Homeschool Teaching Tip #4: Don’t Spill the Beans

Homeschool Teaching Tip #4: Don't Spill the Beans title

This post is part of a series of helpful teaching tips for homeschoolers. If you haven’t yet, check out Tip #1, Tip #2 and Tip #3.

Of all the teaching tips in this series, this one has probably been the hardest one for me to put into practice.

Over the years I’ve gotten better, but I still tend to spill too many school beans. What are school beans, you might ask? Allow me to explain. 

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Homeschool Teaching Tip #3: Find a Hook

Homeschool Teaching Tip #3: Find a Hook

This post is part of a series of helpful teaching tips for homeschoolers. If you haven’t yet, check out Tip #1 and Tip #2

Imagine you walk into a classroom and take a seat at your desk. There you find a worksheet with a tree diagram. The teacher announces that you’ll be studying trees today. She lists the vocabulary words you should add to your diagram.

Now imagine instead that you walk into a classroom with a three foot wide slice of tree trunk on a table with a few magnifying glasses scattered next to it. The teacher invites you to study the tree for a few minutes and see what you see. 

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who would find the second scenario more interesting. 

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Homeschool Teaching Tip #2: Know Your Objective

Homeschool Teaching Tip #2: Know Your Objective

This post is part of a series of helpful teaching tips for homeschoolers. Check out the first post here. 

If you look up “how to create a lesson plan,” the first thing that most resources will tell you is to “Know Your Objective.”  That is, know what the main point of the lesson is. For example, “after this lesson, the student will be able to name the four largest moons of Jupiter.” 

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Homeschool Teaching Tip #1: Know Your Child

Homeschool Teaching Tip #1: Know Your Child

When I started homeschooling, one of the first things I did was to check out a stack of “how-to-teach” books from the library. I was hoping to find the secrets to successful homeschool teaching.

I found about 30% of the information to be really helpful. The other 70% was geared toward navigating the public school system. They covered things like managing classes of 20+ students, working with parents and school administration, and decorating classroom bulletin boards. 

Don’t get me wrong. A lot of it was good information. But it just wasn’t relevant for me as a new homeschool mom.

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Our Homeschool Summer Break Strewing Experience

Our Homeschool Summer Break Strewing Experience title with cardboard tubes

This past summer, I was looking for ways to keep the kids involved in something productive but not too formal (that is, no 24/7 Minecraft allowed… but nothing that would require too much work on my part, either).

Among other things, my plan included intentionally setting out interesting activities for my kids to find and explore if they wanted to (aka “strewing”). If you haven’t yet, check out the original post – Our Homeschool Summer Break – Year 5 – for a little more context and my original summer plan. In that post, I promised you an update on how it went and here it is!

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Our Curriculum Choices Year 6

Our Curriculum Choices Year 6 title on chalkboard background

I can’t believe it’s August again!

That means it’s time to share our homeschool plans for the year ahead. (If you’re curious about what we’ve used in the past, check out this post which has links to all the previous years.)

Year 6 Snapshot

We’re really in the thick of it now. I’ll be homeschooling my fifth and second grade boys and their three year old sister (whose unreliable, dwindling naps should make for a crazy-making an interesting year). 

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The 3 Worst Things About Homeschooling

The 3 Worst Things About Homeschooling

I’ve never met anyone who loves every single part of their job. 

When I used to work in architectural engineering, the two things I dreaded most were boring business meetings and plumbing diagrams. And if I had to attend a boring business meeting ABOUT plumbing diagrams… well, let’s just say that wasn’t my favorite day. There’s only so long a girl (at least THIS girl) can listen to someone explain the intricacies of sanitary vent lines before she’s forced to mentally escape to Aruba to preserve her mental health.

It’s no different with home education. Not the part about the plumbing and meetings (unless you mean pulling LEGOs out of the toilet and calling a family meeting to determine the culprit).

No. What I mean is, just like every other job, the role of home educator has its downsides. 

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Strategies for Buying Homeschool Curriculum: A Grocery Store Analogy

Strategies for Buying Homeschool Curriculum title on grocery aisle background

Is it just me or has our society overcomplicated things that should be fairly straightforward? 

Take food, for example. The overall process seems like it should be pretty simple. Grow or buy food. Cook food. Eat food. Done. 

But when you get to the grocery store and spend the first 15 minutes just trying to pick a breakfast cereal from the 129 choices available, you quickly realize this might be harder than you thought.

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Homeschool Planning with a Master Course of Study

Homeschool Planning with a Master Course of Study title with partial spreadsheet

I’m a list person. I love lists. If there’s a problem for me to solve, the solution will probably involve a list. And, if it’s a list in the form of a spreadsheet, all the better!

Now, even if you’re not on the same page as me about lists being the answer to life’s most pressing problems, please hear me out. 

There’s one list – and, yes, it’s a spreadsheet *giddy squeals* – that has helped me plan out our homeschool years more than any other resource I’ve made or bought. The best part is, it’s *EASY* and *FREE* to make and highly customizable. 

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Ways We Customize The Story of the World Curriculum in our Homeschool

Ways We Customize the Story of the World Curriculum in our Homeschool title with stacked books

We love The Story of the World history curriculum.  

(And, given that I loathed history when I was a kid, it’s no small potatoes for me to say that I love a history curriculum!)

After using Tapestry of Grace Primer for my oldest son’s first and second grade years, we started Volume 1 of The Story of the World and haven’t looked back.

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