Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade

I’ll be homeschooling nine kids this year. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually one less than last year since my oldest daughter became my first homeschool graduate.

Sniff.

As stressful as people think that may sound, it truly isn’t as chaotic as people think. Busy? Sure. I’d be worried about any homeschool that wasn’t busy. But believe it or not, homeschooling is actually pleasurable for me.  Continue reading “Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade”

10 Easy Ways to Supplement Foreign Language Learning in Your Homeschool

As technology grows more advanced, the world is figuratively becoming smaller and smaller. Learning a foreign language is rapidly becoming as mainstream as studying any other major subject.

As beneficial as learning a new language is, it can be difficult for some children to grasp why learning a foreign language is necessary. Others may struggle with it because they’re simply not interested enough to retain any information that is essential in maintaining fluency and understanding.

Recently, I’ve really come to recognize how beneficial foreign language learning can be, so I’ve actually had my “middles” practicing German for the past several months. As much as they genuinely enjoy learning this language, however, retention has really been a problem for them.  Continue reading “10 Easy Ways to Supplement Foreign Language Learning in Your Homeschool”

Homeschoolers, Don’t Fall for the Standardized Testing Gimmick!

I hate standardized tests. As a homeschool mom, I think they’re one of the most useless things on the planet- right up there with cockroaches and mosquitoes.

Yet, just the other week I had a conversation with someone about homeschooling that went something like this:  Continue reading “Homeschoolers, Don’t Fall for the Standardized Testing Gimmick!”

The ULTIMATE List of Homeschool Unit Study Resources

Because, hey, can you really have too many unit studies?

In our busy, yet relaxed, homeschool, unit studies are, by far, one of our favorite approaches to learning. To me, a good unit study is the perfect combination of living books, hands-on activities, and notebooking.

There are literally thousands of unit study resources out there, and, I’m telling you, that in itself can be very intimidating to think about.

Today I’ve compiled a list of the best unit study resources I’ve come across so that you can find a slew of fantastic ideas all in one place. Enjoy!  Continue reading “The ULTIMATE List of Homeschool Unit Study Resources”

10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Teaching Degree to Homeschool

Several times a year without fail, I have a conversation with someone that goes something like this:

So where do your kids go to school?

We homeschool.

Are you a teacher?

No.

Do you have a teaching degree?

No.

Then, are you qualified to teach your children?

Sigh.   Continue reading “10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Teaching Degree to Homeschool”

10 Lies About Homeschooling You Need to Ignore

As someone who has been around the homeschooling community both in real life and online for the past eight years, I’ve come across some real whoppers about homeschooling. 

Lies About Homeschooling

While those of us who actually know what this life is all about may roll our eyes at these falsehoods, they can actually pose a real problem for those who are either considering homeschooling or who may have just started.  (I made a YouTube video about this here.) Continue reading “10 Lies About Homeschooling You Need to Ignore”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Giving Our Children the World

homeschoolers world
Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know you’re probably getting tired of reading about how anxious I am for school to start, but I just can’t help myself because I just realized that this is the second last break-post I’ll be writing. After that we’ll be back on task again. I went to the library on Monday to get the books we’ll be needing for the next few weeks, and I honestly had to hold in excited laughter as I was putting the book list in my purse because I didn’t want my kids to think I was nuts. 🙂

(This post contains affiliate links)

Another thing I’m really excited about is that this week started Jamie Martin’s Read the World Summer Book Club. Each week she’ll be focusing on a different part of the world, and we can choose books to read to coincide with that geographical area. We’ve been using her new book, Give Your Child the World, because of the exhaustive book lists included in it. (I should point out that I am not an affiliate of simplehomeschool.net. I just really wanted to share this great opportunity with you!) Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Giving Our Children the World”

Lazy Day Links- 4/30/16

Happy weekend! I hope you enjoy this week’s links and book recommendations. 🙂

lazy day links
Image courtesy of porbital at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As promised last week, here are this week’s lazy day links!

(Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy.)

Favorite Blog Posts:

Five Simple Ways to Ruin Your Homeschool {And What to Do Instead}– The Unlikely Homeschool

Dear Beyonce,– Beauty Beyond Bones

The Truth about Hospitality– The Art of Simple

Take Me to Your Dungeon Master– FIMBY

Simple Homeschooling: What My Kids Need to Learn– Generation Cedar

 

My Older Posts:

Translating Board Games into Educationese

Unlimited Gaming? Not These Unschoolers!

Small Steps Are a Big Deal

Going on a Road Trip? Ditch the Textbooks and Live Life!

Navigating the Red Tape- Part 1: How Do I Know What My Kids Are Learning?

 

Books Worth Reading:

Man, Myth, Messiah– Rice Broocks

On the Trail of the Nephilim, Vol. 2– L.A. Marzulli

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling– John Holt

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling– John Taylor Gatto

Angelopolis– Danielle Trussoni

 

I hope you enjoy. Have a great weekend!

Linking up with:

Book Nook

Looking at the Bright Side of Unschooling

Finding balance within your homeschool is the key to superior learning, and some unschooling philosophies can play a key role in that.

sun
Image courtesy of lekkyjustdoit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After writing yesterday’s post about our experience with unschooling, I began to wonder if I was able to adequately convey our good experiences with it. I fear that there was a bit of negativity at the end, and I felt the need to clarify myself.

I am not against unschooling. I feel that some of its philosophies about allowing children to pursue their own interests and using life as a curriculum hit the nail right on the head. I have seen first-hand how much children learn when they have a vested interest in something. In fact, our family still uses natural learning as an important part of our homeschooling routine. Our structured learning normally takes only about two hours a day, while the rest of the day is open for my children to engage in anything they find useful and interesting.

What this has looked like this past week has been my son deciding that he would like to become a wildlife photographer after spending hours at the creek every day taking photos like these:

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Spending six hours a day doing structured school work would have prevented him from committing the time he did towards this project. Is this as valuable as book work? I’d have to say that this holds even more value because this is something he initiated on his own and will, therefore, remember all the better.

Before our unschool experiment, I would have scoffed if he had asked me to go to the creek during the school day every single day for an entire week. I would have lectured him about the importance of getting an education. Unschooling taught me to recognize that this is an education.

It also gave me the ability to see the worth in seemingly mundane things that many parents overlook. Caring for a sick baby bird. Making homemade paint out of sidewalk chalk. Helping the neighbor in her garden. These are all things I would happily set aside school work for in order to pursue.

Does this mean I do not assign value to book learning? Absolutely not. I am a self-professed nerd, and I realize that there are some things that are better learned with some structure- usually some sort of book, but not always.

It all comes down to balance. At the end of the day- at least with my children- there are some things which are best learned when they are taught, and there are other things best left to experience in real life. This is what homeschooling is all about. Finding the balance that is right for your family and allowing the joy that follows to shine through.

For more photos like these, you can follow my son on Instagram!

 

Linking up with:

This Is How We Roll

Think Tank Thursday

Thriving on Thursdays

Friendship Friday

Family Fun Friday

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Homeschool Linkup

Friday Features

Friday Frivolity

Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Family, Friendship, and Faith Linkup

Pin Me Link Party

Make My Saturday Sweet

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Making Your Home Sing Monday

Mommy Moments

Inspire Me Monday

Social Butterfly Sunday

Practical Mondays

Mommy Monday

Monday of Many Blessings

Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop

Tuesday Talk

Littles Learning Linkups

Wordless Wednesday

Top Notch Tuesday

Finishing Strong

 

 

Lazy Day Links- 4/23/16

Having a lazy day? I’ve got some links and books you just might be interested in!

lazy day links
Image courtesy of porbital at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

(This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.)

If you’re anything like I am, there are some days that you just can’t seem to get yourself moving. These are the days you spend lazily browsing blog after blog and website after website, trying to find something that will interest you for at least a little while. Since these days are usually on the weekends for me, I’ve decided to share links with you each Saturday. These will include 5 of my favorite blog posts from other bloggers, 5 of my own that you may not have seen, and 5 books I think are worth reading. I hope you enjoy!

Favorite Blog Posts:

10 Guarantees I Wish Homeschooling Offered {But It Doesn’t}– Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

5 Things That Really Matter in Your Child’s Education (Homeschooling Moms, Read This.)– Generation Cedar

My Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Over-Thinking Methods and Philosophies– Amongst Lovely Things

Education and Doll Making– FIMBY

10 ways you’re making your homeschool day harder than it needs to be– Simple Homeschool

My Older Posts:

Maybe ”Educational” Should Be a Bad Word

Sometimes Simple Is Hard

What Exactly Is an Unschooler?

Just Let Your Kids Play, Already!

The Top Ten Reasons I Homeschool

Books Worth Reading:

Learning All the Time– John Holt

As It Was in the Days of Noah– Jeff Kinley

On the Trail of the Nephilim- Volume 1– LA Marzulli

Monster– Frank Peretti

Angelology: A Novel (Angelology Series)– Danielle Trussoni

 

Do you have any suggestions? Have a great weekend!

Linking up with:

5 After 5

Inspire Me Monday

Literacy Musing Mondays