Because we are all getting back into the swing of homeschooling, we knew you, dear readers, would appreciate a little help from us. We all need new inspiration now and then. So please, we invite you to visit with us a while. Let us encourage you. Save this post for any sort of back to school time. Whether it be after the holidays, the start of a new school year, after sickness – whatever the reason. Our Curriculum Choice review authors share…
How Do You Plan For Next Year’s Curriculum? “How do you plan for next year when you may or may not want to change what you’ve been using?”
How to Plan a Unit Study “Whether they are literature, science or history based, unit studies weave our learning together in meaningful and often exciting ways.”
Weekly Lesson Notebooks “I have a newly organized planning notebook for myself and both of the big kids have their own weekly binder. Besides organization, the binders are going to help the kiddos work towards more work independence and responsibility.”
From Barb-Harmony Art Mom:
Deciding on Resources “I try to keep this in mind whenever I venture out to try something new. Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it will work in real life application in our family. I have made some “oops” decisions and lived to tell about it.”
Creating and Filling Gaps-Should We Change Our Curriculum? “Perhaps it was because in my heart I knew that if we had picked and stayed with Abeka or Sonlight or even Tapestry of Grace, our homeschooling would not have been as enriched and exciting as it has been. There seems to be no sense in sticking with any materials that are not working for your family.”
Owning an Authentic Homeschool Life That You Love: “If you aren’t thrilled about a particular homeschooling program, your children will know it. They will see it in your manner and hear it in your voice.”
Before You Choose Curriculum Three Things to Consider “Before you choose, think about whether you prefer a loaded plan or a light load. Do you prefer to have everything planned now or just a few things with which you can add more later? There is no right or wrong. You just need to go with what’s best for you.”
Off to a Great Start: Homeschool Reward System “At the end of each week my child cashes in his cards for his rewards and chooses to cash them for money or time on video games. This works because he isn’t allowed to play video games freely, just by earning time. It’s been revolutionary! What I like most is that it is based on positive reinforcement.”
10 Organizing Ideas for You, Your Home and Homeshool “Top 10 things I have recently organized, what they accomplished and how they have worked out. I also am rating them on a scale from 1-10. 10 being the best.”
Return of the Routine: 6 Simple Steps to Success An absolutely free ebook download through January 31, 2013. Also available in parts at Hodgepodge. Step 1? Rest. Yes – rest. You may still be feeling the weight of last year. Or you may be facing the overwhelming responsibility of back to school. Allow yourself some rest. Pray that the Lord gives you the motivation you need in the proper time. It will come. Don’t force it. Lean into Him and listen. Jesus set the example in getting away and getting with the Father. Step out of the urgent into the quiet, out of your regular spot. Look to the source of strength. (Luke 4: 42-43)
Homeschooling Multiple Ages Preschool, elementary, middle school and high school. For a long time I’ve called it Layers and Levels of Learning. That one-room schoolhouse type of learning. But Lasagna Learning describes it much more accurately.
The Ultimate List of Easy Slow Cooker Recipes Give me easy. Mix a few ingredients. Make it simply delicious. In the practical world of homeschooling and feeding a crowd on a budget, a long list of ingredients does not make the menu plan. I want to put the slow cooker to work while I take care of other things.
Numbers and Patterns Kindergarten: Playing and Learning with Manipulatives “Child’s play” with manipulatives can teach the following important math concepts. This is really all you need to cover for early math (K).
Geometric Shapes and Beginning Fraction We then cut the pizza into halves, thirds, and fourths before serving it. Seeing the different sizes of each fraction made fractions so clear – and delicious! Then, later, making cookies became a lesson in learning shapes! We cut out hexagons and rectangles in the cookie dough after my daughter rolled it out.
Year-Round Schooling We are emphatic fans of year-round schooling. Read the many reasons we love school in the summer!
Homeschool Organization: Schedules, Plans and Paperwork…Oh My! Lists and schedules were one way I calmed my fears as we began homeschooling. I started with a detailed spreadsheet for each week, with time slots in fifteen minute increments…the problem was that instead of the schedule working for me I was a slave to the schedule. I relaxed a little at a time until I found the level of organization that worked for me–enough to keep us on track but allow flexibility.
Our Home Schoolroom We organized a former dining room into our school room using things we already owned along with second-hand items and some DIY projects.
Mid-Year Homeschool Review How to conduct a mid-year review of your homeschool with free printable forms for each child.
Homeschooling in a Small House How to make the most of your limited homeschool space.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing Curriculum Choosing curriculum can be a daunting task. Keep these ten considerations in mind.
10 Tips for Starting the New School Year Off Right Get your school year off on the right foot by remembering these ten tips!
From Annie Kate:
80% Passing Grade: Learning for Mastery I’ve seen this concept raise eyebrows and meet with disapproval. But is it really crazy? Am I really demanding too much? Long ago some homeschool writer, whose name I forget, gave me this idea and it does make sense. Why are we homeschooling? To teach our children. Obviously, if they do not understand the material well enough to get 80% on a test, they have not learned it. Watch for more in this series at Tea Time with Annie Kate.
Resolutions for 2013 Then we had our first day of school today, and I remembered a crucial detail: a day has only 24 hours. Oops! So now I have a theme rather than a resolutions list: With joy, gratitude, and reliance on God, do what needs to be done.
Back to School Plans A new year! A new opportunity to begin with a fresh clean slate! It’s like opening the page of a new journal – irresistibly inviting!
From Heather W:
Take a look to see how Heather from Blog, She Wrote plans math for her kids before they hit algebra. It’s a fun mix of living math and reaching goals along the way to algebra success: Math Planning: How I Do It
Be sure to browse the Homeschool Planning Guides at iHomeschool Network. There is so much homeschool experience wrapped up in these posts, including several from our authors here!
Interested in more from our authors? We have an Ultimate Guide to Choosing Curriculum, Homeschool Helps, Special Needs Homeschooling, a visit to our homeschools and more here: Review Team Features.
We hope you will save this post, pin it, share it. Because all of the above apply year ’round in homeschooling. Wouldn’t you say? How about you – what would you add?
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