2018-2019 School Year Plans: Elementary Plans for the 8 & 10 year olds

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I suppose my two middle kids would be in 3rd grade and 5th grade respectively, but as homeschoolers we know that such labels mean little when it comes to individual students; and it’s individual students we’re planning for and teaching. These two make a good pair to teach together, like my older two did, during the elementary years. So I’m combining them here in this planning post as well. When I was working through Plan Your Year Autopilot, I made … Read More

Iterating on a school year – the results of my own homeschool audit

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This is our final week of homeschool lessons, then we’ll take half a week to complete our standardized testing and joyfully embark on our 7 week summer break, which will include a family wedding, swim lessons, and tennis camp. 3 things that worked this year Learning with friends. Sharing life and learning with likeminded friends is, by far, my favorite part of our homeschool year and a key in our consistency and much of our success. Other kids show up … Read More

3 Kinds of Dawdling (and what to do with the dawdlers)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Elementary Lessons: Our Mini Homeschool Co-op

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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

Assigned reading, free reading, and raising readers

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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

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