Technology in our homeschool

One of the biggest—and most surprising—changes to our homeschool this year has been the addition of technology. Although we've always used an iPad for memory work and audiobooks, and we are on our third year of using Teaching Textbooks, this is the first year we have fully embraced technology as a learning tool. The big girls (3rd…

Continue Reading Technology in our homeschool

Scaling back our 2014-2015 curriculum {again}

This is definitely a pattern for us. I shared our 2014-2015 curriculum in April of last year, and over the four months that followed, I continued to tweak and add to it. By the time fall rolled around, we had a VERY full schedule, one that took the big girls way too much time to…

Continue Reading Scaling back our 2014-2015 curriculum {again}

On finding your homeschool groove

Our homeschool year is off to a fantastic start, and it's enough to stop me in my tracks several times a day with thankfulness and joy. I'm not telling you this to gloat; I'm telling you because it wasn't that long ago that we seriously considered other options and almost threw in the towel altogether. Sean…

Continue Reading On finding your homeschool groove

My stress-free homeschool planning method

As the new school year kicks off, there's been a lot of talk about homeschool planning in my circles, both online and locally, and I realized I've never really shared my stress-free planning method. You see, I used to sit down once a week and lesson plan: deciding which lessons would be taught which days, how…

Continue Reading My stress-free homeschool planning method

What I really want my kids to learn this year

Okay, girls, it's almost here. The new school year. And it's going to be a busy one. All four of you will be in school this year (and Jackson will be into everything!). We'll be learning about American History -- about the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, the Underground Railroad and Civil Rights, each…

Continue Reading What I really want my kids to learn this year

The Two-Years-of-Kindergarten Approach for Fall Babies

Grade levels are a funny things for homeschoolers. They still matter on state forms and for church and community activities, but they don't really mean much otherwise. Yet grade-level decisions were still a source of stress for us as we began our homeschool journey, so I thought I'd share our approach for anyone struggling with…

Continue Reading The Two-Years-of-Kindergarten Approach for Fall Babies

Why Memorization Gets a Bad Rap in Modern Education

It's inevitable. Anytime I read about the problem with modern education or any type of educational reform, there's a line slipped in among the rest that basically says there's no need/benefit/joy in rote memorization. It's rarely the focus and is often the only reference to memorization in the entire article, and it gets me worked…

Continue Reading Why Memorization Gets a Bad Rap in Modern Education

Scholastic Teacher Express Summer Steals

I love this sale and wait for it every year! The Scholastic Teacher Express store offers great discounts on ebooks and printable worksheets in a variety of subjects. The math ones are my favorite because the girls use them to practice math skills all year long, but there are also mini plays, unit studies, flash…

Continue Reading Scholastic Teacher Express Summer Steals

For Grammar Geeks: A Visual Map of the 15 Punctuation Marks

A friend and fellow Essentials tutor shared this a few days ago, and I love it! Designed by Curtis Newbold of The Visual Communications Guy, the infographic lists the 15 punctuation marks in order of difficulty (to learn and use) with the rules that govern their use. Click here to download a full-size poster version…

Continue Reading For Grammar Geeks: A Visual Map of the 15 Punctuation Marks

My Top 10 Tips for New Homeschoolers

Daily checklists. This will be our 6th "official" year homeschooling, and the longer we homeschool, the more questions I get from other current and prospective homeschoolers. (Some of which I'm confident answering and some of which just make me laugh that they'd ask me for advice or an opinion.) Today  I thought I'd share my…

Continue Reading My Top 10 Tips for New Homeschoolers