Cook your way through Little House (with a free printable plan)

IMG_7147 (2)
Give Your Child Ancient WorldWritten by Jamie of Simple Homeschool

Have you downloaded Give Your Child the ANCIENT World yet–the FREE personalized ancient world reading list I made for you and yours?

It’s been so special to finally share this preorder bonus with you. Just remember, it’s only available for a little while!

Ya’ll, I can’t seem to escape Little House. Is this some kind of disorder or syndrome?!

After our year of Little House in 2013/2014, I honestly thought we were done with it.

We’d read the series twice start to finish (once when the kids were 6-8; once when they were 8-10), and even voyaged in crazy road trip fashion to see with our own eyes where the Ingalls lived and worked.

But then Christmas happened–and I read this book aloud. One of the kids, who tends to be my more reluctant reader, got all into it: giggling at the funny parts, engaging with thoughtful questions. This same child? Loves to cook.

So in my “inspire, not require” brain, a plan began to brew:

There’s a lot of good food in Little House. A lot of good life lessons, too. Why not cook our way through Little House in the Big Woods?

So we did. I’m here to invite you to do the same, and make it really easy for you, too!
[Read more…]

A gift to you, from Jamie

A gift to you, from Jamie
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

Hi, friends!

give_your_childToday I’m super-excited–because I get to spill the beans about a project I’ve been busily working on, one I know you’re going to love.

Remember that book I have coming out June 7th?! Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

This global reading treasury with over 600 children’s book recommendations is designed to take you around the world, right from home. The personalized reading lists I’ve created are organized by region, country, and age range (ages 4-12).

It’s a resource you can use for geography, literature, and history–and it’s turned out better than I ever dreamed it could be! (And I dream big, so that’s saying something.)

On top of the practical book recommendations and tips, Give Your Child the World also shares the in-depth story behind my own cross-cultural family. How does a southern gal from North Carolina end up with a British husband, a biological son, and two internationally adopted children anyhow?

If you’ve ever wondered, you can read all the details–including the real-life miracles that led us to each other–right in Chapter One.
[Read more…]

Raising our kids one book at a time

Raising our kids one book at a time
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Twenty years from now when my kids are grown, married, perhaps with children of their own…nothing would thrill me more than if they looked back on their childhood through the lens of the books we read together.

Wouldn’t that be cool?

They might remember these distinct “book stages” of their lives:

But why? What’s the point of all this reading that fills our days?

It’s true that creating a story-centered family culture offers plenty of benefits to children: time to bond as a family and huge academic advantages among them. But those aren’t the most important reasons to me.

DSC_9335 (1)

The real reason I’m attempting to raise my kids one book at a time is this:

I hope these titles root deep in my children’s souls, building their characters page by page, strengthening them for when hard times inevitably come, and leading them to grow up looking not just for a career but a calling.

You see, I believe my kids, and yours, are meant to impact, change, and heal this hurting world of ours. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to not just read, but to read our way around the world.

This travel plan fits every budget. 😉 And now you can come along!

DSC_9315 (1)

Reading about other cultures, countries, and those who live in them kindles our kids’ sense of adventure, grows their compassion, and gently conveys this important lesson:

This world isn’t all about me, but I can be all about helping this world.”

And that knowledge and awareness will serve our children whether they become truck drivers or surgeons, missionaries or homeschooling moms. Each and every one of them world-changers in their unique spheres of influence, whatever it might turn out to be.

It’s in honor of all your amazing kiddos (& mine) that I’ve spent the past five years researching and writing Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

I am all excitement and nervous butterflies, pinching myself in disbelief after ALL.THIS.TIME, to give you a taste of it today!
[Read more…]

Get your kids hooked on Shakespeare with 5 easy steps

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support of this site!

Get your kids hooked on Shakespeare with 5 easy steps
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

This semester the kids and I have been diving deep into this popular history series, and recently I read aloud to them the Greek myth of the Minotaur.

Hearing the description of this half human/half beast, my Elijah (age 10) piped up with an eager hand raised and an observation:

“That reminds me of Caliban.”

Caliban, as in another beastly/human character from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which we studied last spring. And I loved that this literary allusion came from my 10-year-old son, who has developmental delays and hasn’t yet crossed the threshold to independent reading.

Every child can have a positive relationship with Shakespeare, if the master playwright is introduced well.
[Read more…]

How to get your kids started with electronics

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Little Bits and contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

How to get your kids started with electronics
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Playing with electronics has been a popular pastime in our family for about three years now.

It all started when my in-laws gave Jonathan a snap circuit set for his 8th birthday. He subsequently spent many happy hours consumed in thought, tongue sticking slightly out in concentration, as he experimented with different circuit combinations.

His enthusiasm spread to my daughter Trishna, who began to ask for a circuit set of her own the following year. At age twelve, she still plays with these on an almost-daily basis. She even took them on our trip to England earlier this summer, used them to build an AM radio and began listening to the BBC.

All of the above explains why I jumped at the chance for our family to review a new style of electronics set created by littleBits Electronics.

The main difference between these and snap circuits is that they are much more versatile, allowing more in-depth–and even practical–inventions to come from a child’s (or adult’s!) imagination.

I read a quote from a parent who referred to littleBits as “the electronics equivalent of Lego,” and that’s a brilliant way to describe these magnetic building blocks. 
[Read more…]