Don't depend on boring government textbooks; use an activities approach to learning how government works. If teens do these activities, talk about their experiences with you and others, and follow rabbit trails online, they will likely retain more knowledge about how government works than if they just read from a government textbook. Continue reading »
Are you homeschooling the presidency? No matter our political views, there are issues brought up by the current presidency that our children can learn from. As homeschoolers, we can help them learn about government through most of their homeschooling years, even without an official course. Continue reading »
In an earlier post, I described how hosting an international exchange student can be a benefit to a homeschooling family. Today I'd like to tell you a little more about the nuts and bolts of hosting a student in the United States. These details can help you to know what to expect when hosting an exchange student and can ease the transition for the whole family. Continue reading »
When I was in high school and college, my mom clipped newspaper and news magazine articles for me. She left them for me on the steps to my bedroom or put them in an envelope and mailed them to me at with a handwritten note in the margin -- "Thought you'd be interested in this" or "What do you think about this news?" Today, I do something similar with my teen and twenty-something sons, only I do it electronically. Continue reading »
This year in my role as a homeschool evaluator, I met a number of tweens and teens who are interested in fashion. As we went through their portfolio of work and talked about their year, I was fascinated with the ways they had woven their interest in fashion with their academic studies. Two of the teens I met with had taken their interest in current fashion into the past -- studying the typical dress and accessorizing of women and men in earlier periods of history. They also took their fashion interest international -- studying the current typical dress of modern-day people in other parts of the world.
Both of these girls (who did not know each other -- they had arrived at this independently) had done extensive research to be able to portray the styles of other times and other places, and they could explain how the fashion reflected the culture, religious beliefs, gender roles, classes and roles in society, and daily life. They were articulate about the historical times and geography of the world as they discussed the observations they had made about fashion in these distant centuries and far-off places. Continue reading »
Tax time, in general, always provides a reminder to discuss how government works. Regular dinner table conversation at our house has always included tax issues. What is the world history of taxation? What is the U.S. history of taxation? How do governments justify their taxing authority? What services would our family miss if tax-funded agencies did not provide them? How would that differ from other families? Why is representation so important in a government that can tax its citizens? How was the American Revolution motivated by "taxation without representation?" How does "withholding" tax money from workers' pay checks affect the impression tax payers have about their earnings and the amount of tax they pay? Continue reading »
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.
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China has been ruled by dynasties for thousands of years. A dynasty is a family in power that passes on control of the country from one generation to the next. Studying the dynasties of ancient and early imperial China is a great place to start to understand the history of this ancient civilization. Continue reading »
For homeschool moms and other teachers who are able to choose their own history curriculum, selecting the book(s) that will keep you energized all year long is a crucial decision. Whether you call them spines, source books, core books, or textbooks, you can’t ignore the importance of having one all-encompassing history guide to keep you grounded and make sure you leave no obvious gaps. This book will reinforce the flow of events, even if your extended reading is chronologically a little before or behind it in time sequence. Continue reading »
I receive many questions from new and veteran home educators over the course of a year.; In the past two months, however, there has been one question that has surfaced more than any other and that is... "How do we make a timeline?" This is a great question and armed with knowledge and the right tools, it is not as hard as it might seem. Continue reading »