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  • Roald Dahl said, “By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” While I believe Dahl is right, if my children thought they needed to revise a story one hundred and fifty times to produce good writing, they’d never pick up a pencil again. But if not one hundred and fifty times, then how many? How many times should our child retake a test, re-do an assignment, rework math problems, or revise their writing? Should they do their best the first time or be given as many times as it takes to get it right?Read More

  • We help our children strive for independence from pretty much day one. When our kids hold their heads up or roll over for the first time, we celebrate. We help them learn to walk, talk, write their names, and read. We guide them through social situations, giving them the tools they need to engage politely and communicate clearly.

    We teach them with an eye towards independence because eventually, they will be on their own. Like me, you probably also shed a few tears and wish for a rewind button when you think about your children flying from the nest. Independence is great, but it’s hard for a parent to swallow the reality of not being needed as much.

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  • Ever since my oldest decided to go back to school, I’ve mourned the days when our schedule was our own and we traveled off-season whenever we wanted. I loved the lack of crowds, the discounted pricing, and how spontaneous we could be. I also loved how we could take our learning with us wherever we went. When we visited family or joined my husband on a work trip, we could maintain a familiar structure to our day.

    BookShark is now making homeschooling on the road a lot easier. BookShark Virtual allows students to tap into their lessons and assignments anywhere with internet access! So whether you’ll be vacationing for a week or traveling for a year, BookShark Virtual makes it easy for students and parents to homeschool.

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  • Day by Day Homeschooling: A Doable Approach to Fight Overwhelm"Just have one good day. Then repeat." —James Clear

    In the writing classes I teach to adults, we often use Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This hysterical handbook has an illustration I have applied many times to my role of a writer, a mother, and a homeschooler.

    Lamott recounts a memory from her childhood where her younger brother put off a research paper on birds until the last minute. Her father, seeing her brother frustrated and overwhelmed, sat down with him and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

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  • Help! Our Science Experiment FailedToday is science experiment day. You’ve collected all of the necessary supplies, you have instructions, and your kids are excited! This experiment is going to be so much fun, you think, patting yourself on the back.

    Hands-on science for the win!

    Or not, because something goes wrong: The seeds don’t sprout. The seeds mold or die before your kids take measurements. The water clock doesn’t tell time. The explosion is a dud. The tricky thing about science experiments is they can flop or not work as expected.

    What do homeschoolers do when an experiment doesn’t go our way? We turn it into a new lesson, maybe one not related to science, and try, try again.

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  • Yes, It's Okay to Take a BreakDo you ever find yourself questioning if it’s okay to take a break from homeschooling? We can feel a longing for a break and rationally see the need for a break, but for whatever reason taking a break can feel wrong.

    In our eight years of homeschooling, my kids and I have taken a number of unplanned breaks. Whether the pause from lessons lasted a day or a week, I’ve never once regretted taking a rest from our homeschool routine. I have, however, regretted not taking a break sooner.

    Taking a break is not a sign of failure or weakness. More often than not, it's exactly what our kids or we need in order to let our brains process, refuel, and learn. Below are some of the times it is absolutely okay and necessary to take a homeschool break.

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  • Homeschool Learning Spaces: The Reading NookNo matter what style of homeschooling you follow, reading is probably a very strong part of your homeschooling journey because reading is one of the best ways to learn about the world, all from the comfort of your own home.

    Unschoolers read. Relaxed homeschoolers read. Charlotte Mason homeschoolers read. Montessori followers read. Classical homeschoolers read.

    All homeschoolers read!

    Since reading is a natural part of homeschooling, it’s only natural that you want your learning space to include a comfortable reading nook. But what do you do when you don’t have the space or the money to set up the reading nook of your homeschool mom dreams?

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  • Five Reasons I Said Yes to Homeschooling First GradeOne of the most difficult decisions as a parent is figuring out your child’s education. It’s definitely been the biggest stressor so far for me. Starting when our daughter was young as 18 months, we stressed over whether it was better to have her attend an in-home preschool, a public preschool, or (what we finally decided upon) a Montessori school.

    We thought having a great base education for our child before she started elementary school would give her the confidence to enjoy school and be a lifelong learner.

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  • Homeschool Learning Spaces: Displaying Children's WorkNo matter what stage of your homeschool adventure you are in, an area for displaying student work is something your whole family will benefit from in multiple ways: student encouragement, personalized praise, motivation, nurturing a growth mindset, simple and cost-effective decorations.

    When you include a space in your classroom for displaying students' work, you are saying to the world, "Look at this wonderful thing my child did! I am so proud." Your child can bask in the unspoken affirmations you are providing when you hang up something they created with their own two hands.

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  • How to Find Audiobooks for BookShark Curriculum Many BookShark parents love to outsource some of the scheduled reading aloud to audiobooks. This hack gives them a bit more time, saves their voice, and even allows the entire family to enjoy the listening experience together while traveling or doing chores.

    Another big use of audiobooks in homeschooling is by children who struggle with reading independently. Whether it’s due to dyslexia or just learning at a slower pace, these students benefit from hearing their Readers delivered in audiobook form.

    Due to licensing challenges, BookShark itself does not provide audiobooks alongside its literature-based curriculum. But with a touch of resourcefulness, you can piece together what you need. Here are our recommendations to get you started with your search of audiobooks for BookShark.

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