Anchoring: An Organizational Tool

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

We all have tasks in our days that are important and require diligence. Homeschooling, homemaking, family life, health, creative pursuits, and employment are just a few priorities that you might be juggling daily.

Consistency in some of these areas might come more naturally than in others. My strong suit is homemaking. Maybe that’s because I’ve been at it for well over a decade. Staying on top of meals, laundry and bills is nearly second nature.

But homeschooling is harder for me–especially now that I am making a more disciplined effort to build a foundation of reading, writing and math for our elementary aged children.

This year I am challenging myself, more than ever, to stay on top of our daily homeschool priorities. We are now a couple months into our school year and experiencing success with a particular technique that is helping us meet our goals.

I call this technique anchoring.
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How to Use the Library in Your Homeschool

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

At the start of our family’s homeschool experience I felt uncertain about this journey. I questioned my skills as a mother and teacher, wondered how my children could learn “all they needed to know” at home and how we could possibly afford to give them an excellent education. (I still feel this way somedays).

Around this time I read a strategy for home education that seemed doable for me. I wish I could remember where I read it or who wrote it, but it went something like this:

All you really need to homeschool is love and a library card.

I’ve hung my educational hat on these principles during my kids’ early years.

Love will lead you to seek what’s best for your child and motivate you to find the resources you need. And with a library card and good library system you can provide the books to form the foundation of an excellent education.

Our family uses library resources as the core of our children’s elementary aged curriculum. As such, we have been making weekly treks to our local library for years.

Here are the reasons we’ve done that and how we’ve made it work.

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Deciding What to Teach Your Kids

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

A while back I got the following question on my personal blog from a reader, “How do you decide what to teach your kids?”

I want to answer that question in this space because I think my response might also help some of you here.

One of the reasons our family homeschools is to give our children a large degree of learning freedom. To allow them to pursue their interests and develop their unique gifts and talents. We are not unschoolers, as I explain here, but we are relaxed in our approach while also being very intentional about the long term goals for our children’s education.

From that perspective here are four guiding principles to answer the “what to teach” question.

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3 Lessons Learned for the Beginner Homeschooler

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

Eleven years ago our family started this home education journey with the birth of our oldest child. We never did try a public or private school option. Homeschooling is all we know.

Our family’s experience is limited to elementary aged education. So I’m certainly no expert on the subject of homeschooling, but I have learned a few lessons of my own along the way. Perhaps these are even more important than what my children have learned.

We’re all learning together and that’s one of the amazing benefits of home education.

These “lessons learned,” and still being learned, have come out of my insecurities and the question, “Am I doing this right?”

I hope what I’ve learned will be an encouragement if you’re just starting out or like me, have been at this a few years.

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4 (Fun) Basic Elements of Backyard Science

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor science and backyard learning.

Bubbles, insect study, gardening, star gazing and acorn catapults – all of this is science. And all of it is fun.

When your children are young – pre-school and elementary years, it is so simple to turn your backyard into an outdoor laboratory for studying the natural world.

Here’s one fun approach you can take to create an outdoor environment for learning inspired by the four classical elements of air, fire, earth and water.

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