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  • Why Elementary Kids Need History & Science Alongside the 3RsOn social media or while talking to other homeschool moms, new homeschoolers often ask how much time they should expect their school days to take, or what subjects they should cover. Inevitably, some more experienced parents advise them to simply make sure they cover the basics of language arts and math, or tell them they don’t need to do school more than a few hours a morning during the elementary years.

    Although there’s nothing wrong with thinking through a schedule—what you will cover each day and how long it might take—there’s a danger when we seek the opinions of others who may not share our view of homeschooling. We can end up with a focus on doing the minimum required instead of nurturing the natural wonder and curiosity of childhood. 

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  • 3 Things Homeschoolers Need to UnlearnHomeschooling has been on the rise in the last few decades due firstly to the flexibility and freedom it provides and then lately because of a worldwide pandemic. Changing the setting of instruction from classroom to kitchen table doesn’t always change the methods of learning though.

    Whether due to societal pressures, status quo, insecurities, exhaustion, or just being unaware, there are still many obstacles to true freedom in homeschooling. These obstacles aren't the legal kind, the financial aspect, or even the question of who is qualified to teach their own children. (Spoiler: Everyone is qualified.) The obstacles that cause the most stumbles for homeschoolers are commonly centered on what homeschool parents need to unlearn.

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  • Great Books Deserve Great Projects: 7 Alternatives to Book ReportsDo you remember writing book reports as a kid? I do.

    Do you remember what books you wrote about? I don’t.

    Why is that?

    Let’s be perfectly honest: A book report is boring with a capital B. They are boring to write, and I can assure you from a teacher’s point of view, they are boring to read. It’s really a shame, too, because more often than not, the books are wonderful!

    Because a great book deserves a great project, we need alternatives to traditional book reports.

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  • Read any good books lately?

    Of course you have! You use BookShark, and it’s full of fantastic fiction, inspiring biographies, and page-turning non-fiction.

    We want to hear about your kids’ favorite books. So to inspire them to share, we’re holding a 6-week book chat contest. One student will win each week! It’s a great way to get your kids talking about books, and you’ll love the prize we have in store for the weekly winners.

    We can't wait to see your children's online book reports! 

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  • Why You Don’t Have to Be Good at Language Arts to Teach It WellMany of us were taught language arts as a disjointed set of unrelated skills—a very ineffective way to learn it. Can you relate to any of these experiences? Learning about a grammar concept and completing ten to twenty exercises after the lesson to practice the new skill. Receiving a list of spelling words on Monday and memorizing them for a test on Friday. Then spelling them incorrectly in your own writing. Defining literary terms and never noticing them in the books you read. Memorizing vocabulary words, but never actually using them while speaking or writing—and then forgetting them. Following a formula to write a paper and hating every minute of it because you were as bored writing it as your teachers were probably reading it.

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  • 10 Tips for Homeschooling Wiggle Worms: Teaching Kids who Love to Move It can be challenging to parent and homeschool a little wiggle worm. Are you homeschooling a child who struggles with ADD, ADHD, SPD, anxiety, or other special needs? If so, here are ten tips that can help!

    1. Establish routines

    Every parent knows that children thrive on routines, but routines are especially important for children who struggle to maintain attention and focus. Trying your best to adhere to a predictable routine can be extremely helpful.

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  • Do Homeschoolers Have Homework?When the topic of homeschooling comes up, many people get a quizzical look on their faces before they ask a funny question: “Do homeschoolers have homework?” My first response —and that of my own children — is “All of our work is homework!" Actually, the answer is more complex than saying because we do school at home, all our work is homework. What about the classes my children take outside the home at a co-op or with a tutor? Is that homework just because we are homeschoolers? What about the field trips we take to zoos, museums, and theaters? Surely those cannot be called homework! Right?Read More

  • Reading Aloud with Your Middle Schooler: Why, How, and WhatBy middle school, many of us homeschool moms stop reading with our children. Kids are “too cool” for it, and we parents assume they would rather read on their own. After all, they have full proficiency with reading now. However, I’ve caught my older son sitting nearby, listening in as I read to his little brother. Despite being a middle schooler, he still enjoys being read to!

    Regardless of age, children love the connection of read aloud times. But how do you read aloud with your child when they feel they are too old to cuddle? And what do you read when they’re too old for picture books?

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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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