Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report: The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected – Part Three

Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected Part 3 on colored background

So far we’ve seen what’s worked and not worked of my original plan for this year. But there have also been some unexpected resources that have ended up being some of our new favorites! 

As hard as it is for a planner like me to admit, sometimes embracing spontaneity is the best plan of all!

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Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report: The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected – Part One

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A lot of homeschool bloggers like to post their yearly curriculum choices (like I’ve been doing in this series) for their readers. Over the years, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to see what other families are using.

But sometimes these “what we’re using this year” lists give the impression that choosing curriculum for the year is a once-and-done kind of thing. 

Totally not the case!   

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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

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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.

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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

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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.” 🎵

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4 Smart Money-Saving Strategies for Single-Income Families (Strategy #1)

4 smart money-saving strategies for one-income families strategy #1 with piggy bank

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Many homeschooling families (and non-homeschooling families, too) are living on one income in a two-income economy. 

Our own household income was cut by 50% when I quit my full-time architecture career to stay home with our first baby. We had some savings and made it work for the short-term but once we decided to homeschool we realized the “dip-into-savings-and-just-don’t-buy-stuff” approach wasn’t going to work for the long haul. 

The loss of one full-time salary or the switch to part-time income with fewer benefits is a huge adjustment. In a culture obsessed with money and material possessions you’ll need to muster all your courage and intentionality to stick to a financial plan that works.

But I’m here to tell you it CAN be done! 

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Our Curriculum Choices – Year 5

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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, Year 3 and Year 4.

Year 5 Snapshot

If you’ve been following this series of posts, we’ve now caught up to real time. I wrote about the first four years retroactively because I started this blog just before we began our fifth year of homeschooling. 

Since I can’t summarize a year that hasn’t happened yet, this snapshot will be a look at how our year has started so far. Later this school year I hope to post about lessons learned during Year 5… but I have to learn them first, so stay tuned. 

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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. 

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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

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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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Spotlight on School Supplies: Paper Cutter

Spotlight on School Supplies: Paper Cutter with Fiskars paper cutter background

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A Cut Above the Rest

Other school supplies on my Top 5 Must-Have Homeschool Supplies list boast frequent use and a variety of applications. 

Paper cutters are more of a one trick pony. And it’s a pony that stays in the barn most of the time. So you might be wondering how they made my Top 5 list. Allow me to explain.

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