Elementary

If I Were Starting Over

“If you were starting over with homeschooling what would you do?” This question appeared on my phone in text message form, from a friend who is contemplating homeschooling her five-year-old this fall.   

Reading her message took me back in time. A flood of old feelings came rushing back. I was in her shoes five years ago and I immediately understood what she was going through. 

From Launch to Finish

Rose talked the other day about how she delegates chores among her children. I’ve seen her kids in action—it’s a pleasure how she and her children get things done.

Guess what doesn’t even begin to work in my household?

My personality package doesn’t include much in the way of administration. If it were up to me to teach my kids how to run a household, their skill set would consist of ...

Something Just For You! - Resources for Homeschooling Children with Special Needs

Are you new to homeschooling? Are you homeschooling a child with special needs and don’t know where to begin? If so, we have some great news for you. The HSLDA online bookstore is now carrying titles related to homeschooling children with special needs. As an HSLDA member, you can receive a discounted price on all of your purchases. Today, we’d like to introduce you to three of the books that are now available in our online store.

12 Ways to Keep Teaching When Life Gets in the Way

This week, we had a death in the family, I’m attempting to make our basement habitable for houseguests, and both shower heads broke. We’ve got end-of-the-year stuff, I am vigorously trying to keep up with my commitments and tutoring, friends need support, and I have a ministry and next year’s co-op to schedule. I keep having to drop everything and run to the John Deere place, the garden is overgrown and I at least better keep ahead of the poison ivy, and while we’re on the subject, I’d really prefer more plant life in the flowerpots and less on the dirty dishes...

Phonics Again

When I first thought about teaching my oldest child to read, I was filled with much excitement and, I will admit, a little nervousness.

After all, reading is so important to future learning, not to mention lifelong enrichment. I wondered if everything would go well.

Joy is Like a Whale

Recently, my husband and I were able to get away for a few days to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. My favorite part of our trip was watching the humpback whales. They have their babies in the waters off Cabo and then migrate back to Alaska for the summer months. We saw many whales, from the balcony of our room, and on a couple of boat trips we took. They would flip their flippers and their tails often; on more than a few occasions they would jump clear out of the water.

Planting Seeds

As I write this, the weather is finally starting to get consistently warm in our neck of the woods. So this week, it was time to get started on our little family garden.

My husband grew up in farm country. Each year, he would spend many an hour helping to tend the family's large garden. With twelve mouths to feed, this garden played an important role in providing for the family's needs. My childhood gardening experience, on the other hand, was a bit more limited...

Rain Days, Snow Days, School Days

I’m fairly confident by now that the last snow of the season is over. (I thought so once before, but then a surprise snowstorm in late March proved me wrong.) Of course, now that we’re finally free from winter’s icy grip, we’re facing the inevitable deluge of vernal showers. The stormy transition from winter to spring provides a good opportunity to reflect on yet another reason I’m glad to be homeschooling: the freedom to set our own pace.

Family Reading Time

When our family decided to pull our oldest daughter out of kindergarten and bring her home, we only knew two other homeschooling families. These two families were very different in their homeschooling styles, and yet on one thing they were in passionate agreement: a well-rounded education involves reading, reading and more reading. More importantly, it involved sharing good books as a family.

Nature Studies

Nature studies is a thing. It’s a good thing. Preschoolers do well with the “oh look” method of nature studies. You may want some structure and books, but beyond them every outing becomes an informal science lab, no beakers required. If those are cumulonimbus clouds, we’ll have to go inside.  Bicyclists are fast and have a lot more mass than you. The sun is hot and a major source of ultraviolet radiation as well as visible light, so wear your hat. You can pick all the dandelions and violets you like; these purple berries are pokeweed and will probably make you throw up, so don’t eat them.

Be Encouraged, Homeschool Teachers! | Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Week

Before I dragged myself out of bed and put on my jeans and shirt, I knew I needed to put something else on even more important. I needed to clothe myself with truth. When parenting or homeschooling are overwhelming, my biggest battle usually isn’t logistical in nature; it’s fighting the unbelief and the lies the Enemy loves to throw at me...

Keeping the Big Picture| Five ways to balance academics with God’s gifting in your children

What priorities do you have for your children? Besides academics, what do you want them to learn that will serve them their whole life long? Since God has given each of my children gifts in certain areas, I want to be sensitive to His leading us to opportunities that help them develop those gifts. I also want my children to have a vision for using those gifts for God’s kingdom.  

Six Types of Bills Homeschoolers Should Watch in 2015

Each year, HSLDA’s Federal Relations team reviews the many bills (around 7 to 11 thousand) that are introduced in the United States Congress—searching for language that might affect the freedom of homeschoolers across the U.S.

Here are six bills in the 114th Congress that we think you should know about...

Hold on to the Encouragers in Your Life

A couple of weeks ago, my family had the painful task of saying goodbye for now to my Uncle Gene. He was a father of eight and a husband of more than fifty years to his childhood sweetheart and my dad’s only sibling. He was a teacher, a preacher, a principal of a Christian school, a Sunday school teacher, head of a board of deacons and a friend to many, attested to by the line of people through the sanctuary and out the door waiting to pay their respects. More than any of that, he was a child of God. During his eulogy the pastor said repeatedly that Uncle Gene would’ve wanted less talk about him and more about Jesus.

Falling in Love with Pharaohs

If you were hanging out at our house, you’d notice that our study of ancient Egypt started with a Daddy story about the brave Thutmose the Third and his sneaky tactics that won the Battle of Megiddo. We looked at pictures on Pinterest of Thutmose’s wives’ jewelry, including a type of bezel ring that we could – and did – make with my jewelry supplies. We talked about what a cartouche was and figured out one for Meg, using a chart of real hieroglyphs. Then we drew her cartouche on the ring with a permanent marker.

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