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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. 

6 Homeschool Sanity Tips for the New Year

6 homeschool sanity tips for the new year on wood background with snowflake decor

To the tune of Auld Lang Syne…

Christmas gifts strewn all around,
Party messes still piled high,
Decorations to repack…
I think I’m about to cry.

And add to this the pressure felt
To analyze your life, 
And come up with some lofty goals
That will solve all of your strife.

– words by Sensible Homeschool

That’s how the song goes, isn’t it?

Top Handwriting Resources for Homeschoolers on a Budget

Top Handwriting Resources for Homeschoolers on a Budget

When my oldest son had some pre-writing work under his belt and was ready to start learning how to write letters and words, I researched the depths of the internet in the hopes of finding the one right, best method for teaching handwriting. 

Long story short, there’s no such thing.

Some experts say cursive first, others say manuscript. Some say lower case first, others say upper case. They all seem to have an opinion about which letters to teach first and which font style is the best for beginning writers – D’Nealian, Zaner-Bloser, Palmer, Getty-Dubay, Wingdings (ok, probably not that last one). What size should the primary lines be for which grade level? Will tracing ruin my child forever or is it a great first step toward handwriting success? And on and on and on….

Achieving Handwriting Success with a Skill-Based Approach

Achieving Handwriting Success with a Skill-Based Approach on dark background with pencils on table

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that kids can work at their own pace based on skill mastery rather than age or grade level. This is helpful for all subjects but especially ones with physical coordination aspects like handwriting. Kids are all over the map when it comes to physical development.

Is your kindergartener’s printing better than your spouse’s? No need to hold them back with a “kindergarten” book! Does your older student need extra printing practice before tackling cursive? No worries! You can use whatever resources meet him where he’s at based on ability, not necessarily grade. 

At the end of the day, the goal is to have kids who can write neatly (or at least legibly) to communicate in written form.