Elementary

Breaking the Ice and Tadpole Funerals - Introducing Rachelle Reitz to the Blog!

Our homeschool was moving along in good form until in January we couldn't get the beans to grow for the biology lab. Science experiments, like art projects, already make me want to bang my head against a wall for awhile because they take time, make a mess, require advance planning, and never turn out the way I envisioned. But they are real learning. Right?! Right.

Daughters and Mysteries

I’ve been considering how being in our particular family affects our girls’ education. I don’t know if this sounds familiar, but I always suffer from this lurking fear that I’m not normal. (Well, obviously, but maybe that’s a bad thing?) I’ve always told the girls that God sent them to me. So I started thinking about what I learned from my parents, who also have personalities and backgrounds and came from families.

The Problem is I Need Three of Me

My parents, heaven bless them, recently left sunny coastal California and came to the icy tundra that is Indianapolis in winter. They came to watch our four kids for a few days so my husband and I could get away for a very timely respite.

Last fall my mom texted me to ask what we wanted for our winter birthdays and Christmas. After giving it some thought, I replied emphatically, "We don't want stuff! We want a break!! Please come!"

Playing to Our Strengths

While it’s true that a certain amount of parenting involves just staying the course and dutifully slogging through the inevitable rough patches (who really enjoys staying up nights with a sick child or wiping endless runny noses?—yet it needs to be done), I think we can often fall into the assumption that some things just have to be done because That’s the Way Things Are. We hold certain parenting truths to be self-evident because they seem to work so well, but what works for others may not always be best for us.

Teaching Math - Counting Everything, Everywhere You Go

 

I told Meg, my older daughter, that I had a half-baked idea for a math project. "Cool!" she said, but the word "baked" reminded her of our not-very-successful and not-yet-baked-at-all cuneiform cylinder seals. They were lying on the stove all squashy and green. "It isn't with salt dough, though, is it, Mommy?"

Of Bugs and Missing Tupperware

I’m not sure about that poet who decided it’s only boys who are made of snakes, and snails, and puppy dog tails. I am pretty sure that is what my girls are made of too. They sure do love creepy crawlies of all kinds. There is no fear or revulsion. Only curiosity and delight. They love bugs and reptiles!

In the past they have been happy to collect frogs and insects, with either their bare hands or their bug vacuum...

Laissez-Faire or Fairly Lazy?

 

We have, as I’ve mentioned before, a fairly laid-back approach to schooling. Of course, my motto (or one of my mottoes; I’m as fond of mottoes as the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland was of morals) is do what works for you. Right now, a flexible homeschooling approach works wonders for the smoothness and serenity of our lives.

 

Can We Skip Doing Math Today?

When I was in elementary school, I remember enjoying doing workbook pages, especially math ones. Yep, I was one of those weird kids. I also wrote left-handed back when all the desks were made for right-handed kids. My first grade teacher even tried to force me to write right-handed. It didn’t work. My resistance to conversion may have pushed her to retire early; for me at the very least, it ruined any interest in handwriting for a long time.

National School Choice Week: Why I Chose Homeschooling - Guest Post

When I first heard about homeschooling, I was intrigued by the idea of teaching my kids at home. I was impressed with the quality and character of the homeschool kids I knew. But I wasn’t convinced that it would be the best path for my children.

Then the Lord brought a wise, older woman into my life who asked me this question, “Who cares most about your children: you, or your children’s teachers?”

The Story Behind My Morning Dream by Jenny Rose Arsenault

Homeschooling a child with special needs can be challenging. Things that come easily for other kids require a tremendous amount of effort and energy for the struggling learner. It can be frustrating for parents and children when those areas that come ‘more easily’ to them aren’t always recognized in terms of academics.

Taking part in HSLDA’s contests allows students to focus on areas that are easier for them and that bring much joy.

Homeschooling Through Hard Times

Breathe. Try to keep calm. Claim and walk out the Scripture promise from Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, he whose mind is stayed (or fixed) on You, because He trusts in You." The past couple of months have not been easy for me—life (and thus homeschooling) has been broadsided by broken appliances, family sickness, a loved one hospitalized, a car accident, relative visits, and did I forget to mention the holidays and all the preparations that those entail?

All the Things You Can Think!

Basecamp is a communication and organization software company that offers accounts to project managers to help them successfully monitor project status, which requires effective communication and efficient organization. Basecamp software simplifies the communication process to help people streamline collaboration on various projects. This high tech tool will be a marvelous asset to any tech savvy mother willing to implement it in her homeschool.

2nd Annual Special Needs Struggling Learner Homeschool Conference

We are so excited about the upcoming Special Needs Struggling Learner Homeschool Conference. It’s coming up soon, so if you haven’t explored this opportunity, now is the time to do it! The folks at FPEA have a vision to support and encourage people who are homeschooling children with special needs not only in Florida, but across the nation. We really appreciate the work they did last year in organizing this national conference and are thrilled that they’re offering it again this year.

CLOSED - GIVEAWAY - It's Here! Building the Machine Extended DVD

Now that our Building the Machine documentary is out, we need your help! Calling all parents, educators, students, social media advocates, and education enthusiasts!

And to spread the word further about the Common Core, we're giving away a copy of the Building the Machine DVD; A gripping half-hour documentary that tells the story about the Common Core, one of the biggest national reforms to be adopted behind closed doors.

If It's FREE-It's For ME!

 

Who Doesn’t Love Free Stuff?

Check out a list of some free items for homeschoolers Faith Berens compiled! And be sure to share with us some of your favorite free resources you've found.

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