About Kara

Kara is mother of four, a caregiver, and a small town girl. She keeps a lifestyle blog at K. Elizabeth Fleck and a YouTube channel.

4 things to do now you’ll thank yourself for next year

Written by Kara Fleck

In our house, December is a time we set aside our regular schoolwork and dedicate ourselves to seasonal activities and celebrations.

But before you tuck away your homeschool for the calendar year, here are a few things to do that you will be thanking yourself for when you start lessons again:

1. Catch up with that paperwork

I have reading lists for four kids that need updating, assignments that need to be filed away in the appropriate kid’s binder, artwork that needs to be documented and then recycled, and various other record keeping tasks.

I find it harder to keep up with these tasks on the days we have lessons and somehow the weekends just never seem to mesh with this kind of bookkeeping. A dedicated hour or two in December should be enough to catch me back up again.
[Read more…]

4 Homeschoolers to check out on YouTube

Written by Kara Fleck

One of this homeschooling mom’s favorite things about YouTube is that it is available any time. Have a load of laundry to fold? Ten spare minutes with the morning coffee? Need some company while you’re doing your Sunday evening homeschool prep? Hello, YouTube!

While I do dearly love blogs and websites, sometimes it helps me to actually see and hear another person explaining something or showing how they use a resource. I’ve had more than one “ah ha!” moment thanks to YouTube.

Homeschool YouTube Channels

Here are a few of the YouTubers whose content I’m always happy to add to my Watch Later playlist:

[Read more…]

What we did for math week

Written by Kara Fleck.

Remember how I told you part of our summer learning was going to include a mini-math intensive?

Well, I did it, friends: Math Week!

And we all lived to tell the tale. Well, okay, as I write this we have one more day to go, but the week has been a good one and I’m assuming will end well.

  • Who: my four kids, ages 5 to 15
  • What: a week focused on math
  • Where: our living room, kitchen, backyard, and the grocery store
  • Why: because I felt we could all use a week of concentrating on our math skills without having to divide our focus with any other subjects
  • How: casually, with no pressure, for an hour every day plus extras

So, how did it go? There might have been a few sighs and “Professor Snape” comments at the beginning of the first day.

But, it didn’t take long before we were all having a good time. Yes, really!

[Read more…]

My 3 step process for homeschool planning

KaraFleckPlanningSHpicmo
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:
[Read more…]

Our summer learning plans: travel, literature, math, rest

Written by Kara Fleck

Our summer break is coming up and I am looking forward to it. It has been one of our best school years ever, but it took real effort and hard work from all of us.

We’re ready for some time off.

But first, before we mark the break between grades and school years, I want to squeeze in a summer session. I have plans for travel, a family literature study, and a mini math (not so intense) intensive.

I love our summer school sessions. We sleep in, move many of our lessons outdoors, and the pace is slower. I narrow the focus of our learning, keeping things simple, for them and for me.

Summer is a good time for review, for travel, and for exploring topics that we might not have had a chance to get to during the rest of the year.

[Read more…]