• Although I have loved books for as long as I can remember, my eldest daughter is not interested in reading. She would rather play outside and build things than read books.

    Because I believe that reading books is an essential part of a child's education, I’ve worked to find methods that promote a love of reading in even the most reluctant of readers.

    Read-Aloud Often

    My mom and dad always read aloud to me and my siblings when we were growing up, and I think that played a large role in my love for books. I also read aloud with my children as much as possible both at bedtime and during the day. I let the children choose a book that is interesting to them but not too mind-numbing for me. We love mysteries, tales of adventure, and classic children’s books.

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  • When we first considered homeschooling, we were living in a state which has charter schools that partner with homeschoolers. I thought homeschooling under the umbrella of a charter school was a great way to start our homeschool journey. I'd have someone to hold my hand through the second thoughts and doubts!

    Sadly, we moved right before our oldest child's kindergarten year and thus found ourselves on our own in a new state without charter schools.

    I still wanted a program that could hold my hand, at least for the first year. Without a charter school option, I was thrilled to discover all-in-one homeschool curriculum options. The program I bought provided the guidance I craved as a new homeschooler. With the help of that curriculum, I started off on the right foot and had confidence I was doing it right!

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  • It happens. Not very often, but more often than I would like.

    I notice a child is behind in his reading assignment, and I start to ask questions. Then, my child drops his eyes and mutters, “I hate this book.” Instantly, I’m a mess of feelings; I feel frustrated, maybe angry, and most of all disappointed.

    What do you do when your child hates a book?

    It’s not the end of the world or the end of your homeschool curriculum when a book bombs. When one of my kids announces that they hate a particular book, I follow a couple of simple actions.

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  • Is It Too Late to Start Homeschooling? Is My Child Too Old?

    Search homeschooling on just about any platform you can think of, and you’ll instantly be flooded with resources. Gorgeous wooden Waldorf toys, nature studies for preschoolers, vintage handwriting tablets, tricks that incorporate LEGO into reading. There are printables, book lists, and math manipulatives galore—so many options. You’ll find books and blogs all devoted to explaining the various homeschool philosophies, from Charlotte Mason to unschooling, classical to literature-based. There are all the checklists and planners and getting-started guides a parent could ever need, just at your fingertips, for when you decide it’s time to start homeschooling your little one.

    But what about when you don’t start homeschooling until your child is a little older? What if you’re looking into homeschooling for the first time with a middle schooler

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  • 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

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