Macbeth Lesson Plans

Yes, Macbeth is dark and gruesome and not the easiest Shakespeare story to relate to. The Scottish thane Macbeth listens to witches who clearly should not be trusted and nothing good comes of it – listening to them, in fact, poisons his mind and damns him on earth to a life without sleep and without remorse. Blood will have blood, and by the time the end of the play rolls around, everyone cheers for Macduff’s final blow that strikes the … 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

Seventh Grade, second round | 2017-2018 School Year

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My second child enters 7th grade this year – crazy. But the good news is that I was about 85% happy with the 7th grade plan I created for my oldest, so all I had to do this time around was find solutions to the parts I didn’t like. If you’re curious what didn’t work for us in 7th grade, I wrote about that. Middle School Priorities As homeschooling moms, we have the ability (and necessity!) to plan not just … Read More

Merchant of Venice Lesson Plans

Merchant of Venice might be a politically incorrect play, but it is too good for us to ignore. While it makes moderns uncomfortable because the Jew is made to forcibly convert in the end, it is – particularly for its time – an anti-anti-Semitic play. The plot, the speeches, and the themes all deserve attention and affection – and this simple set of homeschool lesson plans will help you build just that. Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice for Kids Merchant of … Read More

5 Tips for Using Math-U-See

Is there more angst spilt in homeschooling over any subject more than math? Math is a subject none of us want to mess up. Once our children hit middle school, people start asking how we think we’re going to teach upper level math competently. And we wonder that ourselves, too, even if we don’t like being asked about it. It’s possible to wing math in the early years, but because math is a consecutive skill, where one concept builds upon … Read More

Lesson Plans for The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors is a great play for kids who might be skeptical about Shakespeare. Full of slap-stick humor, over-the-top coincidences, and witty one-liners, Comedy of Errors is more about the laughs than the romance. Plus, it has one added benefit: it’s a very short play. If you’ve tried Shakespeare with your kids in the past but have found your crowd to be particularly tough or your own enthusiasm to be low, try Comedy of Errors – the numerous … Read More

Lesson Plans for Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare doesn’t have to be scary or intense to incorporate into your homeschool. The stories are timeless, the language is beautiful, and they are chock full of ridiculous characters and jokes that are sure to make everyone laugh. Yet, they also demonstrate an understanding of the human condition and human relationships that make them a keystone in the English literary tradition. We do Shakespeare in about 10-15 minutes a chunk, twice a week, and in this way we read and … Read More

How to lesson plan so you’re never behind

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

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

Lesson Plans for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

We’re in the midst of studying Julius Caesar this year. The boys are happy to be doing a play that has nothing to do with marriage or love, but rather with stern and noble Romans. Shakespeare doesn’t need to be intimidating or complicated. It’s really just about enjoying a good story together, as with any other read-aloud! Here are the resources we’ve been using while enjoying Julius Caesar together. Step 1: Introduce Julius Caesar I always begin a new play … Read More

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