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  • Heartfelt Discussion Versus Question & AnswerNow more than ever, it is important that we are talking to one another. New social distancing rules have found many families staying home more to ensure their health. This means fewer co-ops, outings, and field trips, and fewer in-person connections with friends. For many homeschoolers, this means we are with our families more than ever.

    While this time together brings challenges, it also provides the opportunity to truly connect with each other. The closeness that we’ve been offered is a great time to have heartfelt conversations with our children while they’re learning, rather than simple question/answer moments.

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  • 5 Reasons to Keep a History TimelineWith history’s constant expansion, it’s easy to understand why homeschooling the subject may feel a bit daunting. How can children begin to grasp how it all fits together? There are so many people, cultures, continents, and events!

    One answer is a history timeline.

    Timelines come in a variety of formats, but one thing is consistent. Whether it’s vertical or horizontal, there’s a dated line that helps students put information in chronological order. Students can create history timelines for a variety of reasons.

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  • 3 Ways BookShark Sets the Stage for Accurate Homeschool HistoryHistory has been my favorite subject for as long as I can remember. I used to fall asleep every night watching History Channel documentaries when I was in high school, and I still read biographies just for the fun of it. Maybe it’s just because I’m nosy, but I can never get enough history. Fortunately there’s never a lack of it to devour!

    Imagine my delight when my homeschooled kiddo showed the same interest and enjoyment in history. He couldn’t get enough, and I quickly found that the homeschool history textbooks available were not only insufficient to satiate his thirst for knowledge. They were also sadly, wildly, and infuriatingly inaccurate.

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  • Many families are happy to fully commit to homeschooling with a BookShark All-Subject Package. Besides that nifty 20% off retail discount, having all your curriculum come in a single order is incredibly convenient. It saves parents untold time and energy in planning a school year full of high-interest learning.

    But BookShark also offers opportunities for families who want to take advantage of the literature-based, spiral goodness in a smaller way, without committing to the full package.

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  • Answers for Procrastination in Your Homeschool We’ve all been there. A deadline approaches, yet there's no motivation to get the project done. The laundry piles up... until there's nothing clean to wear. Faced with a long to-do list, we feel the urgent need to paint, take a nap, or do anything but the things we need to do.

    Procrastination is a human phenomenon which happens to everyone at some point, even our children. When it rears its head, it’s best to figure out the underlying cause and find solutions for it, rather than simply trudging through the work. There are three primary reasons for procrastination: 1. A task does not seem meaningful. 2. A task is unstructured. 3. A task seems too difficult.

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  • 10 Sanity-saving Activities with Stuff You Already Have on HandOne of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned as a teacher and a homeschooler is to have spur-of-the-moment activities in my mental back pocket when plans change, co-op classes get canceled, we're having a bad day, or a sunny day activity is ruined by rain.

    When our best-laid plans are derailed, these sanity-savers come to the rescue! We all need a handful of fun, engaging activities that don’t require a trip to the store or a lot of prep. Here are some of my favorites of save-the-day (and your sanity) activities using stuff you probably already have on hand!

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  • How BookShark Science Makes My Daughter a Stronger Reader  My daughter grabs her BookShark binder and the Science book she’s currently reading. I grab my Instructor’s Guide and tell her which pages and questions we’ll be doing. She flips to the pages we’ll be reading today; immediately her questions and comments begin flowing.

    Beautifully illustrated or photographed, all of the books capture her attention. “Let’s read and find out more,” I say. She doesn’t hesitate and either hands the book my way or begins to read herself. We take turns reading to each other.

    When we started our BookShark Science curriculum several months ago, she was not eager to read. But now, it's different! Now she is often so interested in the text, she forgets to hand the book back to me and simply keeps reading.

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  • My kids are huge LEGO fans. Although a LEGO obsession is not unique, it’s important to my family for a number of reasons. Time after time we were told by public school teachers and administrators that our kids could not focus. We were told that they would need to be held back a year because they couldn’t accomplish simple tasks.

    But the colourful little blocks proved to us that this was not the case. Our kids can focus. They can build complicated models and create new ones because they are passionate about LEGO.

    The chance to learn with passion and interest can and should extend to all children. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way kids are educated. We need to move away from one-size-fits-all education, and this is where homeschooling comes in.

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  • I used to think that having children was the end of adventure, or at least the end of spontaneous adventure. I was convinced that all trips would have to happen during school vacations and that the trips would be crowded, expensive, stressful, and pressurized. I based this assumption on my own experiences of family vacations as a child. And I had resigned myself to having similar experiences with my kids. If my kids went to school, then we would have to go on vacation with everyone else.

    But then we started homeschooling, and everything changed!

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  • Once upon a time…

    It’s one of the first phrases little ones learn as parents introduce them to the world of books.

    Throughout history, story has been an integral part of cultures worldwide. Myths, legends, and history are passed down from generation to generation through storytelling.

    Just think about the impact stories have on our day-to-day lives. Consider how they are woven into the fabric of who we are as individuals and citizens.

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