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

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

SY 2017-2018: First Week Report

posted in: homeschooler | 4

July heat is upon us and for our family that means back to school! The way our year-round homeschool schedule works, we school for 6 week terms with a week off in between. On top of those break weeks, we take December entirely off as well as 6-8 weeks (depending on when we end in May and when 4th of July lands) in the early summer. This works for us because the weather is gorgeous in May and June and … Read More

Elementary Grades | 2017-2018 School Year

posted in: homeschooler | 4

And the cycle rolls ever on. My middle children are smack in the middle of their elementary years while my older two have moved beyond. The students are the main difference, not the material – they will be doing pretty much what their older brothers did, except more consistently. Years of experience (i.e. practice) and adding more children increases consistency. We’re continuing our three-year history cycle, continuing Math-U-See, starting Latin for Children with this second round, and counting Morning Time … Read More

2017-2018 School Year: Overview

posted in: homeschooler | 4

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Time for school planning! We’ve been off school a month now, and I know what we’ll be doing next year. The books have all arrived, the pieces fit together, and now it’s time to work out the details. What’s New My youngest will be 5 in November, and so she’ll start easing into some school routines besides Morning Time with the family. PreK is pretty casual around here – even when I’ve … Read More

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

Elementary Lessons: Our Mini Homeschool Co-op

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

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

How We Homeschool Grammar

At long last, here is the post I promised back when I wrote about how I teach writing on how I teach grammar. Grammar and diagramming is not something that has always come easily for me. I remember 7th or 8th grade when diagramming was introduced in my Bob Jones Language Arts workbook. My mom and I both gave up because we didn’t get it. Fast forward a few years and I was an English major at the University of … Read More

Review Game: Hangman – Simply Convivial

posted in: teaching | 2

Like I said last week, review is necessary, but so many methods for review have problems. Some review is just regurgitating the information or going over the same material again. That might be review, but it makes the student tune out rather than engage and retain. Neither Charlotte Mason nor John Milton Gregory nor Gilbert Highet condone that sort of review. Some review is stressful and short-term. Most test-taking and pop quizzes add pressure rather than interest and do more … Read More

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