Spring might be my favorite time to homeschool. It has quickly replaced the awesomeness of back-to-homeschool in late summer. It’s not necessarily because of the weather—spring just feels different. My kids are all working on different things at this point. It can be overwhelming because I feel like I’m not staying on top of everyone’s everything. In the end, that’s not my job. My role is to be an Educational Opportunity Provider. We can flow with the seasons and our energy levels. It’s spring and it’s a good time to both shake things up and create a flowing routine. Continue reading »
When I first started homeschooling, I was ALL about the planning. I would research EVERYTHING to nth degree. I almost broke our printer one summer printing out everything I could find about Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online. I was pumped. We were going all in on Charlotte Mason—100 percent, friends. It was May and I was feeling awesome about everything. Fall came around, and can you guess what happened? Continue reading »
The May writing prompts calendar focuses on picnics, moms, and Memorial Day. Each month we are offering writing prompts (you will be able to find them all on the main Homeschool Writing Prompts page), and you can download our May-themed prompts below. Continue reading »
The cherry trees are blooming, the air is warmer, and the snows have melted for good. Every parent of young (or even not-so-young) children wants to do a happy dance when spring arrives and the kids can actually go outside again (“Hide the puzzles! Hunt for the short sleeves!”). Riding bikes, playing in outside forts, soccer practice — the bottom line is that all of it means energy expenditures! Continue reading »
A library of field guides is an important resource for homeschooling families, and with spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to make sure you have what you need on hand to help with identification of birds, trees, insects, spiders, snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, and wildflowers. Our field guides have always been among the most accessible books in our house. Rather than shelving them with other books, I usually keep them stacked — with their spines showing their titles — right on top of a low book shelf or table near the back door. Continue reading »
A great project for the New Year is making a calendar with your little ones. I’m talking about making a calendar the old fashioned way, using fresh heavy art paper and your favorite combination of markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, or other media. I first got this idea from the Oak Meadow first grade curriculum, a Waldorf-inspired curriculum which I loosely followed from time to time and adapted for other ages as my family grew. Continue reading »
Sometimes we have had a designated nature table, something which is suggested by both the Waldorf-inspired approach and the Montessori-inspired approach to homeschooling, and something many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers implement as well.
Other times, we have just gathered seasonal treasures together as a kitchen table centerpiece. A walk in the brisk air, the scavenger hunt for natural objects that are lovely to see and touch and smell and shake, the artful arranging and rearranging of the bounty — these refresh the senses and clear the cobwebs out of minds. Continue reading »
Do you have it yet? That illness that strikes all children as soon as the weather gets warm and the trees start budding? That’s right… spring fever! It’s the malady that causes you to wake up in the morning with absolutely, positively no desire whatsoever to do anything other than get outside. It often closely occurs in conjunction with the urgent wish to neglect homeschooling in the pursuit of anything involving warm breezes and sunshine. Let’s face it, if you don’t feel like sitting inside at the table working on academics, your kids certainly won’t! Continue reading »
Spring bloomed early this year for us here in Virginia, and as soon as the air got warmer, the kids started asking, “Mom, when will Easter be here?” So begins the annual countdown until that day which, for us, celebrates the pinnacle of our faith – new life in the resurrection of Christ. And though there are plenty of faith-based activities we do to prepare for Easter, the holiday is also a lot of just plain fun for our family!
Continue reading »
It is the season of Lent, and for many Christians, it is a time for focusing on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, in preparation for Easter. There are many great ways to celebrate Lent as a family, including devotions and special activities. But one of the main focuses of Lent is “giving up” something – to deny oneself and make personal sacrifices as an effort toward spiritual renewal. While some people choose to give up things like sweets or television during the period of Lent, it occurs to me that this Lenten idea of “giving up” not only applies to the spiritual realm, but to the realm of homeschooling as well. Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
The season of Lent has begun! This Christian tradition begins on Ash Wednesday (March 9th, 2011) and ends on Holy Saturday (April 23, 2011) – the day before Easter Sunday. The 40 days of Lent (Sundays are not counted in the 40 days, because Sunday is the day of resurrection) reflect the 40 days that Christ was tempted in the desert, and are a time of preparation for Easter. Homeschoolers can capitalize on the season of Lent to impart the history of this Christian tradition, to inculcate faith values, and to prepare children emotionally and spiritually for the coming of Easter. Continue reading »
Well, a lot of people predicted it and now it’s happened. My daughter’s unschooling has led her to a dead-end job at low pay. Yup, she’s a hired hand on a farm. She didn’t tell me that she was taking the job. I found out about it when I came across a list of her chores that she’d written out. In addition to feeding the pigs, chickens, horses and cows, she has to haul water, milk the cows and even chop wood! And for all this, she only gets room and board! Continue reading »