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About Anne Bogel

Anne is a certified bookworm and homeschooling mom to 4 crazy kids. She loves Jane Austen, strong coffee, the social graces and social media. You can find her blogging at Modern Mrs Darcy.

Simple ways to create a content-rich environment this summer (and why it matters)

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Written by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

At my house, we’ve decided to take a “summer break” this year—or at least that’s what we’re telling our kids. When they’re off their regular school schedule (you know, the one where they start their school days with math at 9:00 a.m.), it feels like summer vacation.

Here’s what they don’t know: my husband and I are very intentional about providing great content so they are learning all the time—even while they’re on “break.”

We stock our home with what they need to keep learning all summer long. School may technically be out of session, but that’s no reason to put their education on hold.

Here are our favorite tips and tricks for building a content-rich environment. [Read more…]

The important influence of the not-parents.

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Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Last week, our 10-year-old surprised us at dinner when she said, “I memorized something. Want to hear it?”

And then she recited The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in its entirety, without missing a word.

I was floored.

Now I know many of you study poetry in depth with your young students, and rely heavily on memorization for your homeschool curricula. At 6 stanzas, 260 words, it’s not completely daunting. But it’s not something we do in our homeschool. At least not right now.

So of course I wanted to know: how, and why, Sarah had memorized that poem. [Read more…]

7 ways audiobooks enrich our homeschool experience (while preserving my voice & sanity)

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Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

I love to read, and so far (knock on wood) we seem to be raising kids who love to read as well. Despite my love of reading actual paper books for myself, to my kids, and with my kids, over the past few years I’ve come to rely heavily on audiobooks in our homeschool.

We have four kids at four different grade levels, and using audiobooks helps preserve my voice (especially during spring allergy season) and my sanity (all the year round) when this introvert needs a break from the noise noise noise noise.

Aside from the obvious convenience factor of audiobooks, they bring a richness and depth to our literary experience that we couldn’t get any other way. [Read more…]

Anne’s homeschool day in the life (with a 4-, 7-, 9- and 11-year-old)

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Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

None of our days look the same, but they all share a similar rhythm.

At 6:00 a.m., I’m usually the only one awake. (I’m thankful to finally be in a season where I’m up before my kids: it wasn’t always like that!) The first thing I do is head to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee.

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I enjoy the quiet time and get an hour of writing in, then head out the door for a quick run.

The kids are just waking up when I get back. I hit the shower while Will gets breakfast started.

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After we say goodbye to Will, we finish getting ready, and then dive in to our schoolwork.

We call our brand of home education classical unschooling. Our curriculum is classical, but we’re pretty free-wheeling in our implementation. We also leave lots of room for self-directed learning and independent projects.

[Read more…]

The best Christmas scenes in children’s literature

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Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

For your holiday enjoyment, I present to you the best Christmas scenes in children’s literature. (I shared the best Christmas scenes in English literature last week.)

It was painful to choose just a snippet to share because the extended scenes—and the books from which they were drawn—are all so good!

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

(Find the movie version here.)

“It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness. And on the sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him. He was a huge man in a bright red robe (bright as hollyberries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest. Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find him quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn.

“I’ve come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening.”

[Read more…]