How to help your kids fall in love with history

how to help your kids fall in love with history
Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

History is boring!

Okay, not really, but that’s definitely how I felt when I was in school. Now, history is my favorite subject to learn alongside my kids and one of their favorite subjects, as well.

What’s made the difference?

In large part, it’s due to learning history through historical fiction and biographies, rather than a textbook. Nothing puts a reader in a particular place or time better than getting engrossed in a great story.
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5 educational board games you probably already own

Educational Board Games

Written by contributor Kris Bales, of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

My family and I enjoy playing lots of board and card games.

Usually when we’re playing, it’s just for fun and I’m not even considering the educational value. However, a lot of games that we play actually put many practical learning skills to use.

What hidden learning is lurking in your game closet? [Read more…]

How to deal with the winter homeschool blues

How to deal with the winter homeschool blues ~SimpleHomeschool.net

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Winter doldrums. Winter Blues. Cabin fever.

I was not going to write about this seasonal phenomenon because I’ve seen it mentioned on several other blogs recently. It’s been covered, right?

But I’ve been feeling a little blah myself lately. It hasn’t been as bad as I’ve experienced in the past, but enough to remind me that it’s something we all deal with…and I know a lot of moms have a worse case than I do.

So what causes the winter blues and how they be combated?
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Kris’s homeschool day in the life (with an 11-, 13-, & 17-year-old)

This post written by contributing writer Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I used to think we were really atypical homeschoolers as far as our schedule is concerned, but over the last few years more and more late-starting homeschooling families have spoken up and let me know that we’re not alone. Late-risers unite! {grin}

My children are 17, 13, and 11. Studies have shown that teens need more sleep than elementary-aged kids or adults and I love that homeschooling allows my teens to adopt a schedule that lets them focus on schoolwork when they’re at their mental peak for the day – which is not before noon.
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Homeschool mid-year: reflecting on what’s working

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

We just finished up school for the year. No, not the school year. We finished for the calendar year. We’re taking the whole month of December off. We did that once before and it didn’t go so well – the kids got very restless.

We’re trying it again this year, though, as part of our year ’round school schedule – six weeks on, one week off with a longer break during the summer and at Christmas. I do plan to make some changes this time, versus the last time we took a long Christmas break.

For one thing, there are several homemade Christmas projects I’d like to try this year and all of the kids are old enough to help. They may not all want to {*cough* the boy *cough*}, but I think that two of them will. I’d also like to make time for some service projects – cooking some meals for others or maybe serving at the soup kitchen.

As we plan for a more productive Christmas break, I can’t help reflecting on how the first half of the school year has gone. Honestly, it’s been one of our best years in a long time. I really think a big part of the reason is the new curriculum that we started using this time last year, but there’s more to it than that.
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