Elementary Lessons Plans 2017-2018 – in Evernote

posted in: homeschooler | 27

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

Top Books for Homeschooling Moms

There are so many books out there. How do we choose what to read? Should we read only in “our field”? Even in the homeschool category, there are so many books! And I’ve checked out our library’s selection. Not all of them are worth reading. We have limited time to read. We want to bring our best selves to this game of homeschooling. What’s a homeschool mom supposed to read? Here are my short lists in the categories I’ve read … Read More

Friday Five: with Christmas picture books

posted in: mother | 0

Faithful Follow-through Follow-through looks different on break weeks – or break months – for sure. This week break week looked like getting back on top of the housework after last week’s big project push (our church fundraiser brought in $9,000 for the local Pregnancy Network!), play days with friends, Lego playing, book reading, doctor & orthodontist checkups, a little snow play, and some cookie decorating. This week my friend and I were definitely not white witches and were instead Christmas-celebrators, … Read More

Assigned reading, free reading, and raising readers

posted in: homeschooler | 12

My husband and I were both homeschooled and both read many books. My husband has many WWII facts memorized not from drilling or from chanting, but from reading and rereading and rereading his favorite books as a child. I read mostly Christian romance twaddle with a side of cookbooks and everything L.M. Montgomery. But after my first couple English literature classes (which I took at the community college while I was 16 & 17), I couldn’t go back to the … Read More

Our 3 Year History Cycle & the books that make it work

posted in: homeschooler | 24

History should never be boring. History is the study of people – and people always have stories. Stories of individuals, stories of battles, stories of cultures, stories of legends – history is inherently fascinating and relevant. Dates are secondary to people. Dates are useful insofar as they help us place people in the right place within the flow of the story of history. So, of course history should be told as a narrative, for that’s what it is. History is … Read More

Hits & Misses in Our Homeschool This Year

posted in: homeschooler | 23

It’s so much fun to write and read about new homeschool plans in June, July, and August. But what happens to those plans come November, February, and April? I’ve never had a year where all my fresh summer plans work out and are still humming along as-written in the last term of the year. That’s just the reality. Sometimes a program isn’t the right fit. Sometimes the needs or abilities were misjudged. Sometimes life shifts dramatically midyear. As far as … Read More

How to Use Evernote for Homeschool Book Lists

posted in: extra | 2

Our next post in the Evernote for Homeschooling series is inspired by a question I received by email last week. Candy wrote: One thing I struggle with is trying to organize and maintain a booklist both for read alouds and for my kids to read.  There are so many wonderful websites and it’s difficult to get it all in one place that is accessible when I’m out and about at the library, book sales, etc.  So I’m wondering what you … Read More

Top 5 Books of 2014 – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra | 11

Once again, I read fewer books than I had hoped in a year: 32. I read some really excellent ones, though, and that’s what counts. However, I don’t think I’ve ever had a year with as many two-star ratings – I suppose that’s what comes when I try to broaden my reading horizons. I decided to narrow my favorites down to my top 5 – the top 5 I would truly recommend be moved to the top of your list … Read More

Top 10 Audio Books for the Older Elementary Kids

posted in: homeschooler | 4

You know I love audio books, so I couldn’t drop the subject without one more list of them. Last week I made my top ten list of audio books for younger kids, so I thought I should follow it up with a top ten list for the older elementary crowd. Narnia. You’re never too old for Narnia. Tom Sawyer. Southern dialect is a good thing to outsource. Huck Finn. Get the one done by Elijah Wood! Pilgrim’s Progress. The archaic … Read More

Getting the Most Out of Your Audible Membership

posted in: homeschooler | 9

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of recording with Sarah for her podcast, The Read-Aloud Revival. We talked all about audio books, which I love and rely on. The episode is out today! Head over to her site to check it out: For the occasion, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips for getting the most out of a membership at Audible. I’ve been a member of Audible for over 2 years now, and I’ve found … Read More

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