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August 2013

by Mary Ann Kelley
10 FREE Notebooking Units & Teen Workbook Downloads!

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Art, Simplifying, Ancient Greece, Homeschool Enrichment Magazine Freebie, and more

Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing. –Albert Einstein

From the Editor

My youngest child starts her sophomore year of high school at home this month, the braces just came off this week, and next month she gets her learner’s permit. The years have flown by — it seems like only a blink of an eye since we were doing Five in a Row. Instead of Mirette, Mr. Gumpy, and Madeline, now it’s Spanish 3, Chemistry, Geometry, World History, and World Literature. When we first started homeschooling, I’m not sure we anticipated homeschooling high school, but I am so glad we committed to homeschooling high school. For us the high school years have been easier than the early years — the teens are self-motivated and responsible for their own learning (sounds like college!). We are blessed to have both excellent co-ops and a community college that allows joint enrollment, so our girls have been able to take advantage of strong academics while pursuing their arts and sports passions.

It has been such a joy to have had the opportunity to have our children at home with us, and now that we are heading into the last few years of homeschooling, I’m even more grateful. If you love homeschooling but find yourself setting unrealistic expectations, you will be encouraged by our featured article about simplifying. It’s so easy to make things more complex than they need to be, especially in the early years. The message of the article rings true: slow down, simplify, and enjoy your kids.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley

Editor

Teaching Calendar

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Our Sponsor

Homeschool Mom BibleThe NIV Homeschool Mom’s Devotional BibleThis hardcover Bible offers 365 encouraging devotions for moms who educate their children at home. It offers heartfelt inspiration to revive, encourage and strengthen you as you juggle the needs of building a home and caring for your family while striving to instill your faith and values in your children. With a full year’s worth of insightful and empowering devotions written by a homeschooler for homeschoolers, this NIV Bible will warm your heart and restore your soul.

Educational Resources

Museum Art & Artifact Collections

Google has used its advanced technology to put together a massive (dozens, if not hundreds, of museums are featured) digital repository of museum art collections. Some are collections of images of the art & artifacts while others are virtual tours (think street view but for museums). You can search by country or by museum. You can browse by artist, date, collection, medium, and more, making it easy to find works that fit with a particular unit or topic. If you are logged in to google, you can drag and drop items into personalized galleries.

Free Ancient Greece Unit

Free from Knowledge Quest, this unit is designed to be used with grades 1-8. Excerpted from A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World, the resource is a complete unit on the history and geography of Ancient Greece.

Homeschool Enrichment Magazine

Get the 2012 Homeschool Enrichment full issues in digital form free of charge. From the site: “This phenomenal package features 600 pages, 170 articles, and hundreds of useful homeschool tips, insights and ideas – all wrapped up in the encouragement and Biblical affirmation that readers have come to expect from each issue!” The offer is for a limited time only and requires signing up for their email updates.

The Learning Network

The New York Times offers this education section where students “can respond to our Opinion questions, take our News Quizzes, learn the Word of the Day, try our Test Yourself questions, complete a Fill-In or read our Poetry Pairings.”
Lesson plans are available for teachers as well. In the 6 Q’s About the News section, students read an article and questions are provided for discussion to evaluate understanding. “A Small, Rainy Harvest for Southern Farms” discusses the impact of recent weather on southern crops, while “Bradley Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy” covers the charges against Manning, the court case, and the verdict. Because comments are allowed on the pages, outside voices can be brought into the conversation which can be a good way to spark further conversation than what the Times provides, but can also introduce erroneous information (which is a good conve
rsation starter in and of itself).

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Recent Blog Posts

Getting Back to Nature

Getting Back to NatureSpending time in nature can lead to some of the most enjoyable and profound learning experiences. Nature-based learning touches on and connects every academic discipline imaginable while enlivening the senses and invigorating the body. It encourages curiosity and inquiry, exploration and experimentation, while the mind catalogs, analyzes, and compares. Homeschoolers are in a unique position to take full advantage of the learning opportunities that present themselves right outside the door. Families who discover Oak Meadow homeschooling curriculum find curriculum materials that actively support and encourage a close connection with nature. Read more »

 

Homeschooling Can Change Your Life

When we first heard about homeschooling, my husband and I thought it sounded like a great idea. Our first child had just been born, and like all new parents, we wanted only the best for her. Neither of us had been greatly impressed by our own school experiences, so we put homeschooling on our mental list of pursuits to consider someday. Read more »

 

Combination Summer Homeschooling

Combination Summer HomeschoolingFor many of us homeschoolers, summer doesn’t necessarily mean “no school”. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to choose the level of education they wish to do during the summer months, as they do the rest of the year. And every homeschool family does it differently. Some families school straight through the summer, some take some breaks but continue to school some as well, and other families take the summer off completely. We do the combination approach. Read more »

 

EdSpeak or Educationese for Progress Reports

EdSpeak or Educationese for Progress ReportsLearning 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. Read more »

 

Featured Article

Sustainable Living and Learning

The Heart of Learning was written by Lawrence Williams, Oak Meadow‘s cofounder, president, and a pioneer in homeschooling and distance learning. Its timeless lessons have informed homeschooling families for over three decades and been an integral part of our K-3 curriculum. Enjoy this sneak preview of the newly revised 35th Anniversary edition of The Heart of Learning, and stay tuned for the upcoming release to read these chapters in full.

Many of us find it easy to dive into new things with gusto. Once we’ve made the decision to try something new, like homeschooling, we want to learn everything we can so we can be really, really good at it. We make big plans — we’ll work our annual trip to the seashore into a unit on oceanography! — and create rosy images of winter days with our children studiously bent over their books at the kitchen table while we bake homemade crackers and upload photos of the latest clever homeschool project to our blog site.

Then reality hits.

The baby wants to be held constantly, so forget the homemade crackers. The trip to the shore was a blur of flipflops, sunscreen, and sandy snacks. And the fourth grader still can’t seem to write legibly no matter how many times we remind her. The clever homeschool projects are assimilated into the general clutter without a single photo being snapped, and dreams of capturing the miraculous journey of home learning in weekly blog posts is long lost. In a short time, our resources — physical, emotional, financial — are exhausted.

We often create unrealistic expectations of ourselves and our homeschooling. Rather than helping us become better teachers, this only serves to wear us down even more. Pretty soon, homeschooling begins to feel impossible, too difficult, too time-consuming, too life-consuming.

So how can we make home learning sustainable? How can we arrange our lives so that homeschooling becomes doable and not an added stress in an already overflowing life?
Read the rest on our blog

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Suggestions and advice on TheHomeSchoolMom.com are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure

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