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Homeschooling

Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare

Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare - Here's Why

You know what I’ve done during this pandemic? I can tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t write a book, learn a new trade, renovate a house, become fluent in another language, or read Anna Karenina (I’m on page 77 of 963).

I didn’t do any of those impressive things “they” say you should have done during lockdown.

What I’ve done? I’ve read a lot of board books.

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Homeschooling

My Favorite Deals at Homeschool Buyers Co-op

Homeschool Deals at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op - WORLDkids and Doodle Maths

My favorite homeschool subscriptions: WORLDkids, daily current events and news for kids, and Doodle Maths, a math app for kids through age 14!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received compensation from the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op in exchange for writing and publishing this post, although I have been a member of the Co-op for years. All opinions — and photographs — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. Any links to the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op are affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.

If you’re new to homeschooling — or if you just haven’t been to Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op in a while — you’re in for a treat. The Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op is an online homeschool marketplace which leverages the vast number of members (it’s free to join) into mass purchasing power. And that means great homeschool deals!

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Homeschooling

Help! My homeschool curriculum hasn’t arrived yet!

How do I homeschool if my curriculum is late or delayed? PIN IMAGE

“How do I homeschool if my curriculum is delayed or late?”

Is your homeschool curriculum on back order, stuck at the post office, or just plain taking forever to arrive? Don’t panic. Here’s how you can homeschool while waiting for curriculum to arrive. (Don’t miss 30 Activities Which Totally Count as School, later in this post.)

First, remember you’re not alone.

There are thousands upon thousands of families in your exact same position right now. Timberdoodle’s shipping department reports that on some days, they are nearly filling an entire semi of outgoing orders. That’s hard to even wrap my mind around!

Continue reading “Help! My homeschool curriculum hasn’t arrived yet!”

Homeschooling

Finally, a Kindergarten American History Curriculum!

Sonlight's New Kindergarten American History Curriculum!Does an accurate American history curriculum for kindergarten actually exist?

A good homeschool history curriculum is difficult to find, isn’t it? And US history is particularly hard to teach.  I have very little tolerance for oversimplified books which whitewash the complexity of our nation’s beginnings, idolize outward morality, virtue, and character, or put Columbus and Washington on a pedestal of American exceptionalism.  But most truly accurate US history books are geared toward a much older audience, and aren’t designed to give a broad sweeping overview to sensitive kindergarteners or first graders. American history is messy, ugly, grim, and often brutal. Teaching true American history to small children — even with picture books — is not easy.

So how do we find accurate US history books which will capture the tender imaginations of precious five- and six-year-olds?

Continue reading “Finally, a Kindergarten American History Curriculum!”

Homeschooling

Don’t be a Pedagogical Snob

Your goal is to educate your child, not to replicate  a method, via the Don't be a Pedagogical Snob blog post by Gina Munsey, the Oaxacaborn blog [Disclosure: the Evan-Moor link in this post is an affiliate link. This means if you click and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.]

Classical, Eclectic, Charlotte Mason, oh my.

I love pedagogy. I really enjoy listening to speakers and authors like CiRCE Institute’s Andrew Kern and Memoria Press’ Martin Cothran talk about educational philosophy, the history of classical education, and what it means to teach thinking. I’m drawn to its thoughtful, time-honored idealism. And my daughter loves the deep academia of it all. The Christian classical education approach definitely resonates with us — moreso than any other homeschool method — and I consider us classical homeschoolers.

But I was chatting with my friend Megan (of the schoolnest blog) recently about the freedom which comes with not being a homeschool method purist. If you lean mostly toward one method but then mix in a twist of another approach, the educational philosophy police aren’t going to get you.

Really.

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Homeschooling

Great Wall of China Project for Kids: Mini Bricks Review

pin image for Great Wall of China Mini Bricks Timberdoodle Review

Want to build a model of the Great Wall of China…

  • as a hands-on history project,
  • as a middle-school architecture unit, or
  • as part of studying Chinese history, culture, and geography in your homeschool?

My daughter has been attending Saturday Chinese school for years, so in conjunction with her ongoing Chinese language learning, I try to integrate cultural studies into our regular homeschool routine whenever I can.

Building a Great Wall of China model fits right into our studies, and is the perfect hands-on history project.

Continue reading “Great Wall of China Project for Kids: Mini Bricks Review”

Homeschooling

GraviTrax Review: Homeschool STEM and Physics

GraviTrax Review: Homeschool STEM Marble Run

Teaching Elementary STEM (Engineering!) and Physics at Home

We’ve had a lot of indoor time lately — and I’m not even talking about sheltering-in-place due to COVID-19! Since baby Lochlan’s premature entrance into the world seven months ago, our usual social outings have been stripped back a great deal. (Master Lochlan would rock a shirt with the phrase, “I was social distancing before social distancing was cool.”) Our family has always loved games and building sets, but this rainy housebound winter, we’re enjoying them even more than usual.

[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary GraviTrax set from Timberdoodle in exchange for writing and publishing this review. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]

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Homeschooling

How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

#COVID19edu Lesson Plans for School Closures

Is your child’s school closed for two weeks — or more? Do you want to continue your child’s education at home while classes are cancelled?  Maybe you are facing the challenge of online learning, e-learning, or virtual school, thanks to COVID-19, or maybe you’ve decided to homeschool temporarily until the crisis is over. If you’re intimidated by the idea of trying to find things for your kids to do while stuck at home, the lesson plans, free curriculum, and activity ideas in this post will help you have a fun, educational, and memorable time with your kids.

These (clutter-free!) digital homeschool resources are also ideal for worldschoolers, expats, full-time RVers, missionaries living abroad, tiny-house dwellers, or homeschoolers on a very low budget. You’ll need access to the internet, time to assemble all your resources, and consistent access to a computer, laptop, or tablet. But you won’t need a separate schoolroom, rows and rows of shelving, or tons of money! At the time of posting, all the resources here are free.

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

This list of websites is organized by subject, in roughly alphabetical order. I tried to differentiate between longer content like curriculum and lessons and shorter content like enrichment, but this often subjective, since many resources can be used in more than one way. You’ll find apps, videos, songs, audiobooks, ebooks, printable books, interactive websites, games, and printable activities. I’ve tried to link to websites which offer many activities and resources, rather than link to blog posts with a single activity. Because of that, there are far more than one hundred lessons in this list. (ETA: Huge shout out to Marie of Faithfully Wandering for texting me so many of these links and resources!)

If I missed your favorite resource, or a resource you created, please do add it in the comments below.

Continue reading “How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure”