Q&A Friday: How is Dad involved in your family’s homeschool?

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

I know of a few stay-at-home homeschooling fathers, dads who take on the majority of official teaching duties or co-teach throughout the day with their spouses. It always warms my heart to hear of fathers devoting their time to families in this way. But for the most part, it still seems like the majority of teaching responsibilities in a homeschool often resides with mothers.

Occasionally I hear dissatisfaction or questions about this from moms/wives:

“How can I get my husband more involved with our days at home?”

“How can I get my children to view my spouse as an active participant in our homeschool–even though he spends most of his day away at work?”
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10 back to school traditions (Back to School Week)

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

A note from Jamie: I’ve been getting a few requests for back to school tradition ideas. So it seemed fitting to kick off this year’s back to school week with this repost, which originally published on August 16, 2010. Enjoy!

Welcome to Back to School Week here on Simple Homeschool! Thanks for visiting–be sure to stop by every day this week. We have an awesome line up of posts and giveaways to help you kick off your school year with excitement and enthusiasm.

There’s no better way to celebrate the first day of school than with a special tradition. Kids love rituals and a well-chosen tradition adds meaning to the routines of our lives. Even if you’ve already started school or homeschool year-round, you can still pick a day to honor your children and your homeschool.

If you haven’t yet stumbled across the perfect back-to-school tradition for your family, here are ten ideas to get you thinking.
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Physical education for homeschooled teens

Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

P E, phys ed, gym: whatever you called it, all of us public schoolers did it. Some of us dreaded it; some of us considered it the best part of the day. If you had to wear one-piece gym suits that zipped up the front, well, I’m laughing (and blushing) right along with you.

So how do homeschoolers handle PE? I am surprised at the number of people who ask me “Does [swimming, hiking, gymnastics, dancing] count as PE?” Of course! If your child is getting exercise, he is engaged in PE.

For most younger children, the need to move is innate.

What kid doesn’t want to climb the perfect tree or beg to go to the park? How many times have you heard yourself admonish your little kids to be still for a few minutes—to stop rolling around on the ground?

But as these same wiggly children enter the teen years, they would likely rather be on Facebook than running around outside.

While the inclination for physical activity is built into us, we have to be deliberate about providing opportunities for PE, especially as our kids get older.

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Summer art and science fun

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Once a year, our local museums – children’s, history, art, and one aquarium – have a night in which, if you’re a member of one, you can rotate through all the museums. They have a shuttle that takes members from one museum to another and you can spend as much time as you like at each.

We did the tour several years ago when my kids were younger and we had a membership to the children’s museum.

We were having a blast…until we got to the art museum.
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10 questions to ask & answer about your family

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

Homeschooling families recognize, at least in theory, that one of the beauties of the lifestyle we live is the freedom it gives us.

I definitely feel this way. In spite of the messes and challenges, laundry and to-do lists, each day I marvel that my family gets to craft this life and all its details according to what best meets our needs and goals.

This became especially clear on our recent trip overseas, during which we spent a month in England and my husband and I traveled to Italy. The fact that we had the flexibility to arrange this trip in the middle of the “school year” was just the first of many benefits we noticed.

Gazing up at York Minster

Before leaving a few friends asked if we planned to “do school” while away. My honest answer was, “Does it matter?” I knew we’d be learning all the time–no matter what activities we chose.

Sure enough, though we rarely opened the books or curricula I took along, our trip had quite a few lessons in store:
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