7 Awesome YouTube Channels Your Kids Will Absolutely Love

One thing I love about homeschooling in this day and age is the abundance of resources at our feet, thanks to the world wide web. While I love books with every fiber of my being, there’s just something pretty awesome about being able to type any topic of interest into my computer and almost instantly have a plethora of choices pop up.

YouTube is by far our most frequently used website, not only in our homeschool, but in our free time, as well. And with technology being what it is, we’re not limited to surrounding ourselves around the computer screen. Thanks to our Smart TV, we can watch our favorite channels in the comfort of our living room.

Today I’m going to share with you our 7 favorite YouTube channels. I should point out that my kids have more than 7 favorites; however, for the sake of your sanity, I’ve limited it to the 7 channels I actually enjoy watching with my kids. As much as I appreciate these channels, there are a great many others that can get a bit…annoying.  Continue reading “7 Awesome YouTube Channels Your Kids Will Absolutely Love”

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Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents- Review

Plus a giveaway!!!

How many times have you heard someone say that parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual? What if I were to tell you that I’ve found the closest thing to it?

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents, by Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, and Shannon Warden, assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University, is a treasure trove of information for new and expectant parents.

This book covers topics such as: how much a child changes your schedule, the costs of parenting, the uniqueness of each child, how to keep your marriage strong, and even thoughts on preparing for your child’s education, among many others. In fact, there are several ideas broached here that even I- a mother of 11 children- have never consciously thought much about.  Continue reading “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents- Review”

3 Reasons Not to Worry About Homeschool Subject Requirements

If you’ve ever visited this blog before, you are well aware of how passionately I try to spread the message that homeschooling does not have to be a replica of school and how important it is to get out of the schoolish mindset. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and have come to the realization that homeschool laws and even homeschool curricula can make that very difficult. (Watch my video on this topic here.)

Many states have specific subject requirements that must be fulfilled each year, thus homeschool resource publishers follow suit and produce textbook after textbook covering grammar, writing, spelling, reading, math, social studies, science, and so on and so on.

Countless times I have seen stressed out homeschool moms completely burned out from trying to fit all of these different classes into their day, inevitably erasing the possibility of any enjoyment that might have occurred in their homeschool routine. Continue reading “3 Reasons Not to Worry About Homeschool Subject Requirements”

An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Middles

The other day I wrote about a specific day in our homeschool with the littles. Today I’m going to focus on a recent day of learning with my 9, 10, and 12 year olds. 

As with my younger children, I do not consider only our structured homeschool time as our learning time because each day brings so many opportunities for natural learning experiences that I’d be remiss to not mention them.

As you may notice, our middle children’s homeschool day is very similar in structure to their younger siblings’. It is this familiarity that helps me remember everything that has to be done from day to day- and it also helps me keep my sanity!  Continue reading “An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Middles”

Are You Being #Shaken?

Are you going through tough times? Do you feel like the world, and more specifically, God, have it in for you?

You are not alone.

Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL football player, Tim Tebow, has tackled- no pun intended- this very difficult issue in his latest book, Shaken. Besides delving deeply into his own personal stories of difficulties, Tebow has compiled a heartwarming, and sometimes heart-wrenching, collection of stories of everyday people who go through tremendous trials and yet somehow allow God’s glory to shine through every step of the way. From cancer-stricken children to former victims of abuse, these stories highlight the God-given strength of people who have wholly committed their trust in the Lord.

Continue reading “Are You Being #Shaken?”

An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Littles

So many times recently I’ve been asked what homeschooling looks like in my house. I find that no matter how basically I describe it, it always ends up seeming utterly confusing to anyone on the outside trying to make sense of it.

Additionally, I think a lot of people are unsure of what relaxed homeschooling actually is, and moreover, often wonder whether it’s “enough.”  Continue reading “An Inside Look at Our Relaxed Homeschool- Spotlight on the Littles”

Are Your Values Important Enough to Consider Homeschooling?

In a country where people are fiercely proud of their traditions, there comes a time to stop accepting the status quo and take a closer look at why you’re doing what you’re doing and whether it’s a good thing. 

School is one of them.

I’m not going to go into another diatribe today about the real purpose of school. Instead I’m going to focus on another area that is often overlooked by the parents of kids in school- the removal of Christian values.  Continue reading “Are Your Values Important Enough to Consider Homeschooling?”

How to Make a Milk Carton Monster House

 

Halloween is right around the corner, and trick-or-treat night is next Friday where we live. Since we don’t go all out with the super-scary stuff, I always try to find a fun, simple craft for my kids to enjoy together to usher in the upcoming fall holidays. Every year at Christmas time, we make milk carton gingerbread houses. They’re always a huge hit, so this year I decided to do a variation of that and make: Continue reading “How to Make a Milk Carton Monster House”

What’s the Difference Between Unschooling and Radical Unschooling?

In case you haven’t noticed, our experience with unschooling has had quite an impact on our homeschooling philosophy. This homeschooling method often gets a bad rap because of so many negative associations surrounding it, so I thought I’d clear up a few things.

The term “unschooling” was coined by the late John Holt, former teacher and education reformer, to simply mean “not school.” After his experience teaching in both private and public school settings, he began to firmly believe that the educational system as we know it was doing everything wrong. After years of touting education reform and seeing no concrete changes, he finally started encouraging people to keep their kids home and “unschool” them. (At the time, homeschooling was not well-known.)  Continue reading “What’s the Difference Between Unschooling and Radical Unschooling?”

10 Reasons Why Homeschooling Is Perfect for Late Readers

“To a very great degree, school is a place where children learn to be stupid.”

-John Holt, former teacher and education reformer; late author of How Children Learn

In a society that touts early literacy as the be all and end all of a good education, children who aren’t following the arbitrary timelines created by educational bureaucrats are often left as feeling “less than.” 

I’m dumb because I can’t read.

My teacher says I might have to be held back because I can’t read. Doesn’t that mean flunking?

I get so embarrassed having to get pulled out of class everyday when all my friends get to stay together. 

What’s wrong with me?

I always get laughed at when the teacher picks me to read aloud.  Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Homeschooling Is Perfect for Late Readers”