Archives for April 2013

Weekend links


“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” ~ C.S. Lewis

The transformative power of historical fiction

historical fiction recommendations for ages 9-18 simplehomeschool
The following is a guest post written by Caroline Starr Rose of Caroline by line and the verse novel May B.

What’s the point of historical fiction? Publisher’s Weekly recently ran an interview with Newbery and Newbery-Honor medalist Karen Cushman, one of children’s literature’s most celebrated authors. Here’s what she had to say:

“I think for readers historical fiction is important because it helps them to see beyond the boundaries of their own experience. It helps them to stretch and to see what life is like for others. This helps illustrate both how we are the same and how we are different, and can give readers more empathy.”

As a social studies teacher turned children’s author, nothing fires me up as a much as a well-crafted historical novel. Nothing has made history more personal than the books I’ve treasured in childhood and beyond.

Here are some historical titles worth celebrating, worth sharing, worth reading with the young people in your lives.
[Read more…]

Free educational resources you might not have heard of

free educational resources

Once upon a time I believed that homeschooling, done well, required a significant financial investment. Private schools and the amount spent by the government on each public school student certainly suggest that education comes at a high price.

After a couple of years, however, I began to notice that my kids needed less and less in order to learn. A library card, favorite book titles purchased for our home collection, a stack of blank paper, and a few well-chosen resources here and there have done the job quite nicely thus far.

Have you made the same discovery? If you’re interested in saving your pennies while still helping those little minds grow, here are a few free and inexpensive educational resources you might not have heard of.
[Read more…]

Weekend links

weekend links
My Elijah turned eight this week–here he is sporting the new bike he received! I honored him and the story of how he joined our family on Steady Mom if you’d like to check it out.

For those readers based in Connecticut, I wanted to invite you to Newtown on April 28th to take part in a free Family Fun Day at Two Coyotes Wilderness School from 1-4pm.

This event is completely free and will include food, drinks, and fun nature activities for the whole family like building a fire, wildlife tracking, edible plant hike, and more.

girls drum

More information:

Date:           Sunday, April 28, 2013
Ages:           Boys and Girls 5-16 & their parents
Cost:            FREE
Activities:    Family Nature Stations                1-4 pm
“The Healing Effects of Nature” talk    3-3:30 pm
Discussion and Q&A              3:30-4 pm
Place:           Sticks and Stones Farm – 197 Huntingtown Road, Newtown

To register:

Click here and enter the Campfire Code: Simple Homeschool

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ~ Robert Frost

Becoming brave writers: A review of The Writer’s Jungle

Becoming brave writers: A review of The Writer's Jungle
Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Last semester, I determined my third grade twins should do a writing project. I requested a paragraph from each about their history studies. Simple, right?

A week later, we were all in tears and only after much angst did they eke out their boring four sentence paragraphs. I was baffled. I’m a writer. I love to edit. They like to write. Why was this so painful???

I spent my Christmas vacation evaluating our writing program. Or lack thereof. Apparently, my kids weren’t going to learn to write or to love writing just by living with their blogging mama. I needed something else.

I stumbled across the Brave Writer website and the correlating book The Writer’s Jungle by Julie Bogart. By the time I finished it, my copy of the book looked like this:


In The Writer’s Jungle, I found the tools to make writing pain-free:
[Read more…]