Notebooking Through American History with Home School in the Woods

I remember when I hated history. There was nothing more boring to me than memorizing dates, names, places, and events that seemed to have no significance in my life other than making me really good at trivia games. Simply put, I just didn’t want to be bothered with it.

Fast forward 20 years… history has become my passion. It has helped me to define who I am, where I’m going, and who I want to be.

You might be wondering how this change came about. I’ll give you one word: homeschooling. Continue reading “Notebooking Through American History with Home School in the Woods”

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This Is How You Know Your Brainwashing Is Complete

Is it really August already? In just a few weeks time, children and parents all over the country will be gearing up for back-to-school time.

Unfortunately, the new school year will be starting on the heels of some very troubling events – two mass shootings, to be precise. Considering that schools have been targets of these heinous crimes in the past, it’s only natural that parents are concerned with how to protect their children, hence the topic of this post.

I’m actually going to be re-visiting a topic I covered last year – bulletproof backpacks.

(For commentary and a bit of ranting on an article covering this subject, watch the video. Ranting is my specialty. 😉)

Continue reading “This Is How You Know Your Brainwashing Is Complete”

5 Homeschool Planning Hacks to Save Your Sanity!

Ah, homeschool planning. You either love it, or you hate, am I right?

Me? I’ve always loved it – perhaps a little too much. I enjoyed doing it so much that I would often go overboard. I’d plan too far ahead. I’d get too specific, and I would get too ambitious about what days we’d be doing what activity…even six months down the road!

Lord, I don’t miss those days. Since then I’ve learned that when it comes to homeschool planning, it needs to follow in the footsteps of my homeschool philosophy: keeping things simple.

Here are the five most important things I’ve learned about planning a homeschool schedule. I hope it helps some of you! Continue reading “5 Homeschool Planning Hacks to Save Your Sanity!”

8 Things Every Homeschooler Hears at Least Once

Ah, homeschool myths. Are there any home educating families who are immune to their consequences? I’m going to say no.

As we start our 11th year of homeschooling tomorrow (yikes!), I thought I would commemorate this occasion by dedicating a post to some questions I think every single homeschooled child has heard at some point in their lives.

While the topics of these questions run the gamut from academics to extracurricular activities, they all have one thing in common: they’ve been perpetuated by some insanely false notions about what education and real life actually look like.

Here is my attempt to  briefly explain why these inquiries are completely off the mark, and why people need to stop asking them.

Continue reading “8 Things Every Homeschooler Hears at Least Once”

Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan for Elementary and Middle School

I can’t believe it. Our new homeschool year begins next week already. Wow, this past six weeks went quickly!

As I was gathering books at the library for our first unit study the other day, I realized that some of you might like to see how I’m planning for our homeschool days to unfold, especially in regard to our unit study. I’m fairly certain that, even though I address unit studies quite often, they can be a bit of a mystery to those who are unfamiliar with them.

As you might be aware, for years I’ve been breaking my children into groups for their learning, simply because I have so many of them. 😉 (This year I’m homeschooling 8 again.)

However, now that my second youngest is ready to move up to the middles group, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma – that leaves my youngest alone in the littles group. She’s not too happy about that.

Continue reading “Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan for Elementary and Middle School”

Gardening Books for Kids!

Can you believe that it’s July already? Yowzers, that went fast! Here in Pennsylvania, it’s been hot, hot, hot, and today was no exception.

If you’re a homeschooling family who takes a summer break, don’t miss out on the opportunity for a fantastic summertime nature study idea – gardening! Today I decided to share with you some books that will both inspire you and give you tons of ideas to get started. Continue reading “Gardening Books for Kids!”

10 Things I Don’t Miss About Public School

A homeschool mom’s reflections on her children’s time in public school

If you live in the northern hemisphere, chances are that summer break is here! As always, I’m seeing so many different reactions from parents about this time of year. Some are relieved and happy to have their kids home for a couple months. Some are feeling overwhelmed and are scrambling to figure out how to keep their kids occupied for the next 12 weeks. And still others are, unfortunately, trying to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown before them (NY and CA, I’m looking at you) and are trying to figure out what will become of their children’s education once summer is over.

Continue reading “10 Things I Don’t Miss About Public School”

You CAN Help Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities

I remember the day I realized my oldest son was “different.” He came home from school feeling completely dejected and humiliated. The cause? His teacher had arranged for the little girl who sat next to him to pack his backpack for him every day before they were dismissed. Apparently, the disorganization I had grown used to with him was becoming an obstacle to his learning.

As time went on, his troubles at school began to pile up. Before I knew it, I was called in for a meeting to discuss the possibility of retention because his reading level was not where it was expected to be. I refused to allow him to be held back.

How could the articulate and intelligent child I knew possibly be struggling in school? At 3, he was able to give the correct name for every single snake he came across in books, even to the point of differentiating between a puff adder and a European adder. At 4 and 5 years of age, people used to be shocked to learn how young he was because of his extensive vocabulary and excellent conversational skills.

Yet here we were, at a table discussing retention, Title 20, and a possible IEP. Continue reading “You CAN Help Your Child with Language-Based Learning Disabilities”

Why I Will Never Force College on My Kids

Over the past few years of me being a homeschool blogger, I’ve learned one very obvious thing:

My views on homeschooling, education, and the world, in general, are very different from most other homeschool moms.

My opinion on the necessity of college definitely falls into this category. Here’s why. Continue reading “Why I Will Never Force College on My Kids”

Christian Kids Need a Christian Education

“He who controls the schools, controls the world.”
-Voddie Baucham

(Today’s post was inspired by Voddie Baucham’s “Children of Caesar.” For more information on this topic, visit exodusmandate.org)

Today I’m going to be upfront about something a lot of my fellow believers don’t want to hear:

Continue reading “Christian Kids Need a Christian Education”