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December 2015

by Mary Ann Kelley
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 Christmas Resources, Handwriting, Homeschooling High School, and More

From the Editor

Most of you are shopping, baking, and decorating this time of year, so this issue I’m highlighting a few of our best seasonal blog posts for the holidays. We will be back again next month with a regular issue. Enjoy!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley

Teaching Calendar

December 15, 2015 — Bill of Rights Day

December 16, 2015 — Boston Tea Party – 1773

December 21, 2015 — Pilgrims Disembarked at Plymouth – 1620

December 25, 2015 — Christmas

December 26, 2015 — Tsunami in Indian Ocean – 2004

December 28, 2015 — Endangered Species Act passed – 1973

December 31, 2015 — WWII End of Hostilities – 1946

January 1, 2016 — Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln – 1863

January 1, 2016 — New Year’s Day

January 4, 2016 — Louis Braille born – 1809

January 7, 2016 — First US Presidential Election – 1789

View the entire calendar »


Christmas Resources

An Answer For Our Constant Christmas Quandary

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: The Solution to Too Much Stuff at ChristmasWe have always struggled, like many homeschoolers, with the gift-giving part of Christmas. My husband comes from a huge gift-giving family. I come from a family in which money was always tight and gifts tended to be few but meaningful. We both have a faith that leads us to condemn unmitigated materialism, convicts us about our prosperity amongst a world of poverty, and challenges us to find a balance between the joy of giving and the selfishness of indulging. Read More…

Did We Do Enough?

Did I Do Enough?It’s just a few days before Christmas, and almost all of the gifts are purchased. The goodies have been made, the halls have been decked, and we wait in expectation for “the big day”. Yet in spite of all of the conscientious preparations, it seems that the same question arises every year: Did we do enough? Read More…

Christmas Traditions

Christmas TraditionsAs soon as Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas excitement begins! The whole month of December is an amazing opportunity to establish family traditions – rituals that ground children in their roots and help them to create meaning and a sense of belonging. Family traditions help to mark shared experiences, encourage intimacy and connection, and help children to identify in a positive way with their families. Consider, for example, the tradition of the family meal… Read More…

Celebrating Christmas with School

Celebrating Christmas With SchoolDuring the month of December, there’s no better place to be than in the house of a home educator! This month provides so many opportunities for creative, fun learning as families help children prepare for Christmas. Arts and crafts, special recipes, decorating, singing… it’s worth taking a bit of a break from the academic rigor maintained through most of the year in order to enjoy some special Christmas-related activities as a family. To get the most out of the holiday, why not try a special study to prepare for Christmas? Christmas lapbooks, Advent devotionals, unit studies – the possibilities are endless! Check out some of these wonderful options for homeschooling in December… Read More…

Inoculating Against Madison Avenue

madisonavenueI was struck by the marketing comprehension exhibited in my children’s play. I hoped it would inoculate them against Madison Avenue, relieving them of the false pressure to buy, collect, and throw away massive quantities of “stuff” in order to feel good about themselves and their lives. Read More…

Recent Blog Posts

Scribes: Narration & Homeschooling

Scribes: Narration & HomeschoolingYour child can’t hold a pencil very well? Your child thinks faster than she can write? Your child’s handwriting is illegible? Your child can’t compose in writing even though he can tell you a great story?Your child might benefit from having a scribe. Read More…

Bad News/Good News of Starting Homeschooling in High School

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: The Good News/Bad News about Starting Homeschooling in High SchoolStarting homeschooling during the high school years can seem intimidating or liberating — or both. There is both good news and bad news about starting out homeschooling in high school, but for many people the good outweighs the bad. Read More…

Thinking Outside the Textbook

Homeschooling not working? Try thinking outside the textbook.I’m a member of several homeschooling groups and email loops, and the most common questions are all related to, “It’s a battle to get my child to do her work. I thought homeschooling would be better for my child, but it’s all tears and yelling. For both of us. I may have to put her back in school.”The specifics vary, but many parents new to homeschooling are trying to recreate a public school environment in their home and finding that it doesn’t work. It’s not their fault. Most of us went to public school; it’s what we know. We’re taught that this is the only way to get an education. That children won’t learn if we don’t tell them what to learn and force them
do so. We shouldn’t be surprised when we find homeschooling not working under these circumstances. Read More…

12 Reasons Why Handwriting Is Important

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: 12 Reasons Why Handwriting Is Important1. The brain engages differently when we write something by hand as opposed to typing it on a keyboard or by touching a screen. Studies show that writing improves memory; students retain learning better when working with new ideas through handwriting instead of typing.2. Engaging the body in writing by hand helps make writing a more holistic activity. There is something uniquely physical and multidimensional about putting pen to paper to form words and sentences. Read More…

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