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  • 3 Reasons Reading to Children MattersI remember the smell of my elementary school library and brand new books fresh off the press at the annual book fair. My love for books was sparked as a young child when first my mother, then my school librarian, taught me the beauty of being taken far away from my home on an air force base in Greatfalls, Montana to civilizations and lands I’d never known. The magic that transformed my bedroom to a castle was what made family storytime the best time of the day for me.

    Despite the tech savviness of today’s youth, great books still lay a solid foundation in education and play an important role in childhood. As much as I embrace social media and technology, I find myself wondering how to create a balance between providing time to enjoy good literature versus tinkering with tech.

    Setting aside a family story time provides many benefits to our children.

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  • The Top Three Reasons to HomeschoolEach time I think about the reasons we decided to embark on this homeschool journey, I can’t help but reflect on the positive aspects of homeschooling and the benefits it brings to our family. Homeschooling hasn’t always been perfect, but the benefits for us have far outweighed the negatives.


    Homeschooling has given us a generous amount of flexibility. I’ve found that no matter our educational philosophy or outlook, we’ve always been able to be a lot more flexible in our scheduling than our public and private school counterparts.

    Each year our homeschool looks a little different, and with our current choice to enroll in a virtual school, I had assumed that our schedule would tighten up a bit. However, what I found really surprised me: we still have a great amount of flexibility in how and when we complete school work.

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  • Stop Summer Slide by Encouraging Summer ReadingThe research is clear that kids lose educational progress while on summer break. It is estimated that this summer slide accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their upper/middle class peers.

    This summer regression happens math, science, writing, and especially in reading. Reading offers a gateway into all the other subjects. Reading allows children to stretch their brains and heighten their imaginations. While reading, they pick up information about science, grammar, and history. It can inspire them to read more and want to learn more.

    But my child doesn't like reading in the first place. How am I to get them to read during their summer break?

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  • I have always been inspired by the change of seasons. Each new season brings with it fresh challenges, changing weather, and projects to look forward to. This changing season of late spring over to summer is especially busy for homeschool mamas. Most of us are just wrapping up a busy year of school. Our paper portfolios are bulging and our school rooms are a wreck. There’s much to be done to transition from school into summer. It’s so busy in fact, that I created a checklist to keep us on track these last few weeks of school.

    End-of-the-year testing

    If you haven’t had your kids take their yearly testing, now is the time. We are starting this week and nothing feels better than sending off those test sheets to be graded--such a relief to be done! Some states don’t require a yearly standardized test, but for us, we feel like it’s a good idea to see how our kids are shaping up for the year.

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  • When school is out and summer is upon us, it can be difficult to keep our kids' minds engaged in the learning process. To avoid the summer slide (a term coined to indicate the loss of knowledge over the summer months), encourage your kids to read or in the case of younger children, read with them.

    To help you plan your summer reading, below is a list of books for Kindergarten through second grade. Every child’s reading level varies, so some will be harder or easier. But all should be age appropriate as far as content is concerned. (Please note that you, as the parent, should still screen each book for your own personal standards.)

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  • Children of all ages are using the internet. And I don’t know about you, but I use the internet every day for fun, learning, and to find out how to do things. As a parent, I know my kids need to learn how to use the internet safely, but I’m nervous they’ll accidentally come across inappropriate content.

    In doing my own research, I’ve found some tools that can give busy homeschool moms peace of mind as they navigate the world of safe internet usage for kids.

    Technology can be amazing, but it can also be risky for young children. When you’re concerned about your children’s use of the internet, you want to see what websites they’ve visited and how they’re using the computer. Here are some things you can do to monitor your kids’ internet activity:

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  • When families begin homeschooling, it seems natural for moms to step in and do the bulk of the teaching, organizing, and planning. As the primary or sole wage earner for the family, dads are considered the principal of the homeschool. However, this situation also puts dads at a disadvantage. They come home at the end of the workday and don’t know what went on or how the children are performing in school. When children are in public school, they tend to come home with notes from the teacher, graded papers, and homework, all which keep dads informed.

    How can a family change this pattern? Here are some tips to get dad involved in homeschooling!

    Share Your Daily High and Low

    High and low is a conversation starter when the family shares parts of their day with each other. During dinner time, bed time, or sometime in the evening, let each family member share what the highlight of their day was and what the low point of the day was. Sometimes this may not be related to their homeschool day, but it is still a great way to share the happenings of the day and build family relationships.

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  • Ask This Simple Question About Any Book to Start a There is a reason that the technique of storytelling has been used in all cultures and civilizations throughout time to impart standards of conduct among their people. From Aesop to Jesus, stories are an easily relatable vehicle to teach ethics and impart moral truths. I realized the value of narrative for developing character a few years ago when my daughter finished reading the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. She entered the kitchen where I was prepping dinner and complained about Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s decision to split up in their quest to defeat Voldemort. She was aghast that they chose to go it alone instead of using their united strength, “Mom, don’t they realize they are stronger together than apart?!”Read More

  • Encouraging your kids to read during the summer months is a great way to keep their minds active and engaged. Simply by reading throughout the summer they can learn new things, reinforce old material, and engage in journeys without ever having to leave home!

    Sometimes it can be difficult to choose books to spark your child’s interest, so here are twenty suggestions for grades 3 through 5. Please note that every child’s reading level varies, so some selections will be harder or easier. (And of course, all books should be screened by a parent.)

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  • 3 Reasons To Use Ereaders For HomeschoolUp until a few years ago, we mostly used used online or print resources in our homeschool. Now, with the introduction of a Kindle to our home, a world of learning possibilities has opened up. Our ereader has come in handy both for me — the parent-teacher — and for my kids. 

      Ereaders make homeschool easy on the go.

    We travel a lot as a family. In fact, our trips are often spontaneous with less than a week's notice that we are packing up to leave with my husband.

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