Planning Your Own Unit Study

Plan Your Own Unit Study

Teaching with unit studies is a great way to include children of multiple ages all at once. It’s also a great way to take a topic children are interested in and teach things they need to know using that interesting subject matter. Although there are packaged unit studies you can purchase (or sometimes find free online), it’s not difficult to pull together your own study on any topic you want to study. Here’s a step by step guide to planning your own unit study. Choose a topic Often unit studies are a great way to follow a child’s passion. Does Continue reading

From Homeschooling to Home Business

From Homeschooling to Home Business

Homeschool for our family is a lifestyle. Whether we are at home, running errands, or even on vacation, I try to incorporate meaningful learning experiences for my children. Including aspects of our family business with our homeschool seemed a natural extension to their lessons. Our three children are currently in 5th, 9th, and 11th grades. Cuts By Laser was started by my father over a decade ago, but over the past year my children have been a part of the company’s growth after the purchase of a new laser. My parents have generously allowed our entire family to be a part Continue reading

Using Virtual Worlds in Your Special Needs Homeschool

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Most wouldn’t imagine using a virtual world such as “World of Warcraft” in their daily homeschool schedule, but perhaps you should. Virtual Worlds are built upon many of the same social theories we encounter in our every day, real world lives. As a result, they can be fantastic resources for helping students with special needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, overcome some of the challenges they face.   Every day, we use symbols to navigate the world around us. Symbols such as speed limits, road signs, logos, etc. serve as tools to help us physically navigate, while body language, tone, Continue reading

Homeschooling vs. a Job

Homeschooling-vs-A-Job

In this corner, we have homeschooling! Staying home, keeping house, being in charge of the education of your children, and being the manager of your home are all important things in life and many of us believe that they are God’s will for our lives. In that corner, there’s a job. Working outside of the home and bringing home a paycheck might be truly necessary for survival. Are these two things are totally at odds with each other? Believe it or not, these two things don’t have to be in opposition. For the last 9 months, I’ve done both! I Continue reading

Changing Teaching Styles or What to do When Your Little Girls Grow Up!

Changing Teaching Styles

When our girls were little, I found it fairly easy to know what to do with them for our school time. Colors, letters, numbers, and crayons filled our days. We went to the library at least once a week to find copious amounts of picture books, both for science and for stories to read. I was a hands-on teacher, because they needed me to be. We started with activity books from Rod & Staff, and How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We purchased a three-hole punch and several empty binders. Every few weeks we would Continue reading

6 Ways Reading is Interactive

6 Ways Reading is Interactive

Readers often feel like blank slates waiting for the story to communicate its plot, themes, and purpose to them. They see reading as interpreting words on paper, and the story as a one-way communication of author to reader. Authorial intent is very important, but young readers need to be encouraged to interpret the narrative in a personal way. Reading can be deeply interactive. We may try to keep our mental and emotional distance from a story, but we can’t ignore how our personality, background, values, interests, and knowledge bring personal meaning to each book. As readers, we are participating in the story whether Continue reading

Homemaking, Homeschooling, And Raising Boys

Homemaking, Homeschooling, and Raising Boys

When I was growing up I never thought about being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I always thought I would have a “career” and my kids would go to daycare the minute my maternity leave was over But, God had a plan for my life that I could not see yet (Jeremiah 29:11). After getting pregnant with my first son, we had to consider all of our options. We prayed about our decision and God made it clear that my place was in the home take care of my family.   “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands Continue reading

Finding Peace in Our Homeschool

Finding Peace in Our Homeschool

I feel so much pressure and stress lately when it comes to our home education. I admit it, right now, I feel like its just not going so well for us. And I worry because in a few more months we will have number four, a sweet baby girl, in the house too. It’s been a rougher pregnancy than I am used to. Everything makes me sick. Getting dressed makes me tired. Not so bad really. Due at the end of April – not so far away. But with three kids that are used to being very busy, very active, Continue reading

Connecting With the Dots of Geography

Connecting with the Dots of Geography

   Geography can seem abstract and difficult for kids, but it’s an important subject to teach because of its relevance to history and science. How big was the Roman Empire at its peak? What factors played a role in the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg? Why do southern Italy and northern China have such different landscapes and climates even though they are on the same latitude? A knowledge of geography can help to answer all of these questions. Geography also influences the development of cultures and folk arts. This can be pretty obvious when studying the literature or legends Continue reading

Strategically Preparing for Christmas 2015

Strategically Preparing for Christmas 2015

Strategically Overboard I love the holidays. Some people say that my love of them causes me to go way overboard. This is true. I do go overboard, and I love it. Having a mega family is always fun, but having a mega family during the holidays is just plain awesome. There are always tons of decorations, too much food, and way too many presents. My motto is, make memories because that’s what we carry with us throughout our lives. Because I enjoy going overboard during the holidays, I can’t wait until the holiday season to start shopping. I prepare all year Continue reading