A photo of Brenda Priddy

Brenda Priddy

Brenda Priddy is a professional writer and homeschooling mother to two girls in Dallas, TX with a passion for books, DIY, and creative education. Her blog, STEAMsational, is all about homeschooling, crafts, green living, and fun. Keep up with the fun here!

Decluttering Your Homeschool at the Mid-Year Mark

assorted school and office supplies are scattered on a light wood grained surface

Decluttering Your Homeschool at the Mid-Year MarkI'm standing in the middle of our homeschool closet staring at the accumulation of papers, art supplies, textbooks, pages ripped from workbooks, scraps of paper from unfinished craft projects, books with sticky covers from that time we did school during lunch, and what looks like a piece of dried-up orange peel. The school shelves are warped in the center from the weight of too much stuff. Manipulatives are intermixed, and I cannot find one single sharpened pencil. Can you relate? This time of year, when the semester is almost over and the newness has worn off of school, our homeschool closet looks like a tornado hit it. Nothing is organized and it starts to show in our homeschool routine.

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How to Make Reading Fun for the Child Who Doesn't Like to Read

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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New to Homeschooling? Why a Boxed Curriculum May be Right for You

New to Homeschooling? Why a Boxed Curriculum May be Right for You

Let's talk brass tacks of homeschooling. With the new school year underway, many of you have already chosen your curriculum, but some of you may be waiting until the last minute (I’m raising my hand here).

There are a lot of curriculum styles out there based on teaching philosophies, but there are also a few different types of curriculum packages. Most curriculum has one of the following formats:

Traditional textbook

Computer/DVD based

Hands-on (usually includes a lot of supplement materials in addition to books)

Boxed curriculum (everything you need for the year in a single package)

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Is That Book Fluff or Quality? How to Tell

Is that book fluff or quality? How to tell We are huge fans of the library and can hardly pass a bookstore without going in. But sometimes I run into issues about what kinds of books the children choose.

I am not a fan of fluffy books in which the characters talk about body fluids or boyfriends. And I have reservations about books with disrespectful characters.

I don’t want to stifle my children's desire to read, so I begin an internal dialogue:

  • "Is reading a fluffy book better than reading nothing at all?"
  • "If my children read fluff instead of higher quality books, will their education suffer?"

This dilemma is hotly debated in the book world, but there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Each family must decide where to draw the line on fluffy books, also called twaddle.

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Why It's Okay to Homeschool in the Afternoon

Our mornings go a lot like this:

  • I wake up about the same time as the children. We have coffee and breakfast.
  • We do a few chores, and I do some work
  • Suddenly, it’s lunchtime.
  • After lunch, my youngest goes down for a nap, and we get down to the business of school.

Although some families swear by starting your homeschool day early, morning school is impractical for our family. I'm here to tell you that homeschooling is okay at any time of day!

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When Homeschooling Is Hard

Now that most of us have been back to school for a while, the fun of homeschooling has worn off. We have settled into a routine and are past the introductory review and on to the meaty stuff. This is when sometimes homeschooling loses its luster and stops being fun. Sure, we can throw in some hands-on projects, do unit studies, or read fun books, but the day-to-day grind can become monotonous. You may even find that the curriculum you chose isn

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6 Study Habits to Teach Homeschool Children

Homeschooled children have huge advantages in many areas of their education, but a lot of children find themselves in shock when they are studying in a traditional setting (such as a co-op or higher education). For example, they may find tests, pop-quizzes,and research tasks intimidating because they have little experience with these academic requirements. Luckily, with a few simple tips and opportunities to practice, any child can be taught to study effectively. These skills will benefit the child not only in a traditional school environment, but also throughout life.

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Building a Home Library of 500 Books

A study conducted by the University of Nevada over a period of 20 years using data from 27 countries found that families with books in the home (even as few as 20), had children who attended school between 2.4 years and 6.6 years longer than children who lived in homes without books. The researchers indicated that a library of 500 books provided the maximum educational value.

The study also found that the presence of books in the home had twice as much affect on a child’s perseverance in attending school than the education level of her or his parents.

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