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Food For the Family and Homeschooling

by Rebecca Capuano

It’s the mantra every homeschool parent says to him/herself at some point along the way: “How am I going to get it all done?” One of the biggest challenges for homeschool families is simply how to get food on the table. When the stay-at-home parent is responsible for educating multiple children, making sure the house is clean, transporting kids to lessons, field trips and extra-curricular activities, and often working part-time on the side, how exactly does the family eat? Unlike many families who benefit from two full-time incomes, homeschooling families often do not have the financial resources to go out to eat regularly or pick up convenience foods last minute. Continue reading »

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What Homeschooling Wives Need From Their Husbands

by Rebecca Capuano

On the outside, it might look like we’ve got it all together. We teach the kids, we discipline, we make food for the family, we get the kids to extra-curricular activities, we clean (sometimes)… and most of the time we do it so well that even our husbands can get the impression that “it’s all good” and that we can handle anything that is thrown at us with diligence and aplomb. Reality, though, is that we often struggle. That we worry about whether we’re doing enough, stress out about getting it all done, and even feel remarkably inadequate much of the time. Even the most relaxed, competent, confident homeschool wives have their moments of doubt and despair. But as we soldier forward in dedication to our kids and families, it’s not surprising that husbands don’t see it; that they mistake efficiency for sufficiency. Continue reading »

What Homeschooling Wives Need From Their Husbands/>

Back-to-School Perspective

by Rebecca Capuano

Many public and private schools are starting the new year, and it’s not surprising that many homeschoolers use the fall to “get back into the groove” of things. Whether moving up to the next level in curriculum, adding a new subject, or simply trying something new, “back-to-school” can be an exciting time of rejuvenation and starting anew for home educators. It’s easy, though, to get caught up in the whirlwind of curriculum, practices, scheduled events, and educational endeavors that before you know it, the year is halfway over and you wonder where the time has gone. As those with grown children know all too well, when raising a family, the days often seem to pass slowly, but the years pass way too quickly. Continue reading »

The Homeschooler’s Back to School List

by Rebecca Capuano

Ah, the end of August approaches. Time for back-to-school lists… Wait. We’re homeschoolers. Back to school lists? Oh yes, homeschoolers have them too. Whether you have schooled straight through all year, or taken some time off in the summer, fall is a time that many homeschoolers take inventory of their educational process, and “get set” for a new year ahead. And just like those in public or private school, homeschoolers have things on their list to help them make the upcoming school year a success. You know, all of those things you need so that this year will be the perfect homeschool year. And toward that end, the homeschooler’s back-to-school list might look just a tad bit different from the traditional school supply list… Continue reading »

Back-to-School Forms as Tea and Muffins

by Rebecca Capuano

Summer is waning, and the fall quickly approaches, with its back-to-school excitement! Even homeschoolers who educate throughout the summer often use the fall as a time to try a fresh start with new curriculum, implement a new approach, or get creative to inject a breath of fresh air into their school. For many home educators, August is an important time to send in test scores, file notice-of-intent forms, and fulfill their state’s legal requirements in order to be able to homeschool. Continue reading »

Practical Ways to Help Homeschool Moms

by Rebecca Capuano

No one knows just how hard it is until they’ve done it. No doubt, there is tremendous joy, fulfillment and fun in homeschooling, but it is also a tremendous challenge. Being responsible for your children’s physical, emotional, spiritual and academic development is a phenomenal, sometimes overwhelming task. And although there are some things that well-intentioned friends and family should not do (as mentioned in the article 3 Things Never to Say to a Homeschooling Mom), there are plenty of ways for people (spouses included!) to support and encourage homeschooling moms and keep them floating atop the waters of homeschool responsibility. Continue reading »

3 Things Never to Say to a Homeschooling Mom

by Rebecca Capuano

For those non-homeschoolers (mother-in-laws included!) who seek to be a support for home educating moms, there are a lot of ways to lighten the load and provide encouragement. Making a meal, providing free childcare, or helping with transportation are just a few of the things that come to mind. But sometimes the best support can come from what you don’t say. Continue reading »

4th of July in the Homeschool

by Rebecca Capuano

The day for fireworks, cookouts, and patriotism is almost here! While there is no doubt that barbecues and family get-togethers make the 4th of July exciting and memorable, Independence Day is about so much more than that. A 2001 poll by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation from 2001 found that 14% of U.S. teens believed that the 4th of July celebrates the day that America declared independence from France. Homeschoolers have a wonderful opportunity to ensure that their children understand the meaning behind the holiday that is the foundation of our nation’s existence. Continue reading »

Making Father’s Day Special

by Rebecca Capuano

Dads: We love ‘em, we need ‘em, and it would be a whole lot harder to homeschool without ‘em! June 19, 2011 gives us the chance to tell our dads just how important they are to us! Whether it’s simple or involved, kids can do something special for Father’s Day, and learn at the same time. Continue reading »

Building Household Helpers – Ideas For Each Age

by Rebecca Capuano

Mom doesn’t have to do it all. Homeschooling Moms, repeat this to yourselves three times. Because even though we may know it in our heads, often the reality in the home is that Mom ends up taking on more than her fair share of the household tasks. Continue reading »

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Building Household Helpers – Reasons We Don’t

by Rebecca Capuano

Let’s face it – there’s just too much to do and not enough time. Homeschoolers have the challenge of educating children while also maintaining a household; a household that children are actively (albeit creatively) working throughout the day to dismantle! Homeschoolers’ houses are well used, and it can be overwhelming for Mom to try and manage the workload of cleaning, maintaining order, cooking, and keeping up with household tasks while also providing creative, interesting, effective lessons each day. Fortunately, Mom shouldn’t do it all by herself! Continue reading »

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Teaching Money Management: Using Envelope Budgeting (Part 5)

by Rebecca Capuano

Although the last article examined the fact that borrowing money leads to overspending and poor financial health, it is natural to ask the question, “Just how, then, does one purchase items for which he/she does not have the money?” The answer to that question ties in closely with principles addressed in Part 4: 1) Children must learn to delay gratification and 2) Children must be taught to live within their means. When borrowing to purchase an item is not an option, parents can teach children another method to getting what they want, an approach often called “the envelope system“. Continue reading »

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“See” History With a Historical Timeline

by Rebecca Capuano

History undergirds everything else we learn, and its place is often prominent in the homeschool curriculum. But it can be challenging for children (and adults!) to maintain a relative perspective on when historical events occurred. It is one thing for students to learn about isolated historical events, but quite another to understand the interrelation of those events throughout time. In order to help students grasp the scope and influence of events throughout history, as well as how those events have impacted the flow of history and the nature of the world as it is today, a historical timeline can be indispensable. Continue reading »

Taking School Outdoors, Part 2

by Rebecca Capuano

Let’s see…schoolwork sitting at a desk or table, relaxing on the couch in the living room, or lying down on a comfy blanket spread out in the shade under a tree? Fortunately, homeschoolers don’t have to choose! Doing school outdoors is one of the many benefits of home education, which has benefits that are physical, emotional, and educational. Continue reading »

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Taking School Outdoors, Part 1

by Rebecca Capuano

As the weather warms with Spring, mothers everywhere begin singing praises that their children can finally go outside again! After months of being cloistered inside with books and projects, the warmth and sunshine of May brings yet another enjoyable aspect of homeschooling – doing school outdoors! While there’s no doubt that the kitchen table has its merits in the homeschool, taking studies out into the open can bring a world of creative options and invigorated spirits. Continue reading »

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Mother’s Day For a Homeschooling Mom

by Rebecca Capuano

Because Mom usually does the homeschooling, dads, grandparents and children routinely get recognized on their special holidays with crafts, art, cards, special tasks, and many other “I love you” messages that get incorporated into the learning curriculum. But what about Mother’s Day? How does the one who helps make sure everyone else is honored get honored herself? Continue reading »

Teaching Money Management: Avoiding Borrowing (Part 4)

by Rebecca Capuano

A fourth major principle for helping kids learn to manage money effectively is to avoid borrowing. In our culture it is nearly a given that people must borrow money in order to purchase things they want. This philosophy, however, has led to tremendous debt. Continue reading »

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Homeschool Convention Survival Tips

by Rebecca Capuano

Springtime brings warm weather, beautiful flowers, and….homeschool conventions! There are few better ways to be inspired, encouraged, and invigorated along the journey of homeschooling than attending a homeschool convention. It is an opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people, attend informative workshops, see lots of new curricula, and receive wisdom and encouragement from experts and veteran home educators. Continue reading »

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Easter Crafts

by Rebecca Capuano

Easter marks the physical end of winter, as spring bursts forth with color and life from the ground. Yet for Christians, it also means the end of death, as believers celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the cross. This wonderful season of renewal is a great time to breathe new life into your homeschool, and get creative with your kids! While dyeing Easter eggs is a staple tradition for many families, there are some wonderful crafts that can make the holiday fun and memorable. Check out these suggestions for this year… Continue reading »

Teaching Money Management: Using Cash (Part 3)

by Rebecca Capuano

There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of point in spending tremendous time and energy to homeschool children in an array of academic subjects, in order to prepare them for becoming responsible adults, if they are sent out in the world completely unprepared to handle money effectively. Part 1 and Part 2 of this series took a look at some of the ways homeschoolers can teach children money management skills, and set them up for success for the rest of their lives. Another fundamental principle for effective money management is to teach children to use cash to make purchases. Continue reading »

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