5 Homeschool Planning Hacks to Save Your Sanity!

Ah, homeschool planning. You either love it, or you hate, am I right?

Me? I’ve always loved it – perhaps a little too much. I enjoyed doing it so much that I would often go overboard. I’d plan too far ahead. I’d get too specific, and I would get too ambitious about what days we’d be doing what activity…even six months down the road!

Lord, I don’t miss those days. Since then I’ve learned that when it comes to homeschool planning, it needs to follow in the footsteps of my homeschool philosophy: keeping things simple.

Here are the five most important things I’ve learned about planning a homeschool schedule. I hope it helps some of you! Continue reading “5 Homeschool Planning Hacks to Save Your Sanity!”

Advertisements

Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan for Elementary and Middle School

I can’t believe it. Our new homeschool year begins next week already. Wow, this past six weeks went quickly!

As I was gathering books at the library for our first unit study the other day, I realized that some of you might like to see how I’m planning for our homeschool days to unfold, especially in regard to our unit study. I’m fairly certain that, even though I address unit studies quite often, they can be a bit of a mystery to those who are unfamiliar with them.

As you might be aware, for years I’ve been breaking my children into groups for their learning, simply because I have so many of them. 😉 (This year I’m homeschooling 8 again.)

However, now that my second youngest is ready to move up to the middles group, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma – that leaves my youngest alone in the littles group. She’s not too happy about that.

Continue reading “Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan for Elementary and Middle School”

Bring Ancient History to Life with Beautiful Feet Books

When I was growing up, I hated history. I hated everything about it: the boring textbooks, the required memorization of dates and other (what I thought was) useless trivia, the multiple choice tests that were easy to ace but served no purpose when it came to retention, and the boring documentaries accompanied by worksheets designed to make sure we were paying attention.

Yup. It was awful. Continue reading “Bring Ancient History to Life with Beautiful Feet Books”

CTCMath Is a MUST for Your Relaxed Homeschool

Hi, my name is Shelly, and I homeschool eight kids.

Do I have your attention now? I’m going to admit, as a mom of eleven, eight isn’t really all that difficult to handle. I mean it! After graduating my three oldest, I finally feel like I’ve got the hang of this homeschooling thing. You see, if I had to choose one word to describe my home education philosophy it would be this:

Relaxed.

Believe me, it didn’t start out that way. We ended up here by sheer necessity, and praise God we did.

Continue reading “CTCMath Is a MUST for Your Relaxed Homeschool”

Lifeschooling: Using the World as Your Classroom

Have you ever thought about what the word “curriculum” means? For years, the first thing that came to mind for me were books – textbooks, to be precise.

While books can – and usually do – fill that role, that’s not what curriculum specifically means. Curriculum simply means having a plan in place for an approach to education.

That’s it.

Continue reading “Lifeschooling: Using the World as Your Classroom”

2019/2020 Homeschool Curriculum for 8 Kids

It’s that time of year again…. curriculum time! Admit it, you feel just a little giddy planning for your next homeschool year, too. 😉

Like this year, next year I’ll be homeschooling eight kids – 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 12th. At one point I was homeschooling ten, so I’m getting there! One thing I’ve learned over these ten years of homeschooling is that our curriculum choices aren’t set in stone.

They just aren’t.

I refuse to allow myself and my children to get caught up in trying to make our homeschool fit our curriculum, rather than the other way around.

With that being said, I’m going to share with you the resources we’ve chosen for next year. Before I start, though, I’m going to make one thing clear:

Continue reading “2019/2020 Homeschool Curriculum for 8 Kids”

Using Read-Alouds as the Spine of Your Homeschool

Imagine a homeschool day with no textbooks, no worksheets, and no busy work. Imagine a homeschool day quietly spent reading aloud to your children, all the while feeling perfectly confident that this was enough. Imagine a homeschool day devoid of disconnected subjects and seemingly impractical lessons but instead filled with quiet conversations and sometimes passionate debate.

Sound impossible?

This, my friends, is a homeschool that is centered on read-alouds.

Continue reading “Using Read-Alouds as the Spine of Your Homeschool”

Our Must-Have Notebooking Supply List

I remember a time when I could never get my kids to write without dealing with complaints, insecurity, and tears. Since we began notebooking a couple years ago, I’ve found that not only are my children much more receptive to writing, but they often do it in their spare time, as well – voluntarily.

I’ll admit that if I had just approached notebooking as yet another way to incorporate writing, it would have backfired. The key to our notebooking success has been less about using it as a method and more about using it to provide my kids with choices.

Continue reading “Our Must-Have Notebooking Supply List”

3 Practical Hacks for Homeschooling High School

Over these past ten years, I’ve realized something about homeschooling high school:

It is way too easy to overcomplicate things.

Honestly, though, it’s understandable. It’s a big deal! What if we mess up?? The fear is all too real.

So what do we do to ensure that won’t happen? We overcompensate. We overschedule. And worst of all – we start trying too hard to look like school. Continue reading “3 Practical Hacks for Homeschooling High School”

Using Curriculum As Your Tool Rather Than Your Master

Having the right curriculum can either make or break your homeschool. Am I right? Getting sucked into the belief that your homeschool resources of choice must be used as written is one of the most debilitating things that can happen to your homeschool routine.

Don’t do it.

While some homeschoolers feel perfectly at home using life as their curriculum, most of us prefer to at least have something we can fall back on. Unfortunately, it can be far too easy to get so hung up on staying on track, doing every single activity, and covering every single page that the freedom that homeschooling should bring will feel like an unattainable feat. Continue reading “Using Curriculum As Your Tool Rather Than Your Master”