Category: All About Homeschooling!

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Getting Organized for the Holidays and Beyond: Free Winter/Spring 2015 Calendar

The holiday season is here!  This time of year, I really have to keep a close eye on our calendar and plan things out in advance to help keep the stress (and extra errands/shopping) to a minimum. At the same time, I want to make sure we schedule in the fun traditions that make this season special for our family. That takes some planning and organization, especially since we continue...

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What We’re Up to in Our Homeschool (Gr. 2, 5, 7)

This week I’m changing our “Thoughts on Teaching” series up a bit to write about how our homeschool days flow in general.  Each day is pretty different from the one before and is usually a result of what we didn’t get to (or got to only minimally) the day before.  But I keep a general running tab (mentally if not by checklist!) of what we’re doing in each subject. So...

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Thoughts on Teaching: Meaningful Teaching Activities

Have you noticed that the longer  you talk, the more the kids’ attention wanders? People’s brains stay sharply focused only for short periods… I think I’ve read figures of between 10 and 20 minutes for average kids. But of course, the more interested  you are in a subjects, the better able you are to sustain attention. The key to education then is transforming students from passive receivers of information to...

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Homeschooling is Like Coaching an Olympic Sport

To become an expert, I’ve heard it takes 10,000 hours of hard work and practice.  But, it also takes a special teacher, coach or mentor to get to that elite level. Just as top Olympic coaches help motivate and train their athletes by keeping track of every work out and by designing plans and drills that work, we homeschoolers/educators keep track of our kids’ learning, observe their strengths and weaknesses...

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Thoughts on Teaching: Life Happens

This post is completely different post than the one I intended to write this week. Why? Because life happens! I don’t have the time to dive into that topic in the way that I want.  I was going to write a post on fostering creativity and being engaging as a teacher/homeschooler… How ironic because today was the antithesis of that! In fact, we had to settle for a bare-minimum type...

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Thoughts on Teaching: Getting Organized

So in my last post, I talked about how I really wanted to start off my mornings strong.  I realized I needed a Power Morning Routine to make sure that *I* was energized, refreshed, focused, and prepared.  You can read more about all that in this post: Thoughts on Teaching: Creating a Power Morning. But, along with that I really needed to make sure I was completely organized. I think...

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Homeschool Days in September and October: Jamestown, Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, Mt. Vernon, Nat’l Aquarium and more

Fall is an amazing time to take homeschool field trips.  The weather is gorgeous and there are often special programs and discounts for homeschoolers! I’ve highlighted some Homeschool Days from along the east coast: Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, New York… even the Kennedy Space Center has a special Homeschool Day event! I noticed that this next week in particular has a huge number of Homeschool Days. (If you...

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Thoughts on Teaching: The Power Morning!

I really want to do a series called “Thoughts on Teaching.” Why? Well, I’ve been reading a lot lately and have been excited about some of the ideas I’ve come across. As I process all that, I always want to write about it.  May as well bounce my ideas with my online reader friends, right?!! Do you ever need a private cheerleader… someone to pat you on the back and...

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Our First Day of (Home)School!! (Grades 2, 5 and 7 Curriculum)

Yesterday was our very first day school.  We had such an amazing summer (and more about that in another day or so), but it is also great to be back in the groove again!  I started the day with my new morning routine (I’ll talk about that more in another post too!), but it left me organized, energized, and ready to go with the kids! ED, of course, was the...

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Teaching Kids to Read: Readers We Used

Are you looking for a phonics program to help your kids learn to read? I’ve put together some of the phonics readers that we used with my three kids. As you’ll see, all three of my kids had different preferences! I know I have a lot of new readers, and several people reached out to me recently who have preschoolers and are just starting out on this homeschool journey.  I...

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Homeschool Supply List & Homeschool Science Supply List

It’s that time of year again! Back to school sales are on and it’s a great time of year to stock up on homeschool supplies. This year, I have added to our original Back to (Home)school Shopping List to include some homeschool science supplies we have used (and are on our shopping list for this year). More about that below! Even though I’m sharing these very long lists now, I...

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10 Steps to Get Ready for School!

We’re definitely still in summer mode here… with swimming, camps, play dates, gardening… and an upcoming language immersion camp, but that doesn’t mean that homeschooling isn’t on my mind!! So here are the 10 steps we take to get ready for homeschooling: 1) Send in the official paperwork — the Notice of Intent to Homeschool (if your state require this).  Half of my friends have sent theirs in… the other...