The Big Fat Notebooks you’ll want on your shelf this year

The Big Fat Notebooks you'll want on your shelf this year
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

I first heard about Big Fat Notebooks from LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow (you guys know I am a fan!), who tweeted a photo of them. I was immediately intrigued, drawn to their bright colors and concept.

So when the opportunity came my way to partner with Workman Publishing and share them with you in this space, I gave it a definite yes. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this series, and now that we’ve had them in our home for a few weeks, I’m just as excited!

Since my kids hit double-digits, more than once I’ve looked nostalgically at our shelf of encyclopedia-type titles (like the Core Knowledge Series/Childcraft books), wishing there was something similar for older ages. Well, the folks behind Brain Quest have created it!

Here’s an overview:
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A day I thought would never come

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A day I thought would never comeWritten by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

So, how to convey in writing the culmination of something you’ve been working and dreaming toward for five years?

I can’t.

Instead today, on launch day for Give Your Child the World, I decided to say it to you:

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Head here for the 2 minute video (& get a little tour of one of my favorite spots, too!)

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time is a reading treasury for the book lovers, the map lovers, and the wanderers-at-heart among us. It’s a tool for those who want their kids to grow up loving the neighbor next door as well as the one on the other side of the globe.

It’s for parents who hope to raise book lovers and world-changers.

More than just a title to read once and return to the shelf, this resource includes over 600 hand-picked children’s book recommendations, organized by region, country, and age range (ages 4-12).
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Our homeschool summer session: a bridge to next year

Written by Kara Fleck

We are year-round homeschoolers, but when it’s summertime I like to move at a slower pace, keeping things light compared to the rest of the year.

In May and August we take the entire month off and I honestly don’t care if they never crack open a book.

Well, okay, I do care, but I’m not going to push it. This is their time off as much as mine and they can fill those days, or not, as they wish.

However, June and July are our summer session and we’ll fall back into our homeschool rhythm, although admittedly at a slower, more “the living is easy” kind of pace.

What does this look like? And what are our summer learning plans for this year?

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Helping your kids fall in love with Shakespeare…even if you’ve never read him yourself

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Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Read-Aloud Revival

Do you do this too?

Do you overcomplicate your homeschooling life? I’m not really sure why I do it. Maybe it’s because I feel like I have so much on the line- I don’t want to mess up my children’s education!

Or maybe it’s because in the heat of the moment- when a child is melting down over a math lesson, the toddlers are all whining for a snack, and the dishwasher starts to overflow, it all does feel rather … complicated.

So I make color-coded homeschooling plans (that never actually pan out in real life) …

… I spend way too much time organizing and rearranging our schoolroom (when most of our day could be happily tackled from the couch or dining room table) …

… and I develop a huge list of books and ideas, because my son mentioned to me (in passing) that he’d like to learn more about the Civil War.

Next thing you know, I’ve got fourteen internet browser tabs open and I’m filling up my library hold queue like a madwoman with Civil War books from every library branch in town.

Slow the train, sister.

In general, homeschooling doesn’t need to be as complicated as I make it out to be.

In large portion, homeschooling well is about showing up each day, showering my kids with love and attention, and helping them take the next step as they learn and encounter new skills and ideas.

One of those areas a lot of us overcomplicate is introducing our kids to Shakespeare.

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

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Written by Jamie of Simple Homeschool

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!
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