2018-2019 School Year Plans: The Overview

In July (because of our year-round homeschool schedule) we will begin our 11th year of homeschooling. That is hard to believe until I look over and see two young men taller than I am at the table. For one of those tall young men, this will be his last year under my educational charge. Our plan is for him to do full-time dual enrollment at the community college (our state has a program for it that both my husband and … Read More

Homeschooling High School: Align Your Expectations

So we’ve successfully finished our first year of homeschooling high school. In many ways it was not different; we just took the next step. We didn’t drastically change anything about the workload or the process or the system. His level of work did increase, but it was simply another incremental increase in work of the same kind, not a completely different experience. I had planned to share 3 tips for homeschooling high school, but before I do that I thought … Read More

What do I do when my kid complains?

It will happen. “I hate this book!”

 “Do we have to do Morning Time?” “There’s no point in learning algebra!” When it happens, you have not failed. Pick up your shield of imperviousness, homeschool mama; these complaints are not about you. They are not even about what you are studying. They are growing pains. Learning is growing, and when it’s happening, there are times it is uncomfortable, difficult, or tense. Of course, that doesn’t make it ok. Truth: Complaining, grumbling, … Read More

Dear Mom who wants to give her 5-year-old a classical education

Have you ever noticed? The most eager homeschooling moms are those whose oldest child is 4 or 5? I was one, myself. And when I felt the eye-roll behind the smile of older, deep-in-the-trenches moms, I bristled. “Take me seriously!” I wanted to plead. I knew they were sharing wisdom when they told me to back off and wait and just enjoy the young years. I browsed their shelves, watched a Math-U-See demonstration, picked their brains. I was in my … Read More

When your kid says, “I hate math!”

If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered them: math fits. On good days, it looks like mad math doodles and rhyming complaints. On average days, it looks like snarky word-answers to word-problems and bitter mutterings about John or Sue finding out how much they spent for themselves instead of asking someone else to do their work for them. Sure, we have good math days, too. Sometimes we even encounter a new topic, it clicks, and we … Read More

Macbeth Lesson Plans

Yes, Macbeth is dark and gruesome and not the easiest Shakespeare story to relate to. The Scottish thane Macbeth listens to witches who clearly should not be trusted and nothing good comes of it – listening to them, in fact, poisons his mind and damns him on earth to a life without sleep and without remorse. Blood will have blood, and by the time the end of the play rolls around, everyone cheers for Macduff’s final blow that strikes the … Read More

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

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

Morning Time As Happy Time

What is happiness, really? That’s actually a deep philosophical question expounded upon by great minds for millennia. Too often, we think happiness is doing what we want, having no laundry to fold, or eating chocolate. And our kids think happiness is sleeping in, playing computer games, and having no chores. Guess what? We’re both wrong. If that’s your idea of happiness, make sure your goal is not to keep your kids happy. Then again, we can’t say happiness doesn’t matter. … Read More

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