So, you want to read all about homeschooling? I’m so glad, because that’s what I love to write about! I’ve been living this lifestyle since I was 9 years old, and I’ve mentored many moms as they began their own homeschooling journey. I’m bold enough to believe that anyone and everyone should homeschool, and I’ll back up that claim with the why and how. So, let’s dig right in! I have a lifetime of homeschooling experience to share with you! I was a homeschool kid in the 1980’s, and have been homeschooling my own 5 kids since 2000. My oldest graduated in 2014, and now I have 4 little students with bright shining faces! Okay, sometimes. Haha! I’ve been mentoring new homeschool moms for several years, served as Director of my local co-op, manage communications for my support group, and I’m on the Texas Home Educators Advisory Board. I’ve homeschooled as a single mom, with no money for curriculum. I hope to encourage you to jump in and let God lead you! Be sure to follow me on  InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my blog for homeschooling encouragement and information! I have a dedicated page for curriculum. Check it out here. homeschooling    

Thinking it over…

Why We Homeschool Our goal is to raise good people, not just to teach them the academics. In other words, we don’t want the majority of their childhood to be about school. Instead, we want school to be just a part of their childhood.   {Read more} The Most Important Thing It’s so easy to get caught up in scope and sequence lists, test scores, grade levels, and transcripts. It’s easy to let the fear of falling behind take over our homeschool schedule. I know. It happens to me. I’m sure it happens to you. Education is important. It’s very important, for a multitude of reasons. But it is still not the most important thing. Home education is a complete package. And if we have complete control of our schedule and curriculum, we have the ability to put the most important thing FIRST. (Read More) Conformity In a society where kids are told from preschool age that they can achieve whatever they want, to dream big, and to be all they can be, it’s amazing how fast minds change when someone actually takes the advice!  {Read more} American Education is Backwards It is very frustrating to live in a world where “experts” call the shots and the general population must abide by their proclamations to the detriment of entire generations. This is the case in many areas today, and in none more vital than the education of our children. How is it that our “primitive” ancestors could produce great thinkers, inventors, philosophers, and statesmen while in the 21st century we produce high school and college graduates who do not know how to express thoughts, beliefs, or opinions with confidence or conviction? We cannot presume that pilgrims and colonists were the uneducated ones. American education is backward. It’s all wrong. it’s been broken apart, mixed up like so many unrelated pieces, and shoved back together into a mandatory schedule of subjects and tests. And while we pay billions to prop up this system, we are stealing that money from the very people the system claims to benefit. { Read more} To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool? All work and no play . . . not here! These are just a few examples of memories that are made daily. If the kids were gone all day, these things would simply be missed. Childhood is short; spend it with your children! Here’s my take on homeschooling: learning is a part of life. It should happen all the time, during “school” and otherwise. School just one part of our day. There is so much more . . .   {Read more} Where in the World Do You Start? This is a question I’ve been asked many, many times over the years by parents who were ready to start but wanted to know “where to buy the books.” That’s a big question, and it’s one I’m not even going to answer. The first thing you need to think about is: What led us to the decision to homeschool? It’s very important to take the time to answer this question, in writing if possible. This will help you define your goals.   {Read more} Education: Does God Have an Opinion? (Book Review) This book by Israel Wayne is possibly the best book I’ve read on education in many years. And I read a lot of books. Its subtitle is “A biblical apologetic for Christian education and homeschooling.” The content of the book absolutely delivers what it promises. Here is my review. { Read more} Well Educated While policy-makers, school boards, and taxpayers argue over the state of education in America, I want to simplify the steps to a well educated student. This is specifically for the benefit of the homeschooling parent who strives to plan a great education for their children. But it’s also a thoughtful look at what actually makes a person well educated. Is it 12 years spent in a classroom, with a checklist of completed tasks and a beautifully inscribed diploma? Or is there more to being well-educated? { Read more } catie having school Beginning Your Homeschool Journey: De-school and Research The top question that new homeschoolers ask is, “What books do I buy?” And the #1 answer I give is: SLOW DOWN AND DO YOUR RESEARCH! Homeschooling is a new lifestyle and a different kind of education. There are many right ways to do it, and the options are astounding!  {Read more} Homeschool 101: The Hidden Dangers of Modern Homeschooling Modern homeschooling looks very different. I’m not knocking it; the opportunities available to homeschoolers are astounding. But to those who have recently joined the movement I want to say that you are operating in a very different kind of homeschool world than the old-timey ones, and I have seen some detriments. { Read More} In Defense of Christian Homeschooling { Read Here} Homeschooling Special Needs Children This is a hot topic with parents, whether they have begun the homeschool journey or are still considering their options. There are so many normal life issues with special needs children that it can seem overwhelming for parents to become responsible for their education, too. So I asked my fellow homeschool bloggers for their best advice and blog posts to encourage, inform, and inspire you if this is where you are. { Read more} Busting the Socialization Myth- Part 1 If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time (or ever even MET a homeschooler), then you’re aware of the great concern over socializing our children. There are lots of great arguments out there against this crazy notion, so I won’t try to top them. I’m here to prove that it’s all a myth anyway. It’s not really just about having friends, is it? Socialization is interacting with other people. And these homeschool kids have it down. {Read more} Busting the Socialization Myth – Part 2 I actually know plenty of people homeschool moms who are afraid their kids will be weird. But what they’re doing is buying into the very same thought process that if you aren’t just like all the other kids out there, you’re still doing something wrong. Some of you want your kids to be super smart, super talented, and graduate at 15. But you want them to look and act like all the other kids. It just doesn’t work that way. The reason it seems that kids raised at home are “weird” is just because they are different. {Read more} Homeschooling Special-Needs Children Homeschooling special needs children is a hot topic with parents, whether they have begun the homeschool journey or are still considering their options. There are so many normal life issues with special needs children that it can seem overwhelming for parents to become responsible for their education, too. So I asked my fellow homeschool bloggers for their best advice and blog posts to encourage, inform, and inspire you if this is where you are. {Read more} There is no such thing as “behind” in homeschooling We are conditioned to believe that certain subjects must be taught in certain grades, and if they are not mastered, a child has “failed” and is now “behind.” But who set those standards? Who? Do you know? ( Read more) A Laura Ingalls Education I recently had the opportunity to speak at the 2018 Great Homeschool Convention in Fort Worth, Texas as part of the Texas Home Educators team. My topic: A Laura Ingalls Education. I have been inspired by Laura’s writings for years and have found so many similarities between her education and the modern homeschooling movement. ( Read more) Are They Learning Enough??? Recently, within my local homeschool group, the questions about a typical day, whether to put kids in public school, and are they learning enough at home have been discussed back and forth on our email loop. All the answers were very encouraging, but there were a couple recently from graduated students that I found especially fun.  {Read more} Reclaiming History From Revisionists 20 th and 21 st century historians have invested a great deal of time in what is called “revisionist history;” that is, changing the story of great people and civilizations to fit what they think happened and why they believe it did or did not happen, or telling what they think should have happened. There is a definite bias, and the divide is right down the middle between Christians and non-Christians. {Read more} Displaced Warriors  I think of this topic often with my little boys. I want them to be warriors. I know that the instinct to be strong, to be tough, and to fight is part of their very being. I will admit that it drives me to distraction almost daily! But I remind myself that God made them like this, to grow into strong, courageous protectors. Oddly enough, in order to have peace, we often must first have war. Without willing soldiers and warriors, who would fight tyranny? Who would overthrow the oppressors? Who would bring about revolution? Read your histories and tell me who did the mighty deeds? Yet, our society has succeeded in making war (and warriors) evil.  {Read more} On Men I recently shared some thoughts about single moms. I suggsted that single moms and their children are the ‘widows and orphans’ that the New Testament speaks of. Now let’s back up a bit. Before there can be a single mom, there is usually an intact family. (I say usually, because I’m not speaking of the single moms who have chosen that life. I’m speaking of widows and divorced women.) It is fact now that 50% of marriages in America end in divorce. I think the number is much smaller for marriages that end due to death of a partner. What I want to focus on today is the families that are broken by divorce.  {Read more}   Muscle Inc Protein

At Our House…

My Must Have Supplies for Homeschooling As a veteran homeschooler, I’ve got a short list of “must-haves” to make our homeschooling run smoothly. So let’s get started. ( Read More) Homeschooling Multiple Ages Together Having several children in your homeschool can pose a challenge: Should I create individual lesson plans for each child, or teach them all together? HOW would you teach them all together? For many years I’ve had a WIDE range of ages, from toddler to teen. There’s simply no way my sanity would allow for each child to have their own history lessons, science books, read-alouds, geography worksheets, etc. Either I would go insane, or the lessons would never get done. I learned to combine the entire family for everything but Math and Language Arts (and some of this even gets combined!). After many years of doing this, I still have a wide range of ages, and it still works. ( Read More) 10 Ways to Teach Geography Naturally Parents, it’s totally possible to teach your children when you don’t have a college degree or background in education. Maybe you hated school, or didn’t graduate. That’s not important. Because these are simple, real-life ways to learn. My motto is that “anyone can homeschool” and this is just one example of why that’s true. { Read more} 10 Ways to Learn Outside Children love to be outdoors, and they need to be outdoors. There are so many benefits for all ages, including natural Vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, and exercise. I repeat this mantra to my own kids almost daily! But the great outdoors also provides endless educational opportunities for children. There is no need for a worksheet or a study guide to learn outside — just get out there and start observing nature! { Read More} Six Great Children’s Authors on History When a writer tells a story that keeps kids hanging on every word, you know you’ve found a winning book. And if that story teachings history, you’ve pretty much won the lottery. That’s why I love great books about history, and not history textbooks. Over my years of homeschooling, I’ve found some favorites that we return to again and again, so I’m sharing my top six great children’s authors on history. ( Read More) Excellent Books for Boys A list of great books is always in demand for the parents of boys. But not every list is the same, and in my own search, I found that many such lists did not meet the standards we have for our boys. Once my boys learned to read, they became avid readers. The search began for good quality books that were exciting, fun, and full of excellent content. I read many lists of books for boys, but so often they were lists of “books boys like” instead of “high quality books that boys should read.” (Read more) Excellent Books for Girls There’s a world of books out there for kids to read, and it’s hard to weed through them for the good stuff. Reading is an extremely important part of life, but for Christian parents the content is crucial when handing books to our kids. I’ve been raising daughters for 23 years, so I’ve come up with a few favorites that are worth recommending. To me, these stand out as some of the most excellent books for girls. { Read more} Christian Apologetics for Kids Apologetics is the reasoned justification of something. Christian apologetics is the reasoned argument or justification of the Scriptures. I like the insertion of the word “reasoned” in this definition. Anyone can argue for a theory or belief. But very few use a reasoned argument. ( Read more) Teaching History with Games Tell me: would you rather watch your kids play “Go Fish” with regular ol’ playing cards, or would you prefer to use cards naming the Presidents, or periods of Ancient History, or parts of the U. S Constitution? When your kids play this way, they are learning and reviewing all kinds of history. I can’t think of a situation that makes this mama’s homeschool-heart more happy!  ( Read More) Copywork and Language Arts If the greatest authors of Western Civilization could instruct your children in sentence structure, would you let them? If the Holy Bible could teach your children proper spelling, would you let it? If beautiful poetry could teach your children word usage, would you take advantage of it? If the greatest scientific minds could teach your children to write persuasively, would you allow them? Because there’s a free and simple method to do all of the above, and more. It’s called copywork. Maybe you’ve heard of it? { Read more} Enrichment Classes Co-op (2010) Since 2000, we have been a part of our local homeschool group’s Enrichment Class program. We meet on Fridays for 10 weeks in a row for a variety of classes. This takes place every Spring and Fall. It is the only ‘school’ my kids have ever attended, and it is where their ‘socialization’ takes place. {Read more} School at the Beach One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we are free to do it anytime, anywhere. School isn’t just a classroom and some textbooks. It’s about learning, and that can happen in many different surroundings. So last week we picked up our books and headed to the beach. This was our classroom for the day: {Read more} Live-Blogging our Homeschool Day (2010) Welcome to our day! Join me as I live blog how a day at our house really goes. To see what we’re supposed to be doing, click here. Then watch to see what actually happens! {Read more} girls homeschooling A Day in the Life (2011) 7:00 – After hitting the snooze button a few too many times, I get up because Nicholas (2) and Nathan (5) wake me. Catie is still sleeping, so I sneak out of the bedroom quietly. I give Nathan the milk he wants every morning when he wakes up, and the boys watch Backyardigans while I prepare breakfast. Mexican Chocolate Bread and OJ Smoothies. Yum! {Read more} A Day in the Life (2014) Welcome to a day-long glimpse of our lives! This is a very typical day in our home. There’s a little bit of everything thrown in: homeschooling, playtime, homemaking, and chores. So, let’s begin! {Read more} Our School Room (2014) The dining room is where most “school” takes place: writing, math, geography, breakfast devotions, and lunch reading happen here. Other reading time happens in the living room, with kids spread out on couches and the floor doing their various activities. {Read more} Read-Aloud Time (2014) Since we use Sonlight with our 5 children, there is lots of read-aloud time each school-day. It’s a very enjoyable time for both mom and kids. Depending on the day and the books, we will read for 1-2 hours in the afternoon. The kids are allowed to do something quiet with their hands while I read. Their choices vary: drawing, coloring, building, sewing, knitting, etc. {Read more} When Mother Reads Aloud I found this great poem from the perspective of a child being read great stories by his mother. I think you’ll be encouraged to read to your children more! { Read more} The Senior Year As we embark on a SENIOR YEAR for the first time in our homeschool, I’m looking at what could be a very short time left to prepare my daughter for the rest of her life. It’s a little scary, and a whole lot sentimental! A typical senior year includes things like senior pictures, a ring, a trip, college visits and entrance exams, and a graduation ceremony. But since we are anything but typical, we’re going to tweak this area of our lives, too! {Read more} Think Outside the Minimum Wage Job Or, How to Raise Proverbs 31 Daughters…When you were a teenager or young adult, did you work in fast food, or wait tables? I sure did. I worked many different jobs as a teen and college student, but I certainly put in my time at McDonald’s and spent several years as a waitress. Most of us did. It’s one more thing teenagers aspire to, after getting their driver’s license. Quite a few years ago, when our family was in pretty desperate shape, I took a part time job waiting tables again, so that I could work when my husband came home from his job. But I got an ugly reminder during that time of what’s out in the workplace. And you know what? It’s what’s in the public school, only much worse. {Read more} High School and College, Part 1  My oldest child will be a “senior” this year. For most homeschooling families, this is the time to be finalizing the high school transcript, taking (or preparing for) the SAT, and visiting colleges. But since we do everything different than the mainstream, high school and college are no different. You see, my daughter will not attend college, and we do not keep a transcript. In fact, we have encouraged her to “think outside” the college education. The last two years have been spent considering the future, her interests, and seeking God’s plan for her. The resulting decision: prepare to be a homemaker and use her talents to earn income on her own time. {Read more} High School and College, Part 2 In our home, we say that we are raising “people, not high-school graduates.” If I want my kids to grow up into functioning adults, I want them to be able have a healthy, God-honoring marriage, manage a home, and raise children, “walk in the truth,” and “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” The jobs or careers they have are secondary in importance to all of these. {Read more} High School and College, Part 3 The arguments to this lifestyle are many, and as common as the “socialization” argument about homeschooling. Here are our answers to some common questions. {Read more}Teaching Specifics… Facebook ad   Making History Fun The struggle is real for many homeschool parents. After all, if you didn’t enjoy history as a student, chances are you may not be excited about teaching it to your kids. But it IS really fun, and many homeschool parents figure that out when they start educating their children. History is one of the only school subjects (besides science) that can be experienced with all of the senses. See it, hear it, taste it, feel it: you can bring it to life in so many ways. ( Read More) Teaching Kids to Read  Teaching your children to read can either be very exciting or very frightening. I was excited to teach my first daughter to read, but I know that that is not always the case with homeschool parents. I’m now teaching my 3rd child to read, and I have learned that every kid is different. So I’m going to share what I did with each child, what worked, and what didn’t. {Read more} How to teach reading Free Phonics Resources Remember, it’s not the amount of money you spend on a fancy curriculum, it’s your commitment level and the time spent with your child that counts! {Read more} Teaching History Without A Curriculum In my very early years of homeschooling, we read some basic stories of history, without much of a plan. At some point, I began using Beautiful Feet Books, and then The Well Trained Mind, and eventually Sonlight. Along the way I would include extras, such as field trips, hands-on activities, movies, and costumes. But I wanted to do more. The more I added, the more I began to make executive decisions about what we might NOT use from these programs, and our custom curriculum was born! {Read more} Brexit and the American Revolution  Throughout the world, and throughout history, man has desired the freedom to live in peace, to live a good life, and to be in charge of his own destiny. Countless revolutions have been waged to ensure freedom from tyranny. As governments grow large and unchecked, citizens rise up to throw off their chains. Americans know all about this. And British history is alive with tales of overthrowing Roman rule. Britons went on to enjoy a 2,000-year reign as an independent nation, until they very recently joined the European Union. History was made on June 23, 2016, when British voters chose to leave the EU and regain their independence. {Read more} Teaching History with Louis L’amour  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time (or know me in person) you know I’m a big fan of Louis L’amour.  So, naturally, I’ll find a way to use  my favorite author in our homeschool! You may think of westerns when you hear his name, and while that is mostly what he wrote (and what I love most), he also wrote several great books from other time periods. They make great historical fiction to go along with any study of history!  {Read more} Teaching Shakespeare in Your Homeschool Don’t let the fact that you haven’t spent years as a high-school English teacher deter you from enjoying Shakespeare at home with your children. It’s fun, and with the help of modern technology, it’s easier than you think. {Read more} Teaching History with Jane Austen Around the same time that we study the French Revolution and Lewis and Clark, we will also get to read and study Jane Austen. This is mostly for high schoolers, but in my house, everyone’s been exposed to her movies, and the older girls have read a novel or two. It’s a British history lesson, for sure, but I can’t think of many Americans who don’t love something British! {Read more} 17th Century World History For the past 2-3 years I have created my own curriculum, and finally decided to share it with you! The 17 th Century is such an exciting time to study! The Renaissance is wrapping up, exploration of the world is still exploding, modern science is growing, and new worlds and civilizations are being born. We will cover Shakespeare (whose main works and his death were in the 1600s), the beginnings of America(my FAVORITE part of history!), Galileo, Isaac Newton, Pilgrim’s Progress, Pirates, and many other notable historic facts. {Read more} The Pilgrims In the century after the Protestant Reformation, small bands of English citizens began to question whether the Reformation had gone far enough. Many believed that the Church of England, conveniently founded by Henry VIII during the Reformation period, was rife with corruption and unbiblical practices. These Englishmen, nicknamed “Puritans”, desired a return to the simple, straightforward practices of the New Testament church. {Read more} The History of the Declaration of Independence  The Declaration of Independence is a famous document, but without historic context, it doesn’t often make sense to us in the 21 st century. Every single word of the Declaration reflected the events and feelings taking place in the American colonies in 1776. Why, after 150 years of peaceful colonization, did the Colonists decide to rebel against the King of England? What did the British do that angered them so much? What’s with the long list of offenses committed by the King?  I’ll take each section a little at a time and try to give a bit of background, and hopefully bring this daring, treasonous document to life. {Read more}
 McGuffey 1848 High School Lesson  The history of education in America has always fascinated me, but this historic book is like a time capsule from the era of one-room schools, organized and funded by the local parents in each town (what a concept, huh?), and also used in the homes of families on the frontier with no access to a school. It was written in a time before God was expelled from the classroom; when Americans understood the true intent of “separation of church and state;” when patriotism was a trait to be desired, and oppression and tyranny were to be spurned at even the cost of lands and possessions. {Read more}
My Place in the World (Geography) I did a really fun activity with my boys (5 and 7) today. I saw a similar idea Pinterest (but it had no links) and decided it was a perfect introduction to geography for my 5 year old, and a good review activity for my 7 year old. {Read more}
The Royal Wedding and Homeschool  Today, Prince William married his Kate, and made her the new Princess of Wales. It is fashionable to either be obsessed with the royal wedding or to hate all things associated with it. But, as a homeschool mom/teacher, I look at it in the light of world history.  {Read more}
Thanksgiving Reading Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday! I love the history and traditions behind it. And since I’m a homeschool mom as well, I like to have a list of favorite books handy to read each year. So, here are my top picks: {Read more}

Muscle Inc Protein Curriculum…

Easy to Teach High School Science Now that I’m teaching my second high-schooler, I am loving The 101 Series. It’s a science curriculum that’s very similar to those early-year methods. The 101 Series fits our natural learning lifestyle perfectly, while offering the academic standards that older kids need. {Read more } How to Discuss Current Events with Your Children There are so many educational opportunities available in the news today. No matter where your children receive their education, you can make this a regular part of life. If you homeschool, I could  make the case that your entire homeschooling curriculum could start with the news, and provide endless rabbit trails from there. { Read more} 5 Ways to Use Audible in Your Homeschool  Audiobooks are extremely useful tools for homeschoolers, and today I will show you the best ways to make an Audible membership one of the most valuable pieces of your curriculum. {Read more} Five in a Row Here’s how it works: Each week you use one title from the FIAR book list. You read the book once each day for the entire week. Every day you will focus on a different aspect of the story, such as art, history, science, geography, and so on. The repetition helps to reinforce those lessons. Maps and other resources can be used if Mom chooses. {Read more}  See more Five in a Row posts: Katy No-Pocket, Jesse Bear, Corduroy, Five in a Row Audiobooks My children really enjoy our FIAR studies, so to have these stories available to listen to at bedtime just reinforces what they learned during our weekly studies. Besides, it’s just plain fun! I also got several Beatrix Potter stories for .69. {Read more} How We Use Sonlight (2010) We are using Core 4, which is Introduction to American History, Part 2. I chose this because I love Revolutionary War/Colonial/Pilgrims-type history, but I haven’t focused enough on the later parts. This was a great way to get the other half of the story for my girls (ages 9 and 13). It’s been very exciting, and the girls are loving it. {Read more} Homemade Handwriting Book My 9-year-old, Chloe, must have gotten ahead of me on the cursive writing, because before I started “formally” teaching her how, she began trying it on her own. She would occasionally ask me how to make capital “T” or “J.” I wasn’t prepared with a curriculum, but I had successfully used The Learning Page’s printouts before for her printing practice, so I decided to do it again with cursive. {Read more} nicholas handwriting Dinosaur Preschool Busy Work I have a 4 year-old who loves do “do school” and who loves dinosaurs. So, in an effort to provide him with “school work” like his big sisters and satisfy his endless need to look at dinosaur pictures, I printed out a whole bunch of free worksheets at The Learning Page and made a book for him. {Read more} Dinosaurs for Preschool I started by reading this really fun glow-in-the-dark book about dinosaur bones. It has regular pictures of dinosaur scenes, but in the dark their bones glow! The kids LOVED it! So I explained that the only way we know about dinosaurs is by the bones that are dug up. The scientists that do this are called PA-LE-ON-TOL-O-GISTS. Say “paleontologists.” They had many different versions of this word!  {Read more} Muscle Inc Protein

Tips…

Keeping the HOME in Homeschool When you committed to this homeschool journey, did you envision lots of children learning quietly around the kitchen table? Or piles of laundry, tired children, and a stressed-out Mom? Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Is your lifestyle easy and light, or are you tired, broke, and overwhelmed? Are you getting enough rest to preserve your health and your sanity? Are you children getting enough rest? Do your babies take regular naps? Do your children have a chance to get bored? Boredom leads to creativity! {Read more} Think Outside the “School Year” I’ve mentioned before that we usually school year-round at our house. I also mentioned one of our top reasons for homeschooling is the freedom to set our own schedule. When I say ‘schedule’ I mean daily, weekly, and yearly. You see, the schedules that public and private schools follow (180 days per year, 8-3 each day, etc.) are set up to manage hundreds of children efficiently. Since we are not a public school, I am not bound by those timetables. This mindset affects all other areas of our homeschool.  {Read more} Avoiding Burnout If you are new to homeschooling, or about to embark on this journey, you may wonder how in the world all this excitement might be traded for something called burnout. And the burnout I’m referring to is usually not really homeschool burnout; it’s more of a feeling of being generally overwhelmed. Since homeschooling becomes a lifestyle, the burnout can stem from this major addition to your lifestyle. {Read more} Encouraging Sibling Interaction  With five children spread out over 15 years, there are times when I notice the big kids and the little kids not interacting the way I’d like them to. Oh, the big kids help with hairstyles, putting shoes on, and getting a cup of water for the young ones, but the amount of playtime together starts to dwindle. One of my top priorities as a mom is to see my kids have fun together. And sometimes I need to help them do that. {Read more} homeschooling - my human body   Making Math Sweet Some days, math goes very slowly around here. It’s not that it’s hard, but some drill problems can take a looooooooong time, partly because someone doesn’t want to do it. So I will occasionally use a trick that I read by Well Trained Mind author Susan Wise Bauer {Read more} Attending a Homeschool Convention I like to spend the entire day at the Fair so that I have time to walk the entire convention hall, hear my chosen speakers, sit and rest, and run through the hall one more time before I leave. Here’s what I’ve learned over many years of being both student and parent at these fairs: {Read more} Activity Boxes Our collection of games, puzzles, flash cards, and other activities was getting to be a big pile of MESS. So I came up with a way to sort them all and store them neatly so that the kids could easily grab a box and do something fun. This will serve several purposes: 1) since there are activities for all ages, a preschooler can have a different box every day with fun games to play; 2) a big kid can pull out a box and find an activity to fill their time while waiting for Mom to finish something; or 3) any kid can get a specific box to reinforce skills previously learned. {Read more} Creating a Daily Schedule At our house, we have much more productive days if we have a plan. I’ve been using a printed schedule since I had 2 kids and they were 5 and 1. At that time, I was providing daily child care to another baby and toddler. I accomplished so much with those 4 small children! I had time to teach my 5yo, garden, scrapbook, cook clean, and play with the kids. {Read more} Think Outside the Textbook I made a joyful discovery last week. My 8 year old daughter can tell time and count money and we did not use one single worksheet to accomplish this! It was not intentional, but real life just happened. {Read more} Think Outside the Pencil It’s a beautiful fall day in homeschool land. My first child (read: guinea pig) is into her Kindergarten year. The living room looks like a public school classroom. The bulletin board-calendar is decorated with a monthly theme. The ABC handwriting chart is in a prominent place. The desk is set up with pencils, ruler, crayons, scissors, and textbooks. Mom even has a whiteboard on a fancy easel for lessons. {Read more} homeschooling boys with busy bags Muscle Inc Protein

Encouragement…

Happy Graduation Day, Homeschool Mama! his is an open letter to you mothers who are graduating a child from your homeschool. You’ve been working toward this day for YEARS. Now the cap and gown are purchased, the transcript is polished, and perhaps the college applications are complete. Congratulations are in order for your student, right? Not so fast. This is a congratulations for YOU. For years you have not only been Mom, you’ve taught every subject in every grade level. Letters and numbers, math and reading, writing and grammar, spelling and vocabulary, science, history, and everything else. {Read more} Louis L’amour Was an Unschooler  If you’ve read his books, you know with what detail he describes locations, geography, people, and historical fact. Every full-length novel includes a map. You KNOW when reading that he actually walked the places he describes. His westerns make you feel like you’re there. He was self-taught, and experienced. And he had a real knack for storytelling. Combine those qualities and you have the makings of an award-winning writer. Of course, I have been sold on his books for years. But when I picked up his book Education of a Wandering Man, as a homeschool parent, I was fascinated! {Read more} When Faith is All You Have (My time is a single-mom homeschooler) I want to share with you a snapshot of a time when I lived for months “not knowing” and depending on God one day at a time. This was during my time as a single mom, without a home, and earning very little money. {Read more} Muscle Inc Protein

Homeschooling and the Law

School Choice This page is dedicated to EDUCATION FREEDOM, as well as exposing the truth behind education subsidies called “school choice,” both in Texas and at the national level. (Read more) School Choice and the 529 Education Savings Account This doesn’t expand “choice” for parents. It expands the reach of the federal government and allows the feds to create definition of a ” legitimate” homeschool expense. What the feds define they will refine. ( Read More)

Just for fun…

Ardmore, OK -Family Field Trip My husband recently had the idea to take the family to the southern Oklahoma town of Ardmore, so I, being the good homeschool mom that I am, turned it into an educational outing! I think a day trip to almost any town can be turned into a mini-vacation. Even small towns hold many possibilities for recreation and education. So, here’s what we did: {Read more} My 80’s Homeschool: The Beginning In 1983 I was eleven years old and in the 5th grade at Nocona Elementary School in Nocona, Texas. My sister,Amandah, was in the 2nd grade. My parents had begun attending different churches and met somehomeschoolers in our area. They were experiencing some doubts about the public school we were in, and when they heard about homeschooling, they began to pray about it. They had also been to hear Bill Gothard of Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, and he had also mentioned homeschooling. {Read more} A Typical Day in an 80’s Homeschool When we first began homeschooling, I was in 6th grade. My sister was in 3rd grade. My dad was working 2 jobs, so Mom was our main teacher. We would start the morning with Chapel. Chapel started with the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag and the Christian Flag. Then we would do our Bible memorization. Each month we memorized a chapter or a passage of scripture, depending on its length. Sometimes we had a guest for chapel; it was usually someone from our church. This has been an amazing gift even to this day! {Read more} An 80’s Homeschool Arrest October 1983. Terral, Oklahoma. Police officers knocked on our door at 7:00 a.m. Mom refers to it as a rude awakening. A very apologetic deputy informed my parents that they were under arrest for truancy. He needed to take them to the County Sherrif’s office. My parents immediately called our Pastor. The Pastor went to inform my aunt Kari, who lived across town, that the deputy was on his way to her house, since she didn’t have a phone. Kari remembers that she grabbed her Bible, a toothbrush, and a sweater, because for some reason she remembered hearing that it was cold in jail! {Read more} Muscle Inc Protein Guess what? I have a Facebook Group just for homeschoolers seeking advice and encouragement: Ask a Veteran Homeschool Mom. Click HERE to join!   Ask a Veteran Homeschool Mom Facebook Group  

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