5 fantasy worlds your kids will love

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The following is a guest post by Corinne Jacob of Alternate Tutelage.

I started reading Harry Potter at around the time the third book was released; it was the first one I read, and remains my favorite to this day.

By the time the seventh book was out, my entire family was hooked.

We waited eagerly for its release and bought our copy almost the day it was out, my father getting to it first. My younger brother started on it the minute he got back from school, while I could only begin reading once I got home from college.

There was only one copy of the book, and none of us was willing to wait for the others to finish with the seven hundred-plus pages. The solution?

All of us read it at once. Each of us twisted into weird contortions holding open the chapter we were on, trying not to disturb our fellow readers who were on different chapters.

The L-shaped sofa helped.
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Homeschooling growth through community

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The following is a guest post by Kassandra Brown of ParentCoaching.org.

“A big wind blows…”

My daughter is in the middle of a 30-person circle, holding one arm out as she turns slowly to look at all of us.

“On all of those….”

She smiles and pauses dramatically.

“Who have … boots!” she shouts triumphantly.

Chaos erupts as everyone scrambles for a new seat. Some folks are slower than others looking at each other and saying “I’m not wearing boots but I do have them,” before they, too, get up.

We’re in the midst of our community’s “Meet and Greet,” an evening event where we play icebreakers with the 13 strangers-about-to-become-friends who’ll be staying with us for the next week or two.

My daughter and I agreed to host the event and I’m delighted to see her participating so fully.

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60 TV shows recommended for ages 8-12 (with a printable chart)

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60 TV shows for ages 8-12Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

After a decade of use and about a year of saving, Steve and I finally entered the 21st century a few weeks ago when we purchased a new widescreen television and got rid of our old tube model–the one my nana bought for us right after Jonathan (now 10) was born!

This purchase was both exciting and overwhelming. We knew we could stream our Netflix membership and Amazon Prime account to the set, but with Apple TV we can also stream other channels–many of which we would not normally watch. (This is even without having cable!)

Our kids, who generally choose one show each on Saturdays and Sundays, were clamoring at their newfound options. And I knew I needed to undertake a tv research project to sort it all out and make sure we use our new screen intentionally.

I asked on my Facebook page about your favorite shows for the 8-12 age range, then went through the responses one by one. After two weeks I’ve finally finished this undertaking for our family, and I hope you’ll find it helpful for yours, too.

In the list below I’ve included shows that can be found on Amazon Prime Streaming, Discovery Education Streaming, Netflix Streaming, and Netflix DVD.
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20 family activities for fall

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 Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I don’t know about your part of the country, but where I live, October is the time of year when it’s finally cooling off and feeling like fall.

It is often still pretty hot in mid-afternoon, but the mornings and evenings are perfect for enjoying some outdoor activities as a family.

Not sure what to do? How about a one or two of these 20 suggestions for family activities for fall?

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Raising chickens and the art of project-based learning

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Contributor Amida is currently obsessed with chickens and often blogs about them at Journey Into Unschooling

This summer, I decided to ditch the school work and focus on a more natural learning style, allowing our interest to dictate which topics we would explore. For my three-year-old, it was the different structures at the playground and figuring out daredevil ways to get the most play out of them. My teenage son had a newfound interest in knives and began his personal research on the various types and their pros and cons.

For me, it all boiled down to chickens.

Project-based learning is something I’ve always believed in and aspire to integrate in our home learning environment.

For years, I’ve dreamt of the perfect summer project. The opportunity finally came when we met a couple of chicks facing eviction from the community garden, where they had set up residence without permission.

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