A photo of Kelly Sage

Kelly Sage

Kelly left teaching middle and high school English to homeschool her children and reclaim how she and her family spent their time. Followers of interest-led learning, her family's days rarely look the same, but they tend to include a lot of books, art supplies, and time outside.

Kelly facilitates local writing circles for women and children and blogs about nurturing the love of learning on her blog, Curiosity Encouraged. She loves to journal, read memoirs, hike, and travel. She seeks quiet mornings and good coffee daily.

Why It's Okay for Kids to Redo Their Work and Retake Tests

Roald Dahl said, “By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” While I believe Dahl is right, if my children thought they needed to revise a story one hundred and fifty times to produce good writing, they’d never pick up a pencil again. But if not one hundred and fifty times, then how many? How many times should our child retake a test, re-do an assignment, rework math problems, or revise their writing? Should they do their best the first time or be given as many times as it takes to get it right?

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3 Ways BookShark Virtual Nudges Students Towards Independent Learning

3 Ways BookShark Virtual Nudges Students Towards Independent LearningWe help our children strive for independence from pretty much day one. When our kids hold their heads up or roll over for the first time, we celebrate. We help them learn to walk, talk, write their names, and read. We guide them through social situations, giving them the tools they need to engage politely and communicate clearly. We teach them with an eye towards independence because eventually, they will be on their own.

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5 Ways BookShark Virtual Makes Roadschooling Easier

5 Ways BookShark Virtual Makes Roadschooling EasierEver since my oldest decided to go back to school, I’ve mourned the days when our schedule was our own and we traveled off-season whenever we wanted. I loved the lack of crowds, the discounted pricing, and how spontaneous we could be. I also loved how we could take our learning with us wherever we went. When we visited family or joined my husband on a work trip, we could maintain a familiar structure to our day. BookShark is now making homeschooling on the road a lot easier. BookShark Virtual allows students to tap into their lessons and assignments anywhere with internet access! So whether you’ll be vacationing for a week or traveling for a year, BookShark Virtual makes it easy for students and parents to homeschool.

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Help! Our Science Experiment Failed

Help! Our Science Experiment FailedToday is science experiment day. You’ve collected all of the necessary supplies, you have instructions, and your kids are excited! This experiment is going to be so much fun, you think, patting yourself on the back.

Hands-on science for the win!

Or not, because something goes wrong: The seeds don’t sprout. The seeds mold or die before your kids take measurements. The water clock doesn’t tell time. The explosion is a dud. The tricky thing about science experiments is they can flop or not work as expected.

What do homeschoolers do when an experiment doesn’t go our way? We turn it into a new lesson, maybe one not related to science, and try, try again.

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Four Reasons to Keep Homeschooling Even After Schools Reopen

Four Reasons to Keep Homeschooling Even After Schools ReopenWhile some of us have known the benefits of learning at home long before Covid19, many people, maybe even you, are unexpectedly homeschooling and unexpectedly loving it. Just the other day, while talking with one of my cousins on Zoom, he told me when I left teaching to homeschool he thought I was crazy. Smiling into the camera, he shook his head and said, “Now I know you were brilliant. This is awesome!”

More and more, I’m hearing friends and family, who once “could never homeschool” or “would never want to homeschool” change their minds. They are experiencing the many gifts homeschooling offers and now considering homeschooling an option.

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You Don’t Have to Do it All: How to Adjust Your BookShark Curriculum

You Don’t Have to Do it All: How to Adjust Your Bookshark Curriculum I’ll admit it; the giant blue binder that came with my daughter’s BookShark Reading with History curriculum was a little overwhelming. I remember unboxing day. While my kid flipped through her new books, excited by all the stories she was going to read, I unwrapped a ream of paper—my Instructor’s Guide.

Never having had success with a boxed curriculum before, I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical. I wanted a curriculum we could do together and enjoy, not one that required a ton of prep on my part. But BookShark felt different. The science curriculum and US Elections Lap Book we had already used were a hit with both my daughter and me, so . . . deep breath . . . I needed to give this history curriculum a chance. I’m so glad we did!

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Great Books Deserve Great Projects: 7 Alternatives to Book Reports

Great Books Deserve Great Projects: 7 Alternatives to Book ReportsDo you remember writing book reports as a kid? I do.

Do you remember what books you wrote about? I don’t.

Why is that?

Let’s be perfectly honest: A book report is boring with a capital B. They are boring to write, and I can assure you from a teacher’s point of view, they are boring to read. It’s really a shame, too, because more often than not, the books are wonderful!

Because a great book deserves a great project, we need alternatives to traditional book reports.

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How BookShark Teaches Reading Comprehension without Worksheets

My fifth grader lies in the sunshine. Although her eyes are closed, I can tell she’s paying attention by the slight smirk on her lips. She loves this book—Where the Mountain Meets the Moon from BookShark Reading with History Level 5 Eastern Hemisphere. And in the passage today, we’re about to find the Old Man in the Moon. Our daily ritual of reading aloud is one of our favorite parts of the homeschool day. It's not only a time for us to lose ourselves in a story, but it is also time for us to talk and share our ideas.

BookShark’s invitation to read and discuss literature with my child on a daily basis helps my daughter dig into themes, characterization, and main ideas without the drag of worksheets. In each of our discussions, she’s learning and practicing reading comprehension skills without detracting from her joy of reading.

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From Box Day to Day One with BookShark

From Box Day to Day One with BookShark

Is there anything more fun than getting a box filled with books delivered to your doorstep? Yes, there is! Opening a box filled with books! 

My daughter yelled at me from across the house, “They’re here! The books are here.” It didn’t matter that we had company over or that she was in the middle of a project. The BookShark box had arrived, and life could resume after we opened it. 

One, two, fifteen, twenty-five, forty-four books later, a calligraphy kit, instructor’s guides, origami kit, and student guides later, a sea of books lay across our kitchen table. Although it was still a few weeks before she’d start fifth grade, our BookShark Box Day made it hard to wait. 

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10 Sanity-saving Activities with Stuff You Already Have on Hand

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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