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  • Is It Too Late in the School Year to Switch to Homeschooling?New year but nothing's really changed? If you're still gritting your teeth through remote learning with your public school, it's not too late to shift to homeschooling with BookShark. You can salvage your school year no matter the month of the year. Here's what BookShark mom Charlotte M. R. says about her decision to pull her kids from public school mid-year: "I pulled my 5th and 7th grader in October and my 12th grader in November. When I talked with my senior about it, I told him that it’s important to know the difference in leaving an unhealthy situation and quitting.Read More

  • When Mom Has ADHD: Tips for Parenting and HomeschoolingParenting a child with ADHD is difficult. For a mom with ADHD, though, it can feel nearly overwhelming. There are the typical symptoms of ADHD, which often pose a challenge to a person’s ability to think clearly on demand. But, since parents with ADHD are more likely to have children who also have the disorder, these moms may struggle to manage both their own symptoms and those of their child. How can moms with ADHD cope with the stresses of their own lives while parenting and homeschooling successfully? These tips for the ADHD mom can help.

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  • Visual aids work. It’s the reason companies spend thousands of dollars on an icon to represent their brand. The same principle works for us homeschool moms. When we can connect homeschool lessons to an interactive, visual learning aid, children will understand and remember more readily. If your children are crafty and enjoy cutting, coloring, writing, and assembling papercrafts, lap books are a fabulous way to add a visual and hands-on component to whatever curriculum you use. A lap book is an interactive notebook with smaller mini books affixed onto a file folder. It's a fun way for craft-loving kids to organize what they learn. The creation of the lap book is part of the learning. And then the reviewing of the lap book cements the learning for long-term retention.Read More

  • When you homeschool, you have extreme freedom: freedom to choose the curriculum you want to follow, freedom to do schoolwork in the morning, afternoon, or evening, and freedom to shelve schoolwork for a day and take a fieldtrip. You, as the teacher, are the one shaping your child’s education. Yet most of us homeschooling parents, especially those of us who ourselves attended traditional school, have trouble letting go of the brick-and-mortar school mentality. It’s deeply rooted within us, and we may not even realize how much it is influencing us and our decisions when it comes to our children’s education. These hidden assumptions are demonstrated clearly in the many misconceptions people have about BookShark.Read More

  • Is a Homeschool Co-op Right for You?Have you ever wondered what a homeschool co-op is and whether you should be a part of one? Co-op means co-operative. At its most simple function, a co-op is a partnership between families, working together to educate their children. While all co-ops share this same basic goal, no two co-ops are exactly alike. These three examples of specific homeschool co-ops, give you a sense for how broadly the term can be applied.

    1. For 31 weeks, dozens of families meet together at a local church each Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Kids choose from a variety of classes that are offered during 6 class periods.

    2. Once a month, three families get together a local park to complete an art project.

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  • 4 Ways to Outsource Your Homeschool for the Best EducationWhen my children were born, I knew I wanted to homeschool them. To me, homeschooling meant me, at home, teaching them with books and hands-on projects. Of course, time changes things, and our perspectives grow. Six years later, a lot of the education my children receive does not come directly from me, and it doesn’t happen in our home. My definition of homeschooling has transitioned into something broader than I originally envisioned.

    I spend a lot of time chatting with fellow homeschoolers, and one thing that often comes up, especially as children get older and subjects become more intense, is feeling overwhelmed. We want the best education possible for our children, and often we simply cannot do that on our own.

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  • 3 Key Areas of Time Management for Kids of All AgesTime management is an area we all want to our kids to master. For that matter, most of us moms need improvement in this area as well! I have a high schooler this year. More than ever, I’m seeing how important time management is for him. I’ve been gradually stepping back so he can develop his own tactics and learn to take responsibility for his use of time. But because he’s under my roof, I feel I have a responsibility to guide him where I can —making suggestions, dropping hints, and subtly reminding.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there are two elementary kids in the mix as well. They are obviously not as responsible as my teenager and definitely need more prompting. The bottom line is, with four kids, a blogging business, homeschooling, and everything else that mom-life entails, I don’t have time to micromanage. I need all of my children to carry their own weight not only so they learn time management but also so that I don’t lose my mind.

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  • 13 Ways to Spend Your Fifth Day with No Homeschool LessonsMany homeschoolers prefer a four-day school week to the traditional Monday through Friday routine. In years past, I have followed this shorter school schedule that BookShark uses, having four full days of school from about 9 1 p.m. and taking Fridays off from normal lesson plans. I found that the fifth day offered a treasure trove of time and space for fun with my kids. It’s still a weekday, so everyone else is at work or school — everyone except you! Not sure if this schedule is for you? Here are thirteen different ways you could be spending your fifth day without BookShark lessons.Read More

  • Managing Your Time as a Homeschool Mom Who Works from HomeOnce you have decided to work at home, you are faced with a huge challenge —managing your time. Homeschool moms are busy, and you may be wondering how in the world you are going to find time to work while you educate your children at home. Don’t worry! You can find time to work at home while homeschooling. It simply takes a little creativity and learning how to manage well the time that you do have. Finding Time to Work The first step in managing your time is ferreting out the time to work. This part can be tricky because it requires you to look at your day with a critical and ruthless eye. I recommend you begin by writing down how your days normally look.

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  • How to Encourage Your Teen Towards an Active LifestyleWe all know that it’s important to lead an active lifestyle, regardless of your age. There are dozens of known benefits to regular exercise: better sleep, muscle strength, lower anxiety levels, positive self-esteem, clearer complexion, enhanced mood, improved focus, and a stronger immune system, just to name a few. Not only do adults benefit from exercise; our children and teens do too.

    There’s actually another essential reason to get your kids started on a habit of regular exercise now, while they’re young. Regular physical activity is crucial to your child’s brain.

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