Weekend links

This post contains affiliate links, and when you purchase anything after clicking them it benefits my family. Thank you for your support of this site!
weekend links

My recommendations this week:

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Sometimes don’t you just wish you could hear from someone who traveled this crazy road of alternative education & came out the other side successfully?

I tore through the pages of The Call to Brilliance years ago and felt so inspired by the story of Resa & her kids: “Unable to read until ages nine and ten, they entered college at eleven and twelve, became systems administrators, chief technology officers, trained with the Berlin Opera and Hamburg Ballet, and more, all before the ages of eighteen.”

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I got SO much beauty & reassurance out of Sarah Mackenzie’s new ebook, Teaching from a State of Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace. As I said in my official review of it: “Sarah beautifully reminds us that we will never be able to give our children the ‘perfect’ education. Instead of crumbling under the weight of our attempts to do so, we can let the burdens fall off our tired backs.”

Highly recommended as a summer inspirational read before the new school year kicks off. And make sure you check out Sarah’s blog as well.


If you’re a mama who hates clothes shopping (like I do!), you may find Stitch Fix to be your answer (like I have!)

5 items delivered to your door each month to try on (according to a style profile you complete), keep the ones you want, & send the rest back in a prepaid envelope.

Featured sponsors this week:

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From the folks behind the popular curriculum Math-U-See, comes a new program – Spelling You See!

It’s aim is to imprint correct spelling into a student’s long-term visual memory through short daily activities that integrate copy work, reading, speaking, & listening.

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I’m not what you would call a “crafty” mom, which is why Green Kid Crafts has been a help to our family!

I like how each monthly box includes ALL the supplies needed – that every project is separated and organized in its own bag, and that they are simple and fun (& usually not too messy!) Use the code HEARTDAD for 40% off your first month through 6/16.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”
~ William Shakespeare

The Growly Books (with a freebie for you!)


Today I’m joining in to celebrate with my virtual friends Philip and Erin Ulrich the release of their new book, Morning.

It’s the third and final installment in the Growly Bear series.

And they are celebrating their book launch with a gift for you! Find it at the end of this post.
[Read more...]

Giveaway: $135+ curriculum package from Math-U-See


This giveaway has ended; thanks for your interest!

Welcome to today’s giveaway, sponsored by Math-U-See!

About Math-U-See:

“Math-U-See is math you’ll love.

For over 20 years, Math-U-See has successfully taught students to understand and apply mathematical concepts.

Math-U-See is a complete K–12 math curriculum focused on homeschool and small group learning environments that uses manipulatives to illustrate and teach math concepts.

We “build understanding” in students with a multi-sensory, mastery-based approach suitable for all levels and learning styles.

Levels focus on a specific set of concepts while continuously reviewing and integrating previous concepts; other math topics are introduced where appropriate.”
[Read more...]

Charting the path ahead: Making a homeschool “compass”

Making a homeschool compass
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is part of an ongoing series
about the educational philosophy Leadership Education
(also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)
Find the other posts in the series here.

I brewed inviting mugs of hot tea, explained to the kids our goal for the day, and carried the mugs to our porch where we could enjoy the recent influx of definitive spring-like weather (Hallelujah!).

I also trying to brew a little inspiration for something we’d never done before–making homeschool compasses. A compass should do what it sounds like–point us in the right direction for our learning as a family.

For years now I’ve regularly created “six month inventories” for our homeschool–plans that form a scaffold for what Steve and I need to do in order to guide and direct our children’s educations.

Every six months (or thereabouts) I carve out quiet, pray for each child, and brainstorm ideas about what he or she needs most at this time.

A compass is similar in some ways–except that the kids have created it themselves! I figured that now–at ages 9, almost 10, and just-turned-11–they would be ready to set some of their own learning goals.

But I was surprised by how deep we went and how much we enjoyed the whole process.

“Each binder should include the student’s past and current compass - a six month list of everything they want to study, learn and do.”
- from Leadership Education The Phases of Learning

[Read more...]

Weekend links

This post contains affiliate links, and when you purchase anything after clicking them it benefits my family. Thank you for your support of this site!

weekend links

Jamie’s recommendations this week:

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I devoured this book five years ago at a homeschooling conference (skipping out on many of the actual sessions so I could keep reading!) John Holt’s words in Teach Your Own totally gave me the courage to begin our family culture of living and learning at home.

An inspiring read if you’re considering home education or just need some encouragement to keep going.

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Check out this limited-time Kindle freebie! Natural Born Learners features essays and interview excerpts from a powerhouse of educational pioneers including John Taylor Gatto, Pat Farenga, Joseph Chilton Pearce, David Albert, Grace Llewellyn and tons more.

Covers everything from what unschooling is, to the ways you can implement it, to stories from those who have grown up in this type of learning environment.

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Do you have a child in your home who tends to blow up (i.e. explode) over very small things and don’t respond to the typical discipline strategies you’ve tried over the years?

In The Explosive Child, Ross Greene puts forward a new blueprint for responding to the challenges that arise with children like these. Over 250 5-star reviews on Amazon and some thoughtful and unique advice.

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I have to admit that doing science experiments with my kiddos is not my favorite homeschool activity, but I loved that this Magic School Bus kit came with a giant life-size poster of the human body with stickers to put on and label the different systems.

Featured sponsors this week:

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Lindsey from Home Art Studio has put together a full art curriculum on DVD for parents to use with their kids in grades K-5.

The lessons include a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and more – and the best part is that parents don’t have to be artsy to use these with your kiddos. Inexpensive, too!

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If you follow the Waldorf educational philosophy, Christopherus Homeschool Resources might be a good fit for you.

Donna has translated the curriculum typically followed in a Waldorf school, and has adapted it to work in a homeschool environment. Resources go from grades 1 – 8.

little passports

We’ve been traveling the world via Little Passports for several months now, and all three of my kids still get excited when our monthly package arrives in the mail!

The first month comes with a small suitcase, and each follows with a worksheet, letter, photo, & souvenir to put inside. It’s been a fun addition to our geography studies this year.

Spelling Can Be Easy

All About Reading/Spelling is one of the most popular language arts programs out there, using a variety of multi-sensory approaches to reach different types of learners.

If you’re looking for a curriculum for the upcoming year, it’s worth a peek.

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Educents, a homeschooling deals site, is offering FREE shipping this weekend PLUS no sales tax!

That makes this Life of Fred Math set a pretty good deal – plus there’s plenty of other offers on music sets, language DVDs, magazine subscriptions, and more.

“If [our schools] are still bad maybe we should declare educational bankruptcy, give the people their money and let them educate themselves and start their own schools.”
~ William John Bennett