The Key to Effective Quality Time with Your Kids

The Key to Effective Quality Time with Your Kids with metal key on blue-green background

It’s tempting to think that homeschooling, by default, ensures you’re spending enough time with your kids. However, as you’ve probably heard, quantity doesn’t make up for a lack of quality.

And here’s the kicker…

Even a large quantity of quality time may still feel inadequate to your child if the time isn’t “quality” from THEIR perspective. 

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DIY or Buy? How to Teach Your Kids Without Going Broke

DIY or Buy? How to teach your kids without going broke on kid's cash register gradient background

No room in the budget for fancy school learning tools? 

No problem!

(Even if there IS money available for the latest and greatest educational gizmos, buying more stuff just because you can generally isn’t wise.)

Please don’t feel like you have to OWN every cool-looking manipulative, learning center set and educational toy that exists in order to provide a high-quality education! 

Whether you know it or not, you already own countless items you can repurpose to teach many – if not most – concepts. Or often, a DIY option will get the job done just as well as expensive classroom tools. And, by the time you’re done repurposing and DIY’ing, you’ll have saved enough money to splurge on a few really cool items that you just can’t duplicate at home.

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What’s in a Name? A Super-Easy Way to Get Your Kids to Cooperate!

What do Panera Bread and my homeschool have in common? 

(I mean besides hungry people who are constantly demanding food, tables that need to be cleaned dozens of times a day and occupants who splash water on the bathroom mirrors.)

We both have used names to define things or activities to improve our establishments and our productivity. 

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Our Curriculum Choices – Year 4

sensible homeschool our curriculum choices year four on chalkboard background

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If you haven’t done so yet, read the first post in this series here and check out Our Curriculum Choices – Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3.

Year 4 Snapshot

While we were (and still are) far from having it all figured out, Year 4 was the first year I felt noticeably more confident in our homeschooling. 

After several years of educating our kids at home, I now had some data to work with – some proof that this was working. We could look back on work from the years past and see tangible evidence that growth and learning were taking place. Phew!

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20 Fantastic Ways to Help Your Homeschool Kids Stay Focused

20 Fantastic Ways to Help Your Homeschool Kids Stay Focused teen girl reading on red sofa

Home sweet home… 

The place we feel warm and cozy and free to be ourselves. 

The place we live and laugh and love and create beautiful family memories. 

The place where naked toddlers run through the middle of the lesson on the Byzantine Empire singing “I’m a Little Teapot” and throwing Cheerios in the air like confetti. 

*sigh*

While there’s a lot to love about the freedoms a home-based learning setting provides, there are definitely some unique challenges that homeschool parents need to navigate. Many of these challenges stem from two fundamental characteristics of a homeschool. 

Homeschools are often multi-AGE and multi-USE settings.

These two aspects can equate to high levels of distraction unless some thought is given to managing them well. 

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Spotlight on School Supplies: Hole Reinforcement Labels

Spotlight on School Supplies Hole Reinforcement Label sheets

Heroic Halos of Helpfulness

My mom was right. Good things do come in small packages! If I remember correctly, she was referring to me, not office products, but I think the expression works here, too.

I never thought I’d have such strong feelings for tiny, donut-shaped stickers but I just love these little guys.

It’s so frustrating when a child puts their heart and soul into a detailed notebooking page only to have it torn out of their binder by a sibling. Or worse yet, on more than one occasion, my kids have dropped a binder rendering the holes of many pages useless all at once.

Never fear… hole reinforcement labels are here!!

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How to Make a History Timeline

how to make a history timeline fold-out pages

Well, it’s about time!

After years of historical knowledge going in one ear and out the other, I’ve finally found a system for learning and retaining history that works for me (and my kids, too)!

One of the key elements of this system is making timelines. (The other elements that work for us, notebooking and using chronological curricula, will be addressed in future posts).

I believe one of the main reasons I disliked and couldn’t retain history was because I’m an “overall picture” kind of gal and I had never been given the big picture of history – only out-of-order chunks. I memorized names and dates for tests and filled in the blanks on my worksheets and even did fun projects. But, to my frustration (as a child) and embarrassment (as an adult), I retained very little information about the history of our world.

I don’t even like playing Trivial Pursuit for fear that my historical ignorance will be exposed! 

(oops… the truth is out now)

Thankfully, the history curricula that we’ve used so far (Tapestry of Grace Primer and Story of the World) have both suggested creating timelines to keep track of historical people and events. 

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Our Curriculum Choices – Year 3

sensible homeschool our curriculum choices year three on chalkboard background

(There may be affiliate links on this page. For more information click here.)

If you haven’t done so yet, read the first post in this series here and check out Our Curriculum Choices – Year 1 and Year 2.

Year 3 Snapshot

Each year seems to bring something new and Year 3 was no exception. It was the first time I was homeschooling with an infant and without the support and encouragement of my dear mother-in-law who passed away only a few weeks after I had our third baby. 

But God has always been our Provider, whether it’s in the form of new insights, tangible resources or help from friends and family. He’s consistently given us hope and a way through difficult seasons, both in homeschooling and life in general. 

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Homeschoolers are Backward

homeschoolers are backward unique red person going against flow of traffic

WARNING: Homeschooling may cause your schedule to look different than the rest of society which can lead to serious side effects such as nasty glares from strangers, self-doubt and upheaval of existing routines. 

When you have the freedom to tailor your routines to the unique needs of your family, your schedule begins to look… well… unique. 

In many ways, my family’s daily and weekly routines are backward from our non-homeschooling friends. And guess what?

THAT’S OKAY!

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