What Worked & What Didn’t for Our Elementary Kids
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So in my last post I shared what did and didn’t work for my middle school boys, and today it’s all about my elementary middle kids. This last year I had a precocious (in all but handwriting) first grader and a third grader. Next year will mostly be a continuation, because now on my third and fourth time teaching this age, I have pared down to what matters, figured out what works, and become more consistent. Even so, it’s helpful … Read More

Homeschooling Middle School Boys: What Worked & What Didn’t This Year
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When you hop in the driver’s seat, it’s always a good idea to first glance up at the rearview mirror and adjust it. It needs to be at just the right angle so you can see what’s coming up. Yes, you look behind you to see what’s coming. It’s easy to get fixated on the view through the windshield – what’s ahead?! Where should I go? What turn should I take? Is that a red light or a green light? … Read More

How to lesson plan so you’re never behind
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Some homeschool moms – maybe those with school-teacher backgrounds – have elaborate homeschool lesson plans – full sheets of papers full of ideas, notes, references, activities, and objectives. Many homeschool moms have no lesson plans at all. I have never been in that first category, but more often find myself in the latter. Even though I love planning, lesson plans seemed more like a waste of time than anything else. Learning, at least in our homeschool, is more about reading … Read More

Lesson Plans for Shakespeare’s The Tempest
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The Tempest is a story with betrayal, revenge, reconciliation, and devotion. It has something for everyone: slap-stick humor, violent men & monsters, friendly sprites, and a fairy-tale island setting where forgiveness and keeping one’s word wins out in the end despite long odds. Whether you introduce this story by picture book, movie, or reading the real deal – or all three – it is a story worth enjoying together with your children. Shakespeare’s The Tempest for Kids 1. Introduce The … Read More

Memory Work for Summer Term 2016
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A new year, a new term means new memory work content. Each term we change out our new material to repeat daily for six weeks, whether we have it all word-for-word at 4 weeks or not yet by the end of six weeks. To me, it’s less about word-perfect memorization (which is, let’s face it, fleeting) and more about daily exposure and repetition. Exposure breeds taste. So daily we return to hymns, to Scripture, to poetry, to poetry in Scripture, … Read More

Our plan to ease into the school year.
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2016-2017 School Year Planning Three years ago, my good friend forced me to start the school year gradually. According to my year-round school calendar, we start school back up after the 4th of July. I knew that experienced homeschool moms all recommended easing into a new school year rather than jumping in whole-hog, but I hadn’t been able to help myself – for 6 years! I’d think about it, but the shiny new schedule and all the idealistic hopes and … Read More

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