• Spend even a little time with children and it’s pretty apparent the important role transitions play. When I have the foresight to give my kids a heads up that change is on its way, things go a lot smoother. From the simple reminder that we’ll be leaving in ten minutes to the ritual of a bedtime snack and story before bed, preparing kids for what's coming next gives them the capacity to better adjust.

    For our family, summer is all about sleeping in and staying up late. Summer is a lot of downtime and very few requirements. From past experience I know if we go straight from lazy summer days to fall’s more stringent routine, there is going to be a lot of push back! I’ve found it’s best if we take a couple of weeks to gently transition into new rhythms.

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  • We have read the research and we know how important it is to raise our children in a print-rich environment. The number of books a family has in their home is linked to academic achievement. But building a library can be an expensive venture. No one can afford to go out and buy several hundred books at once.

    With planning and patience, you can slowly grow your library over time. Before you buy, know what to look for so that you spend wisely. The following books have helpful book lists: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt, Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin, and Reading Magic by Mem Fox. Create a wish list of the titles you would like to add to your library, and then start your book hunt!

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  • Although you don't have to be a homeschooler to love books, being a homeschooler seems to make you more likely to be a book hoarder! After all, educating from home is easier when you have a collection of your own resources on hand to use whenever the need or desire arises.

    Of course, we all have limitations of one kind or another that keep us from owning the dream library we may want. Here are some tips for building your home library as a homeschooling family. Ask yourself these questions.

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  • Have you ever felt a bit sheepish because your kids are still in their pajamas at four in the afternoon? Have you ever second-guessed yourself when the topic of bedtime comes up in conversation with other parents? And what about how late your kids sleep in?

    It’s easy to slip into the mindset that we’ve developed bad habits and we need to make changes to whip our crew back into shape. But the truth is, our so-called bad habits may be the fertile soil that allows our homeschools to thrive.

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  • After six years of homeschooling, loving it and feeling successful, I’m here to say I have fallen off the homeschool wagon. Big time! A move, followed by the holidays, followed by major house issues and renovations zapped the creativity and energy I once had. My homeschool well is dry! For the last several months, homeschooling has not felt even a little fun. It’s felt like work. All I could think about was the to-do list looming and how it would be easier if my daughter were in public school. Homeschooling asks a lot of us. It’s not easy, especially when life changes or chaos enter our lives. The truth is I would have had a lot more time to work, recharge, and get things done if we’d stopped homeschooling.Read More

  • Among the many benefits of homeschooling, flexibility is at the top of the list. Because homeschoolers are not tied to school calendars, we don't have to wait until school holidays in order to get some rest and relaxation. Homeschoolers are able to take vacations during the school year when rates are less expensive and locations are less crowded. Because of this freedom, some homeschoolers travel more often than their public school counterparts. They may world school or road school or spend more time visiting family around the country. While many may opt to abandon homeschooling while on vacation, other homeschoolers may prefer to keep a routine in place. Here are some easy ways to homeschool while on vacation and still leave plenty of space for fun!Read More

  • The journey of teaching my younger two to read and write has often been difficult. No matter how gently or how slowly I try, the frustration with letters and words is still there. And yet, in the midst of that struggle to read, there has never been a struggle with books or stories themselves.

    My kids love books. They love stories. A literature-rich education has been a constant for us, regardless of dyslexia.

    Books stack two rows deep on shelves and spill over onto the floor. An audiobook blasts to life every time I start my car. My kids crowd around the tablet, not to play an app, but to listen to an audio drama.

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  • Sometimes we’re stuck at the kitchen table nearly all day. We watch our kids drill math facts, trace maps of the fifty states, and work on spelling words from that table. Then we pull out our latest historical novel and read aloud while the kids color or play quietly with blocks. We eat snacks and lunch right there at that same kitchen table. Besides bathroom breaks and the inevitable dash to find a pencil sharpener or ruler, we find ourselves constantly hovering over our kids in that hub of our home — the kitchen.

    If you've had your fill of kitchen table homeschooling, here are seven ideas for learning in other areas.

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  • If you homeschool for any length of time, you’ll inevitably struggle with the idea that a different curriculum than you’re currently using might be a better for you and your child, even if you’re current curriculum is a good fit!

    Why We Chose BookShark Homeschool Curriculum

    My oldest loves history and reading, and we chose BookShark for that exact reason. While using BookShark, my son received a strong historical overview of the time period that we were studying, but he also got plenty of excellent historical fiction related to the events he was studying in history.

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  • Setting your own daily schedule is a wonderful luxury homeschooling brings. We’re not scrambling to get kids on the bus at 7:30 in the morning. Breakfast becomes a leisurely meal instead of a frantic race against the clock. The shift into and out of Daylight Savings Time hardly impacts us.

    You have time to welcome the morning, spend time with your children, and enjoy a slow start. You determine the course of your day by setting your own daily schedule regardless of what the school does or what your other homeschool peers are doing.

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