Curriculum Pick: Geography and Prayer

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Geography and Prayer??

Yes, they can go together! This is my favorite resource for teaching geography through prayer. Sound weird? Well, it makes so much sense.

I wanted my kids to know geography. Not only where to find countries on a map, but something about that country and it’s people. This is the perfect resource….

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Part 2- I’m Done Homeschooling: “10 Things I’d Do Differently”

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In my homeschooling journey of 37 years, I learned a LOT and changed the way I approached education as well. When I started out, I had a pretty traditional approach to education and never questioned that what was in the book was what my child needed to know.

Here are some conclusions I came to and things I would have done differently from the start had I known.

  1. Don’t feel like I have to teach everything that is in the book or finish every book.

Don’t be afraid to scrap a book mid-year and try something else. Some books that worked well for most of my kids, just frustrated others. What works well for one doesn’t necessarily work well for the next child. Kids just learn differently. If you’re rolling along and find something included in the book that you don’t think your child will ever need, feel free to skip over it. Or if you’re in mid-year and the book you’ve chosen just isn’t working, try another. It’s okay. It’s not only okay, it’s the wise thing to do.(Here are 5 tips for choosing curriculum)

  1. Don’t assume that a government school course of study is best for my child

I just automatically thought that government schools had studied kids and knew what was best to teach each child at each level/age. That just isn’t true! You know your child so intensely. Don’t be afraid to follow your instinct, or better yet, God’s leading for each individual child.

  1. Don’t hold my child to standards of “where they’re supposed to be” or hold them back because they are learning too quickly

I allowed each of my children to progress at their own rate in every subject, at least after my first few years of teaching them. They may be a couple grades ahead in history and a year “behind” in math, but that’s okay. They need to be free to progress at a rate that challenges them but not overwhelms them and that that will be different for each child.

Continue reading Part 2- I’m Done Homeschooling: “10 Things I’d Do Differently”

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 It’s Okay if You Don’t Finish it All / Planning for Next School Year

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As the end of the school year approaches, (or perhaps has already come for you) I just wanted to encourage you that it’s okay if you don’t finish it all!

It’s easy to stress about too much book left at the end of the year, especially when the weather is too pretty not to be outside. (We did school on the deck for the most of the month of April) Keep in mind that most curriculum review at the beginning of the year what they covered at the end of the previous year.

A tip I’ve found helpful is to cut down on the amount of practice you give the child to do each day. I often skip around during the last month of the school year and check which exercises I want to assign to the student. That way, they are learning all the concepts, but not spending a whole page in practice. In doing so, I’ve often found it tends to make more sense to some kids when they move more quickly and see how all the pieces fit together.

Additionally, they are much more motivated to concentrate when the end is in view. Having the end in sight, some of my kids would even forge ahead and do extra pages just to finish up earlier.

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7 Favorite Learning Resources Under $20 for Ages 3-5

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Here is a list of 7 Learning Resources that I really like for preschoolers/kindergartners. I’d say Ages 3-5 would best benefit from these picks.

This year, we are homeschooling our 4th preschooler. (Our other children are in 7th, 6th, and 1st grade!) Along the way, I’ve used some products that were just so-so, some that weren’t worth the time or money, and some that I loved and have used over and over again!

What makes these ‘keepers’ to me? 

  1. My kids have enjoyed them and actually used them
  2. I have enjoyed my kids using them (something that is complicated or overly time-consuming or messy is probably not going to be a winner in my book. So, my “keepers” are resources that are simple, yet effective
  3. Economical- We don’t (can’t) buy our kids every neat book or toy we see. So, resources that get the job done without breaking the bank are a must for us.
  4. Durable- Toys or puzzles that break after one child uses them, won’t be bought again!
  5. Educational- the whole point of a “Learning Resource or Activity” is for it to actually teach kids a skill or strengthen a skill or thinking process or encourage creativity.

So, here you go: 7 suggestions for books or activities that teach – while being fun, too! (and all under $20)

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2 Books Every American Family Should Read

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Don’t you love reading together as a family?  It’s a fun time, a “together” time, an inspiring time.  There’s nothing like snuggling with a couple of kids while a toddler falls asleep under the coffee table. 🙂 (at least, that’s how it happened at our house!!) I have some books that are perfect for family reading time. Let me tell you about them!

Rick and I wrote these books last year for Master Books Fight for Freedom + America’s Struggle to Become a Nation.

Yes, they are written as 4-6th grade history curriculum, but the whole family will enjoy hearing these stories from our founding era – stories every person growing up in the 1800’s in our country knew. But, these are not just a conglomeration of boring facts to memorize and bits and pieces with no meat. This is a wonderful gathering of true and engaging stories from America’s History. So, they are equally appropriate, used as a Family Read-Aloud book.

When we lose our history (our heritage) we will lose our freedoms; that’s what’s happening today in our country. That’s one reason we wrote these books – to do our part in preparing this generation to stand for truth and principle as the men and women you’ll hear about in these books did.

Did you know that Judge Roy Moore has endorsed these books? He personally called me and told me he wants every American family to read them!
“Rick and Marilyn have done a remarkable job of documenting the struggles and sacrifices of brave men and women who, ‘with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,’ risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to build this land we love. Every American would benefit by reading these marvelous works designed to preserve our heritage as a nation.” –Chief Justice Roy Moore

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Setting Your Kids Free

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Do you feel bound by your curriculum? Do you feel guilty if you don’t do every problem? Are your kids overwhelmed, bored, or frustrated on a regular basis? I want to encourage you to free your children and free yourself, too!

A simple tip to remember is to give your child enough practice to challenge them, but not so much that you overwhelm them. I wish there were a simple rule for how much to give them. I used to think the textbook writers knew this and what was provided in the curriculum is exactly what every child needed. Boy, did I ever find out the hard way!

Continue reading Setting Your Kids Free

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