Middle School

Congratulations Graduates & Homeschoolers Of All Ages!

Temperatures climbed into the 80's that bright day last year. Graduation day. I remember how my heart skipped a beat or two when each of the guys put out their hands to receive their high school diplomas.

      "I'm so proud of you!" I said afterward as we basked in the wonderful feeling of having completed our homeschool journey.

     Big smiles. Everyone squinted as we snapped pictures. I stood on my tip-toes to give each son a kiss. Thoughts of all our official last days of school flooded my memory... 

Helping Our Kids Stand Strong in a Changing World, Part 1

I got back from speaking at the North Carolina Home Education (NCHE) Convention in Winston-Salem last weekend, and one of my workshops was on the topic of giving our children a biblical worldview--the why, the what, and the how. With our culture radically changing before our eyes, I believe this topic is more important than ever before. What are we doing to help our children stand strong in a changing world?

3 Helpful Tips As Your Kids Study Music

 

I kept my eyes on the highway as our old white van whizzed past small towns in Maryland's rolling suburbs.  Monday night, 5:25, three years ago.  The twins had only recently gotten their driver's permits, so I decided to drive Austin to orchestra rehearsal that night.  His straight-forward comment broke the silence.  "Mom --- I have to tell you --- I'm quitting orchestra tonight..."

Resources For Assessment

Spring is a busy time of year—from spring cleaning, planting and gardening, to yard sales and more, there is an abundance of things on our to-do lists. Spring is also typically the time of year that many homeschool parent-teachers buy curricula and materials for the coming school year. Keep in mind this can be an ideal time of year to assess your children. By taking inventory of which skills children have mastered and which skills need to be strengthened or addressed, your planning for instruction in the summer or the coming school year will become clearer and strategic.

Music, Part II

I sat outside the violin lesson that afternoon while I graded math papers and wondered, "Is this worth it?" I taxied the twins to lessons once a week, encouraged them to practice every morning, and sat through many long recitals and rehearsals ... 

   Our family found that studying music is about so much more than simply learning songs. It takes a big commitment from the parents and the students!

Music, Part I

He positioned the guitar to the left side of his body and held its long neck like a hunter with his prized goose. He looked straight ahead, his new dress shoes creaking as he ascended the three steps to the vast stage which consisted of one lone chair. The audience was oddly silent except for one lady who coughed. I sat there in the second row and wondered if my nine-year-old son had practiced enough. This was his first recital.... 

Twelve Reasons To Start Homeschooling This Fall

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach at home? Are you new to the whole idea of homeschooling? Maybe you're in the information-gathering stage, or perhaps you're already planning to begin homeschooling after summer.

Maybe you and your husband are ready to start teaching your kindergartner, or maybe you're just curious about the whole idea. Perhaps you're taking your kids out of the public school system. If so -- fantastic! You won't regret it.

Today Is the Nat'l. Day of Prayer and Holocaust Remembrance Day

 

One of the greatest privileges we have is to pray -- to bring our praises and petitions before our loving and merciful God.  And when we homeschool, we have many opportunities throughout the day to teach our children what it means to pray.

 

Don't Jump Ship! Don't Quit Homeschooling

"Okay, I've had better days," I thought to myself. I tried to be positive, but felt that I wanted to quit. Teaching. Mothering.  Managing a household. I wanted to jump ship... 

     I called Jay at the lab to inform him that I was resigning from my teaching position. He said, "Mare—just hang in there for the afternoon, and we'll talk all about it when I get home. We'll take a walk or something. Does that sound good? I love you." 

 

Real Tweets: 5 Great Reasons To Study Birds This Spring

"I'd love to see a Baltimore Oriole," I said last April.  "I mean the bird -- not the baseball players at the stadium!" 

     ...Often at lunch time, we would look out the back sliding glass window at the many birds and hope to see that notorious flash of orange and black.  All spring, we hoped to see an oriole... 

     

Can My Teen Earn High School Credit Prior to 9th Grade?

It is possible for students to earn high school credit prior to the 9th grade.  However, certain items need to be taken into consideration.

Check your state’s legal analysis to find out if your state requires a specific number of credits be taken during the 9th – 12th grade years.  A couple of states are very specific about the years during which credits must be accrued.  Most states, however, do not specify when credits must be earned. 

Teach Positive Social Skill This Spring, Part II

Yesterday we talked about the family table, and how it's a great place for kid's to learn social skills.  Where else can you find such an accepting, loving and warm place?  Also, I stated that one of the most powerful places on earth is the family table, so let's look at that...

The fact that the table is such an essential part of family life isn't  because it's the place that we highlight the day's lessons, or because our kids learn new culinary skills.  And it's not because we teach them to be good scholars or effective communicators, although those things are good.

Teach Positive Social Skills This Spring

Little ones recite their ABC's, elementary-aged children review the state's capitals, teenagers recall the best moments of the week...

I believe that one of the greatest places to teach our children is at the family table.  Positive interaction, conversation, the exchange of ideas -- it all happens here!

The Pronunciation Project

"Say again, please,"  I bemoaned. "Either you're mumbling, or I have a major hearing problem!" 

    After much debate, we surmised that it could be a little of both. Nonetheless, all through our homeschooling years, I reminded the boys that it was crucial to pronounce words clearly and to articulate the consonants whether speaking or reading aloud. 

The Discovery Drawer

What do you do with the kid's tiny (but important, to them anyway) little things that they collect? I would love to hear your ideas! 

    All kinds of trinkets -- from little magnets to golf tees to "special' rocks -- what's a mother to do? Yo-yos, harmonicas, feathers...   

     Maybe it's just me, but I really struggled with this. How to stay organized and streamlined?  Hmm... 

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