One thing I always enjoy each year is attending a homeschooling conference. Not only do I get to learn from inspirational speakers, I also get to catch up with old friends and browse new curricula. If I come to a conference feeling worn out from the school year, I usually leave energized and encouraged.
Of course, this summer many homeschooling conferences have been canceled. So I was glad to hear about the Catholic Homeschool Conference, which is online and FREE.
And whether you’ll be homeschooling in the fall or not, this conference will have talks relevant to all Catholic families.
Continue reading “The Catholic Homeschool Conference is for ALL Catholic Parents”
It’s that time of year again — you know, when we start thinking about the coming school year. With all the craziness of this pandemic, I’ve been grateful that we are a homeschooling family and our lives have not been turned upside down. Actually, it’s been nice not running to one activity after another. It’s been really nice having my highschoolers home all day. They’ve been playing music together in the evenings out on the deck and having wild games of hide and seek all over the house and yard with their younger siblings.
But getting back to the point of this post: Many of you are thinking about new curricula for the coming year. Usually in May, my homeschool group does a curriculum share fair, where we bring our favorite books to a hostess’ home and place them on several tables. Then we wander around the home and look at all the curricula that people have brought. That’s not going to happen this spring, but we can certainly share online! So I asked my kids to tell me their favorite curricula from this year. Here’s what they chose:
Continue reading “Our Favorite Homeschool Curriulum this Year (2019-2020)”
Time for a pep-talk! Because I bet many of you can’t wait to be done with homeschooling for the year.
Me too. It happens every May: making my kids finish their school work in the spring is like pulling teeth. I need to use all my big mama muscles to make sure my squirrelly, energetic, restless children complete their assignments. And my mama muscles are plumb worn out. Ladies, I just want to give up.
But one of the most important lessons our kids need to learn is taught best at this time of year.
Continue reading “Finishing the School Year Strong”
A few days ago, I asked my husband how his teleconference went. “I only spoke to one person,” he replied. “Everyone else was busy trying to homeschool their kids.”
With an increasing number of school districts closing schools for weeks, and some for the rest of the school year, many parents now consider themselves homeschoolers. After all, their kids are doing school at home. However, truth be told, they’re not really homeschooling. They’re Corona-schooling. And there are some significant differences:
Continue reading “Why Corona-schooling is NOT Homeschooling”
Once in a while I come across an article where a mom waxes eloquently about the awesomeness of her homeschool. I read about rocket-science experiments, kids reading college-level books, siblings living in beautiful harmony, fabulous field trips, morning baskets full of art and literature enrichment, and peaceful, well-ordered days.
There was a time when such articles filled me with inspiration and enthusiasm. But twelve years in, I confess, such articles usually makes me cringe. Homeschooling, for us, is not nearly so picture perfect. Some days we have a lot of complaining, a lot of bickering, a lot of tears. School is more work than fun. And there are many days when I feel overworked and stressed. So when I read about another mom’s homeschool awesomeness, I can’t help but wonder: Is she still in the honeymoon stage? Or, I am doing something fundamentally wrong?
Continue reading “Is Homeschooling a Cross?”
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas season! One thing I love about a New Year is that it is a time for fresh starts. Each day is also a fresh start, especially when it begins with a peaceful morning routine. Why wait until the end of the day to decompress? Begin the day with stillness and prayer. And so I thought I’d share this post, written by Melissa Atlee, a dear friend and homeschooling mama: How My New Morning Routine is Giving Me Peace.
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One thing I love about homeschooling: I never stop learning about teaching. Recently, I read that Maria Montessori discovered her educational methods while working with children who were mentally challenged. I have always admired the work of Maria Montessori, but now that we have little Junior with T21, I’ve embraced her methods for preschool. And Junior is thriving on them.
But there’s one little problem: Montessori toys are really expensive. So, with the help of Pinterest and a little creativity, I’ve been making our own Montessori-inspired toys. Here are 6 inexpensive homemade toys for your toddlers:
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Ah, those toddlers! Those cuddly little bundles of curiosity and energy! For many, many years in a row, I’ve homeschooled with a squiggly toddler on my lap, underfoot, here, there, and everywhere. Then I had a few years reprieve, and now here we are again trying to solve algebraic problems while the toddler pulls the books off the shelf, slings the markers across the schoolroom, and yanks drawers off their casters. And, of course, pulls the keys off the computer.
Somehow, I don’t remember how I managed in years past. I do have recollections of finding all the match box cars in the toilet. But I do have some survival strategies I’d like to share with you that might make homeschooling with a toddler a little more peaceful.
Continue reading “Homeschooling with a Toddler in Tow”
Last post, I shared with you St. Don Bosco’s secret to discipline. Did you read how he could get 500 boys to sit in a hall and study quietly and diligently, without threats or punishment? If you have boys, St. Don Bosco is the saint for you! He is a shining example for parents and teachers. Today I share with you some of his own words of wisdom on education and discipline:
Continue reading “St. Don Bosco on the Education and Discipline of Youth”