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!

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The way to make sure schoolwork gets done

Get School Done - The Surefire Way - Simple HomeschoolWritten by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

Our family falls off the homeschooling wagon sometimes. I know that might come as a shock to you.

Homeschooling moms have an innate ability to assume that everyone else is more disciplined than their own family. So let me disabuse you of that notion immediately.

Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes. (There. I feel better already.)

It happens for different reasons, of course. Sometimes family outings intervene. At other times, it is just someone being sick. These are things we cannot control.

But sometimes, school does not get done for reasons we can control. That’s what I’m here to talk about.

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On how I finally stopped hating workbooks

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

When we first began homeschooling, workbooks represented two things I desperately wanted to avoid: an impersonalized learning system and the idea of fitting all children into the same box/grade level.

We had a few workbooks on our shelf, but I only used them at a child’s request–not very often.

However, as my kids became older, I slowly began to see two benefits that workbooks also have to offer:

1. They leave a paper trail. This comes in handy when you need proof of all the learning, both informal and formal, that happens under your roof.

2. They can calm a mama’s or papa’s homeschool jitters.

Sometimes when you’re homeschooling, you feel completely out of your element. Making a habit of even one workbook page a day can take the edge off those insecurities.

When my kids were littles, my main goal was for them to fall in love with learning. It still is! But I think having the tiniest amount of book work might have settled my own worries just a tad while giving them 95+% interest-led learning freedom.

If this is something you’d like to try, look for a way to encourage your kids to agree to the idea, too, so that even this small minimum will not become a battleground.

Tip: I often tape a $5 bill in the back of a workbook and find that to be quite the compelling incentive! We also use our positivity bean jar to encourage this type of work.

Over the years we have found a few workbooks that worked well for us. So when the opportunity came to partner with Workman Publishing, creators of the colorful Big Fat Notebooks and our favorite Star Wars workbooks, I eagerly agreed to take a peek at their new line of summer workbooks.

Here’s an official overview:
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5 questions to ask yourself before buying curriculum

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Curriculum

Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

It’s that time of year again. When April rolls around, it’s as if we all take a nice, deep breath.

Spring has finally arrived. The winter doldrums are over.

The burnt out feeling is gone and we are ready. Eager to start another year. Hope renewed. No longer tired, no longer dragging ourselves out of bed, we look forward to the smell of new books, exciting new things to learn.

Are you beginning to think about what you might need for next year? Are you going to a homeschool conference or convention soon?

Before you buy any shiny, new curriculum, before you plunk down your hard earned money in hopes that you and your kids will love it, save yourself some heartache by asking yourself these five questions.

They will help you set the tone for a better year and could even save you some heartache:

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Heal the World Book Club


Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

The idea came to me a few days after the election. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Because no matter how we voted, one thing we likely agree on is that this past election season hurt on some level. Another thing we agree on?

Our world needs hope and healing. And we want a better world for our children.

I want my kids to love others, even those who differ from them. I want them to want to make the world a better place, to want to serve others–just because it’s right to do so.

Most of all, I want them to know that they can start doing all of the above NOW, making a difference before they’ve even reached adulthood. I want them to feel empowered, not disenfranchised or apathetic.

And I believe books can help.

That’s why I wrote Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

And it’s why I want to invite you and yours to join our new Heal the World Book Club!

Just take a peek:

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