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  • I am a book lover. I am also homeschooling two miniature book lovers. We are a family with an affinity for books. Books fill our home; they are in every nook and cranny. Shelves are piled high with the written word. You’ll probably need to move a book (or three) before sitting on our couch. And yet, we never seem to have enough. Thank goodness for our local library! Homeschooling would have been nearly impossible for us without borrowing books. For sure it has helped to sustain our homeschool. But what are the pros and cons of homeschooling solely from the library instead of investing in your own home library?Read More

  • We have just started our fifth year of homeschooling with BookShark and have changed our schedule through the years to fit various stages of our life. I've learned to make my curriculum flex for me and my kids while also trusting it to lay a solid academic foundation. I know that BookShark doesn't need extra dressing up beyond a healthy layer of real-life exploration. But how I arrange the lessons is up to me!

    The BookShark Instructor's Guides offer an easy-to-understand four-day schedule that shows me precisely what to cover in each subject each day—what to read, what to talk about, what words to learn, what timeline figures to place in the Timeline Book, what locations to mark on the Markable Map, what Science activities to do, etc. It's a relief to have a base to work from! I don't have to spend energy planning lessons.

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  • Helping Our Homeschooled Children Through Change and Transition

    Even though our homeschooled kids might not have new classrooms to find or new teachers to get used to, each homeschool year brings plenty of changes. Maybe you’re trying a new curriculum or you’re joining a co-op. Maybe your kids take online classes, local classes, or—like me—you have children from your community joining you in your home for the first time.

    Change is constant, and for many kids, it can come as a challenge. Helping our kids meet the change and transition of new routines is important.

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  • So you did it… You placed your order, eagerly stalked your shipment, and finally celebrated your BookShark Box Day! Whether you are new to BookShark or a longtime homeschooler, after happily unpacking your boxes and exploring the piles upon piles of books you just received, you may find yourself feeling a little intimidated. You might even be asking yourself:

    • Where am I going to put all of this?
    • Where do I begin?
    • How will we ever make it through all of these books?

    If you find yourself wondering about these things, don’t worry! You are not alone, and I am here to tell you it is not as scary as you might first think.

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  • People seem to assume that if you choose to homeschool, you must be crafty. Yes, hands-on learning can be beneficial to your children, but not all homeschool moms like to make salt dough maps, sew historical costumes, and build elaborate dioramas with their children.

    I like to be creative sometimes, but I’m more likely to paint or knit than use glitter and printables. However, I want my children to be creative, so how do I provide opportunities for hands-on learning?

    1. Keep the Projects Simple

    For me, simplicity is vital. Day-to-day life as a homeschooling mom of six comes with plenty of non-negotiables such as cooking meals, doing laundry, and refereeing arguments. 

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  • Are you thinking of taking the plunge into homeschooling your children?

    But you’re worried, right? You might even feel overwhelmed.

    What if you fail?

    I’m here to tell you we’ve all had those thoughts and feelings, but guess what? Homeschooling is not going to chew you up and spit you out, and here’s why.

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  • You probably have friends who send their kids to school. You might even envy them sometimes: They get seven whole hours of peace and quiet every day. They actually get to finish things. Their house is clean most of the time! While there are a lot of pros to homeschooling, this lifestyle can be stressful, too, right? It could be that being solely responsible for your child’s education weighs heavy on your shoulders, that trying to stretch one income across all those bills is becoming nearly impossible, or that being with little people all day long drains you. Whatever the source of your stress, admitting homeschooling is stressful doesn’t mean we love homeschooling any less (or that sending our kids to school would be any less stressful). It’s just being honest.Read More

  • Roald Dahl said, “By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” While I believe Dahl is right, if my children thought they needed to revise a story one hundred and fifty times to produce good writing, they’d never pick up a pencil again. But if not one hundred and fifty times, then how many? How many times should our child retake a test, re-do an assignment, rework math problems, or revise their writing? Should they do their best the first time or be given as many times as it takes to get it right?Read More

  • There are a lot of different reasons that people choose to homeschool. At the core of them all is that we feel it is the best thing for our child. No one chooses this path to torture their kids! Most homeschooled kids love learning at home and realize how awesome it is to be homeschooled. But what if your child asks to go to public school? Maybe they went to school before and want to go back, or maybe they just want to see what it is like since they’ve heard other kids talk about it. What do you do when you want to homeschool but your child wants to attend school?Read More

  • I want to develop my child’s natural love of learning. But some days it seems he’s more interested in smashing through the next level of a favorite video game than doing his homeschool assignments. Yes, kids can lose steam with their school work even with the most engaging of curriculum. Encouraging a child’s accountability for their assignments is a challenge, but it is a worthwhile endeavor. When you can motivate your child, you curb their dawdling, you teach them time management, and—in the long run, you raise a young person who can self-regulate. So, what can a parent do to help a child who seems to be slacking? How can a homeschool parent provide the accountability a child needs without micromanaging?Read More

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