Favorite fantasy books handwriting sheets for older elementary students

Recently I realized that our oldest daughter was writing her Story of the World chapter summaries in as few words as possible. Because she's always been an avid writer, this change worried me...and then I realized I was the cause of it! You see, she has lovely cursive handwriting when she tries, but she tends…

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How we’re using spiral notebooks to simplify

I've shared a few times on Instagram and Facebook already how spiral notebooks are helping us simplify. It's made such a big difference to our family that I can't help but give it its own blog post. You should know that this is not an original idea of mine, though; I'm really just passing it…

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Why we homeschool year round (yes, even in the summer!)

This post was first published in 2013, but it's one that I find myself talking about often in conversations with other homeschoolers who are facing the stress of trying to finish this year's work or burnt out at the end of a long year. We still "do school" all year long, and it's one of the…

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Why homeschooling is not a year-by-year decision for our family

It's that time of year when homeschooling families all around us are making decisions for the upcoming year—new curriculum, new co-ops, enrolling kids in private or public schools for the upcoming year. Many of my friends approach homeschooling on a year-by-year, child-by-child basis, deciding each year what is best for each of their children, an…

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What do kids really need to learn?

Maybe it's because it's February. Maybe it's my focus on being intentional and reevaluating everything right now. Whatever it is, I've been thinking a lot lately about what my kids really need to learn in school—especially during their early elementary school years—fueled in part by articles like this one, videos like this one, and posts…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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