Notebooking 101: Interest-Led Notebooking

4 Easy Steps to Getting Started with Interest-Led Notebooking Today!

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I remember a time when my kids would actually cry whenever I would try to get them to write. The mere mention of the words “essay,” “report,” or “composition” would immediately induce a flood of waterworks.

It was bad.

As a writer, the fact that my kids hated writing was doubly hard. How could my children despise doing something that gives me so much pleasure?

Then one day, the answer to this question hit me like a ton of bricks: I enjoy writing because it’s my choice. I choose the topic, the style, and how long it will be. Whether I write 300 words or 1,500, when it comes down to it, I have no restrictions. This freedom makes a task that sends so many people running in the opposite direction not only manageable, but enjoyable.

I knew I wanted to give that gift to my kids so that they, too, would come to know the joys of producing the written word, but how could I accomplish that?  Continue reading “Notebooking 101: Interest-Led Notebooking”

Homeschooling History with Beautiful Feet Books

Have you ever found a homeschool curriculum that literally made you giddy with excitement? 

Beautiful Feet Books

(I received this product for free and was compensated for writing an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)

One that not only did what it promised to do, but also seemed to simultaneously fit your teaching style, your children’s learning style, and your homeschool philosophy? No?

Believe me, I hear you. As a homeschool mom of many, finding a curriculum that meshes well with our hectic lifestyle can be tough. Our ideal learning resource has to be interesting, cross-curricular, living books-based, and gentle, all rolled into one.  Continue reading “Homeschooling History with Beautiful Feet Books”

How to Teach Writing in Your Homeschool with Confidence

Okay, confession time.

I’m not a big fan of formal homeschool curriculum. But if you’ve been here before, you knew that already. As a relaxed homeschooler, I try my best to integrate all of the subjects my children are required to learn as holistically as possible.

Take writing, for example.

Up until this point, our go-to approach for tackling this field of study has been notebooking. This tool has allowed my children to not only get a feel for the writing process, but to actually enjoy it, as well.

Now that I’ll have another child entering the high school years next year, however, I’ve really been contemplating how to cover this subject in a way that will equip my children for college, should they choose to attend, without boring them to tears.

I think I found the answer to what I’ve been looking for.  Continue reading “How to Teach Writing in Your Homeschool with Confidence”

What If I Don’t Have Enough Patience to Homeschool?

Homeschooling and patience – do they really go hand-in-hand?

Well, the truth is…yes and no.

Yes, it does take quite a bit of patience to not only spend every single day with our children when our society has trained us to be more comfortable with not being around them, but it also requires an enormous amount of patience to take on the responsibility to see to it that our children are learning and thriving.

On the other hand…  Continue reading “What If I Don’t Have Enough Patience to Homeschool?”

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”

How to Use Notebooking with Read-Alouds in Your Homeschool

Have you ever been absolutely sure that you found the missing piece to your homeschool, but you just couldn’t figure out a way to get started?

Believe me, I have been there and done that. For me, that “thing I was looking for” was notebooking.

Although I first started notebooking with my kids last year, I actually had my eye on it for quite some time before that. It looked engaging, practical, and effective – three things that are a must in our large family homeschool. But try as I might, I just couldn’t figure out how to get started. I had a good idea of what it was all about, and I understood the reasoning behind it, but I felt completely lost as to where to begin.  Continue reading “How to Use Notebooking with Read-Alouds in Your Homeschool”

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?”

Are Homeschooled Kids Smart Enough?

Last summer at a family reunion, as I sat talking with a distant relative about homeschooling, she asked me a series of questions that were a bit difficult to answer. 

I don’t want to insinuate that she asked with any malice; she was genuinely interested and simply had never been exposed to a homeschooling family before. However, several of her inquiries threw me for a loop- one in particular:

How do you know if your kids are smart enough?

Continue reading “Are Homeschooled Kids Smart Enough?”

Our Homeschool Afternoon Basket for Pre-K, 1st, and 2nd Grade

Don’t you just love the freedom we homeschool moms have to tailor our kids’ education to meet the needs of both them and our families?

Take morning time, for instance.

“Morning time” and “morning basket” are quickly becoming the most popular buzzwords in homeschool circles, and, although we do use a morning basket, today I’m going to let you in on a little secret…  Continue reading “Our Homeschool Afternoon Basket for Pre-K, 1st, and 2nd Grade”

Our Homeschool Morning Time Routine

Although this is our 9th year homeschooling, by no means do I know everything there is to know about it.

Take morning time, for example.

Up until very recently, while I had heard the term “morning time” over and over again, I never really made much of an effort to find out what it was because I was happy with where we were at in our homeschool and didn’t see the need to try anything new.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to find out what the fuss was all about. Interestingly enough, I discovered that morning time actually would fit perfectly into our homeschool routine because we were pretty much already doing it!  Continue reading “Our Homeschool Morning Time Routine”