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

posted in: homeschooler 9

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

When your kid says, “I hate math!”

posted in: homeschooler 3

If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered them: math fits. On good days, it looks like mad math doodles and rhyming complaints. On average days, it looks like snarky word-answers to word-problems and bitter mutterings about John or Sue finding out how much they spent for themselves instead of asking someone else to do their work for them. Sure, we have good math days, too. Sometimes we even encounter a new topic, it clicks, and we … Read More

5 Tips for Using Math-U-See

posted in: homeschooler 12

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

Why I Love Math-U-See

posted in: homeschooler 20

I am not a math person. Math has been the subject that daunts me most when I think about the big picture of homeschooling. Or, at least, it did. Now that I’m 9 years into this gig (if you start counting with Kindergarten) and I have an 8th grader who is about to finish Algebra, I’m neither daunted nor worried. I am so glad that when my oldest was 4 or 5, I had two real-life friends rave about Math-U-See. Not … Read More

The Best Character Building Program

posted in: homeschooler, mindset 15

“Mommy! He hit me!” “But he was being annoying!” How easy is it to start barking out the orders: “You, don’t tattle.” “You, don’t lie.” “You, don’t hit.” “You, mind your own business.” …and then collapse in a heap on the floor, exhausted and ready to throw up hands in dismay. We can sense that our imparted wisdom is falling on deaf ears and hard hearts. Time to work in everyone’s character! Maybe if we buy a character curriculum, the … Read More

Even STEM kids need English – Cicero on subject integration

Summer is for reading, right? Of course. The mornings can be a little looser, the routines ease up to make sure there’s plenty of margin not only for reading – but for marginalia and commonplacing as well. CH060: Education Requires Language So I continue pecking away, a page or two a day, in The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being, a collection of the writings about education from Plato to the modern … Read More

2015-2016 Fifth Grade Plans

posted in: homeschooler 7

FYI: Some, but not all, links in this post are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, you can support my planning and blogging habit by buying your own school supplies through my links. Thanks! It’s hard to believe I now have a second-born in double-digits. Jaeger has always worked in advance of his years, simply because he was reading fluently at five and always eager (and quietly competitive) enough to keep up with his older brother. This will … Read More

What are the liberal arts?

I am almost done reading The Liberal Arts Tradition, but I know I have at least two more posts in me for this one. I feel like I understand the liberal arts aspect of classical education so much better now, and that foundational understanding makes it easier to make choices come spring curriculum-planning time. I so much appreciate how the authors draw out classical education as a stream with each section. They cover each liberal art (and everything else they … Read More

Choosing Conviviality or Perpetuating a Pity Party?

Is happiness an emotion reserved for those who have an easy life? Right now I have a child who thinks happiness is a life without math fact drill pages. And, he’s onto something that misery is dragging one’s feet and taking three hours to do what should take one three minutes. However, cause and effect might be different than his perception. The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but liking what one has to do. — … Read More