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  • Calling me in a near panic from his class, my recent homeschool graduate was preparing for his last test in a college business course. Regardless of previous grades, the test was an immediate pass or fail for the entire course. The instructor told the students they would be required to close their laptops, take brief notes, and listen the old-fashioned way. I reminded my son that he had been learning and listening the old-fashioned way since I first taught him how to read. After a few more reassuring words, he was ready for the review and test. Hours went by until I heard back from him.

    Being a wall for your homeschooled teen doesn’t stop when he formally finishes high school, but it begins well before he is a teenager. However, the teen years are the most crucial because they are when a teen is learning independence. Resenting limits while at the same time needing them can make for explosive situations in your home.

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  • Now is the Perfect Time to Try Year-round HomeschoolingWe are living in unprecedented times, about halfway through a year that will likely have its own chapter in future history books. Everything has been disrupted, from meat production and toilet paper availability to gas prices. Images we never thought we’d see have become daily observations. Even those living the most flexible lifestyles have found themselves out of sorts, out of routine, out of control, and that includes homeschoolers.

    At first, when the nation’s public schooled children were sent home to learn, we homeschoolers felt like champions. We offered our help, our wisdom, and our experience. We knew this lifestyle and felt prepared to face whatever was to come because we’d been home all along. We were fine.

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  • When you think homeschool learning spaces, the first thing that typically comes to mind is a nature center or a reading nook, or perhaps even an art center. But what about kids’ electronic devices? How do devices such as tablets and computers fit into your plan for a homeschool room?

    Our homeschool is not exclusively digital. We enjoy learning through books, science experiments, and hands-on projects. But we still have several devices for our kids to use as part of their home education. Unless I stay on top of the device organization, those cords get tangled and tripped over. 

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  • Have you ever mentioned poetry and heard a groan? Every single time I told my students we’d be starting a poetry unit, the room filled with a chorus of nos. My students, like many people, found poetry boring and hard to understand. Poetry was a language they believed they did not speak.

    I understood exactly where they were coming from. Until I took a teaching writing class in college, I stayed as far away from poetry as I could. What changed? Thanks to writing teachers, mentors, and poets, I learned how to approach poetry with curiosity instead of the idea that I needed to find a hidden meaning. I learned there are lots of ways to read and interpret poetry, and no one but the poet knows its exact meaning.

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  • You might not be sure about homeschooling, not to mention child-led learning. I know that I had a skeptical reaction initially. As someone who came from a public school education, it only seemed natural that the teacher was the boss and that learning had to happen in the classroom

    But when it came to educating my own children, I quickly realized that this type of model did not work for us. So after homeschooling my kids for more than two years, I can confidently say that homeschooling is the best because it allows for genuine child-led learning.

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  • One of the most worrisome parts of homeschooling is record keeping; especially for those homeschooling families who live in places with strict homeschooling laws. And just because you live in a homeschool friendly place right now doesn’t guarantee you will never move to a place that requires you to keep regular records of your kids’ home education.

    No matter where you live, it is always a good idea to keep at least a minimal amount of homeschool records.

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  • My kids consume books like air, and there are entire homeschool days when we get so lost in a story that we forget to do math. If you’re considering buying any of BookShark’s literature-based programs, then I’m sure you can relate. There is just nothing that beats the feeling of being swept up in words, and my kids respond really well to the time spent cuddled up together, lost in historical fiction.

    BookShark, naturally, is a perfect fit for voracious and eager readers. Sometimes, though, an issue arises with my order that I know other readers can relate to: We already have some of the books included in the curriculum package.

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  • It seems that parenting and education have become all about reaching milestones and getting grades. This focus on achievement is fine for some parents and their children. But if your child does not fit into the typical pattern of success, it’s easy to feel as if there is something wrong with them and that you’re a bad parent. 

    But you can opt out of this cycle thanks to homeschooling. It's is the perfect way to educate kids who need a bit of extra time or even those who need less time to do something.

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  • Have you ever had a conversation like this in your home?

    Parent: How’s your book?

    Child: It’s good.

    Parent: Why is it good?

    Child: I don’t know. I just like it.

    Talking with our kids about a book they are reading can peter out before the conversation even starts. Why? Just like we help our kids learn to read, we have to help our children learn how to discuss what they read.

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  • Are you trying to figure out how to assess your child’s learning with Bookshark’s Reading with History? When using this wonderful curriculum, you may feel a little unsure when you reach the end of a topic or when you try to document your child’s learning. But don’t despair. There are many creative ways you can document and assess your child’s learning. And the best part? No tests required.

    Assessments of learning need not include tests and book reports, yet this is often the default for measuring history knowledge.

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