• 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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  • 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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