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Giveaway Week 3: Subscription

by Mary Ann Kelley

Our 2014 Homeschool Giveaways event is underway and this week’s prize is a one year subscription to, where the subscriber can access articles, news, information on what’s new in the world of tech and how it affects your family. There will be ratings, rankings on which platforms are safe for kids and age ranges so you know if a site is safe for very young children. Leave a review to be entered to win this and the upcoming prizes in this giveaway. Continue reading » Giveaway />

Giveaway Week 2: Total Transcript Solution & Guide to College Admission

by Mary Ann Kelley

Our 2014 Homeschool Giveaways event is underway and this week we have 2 great prizes from The HomeScholar: the Total Transcript Solution, a wonderful resource to help you assign credits and create transcripts for your high school student, and The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships, a guide to applying and paying for college. Continue reading »

Total Transcript Solution />

Giveaway Week 1: The Fun Spanish and Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal

by Mary Ann Kelley

UPDATE: Congratulations to Shonna Rice, who is the winner of Mere Christianity Critical Analysis and Mary Storm, who is the winner of The Fun Spanish! Please check your email for more information. Our next giveaway is for Total Transcript Solution and The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships. Our 2014 Homeschool Giveaways start out Continue reading »

Mere Christianity Critical Analysis />

2014 Homeschool Giveaways

by Mary Ann Kelley

We’re having a series of awesome homeschool giveaways at TheHomeSchoolMom! Entering is easy – just visit our Homeschool Curriculum Reviews area and leave an original review of a homeschool resource that you have used. Give another homeschooler the benefit of your experience, and you have a chance to take home a great prize like a $50 gift certificate to All About Spelling/All About Reading, Compass Classroom’s complete American History curriculum, a Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership, the complete Map Trek collection from Knowledge Quest, Total Transcript Solution from The HomeScholar, and more! Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom's 2014 Great Homeschool Giveaway />

Homeschool High School Composition: The Assignments

by Mary Ann Kelley

Part I of Homeschool High School Composition gives an overview of how to approach teaching homeschool composition. It is important to read it before using the assignments below, since it is a different perspective for teaching composition. Below are the assignments for composition using this part-to-whole process. The assignments use the UNC Writing Center’s free online resources.

If you would like to download the assignments, we have them as a PDF download here: Homeschool High School Composition Continue reading »

Homeschool composition for high school: assignments />

Homeschool High School Composition

by Mary Ann Kelley

The Writing Center at UNC has put together a large collection of writing resources for college writing that are excellent tools for teaching homeschool high school composition. The center’s downloads and videos offer detailed explanations about research, sourcing, organization, editing and proofreading, voice, fallacies, thesis statements, and dozens of other writing topics. The resources are arranged alphabetically, making them easy to find by topic but not offering much in the way of an orderly progression for teaching. The following is a suggested order of study for using the resources for composition for a homeschooled high school student. In our case, we used this for a literature composition, but literature compositions can be the most difficult type to write. It might be more effective to initially use the process with a topic of choice instead of an essay on a particular book. Continue reading »

Homeschool composition for high school />

High School Homeschooling: Our 10th Grade Plan

by Mary Ann Kelley

From the feedback and questions that we get on our Facebook page, there is a great deal of interest in how to homeschool high school. This year my daughter is a sophomore in high school, and I thought it might be helpful to share our 10th grade plan with you. Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling high school is often easier than homeschooling younger grades. Students are older, more mature, and better able to manage their own academics. When they need assistance, the material is more difficult, but between teacher guides, online resources, and friends with a knowledge of the subject matter, we have not found this to be a problem. Continue reading »

Homeschool High School: Our 10th Grade Plan />

Lunches Around the World

by Mary Ann Kelley

Kids around the world are going back to school — that means homework, new friends and… lunch. In the US, the typical school lunch is served on styrofoam trays and can range from salads to a full complement of carbs. As homeschoolers we have the benefit of lots of lunch choices that school children don’t have, and a fun way to include geography in your homeschool is to fix fun lunches from around the world. Get started by learning about school lunches in these countries, then discover some of your own and choose a couple of lunches to fix from different countries. Continue reading »

School Lunches Around the World />

What About Homeschool Socialization?

by Mary Ann Kelley

It’s often the first question out of the mouths of non-homeschoolers. For homeschoolers, it’s the question they wish they never had to hear again. As a new parent with homeschooling friends almost 2 decades ago, I asked it. As a homeschooler with young children in an area where homeschooling was prevalent, I had pat answers. As a more experienced homeschooler with a wider exposure to people in many geographic and social settings, I wanted to take a second look at the question of socialization with some input from another experienced homeschooler, Jeanne Faulconer. Continue reading »

What about homeschool socialization? />

EdSpeak or Educationese for Progress Reports

by Mary Ann Kelley

Learning activities that we once knew by simple names have been given new industry-generated names in recent years that are supposed to be more descriptive of subtle differences. Called “edspeak” or “educationese”, these words or phrases are often used by professional educators. If you are required to file some form of proof of progress to your school district, you may find some of these terms helpful in describing your child’s activities. Additionally, if you are working with a school system because your child has an IEP, the ability to understand the language commonly used by professional educators is helpful. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Edspeak />

The Open Textbook Challenge

by Mary Ann Kelley

As college tuition and costs continue to rise, many students are finding it difficult to foot the bill. Fortunately, some are investigating ways to save students money by creating low cost and cost-free alternatives to traditional college textbooks. Continue reading »


Alice Paul and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

by Mary Ann Kelley

Election day is tomorrow and it got me thinking about how many people don’t bother to vote either because they don’t like the choices, they don’t think they can make a difference, or they simply don’t care. As a woman, I ponder the impact that Alice Paul and the women’s suffrage movement had on women’s rights. Women were jailed and beaten just up the road from me at what used to be the Occoquan Workhouse (later to be Lorton Federal Prison) in their fight for women to have the vote.
Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Alice Paul />

Online Help For Writing

by Mary Ann Kelley

I have always said that excellent writing is the key to success in almost any subject. With a 9th grader in the house this year, we are focusing on writing, writing, and more writing. Initially, we are working on putting together all of the things we’ve studied up to this point: grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, organization, and concision. Putting it all together into a written assignment can be overwhelming, so I came up with a self-editing writing checklist for my daughter to use. I was looking for a little more practice in writing mechanics when Time4Writing offered us a chance to try out their High School Writing Mechanics course. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Online Help For Writing />

Self-Editing Checklist

by Mary Ann Kelley

For high school English, we have been working on refining the proper use of grammar, punctuation, and the elements of composition. In order to make sure that my daughter is thoroughly proof-reading her work before she turns it in, I came up with this Self-Editing Checklist. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Self-Editing Checklist Download />

School Choice

by Mary Ann Kelley

I support school choice. Unlike politicians who advocate school choice, I am not referring to vouchers and tax credits. No, when I say school choice, I am referring to the right and responsibility that each parent has to direct the education of their own children. As a homeschooler, you may think it’s obvious that an editor of a homeschool newsletter would support school choice. To that, I would ask you to consider what school choice means to you and whether you truly support school choice for other parents no matter what their choices are. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Support School Choice (It's Not What You Think) />

Giveaway: Discover Africa!

by Mary Ann Kelley

I see a lot of homeschool resources available online, so it’s not often that I get as excited about a download as I am about Discover Africa! Jessica at Balancing Everything has put together this mega download to cover everything about Africa since she couldn’t find a unit available online that included all 54 (as of this writing) countries on the continent. What’s more, Jessica is allowing us to give away one of these units to a lucky visitor! Continue reading »


Adam Steltzner: From Failing Geometry To NASA “Rock Star”

by Mary Ann Kelley

You may not have heard of Adam Steltzner at all, or if you watched the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars you may know of him as “Elvis guy” at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has a PhD in Engineer Physics, and the story of his rise to “rock star” status among millions of NASA fans is inspiring. He wasn’t a typical science nerd. Continue reading »

Adam Steltzner: From Failing Geometry to NASA Rock Star />

The Effect of Music On Learning

by Mary Ann Kelley

Compiled By: Online Colleges Guide Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: The Effect of Music on Learning />

How Did Your Curriculum Work For You?

by Mary Ann Kelley

You have probably either finished the year or are winding up the year. It’s a good time to reflect on how your curriculum worked for you in each subject (if you use curriculum). Did you find yourself dreading a particular subject? Did your children complain about the curriculum? Did they accomplish the goals that you had set for the year? Continue reading »

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews />

Cut Out the Busywork . . . Try Notebooking!

by Mary Ann Kelley

Before notebooking, our school days were chocked full of a variety of learning activities and curriculums, but the learning was so dry and dull. By the end of the day, and I mean the-END-of-the-day, the kids were wiped out and so was I. Do you have days like these? Notebooking will refresh and rejuvenate your homeschooling. It opens the door for meaningful learning while saving you time, money, and those precious hours you currently spend (if you’re like most homeschooling moms) trying to tweak everything that you currently do to make your day better. Continue reading »