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Studying Current Events

Studying Current Events

As my kids have gotten older, we have incorporated currents events into their weekly schedules. A few times each week, they browse the news and write a short summary of an article that interests them. We have utilized a variety of news sources including children’s news sites, news magazines, and newspapers. I believe this has resulted in several benefits to them. [Read more…]

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Two Dawns in One Day?

Two Dawns

It seems like a title for a science fiction book, not a reality for us in the continental United States on August 21, 2017.  You are probably aware of the total solar eclipse that will occur across the contiguous United States in just a few days; on August 21, 2017.  My family lives in the viewing area, so if the weather cooperates, we should be able to see the eclipse.  Planning for this event has me thinking about times in the Bible where abnormal celestial events are recorded. 

In Joshua, chapter 10, Joshua prayed in the presence of Israel, asking for the sun and the moon to stand still.  And it did!  The sun stopped for a full day.  In 2 Kings, chapter 20, Isaiah prayed to the LORD, asking the sun’s shadow to go back ten steps as a sign to Hezekiah and it was done. 

The sun and the moon are mentioned many other places in the Bible.  A quick search on a topical Bible website will reveal several other mentions of the sun and moon.  (These might be good copy-work practice for the week surrounding the upcoming eclipse!) 

Perhaps the most well-known reference is during Jesus’ crucifixion.  The land was dark for three hours during Jesus’ crucifixion.  This long period of darkness, recorded by Biblical and other historians cannot be explained away as being a solar eclipse.  Because it was Passover, we know the moon was full.  We also know a solar eclipse cannot happen during a full moon.

The excitement surrounding a total solar eclipse is something your children will remember for the rest of their lives.  You can use this event as a teaching opportunity to help cement some fascinating Bible stories in their memories.

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4 Reasons to Do Fun School in the Summer

Fun School

Summer is a great time for parent educators to relax and regroup for the next school year, but should you be throwing a little bit of fun schooling into your summer mix?  Here’s four reasons you might want to do so.

  • Keep your kids in the practice of doing school:  In the fall, some kids have a difficult time getting back into the swing of doing school.  If you do some school throughout the summer, it is more likely kids will remember how to sit down and work.
  • Keep your kids out of trouble:  During the school year, your students had many activities plus their school work, which probably created a somewhat hectic schedule.  Now, during the summer, there might not be a lot of preplanned activities for them.  Yes, I believe kids should learn how to entertain themselves, but if they have to entertain themselves all day every day, you might not be too pleased with how they do so.  A little bit of fun school scattered throughout the week can help keep them occupied in a good way.
  • Help your kids remember what they learned: Three months is a long time, especially if you are trying to remember that last math concept taught in May.  Finding a fun way to review concepts throughout the summer can keep things fresh in your students’ minds so they are ready to jump back into difficult subjects in the fall.
  • Try different teaching methods:  You have, no doubt, read or heard about many different teaching methods.  Notebooking, unit studies, Charlotte Mason style, textbooks, and lapbooking are just a few.  Before you buy new curriculum for the fall, you might want to switch things up and try something new to see how you and your children like it. 

Every family is different and school in the summer might not make sense for everyone, but if your kids have trouble remembering their multiplication tables or have difficulties getting back into the swing of school in the fall, if they are bored and driving you crazy, or if you just want to try out a new teaching method, fun school in the summer might be the perfect thing for you!

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Not Now, I’m Busy

Not Now, I'm Busy

“Not now, Tommy, I’m busy.”  “I can’t play, Mommy is on the computer.”  “Go look at a book, I am on the phone.”  I can’t even begin to imagine how many times I have said something like that to my children because I thought I was too busy.  Sometimes, I really am busy doing a task that needs to be completed.  Bills must be paid, dinner must be fixed, and so on.  But probably much more frequently, what I am doing is really not that important.   Certainly not as important as responding to my child’s plea for attention.  Here are a few ways to answer that plea from your child.  [Read more…]

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Three Reasons Homeschoolers Should Do Their Best on the SAT / ACT Tests

3 Reasons for Homeschoolers to do their Best on the ACT / SAT Tests

You are probably aware that if your child wants to attend college, his or her score on the SAT or ACT tests is important.  Perhaps these scores are even more important for homeschoolers than for their traditionally schooled peers.  Here are 3 reasons why. [Read more…]

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Do You Have the Patience to Homeschool?

Do You Have the Patience to Homeschool?

Probably the most common response I hear when someone learns that I homeschool is, “Oh, I could never do that, I don’t have the patience. I am never quite sure how to respond to this because I really have very. little. patience. When things don’t start on time, I am continually looking at my watch and thinking, “come on, let’s get started…”. Waiting at the license bureau, doctor’s office, or really anywhere else really causes me to get quickly irritated, especially if someone butts the line. But, somehow I have managed to homeschool for the past 14 years. So, how do I do it? [Read more…]

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New Year’s Homeschool Resolutions

Homeschool Resolutions

The practice of setting New Year’s resolutions can be traced back to the ancient Babylonians, who promised to their pagan gods to return borrowed objects and pay their debts.  Later, Christians would reflect on their previous mistakes and resolve to do better the coming year in watchnight services held on New Year’s Eve.  In the modern world, people make resolutions concerning everything from their health to finances to housework.  But what about homeschooling?  Should we make resolutions about improvements we can make in our homeschool?  I can’t say whether or not you should make any resolutions, but if I was going to make some, here’s what they might be. [Read more…]

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How to Keep Your Sanity While Homeschooling This Holiday Season

Keeping your SanityThis morning, I received an e-vite to a homeschool orchestra concert. In the near future, we also have a drama performance and dance recital. That in itself isn’t too busy, but when you add in all of the Christmas parties, December birthday parties, visits to family, holiday baking and crafting, it can be hard to fit in your regular day to day school work. So, how do we get it all done? We don’t. Here’s what we do instead. [Read more…]

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Why Homeschoolers Should Vote This November

why

The choice facing us this November on election day is not a pretty one.  Many of us will go to the polls and choose which candidate we least dislike.  Unfortunately, this unpleasant choice will keep many homeschoolers at home on election day.  I want to encourage you, however, to exercise not only your freedom but also your duty to vote; and here’s why. [Read more…]

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Thoughts for a Homeschooler Starting College

Tips for CollegeThis month’s article was written by my daughter, who is just starting her second year in college.

I have put together some thoughts and advice for a homeschooler going to college. I will not even try to help you choose where you go to college or what you major in college, but I do have some tips that apply to students at any college and with any major. [Read more…]