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10 Ideas for Curing the Winter Blahs

by Rebecca Capuano
10 Ideas For Curing the Winter Blahs />

It’s March, and by this point in the winter most homeschoolers have the winter blahs. You know, that “sick of being inside” “tired of the daily homeschool grind” sentiment that leads you and the kids to wish you could be doing anything other than school. Often by this point in the season, the art supplies have been well used, the indoor games have been played, and everyone is in need of a little excitement. Sometimes a dose of creativity and fun can help bridge the gap until Spring breathes a breath of fresh air into homeschooling life. Never fear, there are plenty of great ways to make the waning days of winter worthwhile and educational. Continue reading »

Homeschooling From the Sick Bed

by Rebecca Capuano
Homeschooling From the Sick Bed />

I was feeling pretty good. Our curricula seemed to be working well for each child, our routine was consistent but flexible, and most of the time we’d been enjoying the homeschooling process. The kids were learning, we were making progress, and I was congratulating myself on how I actually seemed to have this whole homeschooling thing down. And then I got pregnant. Continue reading »

My Valentine to Homeschooling

by Rebecca Capuano
Homeschooling, I love you! />

Valentine’s Day…the holiday of love. While many will be sending chocolates to loved ones, and telling that special someone just how important they are, I’m writing a different sort of valentine this year. And though it might not be accompanied with any candy, my valentine this February is to my love Homeschooling. Continue reading »

Fun Ideas For a Homeschool Valentine’s Day

by Rebecca Capuano
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We homeschoolers just love to make things educational, but even die-hard academics have to take a break from time to time and just have some fun! With a day set aside specifically to show our loved ones just how much they mean to us, there’s no better time to get creative and simply enjoy our kids. Here are some fun ideas to make a homeschool Valentine’s Day special. Continue reading »

The Miracle Cure for Bad Homeschooling Attitudes

by Rebecca Capuano
The Miracle Cure for Bad Homeschooling Attitudes />

When children balk at their academics, it can twist homeschooling from a lively adventure into a grinding battle. And, unfortunately, in this war, there are no winners. Kids turn sour, parents turn angry, work doesn’t get completed, and learning is stalled. If the battle continues long enough, it can significantly alter family life and damage relationships. For some, bad attitudes can lead to giving up on homeschooling all together. So what’s a parent to do? Continue reading »

Here’s to the New Year: Why I Homeschool Part 3

by Rebecca Capuano
Why I Homeschool />

There are enough pressure, stress, and opposing opinions inherent in the homeschooling journey to give even the most stalwart home educator cause to question his or her choice at some point. So, instead of New Year’s Resolutions, this year I’m reviewing why I homeschool. I’m getting my foundation set right at the get-go, so I’m better prepared for handling the challenges that will inevitably arise throughout this upcoming year. Because when the foundation is secure, you can build something beautiful. Continue reading »

Here’s to the New Year: Why I Homeschool, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano
Why I Homeschool />

2012 is on its way, and my determination to make this a great homeschooling year is getting revved up right along with it. It’s just so easy to get lost throughout the year, in the continuous bustling flow of everyday life, and to lose focus on why I’m going through all of this effort to teach my children. That’s why at the dawning of this new year, I’m starting back at the beginning. At the foundation for why I’m doing all of this. Continue reading »

Here’s to the New Year: Why I Homeschool, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano
Why I Homeschool />

The new year. A new start. Yes, yes, I know it’s the time we’re all supposed to make resolutions and determinations about what we’re going to accomplish in the coming 12 months. And sure, I’ve made my share of optimistic beginning-of-the-year commitments. But this year I think I’m going to change it up a bit. Because when you perpetually put all of your effort into something over and over again, like parenting or homeschooling, sometimes you need to revisit your starting point to help you keep perspective on why you’re doing what you’re doing. Continue reading »

Did We Do Enough?

by Rebecca Capuano
Did I Do Enough? />

It’s just a few days before Christmas, and almost all of the gifts are purchased. The goodies have been made, the halls have been decked, and we wait in expectation for “the big day”. Yet in spite of all of the conscientious preparations, it seems that the same question arises every year: Did we do enough? Continue reading »

Christmas Traditions, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano
TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Christmas Traditions, Part 2 />

When you think back to Christmases as a child, most likely the things of which you have the fondest memories are those special traditions your family experienced together. Having special routines that you do year after year helps children develop an excited expectation for the holiday to come, and builds family unity and bonding. “Home for Christmas” can be a lot more than just physical location – Christmas traditions can be the glue that makes people feel like they’re home… Continue reading »

Christmas Traditions, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano
TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Christmas Traditions, Part 1 />

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas excitement begins! The whole month of December is an amazing opportunity to establish family traditions – rituals that ground children in their roots and help them to create meaning and a sense of belonging. Family traditions help to mark shared experiences, encourage intimacy and connection, and help children to identify in a positive way with their families. Consider, for example, the tradition of the family meal… Continue reading »

Celebrating Christmas With School, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano
TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Celebrating Christmas with School (part 2) />

In a homeschooler’s home is where you want to be in December! This month provides so many opportunities for creative, fun learning as families help children prepare for Christmas. But even for home educators, who generally seek to incorporate education into every aspect of life, it’s easy to let December come and go in a blur of decorations, parties, gift buying and seasonal events. Don’t let it happen to you! Continue reading »

Celebrating Christmas with School, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano
TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Celebrating Christmas with School />

During the month of December, there’s no better place to be than in the house of a home educator! This month provides so many opportunities for creative, fun learning as families help children prepare for Christmas. Arts and crafts, special recipes, decorating, singing… it’s worth taking a bit of a break from the academic rigor maintained through most of the year in order to enjoy some special Christmas-related activities as a family. To get the most out of the holiday, why not try a special study to prepare for Christmas? Christmas lapbooks, Advent devotionals, unit studies – the possibilities are endless! Check out some of these wonderful options for homeschooling in December… Continue reading »

Confessions of a Homeschool Mom’s Thanksgiving

by Rebecca Capuano
Confessions of a Homeschool Mom's Thanksgiving />

I wish I could say I basked in the glow of the warmth I feel from homeschooling my children every day. I wish I could write that I woke up energized and excited each morning to nurture their minds and souls, and that I creatively and enthusiastically gave the best of myself consistently toward the creation of the persons they are to become. But that would be someone else’s post. Realistically? Life happens. And when it does, it often takes my best and transforms it into “good enough”. Along this journey it is not uncommon for me to get bogged down in the details of the daily grind, to become impatient and restless, to lose sight of all the things I love about homeschooling. Stresses of responsibility begin to weigh heavily, and before I know it I have lost track of the very reasons I do this to begin with. Continue reading »

A Homeschool Thanksgiving, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano
A Homeschool Thanksgiving />

Thanksgiving can easily become the bump in the road on the way to Christmas, but the holiday deserves special attention and effort in its own right. Part 1 of this series offered a variety of ways homeschoolers can prepare children for Thanksgiving, including teaching opportunities and fun activities. There are just so many great ways to enjoy this holiday! Continue reading »

A Homeschool Thanksgiving, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano
A Homeschool Thanksgiving />

One of the many joys of homeschooling is being able to prepare children for an upcoming holiday, rather than simply being swept away by it. November is the perfect time to take a break from regular studies, or add in some special activities by making Thanksgiving the central focus. With its focus on the character quality of gratitude, rich history, and wonderful family traditions, Thanksgiving lends itself perfectly to being a homeschool theme. Spend some time this month and help children fully understand the history, meaning, and traditions of this holiday, and they will gain valuable information about the beginnings of our nation as well as the importance of being thankful. Continue reading »

Homeschooling With Young Children, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano
Homeschooling With Young Children />

If you’re trying to homeschool with children under the age of 4 in the home, good luck. OK, so it’s not really as bad as that, but getting academic work accomplished with older children, when babies, toddlers and preschoolers provide such…excitement…can definitely be a challenge! Moms who are successful at managing it all (and actually getting some education done at the same time) usually have to rely on a little bit of ingenuity, some periodic help, and a whole lot of flexibility! Continue reading »

Homeschooling with Young Children, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano
Homeschooling With Young Children />

There’s no doubt, homeschooling would be much easier if everyone were old enough to maintain attention, read independently, and stay on task. The reality? Many homeschooling families have multiple children under the age of 5, and have to figure out how to educate the older ones with a little extra, uh….help from the younger crew. Being able to actually accomplish academic instruction with the multiple needs, interruptions, problems and distractions of younger siblings can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task. Continue reading »

Creative Ways To Get Nutrition Into Kids

by Rebecca Capuano
Creative Nutrition />

Most homeschoolers know that gummy bears and chips are not the food choices that will help to bring about optimal school performance. But many are not aware of just how important nutrition is, and what an impact it can make on a child’s ability to learn. For example, studies have demonstrated that children with low iron levels have short attention spans. Learning specialist Dianne Craft reviews research in which the supplementation of essential fatty acids has been used to treat hyperactivity, learning delays, and other academic and emotional problems. With there being so many factors about learning that we cannot control, it would be imprudent to ignore such a simple thing as making sure our kids get the nutrition they need. Continue reading »

Homeschooling Halloween

by Rebecca Capuano
Homeschooling Halloween />

It’s a sticky subject, Halloween. And not just because of all of the cobwebs involved. For some homeschoolers, especially for those with strong religious beliefs, Halloween is representative of the dark side of life, and therefore not a holiday in which they prefer their children to participate. For others, it’s a fun time for dressing up and having a good scare. And although homeschooling parents on both ends of the spectrum usually take their stand on the holiday with well-thought-out reasons, there are some ways all homeschoolers can benefit from the last day of October. Homeschoolers can make a holiday whatever they want it to be for their children, because, like everything else, Halloween is a great learning opportunity! So no matter where you fall on the “Celebrate Halloween or Not” continuum, consider these ways to make the most of this holiday… Continue reading »