5 educational board games you probably already own

Educational Board Games

Written by contributor Kris Bales, of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

My family and I enjoy playing lots of board and card games.

Usually when we’re playing, it’s just for fun and I’m not even considering the educational value. However, a lot of games that we play actually put many practical learning skills to use.

What hidden learning is lurking in your game closet? [Read more...]

Cozy up with a good book.

Books and ZhuZhu PetWritten by Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Over the last two weeks, my kids and I have been engrossed in a family read aloud. I checked out the digital edition of The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Since it was only a two-week check-out, it was a race to complete the book before it magically disappeared from my iPad.

Books, and specifically family read-alouds, have been a unifying thread in the fabric of our family since my eldest was about three years old. He’s always been a good listener and back then while I nursed his baby brother we read through The Little House books and Narnia. Ever since then I have always felt more “at one” with my children when we have a chapter book going.

My youngest child, a four-year old child of the technology age is not quite “into” our read alouds yet. But the others, ages 6, 8, 10, and 12, all enjoy them. Even today at fifteen, my eldest son lurks in the shadows or mutes the hockey game so that he can hear me read to his siblings.
[Read more...]

5 new (school) resolutions to consider

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

I intended to finish the calendar year with a strong academic month. Of course, illness and a number of unforeseeable circumstances got in my way. In some ways, we limped to the finish line.

But, in other ways, we ran a good race. We spent more down time as a family, endeavored to be more patient with one another, had a chance just to rest, and focused on priorities rather than a completed lesson plan.

It got me thinking of how lovely it is to get a second fresh start when January 1 rolls around. And how I want to prioritize in the new year.

Here are five ways I hope to “put off the old man” and put on the new one in 2013:
[Read more...]

Light the candles

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

I wish for you and your family today, tomorrow, and always:

joy, peace, hope, laughter, and love–abundant, overflowing love.

I will light candles this Christmas

[Read more...]

Merriment’s agenda: Setting expectations for Christmas day

The following is a guest post written by Cari Stone of Thoughts Interrupted.

A note from Jamie: As the countdown for Christmas begins, I hope you can glean some helpful tips from this repost. It originally published on December 21, 2011.

I finally had enough. Somewhere between untangling the brand new battery operated car out of my daughter’s hair and consuming one too many cookies baked by my diabetic second cousin, I knew much of what I’d come to accept about Christmas Day needed to change.

Amidst the merriment I’d forgotten a key piece of our family’s rhythm – the invaluable practice of establishing expectations.

As homeschoolers we’re fairly adept at setting the stage in our regular lives. Well communicated expectations offer both structure and fluidity to our days – an established paradigm to explore within. Everyone, it seems, can breathe easier when our expressed hopes and desires are on the table.

Why then do we tend to sidestep this discipline in the name of Christmas break? The end results (misbehaving children, one too many trips to the dessert table or missed opportunities on the relational front) are often laced with regret.

Let this year be different.

Somewhere between stuffing stockings and baking that final pie take a moment to consider the value that shared expectations can bring to this year’s celebration.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.
[Read more...]