Get access to our homeschool planner and more! Sign Up

October 2013

by Mary Ann Kelley
SUBCRIBER Downloads: Homeschool Planner, Country Report & More

Our newsletter subscribers have access to exclusive subscriber benefits! Our comprehensive homeschool planner is not available for sale anywhere, and is exclusively available to our newsletter subscribers. The planner, seventeen page country report, and several topical notebooking units are available for download after confirming your subscription.

Yes! I would like to receive newsletters and sponsored mailings from TheHomeSchoolMom (all of TheHomeSchoolMom's mailings include sponsored/marketing content). By submitting this form, I understand that my data will be handled as set out in the privacy policy and terms and I can unsubscribe at any time.

Creativity, Reading Lists, What to Buy Instead of Curriculum, and More

From the Editor

Welcome to TheHomeSchoolMom newsletter! I hope you have had a chance to visit and take a look at our beautiful new site design. Here are a few of our most popular resources that you might want to check out:

Tomorrow is the 56th anniversary of the Sputnik launch, so it’s a great time to watch October Sky and learn about rocketry. If you don’t follow us on Facebook, you might not have seen that TheHomeSchoolMom was featured in an article about homeschooling high school at US News & World Report. Check it out and be encouraged that homeschooling high school is not only possible, it’s a great option!

Have a great October, and enjoy the newsletter!

Warm regards,

Mary Ann Kelley


Teaching Calendar

October 4, 2013 — Sputnik launched – 1957

October 13, 2013 — Cornerstone of the White House laid – 1792

October 14, 2013 — Columbus Day

October 14, 2013 — Martin Luther King, Jr. awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – 1964

October 18, 2013 — Alaska purchased from Russia – 1867

October 23, 2013 — Women’s Suffrage March in NYC – 1915

October 24, 2013 — Rosa Parks dies – 2005

October 28, 2013 — Statue of Liberty dedicated – 1886

October 31, 2013 — Nevada Admission Day – 1864

View the entire calendar »


Our Sponsor: K12

K12 – The flexible homeschool solution parents (and kids!) love. The award-winning K12 curriculum is individualized to give every child the chance to reach his or her potential. And it’s flexible, to meet the unique challenges families face. We’ve delivered over 1.5 million courses over the past decade, with programs proven to work for children who aren’t thriving in school. Every subject is delivered online—complete with hands-on activities, all the books and learning materials you need, plus optional support from expert teachers. Our options include:
Homeschool Mom Bible• Single course or full-time homeschool curriculum• An accredited, online private school available worldwide

• Full-time, tuition-free public schooling in many states

• Programs that work for children who aren’t thriving in school

• Supplemental and independent study curriculum

• World language programs for grades 3-12

• A robust Advanced Learner Program

• Online summer school

• Optional support from expert teachers

See what’s possible »

Educational Resources

College-Bound Reading List

Lee Binz at TheHomeScholar has put together an extensive list of classics that college-bound students should consider adding to their book lists. “Reading from a broad cross-section of both American and World literature will help prepare your students to understand a variety of different cultures and times, and strengthen their knowledge and understanding of great literature.” While not every book on the list is one I would choose, many are excellent choices and the list is a good place to start.

NaNoWritMo Young Writer’s Program

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the wildly popular program that encourages writers to complete an entire novel during the month of November. The program is growing in popularity with young adults, teens, and children. NaNoWriMo has put together 3 downloads for student writers that will help them create characters, build settings, and hatch plots. The resources can also keep them motivated throughout the month. The PDF files are customizable so they can type and save their ideas. Get the workbooks here, then learn how NaNoWriMo works for young writers, and check out the Helpful Links page for additional writing resources.

Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent

“It takes 10,000 hours to reach world-class talent in an area of human
achievement. What if you started your child today so that he achieves world-class
performance by age 21? This would solve your child’s problem of trying to discover his life’s calling just at the time when he is ready to impact the world in his midtwenties.
As a homeschool parent, you have great advantages with time and flexibility.” This download is available free when you subscribe to the 10K to Talent newsletter (also free). The 48 page download includes worksheets and exercises to help you and your child get started discovering interests and jump-starting those first 100 hours toward mastery of a passion.

Our Sponsor: Menus4Moms

Free Bonuses With Dinner Menu Plan Subscription

When you subscribe to Menus4Moms, you get Frugal Mom’s Guide to Once a Month Cooking AND Bulk Cooking for the Freezer: Ground Beef for free in addition to our 3 Planned Leftover bonus downloads!

The weekly menu plans:

  • Include well-planned dinner menus for 5 nights
  • Feature tried and true recipes with grocery lists
  • Feature full color photos
  • Take advantage of stocking your pantry, planned leftovers, and cooking for the freezer
  • Cost less than $2 each week!

Start Your 2 week trial for just a penny »

Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Recent Blog Posts

Reading, Writing, and Rhythm

Reading, Writing, and RhythmA new year has arrived for our homeschool co-op, and I’m delighted to have a new bunch of kids to write with. Last year, I led ongoing weekly writing workshops for our high schoolers and middle schoolers. This quarter, I get to work with our elementary age writers. This gave me a chance to get started with my unorthodox approach to helping kids with their writing. Read more »

Homeschool Evaluation Instead of Testing

TheHomeSchoolMom: Using a Homeschool EvaluatorSome states require end-of-year evidence of progress for homeschooled kids in order for them to homeschool in subsequent years. There isn’t actually any evidence that this improves homeschooling outcomes (and many homeschoolers believe it interferes with the educational process), but it is the law in some parts of the United States. Using an evaluator may be one of the options you can choose if you are in a state that requires evidence of progress. A homeschool evaluation can be a more holistic approach than standardized testing. An evaluator can use a “whole child” approach that takes into account accomplishments that do not show up through testing. Read more »

Instead of Curriculum: Storyteller Jim Weiss

Instead of Curriculum: Storyteller Jim WeissAmong my favorite homeschooling resources are our audio recordings by storyteller Jim Weiss. These stories provided many important cultural touchstones for my children during their pre-reading and early reading years, introducing them to historical, scientific, literary, and mythological figures and tales. This is where my children first learned of Galileo, Tom Sawyer, Shakespeare, Robin Hood, and Sherlock Holmes. Read more »

Featured Article

The Secret to Encouraging Creativity

by Rebecca Capuano

The Secret to Encouraging Creativity For Kids

Let’s face it. None of us wants our children to be dull automatons who believe or do simply because someone says they should.

If you are homeschooling, it’s a pretty good bet that you’re wanting your kids to develop the ability to be innovative, ingenious, imaginative, and original. Creativity is in high demand amongst homeschoolers, and is increasingly understood as a critical part of intelligence and a quality necessary for productivity in the work world. Take, for example, the study of 1,000 college-educated, full-time employees called “Creativity and Education: Why It Matters”, in which 85% agreed that creative thinking was critical for problem solving in their career, and 78% wish they had more creative ability.1 Nine out of ten professionals agree that creativity is required for economic growth, and 96% believe it is valuable to society.2 Creativity enables individuals to find innovative solutions to problems, to go beyond the expected into the innovative, and think outside the box – all qualities that help children become productive contributors to society.

So, yes, we want creative kids. And, as homeschoolers, we can get our kids involved in music, provide them with art lessons, and give them the freedom to come up with ideas on their own and implement them – all of which are great ways to encourage creativity. Certainly having a home atmosphere in which children are encouraged to try out new things, express differing opinions, make mistakes and fail without retribution, and use lots of resources in ways they come up with on their own is critical to children developing their creative sides, and learning to express themselves in new and interesting ways.

But there is something else.

Yep, a little secret I have found, that is the key to encouraging creativity for kids. In fact, it is so powerful, that I’ve even seen instances in which implementing this one little tidbit will get kids to start being creative – even if none of the other wonderful creativity-establishers listed above are implemented.

Read the rest on »

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Local resource listings are for information purposes only and do not imply endorsement. Always use due diligence when choosing resources, and please verify location and time with the organizer if applicable. Suggestions and advice on 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