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Some Academic Benefits of Homeschooling

Academic Benefits of HomeschoolingFourteen years ago, we started on our homeschooling journey and we still have a few years to go before we are finished. Along the way, we have discovered many benefits to homeschooling. Here are just three of the many academic benefits I feel are important. [Read more…]

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How Many Homeschoolers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

How Many Homeschoolers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? - Homeschool Helper Online


It takes three homeschoolers to change a light bulb. 

One to realize the light bulb, while not actually burned out, isn’t serving the needs anymore.

One to research all the available light bulbs to determine which bulb would better serve our needs for lighting.

And one to actually unscrew the old bulb and put in the new, more applicable light bulb.

I think that curriculum can be like a light bulb that has become dim.  Sometimes it takes someone else – our children, perhaps – to point out that the bulb is dim – to point out the curriculum isn’t working.  It might have been the perfect fit for our oldest, but it is drudgery for our second child.  We had that problem with our spelling curriculum.  It worked fine for our two oldest, but it just wasn’t clicking for the youngest.  After much struggling, we decided we needed to change directions.

Then comes the research!  There are countless sites in which you can look for reviews, curriculum fairs to attend for browsing books, and friends to ask about which program they prefer.  If you let it, this can consume many days (weeks) of your summer. In the end, we did find a new spelling curriculum.  We chose one that was more of a workbook style than what we had been using.

Last, is the hardest part – you have to pull out the wallet and actually purchase the newly chosen curriculum.  But wait, you might find it cheaper on Ebay or a Facebook swap group!  OK, after you have determined the cheapest place to purchase it, you will have to throw out the old, ineffective curriculum (or re-sell it) and let your child use the shiny, new curriculum.

So, if you find yourself with curriculum that needs changing, don’t be afraid to try something new.  It just might turn out to be a great way to help your students see the light!

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3 Reasons Not to Homeschool

3 Reasons not to Homeschool3 Reasons NOT to Homeschool

#1 I want my kids to be smart.

I have heard this from friends many times. “I’d homeschool, but I want my kids to be smart.” Sure, I can understand that. But wait, homeschool kids ARE smart! [Read more…]

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Substitute Teachers – In Your Homeschool?!?

Substitute Teachers - In Your Homeschool-!- (1)

There have been times during the past 13 years of homeschooling that I have needed to take a day off for a doctor or some other appointment. My kids are old enough now that they can be given their assignments for the day and they will be fine. But when they were little, they needed a substitute teacher. Usually my husband filled this role, and over time, I came to realize that it was a good thing for them to have someone different teaching them occasionally. Here’s why. [Read more…]

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What is Notebooking, Anyway?

What is Notebooking, Anyway?Notebooking is a trending topic in the homeschooling world, but it can be difficult to get an idea of how to get started. If you are not entirely certain what notebooking entails, read on; this article is for you.  If you’ve already “been there/done that” with notebooking and your kids are pros, be sure to check out our free printable notebooking pages.

[Read more…]

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Fine Arts Credits in High School

Homeschool Helper Online's Fine Arts Credits in High School As my oldest daughter neared the end of her middle school years I started looking into what high school classes she should take.  Some of the choices were obvious:  algebra, english, American history, etc.  But I was concerned about her fine arts credits and more specifically, my ability to successfully teach them.  She was in a drama club, but I wanted to list that as an activity and not a class.  So, we had to get creative and come up with some options.  Here is a list of the fine arts classes my kids have taken so far.  This list might help you brainstorm ideas for your own student. [Read more…]

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Should We Take a Homeschool Christmas Break?

Should We Take a Homeschool Christmas Break?One of the questions I have been asked frequently over the years of homeschooling is whether or not we take a Christmas break. We could school all the way through the holidays; there is definitely nothing wrong with that, but we don’t. We have always taken a Christmas break from our regular school work. Here are a few reasons why. [Read more…]

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Including PreSchoolers in Your Homeschool

Including Preschoolers in Your HomeschoolLooking back on our early homeschool years, I remember a daily struggle to keep pre-schoolers happy while teaching the older siblings.  I’m sure I am not the only homeschooling mama that faced this dilemma of keeping the little ones somewhat quiet and happy so the older children can learn with minimal distractions.   I found that including the pre-schoolers in “school” instead of just trying to keep them away from the older kids worked really well.  Here are some suggestions for things they can do alongside their older siblings. [Read more…]

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Practicing the Art of Contentment

contentmentI have a confession to make. In some circles, this could be exceedingly embarrassing. I have … a flip phone. No smart phone for me. I will admit, when the smart phones started coming out, I was envious. They look like they would be very handy to check the weather while camping, look up coupons while shopping, and you can certainly text a lot faster. But, in order to meet our financial goals, I decided it was not worth the cost for me. I decided it was worth being content with what I had in order to reach our financial goals sooner. Because of this, I have learned a few lessons about contentment. [Read more…]

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History of Christianity Movies

History of Christianity Movies
by Jennifer Carson

As my children entered their teen years, it seemed as though their schedules were fuller every year with outside activities. We found ourselves needing to reserve a spot on our calendar for our family movie nights. Then we realized if we watched movies that coordinated with our history curriculum, we could “multitask” by combining family time with school. Family discussions about the movie reinforce what they were learning, plus films set in the past can help students better understand how people lived, what they wore and how they spoke during that time period. [Read more…]