A Homeschooler’s New Year’s Resolutions

by Rebecca Capuano

Photo courtesy of John Manoogian III under Creative Commons licensing

New year, new opportunities, new resolutions! For most of the world, the New Year’s resolution list might include such optimistic intentions as losing weight or starting a new hobby. But what about homeschoolers? While many people make optimistic and grandiose plans for 2011, the New Year’s resolutions of homeschoolers might just look a wee bit different from those of the general public…

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Inoculating Against Madison Avenue

by Shay Seaborne

I was struck by the marketing comprehension exhibited in my children’s play. I hoped it would inoculate them against Madison Avenue, relieving them of the false pressure to buy, collect, and throw away massive quantities of “stuff” in order to feel good about themselves and their lives.

Homeschooling: The Christmas Question

The Christmas Question

by Rebecca Capuano

“What do you want for Christmas?” It’s probably the line most often quoted this time of year, following “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. Santa asks it, parents ponder it, and even passersby on the street use it as a greeting line for children. But is it the question homeschoolers really want to ask? Just like home educators seek to teach their children academic subjects, many also seek to inculcate something even more important – character. And this time of year is the perfect time to focus on the character quality of giving to others.

Educational Christmas Gifts for Children

by Rebecca Capuano

“What do we get them this year?” It’s a question that goes through the minds of many a parent at Christmastime. The enigma of gift giving for children becomes even more challenging for homeschoolers who wish to bequeath presents that will be useful and worthwhile even once the Christmas glow has dimmed. And while that new English curriculum might be what a homeschooling mother would enjoy seeing under the tree, her children might not be quite so excited. So what’s a conscientious homeschooling parent to do? Where do homeschoolers go to find gifts that are educational in nature, but that children will also enjoy?

Answering school officials who ask for more than the law allows

The “Show Me” Letter

by Shay Seaborne

A new administrator, unfamiliar with the finer points of the homeschool law, asked for more than the legal requirement. She called to tell me she wanted a list of the books I would be using. Being an unschooler, I couldn’t guess what books would grab my kids’ interest. Even if I could guess, this was beyond the law. However, I felt this phone conversation was not the time to say so.

The Language of Math

by Kim Culbertson

Because I’m an author, some people often wonder if it was ever a challenge to grow up with a mom who loved numbers the way I loved words. My mom taught high school math for thirty years but, the truth was, my mother loved language as much as she loved math. One of the great gifts of my childhood was that she taught me to see math as another language — one of nuance and beauty, of games, of wonderful problem solving, of questions and answers, of getting logically from point A to point B. Now, I’m homeschooling my six year old daughter (with help from my mom!) and we’re both enjoying sharing the language of math with her.

Photo courtesy of Lorri at themacandcheesechronicles

The Jesse Tree: Christmas Tradition and Resources for Homeschoolers

by Rebecca Capuano

The ubiquitous Christmas symbols are out in force – holly wreaths, festive Christmas trees, eggnog, and of course good ol’ Santa himself. But many homeschoolers seek to move beyond the cultural harbingers of the season to focus on the birth of the Christ child; to celebrate God coming to earth. One of the most meaningful ways to help the family emphasize the true meaning of Christmas is through creating a Jesse Tree. This wonderful tradition not only centers the significance of the holiday around Christ, but it serves as an advent calendar as well, marking each passing day to count down until Christmas.

The Write Way

by Shay Seaborne

As homeschool parents often discover, there is no one right way for a child to learn to write. We often try various methods, curricula, tools, and motivations. What might work beautifully for one child may, for another, bring tears—our child’s and our own!

Writing a Holiday “How-to” Paragraph

by Kim Kautzer

As holiday decorations come out and the tree or menorah take center stage, children can become increasingly distracted, sidetracked, and fidgety in anticipation of upcoming seasonal celebrations.

Homeschooling doesn’t need to fall by the wayside during December! The holidays can be a great time to assign writing activities that focus on the festivities, allowing children to immerse themselves in the fun while encouraging productivity. This month, have your kids write a paragraph describing a holiday-themed process where they explain, in a step-by-step manner, how something is done.

TheHomeSchoolMom: Fun Family Christmas Projects

Fun Family Christmas Projects

by Rebecca Capuano

If there’s ever a time to put aside the books and break out the project supplies with the kids, it’s Christmas! With all of the emphasis on baking, making crafts, decorating, learning the history of Christ’s birth, and establishing family traditions, Christmas for homeschoolers is like sitting down to a buffet of children’s enrichment. Even if you homeschool with academics throughout the month of December, be sure to save some time in the day for some special family projects that will bring the family together and make the season meaningful for your children!