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Interest-Led Homeschooling

Homeschooling Middle School: Transitioning to Self-Directed Learning

Middle School Mania: How We’re Transitioning to Homeschooling Middle School

Last month, I innocently walked into Target. There is was. The Target Dollar Spot section. Filled to the brim with all kinds of back-to-school supplies, gadgets, posters, pens, pencils, books, and more. So much stuff for such great prices. My eyes lit up (which is not unusual for me when I walk in to Target—just being honest). I slowly meandered through the entire section—taking in all the primary colors. An ABC felt banner? Darling. Montessori-ish toys? Yes, please! Adorable flashcards with states and presidents! Get in my cart! A wooden clock and matching workbook? Adorable AND functional! Continue reading »

How Do I Know If I'm Doing Enough?

Homeschooling: How Do I Know If I’m Doing Enough?

At some point, every homeschooler has probably asked, “How do I know if I’m doing enough?” The short answer: “It’s always enough, and conversely, it’s never enough.” Helpful, right? The long answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about one-third of college freshmen take remedial courses. There are no statistics for how that breaks down into public, private, and homeschool graduates, but homeschool students only account for 3-4% of the K-12 student population. Odds are pretty low that those in remedial college courses are all homeschoolers. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Interested in Interest-Led Learning?

Interested in Interest-led?

What is interest-led learning, and how can it fit into your homeschooling?

Interest-led learning is just what it sounds like — letting a child’s interests lead the learning process.

This means parents take note of what a child is curious about, enjoys doing, and is naturally drawn to. Then parents help a child learn about that interest. Since this may involve field trips, library books, research, projects, and more, there are many academic skills which are practiced, and a lot of content knowledge is learned — just by helping a child pursue specific interests.

What might this look like in a homeschool? Continue reading »

Learning with the Olympics

I’m cautious about twisting every interesting thing into a “learning opportunity” that can turn off otherwise interested kids, but the Olympic Games are compelling, and your kids will probably want to know more.

Watching actual competitions on television or via internet is surely the hook. Competition is its own drama, and the personal stories of athletes who have trained for so many years are interesting.

But with the 2016 Olympics in Rio set for August 5 – 21, what are some good resources for additional learning? Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom's Resource of the Week: Living History

Living History

If you have a child interested in history, consider letting them pursue that through historical societies or volunteering as historical interpreters at historical sites. This week’s resource, while linked to an individual historical site in Virginia, is really just a link representative of the vast number of historical sites around the country that offer similar programs. Check out volunteer opportunities through the National Park Service and other historical sites in your area. In my area, we have a group specifically for kids called George Washington’s Young Friends. Your area might have something similar, or you could look into attending a Civil War reenactment, which can be an interesting way to expose kids to history. Historical interpretation is a great way to get kids interested in history and to give a sense of time and place to the history that they read in books. (Just remember that if they aren’t interested, pushing harder doesn’t make it more interesting!) Continue reading »

Teach with Movies

Teach with Movies

Teach With Movies, a wonderful site for finding and reviewing movies in education, is now free for everyone. It was free when it was new, then it went to a subscription-based model, and now it is once again available at no cost. The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Choose a subject (and for history, a time period) and a list of movies that have been evaluated will be shown. Each one links to a page with resources for using the movie in your studies, including the rating, possible problems, background information, discussion questions, and more. Continue reading »