How habits can help homeschooling this season

How habits can help homeschooling during the holidays
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane

There’s a one-word banner I’m waving these days: Habits

The word probably doesn’t kindle a fire of passion or enthusiasm in your soul.

Yet.

Though you may not come alive when you hear the word habits, I will tell you this one-word anthem is revolutionizing our homeschool like nothing else has in a long time. [Read more…]

What can you do with a basket of sight words?

rightwards
Written by Kara Fleck

It all began with a list of sight words and an art class basket. A few months ago I was perusing our second grade curriculum and came across a list of sight words for second graders.

Most of them I knew that my daughter recognized, but there were some that were not a consistent part of her lexicon yet. So I thought it would be a good idea to use the list for some sight word practice.

But how to make it interesting and fun?

After watching her playing with leaves, I got an idea: why not print her sight words on leaves and give her a basket full of them to play with?

A quick Pinterest search led me to a printable leaf template, which I printed on red, orange, and yellow cardstock. Then we were off!

[Read more…]

How a certified teacher chose unschooling for her kids

How a certified teacher chose unschooling for her kids
Written by Marla Taviano

“Remember, girls,” I say to my daughters, looking them each in the eye (I actually have to look up at two of the three now—when did this happen??), “we do not say THAT WORD here in Cambodia. Got it?”

They nod.

Got it, Mom.

The next day, we’re out and about, and yet another stranger asks, “Wait, so … do they go to school …?”

The girls smile sweetly, turn their angelic faces to me as one, and let me answer.

“I used to be a teacher, so I teach them at home.”

marla3

This new line of mine seems to be working. Awkward situation averted. Moving on.

“Is it fine that you’re not really telling the truth?” my youngest (10) wants to know.

“Which part of that statement isn’t true?” I say, eyebrows raised.

“Mom, we’re unschooled. You don’t really teach us.”

“Excuse me. I teach you a lot of things. They just aren’t normal school things. Am I right?”

She shrugs her shoulders, presumably thinking of all the things she’s taught me today about Harry Potter and French (learning one new language at a time wasn’t enough, I guess) and peeling/cutting mangos just so.

“The Cambodians just don’t get the whole unschooling thing,” I say. “It’s way too complicated to try to explain.”

“Mom,” my 15-year-old says, “Americans don’t get it either. Nobody really gets it.”

“Nobody gets our family anyway,” says my 13-year-old, with a wave of her hand, “so it’s all good.”

[Read more…]

Read your way to a love of math: 50 titles for ages 4-12

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Read your way to a love of math
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

For the past few weeks we’ve explored math study from a different perspective, asking two important questions: Why do we do what we do when it comes to this subject? Are there other valid approaches to consider?

Past posts in this math series:
A different way to look at math
Out of the box math inspiration

A different way to look at math

An alternative to workbook pages in the early years is the simple sharing of a book spread open across your lap. It’s one of the easiest ways to create a blossoming love of numbers and patterns in a child’s heart and mind.

I started to put together a massive list of books for you to choose from in today’s post, but then I stopped to consider what I would have found most helpful when I was getting started as a slightly-insecure homeschooling mama.

I realized that I would have loved to have a handful of well-chosen math titles, recommended by a blogger I trusted.

I’ve tried to provide that for you here, highlighting the resources we’ve found most enjoyable in our own family – as well as including a list of other popular books you may want to check out.

Enjoy the journey as you read your way to a love of math!

[Read more…]

The top educational goal for my 8- to 12-year-olds

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The top educational goal for my 8- to 12-year-olds
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Jonathan and I sat at our local Panera Bread, enjoying a mother-son afternoon date. We ordered hot chocolate and played a favorite game to get started. But then he wanted to get down to the real fun he’d been anticipating.

I opened my laptop and we began his online weather course: watching multimedia clips and taking the quizzes involved.

After 45 minutes, guess who was bored? (Me.)

“Jonathan, we’ll stop at 4 o’clock, but we can come back to it another day.”

“Why? Please, can I finish the whole thing?”

What homeschooling mama could say no? Not this one!

And the whole experience got me thinking: “How many 11-year-olds beg to study and take quizzes on their Saturday afternoons?”
[Read more…]