Author: Liesl - Homeschool Den

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Homeschool Year in Review (Grades 2 and 4)

This is such a fun post to write! This is where I get to reminisce and think about the amazing year we’ve had.  It has been a blast… tiring at times (particularly in February when LD had a lot of out-of-town gymnastics meets, I had lots of meetings and was training for a half-marathon). But looking back, we had a fulfilling, successful year. We do a lot of our activities...

America’s New Teachers… Inadequately Prepared A Study Says 0

America’s New Teachers… Inadequately Prepared A Study Says

According to a new study, America’s universities are failing to adequately train the people who become teachers each year.  The study by  National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) found that most teacher education programs are lacking. They studied more than 1,100 university education programs. The NCTQ blog said, “Our results show that most [programs] have a long way to go to get teachers classroom ready from day one.” The study points out that...

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Homeschool Preschool Year in Review

Each year at the end of the year, I put together a post that looks back at our school year.  ED has had a great year. She was 4 this year and turned 5 this spring. We homeschool together… so ED participates with my older two kids in all their activities. Some of these units (like the 5 senses) were mainly for ED, others were mainly for the older kids, but...

Would You Have Turned the Car Around and Stopped? 0

Would You Have Turned the Car Around and Stopped?

After I dropped the older kids off for their art class on Wednesday, ED and I headed home.  On the way, we were traveling on a bustling 4 lane road.  As I drove down the road I noticed an older gentleman (mid-to-late 70s) who was slowly sitting down on the curb next to his lawn mower. He reached down with one hand to help himself get down onto the grass....

The Value of Play 3

The Value of Play

Today I listened to an interview with Peter Gray, a psychologist who examines the importance of play over at the (free online) unschooling summit. Despite yesterday’s post, Summer Learning, where I talked about the academic focus of our homeschool, the truth is my children play a lot especially compared to their public school friends. After listening to his interview and cruising some of the articles he posted on his website, Freedom...

Summer Learning 2

Summer Learning

One question homeschoolers often ask each other is, “Will you do school during the summer?” For us, the answer is… some of the time.  We take vacations when it suits us even when (or maybe especially when!) public school kids are in school.  We also take vacation trips in the summer since some of our the kids’ cousins don’t homeschool and we try to catch up with them once a...

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Making Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Syrup and Buttermilk Pancakes… Yum!

Just before the rain turned our gardens into mini-swamps yesterday, the kids and I went out and picked three enormous bowls of strawberries. Time to make strawberry jam! It is so easy to make, I wanted to write about it again this year. To make strawberry jam: Using a potato masher, crush the strawberries and pour five cups into a large saucepan. Add Sure Jell gelatin and heat over high...

Learn More About Unschooling 2

Learn More About Unschooling

There are many different approaches to homeschooling. “Unschooling” goes by many different names child led learning, natural learning, interest-led learning, self-directed learning or organic learning. This approach allows the child to learn through play, natural learning and self-directed activities. There are no textbooks, no test, no formal education for unschoolers. Unschoolers step away from traditional curriculums and embrace a different approach to learning and education. Coming up on June 10th...

Can’t Wait to Talk about this Movie with my Friends 0

Can’t Wait to Talk about this Movie with my Friends

My friend recommended a movie called the Queen of Versailles to me. It’s the true story/documentary film of a wealthy American family who are building the largest and most extravagant family home in the world. I watched it and can’t wait to have a coffee and long chat with my friend! I don’t want to spoil it for those who might watch it (it’s on Netflix)… but I came away...

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Be a Weekend Paleontologist – Fossil Collecting Trips

A few years ago, I heard about a fossil collecting trip that another homeschooling family had gone on (I came across it on a blog somewhere). It sounded so terrific, I tucked in the back of my mind and kept an eye on the trips offered by Cathy at Fossil and Nature Trips. She organizes fossil collecting trips up and down the east coast.  I had my eye on one...

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National Running Day, June 5th

I’m a runner and for those of you who enjoy running, you can participate in national running day tomorrow, June 5th and log your miles over at Run Now. Run with a partner, a team or on your own. I’ll be participating. Hope you do too!

Homeschool Methods and Philosophy 12

What Has Surprised You Most About Homeschooling?

I saw this question somewhere on the internet while I was on holiday a week or so ago and it really got me to thinking… what has taken me most by surprise in our homeschooling adventure? I knew “from the start” that we would homeschool. It was on our radar because my sister’s family homeschools their kids and my cousin homeschooled her three kids. It sounded like a good fit...

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Record the Kids’ Precious Thoughts for Father’s Day

How well does your child know Dad?  Their cute answers will really make Father’s Day special.  I asked the kids these questions when they were 3 and 5… and this year we are going to do it again. I’ll tuck in their answers from four years ago in as well since Hubby hasn’t seen this in years!  Here are a few sample questions: 4. How does your Dad make you...

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: Silhouette Cameo

One year for Father’s Day, I sat the kids down, shined a bright light at them and made silhouette cameos of them for Hubby. He loved them and the kids were proud of them (even if I did most of the work).  Getting ED to sit still for that (she was 19 months at the time) was a HUGE challenge, but it’s sure nice having a memento like that! Tomorrow I’ll share another...