Using YouTube for homeschooling

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Late one Sunday night while lesson planning, I discovered I’d neglected to obtain the books I needed for the following day’s lesson.

I couldn’t make it to the library and I wanted to keep us on schedule. So I did what any mother in the 21st century would do: I went to YouTube.

First, I gave myself a quick crash course on our topic:
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Giveaway: Oak Meadow curriculum package (Back to School Week)

This giveaway has now ended. Thanks for entering!

Thanks for joining me for this year’s back to school week! I hope this week’s posts encourage you in your school and life planning as the start of the traditional school year grows nearer.

I discovered Oak Meadow through the magic of the blogosphere, and found it to be just what I needed for my kids at the time. The curriculum and the philosophy behind it have become a steady part of our home learning experience since then.

What first drew me to Oak Meadow was the heart behind it–is it possible for a curriculum company to have heart? Yes, it totally is! And I found that Oak Meadow’s connected with much of my own–their gentle approach, their slow introduction to academics, their focus on nature, free play, and stories.
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Starting school (with activities for your younger kids)

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

This year I’ll be teaching six kids.

Let’s pause and let that sink in a bit.

This year I’ll be teaching six kids!

Don’t get me wrong. I love having a big family. I love cooking big meals. And I love getting to the bottom of that monstrous pile of laundry each week. (Yes, it does happen every once in a while.)

But, I’ll confess that teaching six kids has me shaking in my boots a bit. This year we’ve got 10th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, and pre-K grades going. So, you can just smell the crazy brewing in my head. [Read more...]

Learning alongside the Olympics

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

The summer Olympics are now upon us, and the next two weeks promise excitement in many sports. Sounds like a good chance for families to take advantage of the natural learning opportunities this event invites into our homes, doesn’t it?!

My three kiddos–Trishna, Jonathan, and Elijah–stayed up late to watch the opening ceremony with Steve and me on Friday night, and it’s fun to see their enthusiasm building as they understand a bit more about what the Olympics are all about.

If you’re like me, you may have seen the same excitement from your little people. Looking for ways to translate that passion into learning? Here are some links and ideas for integrating various subjects with the Olympics.
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How to avoid summer setback

Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart

Do you know about summer setback? Education researchers say a child can lose up to two months of reading achievement between May and August. If this happens every summer, children can lose up to a year and a half between 1st and 6th grade (Cooper et al., 1996).

Why? Because their home lives are not full of books and enriching experiences. Whatever learning momentum they had gained during the school year comes to a screeching halt. When I heard that, I was amazed! We homeschoolers never stop learning.
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