3 Kinds of Dawdling (and what to do with the dawdlers)

Ah, dawdling, time-wasting, window-staring, day-dreaming children. Gotta love them. If we didn’t, we’d give up hope. Even though we do love them, sometimes it’s tempting to give up hope. Before we can help them, though, we have to understand them. And we do. Because we dawdle, too. Have you ever procrastinated? Oh. Drat. Yes, we have to go there. If, as homeschooling mothers, we’re going to try to overcome our children’s bad habits and tendencies, we have to start with … Read More

Our Homeschool Weekly Schedule with 5 Kids

This year each one of my 5 kids has lessons of some sort or another: 9th grade, 7th grade, 4th grade, 2nd grade, and Pre-K. That’s a lot of stuff happening on the average school day! So time and schedules have to be coordinated and thought through for everyone to have what they need (including my attention – the most limiting factor of all) and enough time to do it all. I’ve shared our homeschool plans previously, but now that … Read More

How Truth, Goodness, and Beauty Fit in Real Life

Have you ever walked into a conversation halfway through? Perhaps, unbeknownst to you, it was a conversation that had been going on sporadically between these friends for weeks or even months. It’s a fascinating conversation, let’s say, and one that you want to at least listen to, maybe even participate in, but you feel like an outsider because you weren’t there from the beginning and you’re trying to get up to speed – without looking like you’re as out of … Read More

Elementary Lessons Plans 2017-2018 – in Evernote

Elementary Lessons is the name of our mini co-op that I teach twice weekly at my house with 2 of my kids, 2 of my friend’s kids, and 1 child of another friend. My younger-than-elementary (now only 1 of those!) kids go down the street to my friend Kirsti’s while hers walk over to mine. It’s an ideal set-up, and not entirely unintentional or accidental. During our twice-weekly 2-hour lesson chunk, we do writing (with only the 9-11 crowd), history … Read More

Merchant of Venice Lesson Plans

Merchant of Venice might be a politically incorrect play, but it is too good for us to ignore. While it makes moderns uncomfortable because the Jew is made to forcibly convert in the end, it is – particularly for its time – an anti-anti-Semitic play. The plot, the speeches, and the themes all deserve attention and affection – and this simple set of homeschool lesson plans will help you build just that. Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice for Kids Merchant of … Read More

5 Tips for Using Math-U-See

Is there more angst spilt in homeschooling over any subject more than math? Math is a subject none of us want to mess up. Once our children hit middle school, people start asking how we think we’re going to teach upper level math competently. And we wonder that ourselves, too, even if we don’t like being asked about it. It’s possible to wing math in the early years, but because math is a consecutive skill, where one concept builds upon … Read More

Elementary Lessons: Our Mini Homeschool Co-op – Simply Convivial

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I always thought I wasn’t a homeschool co-op sort of person. I’m an introvert. I have my own very strong opinions about what is and what isn’t a waste of time. And I hate being overscheduled or overcommitted. Moreover, I think kids should have plenty of free, unstructured play time – why not schedule play days instead of extracurricular school activities? However, it turns out I have a homeschool co-op. Kinda. It’s a mini co-op, and it provides accountability and … Read More

What’s the difference between school & education? – Simply Convivial

I was intrigued with a tagline I saw online awhile ago: Don’t let school get in the way of your education. I sympathize. We make distinctions by saying we home educate rather than homeschool. We say “school-at-home” dismissively. Why do we do this? Is there a difference? What is the difference? Should we prefer the word educate? Should we eschew the word school? Let’s look at the words, their meanings, and their history while exploring what it is we’re trying … Read More

3 Ways Kids’ Personalities Affect Learning

By now you know I like to geek out about personality. I’ve written about the personalities of homeschool moms. I’ve theorized about kids’ personalities and learning styles. And I’ve applied all my researching and musing to specific examples like how our personalities should affect our personal refreshment, our planning styles, and our morning routines. Over the last few months, then, you can be sure I’ve fielded numerous emails on this topic. And while I love troubleshooting personality questions and applications, … Read More

Year-Round Homeschooling Schedule: Break Week FAQ – Simply Convivial

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We have observed a year-round school calendar from the very beginning, 9 1/2 years ago. We begin our school year in July, do school in 6-week terms with a break between terms, taking off all of December and June. Read more: The Secret of Year-Round Homeschooling For us, the regular breaks – none of which are too long – help keep us refreshed and motivated without going through extended breaks which require lots of review time when we return to … Read More

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