Our Homeschool Summer Break – Year 4

Our Homeschool Summer Break Year 4 on grass background

If you’ve been following this series (if not, start here), you’ll probably have noticed a pattern by now. We seem to keep ping-ponging back and forth between work-focused summers and play-focused summers, always trying to find the sweet spot.

Year 3 was a summer of virtually no advanced planning and no academic work. So, you probably won’t be too surprised when I tell you that Year 4 was the complete opposite. 

(And, according to my oldest son who was just reading over my shoulder a minute ago, Year 4’s summer was “horrible!”  Can’t win ‘em all, I guess.)

Continue reading “Our Homeschool Summer Break – Year 4”

How to Homeschool Successfully During a Home Renovation

How To Homeschool Successfully During a Home Renovation title on gray wood background with tools

Anyone who has homeschooled for more than one hour knows that interruptions are part of the job description.

On my good days, I try and embrace the interruptions – the many opportunities for real life training and modeling grace and patience. I totally agree with the writer of this post who said, “Interruptions are not obstacles to our plan; they are opportunities for us to embrace God’s plan.” So true.

But some seasons bring so many interruptions – so much chaos – it just seems impossible to maintain any semblance of order or sanity, much less get any meaningful homeschooling done. 

Over the past four years, we’ve renovated nearly our entire home, room by room. Home renovations are definitely one of those chaos-inflicting seasons – but there ARE things you can do to make it through.

Continue reading “How to Homeschool Successfully During a Home Renovation”

Top 3 Types of Help for All Homeschoolers

Top 3 Types of Help for All Homeschoolers on swimming pool background with flotation ring

(There may be affiliate links in this post – click here to learn more)

🎵 I get by with a little help from my friends” 🎵

– The Beatles

Sing it, Ringo! So true!

Homeschooling parents have a lot on our plates and, depending on the day or our stage of life, the help we need often takes different forms. 

But there are also kinds of support and encouragement that are universally helpful to all homeschoolers. The following three categories of help have been consistently valuable to me in all stages of our homeschooling so far.

Continue reading “Top 3 Types of Help for All Homeschoolers”

Grrrific Homeschool Lessons I Learned from Daniel Tiger – Part Two

Grrrific Homeschool Lessons I learned from... Daniel Tiger, Part Two with cartoon lightbulb on blue fence background

(There may be affiliate links in this post. Click here to learn more.)

In the previous post, I shared how Daniel Tiger reminded me to be grateful and stay positive. We’ve started using gratitude journals in the evenings to help us focus our thoughts on our blessings before bed. So far there haven’t been any complaints about the extra writing – a Christmas miracle!

Daniel has been teaching me other things lately, too.

Continue reading “Grrrific Homeschool Lessons I Learned from Daniel Tiger – Part Two”

Grrrific Homeschool Lessons I Learned from Daniel Tiger – Part One

Grrrific Homeschool Lessons I learned from... Daniel Tiger, Part One with cartoon lightbulb on blue fence background

(There may be affiliate links in this post. Click here to learn more.)

Our God is so good. 

He knows what we need and he meets us where we’re at… even when “where you’re at” is buried under three loads of laundry, surrounded by a hopeless mess in every direction, with a crying toddler hanging on your leg, an oven timer beeping and older kids who are fighting instead of finishing their math.  

It was in a moment like this a few days ago that He caught my attention through the (unbelievably incessant) singing of the PBS character, Daniel Tiger. 

🎵“When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.” 🎵

Continue reading “Grrrific Homeschool Lessons I Learned from Daniel Tiger – Part One”

5 Reading Incentive Programs and How They Can Work for Your Family

5 Reading Incentive Programs and How They Can Work for Your Family on cartoon background with boy reading book

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not reading incentive programs are a good thing. (Just so you don’t get your hopes up, this blog post isn’t going to settle the matter). 

Some parents and educators say reading incentives have absolutely helped motivate their reluctant readers. The kids just needed a little outside motivation to get them started and now their love of reading has taken off.

Others point to the dangers of external motivation and warn that incentive programs backfire. They say the programs are essentially bribes and when the incentives stop, so does the reading.

In my experience, there’s truth on both sides. 

Continue reading “5 Reading Incentive Programs and How They Can Work for Your Family”

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. 

Continue reading “The Key to Effective Quality Time with Your Kids”

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. 

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