3 Reasons Reading To Our Children Matters

3 Reasons Reading to Children MattersI remember the smell of my elementary school library and brand new books fresh off the press at the annual book fair. My love for books was sparked as a young child when first my mother, then my school librarian, taught me the beauty of being taken far away from my home on an air force base in Greatfalls, Montana to civilizations and lands I’d never known. The magic that transformed my bedroom to a castle was what made family storytime the best time of the day for me.

Despite the tech savviness of today’s youth, great books still lay a solid foundation in education and play an important role in childhood. As much as I embrace social media and technology, I find myself wondering how to create a balance between providing time to enjoy good literature versus tinkering with tech.

Setting aside a family story time provides many benefits to our children.

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How to Manage Your Library Books

Homeschoolers are typically very faithful library patrons. They visit regularly, participate in programs, and check out stacks of books at a time.

Tips for Keeping Track of Checked Out Library Books

Libraries can be huge money savers for homeschoolers but only if you don’t lose track of your borrowed books. Fines, no matter how small, can add up quickly when you’re checking out 20+ books at a time (as many homeschoolers do).

While they’re young, teach your children that being a good library patron is about respect. It’s important to take care of the books as if they belong to a friend. That includes knowing where borrowed books are at all times and returning them when they are due.

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How to Start Your Homeschool Day Even if You Are Not a Morning Person

How to Start Your Homeschool Day Even if You Are Not a Morning PersonIf you’re not a morning person by nature, beginning each homeschool day may be a struggle. You don’t really want to get up, and by the time you do, your kids are up and raring to go—and you just want a hot cup of coffee and a shower.

But, the homeschool day needs to start, and when you’re up before your kids, things go much more smoothly.

You can do much to change the way your morning goes by making some changes to your evening routines. The following ideas will help make your morning run better so you can get about your day.

1. Prepare As Much As You Can the Night Before

Choose the clothes you’re going to wear the next day. This goes for your children, as well. Help them find their clothes, put their shoes where they can easily find them, and get them to bed early.

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10 Tips to Entice Math Haters to Get Math Done

10 Tips to Entice Math Haters to Get Math DoneDo you have a child who makes a career of avoiding math? Do they wiggle, squirm, and whine?

Here are ten tricks you can use to encourage your children to complete their math in a fun and timely manner.

1. Set the timer and race the clock My mom taught me this method to get math done when I was a little girl taking my own sweet time over each and every math problem.

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Why Family Goals Are Important for Homeschooling

Why Family Goals Are Important for HomeschoolingFamilies who first embark on the journey of home education often wonder how to create homeschooling goals. Thankfully, homeschooling is an educational option that allows for much flexibility in how your kids are taught, and gives you, the parent, the freedom to manage your children’s learning paths. Managing your children’s education, nonetheless, is quite the undertaking. With a few simple, goal-planning steps in place, your family will be better prepared to direct your homeschooling journey.

Understand your family mission

First things first: be aware of your family mission. Creating a family mission statement, specifically for homeschooling, can certainly help you in planning homeschool goals. For example, if your family’s mission is to give your children as many opportunities to explore the world around them, you may include field trips and travel as a major part of your experience.

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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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How To Schedule Your Homeschool Day

How to Schedule Your Homeschool Day Homeschool scheduling is about finding your starting point and matching your family's own groove.

For example, when my boys were preschoolers and toddlers, my goal for the day was to shower and have some meaningful reading activities for my oldest son. Insanity was thinking I had to get my homeschool started at 8:00 a.m. when there was no need to. Fast forward to the middle and high school years. My sons now start their homeschool day closer to 8:30 a.m., independent of me.

The key to breathing sweet homeschool scheduling into your day is to begin with a set of guidelines that you can actually follow, ones that fit your family’s groove. We don’t need one more thing to stress us out if we are already struggling with homeschool scheduling, so look at these easy starting points below.

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3 Handwriting Tips for First Grade Boys Who HATE Writing

3 Handwriting Tips for First Grade Boys Who HATE Writing I made the mistake of taking away screen time because I felt like my first grade son’s hatred for writing was about attitude.

Now in retrospect with one son who has graduated and two others in upper grades, I know writing is more about aptitude than attitude. I wish I could turn back time to erase my mistake of crushing the spirit of my energetic son.

Although I can't fix my mistake, I can give you three handwriting tips that help you embrace the differences of boys when it comes to handwriting.

1. Wait for Maturity

Maturity will happen. Understanding that some boys are behind girls in their fine motor skills helped me to appreciate that handwriting is more of a physical act in the beginning. Tears and crying were my son’s way of articulating that something was not right. He simply was not ready for the amount and type of work that I gave him.

I had to get creative to help him hone his fine motor skills with these fun, boy-friendly activities that I included as part of our handwriting practice:

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How to Transition from Public School to Homeschool

Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Change is not a favorite among children. One may argue that adults don’t often love change much either. As such, parents need to prepare to transition their children from public to homeschooling. Part of that preparation will be for the parent and part of it for the child. This will be a big change for both of you. However, it can be a very exciting one.

Preparing yourself as a parent for homeschooling

1. Be clear with yourself about why you’ve decided to homeschool.
There are undoubtedly legitimate reasons you’ve decided to homeschool your child.  You may feel uncomfortable with the public school curriculum, you may notice your child loosing their love of learning, and you may notice your child is falling behind in school, despite being very capable of academic success.

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