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Super-Easy DIY Phonogram Game for Pre-Readers

Super-Easy DIY Phonogram Game for Pre-Readers

I’m not sure why this simple, homemade game has been such a hit with all of my kids. Maybe it’s the shaking. Maybe it’s the dumping. Whatever the reason, they’ve all loved it!

I wish I could recall where I heard about this game first. I’ve seen variations of it floating around, but I’m not sure who came up with the original idea for Phonogram Sound Shake. Whoever you are, thank you! 

A Tour of Our Homeschool: Art Closet

A Tour of Our Homeschool Art Closet

I’ve hesitated to write this post because our art closet is… well… ugly.

But, I’ve decided to give you this photo tour anyway. It’s a late addition to the Tour of Our Homeschool series.

Picture-perfect art rooms are often more discouraging for me than inspiring. I walk away feeling like I could never make it all so organized and matching and beautiful, and I give up before even trying.

So, because it’s not Pinterest-worthy, I’m hoping the pictures of our homely art closet will show you that working art into your homeschool is totally doable. You don’t need to wait until you’ve built a dedicated She-Shed or made adorable, color-coordinated mason jar labels to get started. 

Homeschooling’s Secret Weapon

Homeschooling's Secret Weapon

What is this secret weapon, you ask?

Here’s a hint…

All moms and dads have this parenting tool in their arsenal. But homeschooling offers the advantage of significantly more time and freedom to use it!

So, what is this thing that makes homeschooling so effective, even when it’s used by average Jane’s and Joe’s teaching their kids in their kitchen?

Drum roll, please…

Kids Are Always Learning (Even on Vacation)

Kids Are Always Learning Even on Vacation

”Do you ask a fish how it swims? Or a bird how it flies? No sirree, you don’t! They do it because they were born to do it!”

– Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Just like Willy Wonka was born to invent new candy bars, kids were born to learn!

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about why homeschooling works easily for kids of all ages. They’re even learning on sick days. And, on our recent trip to the lake, I was reminded (yet again) how kids are always learning – even on vacation!

Why Homeschooling Works – A Preschool Example

Why Homeschooling Works - A Preschool Example

I was asked again recently if homeschooling really works. 

For some reason, I’m always caught off guard when I hear this. After all, I see home education work everyday!  

My own kids… my homeschooling friends’ kids… students I see at our co-op… they’re all growing and learning and turning into capable young people. 

Does it work? Of course it works! It’s been working in one form or another for millennia! Homeschooling is an amazing way to learn!

But only ten short years ago I actually asked the very same question.

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. 

Spotlight on School Supplies: Magnetic Whiteboard

spotlight on school supplies magnetic whiteboard background with markers and eraser

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Never Bored with Your Board

My apologies to any chalkboard aficionados out there, but now that we’ve used whiteboards, I’ll never go back to chalkboards. Just imagine…..

  • No chalk-covered toddlers
  • No chalk dust in the air and in the carpet
  • No ear-piercing, goose-bump-causing SKREEEEEECH from wandering nails

*shudder*

Don’t get me wrong – I like a cute & trendy menu chalkboard in the kitchen just as much as the next Pinterest-perusing mom. And, of course, chalk still has its place for some activities (that place being outside). But for our day-to-day schoolwork we needed a different solution.

Spotlight on School Supplies: Laminator

spotlight on homeschool supplies laminator with laminated printable

Melting Hearts of Homeschool Moms Everywhere

One of the first memories I have of my early homeschool research is reading a handful of homeschooler’s blogs and noticing the deep affection they all had for their laminators. 

I recall thinking this was strange.  

Yet now, here I am years later, adding my voice to the chorus of homeschool moms singing an Ode to My Laminator.