Category: Homeschool: Random Thoughts

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Taking Care of Ourselves

Welcome to Day 6 of the Back to Homeschool Challenge! Last week our challenge was to work on some of the nuts and bolts of our homeschools: Our first challenge was just to spend a few minutes reflecting on the journey we’re on and being grateful for the opportunities we have as homeschoolers Then we spent time Organizing our Homeschool Work Space And we made sure we’re *actually* ready to...

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Technology Tools and Websites to Facilitate Learning

This summer I am spending some time looking at some education apps, tools and websites. I thought I’d talk about a few that I’ve heard other educators mention so that you have a chance to look at them before the school year starts as well. These look like they might be a fun way to incorporate a bit of technology in those “checking for understanding” moments. I don’t know about...

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5 Things you Can Do This Summer to Get Ready to Homeschool

For many of us it is mid-summer. Homeschooling seems far away still, though we know it’s lurking around the corner. We don’t want to be caught completely unprepared, right? Here are some things that we can do now to make the transition easier when we return: 1) Turn in your Notice of Intent (if your state requires one) – Get this done and turned in so you don’t have to...

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Free Summer-Fall 2016 Calendar; End of Yr Questionnaire; and a bit about our Writing Workshop

Hi Everyone, This is going to be a bit of a random post so bear with me! I’m going to talk about 3 separate things in this post. 1) Our free calendar printable and homeschool planning pages 2) A free end of year questionnaire for students and parents and 3) a random chat about our Homeschool Writing Workshop. Free Calendar, Homeschool Planning Pages and Homeschool Supply List: First, as many...

Planning for a new homeschool year-homeschoolden 0

10 Step to Take When Planning for a New School Year

Someone once asked me, “How do you plan for your school year?” Here are 10 steps you can take to figure out what next year’s homeschool will look like for your family.  These are some of the questions I ask myself as I try to determine what we’ll cover and what skills the kids need to develop. Remember, your path as a homeschooling family will be completely different from anyone...

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Standardized Testing

This week our family is doing Standardized Testing to fulfill the requirements of our state (to show “proof of progress.”) For our family, doing testing is easier than creating a portfolio of work or meeting with a certified teacher. I know that I would spend endless hours pulling together a portfolio… and meeting with a teacher to discuss the kids’ work doesn’t appeal to me again because I know I...

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Homeschool Thoughts: Spending Time Reviewing

One topic that I don’t hear discussed much in my homeschool circles (or online) is taking time for review. My guess is that it’s not quite as exciting to talk about going backwards (so to speak) as finding new topics and new curriculum. But I find it important to review some of the topics and units we’ve covered in the past. We do that on a daily/weekly basis (with cards...

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Hands-On Homeschooling – Video Post (with DD and ED!)

Last week we did some pretty fun science experiments for our ocean unit.  We always get so pumped up doing hands-on activities & the salinity experiment was especially impressive. I thought I’d talk a little bit what a big impact these kinds of experiments add to our day… the kids get excited and engaged they ask a lot of good questions the activities and projects are memorable so they often...

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10 Ways to Overcome Homeschool Burnout

Most every year around February or March, I wrestle with some of the same problems. Maybe you’ve noticed this too: Being tired Feeling overwhelmed Letting things slide Having too many commitments Feeling like the kids aren’t “doing” enough Feeling doubt Feeling really critical or cynical, irritable or impatient Feeling frustrated or anxious I find myself reaching for education and teaching books, hoping to find the perfect motivational nuggets to get...

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A Day in the Life – Homeschool Post (Ages almost 8, 10, 12)

It has been a while since I just wrote about one of our days.  I thought I would write up a quick post about the flow of our day. In our homeschool, no day is exactly like another. Today I had to drag myself out of bed. I was up until nearly 3am last night working on the computer (on some school stuff for the kids and some behind the...

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Challenging and Inspiring Students without the Overwhelm or Fear of Failure

We all want those things in our homeschool or classroom, right?! In this series, Thoughts on Teaching, I’ve been diving into some of the deeper issues we have as educators. How do we create an environment that helps students blossom and reach their full potential? Today I’m going to talk about the fear of failure and the struggle that can create for some students. In some ways, I notice that...

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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...