About Kara

Kara is a mother of four and has been the editor of the parenting blog Simple Kids since 2010. She writes about everything else, including knitting, creative writing, and her favorite worthwhile reads and lovely things at her personal blog K. Elizabeth Fleck.

What can you do with a basket of sight words?

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Written by Kara Fleck

It all began with a list of sight words and an art class basket. A few months ago I was perusing our second grade curriculum and came across a list of sight words for second graders.

Most of them I knew that my daughter recognized, but there were some that were not a consistent part of her lexicon yet. So I thought it would be a good idea to use the list for some sight word practice.

But how to make it interesting and fun?

After watching her playing with leaves, I got an idea: why not print her sight words on leaves and give her a basket full of them to play with?

A quick Pinterest search led me to a printable leaf template, which I printed on red, orange, and yellow cardstock. Then we were off!

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10 fresh homeschooling paths to add variety to your routines

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Written by Kara Fleck.

Whether it is a string of monotonous days, the need for a fresh take on a subject, or a little boredom creeping in, sooner or later almost everyone finds themselves needing some variety in the routine.

While I value dependable routines as much as the next person (maybe more) I know my kids appreciate shaking up our normal daily rhythms from time to time.

As a parent who is in her tenth year of this homeschool journey, I crave variety, too.

10 fresh takes for your homeschool routine

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Making sure YOU fit into the homeschool plan

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Written by Kara Fleck.

I see you. You’re armed with planners, color coded lessons, book lists, and a calendar that has been filled in, scheduled, and sectioned off.

I spy the empty coffee cups, rainbows of sticky notes, and highlighted office supply store fliers: a new school year is dawning and you are ready for it.

Your learning spaces are practically humming with life as you prepare to give your children the tools they need for a bright, beautiful, habit stacked, loveliness cultivated, minds well-trained, all systems GO! academic year.

You’re rocking, you’re rolling, you’re ready! You’ve left nothing and no one out.

Or, have you?

Friends, did you remember to put your needs into the plan? Did you think of yourself?

You matter, homeschooling parent. And experience has taught me that nothing runs this whole train right off the rails like a burnt out educator.

With that in mind, here is a list of ideas to ponder as you plan the year ahead, a few brush strokes I think are worth picking and choosing from when painting the big homeschool picture:

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Our homeschool summer session: a bridge to next year

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Written by Kara Fleck

We are year-round homeschoolers, but when it’s summertime I like to move at a slower pace, keeping things light compared to the rest of the year.

In May and August we take the entire month off and I honestly don’t care if they never crack open a book.

Well, okay, I do care, but I’m not going to push it. This is their time off as much as mine and they can fill those days, or not, as they wish.

However, June and July are our summer session and we’ll fall back into our homeschool rhythm, although admittedly at a slower, more “the living is easy” kind of pace.

What does this look like? And what are our summer learning plans for this year?

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My 3 step process for homeschool planning

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Written by Kara Fleck

If the past ten years of homeschooling have taught me anything, it’s that our years go much smoother when I have a plan.

Whether it is a rough outline or a detailed map, I value having a guide to our year – something more meaningful to me as the kids are growing up, the lessons become more advanced, and this mama (and her brain) are getting older.

I’m not a naturally organized person, but I feel planning is a good complement to the rather relaxed and flexible way we approach most of the living and learning in our home. Coffee and my wits will only get me so far, but a plan can help to clarify our daily goals and keep this homeschool machine running smoothly.

So, what does my process look like? It might not be pretty, but here is my real, tried, and true method for homeschool planning:
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