New on the Blog

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

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

5 Reasons I Love Illustrated Faith Devotional Kits

Every day the mail comes, bringing bills and renewal notices and stuff I need to add to my to-do list. But somewhere in the midst of that monotony, a little parcel slip arrives. I pack all five kids in the van and head to the nearest post office pick up location for my box, feeling a little bit like Christmas morning. Returning home with my box, I kick the kids out to play, make myself a big cup of coffee, clear a space in the midst of my chaos, and have a date with my parcel. Who doesn't get excited about happy mail? Each month I (impatiently) wait for my Illustrated Faith devotional kit to arrive. Never knowing what it will look like or what to expect, it is something just for me each month (which is a rare occurrence). Check out the top 5 reasons I love the Illustrated Faith devotional kit, get an inside look at this last month's kit, and stay tuned for more details on a HUGE sale over at DaySpring! 5 reasons I love Illustrated Faith devotional kits 1. They are just for ... View Post

How we are Combining Unit Study and Charlotte Mason Homeschooling!

What if I told you that you could teach your kids Science, Bible, Art, Writing, Reading, History, Geography, and Culture with a single curriculum -- all with a Charlotte Mason approach? I am so excited to introduce you to WinterPromise: an incredible curriculum publishing company that is open-and-go and one of my all time favorites. This year Caleb (my eldest, going into grade 5) has requested to do Adventures in the Sea and Sky, a themed program that combines all those subjects and more! It shows how history unfolded or was changed by advances and use of the technology of sailing, flight, and space travel. Children learn key historical events that were influenced by advancements or differences in the design of ships, airplanes or spaceships all the way from ancient history to early 21st century and the impact of how they used these or combined different advances to succeed--or fail. It incorporates all the main subjects other than math in a hands-on interactive way! Plus the amazing ... View Post

How to Make Math Fun!

Math can be a huge struggle for many children. Part of the reason for this is that practise and repetition are key factors to reinforcing concepts and rules that are taught. And while it is an important approach, math drills and tests and practise problems over and over again can quite frankly be downright boring! Today I want to introduce you to Shenek Alston, from Make Math More Fun. She is a homeschool mom to 3 who has a PhD in Statistics and a BS in Math and Political Science. Her blog is all about math and she even offers live math classes to help you out with this tricky subject, so go check it out! She offered to create a free math game that can be adapted for both younger and older children for you guys and I'm going to let her talk to you about how to make math fun for our kids and how the game works! How to Make Math Fun How can you help your kids become good in math?? R-E-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N! Like most things, to become a savvy mathematician, it takes a lot of practice, but we ... View Post

Interactive Educational Games for Kids

As a homeschool mom, I am always on the prowl for interactive educational games and resources to help make learning fun for my kids. As much as possible we try to bring in play as a method of teaching to help the kids truly process what they are learning and experiment with it further (all without boring them to tears). I first heard about the Osmo™ system last year on TV and it was a, "Pause the PVR," moment in this house. The kids instantly began asking if they could have the game, and I found myself tuning them out as I hit rewind on the PVR, wanting to see this incredible hands-on learning resource in action once again. From that day on, Osmo was a known name in our house: like a long lost family member we hadn't met but felt akin to. Life got busy, money got tight, and slowly but surely Osmo was pushed onto the backburner of someday. That's why when I was contacted by the team over at Tangible Play™ about reviewing this system for you guys, I was ALL over it! My kids' ... View Post

Join the Newsletter

Get free printables • resources • and encouragement straight in your inbox!