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Homeschool Math Comparison: MLFLE, MUS and TT

I have been sitting on this post for a long time. It is no small thing to publicly announce that we left two other math companies and settled on one we felt was a better fit. Math is a touchy subject. It can be VERY difficult to find something that fits for our kids and that they don't get left behind in or confused. There are SO many options out there that I know it feels like trudging through a muddy maze, not really certain how to find our way out into the "promised land" of a quality program that we are happy with. But after years of trial and error, I have finally taken the leap into the solidarity of committing to one curriculum--for ALL my kids! In the past I used a blend of curriculums, and to be completely transparent, I chose based on what was easier for ME not what was best for my kids. Sure, I was happy sipping my coffee feeling like my list was being magically checked off, but my kids were suffering. And the worst part is, I didn't even know it! This is my story through ... View Post

An Easier way to Plan Your Year {+ Win a Planner!}

I love planning. Those of you who know me know that I make my own planner, but the reality is that consistency is consistently a problem for me (ironic isn't it? The only consistency in my life is my lack of it!). I have learned that I need a scratch pad, I need something that I can be messy and just get it down and then transfer that and organize that into my own handmade planner and yet I hate seeing the mess of my brain on paper! Up until now I haven't really found a solution that works well with my perfectionist mentality. I can't stand making something that isn't beautiful but in the moment I need the freedom to just keep track of what is happening or record what we did that day--and I love things that are pretty. That is why I am SO SO SO excited about the new {beautiful} 18 month agendas from Illustrated Faith. They are beautiful, they are simple, they have lots of space and are super functional. Keep reading to enter to win a planner of your choice PLUS some goodies! 3 ... View Post

A Better Way to Teach Spelling

What if I told you that you could teach spelling in only 10 minutes a day? What if I said that all the frustration and tears and the daily battle of trying to use traditional spelling lists didn't have to be your reality, that there is a better way? Teaching spelling through copywork really CAN be as simple as it sounds. Spelling You See is a research-based spelling program that is based on 5 different developmental stages of spelling. Teaching our children a random spelling word without context or visual cues to help them retain that memory is fruitless. Not only is it boring but it has no meaning to our kids, which means it is shuffled into the cobwebs of short-term memory: possibly remembered for the test, but forgotten shortly after. Though Spelling You See doesn't claim to be Charlotte Mason inspired, it adopts core Charlotte Mason philosophies such as copywork and dictation (which I love). While I do many curriculum reviews on my site to help give you guys a broad overview of ... View Post

How to Teach Kids to Write using Poetry

Teaching our kids to read, write, and communicate with language is quite frankly a whole lot harder than it looks! The different elements of Language Arts can seem daunting because there are a lot of them: creative writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, structured writing, reading, writing form (neatness), comprehension, and oral language skills. With 5 kids to teach at 5 different levels, using multiple curriculums to address all these facets was making me crazy! This post is part of a series I am doing about how to teach LA using tools you have all around you. It is about teaching our kids how to master language the same way we taught them how to talk: giving them lots of experience and exposing them to good examples and giving them room to make mistakes while celebrating their success. This is the Brave Writer way, a program I stumbled upon a few years ago that empowered me to ditch our workbooks and teach my kids this complex subject with confidence. Last month we discussed how to ... View Post

Why I Stopped Pushing My Kids to “Keep Up” With Public School

Homeschoolers face expectations and judgement everywhere they go. By choosing to remove their child from mainstream education, all eyes are critically watching to see how they perform. We talk a lot about external judgement and pressure, but we don't often discuss the burden we place on our own shoulders. The truth is, no one is harder on us than ourselves and I was no exception. Day after day, week after week, I was unhappy with my homeschool. I never felt like I was doing enough, I was constantly worried that my children would be behind or look stupid if they couldn't do what their peers could. I thought the answer was more curriculum. I wanted to make sure there was no gaps and that I was doing the very best I could. I continued to add to our year, filling up our schedule with events and classes and subjects. Until one day I woke up and realized that none of us enjoyed homeschooling anymore. My kids cried and whined every day, "why do we have to do this!" I had lost my homeschool ... View Post

Inspiring World Changers: Teaching History through the Lens of Greatness

I have a big goal for my kids. I don't just want to raise independent men and women of society, but rather movers and shakers. I want to inspire my kids to be influencers, to be bold and courageous and stand up for what they believe in. They may not change the whole world, but I want them to have an impact on their own world, whatever that may look like. A few months ago I read a book that shifted my idea of homeschooling to a whole new dimension: "A Thomas Jefferson Education." This book took one of the great influencers of his time and explored how he was taught and how we could model that in our own children's education. It made me begin to think that instead of teaching my kids about certain topics, I wanted to take them to the very journals of greatness. I began to see how our history--the minds and actions of world changers before us--models character and values and convictions. Sometimes we focus so much on the subject we are teaching that we fail to recognize the ... View Post

What is Brave Writer?

I get SO many questions about Brave Writer, and everyone has a unique situation. I am going to be posting the replay of my live Q&A video here and I encourage you to watch it to see if someone else has a similar question. If your question is not answered, post it in the comments below and I'll make sure we get you sorted! ... View Post

This is the Ultimate Family Bike!

A while back I discovered the Taga 2.0 bike and fell in love with the idea of what a family bike ride could be. With five little kids, going on a bike ride is a little less enjoyable and a little more like the wild west. My 9 year old is very independent. He always wants to be the leader and is constantly taking off too far ahead while we bellow for him to wait for us hoping that he’ll hear. My 8 year old daughter is a weaver, she weaves back and forth amongst the disdainful lines of society regularly cutting off an outraged sibling in her wake. Meanwhile, my 7 year old son thinks he is a stunt double. He goes too fast, jerks too hard to the left and the right, and it isn’t an uncommon event to stop for a scrape or a fall, as to which he reacts in a most outrageous fashion. My 5 year old daughter turns the handles with each push of her feet and get’s tired easily. Once she is tired the tears start and one of us often ends up trying to hold her bike while we ride. We never really found ... View Post

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