Involving Dad in Your Homeschool

If you are like “the average” homeschooling family, one parent is largely responsible for the day-to-day schooling while the other is the primary wage earner.

Most often Mom is the one at home overseeing the education while Dad is working outside the home. I don’t think this particular arrangement is ideal, but it is the situation many homeschoolers find ourselves in.

Dads (and mothers who are the primary wage earners) can and should be involved in the family homeschool.

It’s vitally important for children to have both parents active in their learning.

We are like many homeschooling families with Mom at home and Dad at work. But just because Dad’s not home during the day doesn’t mean he isn’t engaged in our children’s education.

With some creative approaches to learning and simple time management we’ve found ways for Dad to play a significant part in homeschool life.
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Curriculum Choices: Tackling Math

When it comes to teaching math, some homeschooling mamas and papas have to stifle an inner groan. Many of us had bad experiences with this subject when we were in school, and we’re reluctant to pass on that attitude to our bright-eyed kids.

This is why it’s especially important that the math curriculum we choose fits with our children’s learning styles and with our family’s educational philosophy. Of course many math skills can and should be learned through life–using recipes, balancing a checkbook, playing board games, and much more.

But if you’re on the lookout for a traditional math curriculum to use at home, here are six popular ones to consider. [Read more...]

Weekend Links

Happy Mother’s Day!

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”~ Henry Ward Beecher

Preparing to Funschool this Summer

When we first started homeschooling, I saw summer as a way of preparing for the next year–a few months to dedicate to intense schooling and perhaps, complete half of the next grade-level.

Looking back, I clearly see that this was a totally unrealistic goal, not to mention an unpleasant way to spend the summer. Given the choice, almost no child would chose schoolwork over fun in the summer months. That’s not to say they are opposed to learning. I firmly believe that most children are wired to learn, but on their own terms.

There is no better time to let them explore their own interests — without the constraints of “school” — than during a long summer vacation. For us, that means taking full advantage of the outdoors and local activities.

Although we are relaxed homeschoolers, we are part of a charter school, and therefore must abide by their rules — we have to participate in standardize tests and turn in a certain amount of busywork every month. Summer is a welcomed break from all that and through our years, I’ve learned to embrace the freedom, rather than abuse it to “get ahead.” [Read more...]

Teaching the Curriculum of Generosity

It’s easy in the homeschooling lifestyle to get consumed by the details–the box-checking, the curriculum, the feeling of being “behind,” the never-ending chores. But deep down inside, we know life offers so much more to us and our children.

We just don’t have the time to see it.

Yet if someone was to ask about our long-term hopes for our children, we’d probably mention character traits like thoughtfulness, passion, and generosity. As Heidi reminded us recently, these qualities are educational goals for the whole child.

Almost a century ago, political activist Emma Goldman had this to say:

“No one has yet to realize the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.”

But how do we, as parents, go about unlocking our children’s generous spirits? And why should we put forth the effort when so many other items reside on our to-do lists?

Consider for a moment these four suggestions.

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