What Worked & What Didn’t for Our Elementary Kids

posted in: homeschooler | 5

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

posted in: homeschooler | 10

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

Memory Work for Summer Term 2016

posted in: homeschooler | 4

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

3 Tips for the First Day of School – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing | 0

Today is our first day back to school. We’re easing into our school year this term, but the first day back requires even more ease and grace. The first day back is like jumping into cold water. It’s a reality check. So it’s better for everyone if I anticipate the shudders, the squeals, the struggles. Perhaps I am excited to try out my new plan, but not all my children will be. I’m not a naturally fun mom. Some moms … Read More

Our plan to ease into the school year. – Simply Convivial

posted in: mother, organizing | 1

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

3 tools for a sane homeschool day – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing, podcast | 9

It’s one thing to buy the books and supples, to make a plan, to create a chart and quite another to actually pull it off in a typical day. Days never go exactly as imagined, but it’s worth the time to imagine it even so – and the more you practice imagining it and planning for contingencies before the heat of the moment, the better you’ll become and rolling with the punches of a real-life homeschool day in a household … Read More

2nd & 3rd Grade Plans | 2016-2017 School Year

posted in: homeschooler | 8

This year I have two elementary students and two middle school students – plus the toddler that I suppose I should start calling a preschooler. My 8-year-old, Ilse, will be in 3rd grade. She still needs practice reading, so time for that must be reserved. My 6-year-old son, Knox, on the other hand, is currently reading through the Redwall series – he is a fluent reader. According to his age, he’d be 1st grade. According to the level he works … Read More

Sixth Grade Plans | 2016-2017 School Year – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing | 9

Second time through sixth grade for me! Sixth grade is the beginning of middle school, and Jaeger’s work will begin increasing in difficulty. A few of his assignments might stretch him, but I think it should also be rewarding – we don’t want just gruel and grind, we want challenge and reward. He’ll also get a step up in independence, but with plenty of accountability along the way. In Susan Wise Bauer’s terms (<—- I love that talk), he’ll be … Read More

Eighth Grade Plans | 2016-2017 School Year – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing | 12

Eighth grade. Hard to believe. When planning eighth grade, perhaps more than any other grade, you have to consider what your plans are for the following years. Will you choose a day school high school? Then your year must focus on ensuring they’ll be ready for tests, specific studies, and homework. Will you homeschool high school? Then your year should include training for independent study, writing instruction, and making sure you’re ready for whatever extra requirements your state might have … Read More

Morning Time Plans | 2016-2017 School Year Planning

Time for planning another school year! And we all know planning is the best part. Eventually we have to get down to business and work the plan, but this is the time of year we get to dream and imagine a school day where no one argues, where everyone starts their letters from the top, and where naps are regular. Ha. OK, so, then we have to come back to reality and recognize that our plans are only going to … Read More

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