Notebooking 101: Freewriting Journals

(the perfect tool for kids who hate to write)

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Do you have a child who positively hates to write?

Does any mention of an essay, report, or even a paragraph induce your child to tears – or worse – tantrums?

Today’s Notebooking 101 tip may be just for you. 🙂

What do you think of when you hear the word “journal”?

Some people envision a diary. Others picture a book (often a Bible) with colorful notes, quotes, and illustrations in the margins.

What do I think of?

Freewriting.

Continue reading “Notebooking 101: Freewriting Journals”

Why We Don’t Make Up Missed Work in Our Homeschool

It’s that time of year again – that period when we homeschooling families tend to finish up what we’ve been working on and either take a break or begin preparing for a new year.

A common theme I’ve noticed perpetuating social media threads is that of “missed work.” I’ve seen many people posting about prolonging the year or homeschooling through the summer specifically to make up for missed work.

That, my friends, is never something you should fret about.

Let me tell you why.  Continue reading “Why We Don’t Make Up Missed Work in Our Homeschool”

A Simple Trick to Break the Monotony of Your Homeschool Routine

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Did you ever have the feeling that one homeschool day can seem to blur into the next?

I have. There have been many days I felt as if my children and I were the lead roles in a homeschool-version of Groundhog DayEvery day seemed exactly the same as the one before it.

If there’s one thing I know as a homeschool mom, if your learning time begins to lose its luster, your child’s interest will quickly follow.  Continue reading “A Simple Trick to Break the Monotony of Your Homeschool Routine”

10 Ways Helping Your Kids with Homework Can Be Harder Than Homeschooling

Anyone who has homeschooled for any length of time has no doubt heard this reaction to the news that they educate their kids at home:

You homeschool?? I could never do that.

This isn’t something I take offense at because I used to feel this way, too. While most people who make this statement don’t feel any inclination to homeschool anyway, unfortunately, I know there are many parents who would like to, but feel ill-equipped. Whether it’s a perceived lack of patience or a lack of confidence in their qualifications, they literally feel that they could never do it, to which I say this:

If you can help your kids with their homework, you can homeschool.

Here’s why.  Continue reading “10 Ways Helping Your Kids with Homework Can Be Harder Than Homeschooling”

Are You Homeschooling with Textbooks, By Default?

Why is it that the things that should be the most obvious to us are those which we find so difficult to grasp?

Take textbooks, for example.

I’m honestly astonished at the number of homeschoolers who seem to cling to this holdover from compulsory schooling- you know, that form of education most homeschoolers are trying to avoid?? And I’m not approaching this topic in an uppity manner, since I was once one of those very people.

Thankfully, I have gradually realized how little textbooks have to do with an effective education for most children, and I think a good number of other parents instinctively know this, too. Despite this fact, however, I’ve increasingly come into contact with many, many other homeschool moms who are genuinely aware that textbooks aren’t working for their children, yet they beat themselves up over it and desperately try to get them to work.  Continue reading “Are You Homeschooling with Textbooks, By Default?”

Homeschooling 101: Do I HAVE to Teach My Kids for 5 Hours a Day?

Some habits can be really hard to break. 

Let’s take the notion of what education is “supposed” to look like, for example. Most people likely wouldn’t consider the assumptions about learning that have been ingrained in them since early childhood as a “habit,” but that’s exactly what they are.

Taking a look at the population as a whole, I think it’s safe to say that most people have been brought up in a traditional school setting. They sat at desks while a teacher lectured in the front of a classroom. They raised their hands to go to the bathroom. They read textbook chapters and answered section review questions, possibly without ever wondering why things were done that way in the first place.

Which brings us to where many homeschooling parents are today- stuck in those classrooms of so long ago.  Continue reading “Homeschooling 101: Do I HAVE to Teach My Kids for 5 Hours a Day?”

Our Homeschool Morning Basket for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade

As a relaxed homeschooling family, our family’s combined learning time is crucial to our everyday routine. When you’ve got multiple children learning- all at separate levels- consolidating your homeschool regimen as much as possible is an absolute must.

For us, this happens during our daily morning time.

As with all homeschooling techniques, morning time can and will look different for everyone. One thing that most families who incorporate this routine into their day will have in common is a morning basket.  Continue reading “Our Homeschool Morning Basket for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade”

How to Painlessly Incorporate Read-Aloud Time into Your Homeschool

If anyone would ever ask me to choose one part of homeschooling that ranks above all others in fun, learning, and family bonding, I’d have to say read-aloud time. When I think of the perfect homeschool day, you’d better believe it always includes lots of hot chocolate, comfy blankets, and a good book.  Continue reading “How to Painlessly Incorporate Read-Aloud Time into Your Homeschool”

How Do I Know If Our Homeschool Is Enough?

The Truth About Gaps in Learning

Have you ever had one of those days- or entire seasons- when doubt seems to have taken over your homeschool? As time goes on, you begin to realize that there is no way you’re going to cover everything you think you need to, or at least what your curriculum says you should.

The clock is ticking, and you find yourself comparing your kids and your homeschool to other families. Eventually, panic sets in as you realize the enormity of the task before you.  Continue reading “How Do I Know If Our Homeschool Is Enough?”

10 Things You Need to Avoid for a Better Homeschool

The new homeschool year is upon us. If you haven’t started your home education routine already, chances are you’re busy preparing for it.

What better time can there be to share a few reminders about what not to do in your homeschool than today, right? I mean, let’s face it. There are just some things you don’t want to make a habit of in your homeschool.

Here are 10 of them.  Continue reading “10 Things You Need to Avoid for a Better Homeschool”