Teach Your Kids History Through Literature with Beautiful Feet Books

I love history. 

Let me rephrase that. I love history now. As a student, it was probably my least favorite subject (besides math, of course).

All of those boring textbook assignments left me feeling like I didn’t care if I never read another history book again. And the memorization. Oh my Lord. In my opinion, if you’re looking for an effective way to kill any desire your child might have to learn about the past, make them memorize a slew of dates that have no meaning to them.

I didn’t want that for my kids. One of my main reasons for homeschooling is that I want my kids to actually want to learn.  Continue reading “Teach Your Kids History Through Literature with Beautiful Feet Books”

How to Use Five in a Row in a Relaxed Homeschool

Over the past eight years, we have tried out a lot of curriculum. Some of it we loved, some of it we hated, and some of it became a staple in our home education routine from the moment we opened the first page. (If you’re interested in seeing our full curriculum for our littles this past year, you can find that on YouTube.)

Five in a Row is one of them.  Continue reading “How to Use Five in a Row in a Relaxed Homeschool”

3 Reasons to Avoid Overcompliance with State Homeschool Laws

(and how to go about doing it!)

Here we are in the middle of May. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

For those of us who homeschool in states that require some sort of end-of-the-year reporting to our school districts, right about now is when we start scampering around collecting work samples, finishing up portfolios, and having our kids interviewed by our homeschool evaluators.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not.

As we finish up our 8th year of homeschooling one very important issue keeps creeping up on me again and again- overcompliance. (Watch my video on this subject here.) Continue reading “3 Reasons to Avoid Overcompliance with State Homeschool Laws”

How to Find One-on-One Time When You’re a Mom of Many

Other than being a wife, being a mom of many is my favorite thing in the world. There’s just nothing like a house full of laughter, noise, and…yes, clutter.

One of the drawbacks of having this number of kids (11 for those who don’t know…) is the number of times I’ve had people insinuate that they feel sorry for my kids because I must never get time alone with them.  Continue reading “How to Find One-on-One Time When You’re a Mom of Many”

10 Things You Need to Know If You Have Family Who Homeschools

Anyone who knows anything abut homeschooling is aware that this adventure can come in all shapes and sizes. As different as what a typical homeschool day looks like from one house to the next may be, one thing I’m finding many of us have in common (besides a deep-seated love for our children) is that it is quite recurrent to have extended family members who don’t fully grasp the enormity of what we’ve set out to do.  Continue reading “10 Things You Need to Know If You Have Family Who Homeschools”

What Exactly IS a Homeschool Expert?

Last summer I was asked to write an article on homeschooling for a parenting website. One of their stipulations was that since I am not a “homeschool expert,” I had to include citations from resources written by people who are.

The first thing I thought was, “Umm…is there such a thing as a homeschool expert?”

It’s not exactly something you can get a degree in, you know?  Continue reading “What Exactly IS a Homeschool Expert?”

What Does Homeschooling Mean to Me? Freedom.

As most of you who have read my blog before know, I’ve got a lot to say about homeschooling. To be quite honest, that’s just a bit of an understatement because, well, I never seem to shut up about it. 😛

When I decided to try to sum up our homeschool in just one word, however, I found that it was extremely difficult for me. The problem was, lots of words came to mind, like: simple, relaxed, literary, eclectic, busy; and while all of these words fit our homeschool well, none of them adequately convey an all-encompassing description of what homeschooling means to me. (Watch my video here.) Continue reading “What Does Homeschooling Mean to Me? Freedom.”

8 Reasons Why I HATE Standardized Tests

Before I begin, let me just say that I love homeschooling. Truly. In my opinion, there is no better option for my children’s education. Unfortunately, though, around this time every year, I tend to get a bit cranky.

After spending the past nine months learning in freedom with my children, the time draws near for us to complete our annual homeschool obligations for the state- namely, evaluations and standardized testing. Since I happen to have an awesome evaluator, the evaluation doesn’t really bother me. What really fires me up, though, is the fact that, in our state, homeschooled students are forced to take standardized tests in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades.

Why???

Continue reading “8 Reasons Why I HATE Standardized Tests”

3 Reasons Why Keeping Track of Homeschool Days Is Pointless

There are some things about homeschool laws that I just don’t get. Keeping track of homeschool days or hours is one of them. I live in a state that requires us to homeschool for 180 days a year and to somehow document it.

What is the point?

Do they think our kids will ever be absent? They’re homeschooled- they’re always “in school”!  Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Keeping Track of Homeschool Days Is Pointless”

How Letting Go of School Brought Back Our Love of Learning

When I was a child I loved to play school. I was adamant about always being the teacher, and I was a strict one, indeed. My “students” (usually my nieces) were always bombarded with writing and math assignments, and I would gleefully grade their papers with a bright red pen, just like my teacher at school. (Watch my video here!)

I loved school. It was just one of those things that I was good at. Do I remember much from those days? Not really. But I was good at it. I knew how to play the game and I played it well.  Continue reading “How Letting Go of School Brought Back Our Love of Learning”