Weekend Links

The winners of the May B. giveaway are: Olivia, Kala, Mimi, Brooke, & Pamela. Congrats–I’ll be emailing you soon. If you didn’t win, head straight to Amazon to add this incredible frontier story to your homeschooling library.

The Magic of Learning to Read

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

A note from Jamie: One year later, we’re much further along our reading journey! Fun to look back and see how far my kids have come–we all need that reminder from time-to-time, don’t we? This post originally published on January 24, 2011.

We were rounding a corner during our morning walk, when my six-year-old son paused to glance at a sign in someone’s yard.

“Look, Mommy. It says: SLOW. KIDS AT PLAY.”

This from a child who has never had a formal reading lesson. With a sharp-as-a-tack memory, Jonathan adds to his sight word vocabulary daily, learning to read without realizing he is.

My seven-year-old daughter is another story. Her knowledge of sight words isn’t her strength. But her grasp of phonics is much better.

When Jonathan doesn’t recognize a word, he asks Trishna to sound it out. When a word is too complex for her abilities, she asks him if he knows what it is.

And all the while my five-year-old tags along, still coloring in zigzags and ecstatic to have learned how to write the first letter of his name.

Three children. Three personalities. Three styles of learning.
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Mommy’s Unexcused Absence: A Day In The Life of a Bed Resting Mama

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

My family, with our seven kids ages 7, 7, 6, 5, 3, 1, and Not-Quite-Here-Yet are currently in a season of Not Normal Life.

For the last 14 weeks of my pregnancy, I’ve been on various levels of bed rest and high levels of medication. This means that I have about an hour and a half of teaching and talking time in the morning before I head to the couch or my bed with a whimper.

We have just enough time to do our reading aloud for history and literature, a quick grammar and spelling lesson, and maybe some phonics with my early readers. Or, if it’s a math day of the week, I teach the new math lesson. My older kids do their book work in the afternoons while my little people nap.

Our situation is certainly unique, but it’s not unthinkable that homeschooling families will have Mom/Teacher sidelined on a long-term basis at some point. And when the children/students are home all day every day, this has an even greater impact on the family.

Here are a few tips for when Mom takes a long, unexcused absence:
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On Writing, Poetry, and the Prairie: An Interview with Caroline Starr Rose

A note from Jamie: Today’s post is the first in a new book series I’m starting on Simple Homeschool–For the Love of Reading. Enjoy!

I first met Caroline Starr Rose almost 12 years ago when we both lived in the Washington, DC Area. We became close friends as we grew our families and our writing careers simultaneously.

Over the years Carrie taught me a lot–especially about being vulnerable and putting yourself out there as a writer. Visit her blog, Caroline by line, to get to know her better.

I recently got to chat with Caroline about her debut novel-in-verse for tweens and teens. May B. is a frontier story set in 1870s Kansas.

I’m so happy to feature my dear friend on Simple Homeschool today!

Check out the end of the post to see how you can win a copy.
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Hillary’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 7, 4 and 1-year-old)

This post should be called “Joel’s Homeschool Day in the Life” because three months ago my husband and I traded responsibilities: I accepted a full-time position working from our home and he exuberantly took on the role of full time caregiver and overseer of our family’s home learning.

It has been a major transition for all of us, but the rhythm of the day has mainly stayed the same and we’re happy with our new lifestyle.

While my day-to-day role has changed I remain involved in our big picture homeschooling strategy and planning, research resources and supplement specific learning themes whenever possible.

Here’s what our family’s average day looks like right now.
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