A photo of Cait Curley

Cait Curley

Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies.

A Trick to Motivate Yourself Out of a Homeschool Morning Slump

pink tulips in a white wicker basket

I used to wake up hours before my kids. Yes, I'm serious. It was amazing!

I had time to plan our day, to write, to read, and to exercise. 

All that time made me a better homeschool mom.

Most days, I was on top of my game. We got stuff done. And then winter hit — it got cold and gray. Winter makes me tired.

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7 Ways Children Can Gain Read Aloud Confidence

7 Ways Children Can Gain Read Aloud ConfidenceThe best way to build a reader is to read aloud early and often, to surround yourselves with print, and to delight in the written word. If your child has positive memories around reading, and if your child sees you reading regularly, you are on the path to raising a reader. That said, not all readers are confident at reading aloud. In fact, many adults will blush and stammer when asked to read aloud! Still, this is a skill that should not be overlooked in your homeschool experience. Reading aloud builds fluency, boosts comprehension, and engages critical thinking skills.

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Teach Children to Change the World with Biographies

Teach Children to Change the World with BiographiesSometimes the news is scary. There are things happening in our world right now that are near to impossible to discuss with children without leaving them fearful. As parents, we want to protect our kids from hatred and hurt. We want them to remain children and enjoy every drop of childhood magic for as long as possible. And yet, we want our children to grow into adults who will make a difference in this world. We want to raise compassionate, thoughtful men and women who will put an end to the hatred and hurt. So, how can we start the process? How can we talk about difficult topics without making it too scary? How can we protect our children and yet show them how to be upstanders?

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10 Ways to Raise Little Bookworms

This might sound crazy, but one of my biggest fears as a new mom was that my children wouldn't like to read.You see, I'm a bookworm of the highest order. I'm always reading something, actually several somethings. I have my upstairs book, my downstairs book, and my car book. I am a bibliophile.

I'm also an educator. Before homeschooling, I was a school psychologist. In that role I saw so many children who loathed reading. Some of those children had underlying disabilities that made reading challenging, others were pushed to read too soon and balked while others lacked exposure.

I wished that I could go back and change reading for every reluctant reader I met to help them fall in love with reading. And that was one of my biggest wishes for my own children. Thankfully, they did fall in love with reading with the help of these ten methods I used to help them fall in love with reading.

Learning to read is a skill, and like all skills, it requires hard work and heaps of practice in order to become proficient.

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When Bedtime Reading Makes You Bonkers

Let's talk about bedtime.

We all know what we are supposed to do at bedtime. Bedtime is when we snuggle up with our children and read a stack of fantastic books. It is peaceful and calm, and your heart is overflowing with joy…

... except when it isn't.

I don't know about you, but bedtime is often a chaotic blur around these parts.

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Homeschool Read Aloud Secret: The Power of a Captive Audience

When I first started homeschooling, I had these read aloud fantasies. I pictured us snuggled up under blankets with a stack of delicious books at our side. I imagined reading for hours on end, my children enraptured by the story and clinging to my every word. As I read, a silence would envelop our home and all would be calm.

In reality, our read alouds are anything but calm, and my children are anything but quiet. As I read, my children wiggle and squirm, bounce and twirl. They interrupt me constantly, peppering me with questions and random musings. I read, pause, backtrack, stop, resume. And, while it is not anything like the fantasy I held long ago, our read aloud time is special to me.

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