BookShark's Guide to Homeschool Organization

school supplies sit in a row on a wooden background

Head over to Pinterest and type in the word homeschooling to see what other related words come up. Would it surprise you to know that the word organization comes up alongside other more obvious heavy hitters such as curriculum and schedule? It probably doesn't surprise you if you are a homeschool mom. When we decide to educate our kids at home, there's a list of concerns we all have to work through. We may start with our perspective—secular homeschooling for example—and then move on to curriculum and scheduling our day. But eventually, we all have to grapple with how to get and stay organized.

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Winter Field Trip Ideas for Homeschoolers

set against a snowy scene, blue gloved hands hold a pink woven heart

It’s easy to take the time to get out during the spring and fall but a bit harder to get motivated during the colder winter months. It’s important, though.

It can become tedious to stay at home most of the day – for both you and the kids. Fieldtrips give you all a chance to get out of the house, get some fresh air, learn new things, and interact with new people.

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BookShark's Guide to Secular Homeschooling

an insect crawls along the back of a child's hand. An adult holds a magnifying class for inspection

After you decide to homeschool, the next consideration is what kind of homeschooler you will be so you can choose your curriculum and plan your style of teaching.

Are you a religious homeschooler who desires to infuse all of your teaching with the principles of your faith? Or are you a secular homeschooler who prefers not to teach matters of religion or at least keep them separate from your academic pursuits?

Your answer to those questions will influence what kind of curriculum you consider and ultimately buy.

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3 Ways BookShark Curriculum Is a Bargain

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3 Ways BookShark Curriculum is a BargainBecause I love BookShark curriculum, I tell all of my homeschooling friends about it. During such a discussion, it's not uncommon for a friend to lament that while BookShark looks amazing, it's just too expensive. Although this is a common misconception among many homeschoolers, I find the opposite to be true. The way I see it, BookShark is an affordable way to provide my child with a quality education. First, I compare BookShark

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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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Day by Day Homeschooling: A Doable Approach to Fight Overwhelm

Day by Day Homeschooling: A Doable Approach to Fight Overwhelm"Just have one good day. Then repeat." —James Clear

In the writing classes I teach to adults, we often use Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. This hysterical handbook has an illustration I have applied many times to my role of a writer, a mother, and a homeschooler.

Lamott recounts a memory from her childhood where her younger brother put off a research paper on birds until the last minute. Her father, seeing her brother frustrated and overwhelmed, sat down with him and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

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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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Yes, It's Okay to Take a Break

Yes, It's Okay to Take a BreakDo you ever find yourself questioning if it’s okay to take a break from homeschooling? We can feel a longing for a break and rationally see the need for a break, but for whatever reason taking a break can feel wrong.

In our eight years of homeschooling, my kids and I have taken a number of unplanned breaks. Whether the pause from lessons lasted a day or a week, I’ve never once regretted taking a rest from our homeschool routine. I have, however, regretted not taking a break sooner.

Taking a break is not a sign of failure or weakness. More often than not, it's exactly what our kids or we need in order to let our brains process, refuel, and learn. Below are some of the times it is absolutely okay and necessary to take a homeschool break.

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