I talked recently about lessons you can take from Montessori to enrich your homeschool. Waldorf schools are another great source of ideas. Here are five Waldorf principles that appeal to many homeschoolers. 1. Young children don’t need academics. Waldorf schools don’t start any sort of formal teaching (including teaching reading) until age 7, much like […]
Category: Starting out
Homeschool 101: How Can I Convince My Husband to Homeschool?
So you’ve looked at studies, read books, researched online and talked to homeschoolers and have decided that homeschooling is the best path for your family — and your husband is still convinced that public school is the way to go. What can you do to change his mind? Here are five good steps to take. […]
Easy homeschooling on the road
Our family just got back from a week out of state. We didn’t bring piles of textbooks or worksheets, but all five kids packed lots of learning into that week. The kids managed to learn geography, presidents, American history, genealogy, civil rights, drivers’ education, physics, phonics, nutrition, genetic testing, ghosts, high school exams, […]
Sensory Integration tricks to help kids focus — from pre-K through high school
It can be very hard for some children to sit still and pay attention, even into the teen years. While it’s a common misunderstanding that this is always a sign of an issue like ADHD or that the child is not trying hard enough, there are actually many reasons kids can have trouble concentrating. Among […]
Better homeschool resolutions
Lesson Number One of Homeschooling
Should you homeschool through the summer?
One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can do it in the ways that fit your family’s needs. You can choose how to homeschool, what to use and when to do it. That said, what’s the best way to approach the summer months? There are many good reasons to continue homeschooling through […]
What is lapbooking and why is it so great for homeschooling?
Have you tried lapbooking in your homeschool yet? This delightful, hands-on activity is a wonderful way to combine crafts with science, history, literature, handwriting, math and more. Lapbooks use file folders as the basis for homemade project books that are laid out in a creative manner and fit in a child’s lap. You can think […]
50 fun household materials to use for poetry, spelling and more
Looking for some fun ways to play with spelling, poetry and writing in your homeschool? Make some language arts manipulatives! You can find wonderful materials all around the house, absolutely free, and pick up others at dollar stores or thrift stores for next to nothing. Here are some of our favorites. (Instructions follow for those […]
Homeschool 101: What is The Iowa Test of Basic Skills?
Homeschoolers in some states such as Minnesota are legally required to administer a standardized, norm-referenced achievement test every school year for their children of compulsory school age. Other homeschoolers choose to periodically administer standardized tests in order to gauge how their children are doing. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills is one option for standardized […]
Homeschool 101: What is the California Achievement Test?
The most commonly used standardized test among homeschoolers is probably the California Achievement Test (CAT). The fifth edition, or CAT-5 is most commonly used. Other editions are not as long or as comprehensive. Why would homeschoolers use standardized tests? Homeschoolers in some states such as Minnesota are legally required to administer a standardized, norm-referenced achievement […]
100 Ways homeschooled kids get socialization
The socialization myth is one of the most persistent plagues on homeschooling families. The public seems to have an image of homeschooled children locked in their houses, lined up in school desks in the basement while Mom points to a blackboard. The reality is that most homeschool families spend as much time outside of the […]
What homeschoolers can learn from Swedish preschools
There’s a big push in the United States to introduce formal academics earlier and earlier for young children, and that has been spilling into the homeschooling community. While many homeschoolers of the 90’s chose to homeschool because of issues like schools transitioning to full-day kindergarten and the “too much, too soon” academic pressures that were […]
Fun ways for homeschoolers to celebrate the first day of school
Many homeschool families do something special to celebrate the first day of school. Not only does it get kids excited about the new year, but it balances out the back to school excitement about schools outside of the home and helps keep kids happy about homeschooling. There are all kinds of ways you can […]
What homeschoolers can learn from Finland’s math success
Many Americans are intrigued by Finland’s high international math scores and want to replicate their success here, with more and more people asking how to institute Finland’s curriculum in their own schools and even in their homeschools. The surprising news is that Finland doesn’t teach math in a novel way or have a trick that […]
Homeschool 101: What about socialization?
Socialization is one of those issues that only people who don’t homeschool and don’t know any homeschoolers worries about. It’s also the most common and most annoying concern that homeschoolers hear from friends, relatives, and random store clerks. What is socialization? wordIQ says: In psychology, socialization is the process by which children and others adopt […]
Designing your own lapbooks
We design our own lapbooks about 90% of the time. While it can take more time in terms of research and planning, there are many advantages. The kids learn more doing the research themselves, they feel a greater sense of ownership, it allows for more creativity, it can be tailored to the child’s age and […]
50 Ways homeschoolers can get physical education
Most states require that homeschooled kids get physical education, but few have detailed requirements on how to meet that goal. Here in Minnesota, the law simply states that homeschooled children must receive physical education instruction. You can check other state laws here. An hour a day of physical activity is a good minimum goal for […]
Homeschooling as a working parent
Homeschooling can be successful for all kinds of families, even if parents have to work full time. As homeschooling has grown, more and more single parents and working parents are joining the homeschooling movement. While there are more factors to consider, there are all kinds of ways to make it work. Some two parent households […]
Homeschooling your active child
In today’s society, it’s not viewed as a good thing for children to be too active. They’re supposed to sit still, pay attention, be quiet. School can be nightmarish for energetic, excitable kids. It’s easy to debate whether children should be diagnosed as ADHD or if we’re simply not giving modern kids enough time to […]
Ten incredibly fun ways to teach history in your homeschool
Looking for some ways to make history really come alive in your homeschool? There are oodles of fun ways to teach history besides dry textbooks or boring curricula. Here are ten fabulous ways to bring history to life for your kids. Do a weekly “meet and greet” with historic characters. This can be a fun […]
20 Ways to put more joy in your homeschooling day
It can be hard being a homeschooling parent. Kids bicker, messes seem never-ending, and the combination of isolation and the pressure to nearly single-handedly educate our children can make the days seem even longer. Here in Minnesota, that can be compounded by long winters and cabin fever. This is one of those times when it’s […]
50 Fabulous electives for homeschooled high schoolers
Is your homeschooled high schooler looking for great electives that count towards graduation, look good on a transcript and are also interesting? There are hundreds of great ones to choose from. Here are 50 great electives for homeschooled teens to consider. psychology photography PE art agriculture/botany astronomy creative writing sociology women’s studies art history music/band/orchestra […]
WatchKnowLearn offers thousands of free educational videos for kids
The internet is filled with fabulous educational videos, but finding them can be tricky. Enter WatchKnowLearn, which gathers these videos from the internet and puts them in one organized, searchable place. The site currently offers about 50,000 videos on everything from osmosis to table manners to sign language to the philosophy of numbers. The website, […]
How to help your child love to write
There are many ways to show kids how fun writing can be. It doesn’t have to be a struggle, and it doesn’t have to involve standard curricula or dry writing assignments. Indeed, kids will become the best writers if they think of writing as fun and open-ended. One great way to help kids love writing […]
Five lessons to take from Charlotte Mason for your homeschool
Many homeschoolers around the world follow Charlotte Mason methods, and it’s easy to understand why. This British educator approached education through nature and great works, creating an environment that appeals to many parents. Here are five Charlotte Mason philosophies that can enrich any homeschool. Let children learn through “living books.” Mason advocated teaching with books […]
10 Reasons nature study should be a priority in your homeschool
Nature study can be an invaluable part of a child’s homeschooling. Most parents know that kids enjoy nature study, but many don’t realize the many ways it’s vital for the best possible education. Here are ten reasons that nature study should be a major component of every homeschool. It’s an easy way to teach science. […]
Five lessons to take from unschooling for your homeschool
Whether you consider your family to be unschoolers or not, there are many aspects of unschooling that make homeschooling easier and more enjoyable for kids and parents alike. What is unschooling? Pat Farenga, author of Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling and many other unschooling books says: This is also known as […]
Homeschool 101: What is deschooling?
If you are contemplating taking your children out of public school to homeschool them, you’ll probably hear a lot of advice about “deschooling.” What is deschooling? Simply put, it is a period of time after institutionalized schooling where parents let kids be free to do whatever they want and relearn their love of learning. Wikipedia […]
Five lessons to take from Montessori for your homeschool
One of the joys of homeschooling is that you can adapt ideas from all different places and use them with your kids. Montessori schools and theories are a great source of some of those ideas. I attended a Montessori preschool myself (back in the dark ages) and it was one of the best educational experiences […]