• We are a travel-loving family, so it is no surprise that we love maps. When we begin preparing for an adventure, we like to see how far our destination is from home. That means we pull out our Markable Map, one of the required resources for any BookShark Reading with History curriculum.

    Of course, talking about an upcoming trip leads to discussions of past journeys as we remember fun family travels we've already taken. Before you know it, the kids are reviewing geography as they relive precious families memories.

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  • When You Are Afraid People Will Judge You for HomeschoolingThe decision to homeschool your children is a big one. You take on not only the parenting duties you already have but also the responsibility of their education. I’ve never known anyone who has decided to homeschool on a whim. Most people weigh the benefits, the concerns, and all the factors they can think of to make the best decision for their family. But even after you’ve made the choice to homeschool, fears can creep in. One big fear that many new (and even seasoned) homeschoolers face is the fear of judgment from others. Maybe your family isn’t supportive of your homeschool journey. Maybe your friends think you’re crazy. Maybe you excitedly shared your decision to homeschool on social media and felt a negative backlash. Possibly none of that has happened yet, but you are paralyzed with the worry that it might occur.Read More

  • Can you believe it’s almost time to start school again? Fortunately, back to school excitement isn’t reserved for traditional students. As homeschoolers, we can make the first days of school just as special for our children with these ten ideas.

    1. New School Supplies

    Remember how it exciting it was to shop for new school supplies? Even though you’re homeschooling, it doesn’t mean you can’t let your kids get a few new things for school.

    Hit the stores for back to school sales or check out the dollar store for some goodies.

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  • How Visual Cues Help You (Really) Achieve Your Homeschool GoalsNo doubt, habits play an essential role in homeschooling, and there are good and lousy homeschool habits. However, consistency has never been my strong suit.

    Some homeschool moms seem to have endless energy, organization, and efficient time management. For my part, sometimes it's lunchtime before I realize we haven't read aloud and no one has done math.

    So I’m going to try something new to keep moving forward and build good habits. 

    It can be a troubling thought, but all moms know we set the tone for the house. Our habits become our family's habits.

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  • Back to school is here, and with it comes our annual homeschool preparations. As the homeschool mom, you really do set the tone for your homeschool! That's not to say that your kids don't get infected with crankiness or apathy from time to time, but your enthusiasm is contagious. If you are excited to break into that new curriculum package, your children will sense it and likely mirror it. If you approach learning with a curious, light-hearted attitude, they will probably do the same. On the other hand, if you are resentful of the time homeschooling takes or approach it in an overly formal way, your children will model after your darker tone. Here are the three ways that I set the tone positive for a fresh homeschool year.Read More

  • Do These 3 Things Now for a Smoother Homeschool YearIf your family takes a break from homeschooling over the summer, then you probably relish the chance to put all thoughts of school on the shelf and have a more flexible schedule. This is a good thing! It’s beneficial for mom and for the kids to have time to invest in other pursuits. However, there are some truly useful things that you can do now to smooth the way for the new school year. And you don’t have to give up the relaxed feel of summer break! 1. Setting Routines In the summer, I let my little people sleep in later, and they have a lot more free time and flexibility during the day. However, we still keep a few pegs in the routine.Read More

  • If ever there was a time I felt that homeschooling might be just too hard, it was when I was trying to homeschool through pregnancy. I’d done it once before, and while my pregnancies aren’t that bad compared to other women’s, it was still no picnic. It’s easy to feel like the burden of being pregnant is the end of your homeschool.

    I'm not exactly looking forward to homeschooling through pregnancy again. However, I want to offer you hope that it is possible.

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  • Starting homeschool lessons again in the fall can be a little tricky after savoring a relaxing summer with no schoolwork. Over the years, I have found that doing something fun and unique to kick off the homeschool year makes for a smoother transition than abruptly moving from lazy days to a full homeschool routine. Have a “Not” Back to School Party We have an annual “not” back to school picnic with our homeschool group, but you could certainly organize something on a smaller scale with a few families or even with you and your children.Read More

  • “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” —Benjamin Franklin

    If our well is dry, homeschooling (the good and the hard) can feel impossible. Homeschooling doesn’t offer us planning periods or lunch breaks. We don’t get paid time off or teacher work days built into our schedules. Our days are dictated by the things we say yes to.

    Yes to piano lessons and helping each child with their math.

    Yes to read-alouds, meal prep, co-ops, French lessons, and play-group.

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  • For most of us, summer is the time we take a break and plan homeschool for the upcoming year. It can be overwhelming to get get ready for the fall while you also make time for relaxation, but here are a few tips to help.

    Figure out what worked last year

    If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, look at the past year and think about what worked for you and what was a flop. If you are just beginning your homeschool journey, you won’t have a lot to go on, but you can still make observations about what your child likes to do and how they do it.

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