacher told us to remember the difference between a whole and half rest even though it’s been thirty years since I heard it! Stories make a lasting impact if used correctly.

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  • Having one preschooler rolling around on the floor, a toddler beside me trying to take the book from me, and a newborn son in my arms, my day started out more like a juggling act than read aloud time. 

    I no longer have to guess whether or not what seemed like half-hearted attempts at planting tender reading seeds would flourish and bloom because today all of my sons are voracious readers.

    Our reading journey has had many ups and downs, but nurturing a love of reading can be traced back to how I approached books while my sons were babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. 

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  • 4 Smart Ways to Reconnect After a Bad Homeschool Day

    Gloomy skies and bickering kids make homeschool moms everywhere long for warm, sunny beaches. Are you in this spot, trying to recover from a bad homeschool day when the kids bickered, argued, and complained about school from breakfast to lunch?

    The biggest problem with bad homeschool days is they cause a disconnection between mother and child. Kids spend the day whining; moms spend the day wistfully watching the yellow school bus drive by. Both child and mother are irritated with each other.

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  • Three Lies Believed by the Homeschool PerfectionistIn high school, I recognized my tendency to exclude people from my circle of friends who didn’t take advanced classes. Being demanding of others and setting unrealistic expectations for myself was a miserable place to be. My convictions were exhausting.

    When I started homeschooling, it didn’t change; homeschooling merely fueled my tendency for perfectionism. There were three primary lies I believed as a homeschool perfectionist. I share them here to hopefully keep this faulty mindset from overtaking your homeschool as it did to mine.

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  • Why Literature-Based Schooling Is Perfect During Uncertain TimesWith all that has changed around the world this year, one of the most obviously impacted areas has been schooling. Entire campuses closed with no notice. Co-ops were cancelled. Desks were placed yards apart, screens became instructors, and education became a series of boxes to check rather than an enriching experience.

    Whether you’ve always homeschooled or find yourself at the beginning of your home education journey, it’s impossible not to have been affected by the current state of the world. Times are uncertain, and we find ourselves craving, needing, something solid we can cling to, look to, and depend upon.

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  • 7

    A number of years ago, Walt Disney World marathon was celebrating its 15th anniversary with a special finisher’s medal that I wanted. I had never run a race before. In fact, I had never run a single mile. But I firmly believed I could run a 26.2 mile race. Crazy, huh?

    At some point my husband and I verbalized another seemingly impossible idea — what if we don’t send our kids to school and instead we teach them at home? Again, crazy.

    Along the way, I’ve realized that much of what I learned while preparing for and running a marathon relates directly to our homeschooling journey.

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  • Why a Spiral Approach Works for Teaching ScienceAs a child, you probably found yourself twisting the spiral that bound your notebook together, watching it circle through the holes down the side of the paper. It looped through a hole then through the next, over and over again all the way up the page. The spiral is a bit mesmerizing to both the eye and the touch. In education, we use the analogy of a spiral to describe a type of teaching.

    A spiral approach to teaching means students circle back to learn about topics multiple times throughout their education, allowing them to remember more at a greater depth as they advance through their studies. BookShark Science uses this spiral technique.

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  • 7 Ways Children Can Gain Read Aloud ConfidenceThe best way to build a reader is to read aloud early and often, to surround yourselves with print, and to delight in the written word. If your child has positive memories around reading, and if your child sees you reading regularly, you are on the path to raising a reader. That said, not all readers are confident at reading aloud. In fact, many adults will blush and stammer when asked to read aloud! Still, this is a skill that should not be overlooked in your homeschool experience. Reading aloud builds fluency, boosts comprehension, and engages critical thinking skills.

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